As part of our organisation and management TDT we had to design our very own classroom with justification. As a result, I created this design.
This particular classroom is designed to hold 28 children maximum as I strongly believe that children work better when in smaller groups. Although I am aware that this is not always possible as many classrooms these days have as many as 33 children in a class. The seating arrangement would be organised in mixed ability to allow children to progress by interacting with fellow pupils whatever their ability. Ideally, their would be no particular seating plan as to allow the children to mix with the whole class and get to know every pupil regardless of gender or background, this should enhance their social development. However, with literacy and mathematics they would be placed in ability levels to allow for differentiation but this should be done in a way that the child would not know what level they are compared to others.
There is a large mat in which the tables surround it in a shape similar to a horse shoe. This allows all the children to get together for whole class instruction. Additionally, it can be used for reading a story as a class after lunch to allow the children to calm down before lessons. It would also be ideal for things like circle time to allow the children to share stories and ideas with each other. On this mat is a white board which would be used to write and discuss the learning intentions and success criteria with the children as sharing these is essential for an effective lesson. Behind the mat is an interactive SMART board which provides fun and engaging learning for children of all ages to enjoy.
To the left of the main area of the classroom is a reading area/ mini library. This provides a quiet area for personal reading as I believe that reading is essential for developing a wide range of language and furthermore instils a certain enjoyment into children that will hopefully stay with them through life. Reading can be a way of escaping as for some kids growing up can be difficult and they don’t always have the best upbringing. Additionally, it developments their sense of imagination which is at its greatest when you are young. The small range of books that live in this area will allow children who have no access to books at home to not miss out and still be able to use reading to its full potential. It also has an interactive chart for each child to keep record of what they have been reading.
Next to this is an individual study area which can be very useful especially when children are having a bad day. Something might be going on at home or maybe an incident occurred at break/lunch time. Whatever the case, this small space allows for any child to have some time out if he/she is not in he right mind set for the lesson.
Across the other side of the class is an art area. This allows for the pupils to be messy and creative without ruining the whole class! It isn’t a huge space but it will allow small groups to go over together and release their inner artist whilst minimizing any chaos! Next to this art area is an interactive wall display which would be relevant to the current class topic. This will add a colourful display to the class which will incorporate the children’s own work. It provides an area for an child to visit whenever they would like to learn in a fun and interactive way which would be regularly up-dated and changed to match what they are learning at that particular time. Additionally, there is a section for a wall display on class rules and routines which the children will have created themselves. Not only will this be a fun, creative lesson but it will teach them what is expected of them in a way in which they are involved in the decision of what should be a rule and what shouldn’t. This will hopefully be a productive step in involving them in positive behaviour management. Lastly in this corner is a wall display full of the children’s work from all the curriculum areas which will be slowly built up over the class year and updated to what they are learning at that time in whatever subject.
Moving further down the class, there is 2 computer stations which accommodates for 8 pupils at one time. In this modern day world, it is essential to have a basic knowledge of technology as it is everywhere and will be required for their future careers. This is why I found it important to incorporate some computers which the children can use for interactive learning or even just typing up a story that won story of the week, for example. It will allow the children to develop a sense of responsibility when dealing with ICT. Additionally, they can play maths games online with other pupils in the class. I particularly like this as the children will have so much fun competing with classmates that they won’t even realise that they are significantly improving their maths skills.
In between these stations is a group work mat. This allows for more space so the children aren’t constantly sat down, there is room to move around the class and interact with other areas. IT allows groups of pupils to remove themselves and work together to produce a piece of work which may relate to the current topic. This is essential for their development as learning to work in a team provides excellent opportunities to develop their social skills.
The teacher’s desk is located in such a way that it isn’t the centre of the classroom. I believe this is very important as a classroom should be child-centred rather than teacher-centred and this is why I have the class laid out in such a way that the teacher isn’t seen as superior to the pupil’s. This should help to develop a strong pupil-teacher relationship. The teacher also has their own bookcase for a selection of books to use for the whole class story time and filling cabinets for storage. I have provided an inbox and outbox for student’s work to ensure effective feedback can be given by having an organised system for marking. Additionally, there is storage facilities dotted across the classroom for pencils, pens, jotters, etc. Ideally there is a door to the outdoors to provide opportunities for outdoor learning or even for some time out. However, this is not always possible.
Completing this task has really made me think about how my ideal class would be laid out. Unfortunately, you will never have your perfect classroom as it’s just not possible. However, part of being a teacher is making use of the resources and space you have in order to maximise learning. This classroom isn’t too dissimilar to my placement classroom. There is less room compared to this design but there is still room for the whole class to get together and sit for some class discussion. There is a reading corner which I think is great but no interactive learning displays for the children to take part in. However, their work is displayed and there is a great class rules display called “Gary the Good-Mannered Goldfish”. There is no room for an art area, computers, or a mini library. However they’re booked in each week to use these type of facilities which are located elsewhere in the school. Additionally, they all know how to take out their books and can do this in the library at any time.
Overall, I would love to be able to teach in this class that I have designed! However, in most cases I will have to adapt my ideas and use the space to the best of my ability.