Back To School Classroom Setup Tips For Teachers

Are you ready to head back to school? 

This time of the year is busy for teachers, to say the least. There is so much to do. Between things like prepping for back-to-school night and lesson planning, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed. 

One of my favorite ways to beat the overwhelm and start the school year off on the right foot? Getting my classroom set up and organized in a way that is conducive to learning and makes things easier for me as I move through my day. As teachers, we are usually running around doing a million things during the day and having an organized classroom can make a huge difference in the ease and flow of the day. 

If you’re looking for back-to-school tips for teachers or classroom setup ideas, you’re in the right place. These are my top classroom setup ideas for elementary classrooms! 

Why is classroom setup important? 

The environment that students are in as they learn every day is extremely important. The right classroom setup can be a beneficial classroom or behavior management tool. Having your classroom set up in a way that is safe and welcoming for learning can make a huge difference in how your students’ day goes because the right arrangement can help them focus and learn in a fun, well-structured environment. 

It benefits you as a teacher because you can have the desks, centers, tables, and supplies arranged in a way that makes things easier for you and your students because needed supplies can be grabbed quickly and easily. 

What is the best classroom setup? 


Of course, the answer to this question largely depends on your teaching grade and the resources available to you. Here are some general tips for a classroom setup that you and your students will love. 

  • Try arranging desks in clusters to encourage students’ collaboration and social skills. This also gives the room more walking space and helps it feel more open and inviting.
  • Store supplies close to student desks to make it easy for them to get the supplies they need and minimize the instances of behavior issues. 
  • Keep your teaching supplies/copies/ binders close to your desk or workspace to make it easy for you to access what you need during the day. 
  • Set up designated areas for centers, play, etc. 
  • Include a calm down corner. This is a safe space for students to go when they need a minute because their emotions are overwhelming them. Include things like fidget spinners, glitter jars, or bubble wrap for students to use while they regain control of their emotions. 

If you’re looking for some teaching resources to make your classroom setup and organization easier, I have you covered. 

My editable center labels are perfect for easily setting up your centers. 

classroom setup center signs

There are 56 center signs for preschool, kindergarten, or 1st-grade classrooms and they come complete with I CAN objectives. Each center sign has the objectives listed but if you need the objectives to say something different, they are editable. All you have to do is just click and type! These center signs are versatile and show diversity. The “I Can” signs are perfect for center rotations and organization.

classroom set up center labels

center signs

center signs

Organize your tables with these free table number signs and table color labels. 

table cards classroom setup

Label your tables with these adorable Western-themed table cards. Included are table labels by color and table cards by number for you to choose. Personally, I have used both and assigned the number or the color a day of the week to line up first. Kids love them!

My western-themed classroom library labels are perfect for organizing your classroom library in a way that makes it easy for students to find what they are looking for. 


This helpful resource contains 50 classroom library book labels with pictures. Labels are 4.5 X 5 and are perfect for your PreK and Kindergarten kiddos to be able to self-manage the library (which equates to less clean-up time for you)! 

Even your non-readers will be successful in managing the library with these book bin labels! Labels also include words for your readers so 1st and 2nd-grade teachers love them too!

These look great printed on card stock and then laminated. The font is a cute “Western” font but can be changed if you need something different. 

Make your classroom complete by setting out some adorable bookmarks for students that will encourage students to grab a book and practice those reading skills!

You can get these bookmarks for free here! 

bookmarks classroom setup

For more back-to-school resources that will make your life easier, check out my number of the day worksheets and back-to-school assessments.  

What are your favorite back-to-school classroom setup tips? Let me know in the comments! 


Back-To-School Tips For Teachers For A Great Year

It’s that time of year! Time to put the pool floaties and sunscreen away and grab your teacher bag and head back to the classroom! This time of the year is exciting for some, and….not too exciting for others. 

back to school tips

Heading back to the classroom can feel overwhelming. I get it! There’s so much to do and it can be hard to even know where to start. There are classrooms to set up, copies to make, lessons to plan, students to meet, things to organize…the list goes on and on. 


It doesn’t have to be so stressful though! You can have a great back-to-school experience.

Here are some of my top back to school tips for heading back to school without the chaos and stress. 


  1. Get organized.

    This one seems obvious but taking some extra steps to organize your classroom in a way that will improve efficiency will save you so much time and stress as the year goes on. Arrange supplies and even desks in a way that is conducive to learning and makes it easy for you to access what you need when you need it. Is there something you had to keep going back and forth for last year? Set up your classroom so that it is within reach this time. 

2. Pick a new classroom theme.

Coming up with a theme that both you and your students will love is a great way to set the tone for your classroom as a welcoming space for everyone to relax and learn. 

3. Come up with an outline for the first few weeks.

We all know those first weeks are a little bit more chaotic as students and teachers alike find their groove and get into a new routine. By planning out those first few weeks ahead of time, you’ll save yourself the trouble of doing it when you have several little fires to put out or tasks that pop up. 

