3. Classroom Design

Our goal for classroom design in Daily 5, CAFE, and Math Daily 3 is to optimize learning with beauty, simplicity, and functionality.


The importance of an inviting, comfortable, functional classroom can't be overemphasized. It is the silent partner of student engagement, stamina, and success. These essentials are shared among Daily 5, CAFE, and Math Daily 3.

3.1 Gathering space

  • An open space large enough for the whole class to gather while sitting on the floor or in surrounding chairs

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3.2 Student work space

  • Students are guided to experience a variety of seating options to discover which ones best fit their personalities and learning styles.
  • Options include low tables, regular tables with chairs, high counters, comfortable chairs or couches, area rugs, pillows, and so on.

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3.3 Charts

  • Charts are created with the students each year.
  • Anchor charts are posted in the room so the children’s thoughts and learning can be referred to all year long.

3.4 Quiet signal

  • Teacher uses a chime or other quiet signal in place of his or her voice to indicate that a session is complete and a transition will take place.

3.5 Classroom library

  • The goal is to have 1000+ high-interest, high-quality books available to students, organized by genre, in the classroom library.
  • Library is organized so students can maintain it independently.

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3.6 Classroom walls

  • Remove visual noise and the busyness that results from multiple thematic borders and paper.

3.7 Teacher work space

  • Teacher selects a spot that will be a functional part of the teaching and learning environment.
  • Teacher work space equals 1/24th or as much as each child is given.

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3.8 Classroom enhancements (optional)

  • Lighting: natural, lamps
  • Plants: alive or artificial
  • Personalize: student photos and work

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Classroom Design

For more related articles and topics, visit the Classroom Design homepage.

Topics include setup, teacher space, classroom library, gathering space, student spaces, materials, word walls, finishing touches, book rooms, school library.

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