A New Year — Room Changes

My superintendent wanders into my classroom a lot before school actually begins — because he knows, each time he wanders in, the room setup will probably be different.   And my previous principal always knew that each time she came in, to not be surprised if the room had changed.   I have already warned my new principal not to get to comfy with my room set up — because everything is movable.

It’s not that I move desks/tables/cozy area every week — but probably about 6 times a year, the room changes just a bit.  Sometimes because of necessity — we need room for DOT DAY and ROBOTS and sometimes just to keep things from getting boring.

So, I thought it might be interesting to wander through some old photos to see my room — from when I first started teaching in 2013 until now.

Here is how I inherited the room.  Notice the tables are 4 stations long and students are only one one side.  Also, there are towers and flat screens and a round table for the ipads.  And I sigh at the bulletin boards.  But I also found out about a week before school started that I was teaching.


The next year, when IT decided to bring in laptops, I decided to resize the tables down to 3 sections on each side of the tables, paint one wall green…..and tried different layouts of the room.

tearingapartsidewalltablesThat lasted about 1 week.

And we moved to this setup.


Which we can also move so they are flat against the wall — or wherever we wish (for instance, pushing 2 together to make a larger working area for groups)


My desk bounced from the left of the room to the right to the left to the right.   From a white desk (like students) to a smaller brown desk and then back again.

3We needed more — so I turned a white board into a green screen…..
greenscreenughBut luckily, that only lasted about 3 weeks and then we removed the white board, painted the space green, and added a picture window.




Then this year, we added new wood flooring, we removed the back cabinet, we moved in a nice teacher desk (that is much more than just a desk), added a green book shelf for maker’s fair/robots, and moved stuff off the sink counter (to eliminate my clutter)

Where cabinet was:
4Where green bookcase is now — oh, and it is chalk paint:

Teacher Desk (stuffed animals, speakers, gifts from students, Dash is there for now, but he will move soon, etc)



Clutter Gonecounterspace

….who knows what will happen in the next day or so.

So, that, is the journey (so far) of a classroom.




  1. Man Ting Chiu says:

    I love your ideas on constantly moving your furniture in the room around to keep the classroom different and fun! The fresh green paint is a bright and brilliant color for the purpose of the Green Screen project, and the decoration of the room. The green color release a sort of energy to look forward to create something new and fun. Your classroom is welcoming, and encourage learning just from looking at the pictures. Thank you for sharing your classroom arrangement and ideas.

  2. Christina says:

    I love that you shared the flexible classroom situation, I too am constantly moving things around, especially the desk situation. I think the reason we tend to do that is because we are able to evaluate and reflect on our situation. For example, I have heard a lot of the craze on flexible seating this past year, so this new school year I got rid of my small circle table and put bean bags in my library center (students actually WANT to come to my classroom before school to select a book and plop down on the bean bag and go to town reading).

    I also incorporated you similar idea with chalk paint, yet painted my whole kidney table with it, and found students participating more with the color chalk markers I have in small group instruction. In addition, back to the flexible seating, I added stability balls to the small group center and the students almost seemed motivated to finish their papers so that they can see me for a final revision and editing before publishing their paper. My whole rationale for the flexible seating in the library center and small group instruction, is that learning doesn’t take place at a desk and chair, that these different learning environments can help the student transition from school to home and know that learning can still take place regardless if they are in a traditional arrangement or not. That was the drive behind it for me.

    I am a new follower, and looking forward to the upcoming projects, thank you for sharing these ideas.

  3. Tanner Johnson says:

    Absolutely love your routine you have! As a teacher of 12 years, you still become inspired, sometimes even daily, by those around you and those you’re connected with! I don’t reset my classroom as often, but every year I restructure the layout just to change the scenery! Think I’ll try this maybe once a trimester to start. Thanks for the awesome ideas!

  4. Hartley says:

    Love hearing about this; I have been toying with these ideas myself!

    It hit me – when we watch videos or have a pizza party, we regularly (and quickly) move the desks out of the way, open up a big space in the room, and “set up camp” – so why shouldn’t I try doing this for different lessons?

    This type of flexibility could be very valuable to adapting to different lessons and projects; furthermore, it can create a memory “touchstone” for the kids.

    For instance, if I refer to, review, or reflect upon a lesson, I can have the students recall the setting of the room. Because the environment might be so different, the memory will be distinct, creating an opportunity to apply a functional impressionability useful for prospective future recall. Hopefully, this will regenerate the other content contained in the lesson and distinguish it from repetitive humdrum that might otherwise blend into background.

    That being said, and in this spirit (and, to be honest, in the spirit of time and logistical consideration), I try to have my room divvied up into areas that will accommodate multiple modalities of learning.

    Thanks for the ideas. They are getting my mind percolating for some near-future projects/lessons/games/activities on the horizon!

  5. Don says:

    I am inspired by your flexibility and adaptability to change when it is in the best interest of your students. I just began using technology in a meaningful manner this year in my classrooms. I’ve begun to use the ”flipped” classroom model with my math classes – I am not there yet with my science classrooms. I went back and looked at a few of your others posts and I am truly inspired. I can see how your students enjoy coming to school every day because what they will be doing in your classes is meaningful and applicable.
    Thank you, Don

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