New Teachers

Classroom organization

A video on setting up an elementary classroom. We also need to be aware of and follow any safety issues, such as keeping a clear path to exits. Other comments on the suggestions? Any advice on incorporating science-related features?

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
10110 Activity Points

As a secondary teacher I thought this was interesting (although I don't think I would be happy in these rooms because I am used to a few less themes at a time!). I think the organization and the recognition portions apply for all teachers, not just elementary.

Tina Harris
Tina Harris
65805 Activity Points

Mary, This is an excellent video to share with preservice and beginning elementary teachers in grades K-3. But they need to remember that they cannot accomplish all of this during their first year of teaching!!! It takes years to get to the point that you see in this video. New teachers should start out with the parts that are most important to organization of a classroom such as attendance, rules, calendar, and classroom jobs. Then add other parts as they are able. An elementary classroom has many themes displayed because an elementary teacher usually teaches all subject areas. They have a lot of preps to do everyday. The classrooms depicted on this video are very typical of an energetic teacher who cares for their students needs and interests. The video had many excellent ideas. A science corner is an important part of a primary classroom as this is the age when students like to explore and discover. I had my students do an insect collection. We also created a rain forest in a corner of our classroom. Bringing in rocks students find and starting a class rock collection is fun. Ideas for science corners are endless.

Betty Paulsell
Betty Paulsell
48550 Activity Points

Even in a seventh grade science lab, I had a "corner" where students could bring things in or I would display objects of interest. No one ever had "nothing to do" -- they could go to the table to explore.

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
10110 Activity Points

I used to do that - sometimes I would make short (5 Question) extra credit quizzes over the items at the table (which of these are compounds? or draw the crystal shape you see in the microscope) which students could either turn in or collect and use to replace a homework assignment on a day when they had an afterschool committment and couldn't get to their homework. Sometimes it was just interesting books or website links to review. Science corners can be handy in Middle School (or high school) too!

Tina Harris
Tina Harris
65805 Activity Points

I like the idea of a special corner or section of the room dedicated to something of interest to the students - something to help really engage them in the content. I keep fish in my room and composting worms - not in the same container. :-) The students love to care for them, and even something as small and easy as composting worms can help students find the value of real science in classroom science lessons. I would be interested in learning/hearing more about what other teachers have in science corners etc...

Susanne Hokkanen
Susanne Hokkanen
79060 Activity Points

There are several excellent resources in the NSTA Learning Center on this topic, too. I put together a collection for my preservice teachers called CI 426: Constructing My Science Classroom, that might be of interest to teachers wanting ideas on this topic. There are resources for elementary, middle and high school teachers embedded in the collection.
Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
86483 Activity Points

I thought this was a great video for us soon-to-be teachers! I loved and was very stimulated in a good way at all the creativity and ideas in the classrooms. I agree that the teachers intention of how the room will look may certainly look different after getting to know your class. I liked the idea of hanging a different bug above each table then incorporating the same picture as labels on different activities. However, I know that fire marshals have certain resrictions from hanging anything from the ceilings. Having a classroom that is "too busy" may also have issues with it being a "safe" classroom. Safety first! =)

Angelica Johnson
Angelica Johnson
1000 Activity Points

Although this video shows classrooms that took years to build upon, it still provided excellent ideas for an up and coming teacher like myself. I loved the plant area idea. In my future classroom I would really like to incorporate a science corner that changes themes according to the units or seasons. In my opinion it is neat to see another person’s idea and build upon it and make it something of your own. I am a visual learner, so seeing the ideas is very helpful for me. I have learned that that you tube videos and pinterest will be great resources when it comes to classroom ideas during my first few years of teaching. ? Nicole White

Nicole White
Nicole White
640 Activity Points

Although this video shows classrooms that took years to build upon, it still provided excellent ideas for an up and coming teacher like myself. I loved the plant area idea. In my future classroom I would really like to incorporate a science corner that changes themes according to the units or seasons. In my opinion it is neat to see another person’s idea and build upon it and make it something of your own. I am a visual learner, so seeing the ideas is very helpful for me. I have learned that that you tube videos and pinterest will be great resources when it comes to classroom ideas during my first few years of teaching. ? Nicole White

Nicole White
Nicole White
640 Activity Points

Classroom organization is so important for teachers, they need to have everything in a specific place. Safety of course is vital to setting up a classroom. You store dangerous objects away from children’s reach, especially if they are flammable or poisonous. Definitely have a science center, it should most likely be close to the sink for easy access. You may want to have kits prepared for students with items that are frequently used like rulers, pencils, magnifying glass, etc. If you have experiments that are done in groups, you can have them split responsibilities.

Sheila Chavez
Sheila Chavez
3775 Activity Points

I think that Betty makes a good point, that as a new teacher you cannot do it all at once. It will take time. I think Harry Wong's book First Day of School is a good one to learn organization for teachers, bot new and experienced.

Jim McDonald
Jim McDonald
3725 Activity Points

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