Friday, November 20, 2015

Surviving in a classroom without wall space

Hi, it's Aimee from Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks.  Today I'm going to tell you a little bit about my classroom.  It's a very large classroom, and I love all the floor space that it has to offer.  Students are able to spread out around the room and work without being on top of each other.  However, there is a downside.  My classroom has very little wall space.  I have a wall of cabinets and counters, a wall of windows, a wall of book shelves, and a wall with a dry-erase board and Smart Board.  Luckily, I still live by the old preschool adage, "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit."  Here's how I deal with my lack of wall space...

1.  I hang anchor charts on anything magnetic.  The back of my room houses the entire leveled library for the 3rd/4th grade high ability program where I teach.  Lucky for me the book shelves are metal.  I use clip magnets to hang charts to them.  The charts are easily removed when I need to grab a set of books.
2.  I have a decent sized dry-erase board in my room that is magnetic as well.  Since I have a Smart Board, I don't need it for direct instruction.  I placed my focus wall on the dry-erase board.  I type up each week's focus and hang them with clip magnets.

3.  I use every flat surface in my room even if it happens to be a door.  My WOW wall hangs on a closet door in my classroom.  Students each have a clothespin with their number on it.  They hang quality work that they want to share with others on the door.
4.  Behind my easel is the only wall space that is available in my classroom.  Seriously it is maybe 5 feet wide and is sandwiched between my Smart Board and classroom library.  I use the space to hang more anchor charts.  Some are hung with 3M hooks while others are hung on a ribbon strung between two hooks.  I rotate my charts depending on the skill/strategy that we are working on during the week.  Since this space is front and center in my classroom, it is visible from our group space as well as student desks.  (Click HERE if you are interested in seeing all the anchor chart tool kits that I have to offer in my TpT store)

5/6.  I have an very long row of very small cabinets in my classroom.  The cabinets are above the sink and computer area.  I utilize this space for our Indiana History Timeline.  This works perfectly since the cabinet doors aren't large enough to display much else.

The south wall of my classroom is nothing but windows (Don't get too jealous!  My view is of the Village Pantry gas station that is right across the street).  I make the most of this space by displaying multiple things on the windows.
7.  This window displays our math fact masters.  Instead of making a chart to display student progress, I printed and laminated a photo of each student.  When a student masters an operation, their picture goes up on the window.  This is a real motivator!!
8.  This is one of my data windows.  I have a bar graph made out of painters tape for our math topic tests.  This too is a motivator for students.  They can't wait to see if the class average is higher than the previous test!  Above the bar graph is a decorated book spine for our read alouds this school year.  We are hoping to make our way across all of the window shades.
9.  This window displays students' birthdays.  I was lucky enough to find this for free on a blog that I follow, but unfortunately I accidentally deleted the file and can't find the source.  If anyone knows, please leave a comment, so I can give credit to the creator!!
10.  Every teachers needs a spot in their classroom to display all the cute notes and artwork from students.  I hang student creations on the pull down shade behind my desk.  Some are taped to the shade, while others are clipped to the shade and pull chain that opens and closes the shade.

There you have it!  This is how I survive in a classroom with very little wall space.  If you have any ideas that I haven't mentioned or more suggestions for making the most of little to no wall space, please leave a comment below!


  1. Love your remedies. I too, lack wall space and need ideas on how to make the most of my wall of windows. Thanks.