I miss having a classroom of my own at this time of the year. There’s something about putting up fadeless paper and borders, getting supplies ready, preparing the meeting area, and labeling books with students’ names that I truly miss. Even though I’m fortunate to be working with a group of K-5 teachers this-coming week, I’ll be helping them plan their read aloud curriculum, not doing classroom design. While my back will be in better shape as a result of not having a classroom to set up, my heart will still miss it.
Last week, Choice Literacy’s Big Fresh was devoted to classroom design. (Click here if you missed it.) I learned about Izzy Share, a free website that allows teachers to show off their classroom designs. You can search Izzy Share’s classroom photos by grade level or by theme. If you’re not looking for a classroom design, per se, and you just want a more inviting door or fresh classroom library ideas, you can search for that too. This site is just as useful for the newbie as it is for teachers who are old pros at setting up classrooms.
To that end, if you need more assistance designing your classroom for the new school year, be sure to check out Debbie Diller’s Spaces and Places: Designing Classrooms for Literacy. I blogged about the ways I used her book a couple of years ago when I reorganized my classroom mid-year. Diller’s ideas are exceedingly helpful, as are the photos that are included in the book. If your classroom needs a fresh start, then pick up this book before you head back to school!
I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).