Saturday, February 26, 2011

Classroom Snapshots: My Educational Oasis!

I have a slight beach theme in my classroom.  Nothing over the top, because I prefer simplicity.  I also really believe in making my classroom as cozy as possible.  I use elements that lend themselves to the beach theme without totally transforming my room into a sand dune or boardwalk.  I try to use the same color on all of my bulletin boards (teal makes me think of the ocean), and I stick to a color theme for everything that goes into my room.  (Yes, my color theme matches my blog scheme.) I, of course, need a gathering place for read alouds, and I set up several areas around the room that are conducive for group work. The following pictures were mainly taken right before school started before we added anything to our word wall, CAFE menu, or book recommendation board, but you'll get the idea!  Rather than writing a narrative about how I set up my classroom, I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.  Someday, I swear I'm going to figure out a way to fit a loveseat into my classroom.  Until then, this is what I'm working with.  What's your theory on classroom design?  What works for you?

Computer Center

Eventually, I replaced the store-made poster (top) with a fluency poster.

The Book Recommendation Board and "Must Reads" bucket before school started!

Classroom Shot!

Books in the Spotlight for Recent Read Alouds!

Word Wall and Wondrous Words List... ready for additions!


Check-In Area

I have 5-6 pails that I use as decorations... and for several lessons.

Two reasons why I love The Flower Factory.

Place mats make me happy because they make my room less institutional.  This mailbox was found at the Salvation Army five years ago for a dime!  It's my tattle box... but I get a lot of love notes too!  Luckily, Target had a slightly smaller version this year, so you can all use this too!  It's such a life-saver for me.  I don't think I'd ever trade it in.  Ever. 

Bucket Filling Buckets are placed above each kid's cubbies.  I have numbered them with student numbers since this picture was taken so that they can be reused year after year.  They are filled with  Bucket Filler Forms and pom poms!

I hate jellyfish, but I love this wind chime. So perfect for The Daily Five and rotations!
Just a random picture to prove that we actually use our bulletin boards!  Haha!


  1. Love it! So cute! One question: I see that you have cinderblock walls like me. How on earth are you getting stuff to stay stuck up there?! I've used sticki wax this year, but it's a PAIN to take off of the walls. (In my school EVERYTHING has to come down off of the walls every year)

  2. Jennifer, I struggle with the same thing! I have to remove everything every summer too, and I've had a TON of stuff fall off of the walls through the years. Here's what I've done to cope. I only use blue sticky tack. I forget what the brand is, but I pick it up at my local Wise Owl teacher supply store. It's the only kind of sticky tack that even remotely works for me. It's a temporary fix.

    Things still fall down, but not as much. So, I created a classroom job: Poster Patrol. My kids apply for jobs that they keep for 9-weeks. The Poster Patrol is in charge of putting posters back up when they see them on the floor. It is the best job I've ever thought up! Beyond that, I've gotten permission from my administration to put a few adhesive hooks up to hang pocket charts and a few heavier things. If you look at the last photograph closely, you can tell that I staple a lot to the tops of bulletin boards if they are connected ideas. I have also utilized trifold display boards like with my check-in board. It's kind of exhausting! I'd love to hear other coping mechanisms from others!

  3. Amanda, Your classroom is absolutely gorgeous! I love the color scheme and organization. I keep my boards all the same color as well...I chose 3 basic colors for the room and tried to keep everything within those colors. I think it makes for a calming effect and the students' work and posters really stand out.

    Having said that, your room makes me want to do a complete makeover! Thanks so much for sharing your pics, they are very inspiring! :)

    Ladybug's Teacher Files

  4. Wow, for a second there I thought someone had come into my classroom and took pics! :) My Cafe board is done in the same colors, I have the Japanese hanging lanterns too! Your room is adorable and a great place for kids to learn!

    p.s. - hot glue works wonders on cinder block. It sticks and comes off cleanly!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love your room!! It is soooo cute! I see you also do Daily 5. I'm heading to training this summer in Ypsilanti, MI. I'm going to the D5 and the Cafe. I've been doing them in my classroom under my own interpretation for 3yrs ish. I'm super excited to pull everything together. I love the pics!!


    Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher

  6. I think I need to invest in a tattle mailbox. I was thinking about getting a tattle bear. where the kids tell their tattles to the bear. The box would offer writing practice though.


    Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher