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August 20, 2015

A New Year, A New Room

By Meghan Everette
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    It’s back-to-school time! Another year, another classroom. I was adding it up — this is my fifth room in ten years! I’m ready to settle in and get the year under way, but first I want to share some of the redecorating I undertook this summer.

     

    Outside Space

    Previously, the room had a bright orange doorframe and little other decoration. I added some fun plastic banners that can stand up to the weather and change seasonally. I repainted the doorframe white and hung a 3D Alabama state map that I covered with crimson chevron and my last initial. The large frame outside my door will hold our “leader of the week” posters throughout the year.

     

    Outside the classroom before Outside the classroom after redecorating

     

    WindowsWindow birds

    Brightening the space was a high priority. I couldn’t find many window treatments that I loved and could afford. I left the blinds half-open and cut out birds from colorful craft paper. I ran them through a sticker maker and perched them on washi tape. I can remove them if I need to, and they also allow the light in.

     

    New wall paint

     

    Paint

    Covering the old walls was also tops on my list. I picked a white tinged with blue to brighten the space. Painting a classroom is a labor of love. Two spots — an old shower board (you know, the kind you get from the DIY store to use as a whiteboard) and the cabinet doors — got a cover of chalkboard paint for our calendar and class Twitter wall.

     

     

     

    Storage and Standing

    I want more areas for students to roam the room and a standing desk seemed like a great option. There was only one cabinet and one open shelf in the room, so adding some additional hidden storage was important to me. I want supplies to be accessible, but I also want to be able to put them out of sight at times. I built in a standing desk above the existing shelf and made a long curtain attached with Velcro designed for hiding items. I also separated my paper into file boxes by color and type. There's no guessing which drawer houses the cardstock I'll need for pumpkins!

     

    Open wall space before shelves Building a shelf Standing shelf and storage

    Paper organization by color

     

    Reading Nook

    My old classroom had an inviting class library area, but left little seating options. So, for this year, I tried to leave open spaces, along with a book nook tucked between two file cabinets, as seating choices. A floor mat and cute accessories add to the space. We are encouraged to hang leadership quotes in our rooms, so I put different sayings in cheap magnet frames from the craft store that easily attach to the file cabinet "walls."

    Reading nook Leadership quotes

    Odds and Ends

    An old frame strung with cording holds little notes and reminders for me. Names are written on desks with paint pens (yes, they are removable!). My students will store their backpacks in plastic cubbies below the white board. All these little details are a hodgepodge of both necessity and personal style, and they make me happy in my home-away-from-home.

    Picture frame notes hanger Desk with paint pens Cubbies for classroom

     

    Reality

    As you scroll through back-to-school ads and teacher blogs, remember: these people are real. You might covet a perfectly color-coordinated classroom or a large open-concept space. But you have to work with what you’ve got, and we all have budgets of both money and time to keep in mind. Even the most polished spaces have their faults. Right now, my students' supplies are stacked against the front wall, the aquarium is dry, and my library is still in boxes. I haven't gotten my group table yet. It’s ok! Tomorrow, and the rest of the year, will be a fun adventure and my students will learn. That’s really what it’s all about.

    Classroom library not finished

    What exciting changes are you making in your classroom this year?

     

    Room before

     

    Full room redone

    It’s back-to-school time! Another year, another classroom. I was adding it up — this is my fifth room in ten years! I’m ready to settle in and get the year under way, but first I want to share some of the redecorating I undertook this summer.

     

    Outside Space

    Previously, the room had a bright orange doorframe and little other decoration. I added some fun plastic banners that can stand up to the weather and change seasonally. I repainted the doorframe white and hung a 3D Alabama state map that I covered with crimson chevron and my last initial. The large frame outside my door will hold our “leader of the week” posters throughout the year.

     

    Outside the classroom before Outside the classroom after redecorating

     

    WindowsWindow birds

    Brightening the space was a high priority. I couldn’t find many window treatments that I loved and could afford. I left the blinds half-open and cut out birds from colorful craft paper. I ran them through a sticker maker and perched them on washi tape. I can remove them if I need to, and they also allow the light in.

     

    New wall paint

     

    Paint

    Covering the old walls was also tops on my list. I picked a white tinged with blue to brighten the space. Painting a classroom is a labor of love. Two spots — an old shower board (you know, the kind you get from the DIY store to use as a whiteboard) and the cabinet doors — got a cover of chalkboard paint for our calendar and class Twitter wall.

     

     

     

    Storage and Standing

    I want more areas for students to roam the room and a standing desk seemed like a great option. There was only one cabinet and one open shelf in the room, so adding some additional hidden storage was important to me. I want supplies to be accessible, but I also want to be able to put them out of sight at times. I built in a standing desk above the existing shelf and made a long curtain attached with Velcro designed for hiding items. I also separated my paper into file boxes by color and type. There's no guessing which drawer houses the cardstock I'll need for pumpkins!

     

    Open wall space before shelves Building a shelf Standing shelf and storage

    Paper organization by color

     

    Reading Nook

    My old classroom had an inviting class library area, but left little seating options. So, for this year, I tried to leave open spaces, along with a book nook tucked between two file cabinets, as seating choices. A floor mat and cute accessories add to the space. We are encouraged to hang leadership quotes in our rooms, so I put different sayings in cheap magnet frames from the craft store that easily attach to the file cabinet "walls."

    Reading nook Leadership quotes

    Odds and Ends

    An old frame strung with cording holds little notes and reminders for me. Names are written on desks with paint pens (yes, they are removable!). My students will store their backpacks in plastic cubbies below the white board. All these little details are a hodgepodge of both necessity and personal style, and they make me happy in my home-away-from-home.

    Picture frame notes hanger Desk with paint pens Cubbies for classroom

     

    Reality

    As you scroll through back-to-school ads and teacher blogs, remember: these people are real. You might covet a perfectly color-coordinated classroom or a large open-concept space. But you have to work with what you’ve got, and we all have budgets of both money and time to keep in mind. Even the most polished spaces have their faults. Right now, my students' supplies are stacked against the front wall, the aquarium is dry, and my library is still in boxes. I haven't gotten my group table yet. It’s ok! Tomorrow, and the rest of the year, will be a fun adventure and my students will learn. That’s really what it’s all about.

    Classroom library not finished

    What exciting changes are you making in your classroom this year?

     

    Room before

     

    Full room redone

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