1st Edition

Spaces & Places Designing Classrooms for Literacy

By Debbie Diller Copyright 2008

    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: Designing Classrooms for Literacy' 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. Diller' 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 & Placesincludes everything you need to look deeply at classroom space and how it supports instruction.

    Introduction; Chapter 1: Planning Your Space; Chapter 2: Arranging Your Room; Chapter 3: Come On In!; Chapter 4: Using Your Walls; Chapter 5: Organizing Your Stuff; Resources Where to Find It; Reproducible Forms; Resources: Resources Staff Development Suggestions


    Debbie has been a national consultant since 2000, but still has those back to school dreams in the fall. After playing school in the basement of her childhood home in Lititz, Pennsylvania, she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Millersville University and Temple University and spent the next four decades as an educator. She's worked as a classroom teacher, migrant education teacher, Title I reading teacher, and literacy coach in Pre-K through grade 10 in diverse public school settings. Her love of teaching stems from her love of learning. I have always loved learning. Becoming a teacher was a way I could share that love of learning with children and eventually, with adults. A big part of her learning is listening to teachers and their professional development needs. When I work with teachers, I try to understand their needs by finding out what they know and listening to their questions. Then I begin where they are and work with them to help them take the next steps toward where they (and/or their school systems) want (them) to be. I believe in professional reading and professional learning communities, and support teachers in their quest to best meet the needs of all students in their classrooms. Debbie's ideas for her books also come from her work with teachers. She listens for frequently asked questions, patterns, teachers' needs, and keeps a writer's notebook to collect ideas, thoughts, and notes. Often, the old joke comes to mind: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. That's how I write: Bit by bit, on planes, in hotel rooms, in my office on a rare day. Teachers' questions and comments spur me on through my daily, ongoing work in classrooms, which sustains my craft. Debbie's family has changed and grown in recent years. Her son, Jon, and daughter, Jessica, are both married, and she now has a granddaughter, Chloe, with another on the way. Debbie's husband, Tom, passed away in 2012.

    "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