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Our Kindergarten Classroom Reveal
Classroom Reveal 2016-2017
13 Aug, 2016. 28 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Back to School, Kindergarten. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Hello everyone! I hope that you had a fabulous week! For those of you who already have a few days of the school year under your belt, congratulations! I hope that you are having a marvelous start to your year! For me, Meet the Teacher was this Friday and it was an absolute joy to meet many of my incoming students and their families! I am so very excited to start this new school year.

I know many of you have been following my sneak peek classroom pictures on Instagram (adayinfirstgrade) and today is the day of the official classroom reveal! This year I will have nearly double the class size I had last year and for that reason, my school knocked down a wall and gave me a double classroom! I am very excited to use my newly acquired space.

Without further ado, here is a tour of our learning space for the 2016-2017 school year.

When you walk into my classroom, you are greeted by our reading area. This will be a quiet space for students to curl up with a good book.

Kindergarten classroom library

After that is our gathering space. This is where most of our whole group instruction will take place.

gathering place and book area in a kindergarten classroom

gathering place in a kindergarten classroom

In the corner is our writing area! On the bulletin board are a few ideas students can use to help them get started on writing! There are a small selection of writing supplies to begin the year and unlined paper. You will also notice our paper puncher. This is so that students can easily add holes to their writing and drawings and add them to their portfolios.

writing center in a kindergarten classroom

Next to our writing center is our dramatic play center. I am hoping that the close proximity between these two areas will encourage writing in my students’ play.

Learning centers in a kindergarten classroom-- play matters!!

Next up are our literacy shelves. These shelves house all of our language arts activities. Students will be able to freely choose these trays and lessons when they are at morning (language) centers.

Literacy shelves in a kindergarten classroom

Currently, there are many activities to encourage fine motor development, pencil grip, name recognition, and letter construction on these shelves.

Literacy shelves in a kindergarten classroom

These metal insets are a Montessori activity that promotes many skills:

“-The child will learn how to grip and guide the writing instrument.
-They will experience the effects of pressure on the pencil.
-The very great variety of movements involved in this work, helps the child with control of the writing movements but also with changing directions.
-Keeping the point of the pencil on the edge of the frame or the inset, helps the child steady his strokes. The movements will go from left to right.
-The child can learn to make one continuous stroke. This is particularly helpful in cursive script, but some letters in modified print call for it.
-This work demands eye-hand coordination.”

(source: http://www.infomontessori.com/language/written-language-metal-insets.htm)
Literacy shelves in a kindergarten classroom

This is the other side of the shelves. On the top shelf from left to right are: nomenclature shelves, the sandpaper letters, Waseca shelves that house Montessori phonetic pink, green, and blue card works. The second shelf has sand that goes with the sandpaper letters, and crayon rubbing letters. The third shelf has an alphabet dinosaur puzzle and a transfer activity.

Literacy shelves in a kindergarten classroom

(In this activity students will use the magnetic wand to transfer the magnets from the left tray to the right tray.)

Literacy shelves in a kindergarten classroom

These end shelves currently have an alphabet matching bag, rocks so that the students can practice writing their name and their friends’ names, a few puzzles and matching game, as well as AlphaBuild shapes to encourage letter formation.

back to school centers for kindergarteners

Literacy shelves in a kindergarten classroom

In the middle of our classroom is where I will conduct my guided reading and guided math groups. I placed a large circle table there so that 4-6 students can sit comfortably. This table is in front of my sensory table (not pictured) and our math investigation shelves.

Back to school classroom reveal

On the table are the gifts I gave to my students as they arrived for Meet The Teacher. I let each child choose their favorite card (which gave me a little insight to things that they are interested in!) and their very own magnifying glass.

Here’s a close up look at a few of the cards.

Back to school- meet the teacher ideas Back to school- meet the teacher ideas

Also on the table were real specimens of preserved butterflies. I can already tell I have some amazing explorers entering my classroom! I can’t wait to see where their investigations, inquiries, and interests will take us this year!

Here is a closer look at our math investigation area.

Math investigation center in a kindergarten classroom

As a note, to help my students at the beginning of the year with clean up, I take pictures (like the one below) and laminate them and place them on the shelves where each item belongs. This helps them know what the clean up expectation is for each activity.

Tip: to help my students at the beginning of the year with clean up, I take pictures and laminate them and place them on the shelves where each item belongs. This helps them know what the clean up expectation is for each activity.

As you walk left, there are small building items and our shape wall.

Math investigation center in a kindergarten classroom

Then, in the corner are our large hollow blocks. On this bulletin board we will hang up pictures of our favorite creations and in the binder, students will add their blueprints and the plans they draw before or after they construct something! Building center in a kindergarten classroom Learning centers in a kindergarten classroom

I also took a picture for my students so they know how to clean up the hollow blocks! Once I print it, I will laminate and hang it up next to the block area as a reference!Learning centers in a kindergarten classroom

In front of this area is our Math Provocation table. I love this table and the activities that go on it. Right now it has a train set that was a huge hit during Meet The Teacher.

