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#2getherwearebetter: Classroom Reveal!

September 2, 2015 3 Comments
Hi all! Remember me?!  I hope so!  It’s been way too long since I’ve last posted and I’m so thankful that you stopped by today to help revive my little piece of cyberspace  My poor lil’ blog has been getting seriously neglected these last few weeks because like many of you, I have been knee deep in the classroom set-up process.  This year I COMPLETELY overhauled my classroom decor and spent most of my summer creating new things for my room and mapping it out.  I promised myself I wouldn’t, but I couldn’t help it.  Have you seen Creative Teaching Press’s Painted Palette line?!  I mean there was no question!
I am so excited that I am finally through the thick of it, also known as the endless hours of stapler throwing, border ripping, and desk moving to share my new space with you!  I won’t lie, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows trying to bring my vision to life and even though it may not be perfect, I LOVE how it came out!  
I’m thrilled to be able to link up with the always fabulous and inspiring Angie from Lucky Little Learners and Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd for #2getherwearebetter this month and invite you in to see my home away from home.  I am also so so excited to link up with the WONDERFUL ladies over at BlogHoppin’ for Teacher Week and their classroom tour linky party!

I won’t waste anymore of your time, welcome to room 11! Yay!!
For the last 3 years, I’ve ran with a light pastel and Boho birds theme and this year I just couldn’t do it anymore. Just like my space at home, we all need a facelift once in a while!  I have been so inspired by all of the beautiful pictures that I’ve seen on Pinterest floating around of black backgrounds on bulletin boards and lots and lots of bright primary and soft bright colors.  So, I really went for it this year!  As my coworker puts it, “It’s like a party in here!” I am confident that I have been successful in my mission if that’s the kind of response I have been getting!
Well, what are you waiting for?  Come on in!  I just love my new door decor!  I created these colorful frames using Astrobrights paper and my new SuperStar Ellison machine.  I can’t wait to fill these sweet little frames with my new firsties’ faces after the first day of school.  I’ll be sure to share an updated picture after it’s completed!.
EEeeekkk here she is!  My classroom itself is VERY small and I have 20 little babies who will be spending their days in these big honkin’ desks, so I tried my best to keep it bright, happy, and as spacious as it could be.  This is the view of the back of my room when you’re standing in the front of my room (didya get that?!) 
With 20 little babies coming my way I wanted to immediately teach them how to work cooperatively with each other.  So you’re looking at our five groups of four desks.  Also in this picture, you will see my co-teacher’s guided reading table, our future Brag Tag board, Word Wall (cards created by the incredibly talented Maria from KinderCraze), Word Study bulletin board which will show our sorts for the week, and Reading bulletin board.   I just love the cohesive colors throughout the entire space!

#closeup!  I love this bird’s eye view because you get to see the makings of my brand new writing center!  If you are new to my blog than you NEED to know I am a firm believer in Lucy Calkin’s writing workshop.  For this reason, this entire area is dedicated to supporting my future writers and allowing them to become independent and confident in first grade.  Here, students will find words they frequently use when they write on the word wall, writing supplies like pens and tape, and many different paper choices.  Inside the rainbow bins, my students will be able to access word study materials and extra center activities that they can complete when their daily work is done.  
My writing center got a little facelift this year too with some fabulous Chalkboard contact paper.  How I’ve never played around with this stuff before is beyond me! I had too much fun writing with chalk to match the visual labels already found hanging above the writing supplies.  Having both words and pictures on my labels allows for all of my students to locate their supplies easily and get in some much needed extra reading practice everywhere they turn.  It’s first grade people, my littles need to be exposed to as many words as possible!

