Setting up your classroom, especially if you have moved to a new location can be a bit hectic, but never fear...Sunshine and Lollipops is here to save you some unwanted or unnecessary stress with a few tips and a REVEAL soon..I KNOW you are already doing Tip #7!
Well...another week has gone by and I am back with a few more tips and pictures of the classroom.  It has been a difficult task, but we just keep trudging along and our mantra is "baby steps" and I am always saying to may daughter..."We WILL get this done by next Friday"...fingers crossed...but don't tell her that!

All the boxes have been emptied except for ONE!  That means we have emptied over 100 boxes and that is not including what was stored at her house!  We are waiting for some classroom furniture, but rumor has it that all WILL arrive before the students do!!! However one year a while back I did start the year without furniture. I did not have any student teachers are known to be flexible so we were campers for a week and used "flexible seating" which consisted of boxes and a rug. YES you read that correctly boxes and a rug and guess what it worked out and we did get the first days of school under our belts with smiles and laughter and i had a bit of a sore back due to hunching over all the kiddos on the floor and that is a difficult task when you are almost 6 feet...yes you read that correctly...I am the teacher that everyone referred to as "the Tall One"and endeared name!!!

So the boxes where placed were Katie thought she would like the contents to go and then a rug showed up...I should mention... it was the wrong rug, which we did not realize until after we put it did seem a bit large, but then the room seemed larger too!  Note to self: Before you lay down a new rug, make sure it is the one that you are supposed to have!!

So tip #4 is before you empty boxes or unravel rugs, make sure they are yours. I say that kiddingly, but you never know. I mean really who remembers what you ordered in June come August. If you are relaxing a bit, your teacher hat is way in the BACK of closet and you are wearing your sun hat!! The truth is...we are so used to receiving things that we did not order that we just kind of go with the flow. All kidding aside...just check to make sure. You don't want to do things twice..although they say the second time is better or easier.  So, now we have the correct rug.  This rug was selected so that each kiddo would have a square space to use when sitting on the rug!!  LOVE IT!!!

 Tip #5:  Decide  how you are going to store all your supplies and where you will store them.  Katie came from a newer classroom which had tons of closet space and her "new" classroom virtually has 1 closet that really is better to store large items with very little shelf space. This is a Special Education Teachers worst nightmare....I am talking the kind of dream you wake up from glad that it was just a dream, but not a dream so you NEED to come up with a solution to this "Big Deal" problem...I mean it not something to tantrum about or a #5 Deal, but close is our solution.  We decided to use some of the "kiddo"cubbies for supply storage and to use shoe boxes and baskets with labels to show what is in each box or basket.  The shelves on the top do have doors that my husband is painting as we has become a family affair! (Click on the word labels and you can see the labels we created!)

Tip #6:  It is important to think about the space you have to work with and how you can make the best use of the space provided. This kind of goes hand and hand with Tip #4. So...originally we had the 2 classroom computers on a table to the left under the bulletin Board (Oh did I mention that she has more BB space than storage space...LOVE IT!!). Then we decided that the table really took up too much space and with the supply issue and not having a lot of storage space we came up with this idea:

One computer on each side of the built in shelves and Plastic storage drawers in the middle...better storage...better use of space and the kiddos can stretch their legs while working on the computers. NEAT and SWEET! We have some other ideas to come for this space as stay tuned. more photo...we emptied the classroom library books and set them up...we have a lot more work to do, but this is what we have so far. Again we are thinking of how to best use the space we have...Oh...did I mention that the Golden Retriever is Boomer the dog you can read to, write to, talk to and solve problems with???
Tip #7:  Always check Target and your local Dollar stores for great deals. The white wire shelves were $19.99 at Target , Bean bags $9.99 a few years ago and all the bins and baskets are from Target or the Dollar Store...Just a little advice from one shopper to another!

The BIG reveal will be coming soon..hopefully Friday of next week OR maybe Monday...stay tuned and have a "FUN"tastic year!

In case you missed My Monday Morning Message, you can see to it right here:

Here is a link to Inspirational Quote Bundle
Are you ready to start the new year? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed? Are you a new teacher just getting started or a kind of new teacher? Then this Blog series is for you. Check out this post and there is a free checklist that you can download from Sunshine and Lollipops. I think you will LOVE tip #1.

