Monday, June 18, 2012

Beware: A Work In Progress!

“It’s okay, Joelle! I can see that there is a method to the madness!”

My sweet co-teacher assured me when I told her that I didn't know what I was doing with my classroom. She told me that she had walked into my classroom earlier this week to see how things were coming along. How embarrassing! I KNOW what that room looks like and it ain't pretty! Everything is on the floor and scooted to the middle of the room...and I mean EVERYTHING!

Thank goodness she has more faith in me than I have in myself!

I am taking the place of an awesome, awesome teacher (seriously, the principal and her teammates got a little teary-eyed at the end-of-the-year luncheon!) who will be staying home with her baby. I told her not to worry and to leave anything she didn't want to take home. I would take care of the clean up and I was totally okay with that. I would HATE to bend over and scrub tiles and wipe down counters at 7 and a half months pregnant!! Been there, done that! Not fun!

What I didn't realize was that I would have to sort out MY things and HER things. I guess the HUGE pile of "stuff" in the middle of the classroom is now a bit overwhelming! So I procrastinated and ignored the huge mess and instead worked on projects that were NOT on the floor: my bulletin boards!

Anyways, here are a pictures of a few projects that I have been working on!


My first paint job! Nice and shiny! But up close, there are a LOT of uneven paint spots.
  • Side-by-side, these 2 cubby boxes will go under the big main white board in the front of the room.
  • Brown cardboard cubby box inserts for each student to put their things in.
  • The cubby box inserts will house extra supplies, books, and folders.


This fabric will be used for my curtains for my three big windows.

I can't do math miscalculated my measurements so I miraculously bought enough fabric for ALL 3 windows!! Imagine that. Originally, I was measuring the fabric PER WINDOW :( Ummm....yeah.

My mom will sew them for me. She asked if I also wanted ruffles on top (yes!) and extra fringe and attached designs on the bottom (no thanks!). I will tie them back with solid green ribbons. I asked our school custodian if I can have curtain rods drilled into the walls and he said that I can do "whatever" I want to the room! Yay! But I think I'll stick with the 3M Command hooks so I don't get in trouble later :)

Word Wall

Do you like how I discriminated against the letters "v, w, x, y, and z?" I ran out of room and I figured there really aren't 
that many words that would go under those letters :)

  • I typed up all the word wall vocabulary words with vowels in red letters and consonants in blue letters.
  • cut and laminated the words.
  • stuck magnets on them.
  • put up each word after they're learned and they stay up the remainder of the year.

The Common Core is incorporating a lot more vocabulary words in all subject areas, so this word wall will have the new vocabulary words posted (laminated and stuck on magnets). In years past, I put all my high-frequency/sight words on my word wall, but I think this year, I will just attach a laminated sight word list in each student's writing folder or in a totally separate folder. 
Math Workshop Rotation Board

  • I covered my bulletin boards with white poster boards first.
  • Added these little border beauties.
  • I used a whole pocket chart instead of cutting up 2 skinny pocket charts in half.
I have no idea if this Math Workshop Rotation board will work with the new core curriculum, but I will try it and see how it goes. If not, I'll be very sad when I have to take it down. It worked really well in my 1st grade class last year.

Got the lime green polka dot bulletin board here.

Got the Math Workshop Rotation Board here.

Reading Strategies Board

All good readers need strategies when they get stuck on a tricky word.

I got the strategies from here.

I am still trying to figure out where I found those CAFE posters.

I added 2 of my own posters (One-To-One Iguana and Blending Bumblebee) because I wanted to fit all of our old reading strategies with the new reading strategies. I also changed the font and pictures because I wanted cuter posters.

Those are my finished projects for now!


A couple of things I want to add to complete my classroom decor would be:

1. Green and blue pom pom balls above my reading nook:

2. A lamp shade in the corner of my reading nook:

A teacher in our school had this in her room. SO cute!

3. Blue and green polka-dot pennants on my white board that I've been seeing a lot in teaching blogs.

4. I would also like to put a little matching curtain in my doorway windows and a little corner table and green lampshade by the doorway.

5. A Dr. Seuss saying in vinyl lettering, and other vinyl lettering sayings, to put on my walls.

I've been on Pinterest and A LOT of other teacher blogs trying to find my favorite ideas to add to my room. Did I mention that my classroom NEEDS to be set up before I leave for my month-long, overseas trip next month? I get back 2 DAYS before the first contract day!! I planned that soooo wrong! I hope I get it done before I leave for my trip and so I can spend more time with my own kiddos this summer.

I will share more pics of the entire classroom when I have it all set up. Then I'll worry about my files - yikes! But I am really excited to see the end results!!

Thanks for visiting,



  1. these are really nice ideas. what font did you use for most of them.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. A :)

  2. Thanks for visiting Mrs. A! I use a lot of fonts from Kevin and Amanda! They are free and super cute! I've noticed a lot of TPT Teacher sellers and teacher bloggers use these fonts for most everything they sell or use in the classroom. Check it out:

    Kevin and Amanda Free Fonts