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Back to school– operation: set up my classroom!
19 Jul, 2012. 53 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Back to School, First Grade. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Back to school… Back to school… (Billy Madison anyone?!) 
So… this is what I walked into. 
The last few days I have been trying to rearrange and set up my *small* classroom. This is the same classroom I had last year even though nearly every other teacher on staff had their room assignments changed! I would have liked a new room (as mine is about 6 feet smaller than the other rooms– but I am making the most out of my room. 
I acquired a ‘new to me’ guided reading table and started playing around with my set up. 
At this point, it looks like this! (It’s not finished yet!)
I have my Math Bin area in a good place…  the bins just need to be filled, the containers need to be relabeled, number posters need to be hung and I need to put up the center rotations into my pocket chart.
(maybe it’s not “in a good place.”) 
My guided math and reading table.
The front of my classroom.
Where our good work will be displayed. 
Every week we will learn a new poem or song! It will be featured here. The students will also get a poetry folder to hold their copies of the poems and songs!
 My Math Meeting Board. (Not quite complete yet!)
My book corner still needs some massive work. A friend of mine is going to hang up the shelves for me and then I’ll play around with this area a little more. Also, the book bins still need to be labeled. That is my goal for tomorrow.
This is where I will display our Phonics dance sounds as we learn them!
My word wall gets hung on the back of my “cubbie” cabinet. I, however, use this cabinet to hold my math manipulatives, my guided reading library, curriculum books and some other items!

So this year I am going to try a few new things in my classroom and need some encouragement…

First, I am thinking of doing away with “student desks.” As in, ‘this is the only place where you can sit, here is your name tag’ kind of seating arrangements. I haven’t gotten my head all the way around this idea yet but I’m playing with it. As you can see, there is not a lot of space in my classroom.

I’m toying around with the idea of having the kids have all their personal items in their chair pockets and depending on what we are doing they can either sit where their chair pocket is or choose where they will sit. This will allow for more space in my classroom and students will have the ability to get comfy and sit where they want. (Of course this will be modeled and watching like a hawk.) 😉

Some questions that arise in my head with this are:

What about name tags?
I think I’m just going to laminate them and put them in their chair pockets. The students can then take them out to work. (How does that sound?)

What about when everyone is working at the same time?
There are enough “table spaces” for all of my kids. I am lucky that I can only have 14* students and there are 14 work spots available.  (*If enrollment is full) ((You can’t see the tables in the pictures I posted.))

What about supplies?
I bought some table supply holders so this should not be a problem.

Can anyone else think of other issues that would arise? Do you do this? How does it work for you??

Also, while I was setting up my classroom I was needing some number posters to hang on my math walls but could not find what I was looking for to save my life. So… I made them. Which means that if you want them, you can have them for free!

I wanted the posters to have the number word, tally mark and coin value. Here’s how they came out:

If you like them, please leave a comment to let me know! Click <<here>> to download!  I think I might make a back to school math bin to go along with these, too!! That might be on my “to do” list for this weekend!

I hope you are all having a great week!!

Kristen

Tags:
53 Comments
  1. Very cute number cards, Kristen! Are you going to make them to 20? Thanks for the downloads! Your room looks sooo much more ready than mine, and I spent ALL day there!!

    • Amber- Yes!! I am going to make them to twenty!! I will get on that soon! I am going to start the year with 1-10 on my walls as we l earn how to spell those number words and then add more! I am sure your room looks great, too!!

    • Amber! The number cards are now to 20!! You can get them Here!

  2. It looks like you have done great with setting up your classroom! I like your Phonics Dance board idea. I would love to create a space for that in my classroom. :)
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

    • Thanks so much!! :) Having the phonics dance helped my first graders SO much last year!!

  3. Hey! I am considering making the transition from desks to tables as well. My room this year will be a LOT smaller than my previous one, so I’m hoping this will save space and allow work tables to do double duty (without the territorial issues that desks sometimes create). I, too, am wondering what issues may arise that I can try to prepare for now. As you think of more table grouping solutions, please post! ~ Jane
    http://www.hootworthyinfirst.blogspot.com

    • I’ve been using “mobile” seating for a couple years now and here’s what helps me, I have the students keep everyday supplies (crayons, markers, etc.) along with a laminated name tag, in their chair pockets. The pencils and scissors are in a community bucket on the tables. I also have the books, notebooks, etc. that they will use each day in a “book spot” which gives us movement between learning as well. I also have a small classroom, and this has really been helpful to me.

