Spaces and Places: Designing Classrooms for Literacy

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From Debbie Diller, author of numerous best-selling books and videos on literacy work stations and small group reading instruction, comes another practical resource filled with ideas you can use immediately to better manage your classroom and support student learning and independence.

In Spaces & Places you'll find a wealth of full-color photos from all sorts of classroom spaces in PreK-5th grade, including well-organized areas for whole group and small group reading instruction, classroom libraries, literacy work stations, teacher desks, and storage areas. You'll love the "before and after" pictures and the step-by-step processes outlined for organizing your furniture and cabinets, setting up your room space by space, and using your walls thoughtfully. Debbie has even documented how to pack your room at the end of the year to save time next fall (so you can focus on thinking about instruction) and what to do if you must move all your belongings.

Through pictures and text, this unique visual reference answers tough questions educators ask, such as:

  • What do I really need in my room and what's the best way to set it up?
  • How does my physical classroom impact student learning?
  • How can I find the space I need to teach more effectively?
  • What can I get rid of and how?
  • Where do I put all my stuff?

Charts, reproducible forms, motivating quotes, a list of shopping sources, and reflection questions are included, along with a section outlining ten specific suggestions for on-going staff development. Whether or not you implement literacy work stations in your classroom, Spaces & Places includes everything you need to look deeply at classroom space and how it supports instruction.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Spaces & Places is a quick read that teachers can use as a guidepost before school starts so that they can begin the year with an inviting and purposeful classroom space. Then during the year, when clutter starts to build up, one glance inside Diller's book will motivate and inspire teachers once again." - Teacher Leaders Network
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571107220
  • Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/25/2008
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 166,408
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Ch. 1 Planning Your Space 13

Ch. 2 Arranging Your Room 37

Ch. 3 Come On In! 65

Ch. 4 Using Your Walls 117

Ch. 5 Organizing Your Stuff 155

Where to find it 187

Reproducible forms 195

Staff Development Suggestions 217

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    Awesome Organization Tool

    I am a teacher with 18 years experience. This will be the first year I use literacy centers and I needed some ideas on how to organize my room. Lots of pictures and explanations for every scenerio. I loved this book. Really helped me figure out what I want to do. I will share it with my co-workers.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Purchase of Teacher Resource book

    The online shopping was great. I was very disappointed that the book was not in the store. If the buyer for Education materials would ask teachers they would find out that summer is an excellent time to buy and feature the books about organizing and preparing rooms. This summer Debbie Diller was in Sumner County for a presentation, if B & N had her books in stock they could have sold many of them. B&N stocks less than 1/2 aisle of education materials and 0 education magazines at the Hendersonville location. When I asked the Hendersonville store if they had any of the books ordered I was told that they just wait and order it only when requested. Teachers spend a great deal of their own money every year, you're missing your share.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2010

    A "MUST-HAVE" Addition for Your Professional Library!

    Ms. Diller's book supports current reasearch on creating an organized and high-functioning classroom literacy environment. Her book takes each component of the classroom (whole-group and small group areas, the classroom library, work stations) and details how to set-up and arrange it all, including the anchor charts that support on-going instruction and student learning. She even details how to pack it up and store it for the up-coming school year! Every photograph is in color with the reasearch-based rationale behind each arrangement. As a former principal and current literacy coach, I carry this book with me on all of my classroom visits. It continues to excite teachers and supports them as they transform their classrooms. I've also had the pleasure of meeting Debbie Diller.

    In spite of her national recognition, she is still "one of us".....a TEACHER! Providing the best environment for our children is still at the center of her efforts. When she visited our school for a full-day professional development session, my staff hung on her every word. She is as high-energy and as colorful as this book demonstrates. Se leaves no stone unturned! I highly recommend this book for your professional library.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    must have for 1st. year teachers!

    when a fist year teacher receives her classroom, it is not beautiful or arranged or anything. It's just a room with bare walls and furniture that you will never think of fitting it inside.
    This book helps first year teacher to set up a classroom not only to look good but to serve a purpose: be suitable for instruction! first you thing what and how to teach and this book helps you a lot in what to do next, how to focus and saves you time to set up before classes start. I liked a lot and used it a lot for real!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Get Your Classroom Organized!

    I like to make a New Year's Resolution each year . . . in June! I tend to mark my new year according to the school calendar, so when summer begins, I find an area in my personal and professional life to focus and improve upon. This past summer, I decided it was time to do something about the organization in my classroom. I was spending so much time cleaning up after myself and my students, something had to give. I needed a more efficient way to deal with the "stuff" in my classroom.

    I came across this book, Spaces & Places , and I knew it was just what I had been looking for. Although it is a bit pricey, I thought it was worth it. It is a spiral bound book (which I found very helpful when wanting to keep it open to a certain page), and has MANY colored photos of real classrooms. One of the things Diller notes is that the majority of the pictures showcase small classrooms that are set in old buildings, portables, and awkward spaces. It was helpful to see how different teachers across the country that were struggling with the same space issues as I am use their space most efficiently. There was nothing earth-shattering in the book about how to stay organized that may not have crossed your mind before, but the format of thinking through your decisions was really helpful for me. I did a complete classroom makeover, and it has never felt so good! It is now January, and after 6 months my room is still organized and runs efficiently. I have more time to spend on the things that are really important (lesson plans, grading papers, making it home for dinner . . . ) , and it makes for many less late nights! Who could ask for more?

    One downside to this book is that not all the classroom makeover suggestions are brain research friendly in terms of color schemes, etc., but it is an easy thing to tweak for yourself. Now I have to figure out how to keep my house less cluttered and to run more efficiently because I haven't mastered that yet! I may have to check out one of those makeover TV shows for that . . . :)

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    Posted July 7, 2010

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