I teach five classes a day. Some classes are really well behaved, others are not so much. During my planning time last Thursday, I sat in each chair of one class that was particularly hard to manage. In each chair, I tried to imagine that I was that student. At this point in the year, I’m pretty familiar with each student’s personalities and what makes them frustrated, what makes learning fun for them, and what really sets them off. As I was sitting and thinking about how the room and the teaching looked like from their point of view, I decided to implement centers-based lessons for this particular group. I tried using mostly centers the next day (Friday) and the class went much better. So, during Friday’s planning period, I carefully examined every square inch and every piece of furniture/doors/walls in this room to be sure of its possibilities for centers. Why? This room is tiny… only a little larger than a parking space… or the size of my last dining room (but that’s a story for another day). One of my favorite design shows in high school was This Small Space, so I immediately jumped at the chance to try my hand at turning this small room into a center-friendly teaching space for combined-grade classes. The next few posts will be about some of the things I’ve decided to try.