I try to make the classroom as logical as it can be for a five-year-old, so they can be productive without help. I use a lot of color-coding, and when I write a label, I write in language that the majority of them can read.
Often instead of words I use drawings—images of pencils, glue sticks, and so on. My drawings aren’t great but they’re a visual reminder. Thirteen of my 15 are ESOL so I use pictures and color-coding a lot.
I’m a really organized person, and once they learn my system, there’s never a question about where things go back at the end of the day.
I put the reading corner far from the blocks because that’s loud.
Many new kindergarten teachers think they need a lot of things on the wall, but there’s a lot they can make with the students—a number line, for example. The kids and I create a picture dictionary, one letter at a time. It takes us 26 weeks to get to Z, but they have ownership of it.
My classroom is fairly empty at the beginning, but then the children’s work goes up. I use very little that’s store-bought