Welcome to my Nature Classroom Makeover – come along for the journey! This year I had the privilege of doing a classroom makeover for the sweetest Kindergarten teacher Yossemee. She is a first year teacher who just graduated from the University of Central Florida and is a very very deserving teacher who is full of life and is going to love her littles SO well! *My future little one got to be a part of the journey too :)*
Yossemee chose the Nature Classroom Decor Bundle which I was so excited for because the bundle is such a calming bundle (perfect for kindergartners), and it has SO much flexibility. I’ve seen teachers use the bundle to create a camping theme, add woodland creatures, or just keep it with simple trees and green/blue tones. All of those options are great choices, and I couldn’t wait to get started planning 🙂
If you’re planning on your own Nature Classroom Makeover check out my Nature Amazon Storefront that has all of my favorite Nature Classroom Decor!
I get asked a lot of questions on where to start when designing a room, and you always have to start with the guidelines given from Administration so that you can plan realistically. Yossemee is teaching at a fantastic new construction Charter School, so we weren’t allowed to paint but we were given freedom to drill and hand whatever we needed to in the classroom.
For this classroom makeover I wanted to put an emphasis on a realistic classroom. I will always love watching HGTV and the creativity put into homes, but as much as I love watching those shows in the back of my head I always know I could never do that in my own home because it’s too expensive or because it’s just not realistic.
I’ve seen a lot of beautiful classroom makeovers, but I wanted to make something that was functional, realistic, and affordable for the everyday teacher.
If you want a quick video version of the room, check out my Youtube video. Enjoy 🙂
Being new construction, we didn’t have the furniture (or smart board) the first day we were in the room which gave us a lot of freedom to begin dreaming about what the room could look like. I love walking into non-decorated classroom because I feel like it’s such a beautiful blank slate and my creativity juices start flowing immediately!
This is what the front of the classroom looked like when I was finished 🙂 It’s incredible how a bland wall can be instantly spruced up with a great color palette, and a well designed layout. The rug was given by the school, and I loved how functional the rug was with a circle for every student to sit on. I also loved how it tied in the blues and greens of the bundle, while still keeping a playful Kindergarten feel 🙂
Below I have better close up pictures for each section, but I wanted to give you an idea of how I plan a layout for the front of the room. Here’s a couple of key things I keep in mind:
As I said earlier I put the affirmation station right next to the front door because I love students using it first thing in the morning when they come in. The unfortunate truth is that the classroom might be the warmest place in the student’s life and I wanted the students to have physical reminders that they are loved and valued by their teacher. I am in love with how the design of the affirmation station turned out with the wood heart accents <3
Next to the affirmation station I put the “How We Get Home” signs. The end of the day is such a chaotic time getting to where they need to go, and these signs can give you peace of mind. I recommend hot gluing these to a ribbon, and using clothespins for each student’s name.
Some kids change how they get home from day to day or from week to week and using clothes pins allows you to easily change how they get home without having to find a form that you already know is buried deep on your desk.
Lastly, I put her calendar directly to the left of the board so that she could refer to it for holidays, or even have reminders that Friday. Is. Coming. Underneath the calendar I added a gold basket to hold the extra month cards as well as the weather cards and Holiday cards (Just added in 2022 :)).
Overall I’m thankful for how functional and beautiful this area of the room turned out!
Every time I see this picture it makes my heart so happy because it just screams education! 🙂 While I made it a priority to get the primary alphabet and number line on the top I wanted to balance it out with the colors and ten frame numbers on the bottom of the board.
The size of the ten frames and alphabet are the same, and the height of the number line and the colors are relatively simply which provided a nice balance on the top and bottom of the board.
