Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ready for a new year! Classroom reveal!!

Oh me, oh my! Things are cuh-razzzzzy around here!!! 
We are in the process of buying a home and selling our own. 
I already stress out completely unnecessarily during this time of year, 
but I am pretty sure my husband has considered running away- forever. 
I can't say I blame him at all. 

The unknown and out of my control does not mix well with me right now
- well pretty much never. 
I know you teachers are with me on this. 

So let's play catch up, shall we? 

I went to lunch and met these lovely and amazing blogger ladies!

I was completely **star struck** when I saw Tanja from Journey of a Substitute Teacher. I literally didn't know what to say and have to admit I recognized the back of her head in line, but was too scared to say hi- haha. Now, I'm not sure how that could ever be! We forgot to take a picture before anyone left but here we have Laura from Teacher Laura- Kindergarten Adventures, Sarah from Sarah's First Grade Snippets and Tanja. Plus Laura's adorable little one taking this picture into cuteness overload.  

Sarah and I were even able to take advantage of a little kid free shopping after!! I can't wait to meet up again. We definitely have to make it happen before August comes around again. 

I have also been packing and organizing and repacking what has been unpacked by this little one. 

With everything going on and all of the unexpected I am so glad that I started going into my classroom early on. I am ready for 32 new Third Graders on Tuesday! 

I really want that first day to be about making connections with kids. I am hoping to keep things as calm as possible as they are coming in that morning. I am always nervous on that first day and it can be hard to keep everything going smoothly as parents are trying to talk with me. This year I decided to leave a note asking parents to help their child find their seat and put away their things. I apologized for not being able to meet with them that day, but promised to talk with them during our back to school night. I am hoping this is going to be just what I need to keep things calm and give me the chance to go around and make a connection with each student first thing!
 The view as you walk in. 

One of the biggest and simplest changes I made this year was combining our group meeting area and our library. I've come to the conclusion that having a separate area for each is a luxury of small class sizes. I do not have that luxury- sadsies :( Bringing the two areas together created so much more space though. 

I was lucky enough to win these posters from The Brown Bag Teacher. They are a must have for our classroom gathering area! I am going to make them a focus of our community circle time too. 

This extra little cubby area is great to display student work and creates a cozy space for kids to read. 

From the top: 
-Around the classroom I am hanging ribbon with clothespins. This is an easy way to hang up smaller posters, students work and more. 
- The black bulletin board is a great space for hanging anchor charts
-I keep all of my teacher books and curriculum resources behind the curtain. I can't stand looking at the clutter so the curtain is a perfect solution. 
-A lamp creates cozy light and frames around the room will have pictures of the kids to make the classroom space more personal
-On the bookshelf we keep dictionaries and thesauruses
-All around the room are little chairs like the ones shown. I found these at thrift stores and garage sales over the years

This is my teacher desk/small group area. I covered my table in contact paper again this year. I did this a few years ago and kids picked at cracks in the paper and needless to say by the end of the year it was destroyed. I have a solution for that this year though! I promise to share soon. The black is so much easier on the eyes than the red. 

Behind my table I try to keep things at a minimum. I am all about eliminating clutter! 
I am hoping these binders will help to keep me organized by month. 
 These posters hang above my table. Each is a Robin Williams quote to help inspire learning and confidence. You can snag your copy HERE or by clicking the picture below. 

Here's our math board and supplies. I created the labels with white contact paper and 
my Silhouette Cameo. 

 I keep our math centers in folders in each tub. 
To the right is where student folders and notebooks for each table group are stored. 

This will be our math word wall. The pocket charts will hold vocabulary words. I created the letters with the Silhouette Cameo. I am in love with this machine, people! Now that my classroom is done I can't wait to start creating and decorating for our new home!!

While I was doing everything possible to eliminate furniture and create more space I switched out our larger computer table for a smaller and I couldn't be happier with the space it opened up. 

Our classroom rules. These frames are from the dollar tree. I spray painted them & added a ribbon and bow with hot glue to each. The subway art classroom rules are editable to you can add your own classroom rules. You can get them HERE!

 Student desks are ready with a relaxing doodling activity that all students can be successful at that first day. All but one of my tables are round. The round supply trays are actually chip and dip trays from Dollar Tree. The center/dip part is perfect for a larger can to hold scissors. All of the other cans are standard size covered in black contact paper and trimmed with wash tape. 

 I love that these name tags stand up, making it easier for students to find their seat on the first day. They also use almost no ink. I just printed them on colored construction paper and folded. 

Of course I am going to share them with you! I added a monster, cupcake and birdie version too so you have some choice. These are editable so before you open the Powepoint you will want to make sure you have the font KG Why You Gotta Be So Mean downloaded. 

Also, if you're not familiar with Powerpoint you can duplicate each slide by going to "Edit" and choosing "Duplicate Slide" this will create more of the same slide so that you can make name tags for your whole class. Just click HERE or the picture below to snag yours!


This post was so much longer than I ever anticipated it to be.  Hopefully you were able to hang in there and grab some freebies too! Happy Back to School! 


  1. We both have 32 kiddos! My classroom is full of stinking desks! Your room is beautiful..I just got a cameo,but haven't had time to learn it yet.
    Chickadee Jubilee

    1. Laurie,

      I know what a room full of desks is like. I begged to switch to tables and I don't think I will ever go back. Have a great year!

  2. Wow! I love it, Hope. I love that you start the year with blank space, so your students have ownership in the room. :) Plus, your "Believe" wall looks fabulous. Thank you SO much for sharing!!!

    1. The Believe Wall is one of my favorite parts of our classroom! Thank YOU for sharing :)

  3. Your classroom looks awesome and inviting. Have a great school year!

  4. Oh my gosh I want to be in your class! I love your carpet area (great idea to combine the 2!), I love your Math wall, iMacs in your class, oh how my heart is gushing...all those organized and labeled bins! Seriously so much good stuff!! Hugs as you get ready to start the year :)

    Little In Betweens

  5. 32 students??? Wow. What is your cap? Your classroom looks great. I'm totally jealous, Thanks for the name tags.

    1. We don't have a cap :( I have had as many as 42 before. It was so sad. How about you, where are you teaching? Do you have a cap? If so, I'm a bit jealous :)