Category Archives: Classroom Setup

I Live Here

I am pretty sure I spend more of my waking hours in my classroom than I do in my home, and even though they are teenagers and should perhaps know better, my students think I live there. So with that, enjoy the grand tour! And if you’d like to see more blogging teachers’ classrooms, head over to Life in Middle School or Teaching Blog Addict and follow the links posted there.

I always seat my students in groups of four from day one. Working cooperatively is an expectation in my room. You may notice that my walls are quite bare. It’s not because I haven’t purchased the overpriced cutesy teacher posters from Lakeshore, etc. I currently have those stuffed in a tiny cabinet (the QAR one if you look ahead!) My walls are reserved for anchor charts and student work. By November, I’ll be stressed about what to take down to make room for new content. And now, follow me on a clockwise trip around the room as we examine things more closely! It’s oh-so thrilling!

Classroom library!


It’s so odd to see my grammar wall empty. It won’t be for long. School starts Monday!


My “step one” area for students who need a few minutes away, per our school behavior system and a close up of a fabulous diorama a student made last year for Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

My table for tier 1 and 2 small groups and my display for QAR, a strategy I heart oh-so much! Oh, and my Empower literacy centers!

6 Traits Display … again looking so naked. I’ll post student writing there throughout the year. The white and yellow papers are for an activity Monday.


As organized as my cabinets will be for the next 10 months. I LOVE that the right cabinet is FULL of books!

My other step one corner along with the school rule, policies, and procedures posters.

A close-up of the organization stuff I keep in this area.

The objectives the first day of school are sometimes a little silly! But I think we’ll have fun. Can you tell I haven’t written on a white board in a few months? My handwriting is slanting downhill!

Student computers … They’re slow, but they work! And my AWESOME photo of one of my heroes Martin Luther King marching in my hometown of Detroit just before he delivered the original I Have a Dream speech. I bought a frame, but it didn’t fit. I think I’ll have it custom framed, but I have to wait until I get a paycheck!

My stuff. In my dream classroom, I’d put my desk in the back of the room, but I cannot do that because I need to be plugged into this corner. :/ It works out ok.


Morning Math championship trophy, popsicle sticks with student names, lesson plans, and my almost-complete to do lists for before school starts

My board! Pictures of my favorite bands: Radiohead and Jimmy Eat World! Memories from former students, colleagues, and family. Brain breaks flip chart. Text structures flip book. ELAS graphic organizer, and oh-so important phone list! Oh, and look … a sneak peak at my warm up assignment for Monday.

Organization for student journals


I absolutely rely on my table mats and baskets! And what’s with the mystery yellow papers? Check back early next week for my post about super engaging first week of school activities that actually teach kids things they need to know. Oooh, cliffhanger!

I leave you with my two favorite . . .

I may not have this in the most prominent place, but these are strategies I live and die by! (Hey, hyperbole is in my curriculum.)

And of course . . .

Thanks to my good friend Nada for my absolute favorite sign! An essential for middle school girls. 🙂



Filed under Classroom Setup