Classroom Reveal!

You would think that after doing this for 20 years, I'd be able to get my room set up in a day or so. But nope, two weeks later and I STILL have little odds and ends to finish up. It's ok. It's my home away from home for 9 months, so I don't mind the time investment. I want it to be bright and cheery and homey for me and most importantly for my kids. I think I'm just about there...

Here's what I walked into. Pretty typical - mish mashy furniture on this side and all my boxes piled up on the other side. Love my vinyl decal trees that live in my library (via Target).  Those were the start of what I call my "Accidental Owl Theme". I never really had a classroom theme, but you'll see that owls and birds just kind of slowly invaded my classroom, so I'm rolling with it but I really don't want to be the crazy owl lady who gets a ton of owl gifts because everyone thinks I have a thing for owls...

This is the view walking into the room and looking right. My little library. That rug was my first Donor's Choose donation. The baskets are from Dollar Tree and holding up way better than I expected!
The little green stools are from Ikea. Directors chair from Pier One.

The little bookshelf with the vine decals on the side was in my grandmother's house from before I was born. I inherited it when she passed. My book baskets fit in there perfectly! It's nice to have such a sentimental piece in my room...

Lamp and decals from Target, solar lantern from Ikea, library labels from me (but I can't share them because they have images that I don't have permission to share. Sadsville). I added a basket for scrapbooks and yearbooks. Kids love to look at those and it's so much better than letting them become dust collectors on the shelf <--the scrapbooks, not the kids...

My new clip chart from Pink Cat Studio on tpt with washi tape covered clothespins -tape from Downtown Tape.  (I'm starting to see why setting up my room is taking so long...)

Our Behavior Bingo is just below our clip chart.

This wall needs some love. That chart is our our schoolwide Sunshine Math program. It needs a title or something. Next to the bathroom door is my birthday poster, also from Pink Cat. I still have to finish adding the names. The bins are from Target and I use them to hold extra supplies once the kids bring them in.

 My student work bulletin board that I LOVE. It's from the Boho Birds collection from Carson Dellosa.
 I used glue dots to adhere thumbtacks to the back of the clothespins, and then added a bird to the front. Changing out student work is super simple!

My computer corner, which looks a lot more impressive than it is. I'm pretty sure those computers are older than my students, but we make it work...

My task card bulletin board and brain beads wall. You can read more about that here.

I use this big book stand that I rescued from the trash(!?) to hold my Zoobooks. I can not say Zoobooks without thinking of this video...

This is part of the open shelving that runs along one wall of my room. I'm so thankful for the storage, but I kind of wish it had doors although it's easy to grab things this way. Those craft bins need a serious cleaning out but I just haven't had the time. So many of my amazing parents want to come in and volunteer already that I'm thinking this might be a good job for them :)

My horseshoe table from Donor's Choose with Marius stools from Ikea. The pink chevron basket is from Lowes and the pink organizer is from The Container Store. Each desk also has one of those for supply caddies.

I found this little stationery organizer in Home Goods a while ago and almost threw it out when I realized it would be perfect to hold these little goodies!

This is my new super favorite area. I've had these buckets from Dollar Tree for a few years. They were just stashed away in my closet almost ready to hit the "Free to a Good Home" pile, when I realized they'd be great for holding these manipulatives. Easy to grab and pass out or for the kids to go and get what they need. I made those labels in Powerpoint. You can download them here from Google Docs. There's a little note on the first page about how to customize them.

And how awesome are these fabric cubes in the shelves? I loooove that they fit so perfectly. I still need to make some labels. I have cubes for legos, pop cubes, math games, literacy centers, geography games...some are storage for me, some are for the kids to grab and use. Definitely my new favorite addition.

You can see I used ball chain keychains to attach the labels. This just makes it so much easier if I want to change things around. Plus I just like the look. I'm also loving my new extra crayon drawers. You can grab the labels from Google Docs here.

My work/copy baskets which are in serious need of a makeover but I love the color and size. Next to that is Cheer-up Chicken and my mondo collection of read alouds and mentor texts.

My's massive and I hate how much room it takes up. I do love my Tiffany blue computer case from Kuzy.

This is our gathering place. Easel from Ikea, ottoman from Walmart. Adorable Daily 5 posters ready for the first day thanks to Lori at Teaching with Love and Laughter. You can grab those here.

My Smartboard which hasn't worked right in about a year and a half. I'm about to ask them to take it out. It's so sad, but I'd rather have whiteboard space to write on than that big honkin board that just takes up space. I'm hoping they'll finally be able to fix it soon.

Love these clocks! Got them at Walmart for about $4 each. They're set to the times for lunch, specials, and recess. I need to make new signs for them that match a little better and also have the digital time so that they start to recognize the analog and digital times. Below that are my free Mazano level of understanding posters, which you can grab here.

Almost done! I didn't get a good full-on picture of this area. Those little tables are also from Ikea. That's a magnetic curtain rod for holding anchor charts on the board. Next to that is my 9-cube cubby from Lowes that perfectly hold my book boxes! If you look closely under my whiteboard ledge, you'll see racks of coat hooks. Hubs installed those for the kids to hang their backpacks. One of the best things I've ever one!  There's my impulse buy duck that really has no purpose, but I love him anyway. I also bought a new calendar from Really Good Stuff this year that has the days printed on it! No more changing the days for me every month! Yahoo! It also has a fun fact of the day and came with stickers for birthdays and holidays. Loving that! There's my Magic 8 Ball. Every year the kids love that thing! No joke. This year at meet & greet I had a whole gob of kids all grouped around something and when I went to check it out, it was the 8 Ball! Not the ipads, not the computers, not the games, not the Cheer-up was the old-school shake it up Magic 8 Ball!

