Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Look Inside My Second Home: Classroom Layout/Organization

Anyone else out there have a teeny tiny room?  My room is approx. 500 sq. ft..  I have to be really creative in my center placement and still allow for the kids to move around.  I change the room around 2-3 times per year, just to give it new life.  So, here are a few tips, ideas and pictures to show how I turn my teeny tiny room into a place where the kids can explore and be creative without bumping into one another.  (Keep in mind there are a few missing items in some of the centers, as I am in the process of getting it ready for school to start next week)
1. Art Center: Lots of paper, scraps of stuff, odds and ends, and LOTS of glue and tape!!
2. Games/Manipulatives:  I like to have larger items in buckets, place puzzles on top of the shelves and use these nifty drawer systems for smaller games/manipulatives/etc.

3. Block Center: Blocks of all sorts (maple unit blocks are my favorite- we had a fundraiser to buy them), animals, cars, trains, building scraps (I use samples from companies that do cabinets/flooring/etc.-very cool to use!), etc.,etc.
4. Sensory/Science Center: I like to fill the tubs with things like rice/beans/shaving cream/ you know- messy stuff that spills all over the floor and makes the janitor really annoyed. :)  Oh, the center is made from an old square coffee table. We cut two squares out to fit the tubs into.  I used to have a magnetic board drilled into the back part, but it lacked interest so now I use that space for misc items.

5. Library: Sadly, my library area is pitiful right now.  I'm in the process of making more floor cushions and buying material to hang from the ceiling to make it more "cave-like".  My cushions are made from couch cushion covers from IKEA.  They have a nifty zipper on the side so it allows me to put in my "cushion".  The cushion is a large garbage bag filled with plastic grocery bags!  My library also houses a puppet theater (which gets pulled out of the corner and brought up on the stage), a story board(made out of steel covered in felt, so it's magnetic!).

6. Home Center (Dramatic Play): Normal stuff here: kitchen w/dishes and food, table/chairs/ dress-up station, dollies, rocking chair, etc.  We change out the clothes and accessories about once every week.

7. Writing Center: Again, lots of paper, pencils, envelopes, stamps, mailbox, magazines....

8. "The Stage": This is where we have circle time, play small group games, have story time/music time, and of course put on performances! I found some of those really cool carpet tiles and used an exact-o knife to slice up 4 small squares from each tile for each of the kiddos to sit on during circle time.  Of course, I'm a minority in this area, but any area you can find on the wall to make a circle time station would work.  I used to have a mobile circle time station.  I had a very large felt board (about 5X5) that I would just slide around to the most convenient space I could find.
Another great thing you can't go wrong with is storage....wall cabinets, outside storage units (mine are filled to the brim with useful items - even if I only use it once a year) and lots of bins!  I wish all teachers were blessed like I am with the plethora of storage space I have, but then I make up for it with my teeny tiny room. :)


  1. So cute Jessie! Lots of cabinets but there can NEVER be enough. I love your raised felt board/story area.

  2. Thanks for sharing Jessi - I love to peek inside other people's classrooms :)

  3. I love your layout! It looks like you have great flow in there, too! Plenty of room for little bodies to move around....
    I love that you have such bright cheery colors. Makes kids feel right at home!

  4. Where did you get that char in your library? The leopard 2 seater? It is soo cute!! I have a jungle theme in my classroom and it would be perfect!!

  5. @ PreK Teacher: I have no idea where it came from. :( It was in the classroom when I came 5 years ago. It is cute, though. :)

  6. Your ideas are great!! I work at a daycare and i am provided with very little resources for my classroom. I do not have the funds to give my kids what they need. What can i do if my employers dont want to help me?? I want the best for my kids

  7. Love Love your set-up great work!!!

  8. I have enjoyed seeing your CR layout! When I was teaching Pre-k, my room was only about 285-300 sq. ft. I only had 9-10 children in the room at a time though. You do have to get very creative with tiny spaces, which you did!

  9. This blew mind I really love the set up!!!! GREAT WORK JESSI!!!


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