  4. Angi -

    Our school wants to buy tables to use instead of desks, but we don’t have the cash right now. Everyone is begging for them though. I’ll be interested to see how it works out for you! :)

    Angi
    ★ First-Graders from Outer Space ★

  5. Hi!

    Love the room! I will use your number cards but wondering if 11-20 might be coming too.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Carol T.

  6. Carol– This weekend I will be making the 11-20 cards!! I will post them Monday morning! :)

  7. Thanks so much for these number cards. Can’t wait for 11 – 20!

  8. I teach Kindergarten where our name plates are very important! However, I have found it is much easier to laminate them and put them in the kids chair sacks verses taping them to the table. The kids who are struggling with writing their names can pull them out when needed. It also makes it very easy to move the children’s seats around! Hope this helps!

    • Shannon!! Yes!! It’s a great affirmation that it will work out!! :) Thanks for the comment!!

  9. Have fun setting up your room! I am your newest follower!

  10. Hi friend! I’m so jealous you get to be in your room already! We don’t get to go back until the week before…so I just keep rearranging my room in my head! :) I LOVE the poetry spot bulletin board…I’m going to pin that and totally do it for my weekly poem. The number posters are super presh to…I think I will make some to match my leopard room! :) Thanks for following, and looking forward to lots of good 1st grade tips from Texas :) (we are totally the best state with the best teachers)

    • Haley! :) Where in Texas are you?! Thanks for the compliment!! We start our vertical alignment trainings next week!! (AYE!!!) We also have an Open House on Tuesday evening so I am hustling to get my room finished before then!! It’s crazy how quickly this summer flew by! I might have a leopard background if you want me to email you the numbers in that theme! I know for sure I have zebra, giraffe…. and a few other jungle animals. Let me know and I’ll happily email you them!!

  11. Love your room so far! I do have one question – I’ve been trying to find a number line to go on my classroom wall. Most of the ones I have found only go up to 20 or 30. Is that okay for a first grade room?? Or do I need it go to to 100?? I’m just not sure about this! Thank you so much!

    • Thank you so much!! I just emailed you a response to your question!! :)

  12. These are AWESOME!! Thx for sharing!

  13. Anonymous -

    cute idea and nice set up! thanks for sharing too! :)

  14. Thanks for the number posters. They’re great. I put my nametags in extra large binder clips (They come in colors other than black at Staples). The clips stand up on the student’s desk holding the nametags up and are moved around easily.

  15. Karlyn -

    I use tables in my 2nd grade classroom and love them! My kids store their pencil boxes and other stuff in their chair pocket. It has worked great for me. I love your numbers! Thanks so much for posting and adding the numbers to 20. I was wondering if it was in your plans to add number by the tens for a visual. :)

  16. While you DO live in Austin and I pretty much bleed maroon, I love that you love Austin Stone! :) What a blessing to able to call that place home.

    I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you. (p.s. I just found your blog via pinterest because of your super cute number posters).

    I teach 1st and do not like desks at all. I would use tables if I could! I have always used chair bags (in both K and 1). My kids put everything in there. Works really well! Supplies have always been community with a tub in the middle of the table. Works great! You can still assign spots, just at the tables. I would tape down a laminated piece of colored paper, that matched their table color, so they knew where their tub went…right there in the middle of the table. Their name tags were just on laminated colored sentence strips (in both K and 1 until last year) and they just learned how to line them up around the tub. The would then “clear their table” when we did something messy and this saved the name tags many times. Also, since they could be moved, kids would many times ask other kids for their name tag to see how to spell their name. Last year was my 1st year with desks and I do NOT recommend desks at all. I like how tables flow naturally, I like how they really do build community with other students, I just like the circles. Your room looks great! Very clean! Not too much “stuff” everywhere! Have a great year!

    Amanda
    mrsrichardsonfirstgrade.blogspot.com

  17. Your classroom looks great!! I love the number posters! I’m your newest follower:)

    Hadar

  18. Anonymous -

    these rock!! cant wait til u do them to twenty! thank u! eva!!