To the right of the white board I added the daily schedule so Yossemee could stay up to date on the activities of the day. I used painter’s tape on the back of each sign so that she could easily switch them out as the schedule changes day to day. the schedule is a good balance to the hand signals on the other side 🙂
Lastly, I really loved her board. I framed the board with wood border to add warmth. To balance out the warm wood of the border I added a splash of color with the accent banner to tie the whole look together. I added a Magnetic Rod from Amazon to put her flip calendar on. Underneath the flip calendar I repurposed a Magnetic Spice Rack to add a plant and some cute Wooden Colored Pencils. The spice rack has a very strong magnetic pull and is fantastic to hold expo markers or just add some cute decor 🙂
Here’s a close up of the hand signals. Teaching kindergarten comes with a lot of kids that like to squirm and need help not interrupting the flow of a lesson. I redesigned my hand signals (And will be adding these designs to all bundles), to feature pictures with each hand signal. Once you get your students to use these hand signals, your classroom can keep moving with efficiency and you can teach while minimizing the distractions!
These cute posters will be eye level for every kiddo, and will help them recognize their colors and numbers. I was intentional in choosing a font that has the dotted lines to help students with their hand writing as well 🙂
Here’s one of my favorite parts of the room because this Green Teacher Chair from Amazon is just so comfortable and is beautiful with the rest of the classroom. It is an investment, but is a great chair to take with you from year to year and it was so easy to build! The gold legs tied in with the gold storage I have underneath the calendar. Having a reliable, comfortable cute teacher chair that matches your room is an incredible feeling 🙂
The teacher desk is the space where she’ll spend a lot of her time, so I wanted to make sure I dressed it up some while giving her flexibility to make it her own. I added 2 cute White Peg Boards from IKEA and put them up on the walls. They can be used horizontally or vertically, they’re pictured here posted horizontally.
I love these peg boards because they give you so much flexibility on what to put up. You can add small baskets, shelves, or add a taped up quote poster like I did in the picture. They come with an option to drill into studs, but if you aren’t going to put too much on the peg board I recommend using command strips like I did. It’s soooo easy and the versatility of the white pegboard goes with any classroom aesthetic 🙂
Here’s a close up of the birthday board. It isn’t pictured with the student names yet because the roster was still in flux when we did the makeover, but it came together really nicely. I am obsessed with the Wooden Background Paper, and how well it fits with the rest of the classroom aesthetic.
I chose to put the ten drawer cart behind Yossemee’s teacher desk so that she could use it for lesson plans, and for copies. Ten drawer carts are also great for centers, or for keeping paper for different groups – in these cases you would want to make the ten cart more accessible for students. but in this case, it just fit perfectly with the teacher desk!
The last area behind Yossemee’s teacher desk is the always versatile and always helpful teacher toolbox! I completed the look with a cute starry lamp from Hobby Lobby that added a homey feeling and filled the space on top of the shelves nicely 🙂
This is your point of view of the classroom from the front door. I was immediately blown away with the beauty of the window, and the amount of natural light that came through! All of the natural light fit perfectly with the Nature aesthetic that I wanted the room to have. My primary goal was to make sure I made this space beautiful without blocking too much of the natural light. Check out the result below 🙂
The alphabet banner fits perfectly across the window to add color while also leaving a lot of that beautiful light to illuminate the entire classroom. The faux plants are from IKEA, and were such a cheap way to add some life to this area that was already full of life and beauty!
Yossemme wanted every student to have their own cubby, so I added two small book shelves from IKEA, which gave us the space to add white book bins so that every student had their own book bin. The book shelves can be used vertically or horizontally and are some of the cheapest options I found on the market for book shelves that still looked good. Luckily they were also very easy to set up!
Here’s a close up of the book bins alongside the ten drawer cart. I used the circle numbers from my bundle to label each book bin.
You’ll notice that I chose a lot of white for this classroom (book bins, storage caddies on the tables, book shelves, binders etc.). I really like using white for a lot of those items so that they can travel with you from year to year. Your tastes may change from year to year on the classroom decor you want to use, but these white options are so versatile and will go great with anything you choose!
