Math Workshop

Themes & Holidays

My Classroom

Classroom Reveal

I am beyond excited to share with you my classroom reveal! It has been quite the journey. Last year our school was undergoing construction so I was unable to get into my classroom until just days before school started. That left me little time to think about how I wanted to organize my space. I spent last year creating a vision of what I had hoped to accomplish for this year being that I could work on it all summer. I must credit the fabulous Maria Manore Gavin from Kindercraze for many aspects of my vision as I, like many others, fell in love with her style and image for a classroom. She has worked so hard to create a brand for herself and you can see many aspects of her classroom have trickled their way into many classrooms around the world! :) She has brought pendant banners, bright colors, reading benches and vinyl to life!!! I am so thankful for the work she has put into her products! I highly recommend visiting her store

 Over the past month I have posted some sneak peaks on my Instagram as I completed different elements of my classroom. It seems many of you quickly fell in love with what is also my favorite space in my classroom. My library is filled with leveled books and books by theme, author, series and holidays. Pete the Cat, Kevin Henkes, Elephant and Piggie.... I could just get lost in there!!! Ha! My littles know I have a *small obsession with books. I always share with them my excitement for favorite characters and authors. I have put a lot of effort into building my library and will always continue to expand it. Scholastic Reading Club is a great way to build your classroom library. Every time I add a new book to our library, I share with my students the title and bin that it is placed.  


The labels on my books bins are my absolute favorite purchase from Maria Manore Gavin. They include Guided Reading levels, DRA levels, AR levels, themes and holidays. Now can it really get much better than that? No matter what grade I will be in, I know I will always have a library label set to fit my needs. :) My favorite aspect of this product is how it includes an editable file that can be used to make specific characters, series and/or authors to best fit the needs of your classroom. There are also sticker labels to be printed on Avery labels that correspond with the picture on the book bin label. These stickers can be placed on the books in that bin, which helps students return the books to the appropriate bin. This is a great way to manage your library and prevent you from having to spend time organizing it... reorganizing it... and reorganize some more. :) 

Her library labels come in a black series as shown that can be found here. They also come in a white series that can be found here.  Enter for your chance to win Maria's library labels set at the end of this post!!!

Last year my library was open to my classroom and was the only meeting area in the room. My goal for this year was to have a classroom with different meeting areas to encourage movement. I also wanted a special space that was specific to our reading area and truly felt like a library. I loved the way Maria enclosed her library with a reading bench and thought it was the perfect way to make that area special. 

 My kiddos love finding a book off the bookshelf as an early finisher activity. Each week I change the books on the bookshelf to best fit the season, holidays and or upcoming units. I keep these books in a filing cabinet so that they are new and have become our "weekly surprise." 

I am excited to use the bulletin board to hang our reading strategies and reader's workshop anchor charts! They are in the perfect place to refer to  during my mini lessons and in a space that students can view from any point in the classroom during independent reading time. 


I am also so excited for the changes I made to my calendar space this year. In the past I had put my calendar materials on a bulletin board. I found myself always having to hold things up in my hands as we incorporated math into our calendar routine. This year, I moved my calendar to the white board and purchased magnetic calendar math pieces. I am hoping this will allow us to use the white board to our advantage when holding math discussions. I also think it will be a great transition to math on the white board. 



I place my calendar materials in small bins located to the right of the calendar. Students can access the materials needed and they are separated as needed. For more information on how I run my calendar routine, please visit my previous post here. The color words, number line and calendar set is also from Kindercraze. The month, year, season days of school count, weather and days of the week cards can be purchased here. These products are great because it includes the option for white on white ,black on white, or black on black to complete your own look. There are also multiple size options for each file! A collegue of mine who also admires Maria's work created the "build it" place value and "money" sheets for recording our calendar math (not available for sale). This is where I plan to place my magnetic math manipulatives. 


 This year our school is adopting the FUNdations phonics program in first grade. It was introduced in Kindergarten last year and is being rolled up to the next grade each following year. For those of you who use or know of the program, the visuals could use a little pop of color! ;)  I plan to place a black pocket chart to place the letter cards and hope the bulletin board title will liven up the materials. Below the calendar materials you will find our FUNdations student journals separated by tables. The bins with no labels hold teacher materials to use during the lessons. 

 I am excited to have a calendar space that allows for a large morning meeting area. Plenty of space for activities! :) I love how the number line frames the front board. It is the perfect length. It is also from Kindercraze and can be purchased here. Above the number line I plan to put my alphabet. Although I am thrilled to be doing the FUNdations program, I am sad to see my Kindercraze alphabet go. The FUNdations program contributes it's success to the consistency of the materials used. Therefore I must use the FUNdations alphabet. Kindercraze's alphabet may be found here.  
I love how Maria has brought back the power of bordette and layering bordette for full colorizing effect! :) The colors of bordette that I use are Magenta, Lime, Azure Blue and Yellow. 



