My Classroom

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I've said it before, and I'm about to say it again, my classroom is my home away from home. As such, I always like to create a space that is comfortable and functional. I want it to be a place where my students and I are cozy and have room to move around, but I also want it to be a place where learning can be facilitated.

This past year I moved to a brand new school. As in, I was the first person to use the classroom space that I was assigned. So exciting! Even better, the room is quite large and spacious. Prior to that, I spent 13 years in a pretty small classroom (with a pretty large can read all about that by scrolling down).

A few years ago, I decided to switch from themed classroom decor to a color scheme based decor. When I moved I stuck with that approach. It's such an easy way to decorate. Besides, when setting up a classroom, function is way more important than having an HGTV worthy space. With that said, I do believe you can have a practical/functional space that's also aesthetically pleasing and inviting.

Back to color scheme talk. My new classroom has a green accent wall, and a small gray accent wall. So, I created a color scheme that would coordinate with those colors. I used navy, teal, green, and gray.

Here's a peek at my classroom space. Enjoy!

This is the view once you walk inside the classroom. I'm facing the wall opposite the doorway. My desks are arranged in groups and have since been angled to face the front of the room a little bit better. I keep one of my storage cabinets in the corner.

I added curtains to my windows to add a comfortable feel to the space. I hung them with tension rods that I purchased from Target. Easy peasy.

The fabric garland and ABC display were a few crafts that I did last summer. You can read all about them HERE.

Below the fabric garland is a school issued rectangular table. I removed the bottom portion of the legs to make it a short table. I used chair cushions to make the space a bit more cozy. I found them at Walmart for $5 a piece.

On top of my storage cabinet I added a bit of fun decor. I don't like to keep boxes (or stuff) on top of cabinets, instead, I prefer to use these types of spaces to add coziness to the classroom.

I made this "Be Kind" sign a few years ago. It used to be on display in my previous classroom. I also added a potted (fake) plant to bring a bit of (fake) nature inside the space. Hehe. Finally, the bulldog was too cute not to include in our space. Our school mascot is a bulldog (well, OK, our mascot is an American bulldog, not a French bulldog), so I thought it would be fun to add a few bulldogs around the room.

This is my teacher corner. As you can see, it's very green. ;) It's also where all my files, reward tags, supplies, and computer/desk are located. Thanks to my genius friend and neighbor, I placed my small group table adjacent to me desk so that I can quickly and easily access things I might need as I'm working with students (probably should have taken this pic at a better angle so you could see that better-sorry about that).

If you look closely, you'll see more (fake) plants and another bulldog on top of my filing cabinets. :)

I display our classroom expectations above the sink. These are school wide expectations and are basically used in place of classroom rules. I printed each expectation separately and then attached them to jute using mini clothespins. Ignore the others stuff in this area, this pic was taken while I was setting up my room and most of it isn't even there anymore. ;)

This is the back of my room. It's the wall adjacent to the door. This wall has two bulletin boards and a space that I use as our carpet area. I found my teacher chair on Amazon. It was a bit of an investment, but it was one that I do not regret. I keep a bucket of read alouds by my chair.

The white cube unit is from Ikea. I purchased it to house all of the leveled readers that come with our reading program. Each of those bins is pretty full! I found the bins on the Target website.

Here's a close up of the bulletin boards. I use them to display anchor charts and/or student work. I used a straight edge chevron border coupled with a scalloped burlap border. In the corners, I placed one navy tissue pom and a short strand of burlap bunting (found at Michaels).

This pic shows my library. It's actually expanded by another bookcase, but I didn't get a pic of that in time for sharing this summer. That's because I literally upgraded this space on our teacher check out day. After that, I just wanted to get home and start my summer. Can you relate? Hehe.

These book bins are from Really Good Stuff. Last summer, I purchased the picture book size as well as the chapter book size. I organized and labeled my library on teacher check out day, and still have bin labels to add. Proof that a classroom is always a work in progress. :)

The Ikea cart is filled with reading buddies. These little stuffed animals are well loved throughout the year. I also have a few pillows, as you can see.

Our community supplies are kept on top of the library bookcases so that they are easy for the kids to access. If they need extra crayons or glue, they know where to get them. And, when they need a new pencil, they trade their old one out for a new one using the small green pails.

This section of wall is super small (and so is the rack that's attached to it), but it was the perfect place to display our "All Are Welcome" canvas that we created at the beginning of the year. Please ignore all the white lines, I didn't want student names on display.

Setting up a classroom is an ever evolving process. Furniture will be moved and rearranged. And new decor will find it's way into the space. I've only spent one year in this space and while I loved it, I already know that changes will be made as I learn how to use this space to best meet the needs of me and my students. Stay tuned for updates in the future!

If you'd like to take a look at my previous classroom. Keep reading!

My 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).

You can grab the coin and even/odd mini posters shown above by clicking HERE. :)

I also have two bookcases along this wall that store my reward 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!

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