With summer almost completed and school days over just over the horizon, many teachers like YOU need to start thinking about the start of school. However if you are a teacher you have been thinking about this all summer! You have been perusing the aisles of Dollar Stores, =checking out the dollar section of Target, shopping the novelty shops along the shore or boardwalk...if you live in the PA area, you have definitely hit the boardwalk for some great end of summer deals and you have notes and lists galore about ideas that you want to try next year and of what you need to do or want to ARE a teacher and with teaching comes all these great creative ideas that you sometimes to even have time to get to once school starts so summer is that kind of time..vacay YES, always thinking of school...YES....trying not think about school...YES! But guess what? You know the can't help your are always thinking of what is best for your students!!! There you have it! The summer of a teacher!!!

So now that we are close, here are some sweet tried and true ideas that have made my back to school or back to classroom before the kiddos arrive a bit easier:

Just a side note, before we daughter moved to a new school in her district this year and this is what her classroom looked like a two weeks ago:  This will definitely make you feel better!!

First I am hoping that your classroom doesn't look like this!!!  But I have gotta tell you , there is something positive about know I always find something positive in EVERY situation and actually there are quite a few positives.... 1.Did you notice that the floors are sparkling and shiny...that means we can set up!! Admit it...they DO look magnificent!!! 2.  Everything from the old school made it the few miles from the "old" to  the "new" school without loosing a thing...I should mention as far as we know right NOW!  Well...a few damaged boxes...but there are over 100 boxes!

1. So...back to the tips...I know you have tons of lists of ideas that you want to do or implement for the new school year.  Look through these lists and circle the ideas that HAVE to be completed before the first day of school and can be completed at home while watching your favorite TV show or the Summer Olympics. In other words ideas that do not have to be completed in your classroom. Ideas like: Creating and printing labels for supplies that are a mess and need to be replaced. Once you know what you need, create them or if you don't have the time or patience to create...purchase the organization materials on TpT! You can, perhaps,  run everything off at school and laminate, then save the cutting for the TV.  Also think about and get your Back to School letters, newsletters, brochures ready from home and then all you need to do is run them of as you need them. Here is a free editable Back to school brochure that I have created and used. Just change what you need and voila! You are done! It saves paper, is a brochure size and can be hung or tacked just about anywhere!! September Back to School Brochure  In summary complete those ideas that can be done from home while you are watching TV.
2.  Go into your classroom and think about where you would like everything to be placed.  If you are like me, I always seem to change things around a bit because of new ideas.  I always place my Guided reading table in a spot where I can see the entire classroom so when Daily 5, stations, Centers or whatever you plan to do this year is running, you can see the children working and moving around to their stations or locations.   When the time comes, set these up or place sticky notes where you plan to place shelves, classroom library, Tables or desks, rugs, various games, supplies, Guided reading Books, Math maniplulatives and anything else you might want. In thinking about this put sticky notes on the bulletin boards with the ideas you have for each.  This way if you change your mind...just switch the sticky notes.  Well in my daughter's case...we placed the boxes where she wanted them to go and some sticky notes, too!!  Think about the BIG TICKET ITEMS that need to be placed or figured out before you start to think about the rest!    
                                                                                   Admit IS looking a little better!!


3.  Now the next step is to NOT get overwhelmed...Everything will fall into place. The important thing is to remember to make your classroom look like it is organized and ready to go when school starts. Every Bulletin Board does not have to be decorated...every shelf does not have to be perfect, but everything should start out where you think you want things to be...Remember if you want your kiddos to take ownership of your classroom, then you want them to contribute to the decorations of your classroom.  So think of what your students can do after school starts to add to building your classroom culture/community!
Do you want a bulletin board that shows your students' hopes and dreams for the school year?  Do you want a board for calendar? Number of the Day, quote of the day, inspirational quotes, attendance, do you have to do lunch count, or word walls etc.  List where you want these and how you want to do these procedures.  You may have a district that dictates some of this so find out form your mentor....that is I am hoping you have a mentor, but it you do or don't you can join up with a few of us on this Facebook Group I have initiated called: Find Joy in the Journey a Sweet Place for New Teachers and Student Teachers to share and find continued support during the first 5-6 years of your teaching journey...and of course you can stay longer if you like!!
Now that you have a few ideas to get started, I have a free check list for these first 3 steps or tips too help you get started...if you have already started setting worries...part 2 may be where you are and you can pick up from there!!!

OOPS!  I almost forget;  Download this freebie to help you get started:  Free checklist to help get your classroom ready!

AND tune in next week for Sweet Tips to set up Your Classroom Part Two...we will show you what to do with more photos from Room 102 and a classroom REVEAL in our final post!!! Excited? I am!!

Here are some other resources you might like: