Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram
cabinets
Setting Up My Kindergarten Classroom and Tackling Storage
26 Jul, 2015. 15 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Back to School, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Holidays, Kindergarten Language, Kindergarten Math, Kindergarten Science, Kindergarten Social Studies, Kindergarten Writing, Preschool. Posted By: Kristen Smith

This past week I spent some time in my new kindergarten classroom. I don’t know about you, but it takes me SO much time to figure out where I want everything. I normally spend the first day moving furniture a bunch of times because I unfortunately was not blessed with spatial awareness.  (Anyone else with me on that one?)

As I think through and move furniture I think how the setup will best suit the needs of my incoming students. When I was in high school, I worked in a day care for 4 years and I’ll never forget the director telling us, “set up your classroom to decrease the urge of kids to RUN!” As I look back, this advice has shaped every classroom I have ever put together. I will never forget her showing us how kids run through aisles and empty spaces in classrooms. Therefore, I always try to set up intentional areas in my classrooms where students can work and play.

This year, my classroom is smaller than I am used to. In fact, it took a lot longer for me to figure out where I wanted to put everything because I didn’t have a corner for my book nook. However, I think that what I came up with will work nicely.

Now as I walk you through these pictures, please realize that I am still in set-up mode. My classroom is not “perfect” yet (it won’t ever be!!), but I wanted to give you an idea of what was going on.

When you first walk through the door, you are greeted by a sea glass braided rug, two white comfy chairs and my reading area. (I couldn’t get both chairs in the picture frame.) This is not always ideal; however, I think it will work for us as people generally don’t come in and out of our classrooms.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-16

To the right, are the children’s hooks and their book boxes.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-22

On the book shelf, I currently have some easy readers, books that go along with our first themes for community, our world, colors, and my favorite August read alouds.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-35

From here you can see what will become my literacy shelves.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-18

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-21

Currently these shelves are housing simple activities and literacy games that will be familiar activities to my incoming students. This will help them feel at home in our new classroom quickly.  On these shelves I currently have puzzles, writing supplies, sandpaper letters, the moveable alphabet, and the color box.

Last year these students LOVED these activities. Here is what they look like in action:

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-60 Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-56

There are also two easy literacy centers on the shelves.

Matching capital to lowercase letters:

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-3 Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-2
Letter Puzzles:

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-4 Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-5

I always start the year with simple activities that do not need much explaining. This makes it easy for me to get centers off the ground! As the year progress, these shelves will hold all of our word work and literacy centers.

From the literacy shelves, you come into our meeting area. This is where we will hold our morning meeting, closing circles, calendar time, math meetings, and more!

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-23In that small shelving unit I have flashcards on the top shelf, my Bibles and CDs on the second shelf, and the bottom shelf has enough dry erase boards and markers for all of my students. This will make it easy to pass out supplies to my students on the carpet. The bookshelf is housing all my read alouds for the first week of school.

On the opposite wall, you will find my math area  and sensory table. (Again, you will notice super simple, engaging materials that students can use without much direction.)

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-29 Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-26

My room is not 100% set up yet, but it is getting there! Since the room is tiny, I wanted to make the most out of the cabinets in my classroom. I decided that the cabinets that the children can reach will house items that they can access throughout the day. The shelves above their reach level are for me to store my materials and items.

cabinets

The shelves are currently housing items for our “exploration centers” in the afternoon. My students will be able to open up the cabinets and take out the materials that they are interested in.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-40

From the pictures in this blog post you can’t see the light table and the easel that is set up but many of these materials can be used on those items.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-43 Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-42 Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-41

I also have the art supplies stored in cabinets where the students can easily assess them. I did this last year and it was a life saver! My drawers look like this!

I have a “frequently used supply drawer.”

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-48

A “paint drawer.”

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-50

And a “craft drawer.”

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-51These drawers make crafts super easy! Everything I need is right at my fingertips and I “train” the students to know where everything goes.

I also have a paper cabinet. (I know, forgive the red construction paper that is out of place. After I took the picture I realized I had to fix it….) The white paper has its own section because we go through it the most! It is the color that is right at my student’s hand level.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-44

In my teacher cabinets I am storing my extra math items, science experiment materials, curriculum items, and guided reading materials. (Some shelves/materials are not shown!)

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-55 Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-54 Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-53 Kindergarten Classroom Reveal-52

And there you have it! That’s as far as I have gotten this week! Next week I will keep plugging away! I hope that you are doing well!

Related Post

Tags:
,
15 Comments
  1. hi! Your room looks amazing! Where did you get the matching cards for lower case and upper case letters? I also love the wooden letters that are matched to the cards. Where did you find those items? I’m moving to kinder this year and am looking for stations for my kids. Thanks! Have a great year!

    • Erinn- Thanks I made the matching center– it is available in my Back To School (kindergarten) center pack! :)

  2. hi! Your room looks amazing! I was wondering where you got your alphabet matching cards and the letter puzzles with the wooden letters and cards. Would love to have something like that in my new kinder room. Thanks!

    • Erinn– Thank you so very much! I got them from Amazon! :)

  3. Susan -

    Where did you get your alphabet cards/shape cards with the photographs?
    I’m on the hunt for those for my new-to-me K-3 SpEd class :)

  4. I can’t explain how jealous I am of your huge classroom! Mine is slightly bigger than a garage, and I have to fit second graders and their desks in, PLUS all the computers, library, small group table… And I can count my cabinets on one hand… because there are exactly 0 cabinets. As you can imagine, it’s awful and chaotic!

