Saturday, August 23, 2014

2014 Classroom Reveal...Warning: Photo Overload!

Y'all. Can you believe we are back at school?! I'm sorry, but what happened to June and July?? I think summers get shorter when you're a teacher...just sayin'.

Anyways. Back to business! Back to school means classroom reveal photos, guys! I'm so excited to share my classroom with you guys! I love decorating my classroom almost as mush as I love teaching itself. Seriously. It's just fun. So if you're all cozied up and we go!!!!

Here's my classroom from the door. As you can tell, I don't have the biggest classroom in the world. But guess what? I make it work for me and my students, y'all! There is not one inch of my classroom that goes untouched! Ha!

Here's my actual door. Simple, cute, and colorful!

As you enter the door, I have my command center. Here you'll find lunch envelopes, tissues, disinfecting goodies, and a three-drawer organizer that my students use to turn in anything and everything (remember I'm departmentalized). I also have my reminders sign (perfect for jotting down little notes about transportation changes and announcements). Then I have this adorable 4S line posters that I got from Valerie King for FREE that you can find here.

Behind my door, the command center continues (because of security reasons, my door has to remain closed and locked, so this area is very accessible). Here I have my class schedule, gifted pull-out schedule, special of the day, lunch calendar, and.......

MY JOB CHART! Y'all. I love my job chart. I just think it's so darn adorable (but I may be biased). Last year I hung my job chart up with pretty patterned duct tape instead of using the border. I love it both ways!

On the back of my door, I have necessary forms, a clip board that has a "How We Get Home" chart on it, and a pocket chart that I use to manage absent work (which can be very overwhelming in a departmentalized classroom, especially during cold and flu season). You can read more about how I manage my absent work HERE!

Moving is my Daily 4 rotations board! On it I have 2 pocket charts: one for weekly tasks and one for my rotations schedule. I know, I know. Choice is the foundation of Daily 5. I know. I get it. But in my classroom, it just works better for me if I choose their rotation (because I group my kiddos). More on that later, though. Under my rotations board is a bookshelf that houses stuff (games, dictionaries, supplies).

Here is my pencil station. Now guys, I see tons of posts about trying to keep pencils around and managed, but no one understands the nightmare that is the great pencil battle better than a departmentalized teacher. At the beginning of last year, I started the week with 50 pencils in the can and ended the week with 5. It was insane how quickly my pencils vanished. Every time students switched classes, they took my pencils with them! Now I have figured out the most fabulous system. All it takes to keep your pencils in your classroom is a little bit of fun patterned duct tape! I just put a small flag on each pencil. Now it is really obvious when a student accidentally takes a pencil to another room and they are almost always returned as soon as possible! I started this last year (using the same tape) and now the 4th graders (my babies from last year) can spot my pencils in the hallway quicker than anyone! They've even returned a few pencils that they have found in the hallways! Love them! No more misplaced or lost pencils for me!

Next up is my technology. My precious little computer from the early 2000's :) Hey, better than no technology right?? I also plan to bring in old iPhones that I snatched up from family members to up my technology factor :)

Beside my computer desk is my writing area (which is sadly naked right now). I just can't decide how I want to set up this giant writing table. I have two milk crate stools under the table so that students will be able to write at this table once D5 really gets going. The bulletin board above the table will be strictly for writing "stuff." I got my VOICES board from the Down Under Teacher and you can get that here. I really hope I do it justice! Above my VOICES board are my writing process posters (which you can find in a fabulous pack HERE). Also, if you're wondering, those green curtains hide the ugliest AC unit you have ever seen. I just couldn't look at that thing all year. When I first moved into my room last year, it was the first thing I wanted to hide. Mr. Cain is responsible for hanging those curtains. He's the best :)

In this corner, I house a bunch of different stuff. The plastic drawers house extra supplies (I have literally no storage). The black shelf houses all my Word Work stuff. The tubs house my different Word Work stations (they're still leftover from last year because we haven't started Word Work yet).

There's my homework board! I write down all of our weekly homework on this board. Obviously, I have a BUNTING OBSESSION.

In this corner of my room, I have a shelf over my coat hooks that houses our Reading Street readers and workbooks. The white wire shelf holds all my small group goodies (I use table 4 as my small group table since we do D5 scattered throughout the room). Below the coat hooks, I have my book baggie storage for D5. You can read more about my resourceful book baggies HERE!

I numbered my coat hooks because I am too OCD to leave them unnumbered (is that a word? Whatever.).

And next you have my whole group meeting area. Love my cheetah rug! I got it for a great deal at Ross when I was still a broke first year teacher :) The meeting area is of course, centered around my Smart Board.

Now. Notice the beautiful background behind the Smart Board?? Well it didn't always look like that. This is what it looked like before.....