  19. Jill -

    Thank you so much for your number posters! Love how the numbers are represented in different ways!

    I teach at a Catholic school so it sounds like we have some of the same things to think about. :) I had 12 students last year but this year I’m up to 18. I love all of your bulletin boards too! Love love love. :)

    Where did you get your graphing pocket chart?

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  20. Anonymous -

    Love these posters! Thank you!

  21. Love the blog! Thanks for the number posters, LOVE them!
    Something I do is have a second set of name cards to use when I want them to sit in certain groups. That might help you if you have times that you want to control the groupings!

  22. Ok I have to ask… What font did you use to make the big numbers on the charts? I have seen this font on several things but can’t figure out what it is and where to get it!!

  23. Tj -

    I love your counting on and draw poster in your math board…Duos you create those, too? I want to do a similar math board in my room this year….

  24. Thank you! They are awesome!

  25. Awesome posters! Thanks for sharing for free :)

    I’m your newest follower!

    Wishful Teaching

  26. I adore your room! Thank you for sharing the number posters. You are my hero for including money! Part of your post you showed sound posters under your Phonic Dance board. Where did you find these posters??? I have wanted them for a couple years now, but don’t know where to find them.

    Also, thanks for enlightening me about Phonic Dance! I must look into this MORE! Thanks.

    Catherine
    my2littleduckies@gmail.com

  27. Anonymous -

    I loved your number idea and I hope to use it in my classroom. Thanks so much

  28. Anonymous -

    I absolutely LOVE the numbers!!!

  29. Anonymous -

    What a wonderful work!!!! I love it!! Thank you for sharing it!!
    Cova

  30. THese are great! Thank you:)
    Sarah
    Sarah’s First Grade Snippets

  31. Thos number posters are sooooo adorable! Here’s a far-out question….any way of replacing the coins with a tens-frame representation???? We are doing Common Core this year- no money- but I LOVE these!!!!

    Stephanie

  32. The number posters go so well with my classroom theme. I was looking for something that would complement my theme but not look like a sore thumb. I also like that you included additional facts that will be useful when teaching money, talky marks, and place value. Excellent! Thanks for sharing.

  33. Thank you for the number posters! I love them.

  34. How exactly did you make the milk crate seats?

  35. Love your classroom and number posters.

  36. Oh, great number posters!
    I am moving rooms, so I have been hard at work trying to find a good flow. Thanks for the peek, it’s always helpful to see what other teachers are doing.

  37. New follower here and absolutely LOVE all of your ideas! Great looking room too! I will also be teaching 1st grade this year!

  38. I just found your blog and I LOOOOOVE your number posters!!! I just downloaded them to laminate and cut out. Thanks soooo much! Although I have a jungle theme, I am trying to add some color PoP to my theme.

  39. I am going to be new to first grade next year after 16 years in peek and 19 years in kindergarten, and wanted to say how much I appreciate your sharing! I, too, am considering not having assigned desks for students next year. Yes, enough table space for everyone to sit when needed, but not necessarily a desk for every student – my room is so small and no storage! I think it may be smaller than yours. So I am glad to hear I’m not crazy (about the no assigned seat idea).

  40. Pam -

    Hi there!
    I love the way you set up your calendar/bulletin board area. Could you please share with me where you got your calendar items? Like the months of the year as well as the days in school?
    Thank you!!

    • Pam- Thanks so much! I actually made them! I sell them in my TpT Shop. Search “Calendar” and it will pop up! :)

  41. JANA -

    Do you have the number cards for 11-20? I love them!

  42. Love your number idea.

  43. I absolutely love your number cards and am willing to purchase them, do you have them in any other color choices?

53 Comments

  • Very cute number cards, Kristen! Are you going to make them to 20? Thanks for the downloads! Your room looks sooo much more ready than mine, and I spent ALL day there!!

    • Amber- Yes!! I am going to make them to twenty!! I will get on that soon! I am going to start the year with 1-10 on my walls as we l earn how to spell those number words and then add more! I am sure your room looks great, too!!

    • Amber! The number cards are now to 20!! You can get them Here!

