Stunning 2nd Grade Classroom Reveal that Will Make You Swoon


Hi Everyone! I am SO EXCITED to finally release photos from my classroom now that it is FINALLY finished! Please note that it took MANY hours to complete and many years to finally get my room to be in a state that I am absolutely in love with. Most of what you see item-wise (computers, all of my books, flexible seats, etc.) came from donations/crowdfunding. This classroom was set up for second graders. Without further ado, here are some whole-classroom glances. Further down I will take close-ups and explain things that need to be explained. Enjoy!

Now, let’s look at things a little bit closer!

This is our morning meeting area. First I have all of our black and rainbow decor-the schedule cards, months of the year cards, birthday board and “Today Is…” and “Days of School all come from that pack. I also have a year-round calendar pack for the calendar cards, a quote of the day pack for our daily morning message and my pink superstar poster that compliments my Class Dojo management system. This is also where our “book shopping” reminder is, that tells students what days they can refill their book bins and how many books can be in it (this is a freebie in my store). Finally, we have our class mascot sitting on the table by our morning meeting area for students to see and work toward earning.

Next, I have a whole wall of bookshelves. In between the bookshelves, I store my flexible seating options with my expectations above them. My first tall bookshelf is sorted by F&P level and is all picture books. My second tall bookshelf is sorted by DRA and is all group sets of books – these are great for guided reading, buddy reading or additional browsing options. My little bookshelf with the red, pink and orange bins are all sorted by author. They are also all picture books. The little bookshelf that is yellow, green, blue and purple are all chapter books that are sorted by level. (By popular demand, all of these book labels are coming to my store soon.) Finally, the last small bookshelf hosts my BUILD math centers that students can access, manipulatives they can use underneath that, then my own personal files on the bottom shelves.

In the corner is my desk and guided reading table. I went “desk-less” a few years ago and will NEVER go back. This allows me to constantly be in contact with my students and I always have students working at my back table. The tall black bookshelf is where I hold all of my copies for the week, read-aloud books, and small group materials for the week/month. I have a rainbow cart next to my area that holds all of my office supplies and things I might need during small groups such as crayons, white boards or game pieces.

My back wall is full of all of my bulletin boards and anchor charts. Starting at my back table, I like to keep my center rotation chart close so that it is very easy for me to change. The group pieces are from my rainbow decor pack and the flexible seating cards small rotation cards can be found here. On my reading bulletin board, I post our weekly targets and anchor charts that can be used to help students reach the target. My math board changes by unit, and these first cards also come from my rainbow decor pack. My writing wall also changes weekly (by project). The main anchor charts that take students through the writing process can be found here and my writing units that I rotate through this board can be found here. Under the work, I always post last week’s best writing projects. You can read more about my writing process and teaching tips here. My spelling board pieces are laminated so I can write the words on each week and wipe them off. I hang “Tuesday-Friday” signs so students know what to do at the center each week. My science and social studies board changes by unit and is still in progress at this time :). The rainbow cart by the board hosts all of the word work materials students can access including stencils, crayons, markers, white boards, magnets, stamps, etc. The notebooks on top are all of our classes shared journals, which they can read or write in as an early finisher activity.

Along my back counter, there are windows into the hallway (which I love!), our Class DOJO Clip Chart, my student mailboxes, our Chromebooks and headphones and our pencil sharpener. In the cabinets beneath, I have more flexible seating options that kids can access and all of our extra supplies that students can access with permission. Above the windows is our alphabet strip from the black and rainbow decor pack.

Next is our cubby area. Student backpacks hang underneath the cubbies. On the far right, we have our Stem Bins (Thank you Teach Outside the Box!). Under the bins is where I hold all of our copies for the year. The posters for student success criteria/self-assessment are above our data binders and our bins to turn things in. I do highly recommend making your own success criteria, which is why I do not have these in my store. Grading is very personal to schools, subjects and teachers so I strongly encourage you to use mine as inspiration to create your own – my first few years, these were just handwritten on poster paper. You can read more about how I use these and how to make your own here. Underneath the turn-in bins are my students book bins. They keep all of their curriculum books in there, as well as books they are reading for fun. My “extra” bin is also held here so that students can find any extra papers that they might need. I strongly recommend this because I am never the one having to find extra copies. Paper passers know that extras belong in there, and if students lose their paper, they know not to ask me and where to go.

Our front wall has our white board, and math anchor charts that students might need daily. I have a big number-line at the top and another smaller one on my board. I like to have the smaller one so I can model to students how to use the one on their desks. We also have our student spotlight board (you can read about it here), and our self-assessment wall on the board (read about that here, I also do not sell this because it is very personal to your grading system and teaching style). Finally, I have a few growth mindset posters that students can refer to when they are struggling and our four-step apology anchor chart (freebie) as well.

In the center of my room, I have my five tables that students have their personal desks and regular desk chairs at. Around the room, I have our various flexible seats with our flexible seating posters. Read more about how my room is a partially-flexible model here.

Hopefully you loved your tour! Please just remember, it took many years of teaching and many fundraisers and donations to get a classroom that looks like this. Your classroom needs to be a space that makes you and your students happy, but does not need to be anything extravagant.

Please drop any questions you still have below! Thanks so much for reading my blog. Have a great day!

Emily - The Mountain Teacher

One Comment

  • Hi, I’m so glad I came across your blog this morning! I just wanted to tell you how great your room looks! I can see all the love and dedication that you put into your room and your students. I really like how you allow your students to grade their work and assess themselves, so they can eventually group themselves, wonderful! This makes differentiation so easy , you have your small groups right there! Also your groups are flexible and your stident know exactly where they are and their next steps , Awesome! I think I’m gonna borrow that idea and implement it in my classroom. Thanks so much, keep up the good work!


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