How to set up a middle school classroom is a question that teachers often ask themselves. They want to make sure it looks interesting enough to engage their students, but they do not want it to resemble the primary classrooms these students have grown up with.
This is my eighth year to set up a middle school classroom. I was very excited to set up my classroom this summer because I was moving into a new room. I had been in my old room for three years, and it was time to move and purge all the things I never use.
Below I’ll share how I set up a middle school classroom.
How To Set Up A Middle School Classroom
1. Buy a large cup of coffee and pre-load your iPod with get moving songs because you will be moving for a long time. It took me three days to set up my classroom for functional use and at least two more days to get it looking nice enough for me to want to spend time in it.
5. Don’t forget your fast finisher activities when you set up a middle school classroom! Students who finish early can visit the challenge bin for meaningful activities to complete that will complement our current big ideas and learning goals.
7. Have students manage the homework board so it becomes more meaningful to them. Refer to it at least once a day as a visual reference for due dates and important events.
8. Help students stay organized by keeping an up-to-date table of contents for each subject you teach. It helps students figure out what lesson they missed when they were absent.
9. Students can increase their achievement in any subject area by using a Bump It Up Board. See this blog post for specific instructions on how to create a bump-it-up board. You can also purchase the Bump It Up Board Headers featured in this photo. You can find the Bump It Up Board Headers on Teachers Pay Teachers USD or Shopify CAD.
10. As you set up a middle school classroom, keep your small group area clean so you can quickly get started on instruction and students have a place to work.
11. I was lucky that my school custodian was able to drill the pocket chart and chart paper into the cinder block so I could save space. Stand-alone holders take up a lot of space in the middle school classroom.
13. I will never hear “But I don’t remember the words.”
14. When you set up a middle school classroom, don’t forget activities to whisk away the rainy day blues.
15. Don’t get too excited; this is taken before school actually starts and before three million things get handed to me daily.
17. When you set up a middle school classroom, don’t forget about movement! I use these daily to keep students moving around the classroom—the best investment of $30 at the dollar store.
18. All assessments, rubrics and success criteria go home to be signed and then returned to each student’s assessment folder. The folders are assigned by number on the class list, so I can reuse them every year.
Essential Middle School Resources
- Grade 7 and 8 Scope and Sequence for ELA Teachers
- Classroom Organization Tips For New Teachers
- English Language Arts Classroom Set Up Ideas