My 2015 Classroom Tour at the Ron Clark Academy

Week 5! Week 5! I am so excited about week five, because I get to bring you all into my classroom and talk a little about classroom decor below. I did a quick {that's a joke!} Periscope of my classroom yesterday but I know that many of you have not joined yet, so I wanted share it with all of you as well. Since I am talking about classroom decor, I have put all of my classroom decor units over at TPT on sale for the next two days. You can check them all out at the end of this post. Just a few things before you watch my tour: 

I have always had a few musts with classroom decor: 

1) It MUST be clutter free

I can't take clutter. It doesn't encourage organization...which is a key to success. So stay away from it! :) Clutter is the devil. Believe me...I have it too. But I try, try, TRY to stay away from that business. 

2) It MUST inspire YOU!

Let's be real. As teachers, we find that we spend just as much time in our classrooms as we do our own homes. So incorporate your interests. I love to read, so my classroom is designed to feel like you are walking into a fairy tale, and that just makes me happy every single day! 

3) It MUST engage and inspire your students

Does this really need an explanation? Ok. Great! Didn't think so. ;)

A lot of people will say things like..."It doesn't matter what my classroom looks like. That is all just a bunch of fluff. It's all about my content." 

Hmmm...I do have to agree to an extent. If you are planning on your classroom decorations teaching your students, you are exactly right. Fluff. Period. 

BUT {and this is a biggie}...

If you create an environment that is relevant to your students and their interests, excites your learners, promotes success, and is visually appealing....I call that engagement. Your classroom environment is a HUGE part of student engagement. Pair engagement with rigorous content and building relationships? Boom! Talk about creating an environment where all students will achieve.

Plus an engaging environment makes everyone happy. Happy people are more successful. It's a proven fact.

I could go on forever, but for now I will just say #thatsall ;) 

So let's get going with my little tour. I have two versions. The first is a mini tour and the second is the extended, complete version. Get ready to jump down the rabbit hole. I even have some appropriate music to get you in the mood. You all know how I feel about music in the classroom! ;) Here we go! 

And if you really want to see every little detail, along with some tips and tricks for how I made it happen, I have uploaded the extended version (that I did on Periscope) just for you!

Now, I want to make something VERY clear. You do NOT need a rock climbing wall to engage your learners. My classroom back in South Carolina looked nothing like my room at RCA. In fact, it was completely different because I had a different set of learners. But I promise you one thing. My kids were just as excited to come to the classroom that you see below as my students are to enter my classroom at RCA. It's all about making it relevant and exciting to your students. 

And yes. You are right. Environment is NOT just about decor. If I haven't said that enough, I wanted to say it again. But what is one of the reasons we love Disney World? The amazing decor and attention to detail. Your kids will appreciate the same thing in your room. Plus it shows that you take pride in what you do. Another important lesson for our students to learn.

Back in South Carolina, my kids LOVED music. So did I! Remember...happiness. So that is exactly what I channeled when creating this classroom...

Classroom Library

My classroom library was organized by genre and leveled by Lexile! I also decided to separate my bookshelves into fiction and nonfiction texts!


Then, I had a separate section for mentor texts which were used to inspire young writers and my double copy books to get some great book chats going on! 

I used my cameo to create these book box student numbers. When they pulled a book from the classroom library, they used the marker to hold it’s place so they would remember where to return the book when they are finished reading! So long hours of reorganizing books! Many thanks to Teri over at A Cupcake for the Teacher for such a wonderful idea!

2 Slide4

I also had several interactive bulletin boards in my library center. These interactive boards were all located in our library so that students could use the information when choosing the perfect book!

Peer recommendations, identifying themes, book awards and rave reviews

And of course…no library would be complete without the King! No, no. The other king! ;)

Guided Reading & Small Group Instruction Area:
The storage space under a kidney table is out of this world! I HIGHLY recommend a table skirt...if you don't already have one! 

