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Finally done!!!

Well my first week is over and my book bins finally came in. I didn’t get my classroom library completely finished until Friday evening (you can see the time in some of the pictures) and then madly took pictures before I had to rush home to make dinner. Ugh (or any other disturbing noise you prefer to make)  making dinner on a Friday evening is not my most favourite task to do. Anyways enough about what I don’t like to do on a Friday evening. 

Here are the pictures of my classroom !!! I am so excited to have it completed. After looking at the pictures my classroom looks bigger than it actually is. Well maybe that has to do with the fact that I only have 19 Grade 4/5s this year. Yup you read it right… 19! The perks of working at a school on the outskirts (only a 15 minutes drive …ssshhhh don’t tell the police)  of town. I guess this makes up for having to wake up early to start school earlier than the school in town. Okay, okay I am getting to the pictures.  Warning there are a LOT of pictures.

Here they are 🙂

Just a reminder of what my room looked like when I first walked into it in August.

And a view when you walk into the room now ! Ahhh much better and brighter:)

Another view. This time from the back right corner.

 View from the front left corner. I love my fluffy turquoise chair form Ashley Furniture Home Store ! And the kids love to read in it !!!

Ok now for come close ups …

This is the bulletin board that is by my desk. It has our calendar and job chart on it. The blank spots will be filled with students pictures and news throughout the year.

Here is a close up of my jobs chart. I am so in love with it. I got it from the wonderful Bridget who writes the blog Little Lovely Leaders. They come in a rainbow of colours and you can get them here.  As you can see from the picture I don’t have names on the clothes pins yet. That is one of my many weekend to-do tasks. I was going through some boxes of old stuff and I found that a long time ago I bought plastic clothes pins and they just happened to match my colour scheme this year. Perfect.


Here is a picture of my classroom library and the much anticipated book bins from Really Good Stuff. I ordered 3 different sets of the large rectangular book baskets. I didn’t want the yellow ones that come with the mix and match set so I just ordered 12 of each of the 3 colours I wanted. To go along with them I ordered the basket label holders but printed off my own labels with a black and white polka dot theme to match my room. These labels will be posted soon !

I was super excited (wow I get excited a lot) when I found this pink shag carpet at Walmart and the green basket at Micheal’s. The green basket had a chalkboard sign on the front which I printed “Recycling” on for our paper recycling. I am not sure about it though because it has only been 4 days of school and I have rewritten “recycling” 2 times because the students keep smearing it.

Another view of my library with my READ sign included. You can get your very own customizable READ sign here. The top big baskets are also from Really Good Stuff and hold my non-fiction and picture books. I will eventually separate my non-fiction books into more specific categories but for now this works. The pink basket on top of the filing cabinet hold student headphones all nicely kept in individual Ziploc bags.

The bulletin boards above my classroom library. The one on the left will eventually have my genre posters on them when the order comes in from Scholastic. For now they have on them Comprehension Strategies posters from Lyndsey who has the blog A Year Of Many Firsts. You can get the posters FREE here.

Here is my whiteboard which is between my library and my desk. It is all ready to go for Monday.

I write the days schedule on the board and have the students practice reading handwriting. Right now it is in printing because they haven’t learned all the letters yet. At the top is my welcome sign (sorry for the glare). One of my students asked to have one for her bedroom. Cute. You can get yours here and they are customizable.

The owl sign is one that I made on VistaPrint and it is for work that has no names. I will have to make a new one to match my classroom colours. 

I am not sure if you can see what the sign above the books says but it says “Mrs. Browne’s Picks” These are the books that I recommend. I change them every once in awhile to expose books to kids that they might not pick.

The times written on the board are for a math activity we did where they were trying to match their place value card with the card of someone else’s in the classroom. The entire class had to find their partner and sit down. We did it 3 times and they had to try and beat their time. We will do it again next week and see if they can do even better. I am going to do a post about my first week activities and it will be there with more details.

The little black box is my word box. Read this post to find out how great it is!

