Check out Miss Nelson’s second grade classroom tour

Miss Nelson shows us around her beautiful 2nd grade classroom! She shares tips for decorating, organizing, and more.

Pictures of a second grade classroom

Hi everyone! I’m Miss Nelson from Run! Miss Nelson’s Got the Camera. I’m always taking pictures so my kids know to RUN! when I break out my camera.   Luckily, I had a few hours to take some pictures without the students. Here is my classroom tour from the 2012-2013 school year. I’d love for you to check it out. Be sure to also visit my blog as I am always having giveaways, sharing tips, and adding free resources.

Tips for classroom decoration that I’ve learned from Schoolgirl Style: 
  • Have consistent colors throughout the room
  • Borders and Bulletin boards should be cohesive in colors
  • Double your borders to make a bigger impact
  • Hide clutter with fabric or cute baskets
  • Be sure to have a focal point
  • The smallest details make the biggest difference

Bulletin boards 101

Oh how things have changed throughout the years. My first couple of years I had border to match every season and thematic unit. I would spend hours switching the fabric every few weeks. Not only was this exhausting for me but it really was too busy for my students.  My room was filled with color. Some could describe it as skittles exploding in my room. Now I have learned a few things.

Tip #1 Cohesive backgrounds The best tip is to keep the boards cohesive throughout the room. I like using fabric so I stick with black and white. I sometimes pick a different pattern but the colors are all the same. Wrapping paper is also very helpful along with twin bed sheets.

Tip #2- Cohesive borders Another thing I love is keeping the borders cohesive as well. I no longer need storage for my borders because I only pick a few patterns.  To make my boards fun, I layer the borders. I think it frames the boards much better than a single border.

Tip #3-Student space The last tip is to keep your boards simple. I provide each student with a space on my board and make sure it’s easy and quick to change out their work. I have used paperclips, clothespins and tacks. The paper clips allow me to easily slip their work under the clip. The tacks allow for multiple sheets over the course of the semester and a clothesline with clothespins allows for easy access.

Paperclips are an easy option for switching out student work
Clothespins are also very easy!
Tacks allow for multiple sheets over the course of the semester
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Angela is a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years of classroom experience and 7 years experience as an instructional coach. As founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services, she has created printable curriculum resources, 4 books, 3 online courses, the Truth for Teachers podcast, and The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Subscribe via email to get her best content sent to your inbox!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan August 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I also have a black and white polka dot theme this year! Where did you find the polka dot market baskets, bean bag chairs and floor pillows? Also, where did you find the solid black rug? GREAT job! :)


2 Michele Nelson August 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Thank you Susan. I found the black rug at K-mart. The polka dot baskets are discontinued but did find some at Pottery Barn. The bean bag chairs are from Big Lots and I had the pillow cases made.


3 Susan August 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Thanks SO much for the information! Again, I LOVE your room!!!


4 Melinda August 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm

All these classrooms are beautiful! The one thing I notice about them all though is they are all huge! Where do all these oversized rooms come from? I have never seen so many classrooms this large before and I have taught in two different states and have been to dozens of schools. I had an okay sized room this year but with 26 students (at desks) it was slightly cramped (but I could at least have a table this year and I had windows) and then the year before I was in a room half as big with 28 students (so no table) who were older and bigger (and this is all at a brand new school, only 2 years old). So while this is all beautiful, it’s hard to decorate a classroom when you can barely fit the students in the door. I wouldn’t mind seeing some classrooms that are more realistically sized cause we can’t all have that dream sized classroom with tons of wall space and room for a couch.


5 Angela Watson August 14, 2012 at 9:34 am

Very true, Melinda–the size of the room makes a world of difference! For whatever reasons, I rarely have teachers with small classrooms send me photos. If you’d like to share your classroom with us (or know anyone with a small classroom who’s made the most of their space), we would LOVE to see it!


6 Lisa August 13, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Melinda, I am with you on this. Our classrooms are cramped and our budget is small. Could you please post some makeovers of smaller rooms? That would be great! Thank you!


7 Angela Watson August 14, 2012 at 9:32 am
8 Melly Toelihere September 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm

They’re all amazing pictures… great ones… giving reat ideas for us teachers…


9 mania October 3, 2012 at 8:16 am

very beutiful ideas <3


10 Charlie December 7, 2012 at 6:26 am


Nice classroom.

How did you get the clothes pin to stay and hold?

Thank you


11 Alison May 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I have a very small classroom, even by our school’s standards. HOWEVER, it did not stop me from having a lovely room. I used many of the same decorating tips shown here. Remember, the decorations are primarily on the walls and ceilings. Pick a color scheme, look for matching bins, borders, and backgrounds. Repeat your color scheme throughout the room for a cohesive decorator’s look. The biggest impact: GET RID OF THE CLUTTER! Get rid of the stuff you hardly use and organize the rest. Let not your desire for a beautiful classroom stop you due to the area of the floor. Think about your perimeters!


12 Sandy August 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Wow, just love all these classrooms, so inspiring! Teaching second grade, I checked out Miss Nelson’s classroom and just loved all the helpful tips.


13 Dorothy July 18, 2015 at 12:33 am

This room is amazing!! However, if I counted right, she has 16 students!!! During the years of class size reduction in CA, we had 20, and now are back up to 30 in 2nd grade. :(


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