‘Round the Room

In 2006, when I was starting my teaching career, I was trying to decide on a “theme” for my classroom.  I settled for western because I’ve always been a cowgirl, I love rolling in the mud, I grew up on a farm, and I was able to milk a cow by my first birthday…

Really, I’m just a clean, neat freak city girl that loves the “homey” burlap feel of western decor.  It’s cheerful and comfy, but not overstimulating for those busy-eyed-six-year-olds.  And it’s full of texture.  Plus I was able to decorate on a cheap budget…which is SUPER important when you are just starting out.  You pretty much can’t beat the prices of burlap and bandanas!

These pics were taken at the beginning of the year. Please take note of the BLANK WALLS! Please know that this is absolutely on purpose. My walls always start almost completely blank…like a blank slate waiting to be filled with the anchor charts my students and I will fill in together to mark the learning throughout the year!

small groups

This is our small group area. All of our decodables and intervention tools are stored out of sight in the cabinets. During small groups, I just leave the cabinet door open for quick and easy access!

My view from the small group table.

In this classroom, my desk is right behind my small group table and it is #chefskiss perfection. I never could get this arrangement in my old room because of the plug ins and spacing, but this is the dream!

This is still my fav DIY lamp. 🙂

classroom library

Our “Reading Corral” or classroom library area.  Thanks to my sweet daddy for building my corral fence for me and my handy husband for building the awnings!

table groups & shelves

Love LOVE these shelves! I added these to my room in 2012 and it has changed.my.world! Sooooo much easier for organizing materials, math manipulatives, and classroom management.

Each group is in charge of keeping their plant alive during the year (watering once a week, plucking off dead leaves, etc.) We store kleenex and group materials that I don’t want in their desks (dry erase markers, scissors, and glue sticks) in buckets on the top shelf.  Their writing journals, working portfolios and “offices” are on the middle shelf along with some math manipulatives for their math story problem time.  The bottom shelf holds their book boxes for reading.

My sweet team would say I’m slightly very OCD about my room, and my kids learn this quickly.  But listen, y’all. It does NOT look perfect all year.  But my kids do know to keep the labels facing out, buckets in a straight line, etc…and they keep it up pretty well–some better than others, but they all really do try their best!!

Check out this closer look at the plants from my old classroom. Also, peep the windows. My newest classroom has no windows and y’all. That should be against the law. I have grieved those windows soooooo much.

Nooks & Crannies

Now that you’ve seen the big zones, let’s talk about some of my favorite nooks and crannies around the classroom.

Here is a look at our Big Idea Wall. It’s where we…add our big idea for our integrated unit we are studying!

In my previous school, we were an IB (International Baccalaureate) school and I used this board for our central idea from each unit and it was a little more elaborate to include the PYP attitudes and the Learner Profile Words.

Would you believe my dad drove by this old desk on the side of the road the summer before I started teaching? He grabbed it for me and I painted it red. We use it for our student of the week area! The student of the week get’s to sit at the red desk all week, which is also positioned at the front of our carpet area since they will be my main helper during whole group instruction, too!

Every tiny space looks better with a little tied fabric banner. It’s one of my favorite (and most inexpensive) ways to add color and decor to a space!

Yes, I’ve had the same theme for my entire teaching career. Yes, I could change it.  But why change something that works so well??? It seems to fit this city gal just fine!