Right now, it may look bare, but I wanted to keep lots of open space for anchor charts, posters, and pictures as we start to learn together. I want my 1st grade friends to feel ownership in the space. Since I’ve been blessed with a stunning physical space, I did not adopt a ‘theme’, but focused on clean lines and organization. I wanted us feel comfortable in the space, not overwhelmed, and know where everything is. For my personal well-being, I wanted a calm and organized home. 🙂
As you walk in the room and turn left, you’re greeted by our writing center. A transformed teacher desk (desk drawers facing the wall), this makes the perfect writing area. The magnetic sides of the desk are perfect for hanging materials or sticking Command Hooks. Plus, the large surface will be great for holding our writing materials and the open space above the desk will be perfect for showcasing our anchor charts. Although we’re a week and a half into school, this is one area of our classroom we’ve yet to explore. The anticipation is killing us, but we are going to hold out for another 2 weeks or so. Right now, we are focusing our writing juices and efforts on Oral Writing.
The small plastic containers (purchased from Dollar Tree) are perfect for offering ideas for our writing. In the magazine holder, using an idea from Second Story Window, I’ve placed our classroom journals. As students begin to have free choice during our Daily 5 rotations, they may choose to add a story to our shared writing journals. From this angle you can see a peek of the Teacher Wife’s “What Writers Write” pencil. This week, we are exploring “What Writers Write” during our snack/read aloud time. (You may grab all the labels here.)
Kristen Smith’s “Work on Writing” I Can statements are perfect for encouraging my students and keeping us focused. On the side of the desk, you’ll noticed command hooks for word/vocabulary rings. I love Renee Dooly’s Word Cards for Littles. To begin our year, I’ve only included a few of the cards on the rings – summer words, school words, sports words, emotion words. As we continue through the year, I’ll keep on adding words to the rings!
In this corner, I also have my teacher table. I use stools from Ikea for student seats because they take up zero room, and they are perfect for wigglly 1st graders! 😉 I have two black, Sterilite drawers under each end of the circle table. One set of drawers is my traditional ‘teacher desk’ and the second set holds my small group materials – blue (high), yellow (medium), and green (low) groups.
This is our library nook, and we started using it the very first day! My kids know our most important goal is to become better readers, and they’re excited. As a less-expensive, easy-to-clean, carpet alternative, I purchased rubber floor tiles on Amazon for our space. I so excited to say they’ve worked perfectly!
The two bookshelves provided by my school hold our read-aloud, seasonal books for our wooden book display, student book bins, and our leveled library. You can snag the labels here.
Then, using plate holders from Hobby Lobby, we have a great book display in our window. Did I mention I have THREE windows?!? It’s awesome!! (But beware, when books or things are close to the window, they may or may not have a tendency to ‘hop’ out!)
Rounding the corner, you see the last bit of our room – our learning tools storage, word wall, and cubbies. (Snag the labels here.)
Lastly, welcoming guests into our classroom is our ‘Wow Work’ display. While I’ll have a more formal space outside for every student to showcase work, our in-classroom display is perfect for highlighting small victories. This is one thing I really missed not having last year, so I was thrilled to find space for it over our mailboxes.
So, friends – there you go! I’m so excited to show you our space, and I love how my sweet 1st grade friends have made it ‘home’. It’s going to be a fantastic year! 🙂
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How are your table groups working? I'm intrigued by the way you arranged them and that some students have their backs to the board. Do you find students off task a lot by the large groups?
Hi Jessica, Since I'm at 23 students, only 4 students have their backs to the front of the classroom. Honestly, we spend very little time at our tables (maybe 20-30 mins a day). Most of our learning takes place at centers or the carpet. Plus, with cooperative learning (table groups, a partners, b partners, etc) when we are at our desks, everyone is accountable. So, for us, it works really well!! 🙂
Your room is beautiful!! A few years ago, my old classroom had partitions. It wasn't fun! Have a great year!!
Mrs.Christy’s Leaping Loopers
It's beautiful! I love how everything coordinates and is organized! Clearly, a lot of thought, effort and work went into your classroom! Your kids must love it!
Smiles and Sunshine
Allie Bond says
Your room looks great! I have the same point of view as you- I want my room to look clean and organized so I can add student work. I'm not big on having a theme either. I can tell you worked very hard. Have a good week!
Monica R. says
I love how organized everything is!! That's my goal for this year!
For a primary room, it's SO clean! I loved how you used your cabinets for wall space. I'll probably end up doing that for my cabinet by my desk. It's adorable 🙂 Good luck with your firsts! You're gonna love the land of primary!
A Little of LiLi
Elizabeth Rossmiller says
Catherine- Where did you get the "3 Ways to Read a Book" printable?? I love it & would love a link! Is it for sale on TPT?
Hi Elizabeth! You can find it was a freebie on Reagan Tunstall's blog. 🙂
Mrs. Spangler in the Middle says
I love your neat and organized room! I wish I had the $$ to invest in all the plastic bins I need. I too love the "I can" statements for writing and will have to ponder what they would look like for middle schoolers because they could use some reminders too! 🙂
Mrs. Spangler in the Middle
Your room looks amazing! Organized and clutter free! Here's wishing you a most wonderful year…enjoy the ride!
Funky in Fourth says
Wow. Your room looks fabulous. Your littles are so lucky to have you as a teacher. Can't wait to see what this year brings for you! 🙂
Funky in Fourth
I love the clean lines of your room and how it will grow with the kiddo's as they learn. Totally impressed with the clock faces beside your schedule cards such a great way to be subtly exposing them to time all year 🙂
The Almost Their Height Teacher
Samantha McClure says
I am intrigued by the picture tub in your writing center. Are those Polaroids? Or just made to look like them?
Annie Hawkins says
Where did you get the blue pattern labels, labels that are inside the cubbies, and the labels in the reading nook where the leveled readers are?
Alexandria Margaret says
Do you sell the edible signs you use to label all the bins. I'd love to purchase printable signs to labels my draws and bins with pencils , glues, cubes etc. As well as name things around the room on smaller cards with a neat colorful pattern. Where can you purchase them? Thanks Donna Renieris. Renieris2@optonline.net. I'm going down to first this year and would love these please send reply to renieris2@ optonline.net address as this is linked to my daughter's email not mine. Thanks.
Hello! You can find the labels here – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Editable-Classroom-Organization-Labels-Blue-White-1956784
Ashley Copeland says
I just love your classroom! 🙂 It’s simple and organized. I just found your blog recently and am looking forward to following your journey in 1st grade. I’ve always been an early childhood teacher and have been moved several times, so I understand the struggle. Hoping to get my forever home (or at least for a while) soon. Thanks for sharing!