5 Ways to Organize Your Classroom for Back-to-School
- August 10, 2023
- Sean Downey
Author: Dr. Christina Counts
As summer ends, teachers and students eagerly prepare for the new school year ahead. Before learning takes off at full speed, it’s important to organize your classroom to create a successful learning environment for students and teachers alike!
A well-organized learning environment fosters a positive atmosphere for students to learn, offering a space that is both relaxing and efficient. Effective classroom organization also enhances productivity and reduces distractions. With the right furniture and storage, teachers can create an organized classroom that functions smoothly and is easy to maintain all year long.
The foundation of classroom organization is an optimized layout. Rather than sticking to traditional rows of desks, consider more flexible options. Group desks or tables in clusters to encourage collaboration and peer interaction. Setting these clusters up in different learning zones makes it easy to decide where to store the classroom supplies that are needed in each of these specialized learning areas. With flexible furnishings, teachers can also easily rearrange the furniture to adapt to changing learning needs, while keeping organization and storage consistent all year long.
Additionally, choosing functional furnishings that have built-in storage, like the A3+ Student Chair, is a practical way to keep students’ personal items off the floor and easily accessible. Likewise, multipurpose learning stations, like the KIO Tinker Table, can stow away specialized tools and supplies, offering a tidy table workspace for a variety of activities.
Maximizing available space is crucial in a classroom, and utilizing vertical space is an efficient way to achieve this. Wall-mounted interactive whiteboards or monitors can serve as effective learning aids and presentation tools. You can also install shelves, cubbies, or cabinets on the walls to store books, supplies, and more. The KIO Cube can help you Keep It Organized with cube storage units that can be mounted on the wall, stand alone on the floor, and even have the option of adding cabinet doors.
Furthermore, there are storage options like the DIVIDE Mobile Storage Markerboard that provide multiple uses, packing several shelves of storage space and a full whiteboard into a small footprint that is mobile on locking casters. This approach keeps the floor clear and provides more room for movement and flexibility of your classroom layout.
An organized classroom requires designated storage solutions for different supplies and resources. Invest in labeled bins, containers, and drawer organizers to keep supplies and materials organized. Storage solutions like the KIO Mobile Bin Cabinet provide multiple functions, acting as a storage center and a mobile marker board. Plus, the multi-color bins can be rearranged and removed as needed, creating a designated place for all supplies that is easily accessible to both teachers and students. Labels can be color-coded or use images for younger students who haven’t yet mastered reading. Having a well-organized storage system fosters a sense of responsibility among students, encouraging them to return items to their proper places after use.
A centralized teacher station can function as the heart of the classroom, keeping essential teaching materials within reach. This station can include a teacher’s desk, a computer, a document camera, and frequently used supplies like markers, pens, and staplers. With a modular teacher station like the 2G2BT Presentation Station with HMU Side Table, teachers can lecture from anywhere in the classroom, then easily transition to grading and lesson planning from the same station. By having a designated, yet mobile area for teacher materials, educators can easily manage the classroom, maintain their own organization, and minimize disruptions during lessons.
Incorporating mobile furniture pieces into the classroom design brings flexibility to the learning space. Mobile bookshelves, carts, and storage units can be easily moved around the room to adapt to various activities or rearrangement needs. For instance, the CRE8 Makerspace Table offers mobile storage combined with a flexible workspace. Along with the EGR Makerspace Cabinet, educators can create well-organized makerspaces in their classrooms that promote student engagement and collaboration. Plus, the flexibility of these mobile solutions allows teachers to transition from whole-class instruction to small group work seamlessly, fostering a dynamic learning environment that caters to students’ different learning styles and needs.
Organizing a classroom for back-to-school sets the tone for a productive and enjoyable school year. An organized classroom enhances the overall teaching and learning process, cultivating a positive atmosphere that encourages engagement, creativity, and collaboration. By utilizing furniture and storage creatively, teachers can create a functional and organized classroom that remains efficient throughout the year.
As the new academic year approaches, educators should take the time to plan and implement these strategies to create an organized classroom that is conducive to learning and enjoyable for both students and teachers alike. For flexible and dynamic storage solutions to take classroom organization to the next level, Contact MiEN Today!
Dr. Christina Counts, ALEP, VP of Education for MiEN Environments, is a proven leader with a successful background in transforming learning spaces into modern engaging learning environments. Dr. Counts has worked in education for over 17 years with experience as a classroom teacher, district instructional leader, school administrator, and digital and innovative learning designer. In her most recent position, Christina leads a team of professionals that support schools making the transition to a flexible, collaborative, & student-centered learning space. She holds a doctorate in K-12 Educational Leadership, National Board-certified, and Google & Apple certified. Dr. Counts envisions a learning space in which educators are empowered to transform education through design, technology and innovative instructional pedagogy to create learners ready for any future!