I am getting so fired up for the 2018-19 school year and everything that goes with it. This summer I was committed to doing some much needed relaxing, adventuring, and preparing in anticipation for this year.
At the end of last year, like many of us, I was feeling burnt out. I was so ready for a break and I knew that as much as I absolutely LOVE being a teacher, I needed some changes to get back into my ‘mojo’. Part of what I knew I needed is a classroom makeover.
I knew that if I had a blank slate and a fresh look coming into the school year, I would feel refreshed and ready to go! For different people, starting fresh might look different. It might be having a glass of wine, going on a vacation, or even changing their hair color. But for me, as crazy of an idea as it was, it meant a physical change to the place I loved most.
Before I give you the details of my new classroom… check out these before pics!
I knew that I wanted lots of neutrals (as my current classroom had every color of the rainbow), I knew that I wanted lots of lamps (for a warm glow), and a community based space for my students to hang out.
This year, I decided on 2 themes that I was going to base my whole year plan on. It was a hard choice, but I decided on Mindset and Literacy. Two very different elements, but two very important things that I could plan my room around. (more blog posts to come!)
In order to support elements of literacy, I created a few things in my classroom.
The first was an awesome reading corner! A place where students could see out little classroom library, hang out, and sink into a great read.
My own little teacher space needed a makeover too. I added some cute wall paper to a filing cabinet, added some lights, and changed a few little things to have a more welcoming ‘me zone‘.
I also found this amazing interactive bulletin board by Super Hero Teacher on teachers pay teachers! I love it because it promotes kids to read! Which is perfect for my theme! Each folder has a fact about reading, which are unique and could help students become intrigued in different topics. Then, in each folder there are reading challenges for students to complete! I think its going to be an awesome way to implement some competition and motivation in independent student reading! I can’t wait.
Also, notice how I used the wall paper to decorate the back of my filing cabinet! (I LOVE IT!)
The second theme, Mindset, is something different I am trying this year. Last year, I found that I struggled to keep my students on the same page. Half way through the year I created a classroom mission statement to align all our goals collectively. This year, I decided to make a growth and fixed mindset a part of the daily language an expectation for my classroom.
I created this great wall, where students can find motivation in different quotes to ensure they are promoting a growth mindset.
I also used a series of quotes throughout my classroom to instill motivation in students through those hard times and remind them of positivity! My new circuit cutting machine was the perfect way for me to spice up all my bulletin board letters!
As well as this one! I think the bold letters and bitmoji thought bubbles are a fun way to remind students how a good mindset can be a game changer.
This year I also decided on some other fun ways to change up my classroom!
Check out my DOOR!
Organization was another big thing that I wanted to change. I pride myself on being super organized already. BUT a few things needed some updating. I created this little curtain wall for some exposed shelf’s in the back of my classroom so that I could organize all the ‘kid free’ stuff without them seeing it AND still making it look clean and simple. I love the new clean look. I just got the curtains at the dollar store and hung them with these great command hooks!
I also changed all my labels for farmhouse themed ones to go with my clam/ neutral theme!
I was inspired by some other amazing instagram teachers to convert my former ‘wall of awesome’, to a wall of awesome work with a few llama friends :)!
Perhaps my favorite part of the classroom are my paper flowers! I absolutely love how they add elements of color and happiness to the bare walls. I think they create an atmosphere that is welcoming and (although a bit feminine) so pretty.
I also made a large change to my furniture and invested in these tables! Last year, many of my desks started to break. I thought for weeks on how I was going to fix this issue. Should I keep the desks, should I move them, should I keep some… goodness the list went on. I finally caved and got these amazing tables at IKEA (teachers, they were only $41 each- so worth it). The thing about these tables, is that it is going to change the whole dynamic in my classroom. We are going from desks to community collaboration where students are working and sitting together. SO WORTH IT. (should out to my awesome sister who built all of them!)
The biggest part of my classroom is that it is an extension of the person and teacher I am to my students. I put so much love and care and passion into my teaching and my classroom and I want students to feel welcomed and feel that passion and excitement when they walk into my door. I want us to share magical experiences as we read though books together and learn about the current events that are fluttering in our world. I can’t wait to teach them how a positive mindset can be a game changer no matter what kind of day you’re having. AND I can’t wait to create meaningful relationships and memories with every single one of my new students.
This classroom is from the outside complete, but I now have a TON of work on the inside to make this classroom theirs.
I can’t wait to see what these new walls have to bring.
PS. This post is dedicated to all the amazing helpers who made this classroom a reality. (You know who you are, and I love you all)