Mrs. Dyer’s First Grade Classroom Reveal

One of my favorite things about being a teacher is putting together my classroom in the few weeks before school starts.  By the time August usually rolls around, I have already spent weeks thinking through and carefully planning out every last detail of my room.  So it doesn’t take me long to get set up once I get into my room.

This year, it only took me three days to get moved in, to sort through what was left behind, and to set up shop.  :)  Also, since I still don’t have keys or a badge to get into the building, I could only work on my room between 9-4 pm while the office ladies were there.

Before I show you the big reveal, let’s take a quick look at some of the before pictures.  The room was pretty much a blank slate other than some of the items left behind (one being an entire file cabinet filled with junk :(… ugh!) by the teacher before me.  I meant to snap a few pictures before I moved any of my stuff into the space, but I got too excited and forgot.  Haha.  Oops! These “before” pictures were taken as soon as we finished unloading the moving truck and shortly after I had already begun assembling and rearranging some of the furniture.  :)  So you’ll have to use your imagination a little to envision what the room looked like minus all of my stuff.




Ready to see what my first grade classroom looks like after only three days of hard work??  I’m bursting with excitement to show you!!


Here is the view standing in the doorway.  I stuck with my “Very Hungry Caterpillar/Primary Apple” theme. The majority of my room is in the four primary colors with a little bit of teal, lime green and purple thrown into the mix.  Green is my favorite color so you see it everywhere!


If you turn left from the doorway, you see this.  The small desk holds important teacher stuff and hides the trash can.  Next to the small desk is our recycle bin and math manipulatives.  The small blue pocket charts hanging on the front of the lower cabinet doors are for our BUILD math stations.  Check out my awesome bulletin boards for Math, Science, and Social Studies!!!  I worked really hard on them.  :)


Here is one of many of my summer Pinterest projects for my classroom.  It is to organize how my students go home after school.  You write their names on clothespins and just clip them onto the correct ribbon.  I used to have a laminated poster from Lakeshore, but couldn’t find it.  Guess it got lost in the move.  But I am super excited about having these instead because 1. they take up less space and 2.  if a student changes the way they go home, I can just move their clip to the correct ribbon rather having to use nail polish remover to erase their name from our chart and re-write it in the correct dismissal route. The cards were super easy to make and I offer them for FREE on my new Teachers Pay Teachers website… download yours here.  :)


Here is a close up of the small desk where I can organize some of my teacher things that are necessary when walking out the door.  On top of the desk is a clipboard that one of my good friends made for me. She’s crafty just like me and is a teacher too! In the picture frame is a current photo of me with my first grade school picture.  The kids are surprised to learn that that was me when I was in first grade.  :) Hanging above the desk are our bathroom passes.  My students leave the pass on top of their desk so that I know they are out of the classroom.  I bought these super cute owl passes from Mardel.


This is a close up of our math area.  All of my math manipulative buckets are labeled with a picture and name of the supply. On top of the shelf are the bins for our BUILD stations.  It’s like Daily 5 {which I LOVE} but for Math.  I learned about it here.


Moving right along, next you’ll see all of my cabinets.  Inside, I keep all of my teacher supplies organized. Also, you’ll notice that I like to use the front of cabinet doors to display charts.  The long navy blue pocket charts house my students’ take home folders.


This shelf has all of my professional books and teaching resources displayed.  The bottom shelf is filled with all of the books I use on an almost daily basis.  {Fountas and Pinnell, Lucy Calkins, Daily 5, etc.}  :) I also made a few decoration jars filled with common school supplies.  You also get a good look at my “apple” lanterns I have sitting on top of this shelf.  LOVE these!


Here is Pinterest project number two!  I saw this adorable behavior color chart picture here and wanted to make one just like it.  Unfortunately, the cute polka dot papers she had her’s on were something I’d have to buy and I wanted the chart done by bedtime {it was already pretty late}.  So, I got crafty and made my own based on what I had at home.  I used the chevron papers from my School Girl Style theme {more info below} and printed the cute labels in coordinating colors.  I used a font called cinnamon cake.  I’m so in love with the way it turned out.  :)


We’re about halfway through the tour!  Here is the front of the classroom.  This is our whole group meeting area.  In the far left, you’ll see some melted crayon art I made thanks to Pinterest.  The small lime green rug is our “peace” center.  The blue basket next to it is filled with books about feelings and some calming toys.  On the right you see my absolute favorite piece in my entire classroom: my red easel!!  I L-O-V-E it! It’s from Lakeshore.


This is a close up of my word wall.  I like to put my word wall on the white board so that it can be magnetic.  Wondering where I got these adorable cards and the oh so cute worm??  It’s a theme I bought from School Girl Style.  If you’ve never seen her website, she’s AMAZING!  She designs themes for classrooms that are absolutely adorable!  My theme is called Primary Apple.  Check out her blog here and her shop here.


Here is Pinterest project number three.  I sure have been busy!  Corinna over at O “Fish” ally a First Grader made this awesome product.  Check out her blog here or her shop here.  I tweaked mine just a little because I wanted the chevron colors to match the subject area bulletin board border colors that we are required to use at my school.  Her posters already come on really cute chevron papers though.  I just cut around the inside box and had to use an X-acto knife for some of the stick figures’ hair and then reattached the boxes to my chevron papers.  I also printed them out as a 5×7 rather than a full page so that they would fit better on my white board.  These are for writing your learning objective on for each subject area.  Super cute right??  :)


This is my area.  It’s my teacher corner.  I love that my corner got the only window.  :)  This is definitely my favorite area in my entire classroom because it is full of Courtney personality!


