New School Year and Dusting Off the Blog

26 September 2021

 Hello.  Remember me?  I've been wanting to get back into blogging for a while now, but I guess it doesn't magically happen unless I actually write a post.

So, if I'm dusting off this blog, I should start at the beginning of the year with my back to school room tour.  

I started my 21st year of teaching in a straight 6 with 19 students ... a dream too good to be true ... and it was.  Two weeks later, I was reorganized into a 5/6 split with 25 students.  

I am still at the same wonderful school, but my classroom was newly constructed last year.  A bright, beautiful new space, but it still has all the nooks and crannies and slanted walls that make it just the perfect amount of quirky and fun.

Last year I started a cactus theme in my classroom because, truth be told, I was a little prickly about returning face to face in the middle of the pandemic.  I kept the cacti this year, and added in a few more plant pieces ... and plan on continuing to add throughout the year.  As you walk into my classroom, I have a few reminders and favourite quotes to start to set the tone.  All the plant stickers in the classroom are vinyl wall stickers I found on Amazon.

Our Wonder Calendar, a class photo from when the students were in JK/SK, and a real spider plant.  The hanging file folder now has Monday - Friday files, and that is where I place our extra handouts from the week for absent students.

On the wall are little sticky hexagon corkboards.  Perfect for quick notes, posting exit slips, or photos.  These were on Amazon, as well.

This side of my room has our World Map (again, a vinyl wall sticker from Amazon), my math bulletin board, and my science and math cubbies.  The labelled coloured drawers under the World Map contain all our community supplies in the classroom.

This is my beautiful reading shelf.  I keep some of my favourite small sets on novels on here, and my go-to picture book mentor texts, and a bit more inspiration because this book shelf just makes me happy.

The little cacti that line the window are artificial (but the other plants are real).  My students decorated the pots and will get to bring them home at the end of the year.  (I also have a crush on Einstein).

This is the front of my classroom.  Three big whiteboards.  The left one is used mainly for inclass work and notes.  The middle one is for the projector.  And the right one is used for our daily agenda, homework, and any other important daily notes and reminders.  

Underneath all the whiteboards is my classroom library.  I personally don't love the shelves on the floor like this because the students have to do a weird sit/shuffle thing to peruse the titles, but it works.  My books are mainly set up by genre (one genre per shelf), with a couple full shelves dedicated to one author.

This wall is our interactive writing and art portfolio.  Each student has their own spot, and all of their published writing and completed art pieces line this wall.  Each time a student finishes a new piece, it is pinned on top of the older pieces, creating a portfolio students can go through to see their growth.  At the end of the year, I bind all these pieces into a little book for them to take home.  (This pic was from when I only had 19 students, there are now 25 proud spots on the board.)  Below that space are more bookshelves for more of my classroom library.  (And I think I'm going to need even more room).

And lastly, at the very back of my classroom is the cutest little writing desk.  Our chromebooks sit back there, so this is the perfect quiet space for my students to use voice to text tech, or work on something quietly for a bit.  We have some more community supplies back there, as well.  The "wallpaper" on the wall is yet another vinyl wall sticker, and I purchased some matching stools.

For the finishing touch, on the first day of school, we made my Back to School Cactus Craftivity.  These line the top of my high bulletin board at the front of the room and will stay here all year - because I love them, and the bulletin board is too high to change frequently.  haha.

I love my little home away from home - it's bright, has neutral colours, plants to clean the air, and is just a happy place to be.  Building an environment my students feel comfortable and at-home in is my first step every year to start to build our caring classroom community.

Below you can find some of the resources I used in my classroom set-up that are available in my TpT store.  Click on any of them to take a closer look:


  1. Welcome back! I've always followed you and I'm excited to see some new posts 😀

  2. Well done! I’m in the exact same boat this year. Started out in six…and here I am in 5/6 now!

  3. Where did you get the border behind the cactus craftivity, it's so pretty!

  4. I was so excited to see "Runde's Room" in my inbox. I thought I was missing out on "stuff". Glad you are able to blog again.