Here’s another view of my amazing co-teacher’s reading table.  If this is your first time stopping by my blog, I am a general education teacher who works side by side with a special education teacher in an inclusion classroom.  Last year was our first year together and I’m so grateful to be with her again. 
Behind her desk you can see our two supply closets.  Thankfully they’re closed for these pictures because the front of the doors DEFINITELY look much nicer than what’s hiding behind them! #teachertruth.  Above our back wall we have a brand new blue and green number pennant from Creative Teaching Press (can you tell I’m obsessed yet?) and adorable chevron numbers from Amy Lemons.  I love how everything has started to have its’ own place and are all going to be used daily by my students!  It makes me so happy looking at it!
Here are some close ups of my Class Jobs Chart and Birthday Board that live on my closet doors this year.  I LOVE my new Handy Helpers display!
The little EduClips kids make my teacher heart so happy!  Each one of my kiddos will get assigned a job and will get to move their clips around to sample different jobs throughout the year.  Five students will not have jobs on the Handy Helpers board, however each time.  They will be assigned the Table Captains job and get their own handy helper circle taped to their desk for the week.  Their job will be to collect materials for their classmates in their group for writing workshop and any other times during the day when materials need to be collected.  

You’ll be seeing A LOT of these cute little faces pop up around my room!  You can find these editable class job cuties in my store here!
These precious birthday cakes are also from Creative Teaching Press as part of their new Painted Palette series.  I just love the bright colors and the different patterns on the candles.  It just screams happiness.
For how much time and hard work has been put into my classroom this year, as so many other teachers have too, it’s difficult to say which area is my favorite.  But, over these last few days of endless inservice meetings and feeling my stress level mounting, I couldn’t help but relax any time I looked up and saw this quote hanging above my closet.  This quote, from Disney’s Cinderella, “Have Courage And Be Kind,” will become our class motto throughout the year.  I always try and teach my students how to have courage and be brave to do their best work even when they don’t feel confident about it.   And being kind is something everyone needs to practice doing regularly.  I hope this simple yet powerful quote will become a favorite of my students’ and make them smile anytime that they look up at it.  
My classroom library is my little baby.  It was such a labor of love this summer to rearrange and organize.  I am embracing a reading workshop approach this year and I want to continue to encourage my students to fall in love with reading.  I decided to level my library and then keep several bins sorted by holidays and other themes while maintaining an entire separate shelf dedicated solely to my chapter books.  I love how there’s a cohesive and inviting look to it now!
I can’t wait to watch my firsties curl up with a good book on the rugs or on these new black ottomans.  Thank you Target for supplying all of our cozy alternate seating! Mr. Y was not too pleased about all these purchases but that’s besides the point!  You can also see my new chalkboard sign pointing towards the library that I love!  I’m having a hard time coming up with what to write on it!  Any suggestions??
All of my leveled bins are in the same section below my windows so my students have easy access to them.  These soft bright leveled library labels show both Fountas & Pinnell levels and their corresponding DRA level for easy reference.  My students will be able to pick 5-8 books at a time from these easily identifiable bins.  If you’re interested in these labels, you can find them in my TpT store here!

On this shelf my kiddos will be able to see different holiday books and other books of interest.  On the reading bulletin board we’ll be referencing these word strategy posters created by Wild About Firsties at the beginning of the year!  How cute are they?!

