Classroom Reveal – 2014/2015! Finally!

Happy Friday, friends! I am so excited for my classroom reveal today.

Last night was Meet the Teacher, and I loved meeting my new little third grade friends. Coming from four years in 5th grade, I could not get over how tiny they were. Tiny little humans that I get the pleasure of teaching!

This year I’m teaching ELA and Social Studies to two blocks: my homeroom, and my buddy class. It’s made it a bit more challenging to organize certain aspects of the room (I’ll get into that!) but I could not be more excited about Reading and Writing. I say this so you don’t look through my pictures and wonder why I have ignored two huge elementary subjects. Ha!

I’ve appreciated and been humbled by all of the kind comments I’ve gotten about how my room came together this year. And while the kids seemed pretty into the room too, nothing in there could possibly compete with this furry little girl.

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This is Scout! She’s a gerbil and has been my nutty little class pet since last year. I loved the excitement on the kids’ faces when they saw her.

Right above Scout’s home, are my Brag Tags. This idea is definitely not mine. My friend, also a teacher, brought it up to me after seeing the idea on Pinterest, and we brainstormed all of the positive things we would like to see in our students. Some ideas in the tags are taken straight from different Brag Tags I’ve seen, while others are more specific to what we need to encourage in our group of children.

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As you can see, the Brag Tags banner is surrounded by some of the tags they can earn. Then, I used black masking tape along the wall. I glued mini clothespins to the tape, and then glued print outs of their names on each tag. I used these chains from Amazon. My plan is this: next week, hand out at least one Brag Tag to each kid. On Fridays, I’ll let them wear their tags all day (except to PE). I have the names from both blocks up on the clothespins. You can snag these here.

Along the same line of bragging it up, I have the Proud Place. This is where the kids will hang up work they are proud of creating, whether it’s a fabulous test grade, a drawing, something from home, etc. This is where I’ve slacked in the past: having a place for kids to make their own. I want to change that this year, and this is where I’ve started.

Having two blocks made my brain hurt a bit, because I don’t have enough room for 36 clothespins. So here’s what I came up with. I put up one class set of clothespins. Each week, one block will get to display their work, and then the next week, it switches to the other block.

It’s important to me this year that both classes feel that this room is theirs. Although this is where my homeroom will house most of their “stuff”, I really want this room to be a place where both sets of little guys feel important and loved.



The number circles were super cheap at Michaels in their teacher section. I hot glued tacs to the back of clothespins, which I spray painted over the summer, and then stuck them into the walls. Some clothespins gave me trouble and I anticipate a lot of re-gluing throughout the year, but to me, that’s the better alternative than my principal having a heart attack if I hot glue the clothespins to the wall.

You can pick up this sign, along with other random assortment labels for free here.

Onto the cubbies.


First let’s focus on the bins in the cubbies. I had a bunch of those $1 bins from Walmart from my previous classroom library. Originally I was going to use them again for the library, but then ReallyGoodStuff caught my eye and I had to have different bins for my library. But I didn’t want these to go to waste.

Here’s my deal. I cannot stand how cubbies end up looking within days of the kids starting school. It’s too much space, truly, and things go everywhere. So I had my best friend use her Cricut-like machine to cut out labels for me and glue numbers on top. Inside the bins right now are their folders assigned by our school. This is where I expect their folders/binders to stay, along with any personal items in baggies with their names on them. Both blocks will share these bins, which may actually help me convince them to stay organized.


Now, the book bins which you can see along the bottom of the cubbies.


I got these magazine holders at Ikea. They were white, and a pack of 5 cost less than $2. I went spray-paint happy again and made my friend make MORE labels (poor thing). This is where students will hold their books for the week. My plan as of now is to allow two books for a week, in which one must be a chapter book and the other may be a picture book. As with the cubby bins, these will be shared, so students will have to keep their books in baggies with their names on them.

You can get the clock numbers for free here!


Also being shared, are the journal bins. Same concept. Students from both blocks will place their journals in the bins according to their numbers.