Learning centers in a kindergarten classroom

The sign says, “In our class, we use teamwork!”

Next up are our math shelves! (On the wall behind the shelves are the Montessori 100 chain and the 1,000 chain.)

Montessori inspired Math shelves in a kindergarten classroom.

Currently on the shelves I have an abacus, pattern blocks, a matching number memory game, number box, and the Montessori constructive triangles. Montessori inspired Math shelves in a kindergarten classroom.
Back To School-22

On the next section of the math shelves is our Russian nesting doll. My students last year loved this!
Back To School-24

I also have out the Montessori spindle box for practice with 1-1 correspondence.
Back To School-26

Finally, I have the Montessori color box #2. (Which encourages students to sort the color tablets by color and shade.)Back To School-25 Montessori inspired Math shelves in a kindergarten classroom.

The last section of the classroom includes our light table, map area, and peace corner.

Kindergarten Classroom ideas and inspiration. (social studies and light table centers)

At the peace corner, students will have a variety of options to take a break during the day. On the shelf right now are the book, “I Am Yoga” by Peter Reynolds, a timer that you can’t see in this picture, a rainstick, a shell to listen to the ocean, and a bear to cuddle. These items will be changed out every once in a while.

A peace corner in our kindergarten classroom-- a special place where students can find peace

In the classroom, I also have an easel.

The easel in our kindergarten classroom

I do have a few tables in the classroom that didn’t really fit into the pictures I took. I have one circle table (that you saw), one small rectangle table, two rectangle tables that are pushed together, and two small square tables. The table locations and sizes are purposefully selected so that students can choose if they want to work independently, in a small group, or in a large group (or on the floor!) For floor work, students can choose to use our rockers (4), or our work mats.

kindergarten students reading on rocker boards

In this kindergarten classroom, students can choose to work on rugs.

Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed the glimpse into our classroom!

Our Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

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28 Comments
  1. Laura -

    What a fantastic classroom. Lots of inspiring ideas! I love the idea of a peace corner.

  2. I’m curious to know how many students you have, and if your students have free choice of ANY activities during particular times of the day. I have a K-1 full-day class, in a Montessori-based environment. I am just now trying to arrange the classroom for the new year, knowing I will have 15-16 K’s, 9-11 1st graders.

    I love seeing your room and reading your posts. Your classroom is beautiful and inviting, and I utilize ideas you share to improve my practice.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Robin! This year I currently have 18 students but can have up to 20. While I would love to allow my students to have free choice all day, I can’t due to a few reasons. Therefore, my day is broken up into three different “sections.” In the morning, we have morning rotations which is where students can choose anything they want in regards to literacy. These options include art, fine motor, practical life, literacy, reading, and writing. It also includes dramatic play. During our second round of rotations, students can choose anything that pertains to math. This can include building, manipulatives, Montessori math items, their interactive notebook, loose parts, and the light table. At the end of the day we have exploration centers which is where they can choose anything they want. I hope that helps! :)

  3. Your room is amazing and so peaceful. Your students will love it. I was wondering where you got the wooden rockers from and if they have a specific name. I haven’t seen them anywhere before, but I know my students would enjoy relaxing in those. Thanks so much!! Hope you have a wonderful year.

  4. What a great Reggio classroom!! Is your entire school set up this way? Did the school provide the furniture and activities?

    • Thank you so very much! No, the entire school is not set up like this. (Although the principal would like it to be!) I purchased all of my furniture over the course of a few years.

  5. Jill -

    Wow! Your classroom is so neat, inviting, and FULL of adventure! I wish I could come explore! Your materials are amazing and it’s obvious the children will be learning SO MUCH! Thank you and please be my advisor to gather such wonderful things and set it all up so perfectly!

    Thanks for ALL you share! Have a SUPER year! :)

  6. This is awesome:)

  7. Susan -

    So nice to see a Kindergarten room where playing is still encouraged!

  8. I love your world map made from felt. I am in the process of making one. Where did you purchase the landmarks (great wall of china, etc.)? Thanks so much!!

  9. I love your classroom set up. Can you tell me the name of those rockers in the library area? I would love to look into maybe getting a couple.

  10. Carol-Ann -

    Wow! What an amazing classroom. I really like the color posters. Are they made from photos you’ve taken or did you purchase them?

  11. Hi! I read your blog constantly! I am so thankful that you take the time to do this weekly! I was wondering if you have “have to complete” activities. Also, are students required to stay with an activity for a certain amount of time?
    Thank you so much again!

  12. Kristen, I LOVE your room! It is so gorgeous and inviting. I especially love the building centre :) Now I can’t wait to set up my room for the year! Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. Love all the natural looking wood furniture in your room, most of all your rockers. I also like how much was added by the simple addition of color palates samples beside your color posters. :)

  14. Hi Kristen! I am so inspired by your classroom and have purchased several of your decor poster sets. I am excited to use them this year with my Transitional Kindergarten class. I would love to know where you got your book bin labels for your classroom library. Are they available to purchase?

