Friday, August 9, 2013

Classroom Organization in Pictures

In between all the Summer fun, I have been slowly poking away at my classroom for the new school year.  We don't start for another couple weeks!  My mom and I have been busy preparing and I thought I would show you some of what we have done.  I am not ready for the full tour just yet, but some of the areas were ready to share!
This bulletin board is in the back corner.  I know it isn't the best photography, but we used a garden hose for a border.  The shapes, colors, and coins are all plants and the titles are on garden tools and seed packets.
 The background is a textured soft paper.
 The classroom library and reading area has a new soft rug (like long grass) with fresh fun fabrics!
 I recovered my ottoman footstools too! I adore this floral fabric I got at hobby lobby!
 The sun was beating in so I closed the light gray blinds.  I made this laminated paper pennant with a hole punch and twine.  Below it, I will have another line of twine and clothespins for my student's artwork through the year!  It will add color to the gray backdrop.

The writing center has a pull out table that will help with crowding and space.  My mom is the genius who thought of this one.  I was caught off guard that I had to have both of these extra tables in the room.  Now I am so glad I had that problem!  As a child you would not have been able to get me out of this area of the classroom!

I used Cupcake's Writing Center for my bulletin board.
This adorable and free pencil came from  Cara and Lindsey.  You can check it out here.
 Next, I have my sink area which also houses my science safety goggles. 
above the sink, I have storage rubbermaids.  I made some matching labels which immediately created a calm organized look.  I think my shoulders relaxed almost instantly after these bad boys went up there.  

This little area is near the doorway of the classroom.  It will hold the student book boxes for our literacy block as well as our extra classroom supplies.  I would love suggestions for what to put in this cork board frame!  So far I am thinking of hanging my diploma and certifications.  Thoughts?  I would love the area to be useful for the kids, but it isn't very large.  I don't like messy bulletin boards so I don't want to have a hodge podge of things here.  I want whatever it is to stay there for the year. 

Moving down the wall, you will find the word wall.  It now has a few kinder words up for my firsties to use the first week of school, and then at the end of the word wall is my new math wall! 

Our math wall is a new focus for us this year.  We are not focusing on calendar activities here, but more of our math vocab and important concepts.  

 If you click the picture below, you can get the first three weeks of my math unit for free.  It has 4 essential questions, 4 big ideas, many concept posters, and 15 math words and their definitions.  I have the entire first semester finished and in my TpT shop!

This is my math center area right here next to my math wall.  It has our math tubs and all the manipulatives below them!  I am excited about this area because I have been using up an entire cupboard housing all these materials, and now I don't have to do that!

Here's a peek into the first week of math tubs.  These will be the tubs that my students do while they learn the procedures for math centers for the year.  It's mostly free exploration, but as we discuss how to use the materials, they are praised and encouraged for their math talk and their thinking.  We reflect out to the group about how we were able to use the manipulatives to think mathematically.  It challenges students to push beyond the urge to just play.

Tub 1 Pattern blocks and sticker pattern cards
 Tub 2 Dinosaurs and work mats.
Students make the connection to add dinos to the wagon and then take some away.  It is adding and subtraction in play form.

 Tub 3 Snap Cubes
 Tub 4 Sorting cases.  The colored cards are for sorting mats.  They will naturally want to sort and place them on different cards.  I don't tell them what the cards are for and if they ask I just ask them what they think they could be for.
 Tub 5 Bears
 Tub 5 Dominoes

Another little organization tip, is to organize your math and literacy centers by skill or month, and then lay them sideways in your file drawers.  I do not have many paper files anymore since most of my lessons are housed on my computer.  Since we have two tall towers of file drawers, I decided to make use of them this way.  The drawers are so long that you can even set special supplies or manipulatives in the back!  

Well I am anxious to finish up the rest of the room, but I am trying to take it slowly and get myself organized!  More to come for sure! Talk to you soon!


  1. Beautiful!!!!!!! You did it again, Reagan!!! :) I love it all.

  2. Very nice!! I am dreading sorting my manipulatives as I have moved from K to 2nd... I like your suggestion for the lg manilla folders...

  3. Everything is soooo darling! I love your theme, and you made it look fantastic!

  4. You're room looks great! Your class is going to love learning here!
    As for your board by the door, could you put class pictures on it?
    Thanks for sharing your room:)

  5. Wow, I would love to be a student in your classroom!

  6. Such an inviting space for learning and I love the creative decorating ideas!!

  7. I love the garden theme your room has going on! I have a garden/flower theme as well, and I love love love it! I may need to steal a few of your ideas. :-)

    I also love how you stored your math stuff. That is a great idea! I almost never use my filing cabinet, so this is a much better idea that doesn't waste space!

