Classroom Tour {Part 1}

December 23, 2011

Classroom Tour {Part 1}

December 23, 2011
Whew! One more day (well, half-day) to go and I am FREE!! Free to blog stalk, comment, and just plain catch up!

So, I realize a classroom tour is way overdue, but that seems to be the theme of this year–it has just taken over in a way that I never imagined!

A couple of my wonderful bloggy friends asked about sharing more pictures on my previous post, so I went through some images tonight. This is not my entire room (hence the Part I!) but it is a good overview. Some things have changed and some things are going to change soon but…here’s a glimpse of what I started with this fall.

Oooo, wait!! Here are the before pictures, if you’d like to compare: Some Before Pictures. Ok, now to the photos:

{view from classroom entrance}

{tables covered with contact paper and electrical tape}

{boring window-tops covered with a scene setter}

{brick wall covered with the scene setter too–affixed with liquid starch!}

{math games and manipulatives…closeups below…}

{my desk area…please ignore the messy tabletop!!}

{black fabric bulletin boards with turquoise ribbon trim…more below…}

{front whiteboard…made from a showerboard}

{my new projector screen ♥ ♥ ♥!}

{more of the front…small buddy reading area and closet}

{and round labels galore!!!}

Ok, so I have a bunch more I will be sharing in January–I always end up doing some kind of renovations in the new year. Not really major changes, I guess…more like tweaking some things.

I’m actually sad to say that the first thing I will do is repurpose my math games closet. I love how it looks, but want the space to be a bit more effective and store more than just the math games and manipulatives.

So I’m very sad to say I’m probably taking out my little colored baskets. They are wonderful for holding smaller items and manipulatives, but I think I am going to change over to more of those clear shoe bins. They hold a bit more and are easy to change design-wise when the room’s color scheme is altered…it’s just a matter of making a new label for the bin.

Well, I hope you don’t think I’m too wacky for sharing photos this late in the year. Would you be interested in seeing Part II in January? Thanks so much for reading, as always. I hope you are enjoying this holiday season with your friends and family! I look forward to catching up with everyone this week 🙂


  • Mrs. Graham December 23, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Your room is neat, clean, UNCLUTTERED, and organized! I would definitely love to see more photos. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Barbara December 23, 2011 at 1:26 am

    I love your room. It looks amazing! I'm intrigued by the black bulletin boards. I've thought of doing that but was worried it would look too dark. How do you find them? And do you mind explaining how you did your tables? Is there a trick to getting the contact paper and electricians tape looking neat? Sorry, this is a lot of questions. I better stop now 🙂 Merry Christmas!
    Grade ONEderful

  • Kelley Cirrito December 23, 2011 at 1:49 am

    I want to see part 2! Your room is very cute and organized! I will be on the lookout for part 2!

  • bnwalton December 23, 2011 at 2:07 am

    I of course agree with everyone else…I'd love to see more pictures! Your room is so nice 🙂

    Living A Wonderful Life

  • Kim December 23, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Oh Kristen:
    Lovely, Lovely, LOVELY!
    I love it ALL!
    (Although I absolutely KNEW I would!)
    I even love the "blue tips" on the chairs.
    And the math baskets with matching labels.
    And the twinkly lights.
    And all the round labels.
    SIGH. Heavenly.
    Ummm. What are the black dice for?
    (Choosing centers perhaps?)

    I want to see Part 2.
    And Part 3.
    And Part 4.
    At least the items on the desk make me think you are a real person.
    Otherwise, I might think this classroom came from DreamLand…

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  • Hadar December 23, 2011 at 3:45 am

    We want more, we want more!!! {that's me petitioning outside in blogland} 😉

    Your room looks fabulous!!!


  • Ms.M December 23, 2011 at 4:48 am

    OMG Kristen, I want you to come and do my room now. 😛 It looks FANTASTIC! Love it. Obviously I too want to see more.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  • Erika December 23, 2011 at 5:15 am

    I did black fabric on my boards this year and love it. Your room is amazing. Where is all the clutter? I need you. And am anxiously awaiting part 2, etc.
    2B Honey Bunch

  • Mrs. Saoud December 23, 2011 at 5:34 am

    I have a place for everything too. I'm happy to see I'm not the only one. :0

    I hope you scheduled a little rest for you my friend.


