Friday, August 31, 2012

Classroom Reveal

I feel like this is the fastest my classroom has ever come together. For once I will NOT be going to school on the Saturday before the first day of school. I feel ready, anxious, excited, and happy. That last one is important. I don't remember feeling happy much last school year, and I was worried that I wouldn't get that happy feeling back again this year. Thankfully due to selective memory loss :P I am ready to start my 6th year teaching second grade!

Thursday was Open House and I had a really good turn out. Usually I expect 50% or less of my families to show up. But this year I had 17 families come to meet me and check out their new room. I can already tell I have a few big personalities that I am going to just eat up! I have mostly boys. Again. I guess that just means I won't have as many girl fights to deal with. Girl problems are always so complicated.

A few of my past students stopped by to see me, although there were less than I hoped for. When one of my absolute-favorite-I-would-take-you-home-in-a-heartbeat- little guys walked in and gave me his signature bear hug, I actually started crying and had to shoo him out of the room before I made a fool of myself. A former mom also made my day when she came in to say "You teachers are amazing. You really do work miracles and I can't thank you enough."

Enough of the sappy stuff. Time to show off my space. I made a few layout changes and tried a few new decorating techniques (thanks to Pinterest). There are a few classroom signs from TPT but everything I used was either a free download or reinterpreted by me so I am going to say upfront that I don't remember where everything came from. My bad.

Welcome to Room 104!

Free sign I downloaded from someone... They also had Kindergarten and First Grade.

This is probably the last year for these "Best Work" signs. The paper is faded and I had to do many clothespin repairs. But I love these for the hallway. It gets me out of doing creative time-consuming stuff here.

Free daily schedule cards from TPT.

Minutes for my clock. I made these and used a round paper punch to cut them out.

View from the door looking right.

View from the door looking straight ahead.

 View from the door looking left.

Kids mailboxes, recycling box, and calendar

I decided to put the window topper in this door frame so I could hide the extra months underneath.

Listening station with crate seats. I'll probably have to change out the fabric next year.

Table caddies. I got these large caddies from IKEA to replace tons of grimy smaller ones that I hated. Click HERE to see the ones I bought. Each Gladware container holds a student's crayons. HERE is the link for the crayon containers. The cups with scissors are velcro-ed to the caddy to keep them from sliding. I'm planning to tape a copy of this picture to the side of the caddy so the kids can reference it when cleaning up.

My built-ins and the kids book baskets. The green bins on the top shouldn't be there, they are too close to the ceiling. I threw them up there before Open House and haven't gotten around to figuring out what to do with them yet.

Promethean Board. LOVE. End of story.

My job chart. I will take pictures of the students, cut out their heads, and attach velcro. The clipart is from Lettering Delights and is called "Grown Up Boys."

Encore chart and covered mirror. I really should have added a border and laminated the paper covering the mirror so I don't have to measure it out again next time but I got lazy.

I HEART my library. Yes, I managed to snag the infamous Chevron rug from Big Lots. Although our school is pretty strict about additional classroom rugs so hopefully I can slide under the radar this time. You'll have to ignore the duck tape on the bookshelf. It was coming apart and my dad decided that was the best way to fix it. Love my flamingo shower curtain. My school is also iffy about shower curtains but I think it's OK as long as it isn't in the window. All those big books came from my teammate Heather who had TONS to give away.

My area.

The birthday board in action.

I always hang up class photos from years past. Like the scrunchy border? Thank you Pinterest.

My sign-in from Open House.

The computer nook with Pinterest pom poms.
 I like to cover the cabinet doors and this year I wanted it to look like another bulletin board. I made these Hand Signals signs but they were inspired by The Clutter-free Classroom.

More teacher area. Eventually this will be where the writing materials will be but right now I've taken it over with all the back to school paperwork. Still haven't finished my teacher tool box...

More goodies from Heather! She gave me a class set of these decorative letter trays. Another teammate suggested putting them in the desks and I love it!

They will use this to store their pencil box, STAR files (inspired by Tattling to the Teacher) and any other loose items. I hate papers and things rolling around in the desks.

More desks.

The inside of the STAR files. 

Reading/Math small group table. The boxes on the table are all ready to collect supplies on the first day of school.