YIKES! I got my Smart Board back in March (PRAISE THE GOOD LORD!). But there were literally THREE (ONE, TWO, THREE) boards layered over each other where I wanted my board to go! Well they could only remove the front whiteboard so the other whiteboard and the chalkboard behind it had to stay. So they just installed my Smart Board over the old, nasty whiteboard. And from March to May, that's what I saw up there. And it made my skin crawl. So my first project this summer was covering that nasty board! So after some poster board and a little boarder, I have a gorgeous Smart Board backdrop (fancy, huh)???

To the left of my board, I have 3rd Grade Thoughts' Whole Brain Teaching Rules which you can find for FREE here.

To the right of my board, I have my happy face board (also part of Whole Brain Teaching). I keep tally of the happy faces and sad faces and the kids compete in a little class competition which I also keep track of here. The classes compete for a whole class prize every month (this month we're working on a homework pass). Finally, on top, I have my Class Dojo rewards! You can read about how I use Whole Brain Teaching and Class Dojo in my classroom and snag my Dojo Rewards Menu for free HERE!

In the next corner of my room, I have random junk (just kidding). I have a cabinet that is literally my only storage in my classroom. You don't want to see inside, trust me. I use anchor charts in my classroom so an easel is a must! When I was a first year teacher, fresh out of college, I couldn't afford a fancy pants easel. So how did I solve this problem??? Mr. Cain made me one! And even painted it my favorite color! In case you haven't worked this out yet.....he's the greatest.

Along the wall, I have three ottomans and two pillows pushed together that I call "the couch." We can pretend, right? Above the couch is my focus wall. I think it's really important that the students start learning with the end in mind, so I like them to know what standards we are working on each week. I made the bunting and I got the focus wall headers and standard cards (not pictured) from One Extra Degree HERE. They are fabulous!!! Beside my Focus Wall, I have my learning scale which you can learn more about HERE!

Next up, we have my teacher area! I love the stuff on the wall, y'all. My OU flag shows my Sooner pride, my Mrs. Cain bunting is adorable, and eventually my whole wall will be filled with "happies" from my students (I've got a great collection started for only being back for 2 weeks)! I also have my teacher toolbox and a giant printer (ignore him. He's a big, ugly monster). I'm so mad that I forgot to take a picture of my day of the week magazine file organizers! You can see them to the right on top of my filing cabinet. I store all my books and activities for the week in a magazine file for each day of the week. I glued Monday through Friday labels onto clothespins and clipped them to the front of the boxes. Totes adorbs and totes orgs (as in, organized). Just kidding. If I ever talk like that again, slap me.

And now guys......for my favorite part of my classroom.....MY CLASSROOM LIBRARY!

I just love my library. Seriously. Love. I could sit in it all day and just soak in all the beautiful, book happiness. I've got a few different book bins that I use. Chapter books are in plastic shoe boxes and baby milk crates and picture books are in dish pans (remember, last year I was a first year teacher on a BUDGET). Eventually I'll invest in pretty book bins, but for now, these work for me! I have all my books labeled by genre or topic so that students can easily find what they are interested in. All the levels of the books are on a sticker on the back of the book but I don't want students to pick books solely based on levels or points. I want them to read what they're interested in and learn to love reading! Each book has a circle garage sale price sticker on it with a number that matches the number of the box that it goes back into. This makes it easier for the kidsters to return the books to their proper bucket!

On the wall in my library, I have a few fun things. Above the bulletin board, I have Rachel Lamb's genre posters which you can find here. I just love them! So adorable! On my bulletin board, I have my CAFE board (which I'm trying for the first time this year). I mix and matched my headers and strategy cards. The headers are from Cute Classroom Creations and you can find them here and the strategy cards are from Down Under Teacher and you can find them here.

And here's a few whole class pics! Don't mind the child in the library. He is a teacher's child and was in my class last year. He was in my classroom pics last year, too :) Love him!

And there you have it, friends! That is where I teach and love and learn! I love my little piece of elementary happiness!

If you're interested, you can find all my chevron decor pictured as well as a ton more in this fabulous little chevron-y bundle! You can also purchase many of the pieces individually so make sure to explore my store! Enjoy!

If chevron isn't really your style, you can check out my Polka Dot Classroom Decor Mega Bundle! 


  1. Absolutely beautiful!!! I love what you did with the board behind your Smartboard, what a difference it makes! I love the colors you've chosen and all of your organizational signs. Happy new school year!

    1. Oh my heavens! I went to check out your blog and nearly fell out when I saw that you're Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files!! I don't know how you found my little ol' blog but I am so glad you stopped by!! Thank you for the sweet compliments! I am a HUGE fan! :)


  2. Love all of your ideas and lovely labels! Thanks so much for sharing, I'm inspired to start organizing for next year.

  3. I love your Reminders it available anywhere?

    1. Thank you! It is part of my Chevron Classroom Decor Bundle that is listed above :)

      Mrs. Cain's Creations