Setting Up My Grade 3 Classroom

A week and a half before school started, I accepted a Grade 3 LTO position at Joshua Creek Public School in the  Halton District School Board. As this was my very first experience having to set up my classroom and start the  school year off with my own class, I was a bit nervous yet very excited. I spent numerous days setting up  classroom, from bulletin boards, to desk groupings to our classroom library. I never knew how much time this  can take, but I feel it is key to have a welcoming class for student arrival.

How did I create a welcoming classroom?
* Posting a “Welcome” sign on my door with my name (Ms.  Pryde), room number (RM 25) and class designation  (3-1).  My welcome sign had frogs on it,  so I also wrote a catch  phrase of “Leap Into Learning”, and had small  frogs posted  on the door with each students name written on them
* Having students names posted on their locker and desks,  so they knew where to put their belongings
* Having colourful colours on my bulletin boards
* Labeling the classroom with pictures and words, so all students know a) where they can find things and b)  where things go (i.e. pencils, markers,         rulers, dictionaries, pencil crayons, erasers and I also labeled the  book bins in our classroom library)
* Created a central meeting place, which includes a carpet for students to be seated at

 As my school is a TRIBES school, I put my students in groups- 4 groups of 5 students. I also tried to ensure that  each group had roughly the same number of boys and girls (luckily, I was quite successful at this as I have very  close numbers of boys and girls). 

While setting up my classroom, I envisioned the different uses of my  classroom. So, I included a central meeting carpeted area with an easel  for modelled and shared instruction, as well as a comfortable place for  community circle or reading independently (or with a partner). I also set  up my guided reading table with chairs for my students. Textbooks,  dictionaries, classroom library books, clipboards, math manipulatives  and indoor recess games are placed on the shelves which are at student  level. I set up our listening area, with a stereo, audio books and  headphones, as well as a place for our classroom computer.

Overall, I was very pleased with my classroom setup, although it was a lot  of hard work! Luckily, my students really enjoy our classroom and I know  that all my time and effort was well worth it!



The Author

Katie Pryde

I am a Kindergarten teacher at Joshua Creek Public School in the Halton District School Board. I have previous experience in Grade 1, Grade 3, Phys. Ed and Library positions. I am a very enthusiastic, and dedicated teacher- I believe that all students should feel respected, appreciated and safe in the classroom, and I ensure I provide this for all my students.

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