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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Classroom Tour: 2016-2017

It's that time of year again! I started classes with students yesterday, so I wanted to share my classroom setup for this year with you. Many things are the same as last year, but I've made some changes as well. It's not quite done yet, but that's OK- it's ready enough for my students and I to make music, and so far they are loving the space!

First here's a quick video tour to give you the "lay of the land":

So now let's go around the room the same way I did in the video so I can point out a few things! :)

My open shelving FINALLY got the facelift they deserved. I fell in love with the rainbow patterned contact paper in the dollar spot at Target and bought them out of every roll they had. It still didn't get me enough to cover every shelf, but I was able to cover all of the eye-level ones that have instruments. Last year I had different colored table cloths on each shelf (which worked fine but if any sharp object got scraped across it, it was toast) and I loved being able to direct students to a particular shelf by saying, "the yellow shelf on the right", or "the blue shelf on the bottom". So I added some of my trusty colored duct tape to the front of each shelf, and now I have the best of both worlds! Actually having the color on the front makes it even easier to see the colors, so this is even better :)

I also added lots of new posters this year that I made myself, including the two big ones above the open shelving. The one on the left says "walk around the instruments" and the right one says "If you play before I say you'll make the instrument go away" (you can find the complete set of rainbow colored, tribal / bohemian patterned music class posters that I made here).

Just to the right of my door is my behavior management / student jobs board. You can read about all of my behavior management systems, including the piano keys and the classroom jobs, in this post. If you have keen observation skills and a sharp memory, you'll see that I replaced one of the jobs with a new one. More on that in a future post after I see how it goes ;) I also added a couple of charts to help me track how many incentives each class has earned and when the students switch jobs. I used to keep track of that on my seating charts, but I had a hard time keeping up with everything on my own, so I'm posting it on my wall so the students can keep me accountable (as I know they will!).

The wall next to the board is blank. I used to have a large table with my computers there, but I moved it to make room for something new and exciting.... but it's not ready yet! I'll share once it's done :)

Continuing around the room, I have my objectives for each grade, my piano (with concert programs and artwork students give me posted above), my reading nook, and the main teaching area with my new SmartBoard! The rainbow border framing the bulletin board is another Dollar Spot find, and almost all of the posters in the picture are a part of the new rainbow tribal set I made. I love them so much! 

The posters you can barely see in the previous photo, to the right of the board, are anchor charts showing the elements of music. I go back and forth on whether I should have information like this posted or if I should expect students to memorize/learn as they go without the visual reminders, but I've decided it is helpful to have, so I've put them front and center where students can reference it whenever they want! If I am having a particular grade practice a particular set of vocabulary, I will cover up that information to see if they are actually learning it.

Next to that is my small teacher desk. If you missed it, I gave a video tour of my desk a couple of weeks ago. Here's the blog post with the video included:

Next to my desk I've put a lot of the student supplies in caddies, sorted by the color teams I use for seating, on the window sill. I'm a little worried that they are going to get knocked off, but we're going to try it and see how it goes- I like the idea of having everything close by. I've put the pencils (with color-coded duct tape on each one) and dry erase markers in each caddy already, and I'm leaving the big section open to put any other supplies students may need for class that day. They certainly do add a lot of pretty color to that side of the room! The caddies are, you guessed it, also from the Dollar Spot.

The big change that happened in my room (and actually the whole building) this summer was new flooring! Now that I have new carpet, I really can't justify sticking yucky duct tape down on the floor to mark my rows of chairs and circle spots like I did in the past. I did a lot of research this summer, reading reviews online and even testing strips on the edge of the carpet, and finally settled on this gaffer's tape. It definitely doesn't leave any residue, the colors are great, and it seems to hold well, I have yet to find out how well it holds up to having chairs dragged across it, students picking at it, and all the other abuse floor tape takes in my room. Only time will tell!

I used the same tape for my circle (which I was standing on in the video and forgot to show you!):

The back wall of my classroom is mostly the same, except that I moved the large table with the student computers to the back wall and got a new stand rack (yay!) to hold most of the music stands behind the chairs.

The only parts of my classroom you haven't seen yet are the outside of my room. The wall just outside my door, which is actually in a very small alcove off of the main hallway, has the same music advocacy posters that I made a few years ago:

Outside the second door, which leads to the main hallway, I have my new welcome banner:

I have gotten so many compliments on it already! I just tacked up some string and hung each letter with a clothespin. Hopefully nobody will try to take them down.... In the background of the picture you can see through the two doors into the back of my classroom where I have my boomwhackers velcroed to my closet doors- I got two more sets this year so I added a 3rd row to the top of the doors!

That officially completes my classroom tour- I hope you've enjoyed this post! I'm so happy with my room this year and I've loved seeing the students' reactions as they come in the room. I'll be sure to update you once the rest of the projects are complete!

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I'm also linking up with Mrs. King, who is hosting a link-up with lots of other music classroom tours. Go check out her post to see lots of other awesome music rooms!

Music classroom set up and decorating ideas galore! Check out this article for ideas for decorations, bulletin boards, classroom organization, music class management, room set up strategies and more.  It is definitely more than just pictures of music classrooms and bulletin boards.  It is inspiration!


  1. I use sit spots to mark the floor. It's velcro-like but strong. Doesn't ruin the carpet, and custodians can vacuum right over them. :) Before that, I used just regular velcro that I cut into strips and used like tape. Hobby Lobby has all bright colors.

    1. I love the sound of sit spots, but whenever I've looked into them they've been out of my budget :( Plus the biggest thing I need is those long lines, not spots, so they wouldn't work for that.... I tried velcro before and couldn't get it to stay down well! I wonder if I have the wrong kind of velcro, or the wrong kind of carpet...

  2. OH my goodness! I have such shelf envy! LOL! Thanks for linking up. I hope you have a fabulous school year!

  3. I am so jealous of your space! I used to have a huge room but when they gutted and rebuilt the inside of our school to go from open concept to hallways and doors, they put me out in a portable :( at least I get the whole thing, so I have it set up where we sing and play games and do body percussion and the other has our instruments and costumes and we learn in one and apply in the other. I use the sticky side of velcro to put on my floors so students know where to doesn't ruin the carpet and it holds up for a few years...we have a fabric outlet store that carries it in different widths and colors:) I love your inst saying...I say "You don't play until I say and if you play you put it away" :)

    1. I don't know why I haven't been able to get velcro to work, because it totally seems like it should in theory and I know lots of teachers use it! But yes, I am very lucky to have such a nice room. My first year of teaching I was in the basement below the basement, and I had to run a humidifier 24/7 and empty it twice a day! Plus you know, no windows, and it was the size of a closet. Since that year though I've been blessed with some wonderful classrooms!

  4. How/what did you use to hang your Boomwhackers on the doors?

    1. It's industrial strength velcro :) I put the rough side on the walls, cut the soft side into squares, and attached them to the boomwhackers. Here's the velcro I got on Amazon (FYI this is an affiliate link- same cost/process as a regular link):