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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teacher Tuesday: my classroom set-up 2014!

I'm linking up with Mrs. Miracle's Music Room for today's post- click on the picture below to go to her post and see all the awesome music rooms in the linky party (they are incredible!).


My classroom is definitely still a work-in-progress, so I will update this post when things change. But I just couldn't wait any longer to share my set-up this year- I'm so excited! Here is the view of my room as you first enter the door:

So yeah, my room is pretty big. I'm pretty sure I gasped out loud when I first saw it. I LOVE having enough space for movement without moving chairs out of the way all the time! So let's take a quick trip around the room, starting on the left hand side of the picture and going clockwise. 

First we have my dinosaur display (aka computer table) and behavior management posters:

The computers were here when I started last year, and I fiddled with trying to use them a bit last year, but they are SUPER slow and outdated (so I can't use any of my software with them). I'm getting 1 or 2 iPads this year (yay!) so I may gradually replace those computers with iPad stations. 

The two posters are from the district-wide emotional literacy program- one about taking time to think about your behavior, and one for charting your mood. I honestly don't use the "mood" one very much because my classes are too short to talk about everyone's mood each time, but I use the "thinking" one a LOT (more on that later) and they are both a good reference for the students since they discuss them extensively in their homerooms and other classes. 

The giant magnet board is my big project this year- it is replacing my sticker chart as my behavior management chart this year. I am resisting the urge to go into great detail about it because if I do this post will never end, but I will write a separate post on it later. You can probably guess where I'm going with it though ;)

Moving along that wall, we come to my teacher desk:

On the left are my objectives. I have a dollar store frame with colored paper for each grade, and a dry erase marker. That space is hopefully getting an upgrade soon with a new "title sign"- we'll see. My teacher desk has my "teacher toolkit" organizer and a tray for any papers from each grade level. Next to my desk is my piano, which helps hide my teacher area from the main seating area we use ;)

So now we've come to the front board on the far side of the room:

I have my solfege ladder, then my MUSIC letters (see this post for the explanation) with my class charter underneath, my DIY interactive whiteboard with my three class rules posted above (see this post), and then a couple of "music quote" posters next to that. 

As we turn the corner you'll see my windows:

I have a minion poster with the quote, "Don't judge me. I was born to be awesome not perfect" that I created after I saw a similar idea somewhere. Under that is a small table where I keep my teacher laptop and stereo speakers. I run most of my tracks through my computer and my projector connects to my laptop as well. Above the windows I have the sign language alphabet. I like to incorporate sign language into singing as much as I can. In the middle are these awesome anchor charts from Sara Bibee. They are seriously the best ones I've seen and the students LOVE them.

Going around the corner, I have my instrument family wall behind the student chairs:

I have extra chairs and stands stacked along that wall as well because the band rehearses in my room once a week as well. 

Next we have the giant-and-awkward-blue-chalkboard-wall:

I have a plan for this wall, I promise, but for now I have my rolling whiteboard and giant stereo system (which I mostly kept for when I have a sub) sitting in front of it. I also have my recorder karate area (with these fingering charts from Marti Chandler) on the left and a music history timeline above it. 

Next to that is my closet. No, I am not under any circumstances going to show you the inside, but here is the outside, where I am storing my boomwhackers:

I got the idea to stick them on the doors with velcro from this post by Yellow Brick Road. Just to the left of the closet is a small desk with a "rest" sign above it. This is where students go, either by choice or at my request, to think about their behavior and try to make better choices. It has been a very helpful tool and it also fits right in with our district's emotional literacy curriculum.

When you turn the corner, you come to the most awesome part of my room. Behold, my Wall of Shelves:

These are obviously still a work in progress too, but my-oh-my aren't they wonderful? I have manipulatives, writing supplies, mallets, and extra xylophone bars on the far left. In the middle are the Orff instruments, then the drums, then on the far right are all the other unpitched percussion instruments. I try to keep the most commonly-used items near the bottom. The goal is always for students to be able to get things out and put things back by themselves. 

That white line on the floor is actually minion duct tape (squeee!!). I got it to go with my minion poster, and put it down on the floor leading to the front door to provide a guide for where students should line up at the end of class:

It's not the most aesthetically pleasing part of the room, but I like the idea that they are the minions- awesome, not perfect- and it's a lot easier than constantly trying to tell them to move away from the shelves when they line up. 

So now we've come full-circle! Here's a picture of the room from the far side, looking towards the front door where we started:

Did you see the different colored tape on the floor in front of each row of chairs? If you missed my post on my new color-coding system for seating, go check it out here:

And there you have it! Don't forget to go check out the other music classrooms in Mrs. Miracle's linky party, and check back for updates on my classroom. School starts in 2 weeks so it's time to kick it into high gear!


  1. Wonderful post, Elizabeth! It's so neat to see the rooms of others. Looking forward to reading your future posts. Thanks for joining the party! :)

    1. Thanks for hosting! It has been amazing to see everyone's ideas!