Here is a close up of my window banner.  These pennants are a part of the Primary Apple School Girl Style theme I bought.  I strung them onto red polka dot ribbon and hung it in front of the white curtains I made.  The chevron and polka dot elements make this girl oh so happy!


Another project… not from Pinterest though.  I kept seeing pictures of these adorable clear paint cans and couldn’t figure out where people were getting them from until I finally found some at Mardel.  So of course I snatched a few up without knowing exactly what I would do with them.  They came as a set of two… one larger can and one small can.  {I’ll show you what I did with the smaller cans later in the tour.} I just cut a piece of chevron paper down to size and slid it into the can as decoration for now.  Pretty cute if you ask me.


And here is my teacher desk.  :)  It just brings a big smile to my face as I look at it.  I love my white teacher desk.  It’s from IKEA and only cost me like $30-40.  The small yellow filing cabinet is also from IKEA… look familiar?  I posted a picture of it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram the day I put it together saying you would have to wait and see where this awesome yellow cabinet ends up.  Under my desk of course!  :)


More of my teacher corner.  Can’t ever have enough storage!  On the front of my filing cabinet I have pictures of all of my classes from years prior.


Wondering what was on top of my filing cabinet??  Here is a close up!  I’ve got an amazing organizer that holds my files for Monday-Friday where I store the copies I need for each day.  It came from Lakeshore.  I also have a display of my school and classroom mascots… the frog was my class mascot for my first 4 years of teaching, the giraffe is my old school’s mascot {once a giraffe, always a giraffe}, and the owl is my new school’s mascot.  And don’t you just adore that colored pencil vase??  One of my third graders made that for me.  :)  I love crafty gifts!


This is my Sub Tub area.  It’s where I will put everything needed on days I have a sub.  Remember that binder??  I made it the day after I got hired and posted pictures of it.  :)


Making our way to the back of the classroom.  The shelves are organized with all of the extra books for the classroom library and the students’ book boxes.  Love the little hooks for the kids’ backpacks.


The kids absolutely love this reading area.  This is our classroom library.  I bought the reading tent from Lakeshore, made the matching pillows, and bought the rug from Target.  Just like my math buckets, all of my book bins are labeled with a picture and name for the types of books in the basket.  I like to change out the books within the baskets from time to time throughout the school year.  The labels are velcroed to the front of the bin and can be easily swapped out.


Next to our classroom library is the computer center, the writing center, and the word work center.  All of our construction paper is sorted by color {because I’m OCD about that kind of stuff}.  ;)


This is the Very Hungry Caterpillar artwork I made.  I bought the Very Hungry Caterpillar bulletin board set from Lakeshore and used the die cuts to create these two frames.  I just love the way they turned out!  So Pottery Barn!


Remember the small paint cans I mentioned earlier??  Here is what I ended up doing to them.  I made them into our sharpened and unsharpened pencil cups!  Again, I cut chevron paper down the size and slid it into the can after gluing the pencil label to it.  Super fast and easy.


This is my puzzle shelf.  I got it my second year of teaching.  It is the first thing I bought with my Scholastic bonus points and cost me so many points I can’t remember exactly how many.  Right now, I use it to store our pointer sticks and some games used for indoor recess time.


Here is the view from the front left corner of my classroom.  You can see my five table groups, the back of the classroom, and this lovely cart that I use to hold Science and Social Studies supplies.  These carts are great organization wise, but they don’t hold us as well as I would like them to when the kids use them.  As you can see, mine is missing a lot of the handles and some of the drawers are chipped along the top edges.  One day I’ll have to invest in something a little more durable, but for now it will have to do.


We have just about finished the tour!  This is the last corner of my room.  You get a second glimpse of our Word Work center and my organization of construction paper.  Next to it is our two listening centers. {Close up coming next.}  Again, I worked really hard on those bulletin boards and just love they way they turned out!  :)  I love the crisp white paper and the colorful border around the edge… so appealing.


Here is that close up of our listening centers.  Aren’t they just adorable??  The CD players haven’t been put out yet as I just ordered them a couple of days ago.  :)  The small tables and stools come from IKEA. Each was about $7 or $8.  Can’t beat that price!


This is a past Pinterest project that I made at the same time as I did the melted crayon art.  I love everything about it, especially the big bow!  Who would’ve thought that I would be the kind of person to hang a wreath on my classroom door?!?!  ;)


Well, this marks the end of my classroom tour and big reveal!  Last but not least, these are my signs that hang outside of my classroom door.  The name sign at the top was made by a friend’s niece.  She is an amazing artist and makes some really cool stuff.  The bottom sign was another past Pinterest project. You can buy the files to make your own from Miss Nelson on Teachers Pay Teachers here.  It is magnetic and you can change out the different labels {it came with tons of them!}

Hope you like what you’ve seen!  I absolutely LOVE the way it all turned out and am over the moon excited for school to start!  I can’t wait to share this space with my students for the next year.  Enjoy what’s left of your summer.  This teacher is back to school today and couldn’t be happier.  See you soon!

Crafting a life homemade,



  1. Victoria says:

    Love it! So cute. I always think it’s funny when I recognize materials from the other side of the country. I teach in New York City, but when I saw the Lucy Caulkins writing set in your teacher cabinet I was all heyyyyy. Wish we had space like you have here in NYC. Also that the fire marshal wouldn’t make us take it all down!

  2. Wow, beautiful. You are blessed with so many good resources! I came here looking for ideas for my ESL 1rst grade class, but we don’t have this much stuff. No library, the kids just bring one book each from home. Right now I’m just looking for a rug and a word pouch holder. Happy Teaching! Thanks for sharing your ideas!


  1. […] {Mrs. Dyer’s First Grade Classroom Reveal} […]

Leave a Comment