I don't mind what year level I teach.

Give me Year 5s, 3s, or 1s, and I'm fine with it (although year 3 is my favourite). After three years in Year 5, I was happy for the change when I got told I was moving to Year 1.

The physical move has not been an easy one. The classroom I moved into had to have new ceilings put in over the holidays. So I had to cram everything into cupboards, leave some items in my old room, and was not able to set up anything for the new year.

That meant I only had the first two PD days back to set up my room.

Yes, I could have gone in during the holidays or on the weekend. However, I make a point not to go to school outside of my regular days. That's time for my family and I.

With a lockdown in what was meant to be week 1, and only having just gone through the first week with my students, my classroom is far from done. I am going to be giving you a tour today. However, know that in EVERY single one of my cupboards there is a disorganised mess and I could not tell you where half my stuff is.

I also feel the need to preface this with the fact that my classroom is 50 years old. It is never going to look Insta perfect.

Classrooms don't need to look perfect, they just have to be a place that you and your students feel safe, happy, and comfortable. I feel I have achieved that in my new room.

Here's an overview of my classroom first. This image is facing the student entry.

This image faces back towards where the other photo was taken. This way looks quite empty, but it is balanced out by what is happening in the rest of the room.

Heading left from the previous picture, we have my largest pin-up board - covered in my favourite colour, of course. It is pretty empty as I like to fill my walls with student work.

At the top, you can see my subject banners.

Continuing to the left, we have my class sink. Next to it is my classroom borrowing boxes. These boxes are where students can go to borrow anything they need without asking. The drawers help keep it somewhat organised. I have our clipboards and scrap paper next to that.

You can also see my Birthday Balloon Display on the wall, and my Write Any Number display. All drawers have my Rainbow Labels which are a freebie in my store!

The door goes through to a storeroom. It is fairly empty at the moment, but I will likely fill it with recyclables for Design & Technology lessons soon.

This display board has our current reward system- our jelly bean jar. Students are working towards whole class goals. My Writing Goals Chart (another freebie on my site) is located here, and I will be adding student names soon for them to work towards their individual goals. The circle is my Job Wheel, and I left this to start in week 2.

You've probably noticed by now that my classroom has a lot of wood. I have had thoughts about painting it or covering it in the marble contact I love so much from Kmart. For the time being, I have decided to leave it. There is a very large chance I will only be in this room for one year, so it doesn't seem worth the time at this stage to do either of those options.

On the cupboard door, I have my Pencil Display.

This is the student entrance and class library. I have our class rules above the door. We came up with these together on the first day of school (and they just happen to be the same as the rules I use every year hehe) Under that, I have the Colour Pencil Display.

Directly opposite that, is the teacher's desk which I am using to store the home readers and student portfolios. There is a section to the left of this that I am not ready to show yet. It is just a dumping ground for my resource tubs and miscellaneous items at the moment. I will show you the area once I get it more organised. It will be a workspace for small groups.

I am so excited to be using Secret Stories this year in my class. It is described as a toolkit for kids to use to read and spell. It works with any phonics program your school might be using but uses stories to help students remember what letters do when they get together.

Somehow the posters also help this lime green wall look like it fits more in my classroom.

I have my U shape desk in front of that. I will use this as my main desk but keep it clear, so it's available for guided reading and other times I want to work with the students.

Photos of the chairs never seem to do them justice. It is a purple material with spots, and they look fantastic in person and nowhere near as busy or maroon as they do in pictures. My mum helped me cover them a couple of years ago. One of the chairs is from our first computer back in the late 90s!

Then we come to my 'mat' area. I change my classroom layout around a lot so it probably won't be here for the whole year. Again, empty display board, because it will be filled with students' work soon.

I have my No Fuss Flip Calendar on the whiteboard. The Weekly Timetable Display is next to that (printed 4 to a page). I have my literacy rotations straight under that. It looks busy when you first see it, but once students get used to reading it, it works really well and helps students know what is happening next.
I am keeping the resources for guided reading on this bench -hoping to get some tubs for each group soon.

I have my Weekly Timetable in a standing display from Officeworks and my Student Name Pickers in a Harry Potter mug a student gave me a few years ago.

Next to the mat area (and to the right of this picture) is a doorway to another classroom. The three rooms in this cluster used to be open to each other, separated by only moveable display boards. The last time I was in year 1 (2017), I helped campaign to put permanent walls between the classroom. The walls were installed at the end of that year. The walls have made the rooms so much quieter, and I don't feel as guilty if my class is doing cooperative learning.

On top of the student trays, I have a Teacher4Teacher Reading Box. The trays next to it have the sheets for them to use, with the boxes grouped into their literacy groups for easy access.

To the left of the trays is the door through to the common area and photocopier.

On the students desks you will notice their name tags are a range of colours. This is because students pick the colour for their name tag on the first day of school, they then add their own name and decorate. This helps to make them feel like they belong in our room. 

So that's my classroom. A work in progress but a happy place for me! 

By Amy O'Grady 2 comment

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comments (2)

  • BEVERLEY

    It looks great very bright, warm and inviting.

  • Jenny Jones

    Your room looks so big and you have so much storage! I’m so glad you have found something to “hide” the lime green wall and make it look like it was meant to be that colour. (Brown wood and lime green sounds very 70’s to me!) Enjoy your year with the year 1’s. I reckon there will be so many “aha” moments in your amazing room this year.

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