Teaching ESL

What does your classroom look like?
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Author:  smy2brazil [ Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  What does your classroom look like?

Mine is not very big. It has 14 desks (the kind that is a chair with one side having an arm rest that has a little desk top on in) along the three back walls in a U shape. There is a marker board ... and well, that's about it.

Having read some of these posts, I think some of you use tables in your classrooms. How are your rooms arranged, and why? What are you trying to achieve. What are the advantages, disadvantages?

Author:  mesmark [ Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:22 pm ]
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I teach small groups, so I have just one table. There are 6 chairs around the table. The rest of the room is pretty simple. I have a white board screwed to the wall and a few posters up around the room. My desk is at the back. It's pretty intimate.

I keep the room as simple as possible, so as not to distract the younger learners. The more 'stuff' you have, the more they want to wander....

When I teach children, I stand the table up and push it and the chairs out of the way. We sit on cushions on the floor in a circle arangement. It's great because we can whip the cushions out of the way in seconds and do anything with the space.

I like both arangements because it feels a little more comfortable than the desks and teacher at the front. You can even take an off center seat for yourself and then it helps to make you, the teacher, less dominating.

Author:  Cynde [ Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:42 pm ]
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When I had a permenent classroom, I pushed three approx 1 meter high bookcases back to back and the third to the side (bookshelves on three sides) On the fourth side I had small cupboards where I kept my immediate things and had built it up like a pulpit! err, I mean resource center! To fit 20 children in I had groups of four desks around the edge of the room against the wall, all facing each other, that I rotated every 4-6 weeks. This way no one was closer to the teacher all year, no one was closer to the black board or in the back. The ones who were a bit too angled from the whiteboard got to sit on the floor when I wrote. (This they loved) When I taught, I tended to walk around this 'pulpit' so the distance to the students remained about the same. No back seats! The tops of the bookcases made a great supply table and as it was in the middle of the room everyone could see it and I could see them. It made for a lot of open floor space for sudden 'throw yourself onto the floor for board games' and easy access for me. I liked the set up very much and got complements from other teachers who used my space.
Today I roam from school to school and use other people's classrooms, so everything I have is in my backpack.
Cynde in Helsinki
P.S. Don't you just love the little elves on the header?

Author:  mesmark [ Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:01 am ]
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Cynde wrote:
P.S. Don't you just love the little elves on the header?

:mrgreen: I'm glad you like them.

I spent an hour or so trying to totally revamp the forums, new layout and everything, but it just didn't look good. In the end, I just decided to change the top banner.

Author:  Cynde [ Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:32 am ]
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Save your work for later after the elf theme has worn down. You can thrill us a little bit at a time! They're really very cute.

Author:  Ali [ Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:21 am ]
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My classroom is small and simple, but comfortable. I work with small groups and like to keep the space flexible...I have a white board and some small tables for the days supplies and for the students I have eight comfortable chairs (which we move around for various activities) and clipboards for them to use while writing. I may add a small table soon, but my space is tiny and we do a lot of active games so I'm not sure. So far it has been working out well.

Author:  mknight [ Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:30 am ]
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My classroom is a room in my house as I tutor small groups. I have a large white board, individual desk and chairs so the students have a place to put their text on and write. I arrange the chais in a semi-circle to the front as this focuses them more on the teaher when needed rather than in a row, and they can see each other when we do anything interactive.

I have a well lit classroom so things are easy to read on the whiteboard and air con as well as things can get warm in the summer season in Taiwan.

An invaluble aid is the pointer stick so students can play the little teacher role for many of the activities once they have been modelled.

I am in the process of creating word walls of words we have recently learned while doing our phonics work.

Since learning of this site and using the materials, I have managed of late to incorporate a lot more games to reinforce the learning and get joyful repitition of vocab and sentence patterns.

Author:  Simon [ Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:36 pm ]
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For larger classes I like to have a few groups of four to eight students around a large desk or grouping of desks. For smaller classes I have had some desks around the 3 outside walls with a white board at the front. Students can face inward to the free space, while in full view of the board, when we do things as a group like new words and activities/games we all face each other. Then for writing and individual activities they can turn to use the desks to write . I like to have nothing between me and them because I like to pass as much power for the teaching and direction of the lesson to the students as I can so I need to be one of them.

Author:  mesmark [ Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:58 pm ]
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Here's a shot of my classroom

Well, this was actually from two years ago, but it lloks pretty much the same today.

Author:  kjk_esl [ Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:10 am ]
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I am here in China teaching for a "cram school" or after hour school. It has aprx. 3000 students across the cityand I teach all of these students aprx. once every 2 to 3 months. So I must teach in many different classrooms in many different locations. They are usually a basic room with nothing on the walls except this paint that is more like "white wash" as it comes onto your clothes if you brush up against it. vSo keep away from the walls. Most of the rooms have a white board or a chaulk board in thre rare room. They all have the standard Chinese wooden desk that the style is very"earlry Shaker" that sits two students at each one. They all have a "milking" stool that you would find on your grandparents farm for each student. Also the lighting is very poor in these rooms and you have to depend upon natural light to light up your class.
When I enter these rooms the first thing that I do is to get the students to push the desk against the walls so the students can sit it front of me in a semi circle and we then procede with our class. Also you must spend some time cleaning up the class room as the Chinese do not have a sense of keeping a room clean. Rubbish is every wheres, on the floor or stuffed in these wonderful desks.
I do have 3 classes that I teach every week in the same room which I am starting to decorate the liven up the room and to take away that annoying echo you get in a bare room.
All part of the joy of teaching in China!

Author:  alina [ Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:00 am ]
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I also teach in different rooms, different schools, some of them are just too big and look like a sport field and other are to tiny, usually with lots of stuff on the walls which I don't like as students love to go round and check the things while I am responsible that nobody touches them :( ech.. dream about my own classroom where I can leave are the things. In Sweden students usually don't carry material with themselves, it's the teacher who does it :( (heavy heavy stuff )

Author:  nistamaris2002 [ Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:54 am ]
Post subject:  my class

my class is not very big but I love it. It's plenty of visuals hanging all around the class, wallcharts, pictures, games corner... The desks are arranged in U, also known as horseshoe arrangement because this way favours dialogues. it is suitable for all sorts of activities: games, drislls, debates and acting outs so they can see performances from all different points.

Author:  Andrea_Cro [ Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:25 pm ]
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Our classrooms are not so big but they are very colourful and vivid. We have 2 class displays in each room, that is filled with students' work and projects. We also decorate the classrooms with printed items that are suitable for a certain season or holiday (e.g. lots of green clovers, leprechauns and rainbows just before and on St Patrick's Day). Besides students' work, we have several posters on the wall, like the alphabet, weather and seasons poster and so on, that are mainly a present from the publishers. :)

Author:  smy2brazil [ Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:18 am ]
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Since I am preparing a new room for teaching, I thought I'd post my plans.

Simple, medium-sized rectangle room.
Table in the middle with 5 chairs, 2 on each side and one at the head, for me.
A white board on one wall and a window opposite. I might add a desk for me, but not sure. I'll put up just enough decorations to make it not look too clinical.

I plan to teach 4 students at a time.

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