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It’s that time of year again, time to get your classroom set up for back to school. In this post I'll give you the best classroom setup steps to create an amazing classroom this year and to really optimize the learning environment for your students. Hope you can gleam some inspiration from the amazing classrooms featured in this post and try some of these ideas in your class this year!
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Here are the classroom setup ideas that you'll discover in this post.
The first thing you'll want to consider for your classroom setup is how to layout your space. A new school year is a great time to experiment with a new classroom layout.
Here are things to consider when planning your classroom design.
Before you physically re-arrange your classroom plan out your new setup on paper or on the computer. To find what works best for student desk arrangement color code areas for independent work, group workstations and teacher led stations.
A great way to do this is with Canva. Canva is an online graphic design tool. Here’s how to setup your classoom layout with Canva
If you’re not familiar with Canva you can check out this post where I explain more about it and tell you how you can get a free account. Canva for Teachers: Your Easy Guide to Get Started
Check out some different classroom layout ideas below.
These desks are grouped in clusters of 6 each with their own supply caddy. Each student is provided a desk name tag, a class information sheet and a card from the teacher.
Consider adding desks in small groups and for each group include a storage area. This storage section can include shared school supplies and books and assignments.
When setting up your tables here’s a hack to keep the supplies neat. Create a labeled tote for each table with lock top lid containers for supplies also labeled with the table number.
You may consider adding a section of your room with single desks to use when students are working on individual work or for tests. Space desk apart to limit distractions.
If your student desks are constantly shifting considering adding tape around them so that you and students know exactly where they should go. You can even color code the tape for example in this classroom:
Take a cue from Brook, a teacher that specializes in literacy and STEM and combine storage and function in your classroom. Her husband designed this “maker shop” which is a play and storage table.
It has a dry erase tabletop, header board, magnetic dry erase wall on one end and a LEGO wall/green screen on the other end. There are storage bins on the top as well.
Since students learning need are all so different it's a great idea to incorporate some flexible seating options in your class. Some of the most common flexible seating options are:
Check out some classroom setup ideas that incorporate flexible seating below.
Image Source | mrsmunchsmunchkins
A flexible seating choice chart was created by a teacher from Oklahoma, Mrs. Munch, as a way to give students the power to choose what learning space works best for them.
If you want to copy this idea in your class, here's how it works:
Comfy options like this are a great place for group work.
Throw pillows are a great option, that is both inexpensive and space saving to add flexible seating to your class library or a reading nook in your class.
Tiny stools from the Dollar Tree and plastic tables from Target create another seating option for students in this elementary classroom.
Image Source | brittanyjeltema
For those of you with small classrooms consider adding flexible seating options that also include more storage.
You all need a classroom library, why not make it functional and beautiful? Get ready to be inspired, I've found a few amazing classroom libraries to give you great ideas to get the perfect one set up in your class.
The white shelves in the picture above make this library look bright and beautiful. I love how this teacher displays a few of her favorite books on the top shelf. It looks like such an inviting place to find the perfect book!
Having a single-color container on each shelf will help the kids place the containers in the right spot and it also looks pretty, win, win!
I love how this teacher puts all the new books in library bins on the top shelf. The read sign and the plant add a homey touch to this class library.
This library has so much personality. I love the idea of making the top shelf a display for books, art and other fun stuff that the kids will love.
If you read my blog, you know that I'm a huge fan of the rainbow color scheme. This library nails it, enough said.
I saved my favorite for last. The details in this library are amazing. I love the pink cart, so the kids know where to return the books and how cute is the pillow container? Students can grab their favorite pillow and book, get comfy and read.
What student wouldn’t want to spend some time in here?
Below are some of my favorite containers to keep your bookshelf looking as picture perfect as the ones I just showed you.
WHERE TO FIND
ONE | BRIGHT CRATES SET OF 18
THREE | COLORFUL PLASTIC BINS SET OF 8
FIVE | 10 RAINBOW FABRIC BINS
If you want some more ideas to create an Awesome Classroom Library, then check out this post...10 Epic Classroom Library Ideas
It helps to start the year being as organized as you can. That way your students know where everything goes. I think when it looks nice, it gives you and the students extra motivation to keep it that way too.
These teachers have found a way for organization to be beautiful. Read on to discover ideas to organize all the stuff, find the perfect containers, labels, file folders and more.
