Friday, August 15, 2014

Come. Take a Little Tour....

So is it wrong that I am impatient for school to start?  Kids don't start 'til Thursday, but I am anxious to have them there. Schools seem so desolate without kids in them.

Last week I put together my room and organized some things, so thought I would share a tour of my room today.
Come on in....

I love this view as I enter my room. I hope the kids find it as welcoming as I do (if not, we'll change it!) I'm so lucky to have a principal who believes in creative learning spaces. The collaborative desks are great for conversation, writing groups and kids who just want a desk!  Dry erase markers work well on them for planning out projects and writing pieces. The couch and comfy chair grouping is positioned in front of a wall strip of plug-ins. It makes a fun seating area and charging station for laptops (we are in our second year of one to one). And, of course, my classroom library takes up a lot of space!

The tops of the book shelves showcase books that are important in my life.  They track key books in my reading life (one of the first things I will talk about in class).

Gone With the Wind was the first "adult" book I ever read. It led to a love of historical fiction, sequels, autobiographies and "behind the scenes of movies" books. And, oh yeah, a love of rereading favorite books. I've read this book 26 times and always find new things when I read it.

The Wizard of Oz and Wicked. Original and spin-off.  My kids all know of my love for both of these books and their movie/play formats.  Also, notice Rebecca.  I have to credit this book with my love of creepy, scary, supernatural genres of books. I fell in love from the first line...."Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

Me, who thought I just wasn't a fantasy person.... But I am a fan of great writing and great characters. When I talk about these books, I talk to kids about letting go of preconceived notions of books.

Then we hit the bulletin board (thank heavens I only have one. I am not a "Better Homes and Classrooms" kind of gal....).

Above the board are the three "rules" in my classroom. Be kind. Do Your Best. Be Respectful.
Covers just about anything, don't you think?

I have another seating area back here. I brought the "comfy " pink chairs in from the area outside my room (which I realize I didn't take picture of). That will be what the kids grouse about the most. But, there has been a lot of not working going on in the hallway as they lounge in these chairs, so this year, they are in the room. I also have several stability balls (great for kids who are a little "active") and a couple of beanbags in the room for more comfortable seating. It doesn't show in this picture, but there is also a solo desk sitting in front of the window for those who need a place to stare and think or work alone for awhile.  It looks out into the courtyard full of flowers. A good spot for a little daydreaming.

The left of the board is my book graffiti wall. Only one quote is on it now, and it is from Neil Gaiman's intro to the 60th anniversary issue to Fahrenheit 451. "Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over."  My college prep literature class will read this first this semester....more about that in another blog post.

The right of the bulletin board wasn't done when I took this picture, but I created it from this:

I have always had a "quote" wall in my room. A place to record all those crazy things kids say in my room. This year, though, I decided another graffiti  wall would be fun. So I painted my closet doors with whiteboard paint. I'll let the kids fill it with writing.

And, we end with my favorite poster. One I've had for a very long time, even before I found my community of writers....

So there you are. A short tour of my room. My home away from home. I love the bright colors and comfortable places to sit. I'll bring plants and pillows back in when I start next week.  And starting Thursday, it will be noisy, messy and chaotic. Nothing will be where I put it. Kids will rearrange to make things comfortable for them. And you know what? It's OK. Because it's their home away from home too.


  1. Thank you for the tour. Your classroom looks book-rich and inviting.

  2. Love the bright colors in your room. Wish I could turn back time and be a student today! I tried to figure out the titles on your Day's Reading Board. Maybe a future post to share your summer reads. Hope your kids show up soon to share (and reorganize) your space.

  3. I want to be a student in your classroom! Love the idea of painting a door with whiteboard paint - you have me thinking and plotting!

  4. What a treat for your students! Have a great new year!

  5. I have the same quote on the outside of my classroom with my door decorated with summer reading. Thanks

  6. Those are my three "rules" as well! Thanks for the tour of your comfortable and creative classroom, and here's to a wonderful year.

  7. Every move you made in setting up your room was made with your students in mind. It is evident in all you do that they are your driving force ( even evident in the way you enter the bldg in the morning). This is what I most admire about you. (This and your dog. Chloe is awesome.). I love that Gaiman quote. And the showcase of your reading life. And the graffiti board. And the consideration of a power strip by the comfy chairs. And pretty much all that is Deb Day!

  8. Your room looks fantastic, Deb! IT's certainly an inviting space. Your rules say it all and that poster about why kids have to write is outstanding! Happy school year!