Classroom Makeover

I am very blessed. Last year, my classroom was a former storage closet with questionable ventilation. This year I have a new classroom. It's not a full sized classroom, which I'm glad about (it would have been very difficult to decorate). Starting this summer, I began to go into my new classroom for a couple hours at a time to work on creating a fantastic space for my students.

 Below are 2 before/after shots of my classroom. It started off pretty barren as I didn't have many pieces of furniture moving from my storage closet. The overall theme I chose for the room was gray with orange accents and some flair from Pixar's Inside Out. My favorite color is orange and so I send home everything on orange paper. I painted some of the metal furniture gray so that it would coordinate and be less of an eye sore.
 One thing that I picked up from other bloggers is how to organize a room. I tried to split my room into different zones. The first zone is in front of the smart board and I plan to use it for my instructional home base, particularly for my older students. The zone is surrounded by wonderful cabinets filled with my favorite therapy supplies and all my board games. I hope to get curtains to cover up the games and calm down the space. The second zone is my work space. I wanted my desk to face the door so that I could see anyone who enters and also see into the hallway. The final zone is my individual or small group space. I have a smaller, shorter desk that I plan to use with my younger students. Behind the small work table is a play therapy area. I found a great car mat at Ikea for $20 and I just know it will be a hit.
Zone 3: top left, top right, bottom right Zone 1:bottom left

Zone 1: work area
 When students enter, they can pick up their brand new folder out of the milk crate. Because I have 9 grades that I work with, I've found that a milk crate is really the best folder system for me. The middle picture shows my organization for focusing on vocabulary. I have a easy-to-grab bucket for high stakes testing vocabulary for the upper and lower grades (courtesy of Natalie Snyders) and a bin for my prefixes/roots/suffixes vocabulary. Keeping classroom rules and visuals next to the smart board was a must.


Zone 2

I was able to re-do my desk area and have a working desk along with a computer part. This is definitely not the prettiest part of the room, but it functions extremely well.


There were 2-3 layers of labels on these drawers. This room has been used for FACs, a testing room, and a special education room. Goo-gone was my friend when removing these labels. Because I change my mind all the time, I went with chalkboard labels so that I can move materials around and label them as many times as I want.


 Does your school use PBIS? I included our PBIS phrases in my visual classroom matrix (left) and on an Inside Out themed bulletin board. I plan to have students pick one word that is a positive attribute and add it to the bulletin board (We are... strong, smart, funny, etc.). Below my smart board is a bookshelf I brought in from home. This is fantastic as I have put all my resources that I use on a daily basis here. On the shelf are my quick artic activities, social skills lessons, and some language materials.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of my speech room. I am in love with it and can't wait to see the kids' reactions!

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