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Elementary Classroom Management. Chapter 2: Designing the Physical Environment. Six Functions of the Classroom Setting. Security and Shelter Physical Protection from weather, noise, odors, extreme temperatures, etc…

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Elementary classroom management

Elementary Classroom Management

Chapter 2: Designing the Physical Environment


Six functions of the classroom setting
Six Functions of the Classroom Setting

  • Security and Shelter

    • Physical

      • Protection from weather, noise, odors, extreme temperatures, etc…

      • Dangerous supplies need to be kept and handled according to state regulation

      • Wide aisles and spaces for children with wheel chairs and crutches


Six functions of the classroom setting1
Six Functions of the Classroom Setting

  • Security and Shelter

    • Psychological

      • Students should feel safe and comfortable

      • Have some “soft” surfaces (pillows, plants, beanbags, stuffed animals)

        • Be careful of allergies and germs. Have removable pillow cases or vinyl that can be cleaned.

      • Separate quiet spaces from noisy distracting spots

      • Provide places where students can retreat

        • Low partitions, cardboard dividers


Six functions of the classroom setting2
Six Functions of the Classroom Setting

  • Social Contact

    • Students’ Interaction with Other Students

      • Arrange desks according to how much interaction you want them to have

        • Clusters work for small group work and integrating students from different cultures

        • Rows work for individual assignments and increase students’ time-on-task, especially in disruptive children

      • On a carpet, seating can be changed depending on the activity

      • Typically, teachers will change their lessons to match their furniture, instead of the other way around


Six functions of the classroom setting3
Six Functions of the Classroom Setting

  • Social Contact

    • Students’ Interaction with the Teacher

      • Students in the front and center receive the most attention and are more concentrated

        • “Action Zone”

      • To include all students use some tips:

        • Move around the room when teaching

        • Make eye-contact with students farther away from you

        • Direct your comments to kids at the sides and back of the room

        • Change the seating chart periodically so every has a turn to be up front


Six functions of the classroom setting4
Six Functions of the Classroom Setting

  • Symbolic Identification

    • What does the room say about the students?

      • Display different student culture, including important people, flags, art, etc…

      • Hang up student work

      • Display birthdays, photos, and other personalized objects

      • Show off their interests

      • Student of the Week


Six functions of the classroom setting5
Six Functions of the Classroom Setting

  • Symbolic Identification

    • What does the room say about the teacher?

      • Educational Philosophies

      • Important content material

      • Commercial materials

        • Do they overpower the student work?

        • Do they invite learning?

        • Do the reflect the students?


Six functions of the classroom setting6
Six Functions of the Classroom Setting

  • Task Instrumentality

    • What tasks are being performed regularly?

      • Grouping desks accordingly

      • Room for movement activities

      • Student access to materials

      • Being able to see all students at once

    • Where do certain things need to go?

      • Electronics near outlets

      • Computers away from water and chalk dust

      • Plants in the sunlight


Six functions of the classroom setting7
Six Functions of the Classroom Setting

5. Pleasure

  • Variation

    • Colors

    • Textures

    • Not chaotic, but patterned and predictable

  • Looks good for parents

  • Ugly rooms make people physically uncomfortable and want to rush their work so they can leave


Six functions of the classroom setting8
Six Functions of the Classroom Setting

  • Growth

    • Cognitive Development and Academic Achievement

    • Materials

      • Open and Closed

    • Text/workbooks

    • Puzzles

    • Math manipulatives

    • Science equipment

    • Art supplies


Six functions of the classroom setting9
Six Functions of the Classroom Setting

  • Growth

    • Literacy

      • Writing center

        • Paper, writing utensils, story prompts, word wall

      • Reading center

        • Leveled book selections

        • Varied topics

      • Word wall

      • Dramatic play areas with specific literacy (restaurant, supermarket, etc…)


The teacher as and environmental designer
The Teacher as and Environmental Designer

  • Think About Whether the Children in Your Classroom Have Special Needs that Require Environmental Modifications

    • Students with sight problems or hearing problems need to be seated close to the front

    • Wide aisles for students with mobility issues

    • Keep students with attention problems front and center where they will remain on task


The teacher as and environmental designer1
The Teacher as and Environmental Designer

  • Think About the Needs of Other Adults

    • Resource Teachers and Instructional Aides

      • Need at least a place to keep materials and a place to sit

      • Sometimes need to be close to a particular child

      • Sometimes need a quiet or secluded place to work one on one with children in the room

  • Draw a Floor Plan


The teacher as and environmental designer2
The Teacher as and Environmental Designer

  • Involve Students in Environmental Planning

    • Leave some things undone for kids to do

      • Bulletin boards

      • Class art

      • Words for the word wall

  • Try the New Arrangement, Evaluate, and Redesign

    • Does it fulfill the six functions?

    • Make small changes at a time


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