My objectives board is located behind my desk, as it is a space that is edited by me each morning. This product is purchased from Amy Groesbeck and can be found here. I placed the headers in plastic sleeve protectors. I plan to write the objectives with expo marker each morning. I love how perfectly Amy's style matches Maria's black series products. :) 

I love the space that I have created for my desk(s). :) I find that I rarely sit at my desk so I have placed it facing the wall.  During the day, for the rare few minutes that I am sitting I am working with small groups at my bean table. Last year I had them in opposite locations in the classroom. I found that I had little space to keep student data. I loved the way Maria set up a space with plenty of organized bins that were tall enough to hide the mess of papers and various binders. I used her desk as an inspiration for mine. The black supply labels are editable and can be found in her store here. The file also includes your choice of label size. Her supply box days of the week bin labels are a freebie in her store and can be found here


I have an obsession with supplies that match my color scheme. My teal stapler, staple remover, pink sharpener, gold tape dispenser and Papermate colored pencils make my teacher heart happy! :) The mug that holds my pencils was my first "teacher" gift that I recieved from a friend in college. I love that it is a constant reminder of why I do what I do and that every lesson counts.  Next to and below my desk you'll find hanging file folders that are home to my student portfolios and monthly files. The closer they are to my desk, the more organized that I stay! 
The teacher anchor photoed above is from C Jayne Teach and can be found here. It is something every teacher needs and holds all my precious and most valuable information about my kiddos! 

A big shift for me this year is also moving from desks to tables! I wanted to maximize my space so I decided tables were the best way to allow for that. In order to compensate for their personal desk space, I am introducing table drawers to keep materials that are use often, but perhaps not everyday. Team table captains will be responsible to gather the tables materials from the drawers.


Last year these cubbies and storage cabinets were installed mid year so I hadn't used them for any true aspect of the classroom. I spent the year thinking about how I could incorporate this into our classroom space. I had used the wall under the whiteboard as a space to hang student work last year but struggled to keep all the weight from falling. 



 This year I did a revised student work wall by placing student pin numbers on clothes pins to hang across the cabinets. Of course I covered them with fadeless paper. :) I love how easy it is to add and change student work with this system.

Here you'll find my student job's board. I use a pin number system. This is another one of Amy Groesbeck's products and can be found here

 Next to it you'll find what will eventually be our interactive word wall. The FUNdations program does not require the use of a word wall however the curriculum includes "trick words." These words act as our "word wall words" and I plan to use them by integrating them across other content areas. I plan to place the trick words on a ring and hang it next to the word wall headers. These headers are also from Kindercraze and can be purchased here. They match perfectly with her alphabet.


 This wall is home to very many important things in the classroom. You'll find our math workshop station with math tubs, games, supplies and manipulatives. I love how it is open to the classroom and accessible to the students. Last year my math supplies were a little all over the place. :) Ha! I'm hoping this will allow for more fluid transitions. You'll also find our writer's workshop supplies, a choice of paper, highlighters, correction pencils, erasers and post it's. This is a space that classrooms are required to have in our school and I agree that it is a classroom must!!! Next to this space is our book bins for reader's workshop numbered with our student pin numbers!


You can find the math tub labels as a freebie in my store here and the math supplies labels from Amy Groesbeck here. :) The ten frame numbers above are another addition to the classroom that I am excited about. Ten frames are an important visual representation for the primary grades. They can also be found in Maria Manore Gavin's store here


Reader's and writer's workshop go hand in hand in our school's curriculum so I always include both as one large bulletin board.  It is perfect to have optimal space for anchor charts and to refer to during my instruction. 

Above my reader's and writer's space I have placed shape posters. These posters truly capture the many colors in the classroom and pop against the black. It includes 2D and 3D shapes. They can also be found in Maria Manore Gavin's store here


If you are like me and have completely fallen in love with how cohesive Maria Manore Gavin's classroom decor products are, I encourage you to consider purchasing the complete black series decor bundle. :) That is a great way to save money. It can be found here.

The photos of my classroom library have truly contributed to my following success on Instagram and I am so thankful for everyone's support!!!! Maria's library labels have helped bring this opportunity to light and so many viewers have shared their love and support for that product. As a thank you, Maria and I giving away a set of her library labels for your very own classroom!!!!!! Enter the rafflecopter by Wednesday, September 2nd for your chance to win!!! 


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59 comments

  1. Everything looks beautiful! The color scheme is so bright ans cheerful. Have a great year!
    Jessica
    Tales of a First Grade Teacher

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  2. It looks amazing! Giving me lots of ideas! Have a great year!
    Laura
    Ms. Pretzel's 2nd Grade Bugs

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    1. Laura, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for reading! You too!

