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Step into My Classroom

The wait is over! I gave my classroom a MAJOR makeover this year and have been dying to share photos with you.

kindergarten classroom tour and organization

Here is the view from the door to the classroom. I am in LOVE with the polka dot lanterns from Schoolgirl Style.  It’s no accident that the lanterns and supply boxes for each table coordinate.


Here are some additional views of my classroom. You’ll notice lots of bright colors and polka dots (my two favorite things).

Maria-Manore-Kindergarten-Classroom-pic-4 Maria-Manore-Kindergarten-Classroom-pic-2

I used cardstock to create most of the bright materials on these bulletin boards, in the hopes that the cardstock will have better fade-resistance than the construction paper I have used in the past. These boards are all a work in progress – be sure to stop in again to see what these boards are all about!

The banner above my workspace is also from Schoolgirl Style and it is my absolute favorite detail in the classroom. I love how it is such a fun statement piece. It’s also a great way to display my name as a reference for students when they write.

A glimpse at my personal workspace

Some homemade gifts, pictures of my parents’ dog Hope (from her puppy days),  inspirational words of encouragement, and picture of myself and my denim-loving students from last year, and a fun photo of some cute shoes!

Budget-Friendly Classroom Projects

I designed this classroom entirely on a single Catholic teacher’s salary and pinched all my pennies to make it happen. If the thought of setting up a classroom sounds expensive, I promise you can make it work with your buget – it just takes a little creativity! Here are a few of the DIY projects I created in my classroom:

1 – DIY Book Cover Banner
2 – DIY Polka Dot Border (at the time, nobody made bulletin board borders with large dots so I made them myself. You can read about how I did it here or save yourself a lot of time and buy these adorable ones from Schoolgirl Style.This is an affiliate link, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase with my link)
3 – I get asked all the time about my alphabet board. You can read all about how I use it here and download a similar version for FREE!
4 – DIY Chevron book case
5 – Spray Painted File Cabinets (these have lasted several years and a move with very little chipping!)
6 – How to Fancy Up Your Sterilite Bins (for many years, this was my most-visited post on the blog)


As you can see, yellow is one of my favorite colors and is the key color in my classroom decor. What is the the predominant color of your classroom?

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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47 Responses

    1. Thank you – I love the happiness of yellow as well – plus the fact that it keeps the room bright and every color coordinates well with it.

      I made the big alphabet letters a few years ago by creating die-cuts of each letter, tracing them, then blowing up my tracings on a copier to get a nice large size. I made a stencil on cardboard that I use each year. Next time around, I would try placing the die-cut letters on my elmo and tracing the projections or using a Cameo silhouette (if I had one!)

  1. You room looks awesome! It looks so large compared to mine and do you only have 16 students? I only counted 16 desks. I currently have 23 so my room looks so crowed because I had to bring in an extra table. The colors in my room are blue and hot pink. I do love my color scheme this year and was so inspired by Schoolgirl Style.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Actually, I only have 15 students in my half-day class this year 🙂 I am very spoiled by my small number. The problem with a large class size (like 23) isn’t the fact that its more students to teach – it’s the loss of space! I love blue and hot pink together – what a fun color combination!

  2. Wow! Your classroom is so cute! I’m Amanda and I’m a new follower … I teach 1st Grade in a Catholic School also (I noticed the crucifix and statue of Mary in your room right away!) Looking forward to getting some great techie tips, I’m a brand new blogger and can use all I can get!

    Let’s Get Fancy In First

  3. Wow! This is my first visit to your and I love the ideas I see. Your room looks amazing. I can not wait to read more.

    theverybusykindergarten 🙂

  4. Hi maria,
    Your room looks great! My room is primarily turquoise (dots on turquoise and paisley) I also have poms over each table with matching supply bin!! very easy to differentiate between teams that way! I love your banner over your desk–it looks great!
    I am going to throw a linky party in August for Beautiful Classroom Design setups–for when we all go back to school. I’d love for you to link up when the time comes.
    Tales of a First Grade Teacher

  5. I love it! Especially the banner!Polka Dots and Purple are my two favorite things. I looked on the schoolgirl style website, but I couldn’t find the banner. I’m in college right now working on my degree and I am looking into getting some decorating and supplies ahead of time. Could you tell me where on the website you got the banner?

  6. What a BEAUTIFUL classroom! So happy, upbeat, organized and colorful. I love the banner over your desk/workspace and the way you jazzed up your plastic storage with scrapbook paper. Adorable! “Sing”-cerely, Tina J.

  7. Hi! I love Schoolgirl Style’s lettering that you used above your teacher’s desk. Which set did that come from? I am doing lots of bright colors in my classroom this year and have a nice blank wall behind my desk where I would LOVE to use that lettering…

  8. Love your room! Very inspirational. I have tons of books jacktets and have done something similar before but I love your banner! the banner over your table is fabulous. They are always wanting to know how to spell our names. . . great resource!

  9. I absolutely LOVE what you’ve done with your classroom! This is my second year teaching Kindergarten and I really want to make sure my classroom is more my own this year.
    In your pictures, I noticed the Dice number line you have above your alphabet. GREAT idea! Where did you find that? Or did you make it?
    Also, where did you find the banner that spells out your name above your desk? Super cute and so personal!

  10. It’s gorgeous! And the yellow is so warm and inviting. When I teach art history each year to little ones, we talk about how Van Gogh painted his house all yellow to welcome his friend Gaugan because he thought it was THE happiest color of all! So you’ve got a Van Gogh classroom!
    : )
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

  11. Maria – Your classroom is GORGEOUS! I bet the kiddos never want to leave. GR8 Job!
    Is there any chance that you could post a clearer, close up picture of your word wall? I’d appreciate it.


      1. How can I get the letters from your 2012 room? I have a dark room and am afraid chalkboard letters would be too dark.

  12. How did you put the letters on the ribbon? Did you just cut on the letters and weave the ribbon through or did you just hot glue it on the ribbon? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kaitlyn! I cut 2 vertical lines that were about 1″ long at the top of each letter and wife the ribbon through

    1. Thank you Sheryl! And YES I did paint them yellow. I used spray paint. You can find out more about the process in this blog post:

  13. really love your classroom ideas,I’m a kindergarten teacher in Africa Kenya. I try following you up . thanks much for sharing 💕💕

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)


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