Holidays & Seasons,Management & Organization

Classroom Reveal 2016-2017

As my little sister would say, this post is a million years late!  I got into the classroom mid August and started prepping, but then September rolled around and the business of teaching took over.  It is Saturday, I am sick with a head cold, and I finally have the time to sit and write this post.  I can’t wait to show you!

A bright colors elementary classroom reveal filled with pictures and tips for teachers during the back to school season.

I am very excited to show you my classroom because for the first time in 5 years, I have changed my classroom theme. I had a ladybug theme year after year, hence the reason why my blog was aptly named BuggyForFirst for some time.  In keeping with the bug theme, this year I transitioned the classroom over to bees and I couldn’t be happier.  The yellow is vibrant and feels conducive to learning.  Of course, there is the added bonus that my blog and brand reflect all things bees.

This teacher organized everything in her classroom so well. Filled with ideas on how to design a classroom so that every area is used well and is helpful for student learning.

Admittedly, my classroom is quite large, but I also have large and bulky furniture that makes our space a bit tight at times.  The high ceilings and the hardwood floors coupled with the sunshine that comes in through the windows, makes the space “homey”, which I love.

After years of having an unorganized library without a proper system, I finally put a labeling system into place.  I am so very happy with the final look and feel of the space, and if I’m being honest, I wish I had a space like this one in my home.
The library labeling system is so well thought out. My students would be so comfortable in this reading nook and would know exactly how to organize the books the correct way.
I also like to write on the windows and for that I use the window markers used on cars. I buy them at Michael’s.
Such a cozy classroom library nook. Makes me want to grab a book and relax.
I love this colorful morning meeting area. Students probably love to sit and learn in this area.
In my library, I use a leveling system so that the students are always reading at their instructional level.  I tell them which level they can read from, but they also have the opportunity to pick just right books from my library area that is not leveled.  This way they are reading books that they really enjoy as well as books that I know they are able to read, thereby fostering their love of reading as well as preventing frustration.
I started using Brag Tags from Lucky Little Learners last year and my kids loved it!  I can’t wait to use them again this year and encourage my kiddos to strive.
Morning Meeting time is so important in the elementary classroom. A dedicated area for morning meeting fosters a sense of community for the students and teacher.
This is the area of our classroom where we meet for Morning Meeting and for whole group math and ELA.  I know I have claimed “favorite area” already, but I really love this area also.  I love coming together with the kids to discuss our learning and to spend time together.  Our Focus Wall, Calendar, and Portable Word Wall are right in the front of the class for easy student reference.  This part of our classroom is the heart of it.  It is where we spend most of our time together.
A focus wall is so important to drive daily instruction. It helps to keep the teacher on track and the students always know what is on the schedule for the day and what to look forward to in their learning.
Our focus wall is an integral part of our learning.  Everything we will be learning for the entire week is always posted.  I change the information every Friday after school to get us ready for the new week. The Focus Wall Headers, Genre Posters, and Phonics Posters are found in my TPT shop.  The Comprehension Posters are from Amy Groesbeck and the Grammar Posters and Mathematical Practices are from Simply Creative Teaching. The Whole Brain Teaching Posters above the Focus Wall are a freebie in my store.
Some classroom are small or have limited wall space. If that's the case, this idea of putting learning tools and resources low on the wall is fantastic.
I have limited wall space in my classroom because of all the windows, big closet space and various doors.  I also do not like to clutter my walls because it can be overwhelming for both myself and the students.  With this idea in mind, I decided to make a lot of our reference tools in miniature size, put them in binder rings and hang them up. They are not at eye level, are not overwhelming or distracting, but the students know the tools are there and use them when they need it.  These resources are in the front of the room by my morning meeting area but are kept low.
Pictured are my Portable Word Wall, Number Posters, and the 7 Step Vocabulary Process Posters that are a freebie in my store as well as the Grammar Posters from Simply Creative Teaching.
For detailed information on how and why I use a portable word wall, read 4 Reasons I Switched to a Portable Word Wall and Never Looked Back.
This writing station looks like a dream! My students would love sitting there and writing all of their thoughts. Narratives never looked so good.
I got a brand new teacher desk and since I don’t use a desk, I decided to let the kiddos have it.  Brand new pair of stools, some writing materials, and we have ourselves a writing station!
As the year goes along and I introduce the different types of writing and the traits, I start making a life size rubric and posting it so that the students know the expectation.  It worked wonders last year.
One of my goals is to always utilize the space we are given to provide learning opportunities for the students.  The closet was the perfect place to put this table in. This area serves dual purpose.  It will be the listening to reading area as well as the STEM area.  I am so thrilled to use the STEM bins from Teach Outside the Box.  I have a feeling my kiddos are going to love it!
A growth mindset helps students to get ready for learning. Introduce them to the power of yet and growth.
In our classroom we practice a growth mindset and I also use Whole Brain Teaching.  This year I am combining the idea of Growth Mindset together with the Super Improvers.  Pictured above is the wall where I will be putting up our super improvers goals.  Above that area, I posted some Growth Mindset Posters I created.
Look at our big Mistake Quote Banner.  We got that beauty from the fabulous Ms. Vee.  It is a freebie in her store!
When everything is labeled and in its place, it makes for a smoother teaching day.
This is the truth!  Guys, I live off of bins and labels. I’m the Monica from Friends of Classroom Organization.  I wish the same skills transferred over to my kitchen, but it just hasn’t happened yet.  When everything is labeled and in its place, it makes for a smoother teaching day.  I am a self proclaimed label snob.  Label ALL the things and I’m happy.
This is it!  Hope you enjoyed this classroom reveal. I can’t wait to see pictures of other classrooms plastered all over Instagram!
Happy School Year,
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