Saturday, September 1, 2012

My Room With a View

Hi all!  I just finished my first week and thought I would show you some photos from my finished classroom.  These photos were taken prior to the first day of school.  The bulletin boards are sadly lacking student work, but in just five days that has changed!  This is my new room and I have never, ever taught in a room this large.  I have already told my principal that I love this room so much, I want to stay in it forever!

Welcome to my classroom!  My school is located in a city with mild weather so our classroom doors open to the outside world.  

This is my third year teaching a kindergarten / first grade combination class.  I refer to my class as a "winning combination".  Since we are in room eight, we are "Team Eight".  The only problem is that I was in room five for about fifteen years so I keep slipping up and calling my class "Team Five".  Whoops!  My kiddos keep laughing and reminding me of our room number.  The other sign to the left of the door is a class list.

 I usually make an adorable door display with student names, but I had important family obligations this year, so I quickly put up this poster.  I added "and first grade" to the title of the poster just after taking this photo.  (I don't want my first grade families think there is nothing left to learn!)

Here is the entry to the classroom.  I put a bookcase (backwards) next to the door so it would feel like an actual entry way.  On the bookcase are my "Stop and Drop" (the short blue tub) which is where students place notes, homework, etc.  The two cute tubs are for snacks.  Kinders place their snacks in green and firsties in blue.  (I try to color code as much as possible since my students have different dismissals and that makes clean up so much easier.)

Here are the two snack tubs close up.  They are a Dollar Store find!

This is the other side of the bookcase.  This is the main classroom library, but there are tubs in other places in the classroom also.  My books are organized by topic or author.  Each tub has a number and each book in the tub has a sticker with that number on it.  I learned this system on the Sisters website and I LOVE it!!!  Oh, if you look closely, you can see my READ letters (Thank you Pinterest!) on the left.  I velcroed them to that case.  Side note:  Who chose this carpet for a classroom?  Seriously, it makes my eyes spin in my head just looking at this photo.  Walking on it is far worse.

Continuing around the room, here is my read aloud area.  There is actually plenty of room for all 26 kiddos to sit, but I know it looks super small - it is NOT!

The calendar area.  I tried to place most items low enough for students to reach.  It looks way too busy doesn't it?  In real life it looks a little tamer.

Pocket chart all ready for day one.  I am not sure which blog I got this chant from.  But I love it!  So thank you to the creator!

Our math manipulatives.  All tubbed and labeled and ready to go!

Okay, time for an age test.  Are you old enough to recognize these containers?  If not, they originally contained wet wipes about 15 years ago.  I used to have parents of babies save them and send them in.  I  have been using them ever since.  I only wish I had more!

Here is my small group teaching table.  It won't normally look like this, but I wanted it cute for day one.  Behind it are more books, and two bulletin boards.  One is for FACE / CAFE and the other is the Word Wall.

An EL teacher once told me to use photographs whenever possible, so I love these cards for the Word Wall.  This wall now contains all of our names.  I had each student walk up and show me where his/her name should go.  Harder for some than for others!!!  Oh, I do love this blue color so much.  I painted all of my bulletin boards this color.

Birthday bags ready to go.  Thank goodness since I had a birthday on Day One!!!!  This was the first time I put border around a white board and I love it!  Thank you Pinterest!  Oh no, here is my voice chart and I can't remember who to credit.  Sorry times a thousand!

My Welcome Sign a la Pinterest.  I purchased the black letters from Fourth Grade Frolics at TPT.  Here is the link.  I actually meant to cut out triangles to glue them on, but I got distracted and starting cutting out circles.  By the time my brain re-engaged, I had already cut several circles so I went with circles.  What a dope!  You can't tell, but blue and green paper is totally adorable.  I got it from the Dollar Store.

Behind the Welcome Sign is my almost new Smartboard.  Sigh, I love it so!  BUT I  have so much to learn about truly using it to its full capacity!!!

My area.  Teacher computer (also used by students as needed), my Pinterest inspired organizer, and various pens, etc.  The blank spot has now been filled in with my document camera.  (Thanks to the marvelous IT guys in my district!!)  I made the table skirt two years ago and velcroed it to this table to hide all the wires and electrical boxes, etc.

More books, more books, more books.  (I have over a thousand books.  Not sure how many over.)

The bulletin board is for our monthly TLC quilt squares. The title reads: Our Class Quilt.  You can order the TLC Quilt Book here.  I highly recommend it!!  If you teach kinder, prekinder or first be sure to check out the many wonderful TLC books that are available at their site.

Our computer area.  We stopped using our computers last year when we got iPads.  Not sure what this year will hold.

... and here we have my favorite of all favorites: my filing cabinet!  In case you missed my previous post, I painted this myself and do love it so!  It was once a plain, gray filing cabinet.  Now it is my pride and joy!  (Oh, please do not panic ... I do love the kiddos in my class even more than I love this file cabinet!)

Check out all this counter space!  (Sorry for the dark photo!)  There are cabinets underneath the counter and I am amazed at all this storage space.  (Of course, I have already filled it.)  On top of (and under) that table are more books that need to be numbered to go into bins.

Look at all those windows and that great view of trees.  L.O.V.E.

One more small group area.  Not sure how I will use this yet.

I don't have cubbies (and wish I did!) so instead I use these drawers to sort student work.  Back in the good old days (three years ago) I only needed 20 drawers.  But now I need 26 for my class.  I am hoping we stop at 26, but I look at other schools in California and see that many of them have 30 or more in kinder and first grade so I am thinking that my numbers may go up in future years.

I feel like I took a billion photos, but realize now that I left out the back part of the room.  I think maybe it was so messy that day that I didn't want to photograph it.  Now the messiness is shoved into cabinets and may never be straightened out.

Thank you for touring my classroom with me!

Love to all,


  1. Love it!!!!
    I will take your computers if you need me to..... :)
    It looks HUGE!!!!! Lucky!!!!

    1. Kristin, Come teach with me and you may have all of these computers. Deal? You would still be in sunny California, 45 minutes from the beach, etc. (I am sure there are more perks, my that is all I can think of for now.)

  2. Camille, I love your room! The blue is so calming and I LOVE your file cabinet...I wonder if I could paint mine black/yellow(I have three of them too)...thanks for leaving me a comment..I am your newst follower!
    I too can leave my door open, only because I am in an inclosed building in hot and humid Florida- ;)

    1. Thank you Natalie! Black and yellow file cabinets will be perfect for your room! One piece of advice: wear long sleeves. I ended up walking around with blueish arms for about a week. It looked like a very odd tan.