being a teacher, classroom setup, new year, Student-centered

Classroom Tour 2014

I have never posted pictures intentionally to show off my classroom before, but since I am in a new room at a new school in a new district, I thought I would.  You see, my classroom isn’t highly decorated or super inspiring, it is functional, bare, and waiting for the students to make their mark.  So pictures from it don’t wow people in general, but I don’t mind.  This classroom is a shell waiting for students to fill it.  Bulletin boards will be made once they are here, things will be moved around, kids will enter and bring the room to life.  




This sign greeted my students last year too.  It hangs on our door and represents my feelings about teaching.  Thank you Neil Gaiman for being so eloquent.


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Supplies are accessible to students, I would rather have them grab what they need then leave the room to go to their lockers.  There is more to the left of this picture.

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Every day, we make a choice.

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From the door this is what the room looks like.  Desks in pods, ready to be moved as needed, with awesome natural light spilling in.  Our library is my favorite corner.

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As always I am showcasing covers of what I read (students will be doing the same inside the room later in the year) but this year I am also showing what I am writing and why.  



Books read this week counts too for the year, I really need to finish Stargirl.

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International Dot Day is September 15th.  My 130 students will be making their mark on our bulletin board that day and the rest of the year.

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Global connections and bringing the world in is what we do.  This year my map will have strings attached to the pins leading to explanations of what we did with the place marked.

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Our library awaits.  Two students have already borrowed books during locker drop in, that makes me so happy.  New books are below the green arrow for students to read and review.  There is no check out system to the library right now, that may change depending on how the year goes.




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Slightly messy desk area.  I got rid of the traditional teacher desk 3 years ago and have not missed it.  This table holds my computer and the stuff I need to teach with.  I need to get a lamp but otherwise it is pretty simple.  Letters from my former students hang next to the desk for me to share with my new students.


The view from my table and out into the team area.  The round table is for conferencing or when students want to use it.  Most classes have more desks than students so they can work wherever they want.  We also have carpet for laying or sitting on which I love.  Above the door it says “Represent” a message I have used with my students for years.  The rainbow chart is voice level reminders since we are a PBIS school.

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More new books greet students as they leave the room.  Right now the book tree has some of my favorite new and old reads on it.  I love how students who have come into our room immediately start to look at what is on here; mission accomplished. Also a quote about reading is my final message to them as they leave, this will be changed every few weeks.

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We are the sharks so we each have a shark rug outside of our doors, but more importantly the whole team of students see the message “You matter” above my door.  We cannot say this enough to the people we surround ourselves with.  

There you have it; where I will be every day for the next 180 days – is it September 2nd yet?  I think I need some students to make this place come alive.

I am a passionate  teacher in Wisconsin, USA,  who has taught 4, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day.  First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” can be pre-ordered from Corwin Press now.  Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

5 thoughts on “Classroom Tour 2014”

  1. I loved seeing your classroom. I wish that my kids had you for a t

    Sent from my teacher. Good luck in your new school! iPhone


  2. Hi Pernille,

    I love the Gaiman quote! I used to have a similar (but uncredited) quote up on my wall that said “Perfection Comes Last” as a reminder to get things going instead of worrying about getting them right.

    Best wishes in the starting year!

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