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High School Social Studies Classroom Setup

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High School Social Studies Classroom Setup

My classroom during the school year is like my second home. Or, let’s be honest, it’s more like my first home. Every year I try to update and upgrade different elements of my room. I try to find a balance between cute decor and useful areas for the students. Here is how I arrange my high school social studies classroom setup.

Front of Classroom Set-Up

Whiteboard for the projector and space for daily essential questions
Weekly agenda for all classes
Anchor Hour agenda and missing assignment board

I set up the front of my History classroom in a very straightforward manor. First I have my whiteboard clear for my projector. On the right hand side I have a space to display my essential questions. This allows the students and I to know the purpose for the lesson at hand. The next white board is split into three sections. One for the weekly agenda. I like that the students can have a visual for the week, especially with the new blended learning style we are teaching in this year.

The next two sections display the Anchor Hour schedule and the missing assignment board. Anchor hour is like a resource hour we have each day. Students can sign up for teachers. Teachers use this time for test retakes, club meetings, or enrichment activities. The missing assignment board I update daily. I list the assignment I collect that day and put the initials behind of those students who did not turn in the assignment. Since many of my students forget to log into their skyward to check their grades, this is an easy visual for them. We also set a lot of classroom goals, and often we have goals to reduce the number of missing assignments of a class.

Flexible Seating

In the past, I have employed flexible seating often in my classroom. Because our school teaches in a block schedule, I like to give the students the option to move around during work time.

In my rules I tell my students to pick a “smart” seat, once which allows them to do their best work. Flexible seating is a privilege in my classroom, but most of my students thrive in their use of this option.

With our new Covid health and safety measures, I’m not sure how I will adjust my expectations with flexible seating.

My Desk Set-Up

My desk spaces allows me to show some of my personality

Behind me is my certificates and files/binders

I love my little nick knacks at my desk

My desk really shows my personality. I have a rug that signifies this is MY area, no students allowed haha. Behind me are my binders and files where I keep examples of all my handouts. At my desk I have a picture of my husband and I on our wedding day, as well as a Psych stress pineapple and some other personal nick knacks that help me stay grounded and focused. I have also added curtains to my windows. This has ben so helpful when we watch videos in class and I can help make the room darker.

History and Art Wall

This has been my favorite addition to my classroom this year! I don’t like forcing my students to take tests all the time. What is the point of seeing if they can regurgitate the information I gave them. I would rather have the students apply what they learned. To do this, I walk the students through an exercise to think about their strengths and weaknesses and what kinds of assessments can play to their strengths. I have many artistic students and I really like that I have a place to showcase their work!

Storage and Student Materials

Book sign-outs and cellphone caddy
Assignment turn in, absent boxes, and no name station

Next is all about student organization. In the tall cabinet is their textbooks, which they can check out using the sheets provided. I have a station where students will turn in their work. I have also created absent boxes. If students like paper handouts, when they come back from being absent they can go to these boxes, find the day they were gone, and pick up their sheets. Finally, if students turn in something without their name, I hang it up at the no-name station for them to pick up. This level of organization really helps my students understand my high school social studies classroom setup.


Also, on the front board I have listed my color codes. I am a very type A personality and I like to color code everything to try to make things easier for both myself and my students.

Not only are my handouts color coded, but so are my classes. Everything that is in blue in my room applies to my World Cultures class (book sign out, agenda, essential questions) and then everything in purple applies to my World History class.

Seating Arrangement

A few years ago I had the opportunity to replace all of my traditional desks with wheeled tables and a variety of chairs! I jumped at this chance. This allows me to move my seating arrangement around easily. I start out my class in a traditional format, straight rows. Also, because of Covid, I have created little boxes to go on the tables with extra classroom supplies for the students. This helps limit the contact with shared classroom materials.

Final Thoughts on my History Classroom Set-up

Some of my high school social studies classroom setup may have to change to keep my students and myself safe. That being said, I continue to enjoy creating new spaces to help enhance my student’s learning.

What elements could I still add to my classroom?

Want to see more elements of my classroom? Check out my DIY Hall Passes here!

12 thoughts on “High School Social Studies Classroom Setup”

  1. Wow, you’re so organized! The flexible seating sounds like something I really would have loved when I was in school. Very cool!

  2. I LOVE seeing how your classroom is set up and hearing about why you set it up that way. Growing up, teachers were always mysterious and powerful people to me (honestly, even at 27 I STILL think that sometimes, but that could be because I’m also still in school pursing a master’s). So, it’s super nice to see through the eyes of a teacher and really see their personality shine. Good luck during this school year!

    1. I’m a teacher and yet my old teachers are STILL awe inspiring. It took me 5 years just to be able to call some of them by their first names!

      Thank you so very much for your kind words!

  3. I’m so thankful for all our teachers, and I love the creativity used in this room! I love the flexible seating. It is something that I do when I run instruction sessions. I’ve always wondered about putting up a how are you today board, even at high levels. I would be doing it as a coach, but I’m curious about your thoughts?

    1. Interesting! I love the idea of a board like that. I think the buy in to participate might be tougher at higher levels, but I think that’s all the more reason to do it. Students should not be afraid or ashamed of their emotions! Teaching and helping them not only recognize their own emotions but also each other’s is a huge life skill! I say do it!

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