This is my desk area (no kidding you say!) Not much to explain here. You can see my teacher tool box and daily folder organizers on the back shelf. See the post about them here and here.

A close up of my hand in drawers. 

Last year students handed everything into one bin and then I had to spend valuable time sorting through it all before I could even start to mark. I dreaded it every time. When I saw this drawer organizer I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. I bought some fancy Martha Stewart labels and wrote on them in decorative printing. There is one draw for each subject students will hand work in for. So far it has worked wonders. All I say to the collector is to hand in collected work to the correct drawer and voila organization is done. Why didn’t I think of this YEARS ago? 

I found the flowers at Micheal’s a few weeks ago and bought them because they matched my room colours. At the time I didn’t know what I was going to do with them.  While I was getting my room together the top shelf of the organizer sat empty an the flowers lay on a desk. As soon as I cut them shorter and put them in the case I knew they would fill the empty spot on my shelf. A couple of my girls stop to smell the flowers (mmm plastic flower smell) every time they hand something in.

I really wanted to recognize student accomplishments this year so I created my Stellar Work board. 

They will get to clip up any work they are proud of, no matter what the mark is. Some of them wondered if it had to be perfect work and I said of course not. It can be ANYTHING you are proud of. When I created this I only had 16 students on my class list but now I am up to 19 so I have to rearrange it. On a side note I would like to thank my son for helping my colour all of the clothes pins black. I am a little crazy I know but the normal clothes pin colour was driving my crazy and that was all I could focus on so we watched Big Brother and coloured away. They look much better than this and all it cost me was an ice cream sandwich (cheap labor)  for my son 🙂

My computer area. Last year the computers were along the wall and every time a student went on them I had some students who were completely distracted and could not focus on their work. So this year I turned them so that no one else can see what they are doing. I hope this works.

Just behind my computers is the back sink counter and my Boggle Board. See this post about my Boggle Board. 

The black basket hold our outdoor sports equipment and the pink basket is for empty juice containers. Can you spot my turquoise vacuum? I actually ran for it in Canadian Tire when I spotted it down the isle. I think I embarrassed my son and husband. Hey, who doesn’t need a matching vacuum for their classroom? ! The clear tub has all our Action School equipment and I am not sure where it’s final home will be but it fits here for now.

Every year I have to go over how to set up a page and usually I do it all on the Smartboard but my Smartboard has been broken all week. Yup you heard me right…. ALL week. AHHHHHH It was tough to go without it and I used so much chart paper. It brought me back to the days long ago (5 years tops) when I didn’t have a Smartboard to use in the classroom. Anyways I wander… I had to make up my very specific rules for setting up a page. 

The biggest question I get is why the Date and then Name. Well students know how much room their name takes up and can judge where to start it. The date length always changes and often kids will run out of room and start writing up or down the page. This way they will have all the room they need for the date no matter how long it is. Brilliant, I know 😛

A view of all of my bins for student duo-tangs. I made the labels to match my colour scheme and you can get them here

They do not keep them in their desk (too much clutter) and all the duo-tangs for one subject are all the same colour. For instance my Social Studies duo-tangs are ALL purple. This makes it easy for me to see that students have the right book out and it makes it easy for them to find the duo-tang if they misplace it or put it in the wrong bin. My class supply list is very specific and I keep a box of extra duo-tangs handy so them when we are labeling them and a student doesn’t have the proper colour they bring me one of their odd colour (or ones with the cute animal pictures on them that parents insist on buying their child even though it is NOT on the list)  duo-tangs and I give them one that is the proper colour.

This is a picture of one of the activities we did this week (post to come) and my puzzle table. Last year students would start a puzzle on the floor and then have to clean it up before it was finished. Not this year! I found a small table in the school and snagged it for my room.As you can see they have already started one.

Here is a picture of my behaviour chart (see post here) and some of the chart paper I had to use. Remember my Smartboard was broken 🙁 Did you notice what time it was when I took this picture on a Friday night. How late do you end up staying at school?

