Since I started my professional path in education, there is not a single year I didn’t remake my classroom. It may seem a tough project but if you are really looking to improve your learning-teaching environment then it is something you clearly have to think about.
It will probably take a few weeks if you are thinking about the big picture and if you are looking about redesigning the whole room. Well, a good idea would be then to plan ahead and install your project in a doable schedule.
As part of classbuilding, involving your students in the process is a great idea. Not only will you find some hands to help you but you will also contribute to a sense of community. The classroom becomes our classroom, not any classroom but the place we built together to thrive together.
You can start the remodeling classroom process before some holidays and invite your students and their parents to come over to your school to discuss the project. The first step will be to have a suggestion box or prepare a survey with easy questions about what your students like or don’t like about the classroom or alternatively you may want to simply do a brainstorming. As part of my own experience the main points are generally about the classroom feeling crowded and old-fashioned displays.
Once you get a clearer idea on what to improve have a look on different designing websites or magazines about classrooms and ask your students to choose which ones they really like and try to have them to explain why. Then for each group of parents-students have them to write a couple of words associated to the following words: displays, material, group work, teacher workspace, bookshelves, movement etc. This will help you to know in details what and how to improve your classroom.
Remaking a classroom doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to get rid of every single item.
You need to get some volunteers to help you with the task whether we are talking about moving material or painting or getting some funds. Your students again are the ones to get on board and also their friends, their parents, their parents’ colleagues etc. The more the merrier. You will find out that the more involved the community is in your project the better collaborative learning environment you will get.