Learn More

40 Hour Workweek

Uncategorized   |   Jan 14, 2012

Photos of my 3rd grade classroom (2009)

By Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Photos of my 3rd grade classroom (2009)

By Angela Watson

Welcome to my collection of third grade classroom photos! These photos of a classroom in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were taken by me in 2009. This was the last full year I was in the classroom (I now work as an instructional coach and educational consultant.) I’ve kept the text exactly the same as when I first uploaded the pictures to this website so that it feels like you’ve just walked into my room and are taking a tour!

Classroom pictures

I’m back in my favorite classroom for the second year in a row! When I came to this downtown Fort Lauderdale school to teach third grade in 2007, I was thrilled with the size of the room and the amenities (storage closet, sink, bathroom, and built-in shelves galore). This year, I’ve kept the basic set-up the same, with one major difference…

I got rid of the desks and switched to tables! I’ve been wanting to do this for years, and when I stepped foot in the room in August and saw how the custodians had stacked all those desks in a corner, I realized how much more room I would have. I had all the desks removed and replaced with tables (oh, yes, the custodians looooved that idea), and I am THRILLED with the results. You can read more in my blog post Tables vs.Desks. I do keep desks for those darlings who can’t behave appropriately when in close proximity to others. The desks are situated near the tables: if a child has issues, he simply moves the desk back a few feet and gets himself together, then rejoins the team later.


Here’s what the kids see when they’re sitting at their tables. The majority of their texts are kept in the cubbies you see here. If you’d like to read more about how I organize the kids’ materials, check out the Organization page.


Here’s a close-up of my board. I use it mostly for displaying teaching aids (such as my signs that indicate what students should do when finished with an assignment, and whether they can use the bathroom without asking or should wait—more about this on the Routines and Procedures page). I use the little whiteboard to the left of it to write down page numbers and assignment details, and the large whiteboard to the left is a piece of tile board from Home Depot. I use this as my projector screen for the Elmo document camera, which I rarely turn off. The tile board wasn’t quite wide enough, so I tacked up some white paper to the left of it (not pictured).


There’s a smaller board on this side wall. I use it to post our daily schedule and other reference tools. The bright green rectangles on the board are students’ name magnets, which they use to track their progress through the steps of the writing process, and to indicate center choices. I rarely use the rocking chair, but sometimes I’ll pull math small groups in that area to re-teach skills. The kids like sitting on the beach chairs when doing partner work.


This is another new addition for the ’08-’09 school year. One of our teachers was getting rid of this work station thingy, and since I collect classroom furniture like some people collect stamps, I HAD to incorporate it in some way. And it’s been put to good use: this is where the kids store their non-textbook/workbook supplies. Each team has one container for crayons, scissors, and glue, and one container to hold subject area folders and journals. The workbooks you see at the top are our ‘homework books’: the kids rip the pages out for homework assignments, but since the books are never used for class work, I store them back here where they’re out of the way.


The computers are old and unreliable, but the kids are able to get on for about an hour and a half per week during reading group rotations. Fortunately, our internet connection is stable, and I’m blessed to also have a wireless router so I can use my laptop anywhere in the room. I frequently hook it up to the LCD projector to stream videos, or to do stuff with the kids online while teaching.


The white containers hold books for the kids to check out for classroom use: the colorful containers are their individual book bins. Every child keeps 7 self-selected books inside his or her bin, and can check out new titles twice a week. My ‘When Finished’ sign usually indicates that students should read when done with their work, so most kids squeeze in independent reading time throughout the day. I’m a huge proponent of having kids READ for the sake of reading, so I really utilize our classroom library. You can find out more about this on the Class Libraries page.


I like to keep tables around the room for kids to use when working with partners or while completing special activities away from their regular seats. This corner holds books for home check-out and a ton of other teaching resources.


This is the bathroom, sink, and water fountain area. The plastic drawers shown here hold my social studies and science teaching resources. I purchased the drawers a few years ago and organize them according to theme/unit. Find out more about this in the Organization section, which has a Lesson Materials/Files page.


Here’s our reading group area. Each group (red, yellow, and blue) has its own color-coded crate of materials on the shelf. Students read what’s on the white board on top of the crates so they know what materials to grab and how to prepare for the group. Because our school is Title I, we have a lot of para-professionals who pull the lowest kids for intensive reading instruction, and I have only 5-6 kids per group in my classroom.


Look familiar? There’s a photo similar to this on the cover of my book! I haven’t changed things much in this area of the room: all of my papers and instructional materials are stored in the area shown in this photo. I love having everything in ONE place near my desk so that I can spin around in my roll-y chair and not have to get up when doing paperwork. I didn’t straighten up this area (or any area, for that matter) before taking these pictures: you totally caught me eating Ritz-Bits. Oh, well. That’s real.

UPDATE JANUARY 2012: I went back to my old school to visit and took pictures. See what my former classroom looks like now

More of My Classroom Tours


Classroom Photos After 2009
Classroom Photos 2008
Classroom Photos 2007
Classroom Photos 2006
Classroom Photos 2005
Classroom Photos 2004
Classroom Photos 2003
Classroom Photos Before 2003

Check Out Other Teachers’ Classroom Photos

Want to see photos of Other Teachers’ Rooms?  I’ve collected classroom pictures from educators in all different parts of the United States! Learn their tips for desk arrangement, organization, and more.

Please Share YOUR Classroom Photos!

Would you like to have your pictures featured here? I’d love to add your classroom pics to the Other Teachers’ Rooms page! Contact me via email with the link to your Flickr, Tumblr, Picassa, blog, Pinterest board, or even a public Facebook album! Don’t worry about making sure everything looks perfect: we want to see REAL classrooms that are used by REAL students every day! International teachers–we’d especially love to see what your rooms look like!

Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Angela created the first version of this site in 2003, when she was a classroom teacher herself. With 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach, Angela oversees and contributes regularly to...
Browse Articles by Angela


  1. I have enjoyed your site as well as your tpt items. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to education and children. Your creativity shows in all the items that you create.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion? Feel free to contribute!