You can pick up a bundle including the 18-compartment toolbox and 22-compartment teacher toolbox for FREE here!

These journal bins are located in our writing center.



That table was $20 at Ikea. I almost died. But I bought it instead. I like the idea of alternative seating. During Work on Writing, the kids will get a break from sitting in chairs. I still plan to get little tushy cushions or a rug this weekend.

Right off to the left of the writing center is our supply cart. The left side of the cart is for me and the right side is all for the kids!





The pencil system is one I have used for years, and if it is the only thing you do differently this year, PLEASE make it this. Each day I load up the sharp jar. If they need a pencil, they can trade in their dull for a sharp. It’s that easy, and nobody has to spend time sharpening their own pencils (omg those ones they put on supply lists, that result in shavings being dumped all over the ground? someone awful created those) or digging in their backpacks.

You can purchase the cart and jar labels here!

This is the entire little area all in one shot.


Continuing our tour around the room is the library. This is the back of the book shelf provided by the school. I covered everything in black contact paper because it was butt ugly. I used this space for my library cards from last year. I made two sets of checkout cards, where students write the title of the book, the day they checked it out, and the day it’s checked back in. One says “Block 1” at the top, and the other says “Block 2”. No way was I making another set of these monsters!



Many have asked about how I created the pockets. First, get the template here. Then print onto card stock. Fold the card stock according to directions and use the other pieces to create the final look. Then laminate. Cut around the card with at least 1/8 inch of lamination around, or it’ll pop right open. Use a sharp scissor or knife to cut the slot for the cards. Then you’re done!

Here’s a nice big view of the library now.


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I decided to organize my library by genre this year due to the emphasis on exposing our kids to all different kinds of books. As you can tell, I also used contact paper on the entire inside of the book shelf because…ew.

The crate chairs were made by the same friend who spent her summer making me labels. The pink crates are from Target, while the other crates were spray painted. I chose canvas fabric (also from michaels) due to the sturdiness. I picked up 1/2″ plywood at Home Depot, where they measured the crates and cut for me. I had enough to double up on the plywood for a total inch of wood to hold up weight. Batting was stuffed in, and then the fabric was stapled to the plywood.

The book bins are these guys from ReallyGoodStuff. The labels, which I created to fit the label holders will SOON be available for purchase, after I spruce them up and add some extras.

The genre labels can also be purchased here.

This is my ELA Focus wall, and the Daily 5 wall.  I don’t have any technology this year (seriously, I went from ipads and a projector to nothing) but that’s okay! I have always taught ELA in a circle on the floor, and it works out to do this with everything they need to know right behind me.


The ELA Focus wall has everything we need to teach the texts in Common Core Reading Street. If you happen to use the same series at your school and would like to pick up this item, you can go ahead and do that here!

The Daily 5 posters are available for FREE here.

I did something I thought I would never do this year, and I got rid of my teacher desk. It’s possible I mainly did this because it was old and ugly, but that’s not the only reason. My room is an odd shape. Long and narrow, and in a corner you can’t see here, it’s just…weird. My teacher desk took up room and was not useful. I have SO much storage in the room now, that I’m fine without it.


This is where I’ll do my work with students, and where I can clearly see the rest of the room should I find myself sitting for more than 2 seconds throughout the day.

I am using these bins, also from ReallyGoodStuff, to keep myself organized without my desk.



You can get these labels for FREE here.

This is another tried and true teacher sanity helper, with updated labels. You can use the link to the toolboxes from before to pick up this bundle.


The mailboxes, which have been in use for years, have been slightly updated here.


These numbers can also be purchased at Michaels, or Lakeshore I believe. You can pick up the sign for FREE here.

An overall view of the room. I am SO happy I requested tables again this year. It’s such a cleaner look and alleviates so many problems, especially having two blocks. Desks + two blocks = no.


Some close-ups:

You can purchase the jobs and birthday bundle here! I have jobs assigned for kids from each block.



Excuse my poor handwriting. I must have missed that class. You snag my homework signs here and my specials signs here. 