  • Kristin December 23, 2011 at 5:44 am

    LOVE to see the pictures!!!! Please share more. And I have clear, plastic tubs but I was having color basket envy so now maybe I can save some money and just work on ROUND labels. That would be so cool. Your room is very inviting. I'm ready to learn!! 🙂
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  • Tara December 23, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Def. want to see more!!! You should do classrooms as a side business! Your classroom is amazing and organized and neat and tidy and organized and OHHHHHHHHH! LOVE IT!

    4th Grade Frolics

  • Beth Ann December 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Wow!!! I love your classroom. It makes me want to get into mine…..right after break! 🙂
    What do you have next to the square schedule cards?
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    ❁Beth Ann❁
    Taming My Flock of Firsties

  • Jen R. (The Teachers' Cauldron) December 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    ahhh!!! stupid internet!! I had this big long comment typed out for you, and then it wouldn't post it and now it's lost!! grrrrrr……
    well, regardless – I love it!
    Jen Ross
    The Teachers’ Cauldron

  • Unknown December 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Hi! I'm a new follower of your blog and I was so happy to see pictures of your classroom! I agree with everyone else, I can't wait to see more!

    I moved into my classroom with barely a week to actually move in, but the teacher moving out left A TON of things and I came in with A TON of things and I just had to throw everything the cabinets and start planning! I spent all fall not knowing what was in there; it drove me crazy!

    I just spent 4 days of break rearranging my room and cleaning out, streamlining, and organizing all my materials! I'm not done all the way, but I feel so much better!

    Wow, this comment just got really long, I guess what I'm trying to say is…..I love seeing other classrooms, so thanks for posting and I'm looking forward to more pictures! 🙂

  • Kristen December 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you so much for all of the sweet comments…it means so much to me!!

    Barbara, I will try to blog about the contact paper this week, since I am on vacation woohoo!!!! I was worried about the black being dark too, so that's why I went with bright colors and light-colored contact paper for the tables. It seems to balance out nicely. And I LOVE how the posters and signs pop on the black!

    Kim, the dice are for the math games…kind of a decor/function thing on the shelves 🙂

    Erika! Thank you for noticing! The clutter-removal has taken two years and is still going on right now!! I hope to post more about that soon.

    Beth Ann, those are little dry erase squares…you can see more about them here:

    No worries Jen, thanks for visiting! 🙂

    Unknown, thanks for the kind words and thanks for following the blog! It does feel great to clean it all out!

    Everyone else, thanks again for the lovely words! I am so glad we all know each other in bloggy land and I greatly value your opinions. Happy Holidays!!! 🙂

  • Mrs. Coe December 23, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I have to say this… When I was on your blog and grabbed the card I was thinking about how much I loved Kindergarten but when I look at your stuff I swear it makes me want to teach older kids. I can honestly say that does not happen much. i love your stuff.

  • Mrs. Coe December 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Sorry I love your stuff!

  • Mrs. Coe December 24, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I swear I am not stalking… I am grabbing that for my science blog! Merry Christmas!

  • Kelley Cirrito December 24, 2011 at 1:02 am

    I hope you have a great holiday too Kristin! 🙂

  • teacherking55 December 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    FABULOUS!!!! I LOVE how organized your classroom is!!! You are just so creative! Where did you get the baskets? I really like thm! 🙂

  • Kristen December 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you!! The baskets were from the Dollar Tree, many years back.
    Kristen 🙂

  • Andrea December 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I would love to see part 2!!! I want my class to look that organized. Maybe this summer??? 🙂 Thank you for the inspiration. I would like to hear more about the black scene paper you put up with starch!

  • MG December 24, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    As an upcoming teacher, I really enjoy searching blogs for ideas on setting up and decorating my classroom. I love that your room is clean, organized, uncluttered, and NOT busy with every print imaginable. It looks awesome! Thanks for showing me it CAN be done. 🙂

  • Crystal December 25, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Just found your blog today and already I love all the greats ideas you have here. I teach kindergarten, but so much of your ideas would work well with my kids too! Thank you!

  • Kim December 26, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Okay, Kristen…
    I'm sorry to add a Christmas wish comment on a (fabulous) post about colored bins and round labels and using starch on walls–ESPECIALLY after I left a mini-novelette up above… and it feels like putting a magenta bin in a row of hot pink ones… pretty… but on the wrong shelf…
    BUT (where was I going with this? Oh yes…)
    I just REALLY wanted to thank you for the VERY-sweet-make-me-cry comment today. It all started with YOUR kindness and that cute little switcheroo graphic. (Shhhh. Don't tell. I looked at it about 50 times on lots of different sites before I realized there are not two but THREE different pictures flashing before my very eyes. If that is the newest version of the IQ test, I am NOT meeting the standards for visual discrimination.)

