I have been in the same first grade classroom for ten years and last year, I did a complete classroom make-over. Don't anybody tell my husband, but I spent entirely too much of my own money on this project! The way I see it, I spend more than half my life there. I want it to be the best it can be for my students and myself. Some ladies buy Coach purses and Louis Vuitton shoes. I bought my DREAM CLASSROOM! No regrets! Here is a look at my room and some of the reasons why I set it up this way. I hope it gives you some ideas and excitement about setting up your own room.
|Metal door to was used to create book display with magnetic shelves|
Above all else, I want my library to be inviting and comfortable. I also want it to fit lots of kids since reading is such a focus in my little world. My library is almost one fourth of my classroom. There is easily room for 3 groups of 4 students during stations. I have used storage benches that I purchased from Wal-Mart to form one corner. These create comfy seating and also store seasonal books. There is a cart for my leveled books and several book baskets full of books we love. There is a table with listening center activities and a comfy corner for audio books.
The Writing Area
|Dry erase board on the back of the cabinets in writing area|
|Close-up of clear paint cans used to sort supplies|
|Paint bucket stools store seasonal writing supplies|
|I added "shelves" to crates by using old dry erase boards. Perfect fit!|
I am a crafter at heart and I think this really influenced my writing area. I have a round table with paint bucket stools. Inside of each paint bucket, I have seasonal supplies for the writing area (Halloween stamps, Christmas gift tags, etc.). I hung milk crates all over one wall to store the writing area materials. I love this option because I was able to make it exactly right for my needs. On the other wall in my writing area, I hung clear paint cans filled with art supplies. Writing center is always a station and my students have a specific task. On Fridays, we have free choice stations and this area becomes PACKED with kids! They make the coolest, most creative things. Although I am a hoarder, I share all my fun goodies with them because I know how much I would have loved this as a kid. (Let's face it, I still love it now!) I use the metal door (which leads to my bathroom) to hang a magnetic board. Here, I write their spelling words or weekly writing task. I also have turned the back of a cabinet into a dry erase board. This is a fun way to practice spelling, writing sentences, labeling drawings, and so much more.
Teacher Work Area
|One of my favorite drawers. Can you ever have enough rubber stamps?|
At my small charter school, every classroom has a full-time aide. I KNOW, RIGHT???? It is a pretty cool lil' school. I never sit down, but I needed a place for my aide to be productive. I have created my dream work space, but I only get to visit it before and after school. The rest of the day, my aide uses it. There is plenty of counter space, a coffee maker, fridge, microwave, and even an ice machine! I had a custom counter top made to cover the desk. It is long on one side making a perfect spot for my aide to work one-on-one with students.
|Pegboard attached to each table for organizing resources.|
|Over-the-door hooks create storage solutions for our backpacks right on their desks!|
I have always placed my kids in groups and labeled them by color. I started acquiring more and more "stuff" that matched my table colors. This past school year, I added the most exciting piece of all - CHAIRS! I think they look so good. My old chairs were mauve and they just really bugged the snot out of me! My new chairs make my room more colorful and cheerful than ever before! I love to frequent the home improvement stores for ideas and inspiration. One day, I walked down the pegboard isle and thought "That looks like something I could use!" I started trying to figure out how and where in my room pegboard would fit. My number one need in my classroom is storage and remember all the stuff I acquired that matched my table colors? I decided the pegboard would fit nicely on the edge of each table and give me a place to keep these colorful treasures. I measured the end of the table and had my board cut at the store. (Did you know they do that? I didn't know until I found the pegboard isle!) I spray painted my pegboard black and used zip ties to attach it to the table legs. This also makes the tables more secure so they don't scoot around the room as much. I used more zip ties to hang the baskets on the pegboard. Backpacks hang off the other edge of the tables. I like having them at the desks so that transitions go quickly. I found these over-the-door hooks at the dollar store (2 per package).
|Close-up of clear paint can storage|
|Working pay phone! My absolute favorite!|
I have A LOT of stuff in my room and I really needed storage solutions. I purchased bookshelves from Target last summer and they have helped so much. I love the uniform look and the contrast of the black with all the bright colors I have used in my room. I used clear paint cans to store supplies on the shelves. I wanted a small counter on the end. It seems like I am always walking in my room with something that I need to put down quickly and this gives me a place to do that. There was a piece of leftover counter top that fit perfectly. I also replaced my school phone with this pay phone! It is SO much fun! It really takes money, although you don't have to put money in to make a call. It has a great ring, too.
Thanks for letting me share my room with you. I would LOVE it if you would share pictures of your room with me, too. Click here to head over to The Primary Chalkboard's Facebook page and share your pictures.
The Chalkies are busy bloggin' every day this month! Here is a peek at what we have got planned: