Monday, September 30, 2013

Classroom Before and After

I had a lot of fun setting my classroom up! Last year, I was hired a few days before school started and shared a classroom with the afternoon teacher so I never really got to set up a classroom or make it my own much. This year it was overwhelming knowing where to start because I had SO many Pinterest ideas filling my head along with some space constraints in my new room.  Here are some pictures to show you what I walked into and had to work with.

Standing in the doorway looking left. The file cabinet and cupboard are gonna move.

Sweeping to the right

Looking straight ahead towards the back door

Standing in the corner looking back

Facing the front door and front of the room. Notice the empty bookshelf on the right. 
That small cabinet is moving too.

So those wooden boxes on the wall are actually the student desks. They are built onto the wall and fold down to create a desk surface and about 6 inches depth of storage space. Cool idea but definitely something I had to really get creative to make work for me since I couldn't move any of them and they use up almost all of the wall space.

Starting to bring all my stuff in and unpack.

Moved the file cabinet and cupboard and shifted the bookshelves down so the projector cart could fit.

Small cabinet moved to the empty wasted space by the back door.

It has to get messy before it can get organized.

Fun things first! After getting the bulletin borders and cursive ABC's up, we covered cans (just empty cans from canned food) with fun paper to match the colors of the borders. Then we filled them with all brand new school supplies! Mmmmm

My hubby helped me color all the letters of the alphabet for my Boggle board. I wanted to give the letters some color and had it match the borders. After one set of the alphabet, he took it to his fancy copier at work and made 3 more sets. I laminated them at school and am all set for Boggle all year!

Emptying old files, organizing throwing away, re-organizing by color.

Assembling my pocket chart stand!


This is going to come in SO handy with little wall space.

All finished! Looking towards the back door.

The whiteboard always has the Entry Task and Journal Prompt for the day. That door leads to the 2nd grade classroom. The closed wooden cabinet has 2 computers in it.

This cabinet has all the extra supplies very neatly organized in it. As students break or wear out pencils they put them in the pink bucket and the Pencil Sharpener person sharpens all of them at the end of the day.

Close-up of the crayon wreath. My mom made it for me last year.

Classroom rules and reminders.

Using the pencil vase my mom made for me last year to hold our flags. You can see how the desks work now. During the week they rotate all their books like you would on a bookshelf and keep personal supplies on the other side. On Thursdays, we have to turn the book again and shut the desks so a Sunday School class can use our room.
p.s. the desks are no where NEAR that neat anymore.

I used border strips to break the wall into different sections. Each section is for posters, charts, pictures, and class work for different subjects. For the first week of school, I had 6 questions up that the kids answered with sticky notes. The questions were color-coded to match the different sticky notes I had and the kids had to write their answer on a sticky note that the matched the color of the question. I like things to match, okay?

Those pom-poms were from the wedding I got to decorate for this summer. They were just going to be thrown away and so I grabbed a few to add some fun by my desk.

Loving my supply cart! My mom got it for me from Ikea. I keep everything we need (in the cute cans) on a daily or weekly basis here and since it rolls around I can move it out based on our needs.

I used 3M double-stick strip to stick a corkboard strip to the top of my whiteboard. I then used pushpins to hold my pocket chart up. I created my own schedule cards based on the size of my pockets. I have since added a second pocket chart below hanging from suction cup hooks since our schedule would not all fit in just one after the first week of school.
I used the little chalkboard frames for the kids to hold for first-day-of-school pictures.

Closer view of my corner. The jobs are on those two cork boards. I just rotate the names under the jobs each week. You can kind of tell but the bookshelf is now full. Our school joined with another last year and they had hundreds of books up for grabs so I filled two plastic totes FULL. YAY. I'm working on a library app on my iPhone that allows me to check the books out to kids and then back in when they return.

I returned the 27pocket organizer because it held papers and folders vertically and was actually to narrow for folders. I got a second 10 pocket organizer and the two of them together works great! Folders and papers fit horizontally. Each student has their own "mailbox" I call it. 3rd graders are green and on the left, and 4th graders are blue and on the right. I keep my copies for the week in the pockets above. I can't imagine NOT having this.
It's a tight fit and some days we feel more cramped for space than others. But it works! I'm really proud of the ways I figured out to use my space best and get creative with storing things taking up as least amount of space as possible. I love my classroom. I've also received several compliments from parents saying they love the colors and how fun it looks. YAY :)

First Day of School!

My 21st first-day-of-school picture.
2nd as a teacher.


  1. You've done a great job with your classroom! I made a crayon wreath once for a 4-H project and my mom used it in her classroom... Very fun!

  2. What a neat classroom! And very cute outfit. : )

  3. I like seeing it all finished and ready for the kids! I'll bet they do love the space you've made for them. It is fun and colorful and geared for learning. GOOD JOB!! You look cute on your 21st first day. :) <3

  4. Love it! Wish I could be in Mrs. Baughman's class too :)

  5. You are truly amazing! Love ready your blog! Xoxo

  6. It looks great, good luck with your class.