Some teachers are blessed with huge classrooms and it seems they are looking for things to fill up all of that empty space. Others are not so lucky and are stuck trying to figure out how to fit all of their needed materials into such a small space. However, there are ways to utilize the space you have and make it seem like you have more than you actually do.
Bookshelves take up a lot of space in a classroom. They are bulky and hard to move around your room. It is possible with a little bit of work to create a shelf that will not take up much room up all in your classroom. For each shelf that you want, you will need two dowel rods or curtain rods, two double hooked mounters, and material. The amount of material you need will depend on a couple of things. First, it will depend on how big the books are. Second, it will depend on the length of your rods. The material must be the length of the rods. The width should be enough to go around the rod, hang down to create a hammock to hold the book, and then go back up and around the other rod. You want to make sure that the hammock is deep enough that the books will not fall out. Sewing is not required, if you don’t know how. There are some fabric glues that will work as long as your books are not too heavy.
Again, cubbies take up a lot of space and they are not always necessary. There are several options available. You can make a seat a cubby hole by using crates and foam. Or you can simply hang storage bags over the backs of students’ seats. This will allow them to still have their materials within reach and save you room. If this is not an option, instead of having cubby holes that line the walls, use pouches that hang on the wall. You can even use the same ones that you would hang on a door to hold your shoes.
If you need some extra space for storage, you can always get a rotating or wheeled tower. This will allow you to still be able to store all of those miscellaneous items such as crayons, markers, paints, paper, and so on. You can push it into a corner or somewhere else out of the way when you are not using it and then when students need the supplies it can be pulled out. With the height it will still not take up too much room in your classroom.
No, desks cannot be changed in size and tables are not always an option; however, the way you arrange your desks can create more space. Grouping them together or coming up with other alternative to just lines can actually create an optical illusion of more room. Do you actually have it? No, but looks can be deceiving and at least your classroom will not look cramped.
Do you have any tricks to getting the most out of your classroom space? Please share them with us!