  15. I love your classroom! where are your wooden rockers from? They are great!

    • Laura -

      Oh, I see you already mentioned where you got them. Anyway, thanks for sharing your amazing classroom. I am busy trying to set mine up right now. It is difficult though because most of the things in there are very old and worn out. What would you recommend purchasing first? Is there something that you couldn’t do without?

  16. Your classroom is amazing!! Are the writing posters at your writing center for sale? Thanks!

  17. Jane -

    Where did you find your “food” items for your dramatic play center? Love, love your classroom!!

    • Jane- Thank you!! They are made by Melissa and Doug. I got them from Amazon. They have many different sets to choose from!

  18. Alex -

    I am beginning the super daunting process of purchasing my own classroom furniture, and I can’t decide where to buy it or exactly what to buy. You seem to have a great variety of versatile pieces. Where do you purchase yours?
    Beautiful classroom!

    • Thank you so much! It’s so fun to pick out classroom furniture! I bought mine from Community Playthings!

28 Comments

  • Laura -

    What a fantastic classroom. Lots of inspiring ideas! I love the idea of a peace corner.

  • I’m curious to know how many students you have, and if your students have free choice of ANY activities during particular times of the day. I have a K-1 full-day class, in a Montessori-based environment. I am just now trying to arrange the classroom for the new year, knowing I will have 15-16 K’s, 9-11 1st graders.

    I love seeing your room and reading your posts. Your classroom is beautiful and inviting, and I utilize ideas you share to improve my practice.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Robin! This year I currently have 18 students but can have up to 20. While I would love to allow my students to have free choice all day, I can’t due to a few reasons. Therefore, my day is broken up into three different “sections.” In the morning, we have morning rotations which is where students can choose anything they want in regards to literacy. These options include art, fine motor, practical life, literacy, reading, and writing. It also includes dramatic play. During our second round of rotations, students can choose anything that pertains to math. This can include building, manipulatives, Montessori math items, their interactive notebook, loose parts, and the light table. At the end of the day we have exploration centers which is where they can choose anything they want. I hope that helps! :)

  • Your room is amazing and so peaceful. Your students will love it. I was wondering where you got the wooden rockers from and if they have a specific name. I haven’t seen them anywhere before, but I know my students would enjoy relaxing in those. Thanks so much!! Hope you have a wonderful year.

  • What a great Reggio classroom!! Is your entire school set up this way? Did the school provide the furniture and activities?

    • Thank you so very much! No, the entire school is not set up like this. (Although the principal would like it to be!) I purchased all of my furniture over the course of a few years.

  • Jill -

    Wow! Your classroom is so neat, inviting, and FULL of adventure! I wish I could come explore! Your materials are amazing and it’s obvious the children will be learning SO MUCH! Thank you and please be my advisor to gather such wonderful things and set it all up so perfectly!

    Thanks for ALL you share! Have a SUPER year! :)

  • This is awesome:)

  • Susan -

    So nice to see a Kindergarten room where playing is still encouraged!

  • I love your world map made from felt. I am in the process of making one. Where did you purchase the landmarks (great wall of china, etc.)? Thanks so much!!

  • I love your classroom set up. Can you tell me the name of those rockers in the library area? I would love to look into maybe getting a couple.

  • Carol-Ann -

    Wow! What an amazing classroom. I really like the color posters. Are they made from photos you’ve taken or did you purchase them?

  • Hi! I read your blog constantly! I am so thankful that you take the time to do this weekly! I was wondering if you have “have to complete” activities. Also, are students required to stay with an activity for a certain amount of time?
    Thank you so much again!

  • Kristen, I LOVE your room! It is so gorgeous and inviting. I especially love the building centre :) Now I can’t wait to set up my room for the year! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Love all the natural looking wood furniture in your room, most of all your rockers. I also like how much was added by the simple addition of color palates samples beside your color posters. :)

  • Hi Kristen! I am so inspired by your classroom and have purchased several of your decor poster sets. I am excited to use them this year with my Transitional Kindergarten class. I would love to know where you got your book bin labels for your classroom library. Are they available to purchase?

  • I love your classroom! where are your wooden rockers from? They are great!

    • Laura -

      Oh, I see you already mentioned where you got them. Anyway, thanks for sharing your amazing classroom. I am busy trying to set mine up right now. It is difficult though because most of the things in there are very old and worn out. What would you recommend purchasing first? Is there something that you couldn’t do without?

  • Your classroom is amazing!! Are the writing posters at your writing center for sale? Thanks!

  • Jane -

    Where did you find your “food” items for your dramatic play center? Love, love your classroom!!

    • Jane- Thank you!! They are made by Melissa and Doug. I got them from Amazon. They have many different sets to choose from!

  • Alex -

    I am beginning the super daunting process of purchasing my own classroom furniture, and I can’t decide where to buy it or exactly what to buy. You seem to have a great variety of versatile pieces. Where do you purchase yours?
    Beautiful classroom!

    • Thank you so much! It’s so fun to pick out classroom furniture! I bought mine from Community Playthings!

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