calm breeze

Monday, September 3, 2012

Operation "Classroom Upgrade" Complete!!!

Pinterest is evil.

And by evil, I mean complete genius.  Thank goodness it's free because I've spent quite a few 'professional development' hours researching how I want to redecorate my classroom this year.

Last year, I was called back to my public school at the very last moment.  Long story short, I walked into a classroom that another teacher had (lovingly and beautifully) put together the night of the open house and had little time to make it my own while treading the waters of a brand-new curriculum.  It was sink or swim time and I really didn't have much brain activity to spare to classroom decor.

So when I found out I was fortunate enough to be in the same classroom teaching the same grade again, I began to envision how I wanted my 'ideal'classroom to look and operate.  I am delving into creating a Responsive Classroom ( this year, so how students would move and utilize our space was top priority.  BUT that didn't mean that our space couldn't also look nice and inviting! :)

I began my redecorating journey with a Classroom Couture theme from School Girl Style called Lemon Chiffon.  It is a beautiful yellow and grey theme that I thought was a nice detour from the primary/cutsie animal themes that dominate elementary classrooms.  (Not that there is anything wrong with those themes...they just aren't me.)  Since I had my color palette, the rest of my redecorating fell into place.

I spent my summer scouring Target Dollar sections, dollar stores, educational blogs and websites, and of course PINTEREST.  Most free nights were spent actually doing some of the projects I pinned (and aligning my curriculum to the new CCSS).  Here are a few pictures of the Pinterest-inspired projects in my classroom:

 My father-in-law humored my by cutting the plywood for these milk crate benches.

 Can't wait for this to be used!  One of the hardest things to get a fourth grader to do is to put their name on their papers!!!  And they didn't like it when they went into the recycling pail if the papers went unclaimed...

 This was a download from the 3rd Grade's a Hoot store on TeachersPayTeachers.  Love that website!  And I love the little reading super heros!

 This job chart was also inspired by a pin.  I customized it to fit my needs in my classroom.  The library pockets (cut down to a square shape) are from Dollar Tree.

The curtain over my window is actually a re-purposed table cloth from the Dwell Studio collection at Target (I stalk Target!...Opps!  I meant I <3 Target!).  I added the grey material to blend it into my color theme.

A view of the back of the classroom
Our classroom library and morning meeting area.  A great multi-use space.

Currently slated to be the writing center....and the future home of our listening center...pending the funding of my latest DonorsChoose project!

Another view of the morning meeting area with our Number Corner calendar.
Love, love, love how it all turned out!  I am so proud and the feedback I have been getting is great.  I can't wait to see what great things my students do in our space this year!  Without Pinterest and other teacher blogs, I probably never could have done it.  How on earth did teachers ever tackle such a task before such things existed?

P.S...Pinterest is still way too addicting.  Now that school has begun, I will be curbing my pin-surfing!