Sunday, October 12, 2014

Classroom Tour 2014

I've been meaning to do this post for like forever!  

But of course, time got away from me.

I totally agree with this statement!  Like most OCD teachers, I feel so much better if my classroom is neat, organized, clutter-free, and of course cute.  I mean, as teachers we definitely spend more waking hours in our classroom than we do at home.  So it might as well look and feel the way you want.

At the end of every school year, we have to pack everything up and get it off the floor so that our floors can be waxed.  I also have an entire wall that is made up of windows, so I try to cover every bulletin board in my classroom to minimize the fading that inevitably happens.

So here is what my room looked like when I left for the summer.

When I'm allowed back in, usually the middle of July, I always think that it will take no time at all to put back together.  I'll just put everything back where it was, right?

And that would have been super easy.  But I decided my room was due for a major overhaul.  

So after spending WAY too much time in this classroom, things are still not exactly how I want them.  Such is life.  My classroom is and always will be a work in progress. 

Welcome to my classroom...
 Let's start with the bulletin boards in the hallway outside my classroom.  I usually display some form of seasonal work on this bulletin board and only change it out once a month.  For September I used this super cute scarecrow craft from Miss Kindergarten.

My star student board!  
Each week I display a new student.  I send home little papers several weeks in advance asking for responses to the questions and pictures.  I have at least 3 students ready to go at all times just in case someone doesn't turn one in.  This way I can skip the one that doesn't turn in their responses and move on to the next student.  I will then display the skipped student whenever they finally send in their responses and pictures.

I display student work on these clotheslines outside on the wall as well.  I change the work out weekly.  My school follows PBIS so the pink things on some of the pages are principal incentive bucks that she puts on the best papers.  You can also see where my students hang their backpacks.

My little cart outside my door.  
This cart used to have a sign-out sheet for students who were picked up before nap.  My county used to allow kindergarten students to be signed-out at the classroom at 2pm if the parents chose for their child not to take a nap.  The students who rode buses, went to SAC, or whose parents couldn't come pick them up, would take a nap and then be released at 2:45.  That is no longer allowed, all students must stay until 2:45, but I still use the cart to display my monthly Subway Art and to use for occasional sign-ins or sign-outs during parties. 

I also love displaying my crayon wreath made for me by an awesome parent 3 years ago!

I love this "We Love Kindergarten" banner from Babbling Abby's Crazy for Kinders Unit.
I sent one pennant home with each child at the very beginning of school for them to decorate at home with their parents.

If you walk into my room and turn right, this is what you'll see.  I love my focus board.  I revamped all of my bulletin boards this summer and this is one of my favorite new additions.  I love being able to display fun anchor charts that show parents, students, and my administrators what we are learning about.  Having everything hanging in one place also makes it really easy to review and remind students what we are learning about.  The little table in front is where my fabulous document camera lives, as well as my remotes for my Promethean board, document camera, and DVD player.

I used some medium sized clothespins from Hobby Lobby and they work perfectly.  Big enough to hold up my charts, but not too heavy for my ribbons.  To hang up the ribbons I just tucked the ends of the ribbons under the border and stapled.  So far they have held up very well.

This little shelf is another new addition to my room this year.  It came from Walmart and was pretty easy to put together.  I wanted a little station beside my document camera.

The baskets on top have everything I might need when using my document camera.  I got tired of getting up to go get a crayon or my stapler last year. So I bought extras of everything this year so that they are all within reach.
Love it!

I also keep my word wall cards tucked in the corner so that I know exactly where they are at all times and can access them easily. 

This is how everything looks on my little shelf. 

I've ventured into the word of interactive journals this year and love it!

I've been creating my own prompts for my math journals, but for my Phonics journals I've been using Cara Carroll's Interactive Alphabet Notebook.

My kids love them!  We do 1-2 alphabet activities per day for the letter of the week.  It just takes 2-3 min.

On the wall above my little shelf is my transportation chart.  I love this little pennant banner.  I just wish I would've used smaller clothespins because so many of my kids are car riders.  I think the medium sized clothespins I use on my focus board would work perfect.  But I mod-podged a zillion clothespins this summer and I'm just too lazy to mod-podge anymore right now.  So these clothespins will just have to work for now.

Here's the smaller clothespins.  
There are actually ones even smaller than this.  They are tiny and cute!

On either side of my door are my filing cabinets.  
My little communication station (post coming soon) and a fun Halloween painting sit up on top of this one.

The other filing cabinet is where our nametags hang out.  My kids wear nametags to lunch and encore for the first 9 weeks of school.  This gives the encore teachers and lunchroom assistants time to learn their names.

