Today Sara is taking over for me while I'm still busy, busy with our county fair! She just got her FIRST EVER teaching job so give her a big congrats! She will be great, don't you agree?! She has some great tips on classroom setup today! Read on . . .
Hey y’all! I’m Sara from Miss V’s Busy Bees. Lisa was so kind as to allow me to guest blog for her while she’s away this week! So, Lisa, thank you!
I’m here to give y’all some ideas for back to school decoration and organization. Being that I just got my very first classroom (!!!), I’m on the lookout for great ways to keep my classroom in order and everything visually appealing so the students feel as though they are at home for the 7 hours a day that they are with me!
Some classrooms have loads of room, wall space, and cabinets for storing stuff. Others, not so much. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll have, so I’m preparing for both until I get to go into my class on Monday!
For those of you that have loads of room, get a rug! Do you remember when you were in school and they’d have you sit on the floor? Some of my teachers had us sit on the LITERAL floor, no rug, so it was not as comfy nor as warm (especially with tile floors… chilly!) and I would have loved it had they had a rug. The rugs don’t have to be super fancy or decorative, just a general rug will do! You’ll likely be spending loads of time where this rug is, so you want to be comfortable, too!
Beyond rugs, what about how do you store your books? Some people use book bins, some use bookshelves, or a combination of both. I personally will be likely using a combination of both. Providing students bins that are labeled allows them to see what books are where in the library. If they want to read a book about Autumn (or Fall), they don’t have to go through the 7 shelves to find that book… instead they go to the bin labeled Autumn (or Fall) and look for a book that they see interest in.
Once you’ve got your classroom library set up, it’s on to the easy-peasy stuff! HAH. If anyone knows me, this whole process will actually prove difficult because I’m a perfectionist! And I have a little OCD… therefore things have to have ORDER.
Next is the classroom supplies. Where do you store your classroom supplies? We learned all throughout college that you should put supplies to where students are able to access them should they need to. With permission from the teacher first, of course. But, you could also create mini toolboxes like one of my favorite bloggers from Ladybug’s Teacher Files did for her students! This gives access to supplies immediately by having these toolboxes placed directly at student desks, decreasing the amount of interruptions from getting up to get supplies when needed. Beyond this, you could potentially put bins in your drawers to keep things like erasers, pencils, glue, and other kinds of things sorted out and easy to get a hold of when necessary.
But, what do you do about those supplies that just don’t fit in bins or in the mini-student toolboxes that are above? Well, you can always get desk caddies or have students carry their supplies in supply boxes, which they can decorate of course! In my 2nd grade internship, we had it to where our students could decorate supply boxes for their desks but we did not have it to where supplies were readily available for students to grab. Something to consider!
Okay, so now our rug, library, and supplies are out of the way. Now what? Well, bulletin boards! If you’ve got these in your classroom, they’re like real estate! These spots are FANTASTIC for displaying a variety of things… star students, great work, literature/math/science/social studies boards, anchor chart displays, etc. So, I personally will be taking pride in how I decorate my boards. Instead of putting up the typical long sheets of paper, a lot of educators are now putting up fabric for the year. Some companies have come out with FADELESS fabric… how awesome to use from year to year?! Regardless, there are sooo many different types of fabric out there, it would be easy to match your theme or color scheme to help make the classroom feel like home – cozy, colorful, and conducive to learning! Besides fabric, borders make the bulletin boards complete, but obviously, they’re not required! If you like the way your boards look with paper, no paper, fabric, no fabric, borders, no borders… that’s totally fine! These are just some ideas, of course!
Your bulletin boards are done, your library is set for reading, you have a rug to gather on for group time, and your supplies are ready for the first day! Now what? Well, let’s talk about our walls! Some teachers decorate to the extreme (which is totally okay!!), some teachers decorate with a few things (also totally okay), some with nothing at all (finally, totally okay)! How you decorate your walls or not decorate our walls is up to you. But, here’s some ideas: word walls, alphabet posters, numerical posters, posters about the writing process, IPICK posters for reading, science/social studies vocabulary or concepts, student jobs, rules & procedures, or any other sorts of things! This gives students something to view if they are visual learners rather than hands-on or auditory learners. Having a visual always helps me, too!
The last thing I want to discuss is the teacher’s desk! Some have them, some don’t! Some use them, some don’t. I’m going to be the teacher that has the desk for my personal things… stapler (because we all know that goes missing!!), tape, my personal toolbox, storage for papers and notes and what not, and other such things. It’s going to be the place I can sit down at the end of the day at and breathe. It’s not going to be cluttered, it’s going to be cleeeean. Therefore, I might need something like storage trays, pencil holders, paper clips, binder clips, notepads, etc. This will be the place that’s “off limits” without permission from me specifically… my place of zen if you will! But, it will not be my place during the daytime... I’ll be walking around discussing and observing and listening. Check out some of my favorite ways to organize and keep my desk neat & tidy so I can work at it after the school day has ended by looking at some of the idea pictures below.
So, now you know how I’m going to be setting up parts of my room! Of course, not all rooms are set up this way… some with more decoration, organization, and so forth while others may not have as much decoration, organization, and so on. To each his (or her) own in the way that you organize and decorate your classroom. It’s not a race or a competition… it’s all about making it comfortable for you and your students since you’re there at least 1/3 of the day while the other 1/3 of a day is spent sleeping! HAH… that’s a whole other topic!
How did you decorate your classroom this year? How will you decorate it if you haven’t already? How will you ensure that it stays organized so you can find where you put everything? Let me know through comments… I’d love to hear a variety of ideas and thoughts!
Have a good day, y’all!