Four Basic Principles
There are four principles a teacher can use when deciding on how to set up a classroom. (Evertson, Emmer, & Worsham, 2003): Decrease obstruction in high traffic parts of the classroom, the teacher needs to see all students, commonly used educational materials should be accessed easily, and make sure that every student can see “everything" from where he or she is seated.
Decrease obstruction in high traffic parts of the classroom: Some of these high traffic areas may include group areas, bookshelves, pencil sharpeners, cubbies, closets, computer workstations, and the teacher’s desk. A good way to ensure the least amount of congestion is to separate these locations as much as possible, while still making them easy to access for all students. These locations can cause interruptions and disturbances in the classroom.
The teacher needs to see all students: One of the most important management tasks of the classroom setting is to make certain that the teacher can keep an eye on every student. This is a very difficult task as to accomplish this, the educator needs to see every student at all times. There should be no blockage or blind spots between the teacher’s desk and the student’s desks, workstations, computer stations, cubbies, etc. The teacher should stand in every part of the classroom to ensure she can see every student from any location in the classroom.
Commonly used educational materials should be accessed easily: By ensuring educational materials such as workbooks, textbooks, crayons, construction paper, etc. are readily available to the students and yourself, you will cut down on clean up time and set up time as well as cut down on distractions and interruptions during class time. This will contribute to a smoother running classroom.
Make sure that every student can see “everything" from where he or she is seated: Just like you as the teacher need to see what is going on at every moment and in every location of the classroom, this similarly goes for the students. They need to be able to see chalkboards, bulletins, freestanding chalkboards, televisions, etc. They need to be able to observe in full the area from where you will be teaching. The teacher should sit in ever students chair and ensure the student will be able to see classroom presentations. Make sure no one is squinting, moving out of the chairs, or turning their necks to see a presentation. Often it is best to seat shorter children in the front of the classroom and taller children in the back.