These are the t-charts we will fill out next week, as we ready ourselves for Daily 5. You can pick these up for free here, where the Daily 5 posters are.


So there you have it! The bright yellow, third grade classroom for 2014-2015. I hope you find some useful freebies in here, and pick up anything else you find fun for your room!


Oh wait, there’s supposed to be a giveaway right?

Let’s do this. You can comment with anything you’d like: thoughts, comments, questions. On Sunday night before school, I will randomly pick two fabulous teachers. Those teachers will get their pick of their top three MUST HAVES from my TPT store and it will be theirs for free! This is my small way of saying thank you for being a part of my journey into blogging.

Happy Weekend, everyone!


17 thoughts on “Classroom Reveal – 2014/2015! Finally!

    • Thank you! I am totally basking in the fact that it’s as neat as it will be until the end of the year, but I’m also known for imposing fairly strict organizational habits out of my students too. Ha! So hopefully it won’t get too far from what it is now.

  1. I went with black and bright colors too mainly after seeing your pics. I love the spray paint idea for the bins 🙂 where did you get your mailbox? Mine started falling apart and I need to update.

    • Yay! Spray paint is the cure all for everything. I got mine at Staples and this will be its third (or fourth? I cant remember) year of life and it’s in perfect shape. It was an ugly shade of gray but ya know, spray paint.

  2. Thank you so much for the great ideas and color scheme! I have been able to incorporate some ideas from your site for this year in a week, and I am thinking about so many more, especially the no teacher desk and the organized by genre library!

    • Awesome to hear! I’ve been using the black and brights background for the last few years and I have not gotten bored of it yet. As for the no teacher desk, I recommend it for sure if you have the storage. I couldn’t do it last year because my room had two cabinets, and they were above the sink. No thanks! LOL But with this room, I was more than happy to do without! Would love to see pics of your room once you finalize it all!

  3. You have no idea how much you’ve just helped me with this post. I’m first year teacher trying to figure out the best way to organize my class room. Your helping me cut down on mini panic attacks, for sure.

    • This makes me so happy to hear. The truth is, there is no best way to organize that works for everyone. This is four years of organization in the making and I am sure there is still a lot of trial and error in the future. But that’s why I love the blogging world…there is SO much we can learn from each other. I would love love love to hear how your adventure goes. Please keep me updated!

  4. Your ideas have helped me so much as I gear up for a new year in a new grade. Going from first to fourth will be an adjustment for me, but with your ideas I am hoping for a great year!! I cannot wait for my students to see my room next Thursday! I hope they find it as inviting as I do!!

  5. Your classroom has truly inspired me to get in the “back to school” mode. I also teacher 3rd grade ELA, but only ELA and two different sections. I like your idea of have the “proud place” and it changes weekly. I always feel like my second block doesn’t feel like my classroom is THEIR classroom. Thanks for the inspiration and good luck this school year! 🙂

  6. I’ve been super busy getting ready for the upcoming school year and just now read your blog. All I can say is WOW! You are truly an inspiration and so generous for sharing all this with us. I’m also teaching 2 classes this year and doing almost the same subjects as you, Reading, Bilingual Reading, and Writing. Your room has definitely inspired me and now I’ll mix and match with my superhero theme. Thank you so much and look forward to reading your updates!

  7. It’s so helpful to see your lovely, organised classroom. I’m returning to teaching after a few years off with my own children. If that wasn’t challenge enough, I’m doing it in England! I taught last year in two different classes for maternity leave. It’s so different here. No one bothers with cute classrooms. It’s very basic and boring. This year I am back to my own classroom and my students are going to be in for a pleasant surprise! I’m all about a cute, comfortable classroom to welcome and nurture my students and build a community. You’ve made me excited and inspired all over again! I have so much work to do! 🙂

  8. What do you use to stick the material onto the front of your desk? I have a metal desk and would love to cover it with that! Great ideas for everything. I teach 5th grade and will be using some of your ideas as I return from maternity leave and rebuild my room.

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