Why place bookshelves against a wall when they can provide the perfect place for centers and/or supplies?! I couldn’t live without this extra space! Loved using this space for my Month by Month Math Centers

Mid year, I also added book boxes for my kiddos as we began to heavily implement reader's workshop into the classroom. This addition was perfect and these boxes were amazing. The kids would grab them and take them to their book nook during independent reading time. 

My back door was covered with our classroom rules from my Desire to Inspire Pack

My Inspirational Wall: Desire to Inspire



A Bird’s Eye View {Almost}



My Favorite Purchase {Totally Unnecessary…but I LOVED IT!}

My LED board! I picked this up from SAM’s and it was perfect for our daily schedule!

Love, love, loved this classroom and so did my kids. 

If you are looking for some bright decor to give you classroom a little spark, you can check out any of my decor units below. I am putting them all on SALE for the next two days! 


All three of my Desire to Inspire sets will be on SALE as well in my TPT shop! You can learn more about how I use quotes in my classroom {HERE}


Version 1: Original (includes quotes and rules)
Version 2: Chalkboard brights and pastels (includes quotes and rules)
Version 3: Chalkboard & white primary 
(includes quotes, rules, note cards, and journal pages)

I will also be posting a Q&A for this post tomorrow {7.21} on my Facebook page. If you have any questions, leave them there, and I will answer them on my blog this weekend! 

That wraps up yet another week of my Set the Stage to Engage series.You can check out any of the posts that you missed below! 


Thanks for joining me on my little tour of my classroom. See you back here in a few days for some Q&A!



  1. Love your classrooms, Hope! They are so inspiring and so kid-friendly!

  2. Wow, your classroom is amazing! I love the benches in the back and all of the art work. I want a mad hatter chair in my classroom!!

  3. I adore your classroom! I caught it on periscope yesterday. I redid my entire classroom decor last summer and I must say I realized how important it was to feel inspired in my own classroom. Everyday that I walk in there I feel positive now. So happy I did that. Not that it is like walking into a giant book or anything! ;)

  4. Thank you so much for sharing. I tried to watch your periscope yesterday after the fact and it was already gone! I watched your super detailed version. I have your Subway Inspire Art that I framed and use with my kiddos. They love it! I have a jungle theme that gets a little more detailed each year. It is fun to look back on my first few years of teaching and to see how my classroom environment has evolved. Thank you for inspiring us!!!

  5. I loved looking into your classroom! Thank you for allowing us a glimpse. I was inspired by the 2 shelving units on either side of your board. Closing the door and not seeing resources would be awesome! You said you got them at IKEA. Where they the shelving units with door and drawer add ons? I'm making my list of things to add to the classroom this year!

  6. I loved looking into your classroom! Thank you for allowing us a glimpse. I was inspired by the 2 shelving units on either side of your board. Closing the door and not seeing resources would be awesome! You said you got them at IKEA. Where they the shelving units with door and drawer add ons? I'm making my list of things to add to the classroom this year!

  7. So glad I was able to catch your Periscope live!! I enjoyed seeing all the details of your room! I loved that you gave such practical ideas of how I could do similar things in our classroom! "If you want it, you've gotta make it happen!" Thanks again for sharing!!

    A Tall Drink of Water

  8. I've been following you for awhile now. I taught 2nd grade and moved up to 4th last year. I too have an Alice room and I love your classroom! I adore your falling Alice so much that have a friend/parent/coworker that's going to help me recreate it so to speak ;)

    Thank you for sharing your classroom and inspiring us with your "wonder"ful ideas!


  9. I want to be a kid again so I can be your student haha

    Anisa @ Creative Undertakings

  10. Love Love Love your Math Centers!! I will be a first year Sped teacher and have student at all levels. I have been struggling with how I was going to reach every level. This is PERFECT!!! Thank you!

  11. Wow, your room looks amazing! I was there in March and the painting wasn't complete. He totally transformed it even more with the depth of the painting. Love the 3D wall elements too. Thanks for sharing! I would love to come back again and see it once it is finished.

  12. Love the video of your room! Amazing! :) Thanks for sharing!

    Allison Stuckey @ Stuckey in Second