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Classroom Setup: A Home Away From Home

By Shari Carter on August 5, 2015
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

Welcome — or welcome back — to Top Teaching! This is my first time blogging for Scholastic, and I am beyond excited to embark on this journey with you! My school year begins on August 24, and this is what my classroom looks like today. However, just a few short weeks ago, it was a mess! I am so happy to "open the doors" for you and even more excited for my new students to finally see their classroom! Our "Meet the Teacher" event is just a couple weeks away, and I can hardly wait to meet these kids. I am really looking forward to begin putting faces to the names that are so cheerfully posted all around the room.

This was my room as it looked not too long ago: cleaned and ready to go for a new year. Our custodians are the most dedicated people and take great pride in making sure our school looks beautiful for the kids who will be here soon.

 

Classrooms should create feelings of comfort and welcome. Color and themes can help achieve that. Last year I chose a bee theme and I loved it. I loved it so much that even though I typically change themes from year to year, I just couldn’t say goodbye to all my cute bee stuff yet.

 

Well, this little thing use to be the most hideous 1970s barstool, but with a couple coats of spray paint (thanks to my hubby) and some very cute fabric, our “Honey Bee” chair looks super cute in our room.

 

Our classroom supplies coordinate with the colors in our room. I love using scrapbook paper to add extra details and color such as the labels on these bins. I got these cute yellow bins three for one dollar — what a steal! I love when I am able to find these at an inexpensive price, because our crayon boxes are usually destroyed by the end of the year.

 

Last year's kinders made this for me. This is such a treasure! If you look very closely, you can see that each bee is made from a student thumbprint. The leaves were also hand-painted by each and every one of my sweet kids. Now you can probably see why I couldn’t let the bees go just yet!

 

In the summer, when I am not in my classroom setting up for the school year, I love being outdoors and spending time with my family. This is my hubby and me on a hike in Ponderosa State Park. It was a great way to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary this summer I adore this man!

 

My son just graduated and will soon be entering the military. This boy knew what he wanted to do for as long as I can remember. He loves the outdoors and is always up for an adventure!

 

I don’t think you’ll ever find a bigger animal lover than my daughter. She has a bleeding heart for all animals. If it were her choice, she would live in a zoo! She aspires to become a veterinarian one day.

 

This rocking chair was a gift from my husband when I was expecting our first child. It has so much meaning to me, and I love that I still get to use it every day, even though my kids are getting so grown up. The rocker is in my classroom right now. I use it for my read-alouds to the kids, and the kids use it to do their author sharing and book talks.


 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have as much fun getting ready for your new class as I did! I just can’t wait to meet my new students and share some of my very favorite back-to-school books with them. It’s going to be a fantastic year!

 

Great Back-to-School Books:

Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton                    

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

Mouse's First Day of School by Lauren Thompson

Charlie Goes to School by Ree Drummond

Thanks for reading, and have a happy day!

Shari :)

Comments (25)

As a mother of a past student in Mrs. Carter's class. All I can say is that this classroom was a magical place for the students. How lucky we were to experience it!!

You are too sweet Ali! Thanks so much for your support of this new adventure I am on! It means the world to me!!!

So excited for your new blogging venture. I love your bees and hope you keep them a very long time. Parents should take note of how special the thumbprint gifts are. I still have a fish canister and a bug candy dish made from two different classes' cute fingerprints from over a decade ago. The kids names are next to each one and remind me of how much love and learning we shared. Looking forward to a new batch of kiddos in less than 2 weeks! See you sooner!

Hi Jerrilene!
Thanks so much for your comment. I hope you have a wonderful school year with your new batch of kiddos! I really appreciate you following my blog!!

I love the way you have your books on the book stand, welcoming the children back with great reads. I am so excited to meet my three year olds this school year.

I love that I have an area to display my books too! I change out the books each time my theme changes and doing this not only gets the kids eager to learn about something new, It also gets me excited about what I get to teach! Thanks for your comment and for stopping by!

Congrats on your first blog post, Shari! Your room looks darling, and I can tell you are ready to BUZZ into the school year with your new class of kinders. I'll look forward to seeing your blogs throughout the year. Enjoy! Kathy

Thanks so much Kathy - I do love my bees! I hope you have a amazing school year with your kiddos!!!

Hi Shari! Your room is so cute....you are awesome! Your students are so lucky to have you as their teacher! I'm looking forward to following your year on here! I know you'll be an inspiration!

Thanks so much for your support and kind words Diane!

Hey! Great post! Your room looks great and your desk name plates are really great. Is that your handwriting or did you run them through a printer? I've never thought about running them through a printer to get their names on them before.

Thanks Brian! I printed my nameplates on the computer and I always like the fonts I choose way better than my own handwriting! :)

You can do name plates on the computer? My school uses name plates from an unknown source and they all must be the same. I love the idea of using a computer based labeling system. put it this way we still do report cards, assessments, and labels by hand in my Catholic school. I guess it is to keep us faithful as we toil. Ha. No I love teaching preschool. We are being remodeled so we had to take all of our shelving down and bring home ALL of our materials. I will need great teacher ideas this year as I am starting fresh after teaching 30 years! I am so proud of the challenge and gift of teaching hundreds of children. The classroom environment is everyone's second home and it must be warm and full of love. We use primary colors, books and centers are everywhere in organized sections. Your classroom is beautiful. I work in Chinatown NYC but your school seems "country" and large, is it suburban? Mine is in the basement of a 30 floor tower in lower Manhattan.

You can do name plates on the computer? My school uses name plates from an unknown source and they all must be the same. I love the idea of using a computer based labeling system. put it this way we still do report cards, assessments, and labels by hand in my Catholic school. I guess it is to keep us faithful as we toil. Ha. No I love teaching preschool. We are being remodeled so we had to take all of our shelving down and bring home ALL of our materials. I will need great teacher ideas this year as I am starting fresh after teaching 30 years! I am so proud of the challenge and gift of teaching hundreds of children. The classroom environment is everyone's second home and it must be warm and full of love. We use primary colors, books and centers are everywhere in organized sections. Your classroom is beautiful. I work in Chinatown NYC but your school seems "country" and large, is it suburban? Mine is in the basement of a 30 floor tower in lower Manhattan.

As always Shari, it looks great. It is welcoming to students and adults! Have a great year!

Thanks Kay! You are so sweet! :)

I hope you have a wonderful year too!

Shari, your classroom is so beautiful - I love the personal touches like the rocking chair! And right you are about crayon boxes - they only last a month or two in my classroom. Can't wait to read more about your classroom!

Only a teacher could understand our crayon dilemmas in the classroom! At least we get to enjoy supplies being perfect while we wait for our kiddos to come back to school!!!

This looks amazing! I love your library books for the first day and I love your "Home Away from Home" themed blog as this blog is so YOU! Best of luck this school year. Your students are so lucky to have you!

Thank you so much for you sweet comments and support! Books always get me so excited and I love putting them on display for all the kids to see. As seasons, holidays, and themes change, so do my books. I hope you have a wonderful school year!

Shari--Your room is adorable. I love your ideas and the organization of the desks! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Thanks for reading my post and for your nice comments. I just rearranged my tables and I think the arrangement will help support the collaborative activities of my students.

Welcome Shari! Your room looks so cute! I can't wait to see what you have planned for this year.
Allie

Thank you Allie for your kind words and support! I'm so, so excited to be on this great adventure with Scholastic!

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