This teacher has got her pretty bins and teacher cart ready to get filled up! There's a lot of inspiration in this beautiful space.
Get a student data file box set up. You can add bright folders to make it look pretty. Take a cue from this teacher and number the students so you don’t have to re-do all of your labels next year.
Here's another example of how creating custom labels can make organizing beautiful. These labels are a work of art!
You can make an ordinary bookshelf look clean, organized and pretty when you coordinate colors, are thoughtful of the placement of everything and leave space for your stuff.
Another great use for a file box, you can organize your lesson plans by week for the entire school year.
This classroom is full of dollar store organization finds. I especially love the small clear containers on the second shelf. These would be perfect for organizing small bright supplies like tacks, erasers or paperclips.
This is one of my favorite classrooms there's so much inspiration here. I love that this teacher kept with a simple color palette of green, black and white. It makes the room look so put together.
I also love the containers on the bookshelf and the storage basket for comfy seating.
Each student’s class notebook is color coded for their personal container, brilliant! Plus, the kids would love these cute caricatures that look like them.
Create a turn in bin and a take home mailbox for your students with file boxes and file folders. This keeps the papers contained and organized in one spot.
What to do with all those school supplies? If you get the organization for these set up right at the beginning of the year and train the kiddos to put everything in it's place, your life will be a little easier. We all love that, right?
These teachers have found gorgeous ways to keep all the stuff in it's place and looking amazing.
This is a clever use of Play-Doh containers to organize markers.
These small containers with lids with a colorful label are perfect to keep all the supplies tidy.
This mini teacher toolbox with the pretty labels is the perfect place for all of those little things like paperclips, erasers, glue sticks, staples and other miscellaneous supplies.
As a bonus this adorable pineapple has storage too! It’s nice to see someone else who loves pineapples.
Later in this post I'll show you more ideas and inspiration to create your own teacher toolbox.
Here's a great idea to organize those bulletin board borders. You could also use magnetic hooks on a magnetic board and binder clips to do the trick.
I have a ton more Classroom Organization ideas for you here...83 Best Classroom Organization Ideas
The front of the room is an ideal space to put important information that your students need daily. Whether you use a whiteboard, a large tv, projector screen or chalkboards you’ll want to plan how to maximize this space. Here are some things you may want to add to your information board at the front of the class.
Let’s check out how other teachers have optimized this space in the front of their class.
If you want to copy this amazing classroom setup then include these resources for students at the front of your class:
The front of the classroom is a great spot to remind students of classroom procedures. It also is the perfect spot to add small bookshelves to display the next book you’ll be reading to the class.
A flip calendar is an easy way to remind students of today’s date. Then add a magnetic bin to hold supplies. Your students will love fun touches like cute pet head accessories on your display and pretty borders too.
Next let's check out some classroom setup ideas that you can incorporate into your classroom design that will make classroom management a little easier for you.
If you don’t have one consider adding a mobile whiteboard easel to your classroom this year. You could use this for small groups, writing lessons and even as a place to hang your anchor charts. Just wheel it to wherever you need it.
Kirstie, a fourth-grade teacher from Montana has created a portable teaching station with this adjustable height mobile table. She rolls it to wherever she is teaching in the classroom and it holds her iPad, supplies, teaching manual, beverage and anything else that she needs.
If you read my blog, you know that I'm big on this one. I just love an organized teacher cart, and I know I'm not alone.
Below is a little inspiration for you to get your teacher cart organized and if you don’t have one yet, I got you covered too, below are the top finds for teacher carts and where to get them.
Add matching labels to your rainbow teacher cart to step up your organization game.
Another great idea is to designate a drawer for each day, with a few to spare for miscellaneous papers like to copy, to file, to grade and anything else you need to stay on track.
This teacher has one cart for reading and one for math, just wheel it out when the lesson starts and have everything you need at your fingertips.
Below are my favorite teacher carts and where to find them.
WHERE TO FIND
ONE | RAINBOW TEACHER CART
TWO | TEAL CART (MORE COLORS)
THREE | PINK TEACHER CART
FOUR | BLUE CART
FIVE | WHITE TEACHER CART
If you want more ideas to create a teacher cart, I wrote an entire post on it. You can find it here...The One Thing You Need In Your Classroom This Year
So, you don’t have any student work yet, not a problem. Take a cue from these teachers and get the wall space ready to go for their amazing work.
