Classroom Setup Ideas Children and Teachers will Love


I am very excited to be writing this post because it has been a long time coming! After many years of teaching part-time, I am back in a primary classroom – with the most wonderful group of children! I was very excited to create my classroom setup ideas, and get everything organized in my room and now share it with you.

For many years I have been admiring classrooms that I have come across online and in my school. I knew exactly how I wanted my classroom set up and organized.

I am very pleased with the space that I have created and still love walking into my room every day.

Hopefully my ideas, will give you some ideas for your space.

As you set up your classroom, and prepare for the year, check out my collection of 35+ First Day of School Ideas. and a Free School Scavenger Hunt to explore and introduce students to the school beyond your classroom.

classroom image shows a finished classroom.

#1 Classroom Setup Ideas – Reading Nook

Our classroom reading nook is my favourite place – and a favourite for many of my students. I wanted to create a space that was relaxing, usable and had a natural/outdoor feel to it.

I used a fake grass carpet to separate this space, but also because I love that it looks like grass. The log slice cushions are from a local patio furniture store.

This area also serves as an alternative seating place for children to work.

classroom shows a classroom library area.
Our Reading Nook

I love children’s books and have accumulated quite the collection over the years. These baskets, from a local dollar store, have held up well and blend with my classroom theme.

The book labels are from “Keep ’em Thinking,” available through Teachers Pay Teachers and they are a perfect fit! (Link at bottom of page).

To secure the labels to the basket, I simply used shower curtain hooks.

classroom shows a classroom library with book bins.

#2 Classroom Setup Ideas – Guided Reading Table

I found mactac paper that had a wooden pattern that I used throughout my classroom. For our guided reading table, I used circles to mark student’s area for when they work with me.

For the seats, I used a 5 liter bucket that I covered with spray paint and then mactac.

classroom shows a reading table with chairs for kids.

On the top I cut a thick piece of circular foam, placed it on top of a piece of wood, wrapped fabric around and stapled.

I added the piece of wood (a $4 cheese board from the dollar store) because the staples could be felt through the foam and fabric. Then, I added some stones to the buckets to keep them from being top heavy.

I’m not sure they look like log slices, as I had planned, but I still love the look of them and they are well used within my classroom.

classroom shows a bucket craft being turned into a stool.

#3 Classroom Setup Ideas Student Work – Display Board

I love making sure that my student’s work is displayed, and I wanted a way to be able to display it easily and beautifully!

My clipboard display board turned out perfectly! I have a clipboard for each student that I can easily, and quickly, display their work. The green background, and all of my bulletin boards, are covered with fabric.

I prefer fabric over paper because it doesn’t rip or show staple marks and it looks new longer.

classroom shows a bulletin board covered with clipboards.

Luckily my dad is handy and took on this project for my classroom. The white strips holding the clipboards are strips of wood painted white.

classroom shows a classroom bulletin board idea.

Next, we used hooks and strong double sided tape to secure each column. Finally, we used hook and loop fasteners to attach the clipboards. This allows me to take off the clipboards if needed.

classroom shows a bulletin board that says look what we can do amazing work coming soon.
Display Board – The ‘O’s in “Look” are large googly eyes from a craft store. My students loved this!

#4 Reading Classroom Ideas – Leveled Readers Book Bins

Each day when my students come in, the first thing they do is switch their nightly reading books. The books are organized based on their reading level; however, each bin is labeled by colour (versus the reading level/number).

Every class always has a wide variety of student reading levels. I personally feel that by organizing these bins by colour, versus level, has ensured that there is no competition between readers and everyone’s reading level remains more private.

Also, children feel more comfortable selecting books from their bin because it is simply a colour.

There are lots of great ways to organize leveled readers, this is simply the way that I have found successful for me and my students.

classroom library shows shelves with bins and books.

All of the books in each bin have a sticker dot on the spine of the book that matches the large coloured circle on the front of the basket.

library shows two bins for different reading groups.

Children are careful to return books to the correct colour basket.

classroom shows the back of a library book bin tag.
On the back side of the label I do have the reading levels included for my own purposes.

I like having parts of the classroom that look/feel like home. I have 6 of these short stools that get moved around the classroom as needed.

This nook also serves as another alternative seating option for children.

classroom shows a reading nook.

#5 Listening Centre

Another nook in our classroom is our listening centre. My students like to sit under the oversized leaves. This corner area also gives my students another option for a place to work.

I like to have as many children utilize this quiet listening centre, and have found success by using a headphone splitter.

I attached two splitters which allows up to three students to listen to a c.d./book at the same time.

classroom shows a listening center.

#6 Classroom Setup Ideas – Classroom Quiet Bins

A final feature of my classroom that has worked out really has been our quiet bins. In addition to the centres and manipulatives that we use on a regular basis, these bins have been ideal to have available for other times, such as, indoor recesses.

I have enough bins for everyone in my class. Each child can choose a bin and quietly explore the contents. All bins are hands-on activities and allow for a quiet, independent activity.

Contents range from numbered blocks to 2-d felt shapes to create pictures. Our classroom Quiet Bins are inspired by the book, “A Year of Educational Quiet bins” by Sarah Noftle. (Link at bottom)

classroom shows twenty eight clear bins filled with toys and craft materials.

Collection Inclues:

Play dough, pipe cleaners and beads and buttons, Lego, gel pens and paper, foam blocks, wooden cubes, connecting stars, magnetic tiles, paper punches and paper, memory card game, sorting gems, felt cut outs, story telling props, wooden cutouts, screw drivers/creating kit, plastic characters, wooden blocks (numbered 1-50), coffee stir sticks/animals figures, popsicle sticks.

I hope that you have found some of the ideas useful for your classroom or home. I spend a lot of time in my classroom and wanted to make sure that I had created a space for my students, and I, to feel comfortable, organized, calm and ready to learn. Thanks for visiting!

For resources mention in this post, please visit the following sites.

For more information about “Quiet Bins”, and other wonderful activities and resources for kids, visit How Wee Learn. (Click above logo).
Link to purchase “A Year of Educational Quiet Bins” also available on site.
Keep 'em Thinking with Susan Morrow
Book Bin Labels (and other great resources) available at “Keep ’em Thinking” with Susan Morrow.
Click image to visit store.

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