Wow this post has taken me longer than I expected and my family is waiting to pack up and go camping for the night so I am off. I hope you found something useful in this post and don’t forget to check back soon (hint: I will be writing it tomorrow night when we get back) to see what we did the first week in my classroom.


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  1. omg…i'm so jealous of your classroom. It's so CUTE, ORGANIZED, and perfect, Terri! AND, it looks like it goes on and on for days! I <3 the carpet. Looks like it's a warm/inviting room and not cold with WHITE tile and WHITE walls (are you catching that I am jealous yet? ) haa! Looks fabulous! Pinning Now!
    Ann Marie

  2. Your room looks great, Terri! LOVE the colours – I have a lot of the same borders, too! And that chair is too cute! A puzzle table is a great idea – especially during indoor recess time – I wonder if I can fit one into my classroom??
    I was dreading returning to school and having my projector blow, leaving me unable to use my Smartboard. When we had our projectors serviced at the end of the year, the technician said my lightbulb is on 5000 hours of use (the normal lifespan is 2000 hours). But so far … so good … (hope I didn't just jinx myself).

    Runde's Room

  3. Your room pictures are wonderful! I love how you've carefully thought out the different areas of your classroom.
    One idea I particularly love and plan to implement in my classroom is your "Mrs. Browne's Pick's" sign. I frequently pull random books off the shelves of my classroom library and advertise it (we call it a 'book commercial'). Then I fight off the hordes of 5th graders yelling out, "I want that one!" 🙂 I'm going to make a sign where I can post books for students to check out. I'll still do my book commercials, but this will be a great way to showcase several books at a time.
    As for your Smart Board breaking, I can definitely relate – we started this week and I went to turn on my project, connected to my Smart Board, for a fun all-about-me presentation and activity…and the screen was red. Very red. Off to plan B. One of my favorite words to describe teachers: flexible 🙂

    Joy in the Journey

  4. Beautiful room! You used my favorite colors.

    This is my first visit to your blog. I'm a bit turn off though with the way the you speak of parents and the folders. As a teacher, I too color code, but I ALLOW for individuality of the student (even if it's not on my specific supply list). If they come with puppies, kitties, or angry birds then so be it.

    1. Thank you Cindy for visiting my blog. It is much appreciated. I apologize if I offended you in any way. I was simply stating my opinion on the school supply lists. The lists are created for a purpose and they are specific for a reason. The colour coding of duotangs is to help the classroom run smoothly. I am hoping that you are not assuming I do not allow my students to show their individuality because I colour code my duotangs. There are many other ways for students to have individuality in the classroom besides their duotangs.

  5. Thanks ladies. I did spend a lot of time getting my room ready. Too much time if you ask my husband:) I figure that since I spend most of my day at school I had better like the room.

  6. OHH – I LOVE the black with bright colors!! It also looks SO organized which is my favorite thing in the world! It really does look amazing!!

    BTW – I saw your post on Rowdy in Room 300's giveaway! You could also enter to win a laminator over at my blog…double up your chances!! 🙂 Come check it out if you get the chance! 🙂

    Sensational Seconds

  7. Hi Terri! Your classroom looks fantastic! I love that it is colourful, crisp and clutter-free! All of your hard work paid off in making an inviting learning space and I am sure your students appreciate you efforts.

  8. I am curious about your bulletin boards. It looks like in the before picture that you do not have bulletin boards around your smartboard and whiteboard. Did you just get them or did you just put paper on the walls? I only have two VERY small bulletin boards in my room and I am looking for some options. Right now I have posters and things just stuck on the ugly 70's green and beige bricks and yucky chalk boards. YUCK!

    1. Wow you have a keen eye:) The entire wall around the smartboard is actually an ugly beige bulletin board. I used fabric and black paper along with borders to create smaller bulletin boards. You can always tape paper to your bricks or chalk boards to liven them up and create a fake bulletin board. Decorative duct tape works great for creating borders around paper stuck to brick. I hope this helps:)

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