Math = Love: My Classroom is Done!

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Classroom is Done!

My classroom is done!  (Well, that's not a completely true statement.  But, it's as finished as it can be until the lady with the key to the laminator is at school, and I am able to laminate my posters and hang them on the wall.)

A few students stopped by my room this afternoon while I was working, and their reaction to my classroom made all the hours I've put into it so worth it.  They were literally gushing to one another about how much they loved my classroom.  "It's so bright."  "You got a markerboard!"  "You painted the door!"  "Everything is so colorful!"  "It looks so different!"  And the most common response: "It's so cute!"

Does it really matter if students like my room?  Yes and no.  I don't have to have decorations to make me an effective math teacher.  But, I'm going into a school where the students don't me, and I don't know them.  First impressions definitely matter.  For a small school, we've had an incredible teacher turnover rate.  When students enter my classroom for the first time, I want them to get a sense of how much I care.  I want it to be a positive learning environment - a place they look forward to coming to. 

And, my classroom makes me incredibly happy.  The posters, the bright colors of paper, the beautiful bulletin boards my parents made for my classroom, the whiteboard my parents got me off craigslist, the way the desks are set up - all these things make me smile.  I think students can tell whether or not a teacher takes pride in the way his or her classroom looks.   

So, without further ado, here are some before and after pictures! 


My Smart Board was surrounded by shower board that someone had painted black.  I knew from the start that I needed to find a way to utilize the space around my Smart Board.  And, see that small graphing white board?  That was the only white board in the classroom.

Sad looking homemade bulletin boards that were created to cover up the original slate chalk board from when the school was built in 1919!

Red Trim.  Unpainted walls.

I don't have a picture of the 4th wall because it's a wall of windows.  But, you can see part of it from here.

They had stacked the desks in order to shampoo the carpet.  But, traditionally, this room had been set up in rows. 


Left Side Bulletin Board: This board will remain a work in progress throughout the school year.  As I learn new, creative ways to do the LHS of our INBs, I will add to this board.

Problem Solving Strategies

This is the bulletin board I plan on changing out as the year progresses.  I'm starting the year with math posters that I downloaded, printed, and laminated from the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics
INB Supply Caddies
My Pi Filing Cabinet

My Door Decoration.  I modified this from one I saw on Pinterest.

My sister helped me make a grid on my whiteboard out of blue painters tape.  I wanted a dedicated spot to put the day's objective, assignment, and any announcements.  I also put up the date (as a math problem - my cooperating teacher did this every day during my student teaching at the middle school level) and a quote of the day.

My mom made curtains for my classroom.  And, I love them. 

I look at pictures of other people's classrooms, and I get a little jealous when I see just how much space they have.  I have 24 desks in my room, and as you can see, they are a little squished together. 

From this picture, you can see my last bulletin board by the door.  It says "Need to Know."  So far, it only has the bell schedule, school calendar, and a quote I printed from Pinterest.  I plan on using this board to post any announcements, etc.  (Please ignore the pile of posters.  They'll be up on the wall ASAP.  I promise!)

I love my whiteboard.  It's 15 feet long and beautiful.  My parents got it off craigslist and drove over an hour to bring it to my classroom and attach it to the wall.  So, if my Smart Board doesn't work for some reason, I will have a place to write!  Plus, it's always good to have a place to write reminders and work problems.  They also hung up my map rails above my white board so I will have a place to display student work. 

My Desk Area


  1. It looks awesome! You've obviously put in a lot of work this summer and I'm sure the students will love it. :)

  2. What a great place for students to learn! I'm sure your kids will love being in your classroom. I think you win the prize for "Extreme Makeover Classroom Edition!" :-) And it's even more special that your family members helped so much with your room re-do. I love your door signs, colorful bulletin boards, and your pi filing cabinet. Your room looks absolutely wonderful!

  3. I am revising my plans for 2 bulletin boards based on your LHS/RHS boards. It looks great! I wish I had your whitebaord!!!

  4. Love it! Especially love the Pi file cabinet and your "you are" display! A very welcoming room!

  5. By the way, I don't know what kind of paint they used on for the black boards, but you might try a neon dry erase marker or crayon. Would looks really cool if it works! You could also cover the black with clear plastic and use neon for sure.

  6. Your room looks amazing! I love the idea of writing the date as a math problem! I am for sure stealing that :)
    ☼ Kate
    To The Square Inch

  7. Love your pi filing cabinet and pinned it on pinterest.

  8. I just redid a white board in my classroom, and modeled it after your blue tape wonder up there, and my principal loves it...and so do my students! Thanks for the brilliant idea!

    1. That is great to hear! You're welcome!

  9. I can't believe you had to buy your own white board!

    1. Small schools have their perks and their quirks!

  10. where did you get the board with the grid on it?

    1. It was already in my classroom when I moved in. I believe you can buy them from EAI Education.

  11. Great classroom! Is there anyway you can email the math posters that were on your bulletin board? My email is

  12. What brand of blue tape did you use?

  13. Where did you find the stickers with the numbers of Pi? Is it individual stickers or one long one that you cut into sections?