Wednesday, August 13, 2014

As you begin the school year, here are some ideas about the lay out in your rooms. Courtesy of Choice Literacy.

The Big Fresh Newsletter from Choice Literacy
August 9, 2014 - Issue #394

I would really rather feel bad in Maine than feel good anywhere else.
                                                                   E.B. White
Last January I visited Keri Archer's kindergarten classroom in the teeth of flu season. Almost half the children were absent, and Keri and the weary remainder were all coughing and sniffling. It was one of those days when as a class visitor I would casually wander over to the sink and do a whole-body spritz with the hand sanitizer every five minutes.
And yet, I looked around at the bright hand-painted tables, the cozy pillows, the charmingly mismatched but oh-so-carefully selected chairs that seemed to whisper "come and sit a spell." I realized Keri had created one of those places where you'd rather be there feeling a mite poorly than almost anywhere else feeling well. The classroom felt like home, no small feat for any teacher trying to navigate draconian fire codes, lice-resistant seating, and the requirements to post sterile standards prominently.
What are you planning for your classroom this fall to make it feel more like home for your students? Favorite family photographs they bring in for you to frame and scatter among the shelves? Self-portrait craft projects or sketches of favorite fiction characters from years past? What will give a sense of welcome, warm as a hearth, when children return to school?
This week we look at classroom design. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
Brenda Power
Founder, Choice Literacy


Free for All

[For sneak peeks at our upcoming features, quotes and extra links,  follow Choice Literacy on Twitter: @ChoiceLiteracy or Facebook:
Here are two features from the archives to help you make classroom design changes to support literacy.
Ann Marie Corgill writes about the beginning point for classroom design in Starting with Why:
Katie Doherty finds out a lot about her middle school students as readers when she spends the first week letting them define and design her classroom library:
Katherine Sokolowski does a video blog post on how design possibilities opened up in her classroom once she got rid of her teacher desk:

The Choice Literacy Pinterest board Take a Seat highlights creative classroom seating options from our contributors:
We've posted our fall online course roster, with offerings from Jennifer Allen, Katie DiCesare, Franki Sibberson, Clare Landrigan, and Tammy Mulligan. Topics include assessment, the Common Core and writing, technology, literacy coaching basics, and coaching writing workshops. Choice Literacy members receive a $50 discount off the $295 fee for each course. For detailed descriptions and to download a color brochure, click on this link:


Have you visited Lead Literacy yet? It's our subscription membership site designed specifically for the needs of literacy coaches. You can view sample content at this link:

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