    So… ANOTHER lengthy circuitous post meant to say MERRY CHRISTMAS, Kristen. I am so glad you are my BloggyFriend!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  • Barbara December 26, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Hi again, Kristen! Thanks for answering my questions above 🙂 I hope you had the best ever Christmas day!
    Grade ONEderful

  • Heather December 27, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Hi! Do you have those basket labels available? I am working on a new math center, and many of those labels would work nicely!

  • Mrs. Cupcake December 27, 2011 at 5:15 am

    I second what Heather said… do you have the basket labels for the centers?? Love!

    I am so in love with your classroom. I am organized, but not as organized as I would like to be!

    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  • Kristen December 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Thank you so, so much everyone! I really appreciate your words–you have all made my day!!

    Kim, you are too funny! I like the magenta bin analogy, lol!

    Heather and Mrs. Cupcake (love that name!) I can't share/sell those exact ones due to terms of use, but I have similar ones on my TN shop:

    Thanks again for the sweet words!

  • Sophia December 29, 2011 at 4:14 am

    More pictures! Your room is such an inspiration to me, I could spend (many more!) hours and hours on your blogs and getting inspired. Keep them coming!

  • correa February 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    I love your classroom! The labels and very nice printed words for the bulletin boards really make a difference. What font or program do you use to make the labels and bulletin board words.

  • Think, Wonder, & Teach March 24, 2012 at 3:49 am

    It's MARCH! Where is part 2? I have been anxiously, eagerly, patiently waiting and can't wait any more. I love your room!

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  • Ana June 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I love your room. Want to se more! 😛

  • wyo99 July 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Loved the pictures of your room, I loved the idea of using ribbon as a border, would have never crossed my mind!

  • vazenchick July 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I LOVE the round labels. Do you have a template of them that you could share??

  • Muggy PIerfelice July 24, 2012 at 3:34 am

    I have been busy making my "Craft" board but am doing an "I CAN!" board….same idea/different letters. I downloaded your wonderful big round letters from your CRAFT board and VOICES board but I still need an N and an exclamation point. How do I do this???? Thanks tons. I love your site!

  • Anonymous July 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Is there a benefit to using black fabric verses black bulletin board paper? I have decided to try the black…… Should I go fabric? So many decisions. Is it hard to get the fabric the correct size? I looked on ur blog for more pictures. Have u ever posted more ? I am going with the black and turquoise. U clinched my decision!

    • Kristen July 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      Hi! The black fabric is great if you'd like to stay with it for awhile. I was able to just leave the fabric up over the summer for this coming school year. I also like that you can take it down and clean it, then reuse it again. I really love the black so much I'm going to stick with it for a long time, so it was a good investment.

      I measure the boards before ordering the fabric. I cut it into smaller pieces (not perfect-sized or anything, just manageable pieces) and applied them with liquid starch.

      I just started posting some updated pictures for this year, more to come:

      I did a different border this year, but kept the black of course. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  • Anonymous August 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I love your classroom color and design scheme. I am transitioning to black and white this year after about seven years of bright colors. Where did you get those awesome circles with both the printed and cursive letters (above your smartboard)? Did you make those?


    • Kristen August 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks Chrissy!! Yes, that's the alphabet set I made last year 🙂

  • Marie Toulet November 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I'm a french teacher and you can't imagine how your photos bring me inspiration for my own classroom! Wonderful!

  • Blurbs by Brenda May 10, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Adorable….I love the black bulletin boards.

  • gdawg90 June 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Wow! I love the organization, colors, and ideas included in your classroom photos. After reading through the comments from others, some of my questions were answered. I am curious to how you utilized the clear plastic drawer containers located to the left of the white board you created from shower board. I too have used shower board years ago to create individual white boards for my students. It is inexpensive and you can get enough for one entire classroom out of one large piece with careful measuring. I have many centers that are stored in gallon size Ziploc bags, but I love the ideas of the smaller baskets. The one large crate I am using is overflowing and the untidy mess drives me crazy. With furlough days and limited pre/post planning in our school system, teaches do not have the time to spend in their classrooms the way we did years ago and I feel overwhelmed with the build-up of clutter. After you admitted it took you more than two years, it gave me some hope. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to more photos and suggestions. The labels I have seen have given me a new jolt for beginning the organization I want to begin. Once I begin cleaning out, I will be referring back to this blog often. Thank you again! 🙂

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