Bonus, if you make it look as gorgeous as these teachers your students will be motivated to make their work onto your masterpiece wall.
To create “our brightest work” display you can use colored sheets of paper and then place their work on each sheet.
You could easily re-create this masterpieces bulletin board to display student work. Add a tassel banner for a playful accent.
So, part of setting up your room for the year is creating a monthly or weekly and often a more detailed daily calendar so your kids know what to except when in the class.
Below are some of my favorite classroom setup ideas for calendars.
To create this calendar, you can customize printables in your classroom theme. Simply find the images that you want and then place numbers over them to create your huge monthly calendar.
You could also find pre-made printables on Pinterest or Etsy. If you're a real go getter you can change your theme every quarter if not, then just re-arrange the numbers each month.
This is a fun idea to create a birthday calendar. The best part may be the ice-cream cone garland banner. You can find a similar one here.
If you're looking for more fun ideas to setup a birthday display in your classroom then check out this post... 41 Creative Birthday Chart Ideas for the Classroom
Below are some of the best finds to create an epic calendar in your class this year.
WHERE TO FIND
ONE | CHALKBOARD WALL CALENDAR
TWO | CONFETTI CALENDAR
THREE | NUMBERED MAGNETS
FOUR | CACTUS CALENDAR
FIVE | LARGE CHALKBOARD CALENDAR
SIX | GIANT DRY ERASE CALENDAR
Have you created a teacher toolbox yet? If you haven’t heard of it, it's an efficient way to get everything organized and it looks amazing too. If you don’t have your toolbox yet read on to find out where you can get one.
If you're crafty you can create your own custom labels and if not read on to find out where you can buy gorgeous labels for your teacher toolbox.
This teacher created beautiful tropical theme labels for her toolbox.
Here are some fun lemon labels created by the same talented teacher.
These labels are great for youngers students because they include pictures and words.
Below are some of my favorite finds for teacher toolboxes and beautiful labels.
WHERE TO FIND
FOUR | BLACK TEACHER TOOLBOX
FIVE | WHITE TEACHER TOOLBOX
If you want more ideas for setting up your teacher toolbox check out this post-Teacher Toolbox Create the Perfect One for Your Classroom
Now let's check out some creative ways to setup your room. Why not create a home like atmosphere for your kids to truly build that community feel in your classroom? One way to do this is to add home furniture and decor in your class.
What I love about this idea is you can get really creative with how you want to do this. You can start small with wallpaper, a statement rug or cute throw pillows or go all out with a couch or a dining table. Get inspired by these amazing classrooms below.
If you're lucky enough to have a large classroom you can add a full couch. Finish off the look with pretty throw pillows, a floor lamp and a coffee table.
Sometimes all you need to do is add small touches to create a home like atmosphere like the cute cacti on top of the bookshelf or the small table with the side chairs and throw pillows.
Ok, are you in love with this class too? Don’t worry I'm going to show it to you from every angle. I love how this teacher took the time to paint pink and white stripes on her wall to coordinate her class colors.
Of course, we have to talk about the round dining table and chairs, I mean I would love this in my house!
What a fun seating idea! She put together two picnic tables to create a huge farmhouse style table with benches. All of the small touches are amazing too, the paper lanterns above the table give a chandelier like feel.
Here's another angle of this amazing class by the superhero teacher that shows a wall of gorgeous wallpaper that balances with the pink in the room.
Then there's her seating area with a pink couch, of course! Plus, all the pillows on the floor make a perfect spot for the students to gather to read or work on group projects.
Another one of my favorites. I love how she chose a pretty color scheme of pink, yellow and grey and incorporates it in the area rug, throw pillows and even the small accents like the stool.
You could re-create a spot like this in your classroom with small furniture and home accents.
What I love about adding a bright, fun rug to a space is it instantly livens up and adds interest to the room.
Check out how these teachers made colorful carpets the focal point of their class below and find out where to get your own work of art class rug.
She's having her own PDX airport moment, which I love. If you're not familiar with the reference I'm from Oregon and our airport in Portland has unique carpeting so when you return home, you have to take a picture of your feet on the carpet to show you're home.