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  3. Where did you find your book bins and baskets for your library and by your teacher area? Those are exactly what I have been searching for!

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    1. I found the smaller library book bins at Dollar Tree, the larger library books bins are from Really Good Stuff and the tall narrow bins are from Big Lots. In full disclosure, I searched for many days, hours and took many trips back and forth to these stores to hunt them down. Good luck!!!

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  5. I love that so much of your classroom was inspired by Maria Manore! I'm in my second year of teaching and I have used so many of her decorative ideas! I love her style! So naturally I fell in love when I saw your classroom! I was wondering where you got your turquoise table drawers-- I love that color!! I was also wondering where you got your bulletin board pennant headings?

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    1. Thank you so much Jenna! I apologize for the delay. I found the drawers from Target during the college/back to school time at the end of July/beginning of August last summer. They were very reasonable and rather durable. Be on the lookout this summer!

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  6. Hi Jenna! Thank you for your kind words! I know, aren't her designs beautiful? I bought the turquoise table drawers at Target at the end of the summer last near when the college supplies were in season. I also got the pennant headings from Amy Groesbeck's store on Teachers Pay teachers. I hope this helps. :)

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  7. I am switching from desks to tables next year. I can't decide what size tables to get. Could you tell me the dimensions of your tables? Your room is adorable! Thanks so much!

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    1. Hi Tina! My apologies for the delay. I will bring a tape measure to school and follow up with you! I had 19 students at the start of the year and now have 21. It definitely is a tighter squeeze now so next year I may have to add an additional table.

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  8. I love the pennent banners you used for MATH and such. Are those part of the black series you mention on teachers pay?

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    1. I LOVE these as well!!!! I would love to buy them!!!

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    2. I have them and they are BEAUTIFUL, they are from Amy Groesbeck and they are editable:)

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  9. I just discovered your page and am IN LOVE! I can't wait to incorporate some of your organizational ideas into my classroom - thank you for sharing with all of us! I had a quick question - I'm definitely interested in purchasing the Black Label Bundle Pack for $28 that you mentioned in your post and was wondering if you remember about how much it cost to print off all of the pages (I'm assuming that you printed them at an Office Depot-type store?) I'd like to have a ballpark idea before I purchase the pack so that I can budget on my teacher's salary haha. Thank you ahead of time for your help!

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    1. Hi Andrea! Thank you, I am flattered! I have a laser printer so I was able to print them off myself. I would say I printed about 10-14 pages of labels total. There are plenty of labels on a page so that you can definitely save if you were planning to print and pay by page. I am sorry I couldn't be more help!

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  10. Hi there!
    Where did you get the bright neon book boxes?

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    1. I bought them from various locations. The larger and narrow bins are from Really Good Stuff and the smaller leveled bins are from Dollar Tree.

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  11. I love your classroom! So cute! I am switching from fourth to second grade this year and am planning on using your classroom as my inspiration for my new room. Where did you get the boxes behind your desk for school supplies. I am always looking for something to hide all of the papers that pile up! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Holly! So sorry for the delayed response! The tall bins are from Big Lots. Hope this helps!

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  12. LOVE your room!! Your library is amazing.

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  13. Hello- I'm in love with your classroom! I have been searching high and low for a border that is white with bright polka dots and have yet to find one. I noticed that you have one on one of your bulletin boards and was wondering if you created it yourself or if you bought it from somewhere?

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    1. Hi Dianna! Thank you! So sorry for my delayed response. The borders are from Michaels and the dollar spot at Target! Hope this helps!!

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  14. I LOVE your classroom!! Where'd you get your colorful borders from?

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    1. Hi Victories! Thank you! So sorry for my delayed response. The print borders are from Michaels and the dollar spot at Target and the plain ones are Bordette from Amazon! Hope this helps!!

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  15. Love your color scheme!!! This will be my first year teaching and as I prepare a classroom to call my own, I'd love to know where you got the bright colored foam puzzle pieces???

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    1. So sorry for my delayed response! They are from Target. :)

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  16. Hi! I love your classroom set up and decor! It's very similar to how I want mine to look. I love bright colors! I am having such a difficult time finding library book bins for a reasonable price. I've looked at dollar stores, target and a few other places, but no luck. I looked online, yet they are way too pricey. I want to know where you got yours? Also, where did you get the ABC puzzle mat that is in your library? Thank you!

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    1. HI Mrs. Wells! My apologies on the delayed response. I got my bins from Dollar Tree and Really Good Stuff! In my opinion, bins are the most important way to spend your money in your classroom. They make all the different in appearance and use. I try to limit myself on everything else when it comes to organization. As for the letter mats, they are from Target. Hope this helps! Happy shopping!

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  17. I just read a previous comment about where you got the book bins. oops!

