There's been a remarkable amount of brain research demonstrating how crucial environments are for learning. Cozy, well-lit and well-organized spaces are essential for literacy learners of any age. The constraints teachers face in designing and organizing their classrooms are enormous -- from irritated fire marshals to fear of lice infestations, with limited budgets always at the forefront. You'll be inspired by these beautiful classrooms, created by teachers who manage to design spaces any reader or writer would love.
In this video tour, Franki Sibberson narrates a description of the grades 3&4 multiage classroom she shares with a colleague. The space is small, so Franki explains how storage areas are carefully arranged and seating is creatively designed to make the most of limited space.
Ann Marie Corgill explains why a circle arrangement for middle school reading and writing workshop share sessions is vital for helping students focus and respond thoughtfully to peers.
Andrea Smith reworks a board that was successful in the past but is woefully empty now.
Jennifer McDonough explains why it’s important for her to share the sorting, categorizing, and labeling of texts with her students early in the year whileÂ organizing the classroom library.
Organizing nonfiction so that kids will gobble it up is an art. Andrea Smith knows how important it is to include students in this process.
In this video tour, Jessica Ardela and Josie Stewart talk about the renovations in progress in bookrooms at their school in Dublin, Ohio. The goal is to make it easier for students and teachers to access the texts they need, as well as create spaces for professional conversations among teachers.
Ann Williams has a terrific idea for keeping materials organized in literacy workshops and building student independence at the same time.
The care and use of the lowly pencil in classrooms says a lot about what we value and our relationships with students.
Mandy Robek finds herself overwhelmed when moving from a 3rd grade to kindergarten classroom. Her therapy? Rolling up her sleeves and designing a kindergarten classroom library.
Mandy Robek faces the challenge of creating a warm and inviting classroom environment which still includes some cold, hard computers for student use.
When students help us organize materials, we are often pleasantly surprised at the results.
Katie DiCesare helps her mom, a reading support teacher, reorganize her materials to better serve students.
What's your favorite literacy spot this year in your classroom? We asked our friends and contributors at Choice Literacy to send in pictures with brief descriptions for this two-part feature. Here is a peek in the classrooms of Donalyn Miller, Julie Johnson, Mary Lee Hahn, Katie DiCesare, and Mandy Robek.
We asked a few Choice Literacy contributors to share their favorite classroom spaces with readers. We hope you'll get some ideas for your own classroom design from these amazing teachers. This is the second installment in a two-part series.
Franki Sibberson describes how the topics and arrangements of baskets in the classroom library give strong messages about reading to students.
How do you organize and use book boxes? Every teacher has their own twist on the answer to this question. Choice Literacy contributors give examples from grades 1-5 of how they use book boxes and bags with their students.
Ann Marie Corgill switches from a 1st to 6th grade classroom, and finds herself immersed in rethinking the “learning landscape” as she unpacks boxes and sets up her classroom. While the room looks a little different, the principles for classroom design are the same. She shares her process in this photo essay.
Is your system for sharing books from a school bookroom or literacy closet working well? Shari Frost provides 10 practical tips for getting the best use out of shared literacy resources.
By upending the classroom library and asking students to sort and reorganize it, Karen Terlecky gets insight every year into the ways students categorize texts, as well as their emerging understanding of genre.
The “status of the class” form is a tool used by many teachers in reading and writing workshops to chart student plans daily. As Franki Sibberson tests out a status form in the school library, she discovers it has more value than she realized.
Franki Sibberson shares ideas for library browsing baskets, as well as ways to integrate minilessons into the school library routine.
The Sisters (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) have some ingenious tips for freeing up traffic paths and clustering literacy work areas.
The Sisters' design tips on tight classroom spaces cover walls and creative storage in this photo essay.
Here are a few suggestions and quick tips for a lighting redesign from The Sisters (Joan Moser and Gail Boushey).
Design tips from “The Sisters” (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) for beautiful and functional meeting areas.
The Sisters (Joan Moser and Gail Boushey) contribute a photo essay on design tips for wall displays.
In this first of a three-part video series, “The Sisters” (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) help 7th grade teacher Erin declutter and rearrange her classroom.
Danielle French leads her kindergarten students in Waterville, Maine, during morning meeting. After the meeting, Danielle talks with “The Sisters” (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) about the value of this daily routine.
In this brief video, Joan Moser talks about how she organizes student materials in "social groups" to avoid the use of desks or cubbies in her classroom.
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