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January 09, 2012


I spent more than a few hours at school this weekend, but the desk is officially gone!  Woot!  Woot!

And, after one day of school, I think I'm lovin' it!

Classroom measurements:  28 feet by 29 feet.  Small!

I had more junk piled and stashed in and under that thing than humanly possible.  Part of the problem was the cabinets and counter tops behind my desk where I just piled, and piled, and piled and then piled some more.  Then I had two extra student desks pushed in front of my desk with more junk on them.

Here is an embarrassing "before" picture.  Yikes!

I removed all the piles and everything from the counter tops and started from scratch.  On one counter I put word work materials and on the other I put the globe, a little plastic drawer of magnetic math manipulatives that we use on the magnetic easel, and a box that holds the books I've read aloud to the class.

These photos just go around my room in a large circle.


New improved, and larger gathering area.

It still looks busy, but trust me it is organized!  I have the easel and rocking chair in front of part of the cabinet but they aren't cabinets I get in a lot.  And this way no one can "hide" behind it.  (You know those kids!)  I also cleaned out part of one of the cabinets to make room for some of my "before" mess.  I have more cleaning to do in them because I am not utilizing all the space to its best potential.

Now here is my small group table and new desk/headquarters.

And a close up.

I put my computer on a rolling cart.

This is a little reading area.  (Math wall is hanging above.)

Math wall (pocket charts) that hangs on a clothes line in front of the windows.

One part of the classroom library.  The three desks are a small work area.  You'll notice those desks are holding/storing items.

This is the rest of the class library.  Chapter books and magazines.  Boggle & language arts focus wall is on the white board above.  The top shelf holds class lotion, tissue, tape dispensers, staplers, and three hole punch.  The two file holders on the left side of the top shelf are Work on Writing & more Word Work items for Daily 5.  To the right is my portable (on loan) Promethean board.

This is my math manipulative area on the other side of the Promethean board.  Behind the tubs are my two computers and the book shelf is all my books that I use for teaching various concepts. Those book shelves as you may recall from an early post were what were referred to as "the closet".  Floor sweeper that the kids adore using!!  Seriously, one of my kiddos actually saved up his money and bought his own!  Isn't that hilarious?

Computers.  Writer's Eyes bulletin board (that I love and have for sale in my TN shop.)  Stages of the writing process.  Bulletin board storage container and a basket of books on the floor that I need to put in the book closet in the hallway.  The two pencil sharpeners are mounted on the door frame.

Filing cabinets on the other side of the door, tarantula, bathroom sign out desk, and back to the gathering area.

And floating in the middle of this little oasis are the student desks arranged in groups.

I give the kids a lot of freedom to move around and work where they are comfortable so kids can be found laying on the floor, sitting in the rocking chair, on the floor using lap desks, in the reading area, lounging on a pillow pet or standing at the counter.

I have a lot more to do, but got a ton accomplished and the room ready to be used again today.  Which believe me, I wasn't sure was going to happen yesterday afternoon!

I brought my desk home to make a craft area in our sunroom.  Woo hoo!  Donated a few items to other classrooms, threw away a few bags of stuff, recycled a boatload of paper, and hauled a small truck load to the local rescue mission.

All in all, I feel like it went great and will only get better.

Not only that, the kids loved it too!

Please share the dimensions of your room so that I can feel a little jealous (if your room is larger) or a little joy (if your room is tinier).

Thanks for touring my room.  (And putting up with my senseless worry about getting rid of the desk!)


  1. Congrats to you! The room looks great!

  2. I'm so proud of you for getting rid of your desk!!! I need to get with it!
    I will measure my room tomorrow!
    ❤ Sandra
    Sweet Times in First

  3. Great pictures! Your room looks great! It's amazing what getting rid of a desk can do for a classroom (and the teacher!)!

    Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

  4. It looks fantastic!!!! I have no clue what the measurements to my room are . . . but your room looks pretty big now! :) WAY TO GO!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  5. Your room looks fabulous! I wish I would have taken measurements when I had my small room.

    That's fun that your students liked the added space--I love when I chang/add things to the room and they love it : )


  6. Congrats Erika!!! It looks wonderful! You definitely weren't alone in your worry about your desk...I hemmed and hawed over mine forever before just getting rid of it!

    What an impact it has made on space. By the way, I really LOVE your room!! I love all of your visuals for your students--so nice and eye-catching. I love your black bulletin boards...I have the same and I swear I will never switch back to another color! (I think you told me awhile back you had them). Your crate seats are so cute and really draw the eye to that lovely corner.

    I don't know the dimensions of my room...I'll have to let you know! Congrats again, everything looks gorgeous!

  7. I got rid of my desk this past summer and I am sooo happy with my decision! But, oh my! The stress over the whole thin g was ridiculous!!
    Hopelessly Devoted to Teaching

  8. Aww man. You went ahead and motivated me. Now I want my desk out and it's all I can think about!! I spent a majority of my writing training this morning daydreaming about how I can re-arrange my room without a desk!

    Yours looks awesome! Great job :)

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  9. Ahh, it looks GREAT. Gosh, getting rid of your desk made SO much more space.

  10. It looks great without your desk! I can't believe all the extra room you have! I totally need to just go for it, but I think my principal would look at me crazy if I told him I didn't need a desk anymore. How do you organize your papers and things for each subject for the day? I have a really long table I lay everything out on, which is even more wasted paste. I love having everything organized on it. I don't know! Help Erika!

  11. Do you find it more difficult to stay organized without a desk? Your classroom is adorable and looks cozy, I love it!

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Thanks for filling my bucket!


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