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I am going to be very honest– classroom decor is not my jam. Seriously. If you have ever heard my rant about bulletin boards, then you may have guessed that much. It’s not that I don’t want my elementary music classroom to be cute– it’s that to be cute, it takes some time and effort and money. And, frankly, I don’t have a lot of any of those things to go around.
So for the past two years, my room has been fine. It’s been bright, colorful, clean, and somewhat organized (as long as it’s not December or May….). If you are curious about previous years, you can look at my 2018 classroom tour here. This year, the specials team was supposed to come up with a theme, and we chose “Around the World in 180 Days” annnnd I totally ran with it.
Thus my new classroom was born.
There are a bunch of things that I updated from last year, and I made all of my word walls cards and solfege ladders and other things so they all match.
If you would prefer to watch a video, you can check out the YouTube video version below.
Front of Classroom
Let’s start this elementary music tour with the front of my classroom. My students sit on the dot carpets (you can see them here), so this is the view they have the majority of the time.
On my white board, I have a world map that comes down, and also a projector screen. One or both of those are down 90% of the time.
This little area is on the right right when you walk in. It is kind of sectioned off by the piano. It houses my word wall, mallets, some books, some instruments, and some decorations.
I use the mailboxes for storing hand outs and written work that has not been done yet. I also stick books we are using that week in there. Here is a similar mailbox set up, and here is one that is much prettier and a little cheaper.
I find the globe very helpful for helping kids understand how far away things are from us.
Here is a better look at my word wall. I have rhythms on the left, words that I don’t spend whole lessons on on the right (like tempo and audiate and improvise), and in the middle I add words we are learning. Because this is the beginning of the year, we are really just reviewing. You can get my word wall here. The background has maps on them (do you sense a theme?).
Next up is my table and my expectations corner. This year, I am trying to keep this table as clean as possible. Some things that are always on it include my new staff whiteboard (Yay! No more drawing them on the board! Here is a similar one.), my chimes which I use to quiet kids down, my yellow and red cards for classroom management (I talk briefly about that here, but will go into more depth soon, so make sure you are subscribed!), and my envelope system.
The blue paper and the numbers next to it are the class points. I use the magnets to show the points, and then write down how many a class got under their grade number. We try to earn points so that we can play a game on Friday.
Here is a closer view of my expectations board. It has the rules, the consequences, and a reminder to SLANT. I will go more in depth this this later on.
I like to have my name somewhere where students can easily see it, because they forget sometimes, and I don’t want them to be embarrassed. This world is from the Target Dollar Spot, and I wrote my name in script.
On the right side of my board is what I dub my centers bookshelf. It has all of the stuff I use in centers throughout the week, and things I use often like clipboards, whiteboards, markers, pencils, etc. I love having that portable whit board, because my white board is usually hard to see with the projector screen down (I believe this is the same one, I just never put the ledge on the bottom of mine).
Solfege cards are available here.
That sign is from Etsy, but it was a gift so I’m not sure where it came from.
Here’s a better look at the bookshelf. The box to the left of it is full of boxes of crayons.
On top, I keep bass boomwhackers, a globe pillow, chalkboard that I always forget to write on, pencils, pointers, and turn in basket.
And yes, the labels are peeling off of the cups. I am working on replacing them.
The basket came with a whole set from Home Goods. There are actually two stacked on each other. The top is where students turn in any and all paperwork. If we are working on a project and do not finish, then I put the papers in the bottom box so that we can use them another day.
The pointers are from the Dollar Spot, and you can get an assortment of them here. I really like the stars because I call them my fairy wands. The bin is from the Hobby Lobby clearance rack.
We are not going super deep into my desk area, because it is not very impressive. But. On the side I have this bookshelf that I made to use as a nightstand in college (Interested in a tutorial? Let me know down below!). The top has my books on it, and the bottom has TE’s and some of my curriculum resources. On top, I keep me “to-do” basket. This is where I put papers to grade, permission slips, etc.
Beside my desk, I have another bookshelf. This one has CD’s, more of my books, scrap paper, bingo games, and more stuff like that. On top is a sort of command central. I have markers and colored pencils for anchor charts, binders, hole punch, bluetooth speaker, etc. The drawers have things I need but not often like Command hooks and batteries. The magazine racks are very helpful. One has anything that I may need to copy (originals of worksheets, extra paper, etc), and the right side has notebooks and flyers and things I don’t want to lose.
Next up is the keyboard lab. It is pretty simple. It has keyboards.
The colored boards on top are some of my DIY bulletin boards. They are currently empty, but that will change soon. I am making them into piano, ukulele, and guitar boards, but we haven’t learned them yet. I am going to add them as we go.
On the left is my data wall. Yes, I have to have a data wall. Once all classes have taken their pretests, I will be able to post data. I usually do percentage of the class that is on grade level, above grade level, or below grade level as a pie chart. If you need more info, let me know.
The background of the data wall is just a poster board from Target. It was about 50 cents. I would not suggest ordering online, because you would not want it to bend. The yellow border is Bordette. I got it off of Amazon. You can get it here.
Back of Music Classroom
I used to hate the back of my classroom, but with my recent updates, it is my favorite part!
In addition to that, I have a map on the wall. It is from the Target Dollar Spot. It is hot glued to this poster board because the stickies that came with it did not stick to the felt, but did stick to the wall.
Under that is a poster. You can’t see it well, but it says. “We sing songs from all around the world”, and has names of songs we have done along with the country they are from (if I can find it!) and clipart of the continent.
I also have my instrument bunting! This is one of my favorites! On the right is instruments of the orchestra (with the name of the family it is in), and on the left is classroom instruments. This banner is decorative, but also functional, and adds a nice splash of color.
You do not have to use both, and you can choose which instruments to use in order to make it the size that you want.
In the back, I have my Focus Walls. Focus Walls are basically where I put things that are relevant to the lessons I am teaching this week. I have my standards, I Can Statements, mini anchor charts, and a running list of songs that we know.
This is the last section of my classroom. These shelves have instruments (does anyone have good hand bell lessons?!?), coffee can drums for Kidstix, textbooks that barely get used, a few suitcases for decoration, and a cabinet full of stuff. This has mostly school supplies– paper, glue sticks, scissors, etc. I hot glued clothespins to the outside to hang anchor charts on it.
So that’s it! I want my classroom to be pretty, but mostly I want it functional and to feel fairly clean. I try not to put too many things on the walls, and use my bookshelves to keep things organized.
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Do you have a classroom theme? Colors? Let us know in the comments!