Classroom Tour and Design Ideas
I am so excited to share what I have been up to these last few weeks. We have been working on the Teacher Fixer Upper classrooms. It has been so much fun. This year two classrooms were selected. I’m going to share the runner up classroom… did I mention we did two classrooms this year?
What is the Teacher Fixer Upper?
The Teacher Fixer Upper as been a project that Berteau & Co has been involved with for a number of years. Teachers from all over the United States apply. You may know Berteau & Co by their stunning teacher planners. You can check them out by clicking here.
Jose and Shawn donate their time and talent to making classrooms not only beautiful, but also functional. Additionally, companies and teacher authors donate their time and money to help complete the classroom project.
You will want to sign up for the Berteau & Co newsletter so you can apply next year.
I am going to show you the runner-up classroom. The Grand Prize winner will be revealed shortly. Click here to find The Teacher Fixer Upper on Instagram.
As I write the post, I will say, “WE” a lot. To be clear, Jose had the vision and I was just the worker bee. Anything you see that was put on the wall and looks less than perfect… that was me…LOL!
First Grade Classroom
First of all, I don’t know about you, but I am a control FREAK. I can not imagine handing my classroom over to virtual strangers and then not being about to see it until just before the Meet the Teacher night. Mrs. G has nerves of STEEL! Let me walk you through her classroom.
As you enter her room, you will see this stunning carpet from School Girl Style. We put a fadeless paper on her wall (floor to ceiling) because we were not able to get into the building to paint. You know… you plan for things, then maintenance projects get in the way. I know teachers everywhere understand this.
We also double bordered the paper with School Girl Style border… plus a few of her paper lanterns.
The pegboard you see on the wall is from IKEA. Mrs. G will be adding additional clips and cups to the pegboard.
We also love the Amazing Work signs that we put on the board. Jose purchased these off of TPT and they were perfect. You can see them here.
Mrs. G will use the rest of this wall for her calendar and focus wall.
Mrs. G had this file cabinet that was a standard gray color. She mentioned she did not really care for the way it looked, so we spray painted it brown and turn it into part of the tree trunk. Then Jose did his magic. He added vines and paper flowers. (By the way, my dog, Ozzie, ate one of the flowers and he was deeply sorry for it.)
You can also see some white shelves next to the file cabinet. Those are also from IKEA. [IKEA loves us.]
Let’s Add Storage
I realize that most of the teachers in the world feel they don’t have enough storage… ever. Sincerely, Mrs. G did not. Jose was able to purchase the two tall white cabinets from IKEA. They hold a ton of storage and fit perfectly in the room.
Really Good Stuff donated the colorful bins you see. Honestly, I fell in love with these bins. They are large and have plastic dividers. I will show you how we used them as desk solutions.
Classroom Tour and Design Ideas: The Loft
This reading loft is precious! We were able to purchase it on Facebook Marketplace. We love that it has built-in shelves (you can see them under the ladder.) We also added one of the bookshelves Mrs. G had in her classroom to make the nook a bit more inviting. I think we’d like to add a little lamp in there too. On top of the loft, we added book bins so students would not need to carry a lot to the top. Mrs. G can rotate those books.
The bookshelves, wooden stools and picture frames were all from IKEA (maybe next year they will donate some furniture for this project… HINT! HINT!) The orange stools were something Mrs. G had already purchased and we love that they fit in with the color scheme.
Jose used his digital cutter to make the wording, “Be you own kind of beautiful.” He also used the digital cutter to make the flowers. These are some of the flowers that Ozzie did not eat… bless! We got the pillows for the loft at Home Goods (AKA: My home away from home.)
The “curtains” see under the loft are actually shower curtains from Wal-Mart. We used a staple gun to attach them to the underside of the loft.
Classroom Tour and Design Ideas: Student Tables
Originally, these white tables were going to be used. However, after these photos were taken, we swapped them out for slightly bigger tables. Since these were first-grade students (and she has a really large class) we need a bit more elbow room.
The Writing Center
On the end of the loft, we added a pegboard from Home Depot. I spray painted it with 700 coats of bright green paint. Then it was attached with screws to the loft. We added hooks (from Home Depot) and added the vocabulary words from my writing center. Some of these cards students will leave on the wall. Others will be brought down so they can look through them. Each month this center is updated to keep it fresh and engaging for the students.
You can find the writing center by clicking here.
You can read more about the writing center in these blog posts.
Classroom Tour and Design Ideas: Small Group Area and Center Bins
Mrs. G has her small group table ready to go. That checkered rug is from Home Depot. This is an indoor/outdoor rug so it should hold up nicely. The best part… it was under $100… RUN THERE NOW!
Under the window you can see some more IKEA bins. These have the center labels on them. These are free. You can get them at the end of this blog post by adding your email in the box below.
The white curtains are from Target. Then we purchased some fabric and my mom came to the rescue and sewed the curtains. We got a very inexpensive curtain rod at Walmart and brought the curtains all the way to the ceiling. This gives the classroom a more open feel I think.
Classroom Tour and Design Ideas: Sound Wall and Word Wall
You can see the sound wall that is included in the Not Your Mother’s Sight Word Science of Reading unit. These will be written on as the year progresses.
You also see the word wall. Words will be placed on binder rings so students can use them as needed.
Classroom Tour and Design Ideas: Student Desk Storage Solutions
These bins from Really Good Stuff are perfect for student supplies. Each bin holds 3 students’ worth of “desk” materials. We love how organized they feel.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
I wanted to end this blog post with this. Do you need a color-coordinated classroom? NO! No, you do not. You can still be THE most amazing teacher and have a classroom that is not color-coordinated.
In fact, I remember my 1st grade teacher with such love and affection because of the way she made me feel and the experience she provided for me. Mrs. Hess was spectacular and I sort of remember her classroom being a cross between a garage sale and the junk drawer I have at home.
Remember, no matter what your classroom looks like, you are the sparkle that makes it the place students want to be.
Have a great year!