More school supplies I need to put away. My dad made me those cool marker stands. I was super excited about them but the glue he used ruined about half the markers :(. He used foaming Gorilla glue which holds really well, but apparently the marker lids have tiny holes in them so the glue seeped into the marker. Boo. They are still mostly functional so I will use them until they become a problem.

 I threw away about half of my poster collection so I could use this top drawer for guided reading storage.

 Reading materials.

More reading stuff and my upcycled chalkboard.

Math Workshop bulletin board inspired by The Clutter-free Classroom. I really liked her idea of having the different stations spell out the word MATH. I'll use push pins to hang up directions for each station.

Guided reading books

Math manipulatives and books.

Whole brain teaching-ish rules. I changed a few to fit in more closely with our school initiatives. I plan to let the kids generate appropriate school behaviors (we call it the Quality Student) and then group the kids ideas under these five headings. I used this free product from Miss Nelson to make them.

Chevron wrapping paper. I wanted to do the brown scrunchy border here too but I got tired of the scrunch and staple routine. These are the SUPER BORING LAME-O abc cards we have to use. I really wanted to use these from Ladybug's Teacher Files :(

My Chevron ruler storage. This used to be a wine bottle gift box.

View from the alternate corner.

Well, it's not finished (when is it ever??) and it's certainly not perfect but I'm ready to fill it with brand new second graders on Tuesday! Can't wait!


  1. It looks AMAZING! I finally finished my room at like 8:30 last night so it'd be ready for Open House. I had 13 out of 22 kiddos... and it was SO SURREAL to meet my class!

    Would you believe I haven't taken any pictures? I've been so swamped and treading water I didn't get around to it! I will Tuesday, though. ;)

  2. So pretty! I love the colors. Good luck this school year!


  3. Your room looks great! I use a wine container to hold my rulers too!

  4. Random question--how are the Glad containers holding up as the year has gone on? In my class, we use sandwich bags and they are a pain to change out.

    1. They are fabulous! Haven't had to change any out. It took the kids about a week to be able to open and close them without difficulty but after that no problems. Definitely recommend these!

  5. What are is the name of the caddy from ikea? Would this happen to be the one? SAMLA
    Insert for box 3 and 6 gallon, clear
    Width: 14 ½ " / 37 cm
    Depth: 9 ¾ " / 25 cm
    Height: 4 ¾ " / 12 cm

    Article Number: 501.029.73

    Your classroom looks great!!

  6. Sorry I meant what IS the name of the ikea caddies!!! lol!!!

  7. What size is your chevron rug?

    1. It's not huge. Maybe 4X6ish. It's just the right size for my library and/or a small group of students to sit together for group assignments.

  8. Super cute room!!

  9. Which size Glad ware did you get for those crayons. I spent a good 15 minutes in Walmart today looking for the right ones.

  10. I have the same question as the previous poster - what kind of Glad ware did you use for the crayons? Do you remember at all? Thanks in advance!

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  12. Would you by chance have the SKU number for the chevron rug from Big Lots? I'm trying to find one for my classroom. Thanks!

    1. I don't. But I do remember it wasn't with the regular rugs at Big Lots. It was in the "Back to school" college/dorm room stuff. I almost missed it.

  13. Love your organization! I'm curious as to where you got your white boxes that hold your guided reading books. TIA!

    1. I'm not sure where they came from. The reading teachers at my school provided them for us. I've used the ones from IKEA before and just cut them down so they aren't so tall.

  14. Love your room and all of your ideas! Thanks for sharing. The book shelves that you use for your classroom library, did your school provide those or did you buy them? If so, where? Thanks!!

    1. They were provided by the school. Now I use shelves my father built for me.

  15. What kind of glad containers do you use for the crayons? I have looked everywhere for some and haven't been able to find any. Thanks!

  16. Hi! I love your sight and I loved your caddies you made! Do you happen to know which Glad containers you used? I am having troubled judging the size. Thank so much for any help you could give.

  17. Thanks so much for leaving a link to my resource! Much appreciated! I'm so glad you like the idea.

    Best wishes for a wonderful school year!
    :) Jodi from the Clutter-Free Classroom (

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