Tomorrow is the first day of school!
I'm so excited to meet my students.
They are the most important part of our classroom.
They'll make the biggest difference when it comes to our space but I still wanted to do a few things to get ready for them. I'm new to my position and I haven't taught in seven years so I was basically starting from scratch except for my classroom library (which I'll share in another post!).
My goal was to keep it simple (and not spend much money) but I did want to do some work to turn it into a more welcoming space.
Here's what the room looked like at the beginning of the summer:
Here's what I did to make it more welcoming.
1. At the beginning of the summer, my friend Carly posted on her Instagram that she was moving. She was selling some of her furniture and the two tall teal bookshelves came from her. My older son and I took the seats out of the van and drove down to Chicago one Saturday morning to carry them down from her 3rd floor apartment and get them home. These were free besides the gas we spent to get down there (and the breakfast I bought son for helping me!).
***Since these were the first addition to my classroom,
I chose my color scheme based off of these bookshelves.
2. My younger son helped me cut and staple up the special fade-less paper on the bulletin boards. One roll from Michael's $10 minus my 20% teacher discount and we had a little paper left over but not much. I liked how simple it looks and decided not to do any borders.
3. I had been thinking about not having a teacher desk so I wanted to buy a cart for my supplies. As of right now, I still have my teacher desk but I also have my red cart which I bought for $40 with a 40% off coupon at Michael's. I really really really love my red cart.
***Because of this red cart, I decided to use red as my accent color.
My little helper put together for me and helped me carry it in!
4. I was thrilled to have bookshelves but they weren't in the best shape. I bought a can of paint for $30 and painted the three white and pink bookshelves. My aunt bought me a mini roller, a tray, and a paint brush and I had some sand paper in the garage that I used. It took me a few hours to sand and get a few coats of paint onto all three bookshelves but otherwise, I only spent money on the paint.
***With my teal bookshelves and my red cart, I knew I needed a fairly neutral color that would also be complimentary so that's how I ended up with navy blue for these bookshelves.
5. I'm not very good with plants but I love them and definitely want plants in my room. I have a gorgeous south-facing window with a ledge which is a perfect spot for plants. The cans were free and my aunt had paint for me to use. I started with a coat of primer and then used acrylic paints to add some color. I found indoor plants at Home Depot for $4 each. For $12 total, I bought 4 small pots and then divided them into the six cans.
***The colors don't exactly match my bookshelves but they're close.
I also added in one yellow can because yellow is my favorite color.
6. My friend Jenni shared that Menard's had rugs for sale so I dragged my family there when we were in Bourbonnais for Bears training camp. I was able to find two 4 x 6 rugs that match each other and my color scheme. They were each $15 so I spent $30 total but waaaaay cheaper than most rugs I've seen.
7. Finally, we stopped in at Goodwill on my search for word games and stumbled upon two wooden benches. I might paint them at some point but for now I just wiped them down and found a spot for them. They might be my favorite addition. I paid $15 for each of them so another $30 total.
And here's what it looks like now:
Students come tomorrow!