Throughout the elementary classrooms of Davidson County, teachers are striving to provide an inviting classroom environment that supports and promotes student thinking. By organizing our physical space and room arrangement with intention, teachers can provide an environment that is interesting and authentic for student learning.

-Adapted from Teaching With Intention, by Debbie Miller

Useful Documents for Davidson County Educators:

Spaces and Places Article

Classroom Arrangement
  • The room is for learners to move easily from one area to another.
  • Desk arrangement reflects cooperative work.
  • Teacher desk is at the rear or nonexistent.

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  • Classroom discussions are punctuated by partner talk rather than calling on one student at a time.   
  • Procedures for "turn and talk" should be established, such as how to turn eye to eye and knee to knee.


  • Resources are organized and easily accessible. Paper, sharpened pencils, markers, sticky notes, etc. should readily available for students.
  • Stored resources are out of sight.
  • Involve students in the organization and placement of materials and books in the room.

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  •   Create spaces in your classroom that are inviting and thoughtful. 
  •   This will develop a sense of warmth and community in your classroom.



Walls that Teach:

"Making Thinking Visible, Public, and Permanent"SchoolCenter Picture

From: Debbie Miller, Thinking with Intention

Classrooms should be filled with visible print that is attractive, meaningful, and authentic. Comprehension strategies are clearly posted, as well as examples of student work showing how they have applied the strategies. The walls reflect the learning that is taking place in the classroom.

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Bulletin boards are tools for learning rather than for decoration purposes. Boards should be displays of anchor charts, authentic student work, or other displays of student thinking. Evidence of student writing is evident and developed across the curriculum.


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 Throughout the schools, walls should reflect the learning that is taking place across the content areas. Instruction needs to be focused and purposeful. A visitor should feel a sense of purpose and industry when walking through the school environment.

  Source: Spotlight on Comprehension by Linda Hoyt

"What You See in a Thoughtful Classroom" pages 73-75

Community Gathering Place Areas for

Small and Large Groups

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A  large group meeting area with a carpet provides a place where students can come together as a community of learners for focus strategy lessons, interactive read alouds, discussions, and sharing.

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Small group meeting areas should be clearly visible. These areas can be used for a variety of purposes throughout the day, including teacher directed small-group strategy instruction, literature cirlces, or anytime students need to work together for a specific purpose.

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Teachers may refer to the Environmental Survey (attachment below) developed by Linda Hoyt and the Professional Development Network for the Davidson County Schools Strategic Literacy Project.