    Blooming In First

  8. So so so adorable! Glad I didn't get my writing center up yet because I am just going to copy yours! :) I already own everything but the pennant but needed inspiration :) maybe you could put inspirational quotes on the cork board that change every month. Thanks for sharing your room!

  9. Cool idea for storing centers in filing cabinets! I might have to try that. Thanks!!

  10. Your room looks awesome! I love the garden hose...what a cute touch!

  11. So cute! Thanks for sharing your room with us! Love it!
    In regards to your frame that you need to fill, how about pictures of the kids. Maybe make or buy paper frames and just change the pictures. I have a few picture frames in my reading and math corner, with pictures of my kiddos and they LOVE seeing themselves.... and love seeing the pictures change. At the end of the year, I send the pics home with them.
    Thanks again!
    K&C Love Grade 3

  12. Your room is too cute! I love how you used the hose! Your reading area is to die for!


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  14. Looks AWESOME! Those kinders are so lucky! Thanks for the ideas for my classroom!

    Elementary Expedition

  15. Really cute room. I haven't been able to get into my room all summer! QUESTION:Are your boxes for your literacy block from IKEA? Did you cover them?


  16. Wow! Your room looks amazing already. You're so talented. I have two tables in my room that I didn't know what to do with them but I do now. Thanks for sharing.

    The Learning Chambers

  17. It's looking great. How about putting inspirational reading quotes around the corkboard? Just a thought.


  18. You new room looks AMAZING!!! I knew it would!!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  19. Great room set up! Thanks for the math freebie too. It is perfect for my intro. to math "mini-unit" at the beginning of the year!

  20. Room looks great! I was in Hobby Lobby today and saw that chevron ribbon that you have around your math board- I also saw some new glittery wiry chevron ribbon that called my name- you confirmed my idea for my "impulse buys" :)
    Thanks for sharing with us!
    Shar W

  21. Love your organization! Can you tell me where you got the labels for the math manipulative tubs? I need to change mine up this year and those are cute!

  22. Your room looks wonderful! Would love for mine to look as nice. Great ideas for when I set mine up this week!

  23. That garden themed math bulletin board is adorable!! The garden hose and picket fence add the perfect touch!

    - Katy

    First Grade Kate

  24. I love the garden hose on your board. Everything looks fresh and wonderful! I think you should put up classroom pictures on your bulletin board to create a class family area. You could put pictures up of kids working together and reading together. Then they'll feel ownership of the class and enjoy getting their book boxes out when they look up to see their smiling faces. That's just my thought! :) You're going to be super ready for the beginning of the year! Good luck with everything!
    Rambling About Reading

  25. Wow. Your progress makes me want to go to my room right now and finish! I especially like the writing center you made! I'm trying to find a space in my room to designate as a writing center but can't seem to find the space... I love the idea of hiding a table that can be moved!! Great idea!! (And thanks for posting the link to the writing poster! It's now in my "to laminate" pile!!)

    Mr. First Grade

  26. I love your pattern block strips. Could you make those into a unit as a center???!!! I would love to have it. Just a thought :) Maybe you already do and I missed it!

  27. Love your reading area- so inviting! Where did you get your tub for your big books? I love it!

  28. Oh my goodness....the filing cabinet drawer idea is perfect! One of my summer projects, that I hope I still have time for, is to go through and weed out/recycle a bunch of the stuff in my filing cabinet. There are files in there that I haven't touched in years. With so much on the computer now, like you said, there just isn't a need for so much paper copies of resources!
    Thanks for sharing all of your ideas. Your room looks fantastic! :)


  29. Several weeks ago you mentioned your new theme and your garden hose idea, well, ever since then I've been looking forward to seeing all your creative and talented ideas in your new classroom! It is beautiful Reagan! It would be so fun to work with you! Blessings to you for a wonderful year!

  30. I love your room! It looks very "put together" and a fun place to learn.


    A Very Curious Class

  31. I am in love with your reading area! Your room looks beautiful!!!



  32. Your room looks absolutely amazing! It's so cute and cozy! My favorite areas are your writing area and your reading area. I like the idea of putting your diploma on the bulletin board-- I think it shows students that you are proud of your accomplishments. You could also use the board to show off student work. Can you share where you found your math tub picture labels and supply labels?

    EduKate and Inspire

  33. I love your word wall flowers. Can I find them anywhere?

  34. I can't decide which part is my favorite! I love your word wall. I love your writing center. You wouldn't have been able to get me out of there either. I love your new ottoman. I love that the big book in the back of the basket says Teeny Tiny. :)
    Seriously, amazing!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see the rest!