This is my favorite space in the room for students. When teaching kids how to read, one thing that isn’t talked about enough is making it fun and something that students are interested in to give them motivation. While the Nature Classroom Decor Bundle can go in a lot of different directions, I decided to add a camping flair.
The log seats are so easy to set up, and can be found on my Nature Amazon Storefront. My favorite part about the seats is that the top can come off and they can be used for storage. The fire set was pretty cheap from Amazon, and ads a touch of excitement to the room and the student’s reading experience 🙂
This is the before picture of the back of the room. It was simple, and had so much potential that I couldn’t wait to get started. Checkout what I decided to do with it 🙂
The best spot for Yossemee’s kidney teaching table was the back of the room, so I decided to add a bulletin board there and build off of that. Being a kindergarten classroom I wanted to emphasize numbers just like the front of the room, in addition to shapes and the positivity of my quote posters.
Lastly, I wanted to have a place to put the Classroom Expectations. Above the bulletin board was the perfect spot and it was a great place for the green colors that are tied together with the wooden hearts! I love the simplicity of these classroom expectations because every classroom rule you can imagine can be summarized into these three easy to remember statements!
I wanted to reinforce the student’s number sense by using my Nature Skip Counting numbers (left picture). The Nature color palette has 5 colors so I was able to include the full color palette on each side by using numbers 1-5 and 6-10 on each side of the board.
Lastly I wanted to feature a lot of positivity in this classroom so I printed the Nature Quotes at Staples. The quotes typically come as a 8.5″ x 11″, but I was able to print them at Staples as an 18″ x 24″. Once I had the posters printed I was able to find cheap frames at Michael’s and had them set up in no time :). If you wanted to try this for yourself but don’t want to pay for Staples you can save money by printing poster sized at home using my blog.
This is one of my favorite parts of the room because it includes an update I’ve added to many of my bundles – “Days in School”. This is a great chance to talk to students about place value and to help them gain number number sense.
Pro Tip: This is also a great way to keep yourself sane looking forward to summer 🙂 I love the color and the functionality of this part of the room!
The last part of the room had storage cabinets, and were a great canvas to start with! As you can see, this was the only wall of the room that had color, and the light blue played off perfectly with the blue and green hues of the Nature bundle. As you’ll see below my goal was to maximize all this space while also making sure it doesn’t get overcrowded.
There were two main things I added to this area. The first was a set of classroom jobs on the left wall, and the second one was a word wall on the cabinets. With limited wall space, the cabinets were a perfect canvas for the Word Wall, and I loved how it turned out! As new vocabulary words are added, those cabinets will fill up with beauty 🙂
Yossemme had 24 students (And a teacher’s aide to help manage all the students), so my goal was to find ways that all 24 students could contribute to the classroom responsibilities. I found jobs that were easy for Kindergartens to follow through on, but I used blue painter’s tape so that the jobs could easily be changed out if she needed new ones or needed to get rid of some.
To add a little bit more flair to this corner I added Mountain Bookends. They’re too expensive to use for an entire library, but they might work great to hold a class set of workbooks, or a special set of books for the classroom. The mountains fit in so beautifully with the rest of the Nature vibe.
This is the view of the entire classroom as soon as you walk into the door. My hope for Yossemee – and any teacher who decides to use my products – is that their classroom will feel like a home away from home.
At the end of the day, every classroom is going to be different. They come with different guidelines of what you can and can’t do, they come with different window options (Or no windows at all). Some classrooms are old, and some are new. Some have random bright pink walls that are almost impossible to figure out what to do with them, and some are absolutely perfect to decorate.
Even though classrooms vary, one consistent thing in every classroom can be a loving teacher who makes the classroom a home for students. I hope this classroom makeover inspired you or gave you ideas. Keep making your classroom a warm and loving place where learning can thrive 🙂
If you loved this makeover and want to transform your classroom to be a home away from home just like this one you can find everything you need in my newest Nature Classroom Decor Bundle. The bundle comes with thousands of pages and is consistently being updated so that you get all future updates for free!