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  18. Your room looks great! What font and size is your fundations letters and the I can letters. Thanks

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    1. Hi Lauren! The font is Jumpin' Jack Ext. and the size was printed out as 200 but I may have used the copy machine to enlarge it when copying it on to color paper! Hope this helps!

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  19. As I am working on getting my classroom ready for next year, I wanted to find a way to optimize the space. I ended up putting 2 tables together with shelves in between, very similar to yours. My only concern is how close those students will be to each other. Did you have an issue with the kids wanting to talk a lot since they were so close? Thanks for your help!

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    1. Hi Dana! I only had 19 students when beginning the year and the layout was perfect for that many! However, as our numbers grew during the course of the year, I did feel that the space was a little tight. Next year I may consider adding an additional table. Hope this helps!

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  20. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your classroom colors and scheme. I have been searching all over to change things up a bit especially since I will be looping with my first graders. I love the beach so it's only fitting my room is beachy. I didn't see your word wall. Can you tell me how the colors are? I was hesitant to use black, but love how it makes the colors pop. I have the same vibrant colors in my room already. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Hi Laura! We actually switched to FUNdations this year so my word wall changed than how I would normally incorporate it. Now as I introduce a word, it simply goes on a pocket chart near our FUNdations corner. In the past I have used black and loved the way the words popped. I used a colored border to add some color.

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  21. Hi Jillian! I am a second year first grade teacher working on making my room more "user friendly" for both me and my kiddos. Can you tell me where you bought your various forms of storage containers for your library, how you made the cushion on your reading bench, and where you bought your table caddies? I love the colors!

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    1. Hi Casey! I got the bins in my library from Really Good Stuff and Dollar Tree. I posted a picture on my Instagram (Firstgrade_made) that lists where each specific bin in there is from. The teal drawers are from Target last year during the back to school season- when they featured their college dorm accessories. The caddies are from Michaels and the reading bench cushion is 2 king sized pillows put together and wrapped with fabric from Joann's. Hope this helps! :) Good luck!

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  22. I love your classroom! It is adorable!! I was wondering where you got your white bookshelves from in your classroom library? They are exactly what I am looking for!

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    1. Hi Mrs. Krishna, the white shelves were actually hand built with scraps of wood and the painted white! I'm sorry!

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  23. Hi Jill! I love your classroom. I was wondering what you used for backing for your bulletin boards??

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    1. I was also wondering where you got the black flag letters for labeling your bulletin boards!

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    2. Hi Caeli! The solid colors are fadeless paper and the chevron print is fabric from JoAnns fabrics. The black flag letters are the editable pendant banners from Amy Groesbeck's store on TPT. You can find them here https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Editable-Subject-Banner-Black-and-White-1421521

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  24. Hi Jill! Like everyone has said.. your classroom is amazing! Such an inspiration! I have the same dollar tree bins and was wondering did you print the smaller labels or bigger ones? Also the crinkle borders..where did you find those? I've been searching high and low! Thanks so much in advance for your help!

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    1. Hi Jacquelyn! Thank you so much!! The labels are a part of Maria Manore's library labels set. It includes both sizes. You can find them there https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Classroom-Library-Labels-EDITABLE-for-Bins-Books-Black-Series-1231026

      The borders are various colors of bordette. https://www.amazon.com/Bordette-0037346-Scalloped-Decorative-Magenta/dp/B000F8XH20 You can find them all over the Internet. Google for the best price. :)

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  25. Hi Jill I am OBSESSED with your classroom!!! I just got hired as a first year 1st grade teacher also in NJ and your organization is simply breath taking!! I was wondering where did you find your foundation bins?

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    1. Hi Nataly! Thank you!! Congrats, that is amazing news!!! It's always nice to meet a fellow NJ teacher. :) Those bins are from Target! They have various colors from year to year. I picked those up in the summer last year but I know they also have some bins the winter. Keep an eye out in the Dollar Spot!

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  26. I LOVE the multicolored banner under your whiteboard. It's so fun and colorful, totally perfect there! Where can I get one like that?

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    1. Hi Alyssa! Thank you! It's actually a combination of various pendants from Target. Take a look in the party section... they have great prints and colors to choose from!!

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  27. I love your classroom. What a great idea to move "calendar" to the white board. Where did you find a magnetic calendar set?

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    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you, I actually purchased an adhesive magnetic strip and attached them to each of the pieces. The calendar however was taped on! I hope this helps.

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  28. Your classroom is amazing!! Where did you find the numbers that line the perimeter of you room?!

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  30. I LOVE YOUR CLASSROOM SETUP! I was wondering where you got your content area black banners? I love the clean look of them-trying to look for something like that!

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  31. Love your classroom! Where did you get the black banners from (for reading, math, writing, and so on) - want to make or buy something similar for my class :)

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