  • It looks like you have done great with setting up your classroom! I like your Phonics Dance board idea. I would love to create a space for that in my classroom. :)
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

    • Thanks so much!! :) Having the phonics dance helped my first graders SO much last year!!

  • Hey! I am considering making the transition from desks to tables as well. My room this year will be a LOT smaller than my previous one, so I’m hoping this will save space and allow work tables to do double duty (without the territorial issues that desks sometimes create). I, too, am wondering what issues may arise that I can try to prepare for now. As you think of more table grouping solutions, please post! ~ Jane
    http://www.hootworthyinfirst.blogspot.com

    • I’ve been using “mobile” seating for a couple years now and here’s what helps me, I have the students keep everyday supplies (crayons, markers, etc.) along with a laminated name tag, in their chair pockets. The pencils and scissors are in a community bucket on the tables. I also have the books, notebooks, etc. that they will use each day in a “book spot” which gives us movement between learning as well. I also have a small classroom, and this has really been helpful to me.

  • Angi -

    Our school wants to buy tables to use instead of desks, but we don’t have the cash right now. Everyone is begging for them though. I’ll be interested to see how it works out for you! :)

    Angi
    ★ First-Graders from Outer Space ★

  • Hi!

    Love the room! I will use your number cards but wondering if 11-20 might be coming too.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Carol T.

  • Carol– This weekend I will be making the 11-20 cards!! I will post them Monday morning! :)

  • Thanks so much for these number cards. Can’t wait for 11 – 20!

  • I teach Kindergarten where our name plates are very important! However, I have found it is much easier to laminate them and put them in the kids chair sacks verses taping them to the table. The kids who are struggling with writing their names can pull them out when needed. It also makes it very easy to move the children’s seats around! Hope this helps!

    • Shannon!! Yes!! It’s a great affirmation that it will work out!! :) Thanks for the comment!!

  • Have fun setting up your room! I am your newest follower!

  • Hi friend! I’m so jealous you get to be in your room already! We don’t get to go back until the week before…so I just keep rearranging my room in my head! :) I LOVE the poetry spot bulletin board…I’m going to pin that and totally do it for my weekly poem. The number posters are super presh to…I think I will make some to match my leopard room! :) Thanks for following, and looking forward to lots of good 1st grade tips from Texas :) (we are totally the best state with the best teachers)

    • Haley! :) Where in Texas are you?! Thanks for the compliment!! We start our vertical alignment trainings next week!! (AYE!!!) We also have an Open House on Tuesday evening so I am hustling to get my room finished before then!! It’s crazy how quickly this summer flew by! I might have a leopard background if you want me to email you the numbers in that theme! I know for sure I have zebra, giraffe…. and a few other jungle animals. Let me know and I’ll happily email you them!!

  • Love your room so far! I do have one question – I’ve been trying to find a number line to go on my classroom wall. Most of the ones I have found only go up to 20 or 30. Is that okay for a first grade room?? Or do I need it go to to 100?? I’m just not sure about this! Thank you so much!

    • Thank you so much!! I just emailed you a response to your question!! :)

  • These are AWESOME!! Thx for sharing!

  • Anonymous -

    cute idea and nice set up! thanks for sharing too! :)

  • Thanks for the number posters. They’re great. I put my nametags in extra large binder clips (They come in colors other than black at Staples). The clips stand up on the student’s desk holding the nametags up and are moved around easily.

  • Karlyn -

    I use tables in my 2nd grade classroom and love them! My kids store their pencil boxes and other stuff in their chair pocket. It has worked great for me. I love your numbers! Thanks so much for posting and adding the numbers to 20. I was wondering if it was in your plans to add number by the tens for a visual. :)

  • While you DO live in Austin and I pretty much bleed maroon, I love that you love Austin Stone! :) What a blessing to able to call that place home.

    I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you. (p.s. I just found your blog via pinterest because of your super cute number posters).

    I teach 1st and do not like desks at all. I would use tables if I could! I have always used chair bags (in both K and 1). My kids put everything in there. Works really well! Supplies have always been community with a tub in the middle of the table. Works great! You can still assign spots, just at the tables. I would tape down a laminated piece of colored paper, that matched their table color, so they knew where their tub went…right there in the middle of the table. Their name tags were just on laminated colored sentence strips (in both K and 1 until last year) and they just learned how to line them up around the tub. The would then “clear their table” when we did something messy and this saved the name tags many times. Also, since they could be moved, kids would many times ask other kids for their name tag to see how to spell their name. Last year was my 1st year with desks and I do NOT recommend desks at all. I like how tables flow naturally, I like how they really do build community with other students, I just like the circles. Your room looks great! Very clean! Not too much “stuff” everywhere! Have a great year!

