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Getting your classroom ready before the new school year starts can be stressful (and sometimes expensive!), but it doesn't have to be! Just because Pinterest and Instagram have you thinking that everyone else has beautiful, HGTV-worthy classrooms, let me tell you that they don't. And you don't have to have a classroom that looks like that either in order to be an incredible teacher that changes lives. Beautiful classroom does not equal strong teacher (although I'm sure many teachers with gorgeous classrooms are fantastic educators!).

So today I want to share with you my simple, quick, and easy to put together 8th grade classroom. You'll notice as you look through the pictures that I have decided to go with mostly shades of blue for my bulletin boards and decorations. I've read quite a few books and studies on the effects of classroom environment, and this blue color scheme really makes the classroom feel calmer and inviting. Even my students and principal have commented on the color scheme!
Adding a “Boot Camp” to our lesson plans for the week before a literary analysis unit was a serious game changer. We wanted our student...
There are few things that I love more about decorating my classroom than putting together my classroom library. This year I finally got m...
We must admit, it took us quite some time to discover a method to pass back and collect papers that worked seamlessly, efficiently, and...
To help our students get the most out of our Language Arts bell ringer work / warm ups / “do now” assignments and ensure rigor, we have f...
I'm not sure why I hadn't discovered this before, but if you are a Google Classroom school, you should absolutely use Google Classro...
Today, I thought I'd share another one of my favorite poetry activities (if you haven't read this blog post yet, make sure to chec...
This post is from the 2014-2015 school year! My classroom design style has definitely changed, but I still love the way this classroom was ...
While we know that one of the best ways for students to become better writers, is to read more, we also know that explicit writing instr...
How many of us get excited to teach informational text? Our guess is not many. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! We’ve found that inte...
Before beginning any unit, we always like to find a way to get students excited about the text we'll be reading. In the past, we'...