Setting up My 1st Grade Classroom

Happy Wednesday, friends! Today was Day 3 of training and PDs, and the children arrive next Wednesday - eeekk.I thought I would share some snapshots of how the room is looking. I'll be back sometime next weeks to share the final product! :) 

Two weeks ago, my books bins arrived from Really Good Stuff (I was able to use a coupon, so they were a steal!), and I love them!
Using craft Glue Dots I attached simple number labels that I made. Under each number I did include the number written in Spanish. My school has no language program (say what?!), so I'm trying to be very intentional about integrating at least little bits of Spanish into our day.

The only thing worse than organizing 5th grade books by genre?!? Leveling you own that your 1st graders might read. Ohmygoodness! Plus, I have used 3-4 different levelers/apps and I still haven't found some books. Thankfully, I do not have as many primary books as I do intermediate!
Inside each book cover I placed these color-code labels (A-P). Thank goodness for Mama Bears who help you clean out book bins and level books! Each label has the guided reading level, the grade level, and the Lexile Level. With my kids I will use guided reading level, but our STAR and progress monitoring tests use Lexile and ZPD we (the 1st grade team) wanted to use all three. 

I am loving these job circles by Going Strong in 2nd Grade. They're absolutely adorable and she was so fast in adding a few jobs that I needed. Everyone in our class will have a job each month, and on the 1st of each month we'll apply for new jobs. :)
Seeing my classroom for the first time, I was shocked and SO excited to see a classroom rug was provided! Plus, it's a large rug with individual rectangles for every student. It's perfect for in class read-alouds and mini-lessons in front of the Smart Board! I also wanted a little carpet for the library area, but wanted it to match everything in the room. So, I opted for exercise mats, and I LOVE them. They are super easy to clean (just wipe them or take them up and hose them off), they can be arranged in any pattern I want. They are offered in all kinds of colors, and they were much more affordable than a carpet! #score 
I love displaying student work in the classroom, and really missed having a home for work last year. Although I do not have space to house a full-class display inside my room, I did add 8 squares above the mailboxes. They'll be perfect for showcasing work from small groups and work that only a few students completed! Of course, I'll still have a full-class display in the hallway, but I love having a less formal/more "just-for-us" display inside the room. :)
Also, our word wall is up (even after this tragic fall), and I cannot wait to receive my class list. My kids' names will be the first words on our word wall. :) You can check out how the word wall went up here.
Kagan cooperative learning will be a huge part of of our classroom, so I am prepping our cooperative learning desk labels. These labels are an easy reminder for students of their number, letter, and table!
Next up - There is a lot of furniture in my new classroom, so I've had to get creative in arranging to maximizie the amount of space students have to move around and learn. One of my favorite moves was placing cabinets back-to-back, and covering them with black butcher paper. This area will be perfect for word work, a sorting center, or anything with magnetic numbers/letters!
With no storage space in our school, going desk-less wasn't an option this year. I'm in the process of turning my desk into a writing center. I'll definitely have more pictures as it progresses, but right now, I'm loving these Work on Writing posters by Kristen Smith at A Day in First Grade. I printed them two-to-a-page, and they are perfect reminders!
Well, friends, that's it for now! I'm hoping to finish up by Friday afternoon, so I can take Saturday as an 'off day' before Open House on Sunday. I cannot wait to meet my sweet first graders; they are going to be wonderful! :)


  1. You're not even done yet and I already have so many favorite parts! Your word wall is to die for!!

    Teaching with Hope

    1. Thank you so much, Hope! I can't wait to see it either. :)

  2. Yay for your progress! Everything looks awesome! =) P.S. I sent you an email!

    Ginger Snaps

  3. Your room is awesome! I love the idea of turning your bookcases or shelves back to back to create a side that you can hang paper on for students to use!! What a great idea!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 

  4. First off I love your room. Those storage cabinets are amazing. Did your school do a large purchase of new furniture? I love your table labels. In fact I have them, but they no longer go with my color scheme :(

    1. Hi Sarah! We are actually a new school (only 2 years old), so everything is brand new....we're SO spoiled. :) I totally understand about the labels. I do have the labels in several other colors, so if you email me at, I can see if I have something that would match!

  5. I feel your pain with the leveling, that can take forever! The classroom is looking great though!

    Having Class

  6. Your classroom is looking great! I love your book bin labels - but you are right levelling is so time consuming. Can't wait to see more pictures : )

  7. Your classroom is really coming together! Everything looks great! I can't believe you have students next week!

    Forever in Fifth Grade

  8. Do you have schedule cards for your classroom? Pinterest had one online and when I clicked on it I was brought to your sight. I've really been enjoying all of your fantastic ideas, but want able to locate where you got your schedule cards from:) thanks for inspiring! Just love your ideas

  9. My big summer project was leveling all my personal classroom library books. After 20 years I had accumulated a few books.


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