This is the last corner. That sign was from when I was teacher of the year for the Miami Herald in my first year of teaching. I guess I peaked early. I only keep it up there because everyone gets a kick out of my 80's do. I should probably add my more recent T.O.Y plaque there too. The sign above that is a little canvas I saw at Walmart.

This is a full view from the front door. It looks like a giant room, but the picture is deceiving. It's not tiny, but it's not as big as it looks here.  I went to tables this year instead of desks and I love how much more open it looks! I put one of my crate seats at each table to store their books. I also ordered seat sacks from Chair Pockets on Etsy so that each kid has a little place of their own for their pencil case, writer's notebook, etc.  I'm really groovin' on the idea of flexible learning spaces right now, and my new principal totally supports it! Anyone remember the movie Weird Science, where the kids build their perfect woman on the computer and then she comes to life? Well, that's kind of how I feel about my new principal, seriously. For real. Don't hate me, I've waited 20 years for a principal like this. I have had other great principals, but there's just something different going on here now that I love.

For meet and greet each student got a little goody bag. It just makes it so much easier to make sure everyone takes home what they're supposed to!

This is what was inside: My Ready Confetti poem, magnet with our class blog and other contact info, school brochure, and their very first brag tag from Imagestuff.

I came up with this poem last minute and just printed it on cardstock. I'm hoping it saves me from having to attch 18 of them to backbacks myself, plus it explains what it is a little. I'm pretending that soon and room rhyme (poetic license & all that).

Two more little tidbits for you. Did you see that Pinterest has a set of  boards just for teachers? Here's the whole scoop, but in a nutshell, the boards have a few collaborative pinners chosen my Pinterest, who then gathered up some responsible pinners to join them. We stick to one theme and don't promote paid products or product posting, just great classroom ideas. I'm lucky enough to pin to the Classroom Decor and Classroom Management boards. Check it out! case you haven't heard, the big Back to School sale on TpT is this weekend. My wish list currently has 196 items on it. I think I better narrow that down a bit...


  1. I love your room!!! All my favorite colors and I love the accidental owl theme {you will get tons of owl gifts!!} I think my favorite part is the tape on your clothespins ;)

  2. I love everything about your classroom, so happy and sunny and bright, just like you :)

  3. A.MA.ZING!!! I want to be in your class...better yet I want to hire you to decorate my room! It looks beautiful! Those kids are lucky to have you!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  4. Your room is sooo cute! I love the owls and I never thought to hang other clocks to show important times during the day - what a great idea.
    Teachin' First

  5. Your rooms looks wonderful. Wishing you a great school year.

  6. I love your room! Where did you get those awesome tables! I love your book area too! I need to redo mine so I will make that my goal this year. Thanks for all the ideas! I repinned so many!

  7. Bright and beautiful! Excellent job!!

    ❤ -Stephanie
    Falling Into First

  8. Love it! My favorite things:
    -Your student work board: I love how having the birds on the clothespins gives them a "flying" effect.
    -The clocks: I've seen this all over Pinterest with the cheap fake clocks, but I love the idea of using real ones.
    -The ottoman for your "teacher chair": I love sitting low to the ground, but not on the floor. I may have to steal this one!

  9. Your room looks makes me wish I could get into mine. You are would think after a bizillion years we would get our room complete in one day! I am heading into my 32nd year..and let's just say it takes me days to get it just right.
    Cheers to a great year. Hope it's a hoot!


  10. I love the brightness and organization of your room. The thumbtack and clothes peg idea is BRILLIANT!!!!!
    Terri's Teaching Treasures

  11. It looks so good Denise!!! I love everything!

  12. My headache got worse looking at your room & realizing that I haven't even THOUGHT of my own, lol. It looks great!! =)

  13. Wow!!! can Katelyn be in your class next year?

  14. Wow!!! can Katelyn be in your class next year?

  15. Your room looks amazing!!! It looks great! :) I think my wishlist is about as long as yours! :)

    Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten

  16. Your room looks so good!! It looks great! Yay for having an awesome principal!

  17. I absolutely LOVE your room. What is the book behind the Bananagrams banana? Is that a book about Bananagrams? I love that game. Your clock idea is genius, I just saw those clocks in WalMart too. They would fit my colors perfect. I pinned that idea already. I see what you're a collaborator on the Classroom Decor Pinterest board for teachers. This is an amazing room. I love the brag tag idea. How else can your kiddos earn them?
    Thanks for sharing.


  18. Your room is lookin' great, Denise!! Your post reminded me about the Brag Tags I've had sitting in a bag for months! Thanks! Ha :)
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  19. Looks fantastic Denise! Your library area is so special - bet your students will love it too!

  20. Just loving your room...thanks for the magnetic bar idea...and I just ordered a magic 8 ball. Now I'll have all the answers!!~

  21. Your room looks wonderful! You always make me laugh.....I too take longer each year to set up. I stumbled into an owl theme a couple of years ago and oh my, I am now the crazy old owl lady and receive extraordinary owl gifts now that this theme has exploded ! Thanks for the smile :)

  22. Your room is BEAUTIFUL!!! TY so much for sharing it with all of us out here in "the cloud", :O)

  23. Oh how I wish we worked together. Loved coming over to your room today!!!! Looks fantastic! Have a great first day Denise!

  24. I love your room!!! How did you make your crate seats that lift up?

  25. Amazing! I am an English teacher in Russia and a teacher of primary school/ I am impressed by your classroom! Marvelous! Nice to meet you!


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