Everything is packed away right now in my classroom, and it can seem daunting. Maybe you haven’t even had your first classroom yet and don’t know where to start. Well, here are the steps I’ve created for myself, and each year, my classroom set up and clean up gets easier and easier.

  1. Set up all the furniture first. Think about flow, how you want your kids to get from A to B, the centers, play areas, sitting areas, listening, etc. Honestly, this is the toughest step for me. I want to be able to see kids from all sides in the classroom and make things easily accessible that should be, and want to hide things I don’t kids in. This step takes way longer than anything else. I’m super finicky that way, though.
  2. Set up your wall spaces. Now that you know where your furniture is, put up the wall spaces next. Keep it simple. Set up the essentials and maybe the borders. Keep the flowers, and fun stuff for last. This way, you have something to look forward to, knowing all the priority stuff is completed.
  3. Take out the essentials. This depends on what grade you teach, but I only take out what I know we need. I don’t put it out on tables yet, either. I want to introduce everything in chunks throughout the year so I can teach the procedures as they are introduced. This also keeps the unpacking manageable. Most things stay put away or out of sight until they are needed, introduced and taught.
  4. Set up your Assessment Materials and Back to School Stuff. We always have assessments, and conferences and open house at the beginning of the year. I make all my copies and file it away, so it is ready to go when I need it. I also put my planner in this box and any materials I obtain (or will obtain) at teacher work days before school starts. I make sure I have a designated spot. Also, don’t forget that emergency folder or binder! I also have copies for the first three days of school with sticky notes about what I plan to teach. It’s nothing elaborate. Just quick.
  5. Now is the fun stuff! Now that you have the essentials, you can pull out the extra decorations and do your bulletin board in the hallway and your door. All the hard work is done, and you get to do the fun creative stuff.

Did I miss any essentials? What steps do you take to set up your classroom to make it less stressful, quick and easy?

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