Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Classroom Setup

Well, I have been a BAD blogger - I haven't blogged since December! Yikes! Is there a blog of shame for those of us who get caught up in a school year and forget to blog? I think I need to set myself up on a blogging schedule for this website like I do for my class website. *sigh...

Anyhow, I've been busy getting my classroom ready. You may be thinking, "WHAT?! It's so early!" - after all, we don't officially go back until August 7th, and it's just July 11th. I get it. BUT my son was in camp from 9-4, so that meant I got a week to work with no interruption. AND I still have a beach vacation, a birthday, and ballgames to attend, so this gives me plenty of time to enjoy the rest of my summer without having to think about what I want to do in my classroom. 'Cause it's done! BOOM! ;)

Here are some pics of my classroom redo for the new year!

 My teacher desk. I love having a small spot of my own against the wall. It's got to be here because my laptop (which is not there yet) will have to connect to my Promethean board. The fan will not be there when school starts ;)

One of my containers from Lowe's that I posted about last year (read it here); it holds some odds and ends I use daily in my classroom. Below is another one.

I made myself a checklist for each day for planning and afterschool. I stuck it in a little clear frame so I can check off my to-do list each day with a dry erase or Vis-a-Vis marker. Easy! (And my favorite for-school lotion, Lemon Vanilla from Bath & Body Works. Yum!)

I have the 3-drawer carts under my desk to hold literature circle books for my reading groups. The Sub Tub is there with info for a sub if it's an emergency (i.e., no plans!). Read about it here.

These shelves are behind my desk. I gave my drawers a makeover from last year with the pretty new chevron border I'm using. LOVE IT!

Folders for each day of the week, office stuff, committees, etc. The colored crates underneath hold files for each subject I teach.

Hand signals - 1 finger for restroom, 2 for water, etc. Part of our schedule is in the blue pocket chart. I ran out of room for connections and dismissal, but I figure that 5th graders can figure that out. I'll have the full detailed schedule posted in the hallway anyway.

I made the big pencil on the right last year for students to move their clips to whichever stage in the writing process they are in. I LOVE this! It worked great last year. The shoe organizer on the left is for students to store their water bottles. I encourage kids to bring in bottled water, but I hate when they are left on the table and start to leave water trails behind (or the worst - when they leave a bottle behind and go to their next period class and someone screeches, "Whose water bottle is this?!?!").

Cubbies for all the kids' stuff. The frames on top have the ridiculous pictures that come in them. I plan to take pictures of the kids on the first day of school in their nice outfits and then put them in the frames. I think the frames and the plants make it look so homey!

The black container is my "pencil hospital" that I found on Pinterest ages ago. One of our team teachers uses it, so I thought I'd give it a try. Top drawer - erasers, middle drawer - dull pencils, bottom drawer - sharpened pencils. The red container holds crayons. The top drawer is for warm colors, the middle for cool colors, and the bottom is for neutrals.

Found "Rich Questions" on Pinterest, but the link has been deactivated! :( Questions like, "Can you prove it?" or "What is another solution?"

I love these posters! I downloaded them for FREE from! I bought some star sticky notes, and I'll choose one every couple of weeks for us to focus on in homeroom by placing a star on it. The blue buckets are for lunchboxes.

Love the director's chair that I bought myself for a birthday gift last summer :) I love to read aloud from this chair. It's the best! The big cabinet there was made by my dad's company and donated to us. It stores my indoor recess games, clipboards, and books I will rotate into the library. On top, I've got a big basket with my favorite read alouds for the year. The bulletin board has some of my favorite posters! "Show Me the Evidence" from Teacher's Notebook, and it's FREE too! 
They will be perfect for teaching Common Core standards.

Saw the "Ketchup and Pickle" idea on Pinterest last year and thought it was too cute! This is for early finishers. The signs say, "Ketchup" on your work... So you can "pickle" another activity to do! Their choices are read, blog, Edmodo, or Boggle.

