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.
Debbie Miller advocates for involving children in the organization of materials for readers and writers in the classroom.
Debbie Miller questions what our classrooms say about our beliefs and practices, and suggests how to bring our designs into closer alignment with our values.
When our environment aligns with our values, Karen Szymusiak considers what helps learners take charge of their experience in a successful learning community.
Whether it’s time to set up a classroom space from scratch or reorganize space that isn’t meeting needs, The Sisters have the tools you need.
In this four-minute video, Literacy Coach Gail Boushey talks about how she arranges her materials in a limited space, and the benefits of sharing work space with colleagues.
Franki Sibberson explains how she extends the wall space in her classroom for instruction through the use of foam boards.
“The Sisters” (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) talk about how the community language board changes and evolves over the year, building a sense of community and shared literacy.
In this time-lapse video, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser help Carrie, a second-year teacher, begin to organize her classroom library according to themes and traffic patterns in the classroom.
In this video, “The Sisters” (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) help experienced teacher Kelly create a numbering system for her classroom library.
In this four-minute video tour, Jennifer Allen describes how she arranges and displays materials in the “Literacy Room,” the space that has become invaluable in supporting teachers’ professional development in literacy instruction.
In this five-minute time-lapse video, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser redesign the lighting in their colleague Ahnsaly’s literacy meeting area.
The Sisters help a new teacher, Amy, sort through junk she inherited from previous occupants of her classroom. The video uses time-lapse videography to show how the coat, storage, and book area is transformed in the process of winnowing down these materials.
In this brief classroom tour, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (“The Sisters”) talk about problems with teacher desks, present how they separate and define different curricular learning areas.
Gayle Gentry reflects on how a colleague’s simple request to reorganize a classroom library turned into coaching opportunities that had a direct impact on student learning.
Mary Lee Hahn prepares for classroom visitors, and the process of viewing her room with fresh eyes makes her question routines and wall displays.
Mark Levine finds that good seating design in middle school isn’t just about where you place furniture—it’s about negotiating with students.
Make it personal with these lovely design suggestions from "The Sisters" for bringing students' homes into your classroom.
Jennifer Schwanke questions the routines of how wall displays are used in classrooms.
Barbara Coleman finds classroom tours are a terrific professional development activity early in the year, fostering unexpected collaboration among colleagues.
Ann Marie Corgill shares how she organizes materials for literacy learning in the third installment of her design series.
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