Here is a shot of my new chapter book shelf that my firsties will be able to dig into in the middle of the school year.  I know they’ll get so excited when it’s their turn to dig into some of these books!
Another view of our class library. Let’s just curl up with a good book now!
I’m not allowed to hang curtains in my classroom so I found these bright colored pennants and tied four together to string across my windows.  I love having these large windows line my classroom but they are NOT conducive for picture taking!  You can also see some of our reading buddies (stuffed animals) that my students will use to read to someone as well as our birthday bin that my littles get to pick presents out of for a special birthday surprise!
Now for the front of Room 11!  Sorry for the boxes on the left-hand side!  My students don’t start until next Tuesday, September 8th, so there is still some construction and moving in happening over here!  Anyway, from the back of the room you can see my NEW alphabet poster line that makes me so happy! I’ve never had an alphabet line with both letters and pictures before and I can’t wait for my students to be able to fully use these posters as a point of reference.  Let’s just not discuss how long it took us to put it up with that faux black bulletin board behind it! Days people, I’m talking days!
On the white boards next to my SMART board will house our writing anchor charts that we create during writing workshop and our math vocabulary cards and anchor charts that we do together.  
Sorry for the glare!  My alphabet posters match our new colors from around the classroom and really pop in front of the black background!  I hope my students love it as much as I do!  If you’re interested in checking them out more, you can visit my TpT store here!
I don’t have a true desk, it’s our computer desk but it wears many hats.  This desk houses our pencil sharpener, dull and sharp pencil cups, and ALL of my Disney paraphernalia that my students have gifted me throughout the years.  I am a huge Disney lover and it rubs off on my sweet first graders very quickly!  I always laugh how quickly they get my number each year.
On the other side of my SMART board is my new Focus wall that will show daily learning targets for each of our subject areas.  There are those adorable educlips kids again!  Side note, this teacher clearly runs on Dunkin!
My classroom can’t be my home away from home without personal touches.  Along the windowsill behind my teacher table I have several quotes and pictures of my husband and puppy that make me feel right at home.  It’s a way to spark conversation with my new students and allows them to get to know me as a person.  Plus, it puts a smile on all of our faces!
As we come back towards the other side of the classroom, back by the door, you’ll see my math center.  Each supply bin is labeled with adorable labels from the math guru herself, Reagan Tunstall!  You can find them in her store here!  I like to keep my math supplies open and easily accessible to my students.  I want to inspire them to be independent and this math center allows for that very easily.
My classroom tour wouldn’t be complete without sharing my hallway student work display.  I found these adorable mini chalkboard clips from the Target Dollar Spot over the summer and couldn’t figure out what to use them for, but I knew I had to.  I needed a way to display student work, so “Chalk One Up For First Grade!” hallways display was born!  Each clip has a student’s name written on it and we will continue to share our WOW work and other writing pieces out here for others to see!  I can’t wait to fill this space up!
As proud as I am with how every little piece of my classroom has come together, I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to share it with my new first graders.  I love watching their facial expressions when they walk into our room for the first time.  I hope this space will motivate them, encourage them, comfort them, and excite them.  I can’t wait to add their personal touches to this space to truly make it our own.  
Thank you SO much for sticking with me and checking out my second home.  I hope you like it as much as I do!  Make sure to link back to Ashley and Angie’s blogs as well as the BlogHoppin blog to continue to get inspired by so many other fantastic bloggers’ classrooms!  I can’t wait to check them out myself!
Have a wonderful day and good luck with all of your new students! 


  • Erin Murphy September 3, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Oh my goodness I LOVE your room! You did such an amazing job with your space! I am really loving those bright primary colors, and the way you created different spaces for your centers is really awesome!
    Thank you so much for sharing your classroom with us, I loved getting a peek into your room!

    Kindergarten Dragons

  • Recipe for Teaching September 4, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Jayme – Your classroom looks great!! I know how passionate you are about writing and I love your writing center!!! And those word wall cards are adorable! Your "Handy Helper" cards look amazing!! It's so neat to get a peek into all of the classrooms and get some great ideas! I always catch myself saying to my teammates, "I saw this idea on a blog…" šŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your room!

    ~Heather šŸ™‚
    Recipe for Teaching

  • Suzanne September 6, 2015 at 3:16 am

    I love your room Jayme and I especially like how bright it is with that natural light. Everything looks amazing when the sun, or even clouds, can shine in a classroom. The colors are fabulous and all of your new creations look amazing. Have a great year!
    Kindergarten Planet

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    Hi! Iā€™m Jayme! A former elementary teacher turned stay at home mom sharing toddler activities, mom tips, and educational resources to help you learn and play with your children. I believe in the power of PLAY and creating meaningful activities for you and your little ones to enjoy together.

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