  5. love love love everything you do!! I too moved from a larger k classroom to a bit smaller one and went back and reworked my cabinets – furniture and room placement after they clean our rooms and do floors.

    Just something I have done that makes a huge difference is save the plastic containers from spring salad mix and any other clear container from a costco or so on and I store all my art supplies vertically and bes tof all you can see what they are – label the sides and they’re free and recycled !! Thanks for blogging and sharing your life with us!!

  6. It looks great! I love how you made use of the smaller space and made it so inviting. I am in the same room but got new tables; went from round to a clover leaf style. I am having a terrible time arranging things with them so this was very helpful! I am soooo jealous of your beautiful community playthings furniture. I had that in my last classroom and adored it but it had to stay with the classroom/program that purchased it when I moved last year. I am loving many of your materials that are out as well! In one photo on a corner shelf I think, you have some colorful, stacking puzzle type toys made of wood. I know I’ve looked at them sometime before but can’t remember the brand to find them again to purchase some. Do you recall the brand?

  7. Ashley S. -

    Looks wonderful! I saw the Journeys readers. Do you use those during your Guided Reading time? I will be using these this year, and I’m not sure if I’m going to like them.

    • Ashley, Honestly, I don’t love them…. I use a lot of my own resources, Reading A-Z books, and other literature instead of those readers. I might actually move them out of my cabinets!

  8. The colors are so calming, the centers are awesome. I think you did a fantastic job. It makes me want to go back to Kindergarten!

  9. Elle -

    Kristen,

    I love your classroom decor! Do you sell your cute calendar sign in your store? I cannot seem to find it and ABSOLUTELY love it! Could you please let me know? Thank you so much! :-)

  10. Hi, thank you for sharing your classroom design with us. I love the idea of using the cabinets with supplies for easy access for our students.
    Where did you get that lovely chair, wood container for the markers, and the colored pencil containers? Your room feels so warm and engaging. Would you consider sharing a month by month picture of your classroom? What wonderful ideas!

15 Comments

  • hi! Your room looks amazing! Where did you get the matching cards for lower case and upper case letters? I also love the wooden letters that are matched to the cards. Where did you find those items? I’m moving to kinder this year and am looking for stations for my kids. Thanks! Have a great year!

    • Erinn- Thanks I made the matching center– it is available in my Back To School (kindergarten) center pack! :)

  • hi! Your room looks amazing! I was wondering where you got your alphabet matching cards and the letter puzzles with the wooden letters and cards. Would love to have something like that in my new kinder room. Thanks!

    • Erinn– Thank you so very much! I got them from Amazon! :)

  • Susan -

    Where did you get your alphabet cards/shape cards with the photographs?
    I’m on the hunt for those for my new-to-me K-3 SpEd class :)

  • I can’t explain how jealous I am of your huge classroom! Mine is slightly bigger than a garage, and I have to fit second graders and their desks in, PLUS all the computers, library, small group table… And I can count my cabinets on one hand… because there are exactly 0 cabinets. As you can imagine, it’s awful and chaotic!

  • love love love everything you do!! I too moved from a larger k classroom to a bit smaller one and went back and reworked my cabinets – furniture and room placement after they clean our rooms and do floors.

    Just something I have done that makes a huge difference is save the plastic containers from spring salad mix and any other clear container from a costco or so on and I store all my art supplies vertically and bes tof all you can see what they are – label the sides and they’re free and recycled !! Thanks for blogging and sharing your life with us!!

  • It looks great! I love how you made use of the smaller space and made it so inviting. I am in the same room but got new tables; went from round to a clover leaf style. I am having a terrible time arranging things with them so this was very helpful! I am soooo jealous of your beautiful community playthings furniture. I had that in my last classroom and adored it but it had to stay with the classroom/program that purchased it when I moved last year. I am loving many of your materials that are out as well! In one photo on a corner shelf I think, you have some colorful, stacking puzzle type toys made of wood. I know I’ve looked at them sometime before but can’t remember the brand to find them again to purchase some. Do you recall the brand?

  • Ashley S. -

    Looks wonderful! I saw the Journeys readers. Do you use those during your Guided Reading time? I will be using these this year, and I’m not sure if I’m going to like them.

    • Ashley, Honestly, I don’t love them…. I use a lot of my own resources, Reading A-Z books, and other literature instead of those readers. I might actually move them out of my cabinets!

  • The colors are so calming, the centers are awesome. I think you did a fantastic job. It makes me want to go back to Kindergarten!

  • Elle -

    Kristen,

    I love your classroom decor! Do you sell your cute calendar sign in your store? I cannot seem to find it and ABSOLUTELY love it! Could you please let me know? Thank you so much! :-)

  • Hi, thank you for sharing your classroom design with us. I love the idea of using the cabinets with supplies for easy access for our students.
    Where did you get that lovely chair, wood container for the markers, and the colored pencil containers? Your room feels so warm and engaging. Would you consider sharing a month by month picture of your classroom? What wonderful ideas!

  • Leave a Comment