It’s been a journey setting up my first grade classroom. Even though this is my sixth year teaching, this is my first year at a new school. When I got hired in June, I took a tour of what would be my classroom. I would by lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t nervous about what I could do with the space. There were many things that I loved about it- the big windows, the little lockers, and all of the storage cabinets. These things were amazing!! However, it was just so overwhelming walking in and having to start from scratch. I didn’t bring my curtains, rugs, or teaching chairs with me from my old school. When it was time to move, I was more concerned about making sure everything made it from our house, that I didn’t worry much about my classroom. I wasn’t sure what grade I would teach or what resources would be available to me at a new job, so I just took my books and decorations that were important to me, and left the rest.
Fast forward two months and I found myself teaching the same grade in a school where I needed these things! I was both happy and anxious about getting the space set up. I was happy that I could start with a new design, different from my other years teaching. However, I was anxious about the amount of money it would take making this space a place that my students and I would love.
I started by looking on Pinterest at classroom design, and talking with some of my teacher friends about elements from their classrooms that I loved. I found a design from Schoolgirl Style called flamingo watercolor that I thought would be the base of my classroom decor. In this full packet, she provided banner letters, word wall letters, blank labels, locker tags, etc. I used her papers to create my “I Can” wall, my “Reading”, “Writing”, and “Math” banners, my “Sharp” and “Dull” signs for my pencils, my alphabet for my word wall, my calendar, and my library book labels. The great thing about her packet, too, is that I will always have these papers and designs at my fingertips so I can recreate and design new things for my classroom that go with the theme. It was definitely worth the purchase.
Next, I made my curtains. I can not sew, but after talking with my friend Alex, I decided to give the no sew iron on tape a try. I bought the yellow and white stripe fabric from Hobby Lobby along with the ribbon. I measured and cut the fabric into four pieces, ironed an edge at the top and sides, and then folded the ribbon over and hot glued it to make a ring for the curtain rod. It was honestly quite easy!
After that, I searched for a carpet that was big enough to fit my kiddos, but would not break the bank. I found this blue rug at Walmart for under $100. It may not hold up for more than a year or two, but in my opinion it was worth it. I found the other small rugs around the room at Walmart, too, for less than $10. The teacher chairs my sweet Mom donated to our room. She bought them on amazon. The desk chair I found on sale at Office Max for less than $50. None of the chairs were too difficult to put together, and I did them all fairly quickly.
Finally, I you-tubed how to make tissue paper banners and went crazy with them! They were so easy and fun to do while binge watching Scandal. I loved how they turned out and were customized to match my bright color scheme. I learned that stapling or hot gluing the tops together worked better than just twisting them. I found the seat sacks on Ebay, and all of the decor above the cabinets I had made and purchased in previous years (except the FUN letters-which were found at Hobby Lobby).
I really love the way my classroom turned out. I feel comfortable and happy coming to it each day, and hope the children do, too. I spend more time here during the week than I do at home, so spending the little bit of extra money is worth it to me. I hope you all are ready for a new school year and that you share your classroom pictures with me!
Until Next Time,