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Work Day

“I still like the first day better than the last day of a school year,” I said this morning to Nat and Noah, our babysitters. As a high school junior and seventh grader they were flabbergasted. “Well, I did choose this as a career,” I defended, “So I probably have a little different view than you.”

Today I helped Christi Overman set up her classroom for next year. A few years ago I heard Franki Sibberson talking about classroom environment. She made the (brilliant) point of setting up the most important spaces in the classroom first. Christi and I followed her advice. We emptied the room and then began with the most important areas first:

Meeting Area

Classroom Library

Small Group Meeting Spots

Scanner/Blogging/Tweeting Computer Area

The desks came last.

Here we are in the midst of setting up Christi's classroom for next year. Here you see part of the meeting area; the scanner/blogging/tweeting computer area; and the end of the classroom library.

As we talked and envisioned and reflected on the school year, I realized how intentional we were being. Every choice we made was based on our philosophy of instruction and intent to empower students. You can tell a lot about a person’s philosophy by checking out the physical environment of a classroom. Christi and I created a space to empower students to live as readers and writers throughout the day.

I think I may still be sweating from our work. 🙂


writing space

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

8 thoughts on “Work Day Leave a comment

  1. I so agree with you Ruth about loving the first day of school. Environment is very important. Next year I am moving to the fifth grade after teaching 10 years in middle school. I will definitely use this advice when setting up my classroom next year. I just now have to decide what is most important in my room! Thanks for the advice!


  2. Your know how to live, Ruth! You know where and how to find the positive to a sometimes exhausting and sad day. I’m glad we sat together yesterday, and we’re still working together. See you on the train ride Saturday!!! More posting ideas!!!


  3. I felt a connection to this post because every spring I begin sketching new possible layouts that I try in August when I am allowed back into my room. Kudos to you for being able to end the school year when that already checked off your list. The room looks inviting!


  4. The room looks great! I just love setting up my room! I’ve already gone back this summer to get it rearranged for next year-I always feel like a little girl playing school, even after my 9th year. My dream classroom has space for a cozy reading area and a spot for students who are working on independent studies, so that it’s not so disruptive for the rest of the class, and a sink, and closet.


  5. It’s amazing how out teaching philosophy is reflected in our classroom environment. We can’t set up until August and I’m already eager to get started. It’s amazing how you can be rejuvenated by a new layout….looks good!


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