I love the chevron bulletin board border by Creative Teaching Press! The incentive charts are for students to put stickers by their names when they finish books. I did this last year, and the kids were obsessed with getting stickers! It worked so well that I know I have to do it again this year. The wire cart there is for all my writing supplies - love it! The desk is for my time-out area. [Insert ominous music here.]

Teacher resources on the big bookshelf, student resources on the shorter bookshelf.

Some mementos I brought back from my Africa trip that I can't wait to share with the kids!

Pretty obvious what those are...

Teacher supplies in all the fabric bins - I love that these are functional and colorful. Yes, it was an expensive purchase, but I added to it over the years. I will also put my iPods and iPads up there.

I got the group number signs from the same place I got the other posters - My first three groups are for Reading I, and groups 4-6 are for Reading II. They will have the same daily rotation, so I just put that part in the middle. 

I love this colorful acronym for group work. I bought it on TeachersPayTeachers (get it here) and then had it blown up at the local school supply store.

Social studies bulletin board, pillows galore, and the two white containers on top of the cabinet are for table supplies. I got the idea from Pinterest (see it here). I'll put in colored pencils, scissors, glue sticks, and then when students need something special, I'll toss that in before the project. Since our kids switch classes so much, they don't always bring their art supplies every day. This way, it's a lot easier and everything is in one place if we end up doing an art project in class.

I even made a couple of things for Open House! I got the idea for the numbered stations from the adorable Miss Nannini (see it here). Parents have green numbers and students have orange numbers. 

My reading tables. I had colorful stools last year, but the lighter colored ones showed dirt too easily even after being cleaned. So I just bought one more black stool and went with gray and black to accent this year.

Some wider views of the room...

Under the reading table, I have just enough room for two of these Sterilite containers. I have stored small group materials and manipulatives in here so they are at an arms reach!

I love my gator head. I placed a student station for Open House here beside him.

My library hasn't changed at all. I didn't put out all my books this year. I'm going to try to add new ones throughout the year. The new addition here is the black vinyl lettering on my board! The left is for my weekly agenda, and the other is for me to list my assignments. I'm so excited! If you're in/near Gainesville, Georgia, call my friend Amy to make it for your classroom too! Look up LuLu's Expressions on Facebook for more info :)

So that's a tour of my classroom. Thanks for stopping by! If you are going to share pictures of your classroom on your blog, send me a link. I love this stuff!



  1. I LOVE the chevron in the plastic drawers!! Looks amazing!!

    The Resource(ful) Room!

    1. Thank you! I used the turquoise paisley last year, but I love the chevron so much more!

  2. Where did you find your fonts? I love them all, especially the stations!

    1. Thanks, Dawn! I got the fonts from Rowdy in Room 300. She has amazing ones on her website - go check her out!

  3. Shame on you for not blogging since December! :) Wow! Great post. So much great stuff here! I LOVE the water bottle idea and hopefully my writing process pencils you just downloaded will be hanging beside them this year! haha! I also love the ketchup/pickle, the fabric bins, and the Groups poster! Thanks for sharing all this good stuff! So lucky you're all done and ready to go!

    The Bender Bunch

    1. That's exactly why I downloaded your pencils - to add to the display! LOVE it :)

  4. Your classroom is adorable!!!!!

    I've nominated you for the Liebster Award! Visit my blog to find out more information! Congrats! :)

    Creative Ideas for the Upper Elementary Classroom Liebster Award


    1. Thanks, Amber! I love that we are sporting the same blog template ;)

  5. Your room is my dream classroom. So many ideas. I am student teaching this fall for my masters, and can't wait to have my own room again! Lindsey from Babies, Books, and Beyond

  6. Love the chevron in drawers! Such a great idea to use border instead of ink, maybe I'll finally commit to labeling my drawers ;)
    These are pix of my class:
    First Grade Dual

  7. Hi, I'm blogging about teacher and student achievement and wondered if I could use a photo of a classroom from your blog. Elizabeth www.

  8. Contents on this blog usually are beneficial and appreciative. Appreciate it with regard to discussing. teacher tag, teacher tag sale, the teacher store, the teacher tag


Thank you for taking time to comment. We love feedback!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.