This is actually just a plain medium sized pocket chart, hung upside down.  
This makes it super easy for my students to get their own nametags before we go to encore and then hang them back up when we come back from lunch.

We are currently on fall break, so I sent all the nametags home before we left school last Friday.

 I have some allergies in my room this year, so I printed the little no milk and no nuts symbols on sticker paper and stuck them onto the nametags.  This helped remind the lunch assistants about the allergies.

Here is a view of the front of my classroom.  You can see my Promethean board, listening center, and puzzle center.

There is a reason have material around my Promethean board.  When the maintenance workers installed my board during Christmas break in 2008, they tore the whiteboard down and installed the board in its place.  I thought they were going to install the board over the whiteboard.  So imagine my shock when I walk into my classroom and behind the left side of the Promethean board are wood planks and behind the right side of the board are concrete slabs.  I could not handle looking at that all day.  So I stapled, the material on the left side to the wooden planks and hot glued the material on the right side to the concrete slabs.  That material has now been there for almost 6 years and is still holding strong!

I like it because it kind of looks like a frame around the board.

My writing center!  Love it.  
The picture cards come from DeeDee Will's Writing Work Stations for October.  I used the tiny clothespin to attach the picture cards to the ribbons.

 I love my counter space!  
This counter holds the tubs for our BEE Books, our mailboxes, my fridge and microwave, and all of my construction paper. 
I also like to decorate my ugly blinds with some seasonal posters.

 My classroom was build in the 1920's and the paint around my windows is always peeling.  I got tired of looking at it and having to clean up the paint flakes (probably has lead in it) so I hot glued a cute chevron board to cover it up.  I just wish I would have thought of that 9 years ago when I moved into this classroom.

 I love these candy corn sun catchers.  I especially love the fall leaves on the ground in the background.

I got the idea from Maria Manore at Kinder-craze.  She has her students do cute seasonal sun catchers and displays them on her windows.  Well I've got tons of window space!  So this summer I came up with a different window decoration for each month of the school year.

 I now have a ridiculous amount of clip art, so I whipped up these cute labels last summer so that the kids could get supplies when they needed them.

 I love my Boo Boo Box!

My kids know exactly where to go when they need their inhaler or a band-aid, with permission and supervision of course.

We also have an Epi-pen but that stays at the front of the room so we can grab it on the way to lunch.

 Here we have my small group table, bathrooms, and behavior charts.

 Behind my desk.

Snack supplies (more clip art fun), teacher binders, teacher manuals, assessment tub.

 This is the "I Love Lakeshore" part of my classroom.  

Not really, but I do love Lakeshore.

My ridiculous amount of Mailbox books, extra field trip t-shirts, End of the Year files, and extra stuff.

 Lesson plans stay on the end of the blue cubbies.  I never really look at them but they have to be "displayed."

Click here for my free lesson plan template.  It's actually color, but when I get lazy I just print it on the school printer in black and white.

 The table beside my desk has my weekly organizer drawers, Mailbox books I use most often, and binders for our End of the Year books.

 I spray painted these 3-drawer organizers purple, then mod-podged the organizer labels on the front of the drawers.


 These tubs contain my seasonal decor.  

In other words it looks like Hobby Lobby exploded inside each tub.

 More clip art fun!

 My calendar mtg board.  
This entire board is magnetic.  So everything, even the material and border, is being held up by tons of little magnets.

I also do calendar work on the Promethean board, but I wanted calendar info that could stay up all day so the kids could refer back to it if they needed too.

I always keep each day's work drawer beside my rocking chair.  This way all the books and materials I need for the day are close by and ready to go.

 Blocks centers, schedule cards, center cards.

 I love these magnetic baskets to hold my extra center and schedule cards.

 My favorite Word Wall and reading center ever!

 View of the room from the door.

View from the back!

Hope you enjoyed this tour of my classroom! 


  1. Hi! I love your room! Where did you get the white divided bookcases that hold your center tubs? I have 25 kinders and would love to do 6 groups. How long is your center time? We usually do centers for 1 hour so I can meet with Guided Reading Groups. I need to figure out how to do this and make it last an hour. Any suggestions? I purchased your center pack and print, laminated and cut it out. Thanks, Leanne My email is

    1. Hey Leanne, all the white cubbies are from Kmart a few years ago. I'm sure you could find them at Lowes or Walmart too though. My centers used to last for an hour. But we've implemented RTI2 (squared) this year, so that has cut my center time down to 45 min. I'll email you with some suggestions for your centers.