I had posted the Whole Group Meeting Area portion of my Setting Up Your Classroom Series earlier today. Here's a sneak peek at my meeting area.
I set it up in the back corner of the room because the shade doubles as a screen for the LCD and document camera and there is a computer that I can use with them.
The ottoman is from a living room set that didn't fit in our new house when we moved. I love it as a "teacher seat" because it is low enough to the ground so that I am not towering over the kids. When I use the easel, it's easy to reach. It's large enough that a student can join me to share their writing. It doubles as a comfortable place for the kids to read and buddy read.
I have a calendar and daily schedule posted on the door to reference. I also included pocket charts, a dry erase board and an easel w/ chart paper (to the right).
Typically, I would suggest avoiding having the group area face windows. However, my windows look out into an open field and aside from the random bunny or squirrel there really is nothing to see out there. Also, the kiddos are low enough to the ground that they can't see out during group time.
- I assign seats in the group area.
- I have students that sit along the edge of the carpet and others who sit in the middle. I refer to them as the "perimeter kids" and the "area kids" and dismiss them from group as such. I found that area and perimeter were a challenging concept to teach and this daily reinforcement has really helped to embed those words into their vocabulary.