Introduction: Jessica shows readers that just because you have 25 students in a classroom, doesn't mean you need 25 desks. Consider flexible seating your new best friend. Allow students to do their work where they are most comfortable. When students make their own decisions about where they learn best, engagement increases, potential behavioral issues reduce, and students are given autonomy over their learning. See this in action in the introduction where Jessica walks you through a day with Jayvon and allows his classroom experience to show rather than tell just how strategic classroom design works.

Chapter 1: What do we mean by classroom design? In this chapter we’ll explore the basic layout of your space from the ground up. We’ll consider how to make room for a whole-group space, small group spaces, individual work spaces, and your teacher space. When you are reimagining your classroom, it can feel overwhelming, so I’ll show you how to start with a simple layout plan.

Chapter 2: How can we set up our classrooms in strategic ways to cultivate curiosity, belonging, and academic growth? In this chapter, we’ll explore the other classroom work spaces—the library, multimedia learning space, maker space, play area, content area, and art space—and think about how they can be designed to help breathe life and inspiration into your learning journey with students.

Chapter 3: How can we help students move, transition, and interact with one another and the classroom environment in ways that feel conscious and connected? We’ll highlight the most commonly congested traffic areas and challenges. In addition, we’ll consider ways to help students transition with more intention and purpose and how to co-author plans with your students to efficiently gather supplies and complete assigned tasks and projects.

Chapter 4: Which elements of design make the most impact on teaching and learning according to research, and which are the most budget friendly? We’ll take a closer look at what the research says about the effects of light, color, sound, and natural elements on the classroom environment. Then we’ll explore practical ways to incorporate these design elements into your own classroom.

Chapter 5 Follow one teacher’s journey as she strategically designs her classroom space. See before-and after images and learn about the ups and downs she encounters along the way.