Monday, September 2, 2013

Classroom Decor & Organization 2013-2014

Well, classes start tomorrow, and my classroom still isn't 100% complete, but when is it ever really?  Mine is always more of a work in progress than anything.  I've been working on making my classroom as effective and efficient as it can be while working toward a cozier feel for my middle school and high school Spanish students.

Well, here are some highlights from around my classroom today, as I'm gearing up to meet students for the 2013-2014 school year!  :)

This is my teacher / small group area.  I ditched the desk about half way through last year and never looked back.  I love this set up much more.  It allows more opportunities working with small groups and opens up my classroom quite a bit.  The bookcases behind are mostly my teacher things, like professional literature, unit binders, and class sets of books.  

Just to the left of my teacher corner is our classroom library.  My dad made these great browsing shelves for our books.  I color code books by reading level and separate fiction from non-fiction.

(You can also see a bit of my new curtains here.  They match my room a bit better than the blue and pink ones I had before.  I acquired them in a three-way trade with a colleague and an empty classroom.)

This is the student corner of the classroom.  This computer is for student use.  We'll also use it for checking out books from the classroom library.  The hanging organizer on this side of the table is for student cell phones and devices during tests, presentations, or any time when they are being too much of a distraction. The drawers on the close side of the table are for students to pick up information from being absent.  The next set of trays are for handing in homework.  The file cabinet is for student access too:  a drawer for paper, one for Forensics, one for Spanish Club, and one with board games.

This is the back wall of my classroom.  I've paired some desks back here for specialized work time.  The notebooks are for our classroom journals.  There are two bulletin boards here that will be completed during the first couple weeks of school.

This is my version of the "Be... who you are" bulletin board that's popular on Pinterest right now.  This is the first pin I saw.  I'm going to have my Spanish 3/4 class fill in the black with describing words instead of me providing them all.  

This one says "Spanish is Everywhere."  Students will be asked to bring in print that they find with Spanish on it, like manuals, food packaging, brochures, etc.  We'll secure them all to this board and create a classroom collage of Spanish realia.

My back storage cabinets by the door have Spanish word magnets on them for creating fun sentences.  Also some monster body part magnets for creating fun monsters.  The files on the side are my Passwords Binder where I keep hallway activities to do with the kids before they enter the room, and my Exit Ticket folders. 

My side wall holds our Spanish word wall.  

And just to the right of my teacher area is this white board.  This is my student resource board where I write reminders for classes about assignments, upcoming assessments, and the like.  For assignments that repeat every other week, I just laminated a reminder so that I can just switch them out from week to week.  Our calendar for calendar routine is also here.  This is my computer that's hooked up to both the SMARTBoard and my classroom printer.  The file cabinet holds my unit plans and just down to the right out of view is my "Magic Carpet."  More on this in a sec.  ;)

Another view of the student board.

While perusing Pinterest last school year, I discovered the concept of an English Box in which students had to be standing if they wanted to use English in the language classroom.  This is my version that I'm trying out this year: The Magic Carpet.  Will let you know how it goes!

Student desks are paired and then arranged in a semi-circle around the SMARTBoard in the front of the room.  I like to keep a lot of goodies and supplies within arm's reach of the students.  


  1. Thank you for your comment on my blog :) I love your classroom and your book shelves (big congrats to your dad). I would like to have a library corner too in the future.

  2. Can you send me a picture of your leveled children's books?

  3. This year I have been planning to set up stations in my class and a reading corner with books by level, however I haven't come across any resources with pre-developed materials until your blog! Would you be willing to share your book list and how you categorize by level? That would be such a huge help to me, as I am going into my 2nd year and have a large degree of heritage speakers and have had a difficult time differentiating for them. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!