Sunday, September 18, 2016

Take a Peek Into My Classroom

Hey y'all, today I'm FINALLY here with a reveal of my second grade math classroom. I hope you enjoy this peek into the space where I spend my days.

I switched schools this year, so that meant I was starting from scratch. Let me tell you, after four years of being in the same classroom with basically the same set up, starting fresh in a brand new classroom really took some brain power. Here's a look at what my room looked like before the countless hours of work we put in to transform the space.

My new school -- which is heaven on Earth by the way -- is currently under construction. This time next year, I'll be sitting pretty in a brand new classroom (again) in a brand spanking new building! Because we're literally under construction, our school theme for the year is "Building a Stronger Future."

Our halls are filled with construction signs, caution tape, and tons of cute clipart kids at work! I don't normally jump on board with a theme in my classroom, because I'll get over it really quick, but I did take the construction theme to the max outside of my room.

This "Nailed It" display is for student work. I have two classes this year so each class gets one side of the display.

I got the idea for these quick under construction signs from Ashlyn at The Creative Classroom. They were a simple way to make my display look complete for supply drop off day even without student work.

All of the classrooms have two doors. I like to designate an in and out door just to streamline the flow of traffic in the classroom. The wreaths were inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest and were crazy easy to put together! I started with styrofoam wreath forms and just looped strips of caution tape around. It took an hour or so to fill up the whole wreath, so I definitely suggest doing this project with Netflix and a glass of wine. But it truly was a project you could do without focusing a lot of attention to it.

This is the view when you walk in through the in door.

In this view you can see my teacher table and the little corner I use to store all those teacher things. I try to take up as little space in my classroom as I can for me. I ditched that huge teacher desk in my second year of teaching. It really is just a place for junk to accumulate. I want my classroom to have as much room for my students to move and learn in, so that thing had to go!

I use these drawers to keep myself organized. I have one drawer for each day of the week. I store any materials, copies, and books that I'll need for that day's lesson in this drawer. There's also a drawer for next week for those times when I'm ahead at planning and have things ready in advance. There's a drawer for papers that need to be filed and copied. The extra sets drawer is where I store extra class sets of resources that I just might not get to. That way if I end up with a few spare minutes I have activities I can pull and those class sets don't go to waste. It's also a perfect space to reference in your emergency sub plans. The last drawer is pink because it's my love notes drawer. This is the space that I keep all those treasures that my students give me like love notes, pictures, coloring sheets, and anything else those sweethearts gift me with.

Behind my teacher table is our brag tag display. With two classes our brag tags take up a big space, but it's absolutely worth it. My students love brag tags and I love that there's so many options of things I can positively reward them for!

These adorable name tags came from my Louisiana teacher blogger friend Kristen at the Hub City Classroom.

In that first view you can also see our "I'm Done Station" as well as the place where we store all things testing.

This set of drawers is the I'm Done Station. Early finishers come here to find something to do when they finish work early. I'll do a full blog post on this in the future because it truly is a life saver and super easy to put together on the cheap!

I color code my classes to keep myself and my students organized. My morning class is blue and the afternoon class is green. They each have their own drawer to turn in graded assignments. The crate next to the grade drawers is filled with our test folders. These are just two coated paper folders I stapled together to use as privacy folders during test taking times. This little filing cabinet is where I store each classes tests. One of my coworkers was getting rid of it and I snatched it up since it matched my room perfectly!

Here's a view of the teacher table area from the opposite side of the room.

In this view you can see our word wall and anchor chart bulletin boards. These two boards are going to be filled up as the year goes on as a place for my students to look back and review key concepts and ideas.

I created the pennant banners using a Silhouette Cameo, cardstock, small clothespins, and twine. Here's a little trick I developed to display anchor charts. I use binder clips to hang the charts. The black part holds the charts together, and I use the back silver side to hang them from a nail or hook.

Looking out from my teacher table, this is what you see.

This wall is where storage happens! It's also home to our library and what I call the "Math Wall."

I use these small, medium, and large Sterilite shoeboxes to house all of our math manipulatives. The large turquoise bins are from Michaels. I got them for a 60% end of summer discount and they each only cost about $3!! I use those to store those big and bulky supplies like Kleenex, paper towels, Clorox wipes, and bottles of hand sanitizer.

Since I no longer teach ELA, I spent a good bit of time paring down my library. I stuck with content buckets for Math, Science, and Social Studies. Then I put together a bins that all teachers need holidays and school themes.

Here's a view of our Math Wall. The addition and subtraction strategy posters come from Amy Lemons.

The giant number line is one of my favorite things in my classroom. My students use the number line all the time during Math workshop. 

This storage cabinet is where we display our ClassDojo Points Clubs.

Each time a student earns 100 points on ClassDojo their number magnet will move to that club. This is a fun way to celebrate without giving candy or toy rewards. They also earn a brag tag each time they join a new club.

Here's the view of the front of our room.

 Here's a closer look at some of the details including my calendar, number posters from The Bubbly Blonde Teacher, and hand signals inspired by these from The Tattooed Teacher.

To the left of the board you can see the Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance, our rules, and our giant hundreds chart.

Our giant hundreds chart is another tool that my students use constantly during math stations. The number word posters are also from Amy Lemons and you can find them here.

To the right of the board you'll see our clock and our helper boards.

Each class has a helper board. The ClassDojo Master is the person who earns the most points on ClassDojo each week. This person is a helper plus they get to pick our GoNoodle brain breaks for the week. Instead of having class jobs this year since I switch classes midday I decided to simplify and have a boy and girl helper each week. These students do any and all odd jobs like passing papers and bringing things to the office. I randomly select them each week. 

Here's a few other details from our room.

I hope you enjoyed touring my classroom. If you want to save this post for future classroom design and setup inspiration or want to share the post with other teachers, you can save the image below to your Pinterest boards! Hugs, kisses, and tell your mom and 'dem I said hey!


  1. I love your classroom! I thought I had seen it all by now, but I haven't noticed the dojo club wall. It's such a great idea to use a magnetic surface and magnets to advance through levels. Love that!

  2. I love your classroom! I thought I had seen it all by now, but I haven't noticed the dojo club wall. It's such a great idea to use a magnetic surface and magnets to advance through levels. Love that!

  3. Your classroom is really a good example for many schools to decorate like this, it shows how creative you are and the stuffs are quite amazing too.