Classroom Simple

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Classroom Makeover

It's over.  A long process, but I love the results of our classroom makeover!  First, you have to see the before pictures.  Can you say CLUTTER QUEEN?  I know my mother always hoped I would improve that attribute.  She's still waiting.

So appreciative of this "intervention" created by Honeywell and Got 2B Safe.  They must have had an idea of how unsafe the students in my classroom were and decided to do something before I lost one amongst the clutter.

When I met with the designer, hired by Honeywell (part of the prize), I tried to be very explicit with the needs of our classroom.  I highlighted the problem areas (though the designer only saw the room empty, not as pictured above), stressed our needs/wants, and explained my issue with being extremely and overly frugal.  I wanted the room to look like something  major had happened.  I was more than willing to roll up my sleeves and sweat in our un-airconditioned building to save money. (And sweat, I did!)
The designer did a great job with meeting my frugal needs and even admitted to me that she wasn't a discount shopper, but overcame her fears and asked for discounts and donations.  LOVED that she did that!  It made a difference and I got nearly everything I could dream of for our room - except the loft.  For some reason, the fire marshal was not impressed with my idea that a garden hose attached to a lawn sprinkler would work for a "sprinkler" under the loft.  (Remember the frugal issue.)

So, without further ado.....
Overall view from the entrance.  Loving the custom made blinds - really reduces the direct afternoon sunlight.  The two white tables towards the front were upcycled and painted with dry erase paint.  No more whiteboards banging against the tables there!

One of my favorite parts - a pegboard wall with wire baskets! Community supplies will go here.  Also, the file cabinets have dry erase paint on them - perfect for word work, brainstorming, and math!
Painted the teacher desk (it was in rough shape) and put it to use. Disclaimer: This is the cleanest it will probably be all year.

Love the rug in the front. The school removed the carpet and replaced it with tile, so was glad to have this makeover to get rugs in place. The new computer chairs are great, too!

Classroom library....still in progress.  Shelves were painted. Need to get the book bins numbered yet and pull third grade books out of storage. I purchased the bins from The Container Store (bulk discount and educator's discount!)

Favorite part of the room for the students.  The pallet benches turned out great and are individual, so will be able to move those around.  Hammock swing...enough said.  The wall art was a poem I found and two local artists created out of wooden pallets.  The tree is a vinyl decal that doesn't like humidity.

Back of the room with newly painted cubby doors and butterfly chair.

So what all did we get for our $8500? Two custom rugs, custom blinds, two butterfly chairs, four ottoman stools, four computer chairs, three flat screen computer monitors, a countertop makeover (cut and turned into an island), four ipads, camera to ipad converter, apple tv, vcr/dvd player, Macbook Pro, upcycled tables and bookshelves, swing, palette benches with cushions, lamps, custom artwork, pegboard organizational system, a tool kit (I was seriously excited about this), two small white bookcases, hand fidgets, bubble gum supply, containers for library, room walls painted, and probably other things that I am forgetting.

We had a reveal the week before open house and I invited my students to come in to view our new learning environment.  Since it was the same students from last year, they really appreciate our new ambiance and can hardly wait to get back!

Here is a link to view the other four national winners of the Got 2B Safe classroom makeover on Facebook:
Got 2B Safe

This once in a life time opportunity is greatly appreciated and I loved how at open house this week, people walked in and said they felt a calming effect overcome them.  Many of my former students were wanting to come back to third grade, too!  I think I might have to bring the cappuccino machine to school (shhh - don't tell the fire marshal because he'll remember my garden hose idea) and enjoy our new surroundings.

Here's wishing everyone a great start to the new school year!


  1. I'd like to have some hammock swings in my room

  2. I LOVE how much space you have in your classroom. Its beautiful!

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  3. Did you make the pallet cushions or were they purchased? Could you share where if so

  4. Absolutely beautiful Very ITI and effective "brain" choices for students! Congrats!!!

  5. I would LOVE to know you hung your hammock swing. I have one that I've been dying to hang, but have never figured it out.

  6. I would LOVE to know you hung your hammock swing. I have one that I've been dying to hang, but have never figured it out.

  7. Where did you get the cushions from for your pallet bench?

  8. i would like to know the step by step process on how you made your pallet bench... thanks

  9. What were the names of the colors you used for color palette in the classroom?