A New School Year, New School Room Ideas

For the most part, our school room is still in the same basic set up that we had last year. But we have done a little de-cluttering and simplifying of our space.

We’ve cleared out some corners… streamlined some of our storage… and re-purposed a few pieces of furniture. Things are feeling great in our school room this year! {We’ve already got a week and a half under out belts, since we started back on August 1st…}

Starting to the immediate left of the whole room picture above, we’ve added a dry erase board to our storage cabinets/calendar area…

But I just HAVE to share with y’all the AWESOME thing I found to hang it with:

These things are the coolest ever! They let you hang up a dry erase board {though they are made for picture frames} and give you the flexibility of taking it down and putting it back up again!?!

It’s kinda like a plastic-y velcro material that “locks” together…

So I can lift the dry erase board up and off the cabinet to use on the table or one-on-one with a kid… and then it just sticks back up in place!

TA DA!   ♥ THIS!

Our next change this year is that I’ve given up my “teacher’s desk” for a…

…handicrafts area! {We’re going to be tackling sewing first… in case you couldn’t tell…}  😉

We shortened our reading tree a bit this year so that it would fit over our bookshelf and those Ikea Flyt magazine file boxes that we used to try out the workbox system last year {we weren’t big fans,} have become my teacher’s manual holders…

A coupla fun Ikea finds from this year have helped us to tidy up our baker’s rack-turned-art-center…

…these little red “Bygel” containers are perfect for storing paint brushes, craft sticks, pattern scissors, chalk and such. The “Mala” tabletop paper holder and paper are really a must have in any school room that has a regular art day. 😉

Moving on across the room… past our computer armoire and just past the door to the kitchen, we added a re-purposed cabinet for our work folders and what I call “weekly set-up…”

But it started out as a little three-shelved cabinet that we used in our laundry room.

With all those extra little holes for adjusting the shelves, I thought to myself, “I could totally add more shelves to that!” So the two additional shelves that Danny cut for me, and some little plastic shelf pegs from Lowe’s were just what I needed…



On the top we have…

Sammi & Lawrie’s weekly work folder boxes. Similar to the concept of workboxes, but not quite as rigid. There’s a folder for each day of the week with the work that they have the ability to complete entirely or almost entirely on their own.

These next two shelves are what I call the “completed work boxes.” This is where the kids put the work that they are done with, but I still need to check/grade.

These two shelves contain Ellie’s “Tot School” materials. Whenever it’s time for me to sit down and work with her, I just grab the things on these two shelves!

And lastly, the bottom shelf holds the books that we are currently using within our curriculum. {No more bookshelf searching for me!}  😉

Next to our “new” little weekly set-up station, is my Grandmother’s old buffet, that has turned into a Nature Table over the course of the last year.

This is the kids’ collection of interesting items from nature that they have collected on various expeditions…

Now almost back to where we started at, the one other change/improvement to our school room this year, was some organizing of our wonderful manipulative collection!

Last year, I stacked them all on the top of our large bookshelf, in the same boxes that they came in from Grammaw…

…and even though they are still perched high on the bookshelf, out of the reach of scattering toddler hands, their boxes are much more secure and easy to see what’s inside!

I also hole punched all the manipulatives’ accompanying activity cards and combined them all into a notebook.

No more sorting through cardboard boxes that are on their last legs to find what we need! Just grab your box, your notebook, and get to work.  😉

Well, that just about sums up the tour of our recent school room changes and improvements. Hope you’ve enjoyed visiting with us… and that maybe we were able to share some things that might be helpful to you in your school space too.  🙂

Now let’s get to work!  Best wishes to all y’all for a wonderul 2012-2013 school year!!!

Looking in from our Living Room… the doorway to the Kitchen is over there on the right…
Looking in from the kitchen… the doorway to the Living Room is over there on the left, with the curtain drawn…

Stepping just inside the doorway, looking to the left from beside the computer armoire.

Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. It looks great! Very organized! I’m using Little Keepers at Home with my 6yo and we have been enjoying it! I’m looking forward to using the bigger book with her in another year or so. 🙂

  2. Very nice! I love the nature table.

  3. Great use of your space! I really love your art center and nature table! Those are awesome ideas.

  4. looks great!

  5. Debbie Barth (grammaw)

    Looks great Sherri!

  6. Great space!! You’ve got everything so organized and ready to go! BTW, we’re starting Keepers at Home this year and I’m so excited! Blessings for a great school year!

  7. LOVE this classroom….wish we had a room for a school room. maybe,’someday’ if enough older kids move out. 🙂

  8. Wow…super organized! Great job!

    I love your tablecloth! So cheery and bright. 🙂

  9. WOWZERS. If I make you a cake, will you please come organize my house? Thanks… I’m free around 3pm today. Shoot, I’ll be free whenever you can come over! 🙂

    Seriously – your room looks great! 🙂

  10. Love it! Great job! Where did you get those tall and deep containers along with the black handled trays?

  11. I love your nature table. I have to do this!
    Where did you get those sheets with lacing models?

  12. You have a ton of great ideas! Thanks for sharing! Found you at the Not Back to School Blog Hop! Have a great year!


  13. Those were part of the manipulatives set that my mother-in-law gifted me last year! She was a K4 teacher in a Christian school. The name on the box is “Macmillan Early Skills Manupulatives” and a Google search I just did showed some for sale on eBay! 😉

  14. Thanks Sabrina! Those tall & deep containers came from Staples. They are “file boxes” for storing hanging file folders. And the black trays that I use for our completed work are cardboard & came from Target’s dollar section!

  15. Ha ha! You’re in luck, ‘cuz I *LOVE* cake! LOL
    Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Thanks! That was a Target summer clearance item last year… I *have* to keep our table covered because it is my Grandmother’s 80 year old dining table! 😉

  17. Thanks! The art center just evolved after it was originally a catch all and the Nature Table idea came to me from Ann Voskamp’s & the kids just ran with it…

  18. We are thoroughly enjoying it as well! The kids are always so eager to get to work on their next “badge!”

  19. Love your room Sherri! Those velcro command strips are so cool! I need to get some of those. And what a great diy idea to add more shelf space too. I didn’t know you could buy those little thingees at Lowes!

  20. Love your room and all your ideas.I think my fav is the nature table,I also love your tree,,,think I would make leaves for it and put the names of books on them as kids read them. Have a great year.

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