Classroom Tour 2021-2022 (and a flood!)

Hi, friends! It has been a while! We began school on September 7th and I have been SO exhausted every evening and weekend. Blogging has taken a seat on the backburner! I have finally mustered up the energy to post today! Today’s post is my classroom reveal for the 2021-2022 school year. I’ll try to link anything shown. As always, if you have specific questions on what you see, you can leave a comment below or email me at

Let me first start by saying it takes a village! I am so lucky to have the help and support of my mom and Mr. Wheeler! I am fighting some pretty nasty back and hip injuries and it was great to have a lot of help this year! My mom comes each fall to help me set up my room. It’s been an annual tradition (minus last year, of course…boo) for my entire career. She is so helpful and we make a lot of memories together during this time!

Here is my water bottle stand. PRAISE for this! Last year, my kids kept their water bottles on their desks and they constantly fell off, broke, and spilled. It was insanity. I only had 10 kids in each of my 2 classes last year. I knew that with 23 students at once this year, I had to come up with a new plan. I grabbed this stand from Amazon and zip-tied it to a desk up front. It works so well! The kids are allowed to get up and get water as needed. Check the stand out here (affiliate link).

I got these light blockers about 10 years ago, when I began having major migraine headaches. I love the cozy feel they give my classroom. Each spring, I take them down and wash them. I put them in the washer and let them air dry. Mr. Wheeler is very tall, so he comes in handy when it’s time to put them back up in the fall! Don’t worry, the wrinkles shake out after the covers have been up for a few days. Grab the light blockers here (affiliate link).

This year, students have to be spaced 3 feet apart. I must say, I actually like (gasp) the old school front-facing desk setup. I did this last year, as well. Students are much more focused and there is less talking during instruction. I provide lots of opportunities for partner/group work, so sitting like this is no big deal. Some things in education will always work well!

Here is my trick word wall. I use Fundations Phonics. You can grab the word cards I have on my word wall by clicking the product cover below.

Here’s my front board. This is where a lot of classroom management pieces are located. I use the Voice Levels Posters & lights throughout the entire day. I change the Early Finisher Board once or twice each day. The Greeting Poster also gets changed daily, as does the Helper Cutout. I’ve linked most everything shown below.


Here’s our classroom mailbox system. I got the mailbox from Really Good Stuff a long time ago. I use binder clips with numbers to label the mailboxes. I assign each child a number and keep a list on the side of the mailboxes. Mailboxes and cubbies are the only things I use numbers for. To me, it’s worth it not to re-label them each fall.

This is my SEL/PBIS area. As you can see, we use PATHS for SEL. We also use PAX as part of our PBIS program. Whew! That was a lot of acronyms. Hahaha! Behind the black heart, I have a photo of each student in my class. The school buses on the dry erase board are for The Homework Club.

We use Wit and Wisdom as part of our Literacy curriculum. I have a board set up for it as well as the corresponding word wall next to it.

Here is a little Math area. We use Illustrative Mathematics for our Math curriculum. This is our first year, so I am not exactly sure what I need to have up yet…we are figuring it out as we go. One thing that’s for certain, is that my kids always use a 120 chart for reference! The one I have is from Differentiated Kindergarten. The Teen Number Posters you see can be found by clicking here. The Math Strategy Posters can be found by clicking here.

Here is my calendar board right inside my classroom door. I got the calendar pocket chart from Amazon a few years ago. I’ve linked it here for you (affiliate link). The specials board can be found here in my TpT shop.

These are my glorious cabinets!!! I am lucky to have all of this storage. I have been teaching first grade for 18 years, so I have lots of stuff. The cabinets are full. The clear bins you see in the cubbies are activities sorted by skill (Math and Literacy). These are non-holiday activities, flashcards, etc…The labels can be found by clicking the product cover below.

Here is Mr. Wheeler and I when he stopped by to help me before school started. He is the best!

Hopefully you enjoyed the tour…now onto the FLOOD. Background Info: I had just finished Open House and gone home for the Labor Day weekend. Families brought their school supplies and I had them all sorted in bins under my whiteboard. I planned on dealing with them the first week of school. The kids were to come Wednesday for their first day.

After leaving school the Friday before kids arrived, I got a call that the girls bathroom, which is right next to my room, had flooded. Water was pouring down the hallway and into the 1st grade classrooms. I was told I could just leave it and it would “probably be fine,” but my classroom is my pride and joy and I was sure I wouldn’t be able to relax over the holiday weekend knowing my room had water in it. SOOOO, Mr. Wheeler and I went up to school at 5:30 pm on Friday and got to work. He filled a yellow mop bucket twice. I had to move everything off the floor. My pristine room was ripped apart so things could dry. It’s a good thing I was exhausted from Open House, or I would have cried. We worked for 2 hours. Thank goodness we went up there. Nothing was ruined, but a lot of things were wet! A LOT would have been ruined had we not gone up there. Let’s just say I’ll remember this incident forever!

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