    1. I love it too - ALL of it!!!!! Kristin, that's the first thing I noticed in that picture and thought of you! Squirrels = Missy and Teeny Tiny {anything} = you! Reagan, I'm always astonished at your special talents....rockin' it out as always!!!!!


      Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  35. Lovely room with some great ideas!
    As for your cork board:
    -you could put the reading strategies there as they are by book boxes
    -you could put a class photo up there with everyone's name
    -if you do Daily could put the When I am reading I.... anchor chart!

    Good luck!!

  36. The "grass" pillows and chairs simply rock! I LOVE THEM!

    For your frame... did you see this?

    I love the idea of having the kids bring in a family photo... or a picture of their dog... IDK something that is THEM.

    Your room is absolutely fabulous!!!!

  37. I'm all signed up and will be the newest student in your classroom this year. I promise I won't cry on the first day so I will make it easy for you. Seriously how lucky are your students to have such a creative teacher! The hose on the bulletin board is adorable! Can't wait to see the final reveal!

    The Polished Teacher

  38. If you do classroom helpers/jobs, could you put those up on the small bulletin board? Or a book shopping schedule (when your different groups can rotate books, if you do it that way)? Or a "star student of the week"?

    Your room is so cute and cozy, love it!

  39. You're room is cozy and looks huge. Perhaps it's just the way you've set it up. Do you have student desks or tables where everyone sits at the same time for whole group guided instruction?

  40. Wow- your room is adorable & seems completely ready to me! I love it!

  41. Your classroom is absolutely adorable....and so clever. I love how you took the gardening theme through everything. Perfect!

    Fluent in Fourth

  42. Reagan!!! It looks FABULOUS!! I love everything about it!! :)

    A Day in First Grade

  43. Reagan: I love, love LOVE every little detail. Even the lamps match. {happy sigh} What a lovely place for kids... and teachers too!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  44. Can you share your flower shapes & colors that you used on the first bulletin board pictured? I have a garden theme & would love to use these.

  45. I'm kind of sort of obsessed with you!!!

  46. It's incredible, like you! Now you can head over to my new school and help me finish up in the library!
    Swersty’s Swap Shop

  47. I love your bulletin board! It super cute! Your tubs look incredible, that's one project I need to get working on.

  48. OMG!!! Can you say classroom designer? I {HEART} your classroom!

  49. LOVE your reading area! You could put up cute subway style posters on the cork board. I see them all over Pinterest, in the chalkboard style.

  50. Your room is darling and so organized!! Thank you for the free math resource!!! I like the suggestion of several others to hang a class pictures or inspirational quote on your cute cork board.
    Success In First

  51. You are so creative! I love your classroom. Thank you, also, for sharing the freebie with us.

  52. Why don't you use the small board as your Data Wall?

  53. WOW! I am totally impressed! I love it! I am moving from K to Pre-K this year and am definitely going to use some of your ideas! I love it! !!!

  54. The room looks fabulous! How about a class photo (taken on the first day) in the pin up board. It is always cute to look back and see how much everyone has grown up throughout the year.

  55. Wow great room Regan!!! I will be switching from ELA/Social Studies in 3rd grade to Math/Science in 2nd grade this fall. I will absolutely be visiting this post again and again to get more ideas on how to better organize a math room. Thanks for sharing!


  56. It's so peaceful and soothing! I love how organized and unified everything is. Thanks for sharing.

  57. Tell me that you have a copy of Mrs. Spitzer's Garden and that you're going to be reading it to your little flowers on the first day? Each and everyone will undoubtedly bloom in the fertile soil that you've prepared. You inspire and amaze me!


  58. Every year your room looks absolutely incredible, cozy, and put together. Love it!!! I have a feeling you'll be inspiring a lot of teachers with your classroom decor. :)


  59. Love your room! It is adorable and full of exciting ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  60. The idea of using the hose as a border is genius! I love it. Your room looks great!

  61. I like the idea of using the corkboard for classroom photos or a data wall. I love what you've done to the classroom but I have a question about your classroom décor last year...I was ah.mazed when I saw your classroom photos and realized sadly that I do not have a "designer's thumb." Once you got the kids into the classroom last year were you able to keep up with the organized, cohesive, and comfortable look that your classroom started with, or did the day to day grind take away from the staged, beautiful look you created?

  62. I love your classroom! Where is your rug and book boxes from?

  63. For the empty cork board, you can feature a reader of the week. Someone who is doing a great job at reading by using a new strategy, what their favorite book is, why they would recommend a book they read to the class, etc;

  64. where did you get the container for the big books?

  65. Where did you get your student book boxes? Love them!

  66. What a cute classroom! Love it! Thanks for the idea of using envelopes to store center ideas and manipulatives.