    Amanda
    mrsrichardsonfirstgrade.blogspot.com

  • Your classroom looks great!! I love the number posters! I’m your newest follower:)

    Hadar

  • Anonymous -

    these rock!! cant wait til u do them to twenty! thank u! eva!!

  • Jill -

    Thank you so much for your number posters! Love how the numbers are represented in different ways!

    I teach at a Catholic school so it sounds like we have some of the same things to think about. :) I had 12 students last year but this year I’m up to 18. I love all of your bulletin boards too! Love love love. :)

    Where did you get your graphing pocket chart?

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  • Anonymous -

    Love these posters! Thank you!

  • Love the blog! Thanks for the number posters, LOVE them!
    Something I do is have a second set of name cards to use when I want them to sit in certain groups. That might help you if you have times that you want to control the groupings!

  • Ok I have to ask… What font did you use to make the big numbers on the charts? I have seen this font on several things but can’t figure out what it is and where to get it!!

  • Tj -

    I love your counting on and draw poster in your math board…Duos you create those, too? I want to do a similar math board in my room this year….

  • Thank you! They are awesome!

  • Awesome posters! Thanks for sharing for free :)

    I’m your newest follower!

    Wishful Teaching

  • I adore your room! Thank you for sharing the number posters. You are my hero for including money! Part of your post you showed sound posters under your Phonic Dance board. Where did you find these posters??? I have wanted them for a couple years now, but don’t know where to find them.

    Also, thanks for enlightening me about Phonic Dance! I must look into this MORE! Thanks.

    Catherine
    my2littleduckies@gmail.com

  • Anonymous -

    I loved your number idea and I hope to use it in my classroom. Thanks so much

  • Anonymous -

    I absolutely LOVE the numbers!!!

  • Anonymous -

    What a wonderful work!!!! I love it!! Thank you for sharing it!!
    Cova

  • THese are great! Thank you:)
    Sarah
    Sarah’s First Grade Snippets

  • Thos number posters are sooooo adorable! Here’s a far-out question….any way of replacing the coins with a tens-frame representation???? We are doing Common Core this year- no money- but I LOVE these!!!!

    Stephanie

  • The number posters go so well with my classroom theme. I was looking for something that would complement my theme but not look like a sore thumb. I also like that you included additional facts that will be useful when teaching money, talky marks, and place value. Excellent! Thanks for sharing.

  • Thank you for the number posters! I love them.

  • How exactly did you make the milk crate seats?

  • Love your classroom and number posters.

  • Oh, great number posters!
    I am moving rooms, so I have been hard at work trying to find a good flow. Thanks for the peek, it’s always helpful to see what other teachers are doing.

  • New follower here and absolutely LOVE all of your ideas! Great looking room too! I will also be teaching 1st grade this year!

  • I just found your blog and I LOOOOOVE your number posters!!! I just downloaded them to laminate and cut out. Thanks soooo much! Although I have a jungle theme, I am trying to add some color PoP to my theme.

  • I am going to be new to first grade next year after 16 years in peek and 19 years in kindergarten, and wanted to say how much I appreciate your sharing! I, too, am considering not having assigned desks for students next year. Yes, enough table space for everyone to sit when needed, but not necessarily a desk for every student – my room is so small and no storage! I think it may be smaller than yours. So I am glad to hear I’m not crazy (about the no assigned seat idea).

  • Pam -

    Hi there!
    I love the way you set up your calendar/bulletin board area. Could you please share with me where you got your calendar items? Like the months of the year as well as the days in school?
    Thank you!!

    • Pam- Thanks so much! I actually made them! I sell them in my TpT Shop. Search “Calendar” and it will pop up! :)

  • JANA -

    Do you have the number cards for 11-20? I love them!

  • Love your number idea.

  • I absolutely love your number cards and am willing to purchase them, do you have them in any other color choices?

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