The most important thing I needed was a place for each student to call their own. Before they each had a desk that they could keep shoved full of whatever they wanted until it would explode onto the floor, at which point I would have to intervene with some "un-hording" tactics. (You know what I am talking about!) Well, by removing the student desks it created some storage problems.
I brainstormed several ways to fight this problem, baskets for each student on a bookshelf, little plastic drawers that would act as end tables, book boxes, and the list went on and on. I even considered having a rolling cubby built to the tune of $1500! CHA CHING!
Then I remembered my little summer field trip to IKEA in Minneapolis. I did some research, went online, and ordered some ORDER to my students chaos. Here is what the finished product looks like. (this is the only pieces of furniture I have purchased btw...)
The rest of the classroom has evolved a bit too. I want to include those pictures as well. Here is the main idea behind all of it. Try to find pieces of furniture that are singles (for those kids who need their space) and for multiples. And then try and make it blend nicely into some collaboration spaces. Add some good lighting, and some "coffee tables/end tables" and you have a nice little agile classroom that can quickly become whatever you need it to be.
The only other advice I might offer is try and keep it leather, pleather, or vinyl. That way it all wipes off easily. You may or may not be comfortable with the whole agile classroom idea, but I would encourage some soft spaces! I bet they will be the most coveted spaces you have!
|One corner of the room (we call it the window corner)|
|Looking at the front board. You can see the window seating off to the right.|
|My desk area/guided reading tables|
|The couch seating. Student desks are behind both couches.|
|Single seating. Populated at the reading corner, but can be moved anywhere to join any group.|
|Looking at the class from the front board.|