Friday, August 12, 2011

Setting up my classroom

I went in to school this week, intending to get a start on setting up my classroom. I have an added challenge this year because I have, probably, six more students than last year so I have to factor the added desks into my classroom layout. I am also teaching one grade 5 class for the whole year, French first half, English the second, so I've inherited a great deal of resources to teach the English half. This is what I found when I came into my classroom.

The janitor isn't finished with my room yet. He's still doing the floors so I'm going to wait to go back in again until next week. What I did do is measure my bulletin boards that don't have fabric yet so that I can buy fabric to cover them. I measured them all, wrote the measurements down on a piece of paper, and left the paper in my classroom. Oh well, I'll get it next week.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all my English books. I'd like to have them neatly put away, somewhere not too accessible during the first half of the year so that my students aren't trying to sneak them out during silent reading time when they are meant to be reading French books. Most IF teachers teach one class all year. Last year I did something called the flip-flop where I only taught French all year to two grade 5 classes. This had many disadvantages but one main advantage was that I only had French resources in my room.

One storage option is my back closet. There are beams up there that can hold heavy boxes of books. I also have two new-to-me bookshelves and I have a few cupboards that didn't get used last year. I could, I think, get all the books stored in my room. The other option is we now have an empty classroom next to me so I could store the English stuff over there until the end of January.

I'm curious about what other Intensive French teachers do to store their stuff. Any suggestions? What do you think would work best? How do you organize your room?  


  1. Congrats on the change. I think it will be great to have a consistent class all year! You can set out your expectations early on. I hated switching part way through the year with maternity leaves, etc.

    I agree that less is more. Get the books you aren't using out of the room. Not to mention that it will be that much more exciting part way through the year when you bring all the new books out!

    Back Hall Collaborators

  2. Very true. I'm thinking the best way will be to organize them into boxes by subject and store them in the other room if I'm able to. If not, they'll go into the space above the closet. It will mean having empty shelves around but I will need to keep my French books out in February as well because I will still be teaching them French, just less often.