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Physical Environment

Arrange and organize your physical space so all students can see, hear, move freely, and engage in the classroom environment. This will maximize learning and allow for active supervision. 

Trauma Lens:
A well-designed classroom environment promotes a sense of safety and security for students impacted by trauma. 
  • On-task behavior ↑
  • Perception of safety ↑
  • Supports respect of personal space
  • Easier to use visuals
  • Allows teacher movement

What does it look like? 

Class should be set up to meet learner needs, fit the learning activity, and allow freedom of movement in a clean and organized space. 





  1. How many students will you have in the room at one time?

  2. How should student desks/seats be grouped? 

  3. What kinds of activities will be taking place in your classroom and where will they take place? Will student desk arrangement change to best suit activity?

  4. How is movement in the classroom to be regulated? High traffic areas?

  5. What can you do to create a sense of well-being and safety for your students in your classroom?

  6. Does the physical arrangement of the classroom maximize the opportunity for positive teacher–student interaction while minimizing the possibility for disruptions? Teacher desk placement? Clutter or teacher view obstructed?

Information from:

Midwest PBIS

Missouri SW-PBIS


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