Friday, June 22, 2012

Making the most of my small space.

I am a victim of a small classroom.  It's small by kindergarten standards because in kindergarten (as in most early elementary K-2 classrooms) my kiddos need to move.  They need space for dramatic play, blocks, for exploring sand tables and science, for reading, for writing, for 'doing art' and for dancing.  All these things are vital to kindergarten, but they are quickly disappearing from our kindergarten classrooms as there is a greater and more urgent push for teachers to meet standards and expectations.  I've had to get creative and think outside the box when it comes to space. 

My classroom lay out shows many areas have dual purposes depending on the time of day and the activities being conducted.  I don't have assigned seats because my students are moving, flexible groupings are constantly changing and they would never be in the same seat twice in a given day anyway.  Besides, all of our supplies are communal so it doesn't really matter.

I also have students working in the hallway.  I posted about this before but if you would like to revisit it, take a look HERE.

Finally, I feel that the most important thing I can do for my students in regards to our small space is to limit the space I need as a teacher.  Do I really need a big desk?  NO!

I have a computer table and my supplies are located in tins of a peg board.

I actually am even going to give up this space this fall as I move me computer next to my two student stations so I can now have three computers for students use.  It's not like I'm ever sitting at the computer anyway. 

Personal items?  Hey, I have a closet! But . . . I use it for art supplies, snacks and the like! So instead, I put up this cute little over the door, pocket hanging thingy  for those kinds of items. 

By limiting 'my' space and creating 'our' space, I have been able to keep those developmentally appropriate activities that are disappearing from so many kindergarten classrooms.  It's a fair trade I think.  So drop me a line and tell me, what would you be willing to give up to keep your sand table?


  1. Great post Marsha! It's amazing how we can make even the smallest spaces fit out needs (miraculously!).

    Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

  2. Loved the peek inside your room! I really like the hall activities!
    Conversations in Literacy

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  4. oops!! Marsha, you are so right about making the classroom space "ours" and not "mine." When I got rid of my teacher desk in my second year of teaching, my colleagues thought I was crazy. At the end of last year, I decided to get rid of my huge 4-drawer filing cabinet. All they could say was "you'll never get another one." I need more space for my kids to work...and I'll just work with them at their tables, on the floor... :)

    Treasures for Teaching

  5. I also got rid of my teacher desk this year - everyone gasped!!!! Used some rolling 3 drawer carts from Walmart to put my things in and I can roll them to where I need them. Did just fine!

  6. Marsha, I'm with you! I would totally give up my desk. It's huge and I don't sit there ever. I kept it mainly for my paraprofessional in pre-k, but now that I'm going to kindergarten I'm going to try to find a good home for it somewhere else. I'm thinking, actually, of purchasing a DUPLO table.

    I've been a follower of yours for a while, but I just discovered that you have a Teacher's Notebook shop! Your shop there is very cool. I just created my own Teacher's Notebook shop, and I would be so happy if you could come and take a look.

    Sharon Dudley, NBCT

  7. Oops, I forgot to provide a link to my shop:

    Sharon Dudley, NBCT

  8. I also have a small classroom as it was never intended to be a classroom, but our school is old and space was needed so the room was made. Originally it was an art room, but for 4/5th grades. Since the school is old, there are wires along the walls to connect the computers to the smartboard and 2 radiators that get extremely hot so space is limited. I don't have a desk but a small table for small groups, but I also use it for morning check in/lunch count and the aide puts copies on it so there are always papers piled on it. We hardly have room for students' tables and we are always tripping over the chairs and have to walk around tables to line up. I would love to see actual photos of your classroom set-up, if possible. Thanks!



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