Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback {Thursday} #bestthrowbackever

Personally I think I have the BEST idea for a throwback. Not going to show you an old product or anything like that.


I am throwing it back FIVE years ago and showing you pictures from my very first classroom! I began teaching in September of 2010, and began blogging in the spring of 2011, so if my memory works as well as I'm hoping it does I don't believe that I ever shared photos of what my very first classroom looked like. Don't worry though, because I have the photographic evidence!

Thanks to blogging and experience in the classroom things have come a long way since my first year teaching. I think your first year you are so excited about setting up a classroom and trying to make it perfect. At least I know I was. I learned some things along the way as I think we all do.

Also thanks to blogging and Schoolgirl Style I learned some amazing classroom set-up decorating tips. My favorite tip that I personally think has had the biggest impact on how I've transformed my classroom over the years is to work with the existing color palette. And this is from Melanie at Schoolgirl Style. Look at your furniture. If it's mostly primary colors-- work with that. SO much of everything I had in my room was already primary colors. I made the switch from a themed room to just using colors two years ago and it made me love entering my classroom so much.

How your classroom looks isn't just for the kids. YOU have to love it too. We as teachers spend SO much time in our classrooms that I think it's important to make sure it's an environment that you want to be in as well. I've always tried to balance my room too to not favor a "boy" or a "girl" theme more than another. By just sticking to colors I think it really helps with that.

Anyway, I think I went a little off topic there-- I'm going to share with you what my very first classroom looked like! It was a different room than I am in now so the comparisons can't be exactly the same, but the growth in classroom decor skills is obvious. If you need a refresher of what my room looked like last year for 2014-2015 you can click {here} to go on that tour.


I never really had a clear established theme for my first year. I kind of just bought what I liked and what I needed and also used a lot of what was left behind from the retiring teacher that was in the room before me. I'm not suggesting that there is a right or wrong way to decorate a classroom. I just know for me personally I've come to have a preference for more coherence. :)


I REALLY wanted buckets that fit inside my cubbies my first year, but they were expensive and the only place I knew to look for them was Really Good Stuff. I found these at the Dollar Tree and just put them above the cubbies instead. 



This picture shows an idea that I cannot remember where I got it from, but it's the best one! Storing your extra materials for your sensory table in a storage container under it. It's the roll under bed storage container. The kids know the container is not an option and I'm still using the same one 5 years later.



We used this space for table time, snack, art, and our writing area. Always have to multi-purpose the space in your classroom! 



I look at that train on the wall and remember how it used to drive me nuts! I'm fairly certain there is a shape missing because it was always falling down! And behind the computers make it a huge pain to try and fix it. 

My dad and I made my computer screen together. I needed something large to block this space when it was not available. The frame was made with PVC pipe and I just used a window curtain. Pull the curtain to the sides and voila, computer center was available. 


Those stuffed animals were a HUGE mistake. They were gone after day one! HA! A classroom management nightmare for me my first year teaching. I could probably easily have them in my classroom now but they are buried in our attic. You can see our daily schedule and calendar here. I bought that rug at Walmart because I didn't have a fancy student carpet. It never worked the way I had hoped unfortunately. I always also trying to manage a group of 12 4 year olds, 10 with IEPs. 


I didn't have an easel my first year so everything was flat on the board. Looking back at this, I REALLY appreciate the easel that I have. Like I mentioned, I used a lot of the materials left behind for me by the teacher who had retired. Weather bear was one of those. Weather bear was up but I don't even really remember using weather bear to be honest with you! Ha! My greeting time has done a complete 360 compared to what it used to be. I stopped doing calendar 2 years ago too! 


And now we are pretty much full circle around the classroom. Some similarities to the layout of my current classroom, but not exactly the same. This room looks so much emptier to me than my current classroom and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Hello, teacher hoarders. 

What do you have for a throwback? I'd love to see photos of other teachers rooms their first year teaching! Head over to Freebielicious to link up your throwback by clicking the button below! 

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