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Spaces & Places

  • Title:Spaces & Places: Designing Classrooms for Literacy
  • Author:Debbie Diller
  • Publication Date:June 2008
  • Grade Level:K-5
  • ISBN:9781571107220
  • Publisher:Stenhouse

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 you'll find a wealth of full-color photos from all sorts of classroom spaces in pre-K - 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. Debbie 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 & Places includes everything you need to look deeply at classroom space and how it supports instruction.

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Author Bio

Debbie Diller has been a national consultant since 2000, but she still has "those 'back-to-school' dreams in the fall." She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Millersville University and Temple University and spent the next thirty years as an educator. 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, adults."

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 work."

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