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Setting up my classroom - Year 1

Discussion in 'Primary' started by modgepodge, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I'm an NQT starting my first post, in a Y1 class, in January. I'm going in to school tomorrow to sort out my classroom. However, I haven't got the first idea what to do!! Currently, there's not quite enough tables out for all the kids to work comfortably at, and they have been moving more towards whole class activities over the last few weeks I believe. I can get more tables, so I think I'm going to do that and ensure there is enough space for them all to be seated at once. Currently there are signs up for art area, construction area, maths area, literacy area etc, but I don't think these "areas" are really used now as much as they were at the start. So I'm thinking of removing them all except the art area (simply cos that's near the sink and if I get them doing art it will be in groups and in that area!) There's also a role play area which I want to keep. I want to develop the book corner a bit more, at the moment it's not really used. I've got a beanbag I can take in. Don't get me wrong - I still want the kids to do free flow choosing but I don't see why they need a "literacy area" to do writing in - on my Y1 placement the kids used to just write wherever they fancied!
    I also want the kids to have "carpet places" - at the moment they all sit where they like, but I like it a bit more structured. This will make use of talking partners easier as I'll ensure they sit together.
    Do these changes sound ok? Or am I changing too much at once? I do want to make some changes and stamp my authority on the room a bit, so the kids know it's my class now, not just the old teacher's class which I happen to be teaching in. I don't want to completely confuse the kids though.
     
  2. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I'm an NQT starting my first post, in a Y1 class, in January. I'm going in to school tomorrow to sort out my classroom. However, I haven't got the first idea what to do!! Currently, there's not quite enough tables out for all the kids to work comfortably at, and they have been moving more towards whole class activities over the last few weeks I believe. I can get more tables, so I think I'm going to do that and ensure there is enough space for them all to be seated at once. Currently there are signs up for art area, construction area, maths area, literacy area etc, but I don't think these "areas" are really used now as much as they were at the start. So I'm thinking of removing them all except the art area (simply cos that's near the sink and if I get them doing art it will be in groups and in that area!) There's also a role play area which I want to keep. I want to develop the book corner a bit more, at the moment it's not really used. I've got a beanbag I can take in. Don't get me wrong - I still want the kids to do free flow choosing but I don't see why they need a "literacy area" to do writing in - on my Y1 placement the kids used to just write wherever they fancied!
    I also want the kids to have "carpet places" - at the moment they all sit where they like, but I like it a bit more structured. This will make use of talking partners easier as I'll ensure they sit together.
    Do these changes sound ok? Or am I changing too much at once? I do want to make some changes and stamp my authority on the room a bit, so the kids know it's my class now, not just the old teacher's class which I happen to be teaching in. I don't want to completely confuse the kids though.
     
  3. Hello
    CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FIRST NQT JOB! (It really is the best job in the world!)
    I think the changes you propose to make would be fine and will set your own high expectations from the start. As long as you remember and respect the need for Year 1 to still have free flow choosing and a range of leanring experiences which I think from your message you do! I think the areas you plan to keep as labelled areas are the most important- and then you can just be sure you have other areas/opportunities during freeflow. Do you have any access to an outside area? If so you could perhaps depending on topic/theme have an additional role play outside.
    I currently teach reception and they have all have a chair (although I have a very small class and an enormous double classroom - WE ARE VERY LUCKY!).
     
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I have areas for maths and writing and so on, mainly because it means I can keep all the resources in those areas and leave challenges there for children to do. I do take your point that they could write anywhere in the room, but my writing area has fancy pencils and pens, etc. Having an 'area' keeps it all neat and tidy.

    But that is my class in my room in my school. It is not THE way nor necessarily the best way.

    Whatever you do, make sure it is what you want to do and will suit how you want to teach. Make as many changes as you need to now, it is much better to have wholesale changes now than put up with things that drive you nuts all term.

    And good luck...a first job is sooooo exciting!
     
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You won't. They are 6, they'll have forgotten the old ways in about 5 mins. As long as you are clear and fair and nice, they will love you.
     
  6. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Thanks for replies!
    Ended up changing just a few shelving/drawer units around - where one of them was kind of blocked off the creative area and I thought made it INCREDIBLY claustrophobic, not to mention it was hard for an adult to get round the table to where one of the drawer units was, and for the kids to I felt it was disruptive.
    I do like the idea of a maths area and a literacy area, BUT whilst these areas have signs up, there are no resources in there permanently (e.g. fancy pens, which is something I'd like to get for them), it's just an area of the classroom. I guess the teacher may sometimes put challenges in the areas for the kids to do during choosing, but not in the 3 days I was in for handover (admittedly all in December so prob not the most "normal" time). I think I'll just put challenges out where I think is best when I want them to do those kind of activities.
    Ended up leaving without feeling like I'd changed a great deal as I don't have a school laptop yet so couldn't print out new signs etc while I was there. A job for over Xmas methinks!
     
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Anything that was there might belong to the teacher herself. I know when I leave, my classroom will suddenly look very bare.

    Don't keep anything that you cannot imagine using. Maybe plan the first couple of weeks' lessons and then imagine how they will work in the room. Get rid of anything that won't be used, you can always put it back later.
     

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