Happy New School Year!

It's hard to believe that a new year is started already! This summer I spent more time on summer, and less time at school. I taught summer camp, took a few trips, and took care of myself. 10/10 would recommend. School is important, but life is not all about school.

I get a lot of questions about my classroom set-up and routine, so I wanted to share it with you! I'll share one area of my classroom at a time and what it is used for. Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to stay in this classroom for the second year in a row, so some tasks were already completed. That cut set-up time down for sure.

Here is an overview! I use desks instead of tables so that I have the freedom to change up the layout of my classroom. I try to define different areas of my room as well. My classroom is partial flexible seating.

Word Work

Pictured here is my word work area! During centers time, my students complete two rotations a day. Throughout the week, students will visit each center about two times, depending on the group. This table serves at the home bask for our word work. Students can find task cards, dry erase sleeves, dry erase markers & erasers, and sight word folders here. Letter tiles, magnets, and pattern blocks are other supplies that students use often and they are stored on a nearby shelf. When students come to the word work center, they make a choice for their activity. Since these activities are paperless and reusable, students snap a picture on the Seesaw app to turn in their work. Seesaw is a student portfolio app and it has been great for promoting independence and accountability.

Here are a few of our word work supplies! I use facial scrubbers from Dollar Tree as erasers. I have had really good luck with there. They are dirty at the end of the year, but I just pop them in the washer and dryer and they are good to go again! These dry erase pockets are available in the Target dollar spot from time to time. Click the picture to see a listing on Amazon for this great resource (affiliate)!

Classroom Library


My classroom library is most often used in the morning, and during our centers time. In this area of the room, the books are sorted by genre (a few have levels). Each students gets their own colored book bin too keep 3 choice books. They are also allowed to go "book shopping" for a leveled book. I have a separate cart of leveled books (pictured) used for read to self and take home books. I start take home books about a month into the school year. I will share my process for take home bags in September!

Word Wall, Writing, and Math, OH MY!

This area in the back of my classroom is home to many resources my students use daily! On the left, there are turn in bins and our cubbies. The bins are labeled for different subjects/parts of the day: morning work, writing, centers, and math. The cubbies are used to hold our headphones (in bags) and Words Their Way cards. The word wall gets new words added each week. My class uses Fry 1-100 words in first grade, plus a few additions. I add these words as we learn them. Color word posters (Happy Teacher's Palette) and my because poster (Hello Jen Jones) are displayed up top so students can always see them.

The writing board has a pocket chart. I display words that match different events and holidays in that month. I also hang up anchor charts as needed. This board is a great place for students to check for words they may need for their writing center, or a process we are using during writer's workshop.

My math board also has a pocket chart. I change out the "I can" statements and vocab words for each chapter. I post different strategies throughout the year as well, or an anchor chart as needed. Underneath the math board is storage that I use for my math manipulatives (labels by Teach Create Motivate). The big green/black boxes are TechTub2 containers that store our classroom iPads. You can click the picture below to be directed to my tech list on Amazon (affiliate).

The trays next to the tech tub serve as our classroom home base. When my students unpack, they empty their folder into these trays as needed and then put their empty folder in their mailbox for the day.

Teacher Area

My teacher area is in the front of my classroom and it holds my computer, supplies I need to get to easily, and teacher manuals. I keep office papers, lunch count, paper attendance, and other forms in the blue sorter on the left. To the right of my computer I keep book bins with other important items. This includes a sub tub with a binder and emergency plans, student information, math, and writing/WTW. The shelf next to my teacher area has shoe box sized bins that hold extra supplies for the year, as well as my days of the week bins. I use these to hold my copies and prepare for upcoming weeks.

I like keeping my calendar and schedule near this area so that it is easy to change out and refer to during the day.

Small Group

My small group area is one of my favorite areas in my classroom! I use this area multiple times a day. It is used for guided reading groups every morning, and then math and intervention groups in the afternoon.

The rainbow drawers behind my table hold the materials for each group, and many other reading supplies. I keep games and letter tiles under the curtains behind the table. The blue bins along the window hold small group sets of different leveled readers. Reading tools we commonly use include: whisper phones, pointer fingers, highlighters, dry erase markers, and more! You can check out my tutorial on whisper phones on my Instagram highlights.

I teach two 20 minute groups a day. I set up my schedule so that I can meet with my lowest reading groups more times during the week. This is a center rotation and we do this daily.

Student Tables

I use desks in my classroom so that I have the freedom to change up my arrangement during the year. At each table, I keep a set of drawers. The drawers hold math boxes (ten frames, dice, 20 unifix cubes), writing folders and journals, and dry erase boards and clipboards. We use clipboards for enrichment work, each student gets a packet for the month, and unfinished work. If there is an assignment that a student doesn't finish, it goes on top of their clipboard. When a student finishes a task, they work on "clipboard work". The caddies on top of the drawers keep together our community supplies. The caddies and labels help us stay organized and use less glue sticks and dry erase markers throughout the year!

Focus Wall and Carpet

I teach whole group lessons on the carpet throughout the day. I keep monthly books in this area and post our focus for each subject area. We say our focuses together when we start a lesson. I also store morning meeting materials in this area.

Thank you for touring my classroom! Feel free to leave comments if there is anything you would like to learn more about.

Upcoming topics: centers, Epic!, and take home books

#beginningoftheyear #backtoschool #newclassroom #classroom #classroomsetup #organizeandeducate

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