4. Establish an engaging classroom management system.

By coming up with something unique and fun with lots of incentives, students will easily adjust to the new rules and try their best to earn their rewards. This makes things much easier for you! 

5. Get students involved in taking care of the classroom.

Classroom jobs are a great way to do this. It gives students the opportunity to take responsibility for the classroom by helping keep things clean, organized, and running smoothly. Classroom job ideas are trash collector, paper passer, line leader, attendance monitor, etc. This will give students a sense of pride in their work and it takes a lot off of your plate. It is also great for building a classroom community! 


If you are looking for engaging activities to do with your students this year, you’re in the right place. Now through Thursday, August 11th, we are hosting a $200 RESOURCE GIVEAWAY! 

back to school tips free resources


We know that teaching is overwhelming sometimes, and you deserve some goodies to make it easier. Follow this link to get your free primary goodies. Just click on each individual link and grab your resources. Check out the details below!

back to school tips free giveaway


I hope you love these back to school tips for teachers! For more tips for elementary students, check out my post here on fun ways to practice sight words.

How To Use Mathematical Glyphs In The Classroom

Have you ever used glyphs in your classroom? Do you know what a “glyph” is?

glyph is “the specific shape, design, or representation of a character”. This representation is a collection of visual objects. These visual objects are collectively called a Glyph.

Glyphs are fun activities and worksheets that keep kids engaged, focused, and help students learn to decode data .

These skills are important in math, science, and social studies. Glyphs build skills, like counting, time, directionality, and practice reading comprehension. Students read and follow directions.

Teachers Love Glyphs Because:

  1. They are NO PREP.
  2.   They require students to use reading skills. It is especially helpful when the glyph legends used are written using sight words. That way students are practicing reading their sight words in context.
  3.  Graphing glyphs by different attributes each day means several days of lessons from just 1 glyph!


Students Love Glyphs Because:

  1.  They get to color, cut, and assemble. (Some glyphs are just color.)
  2. They get to post their glyph where everyone can see and they can see how many others are alike or different.
  3. Glyphs are interactive and the students change their glyph daily to graph for a different attribute.


How to Use Glyphs in the Classroom

So how have I used glyphs in the classroom? There are so many different ways that I could probably write a book! However, here are just a few ideas. Please note that these ideas are done over several lessons.



First, in whole group instruction, I  discuss what glyphs are and why we use them. Next, I draw a picture as an example on chart paper. Then I use the students to make a graph. For example, I line all the boys up on one side of the room and all the girls up on the other side. After that, we discuss the differences in mathematical terms.


“Which do we have more of, girls or boys? How many more ____ than ___? Can we make a math sentence to show this information?” 

Many times I use glyphs in my small group instruction. This of course depends on the level of students I am teaching. Other times I place the glyph in a center as a “Have-To” activity. Students can also complete their glyph as independent work and save them until math time when we begin to graph the results.

Depending on the month, I show students the glyph and explain how to follow the directions on the legend. Some months are “color only”, some are “color and cut out”, others are “color, cut out, assemble”, and then others are “color, cut out, assemble and complete a picture.”


After all students have completed their glyph, I choose an attribute for graphing. For example, “Today we are going to graph by the color of your eyes.” Each day I choose a different attribute from the legend. For about the 1st five minutes of math, we discuss the graphing information. Sometimes there is a class graph that we also fill out daily.

Depending on the level of students, I have them write statements with their data. For example, “I am a girl. I like school.”

Preschool and Kindergarten Students LOVE Glyphs Too!

Glyphs can be used with any age group. If you teach Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten, use glyphs in your small group instruction as a “listening and following directions” lesson. Then use title cards with pictures so they can graph their glyphs independently. I use painter’s tape so the paper doesn’t tear when they remove their glyphs.


In conclusion, here are some things to keep in mind when using glyphs:

  • Teach students what glyphs are and how to graph results
  • Preview the legend to be sure it is appropriate for the level of students you teach
  • Decide how you want students to complete their glyph – small group, centers, or independently
  • Choose an attribute each day to graph by
  • Discuss graphing results in mathematical terms – greater than, less than, how many more, how many less, half of the class, fewer than, more than, etc.
  • Depending on the level of your students, have them write statements about their data

NOTE: Unless the glyph is used as a center activity, I ALWAYS staple the legend to the back of the glyph. This is so that parents will see the educational value and not think the child is just coloring at school.

If you have never tried glyphs, grab your FREE glyph HERE!


If you and your students enjoy this, take a look to see glyphs for each month of the school year plus more! You can find individual months or you can find them all together in a money-saving bundle.


For another fun activity, check out my Fairytale Glyphs Activities and Centers here! 


For more fun in the classroom, check out my post here on how to make a game spinner!


For more fun in the classroom, check out my post here on how to make a game spinner!