Back To School BASH!

Week 1: Classroom Set Up & Organization

We are so, SO happy to be linking up, with so many new friends, to share our Back to School ideas!!!

Tricia & I have been team teaching 1-2 multi-agers together for 16 years...we're starting our 17th  year together this school year! So we have tried many, MANY classroom set-ups but one thing that's always been the same is, we have student tables (not desks) and we teach small groups from a table so we do not use a teacher desk.
So welcome to our "Happy Hearts Classroom"! We like to make our classroom very safe, fun, and happy...a place our students love and want to be.♥♥♥ (Some of these photos are older, as we are in the middle of putting our room back together right now. We will post another Classroom Tour in late August.☺)
We keep our weekly read alouds and printables in a drawer organizer that is labeled with the days of the week. Books for Home & Backs are kept in labeled & leveled baskets. (We use Reading From A to Z books for Home & Back Baggies.). They travel to/from school in a sturdy ziplock baggy with a parent note and reading log. 
We have monthly tubs for thematic activities and props. And just last summer, we started keeping monthly notebooks & subject area notebooks to keep all of our TPT printables organized in...SO MUCH BETTER THAN A FILE CABINET!!!☺

We have cubbies/mailboxes for each student to keep their supplies in: crayon baggies, homework folders, bulletins, etc. We keep a "Sub Tub" ready to go in case we are both ever gone on the same never gets used, Ha! We don't get subs. It's just easier to teach all 49 without having to explain all day what someone else needs to be doing. After all these years, we're like a little (old) well oiled machine. We like to keep a tub of clipboards for students that like to spread out on the floor while they are working. And they are often used for Literacy Stations and Math Tubs too! Our little rainbow colored pocket chart is magnetic and can separate into 4 charts. We use this one for our Monthly Word Walls...we have one for each month FREE in our store if you haven't seen them!

Back when we had 40-42 students, we had 10 student tables but for the last 5-7 years, we've had 47-50. Soooo we now have 11 student tables and then one computer table where students rotate throughout the day for IREAD. This is a district mandated program we have to use in our classroom. We just purchased Mel & Deanna's Scrappy Decor Packet and WE LOVE IT!!! We already had SO many scrappy friends in our room but we can NEVER have enough. We got the calendar printed, laminated, and posted this week.☺ 
We have numbers with 10 ten frames and number words to 20 posted. And our word wall goes with our Funky Phonics program. Each letter has a motion that goes with the picture! We start with a blank word wall every year and add 10-20 words a week...because we are multi-age, we add more than just 1st or 2nd. And we have MANY different word walls (not just a sight word one). One thing we added last year, was this little write & wipe calendar! It's GREAT...we keep our Specials rotation and any events for our students to read throughout the week. 

We have Leveled Book Tubs: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, & chapter books
These are for students to check out books for Read to Self and Read to Someone during Daily 5. We also have Thematic Book Tubs for them to check out too! AND they check-out 3 library books each week: 1 fiction & 2 non-fiction.☺

We have many bulletin boards in our room and we are working on changing the backgrounds from non-fade bulletin board paper to material...summer project!
The red board is our Happy Birthday Board and we will be using our Scrappy Decor Packet for that one. 
The blue one is for our Funky Phonics short vowels. We will add Word Families as we introduce them throughout the first few months of school. 
The purple one has our Reading Strategies posted. We also have these on a ring that we keep at grouptime and at our small group tables. 
The pink one is for our Daily 5 Procedures. We add onto this with our students as we model and practice our procedures during the first two of weeks. 
The orange one is for long vowel words with silent e...another Funky Phonics Unit!

Each table has 3 labeled baskets on a shelf near their table. They use these baskets to organize their  journals, work folders, picture dictionaries, fluency folders, copy keepers, and words we use when we write books.
Our rainbow colored baskets are used for Literacy Stations. Students can take the basket back to their seat or find a spot on the floor to work. (We also keep dictionaries, basal readers, and magazines on each shelf.)
The tubs with the blue lids are Math Tubs. Same with these tubs but they can only do Math Tubs during our Math Block. 

We just bought this super bright and fun garland this's hanging across all of our windows (That's A LOT of garland)!!! We bought it from Hobby Lobby...several trips and using our 40% off QR Coupon Code each time, LOL. 
We made our Leader Necklaces last year but changed them into badges. So they are "Brag Badges" now! So much easier to keep together. (The necklaces were always breaking.) We keep these clipped onto the cord that hangs down from our blinds. 
We have 2 doors because we have a double-open room. We have our 2 favorite quotes on them with glitter letters, scrappy kids, and polka dots...ALL THINGS HAPPY!!!☺
We keep all kinds of pointers in our room. This little bucket is one we painted YEARS ago. We just can't get rid of it. Almost 15 years ago, we hand painted and shipped Read the Room buckets with pointers all over the country...Can you say CRA-ZY??? (We were SO YOUNG!!!)

All of these word walls and anchor charts come down over the summer. We post them as we introduce new skills and refer to them all throughout the school year. We use every space we can find, cabinet doors, and any blank wall space that is eye level for our students. The ones shown here are more cards & charts from our Funky Phonics Units. 

You can visit all our bloggy friends here and link up yourself to join in our super fun Back to School BASH Linky Party!!!

Be sure the enter Our Rafflecopter Giveaway below...we have a GREAT BUNDLE of goodies for you!☺

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We want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Lindsay for putting this Linky together!!!
And thanks so much for stopping by. We hope you saw something that can help you as you get ready for your new school year. Feel free to ask any questions about our room...we LOVE to share!


  1. I LOVE all your bright colors! You both are so organized especially your binders. Looks awesome and looking forward to getting to know you!

  2. I would LOVE to use student tables, instead of desks! You both seem like such a great pair! Your classroom looks like such a fun, comfortable, and engaging place to learn and grow! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and amazing ideas! I can't wait to see what you post next week!

  3. I love your room! How awesome that you have that many kids and have been together for so many years! I love A to Z books as well. Your room looks amazing and I can't wait to see the full tour soon!