My ClassroomMy classroom is my home away from home. Because of that, I like to create a space that is both functional and welcoming, a space that I look forward to spending my time in.
My room is also small. This summer, I finally decided to measure the space. It measured about 20 feet by 20 feet. Or, maybe it was 20 by 24 feet. I measured it in August, and now it's January. A lot has happened since then-ha! Either way, space is not plentiful. ;)
A smaller space means that my furniture options are limited. After all, I do have 23+ students to fit in the room too! (This year, I started off with 27 students, so it was pretty crowded for a while). I do not have a reading group table, and anything I do bring into the room needs to set against the wall. This way, my students have room for their desks and belongings, and we have space to sit on the carpet.
The small space also means that I try to keep my decor simple. Too much stuff on the walls in a small space can be distracting. And overwhelming. Over the years, I've had different themes in my room (ocean, western, dogs, forest animals, rock star). But, this year, I opted for a color scheme with some chevron thrown in.
Take a peek! I hope you like what you see!
View from the door on the afternoon of Meet the Teacher. The temporary table on the left was used to set out popcorn and water for the students and their families as they came in that day. The table is set up in our carpet area.
See those lanterns suspended from my ceiling? I love them! Lanterns are one of my go to decor pieces. They are easy to hang and they do a great job of helping spruce up the space. I use them sparingly. Too many lanterns and I'd feel like our space was cluttered. I usually find my lanterns at Hobby Lobby and on Amazon.
This is the back wall of my room. There is a metal rack on this wall (you can see it in the pic above), so the space is kind of awkward. I made this garland and it still makes me happy to this day. The hand signal signs are from Rachel Lamb.
I also use the back wall to display our class rules (you can grab a similar set HERE for free). I made the "Be Kind" chalkboard using a Target Dollar Spot find and my Silhouette Cameo. And, as you can see, I love tissue poms. A lot. They are a great way to add pops of color to your room, and also add a bit of pizzazz to your boards.
I make my tissue poms. They aren't too hard to do, but I give all the credit to this tutorial from Schoolgirl Style.
When I made the letters for the rules board shown above, I used a corner rounder to soften the edges of each letter. It's a minor detail, I realize, but it made this task quick and easy, and I like them rounded.
In between the rules and hand signals are my storage units. I have two "wardrobes" (closets on wheels). I keep the insides as organized as possible so that I can quickly find what I need. Confession: at least once a year, I have to reorganize them because sometimes I'm lazy and I don't put stuff away like I should.
I have two bulletin boards and they are both decorated just like you see below. They are covered in aqua fabric (Hobby Lobby) and then framed with two different borders (black/white chevron and lime green). I placed a cluster of pom poms in one corner of each board.
This board is used to showcase our watercolor portraits year round. They are so fun to look at!
The colored drawers in this photo (repeat from above) serve two purposes. The numbered drawers are used as student mailboxes, or cubbies. The drawers without numbers are used to house my Words Their Way centers.
I use the top of a bookcase to store our pencils and community glue and crayon tubs. You can't see it, but our "I'm Done" box sits below the red pocket chart at one end of the bookcase. I place it there to remind the students of what they can do once they are done with an assignment.
Wondering about that ginormous blank spot? When I set up my room, I always leave a few spots open for anchor charts.
Here is my desk. Yes, it is clean. Yes, this was taken on the day of Meet and Greet when it kind of had to be clean, but honestly, it's usually fairly clean. It has to be. My document camera is stored here, as well as my computer. I need to be able to access both quickly throughout the day.
The wall adjacent to my desk is pretty functional. It houses my second bulletin board, which I use as my calendar most years. Sometimes, I start the year with the calendar and phase it out if my second graders don't really need it (often times this is the case come January). This allows me to use that space as a math focus board, to feature anchor charts, or to display student work.
You can see another section of blank wall next the calendar. That's another space set aside for anchor charts (and sometimes it might be used as an overflow area to display student work).
I also have two bookcases along this wall that store my brag tags, math games, teacher books, and the students' journals. The bookcases don't match, but that's OK. Everything is organized. ;)
Thanks for checking out my classroom!