Room 851: #BeTheDifference

Well...things are finally settling down in my classroom. We are into our daily routine and curriculum is well under way. I was able to put together some photos of my classroom and the beautiful decor courtesy of Schoolgirl Style! I am just loving the calm colors and warm feel it gives the room. Let me walk you through room 851...

Bin and paint can labels make everything look coordinated.
(The stand holding the iPads is a teal chevron file stand from Office Depot. It is perfect for my 3 little iPads!)

I wanted to keep the Focus Wall and CAFE board neat and simple! (I've added standards since taking the picture.) Coniglio's Captains are my weekly helpers. I pick 3 students that help with everything. No more job board. The kids are really liking this and it's neat to watch how the three divide up tasks like line leader, door holder, lights, homework checker, etc. (Thanks to my BFF Denise over at Sunny Days for the idea.)

Room arrangement before...


This is the view from the door. There is lots of natural light from the 4 big windows.

This is another view from the door. The room is not very big at all but it works for my 18 third graders. I changed to tables at the end of last year and so far so good!
(Spray painted rocker adds a pop of color.)

Teacher desk view! I haven't been able to give up my desk...I know lots of teachers have, but I like my personal space and my "things". The white metal pencil holders are from Office Depot and the teal bins are from Target. I'm much more color coordinated than I was last year!
Personal items.
 Family photos are a MUST for me! The students like to see that we are "real" people. I do share my photos when I'm introducing myself to the class.
(Saw the Sharpie cookie jar idea on Pinterest. Had to do it!)

I think my most favorite new addition is my framed rules! I bought the collage frame at Walmart ($10) and created the rules using clipart from Educlips and Melonheadz. My goal was to create a cute simple display for the rules that wouldn't take up too much space. I only have 4 bulletin boards and I like to use those for student work.

Hope you enjoyed your tour of room 851!

Now on to a fun little giveaway from Mailbox Magazine. I was contacted this summer to take part in their #BeTheDifference movement. Of course, I did not hesitate to say YES!! I received this cute box filled with some goodies and ideas to start the year. 
During our Drop-In Day, I had each student take a selfie with an iPad. I used those photos (and mine, too) to tape on to the beach ball. I started by picking a student closest to my right thumb on the ball and asking a question. I tossed the ball, they answered, and then did the same to the next student. They had fun coming up with questions and finding out about each other. Activities like these allow students to find out what they have in common with their classmates.
We can use this ball all year for a variety of quick assessments like math facts. I think they will love that!

Creating a classroom environment that makes your students feel warm and safe, promotes a sense of security and calm and invites learning. Your classroom space should be free of clutter and distractions. Don't let your room get too busy. 
Being prepared for the day, keeping your classroom well-organized, and designing a room that is welcoming can #BeTheDifference in academics and behavior. 

How can you #BeTheDifference this year? Go to Mailbox on Facebook and share your own photo and story. You will be entered into their amazing giveaway, too!!

You can also enter here for a chance to win a Gold Membership to Mailbox Magazine! (Watch this video to learn more about it.) I will be picking TEN (yes 10) winners at the end of the day on Saturday, August 30th. All you have to do is enter! No jumping through hoops for this one! Just enter! Good luck and #BeTheDifference!!


  1. Rules & procedures.... over & over again! :)

  2. Make sure your class rules and expectations are clear and follow through every day so they are not confused by fixed messages.

  3. Class meetings - the kids love being able to share about themselves!

  4. Love the rule collage - so cute!! Also I like the tree in the corner in the background - I love trees in the classroom - painted, papered or potted : ) Your class looks great - glad you are off to a great start!

  5. Talked a ton about the rules & why they are important. In love with this school year.

  6. The first week we drill whole brain teaching techniques like "Class,Yes", "Teach, OK"...It works like a charm ALL year!!

  7. Using a collage photo frame for your rules is a great idea!

  8. I WON! I am too, too excited to win one of the Gold Mailbox memberships. You just don't know how much this means to me. Thank you so much!

  9. The framed rules collage is so cute. Something for me to add next year :)
    Brynn Allison


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