When you create your amazing class, you may be inspired to do the same thing!
I'm loving this bright lightbulb rug. It even fits with her theme of thinking outside the box.
Rugs with small squares work great in the classroom, everyone find a square and take a seat.
Below are some of the best classroom rugs that I found and where to get them. Plus, if you don’t have space for a huge rug check out number five below, they're carpet circles that you can put anywhere.
WHERE TO FIND
TWO | RAINBOW COLORED RUG
THREE | COLORFUL SQUARES RUG
FOUR | UNITED STATES MAP RUG
FIVE | COLORFUL FLOOR DOTS
SIX | HAND RUG
SEVEN | COLORFUL ABC RUG
All you need for a cozy reading nook is some fun seating and some cute pillows. Get inspired by some comfy and beautiful classroom reading nooks below.
Your kids will be motivated to read if you create an amazing spot like this. Bonus, at the end I'll also show you some adorable throw pillows for your space.
This teacher uses patio chairs, a bench with storage and some cute throw pillows to create a fun place to kick back with a book.
Your students' imagination would soar in a bright, colorful reading spot like this.
Let your kiddos imagine they're reading by a cozy fire. Wouldn’t they have so much fun? You can re-create this cozy nook with a couple of bean bag chairs and some creative wall displays.
Create a focal wall with a simple inspirational saying on a large sheet of paper. If you don’t have the art skills, you can print the words and glue them on a paper. Add a bench and fun colorful pillows and you have yourself an epic reading nook.
A reading nook can be as simple as two chairs and some book themed throw pillows and of course all the books!
You can re-create this fun reading nook with some floating bookshelves, a bench and a group of bright throw pillows.
Did I mention you need awesome throw pillows for your reading nook? This teacher gets it, throw them on a bench and you have instant charm.
Below check out my absolute favorite classroom throw pillows that would look amazing in your new reading nook this year!
When you find the perfect printable art there are a ton of great ideas to display it in your class. I love the look of a simple clothespins and string or symmetrical frames. Plus, read to the end of this post to find out how to get some free classroom printables that I created!
What a fun idea and even better you can re-create this display for cheap. Head to your local thrift shop or Goodwill and find an old frame and spray paint it your favorite color. Nail a few strings and clip some clothes pins and viola you have a display for your classroom printables.
For a simple yet beautiful modern look print inspirational messages on large paper and hang them in simple modern frames.
Grab some string, clothespins and pretty bulletin board paper and you have a beautiful display for your printables. This bulletin board paper can be found here.
This is the final step in setting up your classroom for back to school. It's very important to carve out a space for you that is organized and beautiful. You need a place to relax after a hectic day. I think that a clean, organized, clutter free space can really rejuvenate your soul. You deserve that, so make this one a priority.
Get a little inspiration from some gorgeous teacher desks plus, check out some pretty accessories for your desk below.
A beautiful planner is a must for your teacher space. This is your spot to plan the day, the week or the year.
Check out the Best Teacher Planners Here...The Ultimate Teacher Planner
Your teacher space is the perfect spot to add those touches that are just you, like fun file folders or cheerful pen holders.
It's a great idea to add plants to your desk to liven up the space literally. I also love how this teacher has repurposed a straw holder for pencils.
This teacher matched her teacher desk area with the boho rainbow classroom theme. The result is a fun and beautiful area that blends seamlessly with the rest of the classroom.
Below check out some of my favorite finds to create your gorgeous teacher space.
WHERE TO FIND
ONE | GOLD ORGANIZATION SET
TWO | GREEN PAPER TRAY
THREE | SET OF SUCCULENTS
FOUR | WRITE CUP
FIVE | CREATE CUP
SIX | DESK PAD
The next step after you have everything set up is the fun part decorating your classroom!
I have created separate posts for that check them out below.
Ok, so you now have the best classroom setup ideas that you can take to create an epic classroom this year for your students just in time for back to school. Plus, you've seen tons amazing classrooms to get you inspired to start.
Hopefully you now have some ideas for classroom decorations, organization, teacher toolboxes, creating a gorgeous teacher space, a creative reading nook and more that you'll actually use this year. You have one of the hardest jobs on the planet I hope this post might help add a little fun and beauty to your hectic day!
Feel free to save your favorite ideas to you Pinterest boards, just click on the red P on the picture!