Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them and executing the best solution. -- Ivan Chermayeff
Students and I spend a lot of time in our classroom, and as a result, I am constantly trying to improve the way it is arranged to foster collaboration and creativity, maximize space, cater to students with different needs, and celebrate and support student work. Students sit in self-selected table groups of four or six that I have arranged into two large rectangles, thereby dividing the class roughly in half and providing us with more space on the carpet for class meetings. I have placed 2' x 4' whiteboards on each of the desks as well along the walls of a workroom used by small groups. I have covered one of my classroom walls with white butcher paper to create a large projector screen, thereby providing us with more whiteboard space for problem solving. I use the remaining wall space for displaying student work and providing scaffolds for them to give feedback independently and engage each other directly in conversation. A spreadsheet with items I purchase for my classroom is available here.