Over the years, I’ve managed to find a lot of my classroom furniture and other storage and usable pieces from IKEA. IKEA is relatively affordable, and some of their storage solutions are perfect for the classroom since they’re designed to fit smaller spaces. IKEA is about an hour or so away from me, but every couple years I make the trek up there to see what else I might need for my classroom. A few years ago, I went with the sole purpose of buying the larger furniture pieces I need, and also picked up some smaller things as well. Check out my IKEA classroom, and my black and white classroom decor.
My favorite find was this black and white polka dot rug! I looked at their rugs online before we left and never saw this one. When I was looking for it specifically, I found it when I searched by price. The price is the best part! It’s only $20! I bought two: one for covering our reading area, and one for our meeting spot. You can see how it’s set up in my meeting spot in the picture above. The second one is the base for our library. It’s a great price for a classroom rug! While this particular rug is no longer available, IKEA continues to have good quality rugs at affordable prices. Their similar rugs are just over 4’x6′ and some are even priced at $25. This black and white rug has a stripe pattern instead of the polka dot.
I also was able to get my teacher chair (seen above) from IKEA. I got mine at a fraction of the price in the as-is section during one of my trips. There was a small tear along the back so it was marked down. It’s held up well over the last 6 years and continues to be easy to wipe down if something minor spills. While I can’t find the same exact chair anymore, this brown armchair is similar. It’s pricey as it is currently, but keep an eye out for something similar in the as-is discounted section. This linen chair is also similar and is a bit cheaper than the leather-like version I’ve linked. The downside is that it’s linen and won’t wipe clean as easily.
The base of my library are two of the Kallax systems from IKEA. I’ve used the two row shelves in high gloss white. I like the high gloss because it wipes cleanly. I’ve considered trying a dry erase marker on them as well since they seem to be the appropriate material, but I’m scared to try it. The Kallax shelves are great for libraries as you can easily put your picture book and chapter books in spine side out, or you can store tubs of books in and on the shelves.
While students are working independently, they’re able to use these tables around the room independently or in partners. They’re a good height for floor sitting when students are working on their knees. And, they’re super affordable and lightweight so you can have several in your room and move them around. They’re not as durable, and the finish doesn’t withstand a ton of wear and tear, but for less than $10, I’m happy with these purchases after 6+ years. They are also sold in high-gloss white for a little bit more money, and depending on your preference, that might be the right choice for you.
My students also loved hiding under them. I cannot explain why to you, but having an enclosed, darker space is the only thing I can think of.
I think most people know about the Flyt magazine files. They’re 5 for $2 and are a super affordable option for book bins! I’ve used them with my students in the past, and for most of the students, they last the entire year. The secret is not let students keep them with them, but rather on a shelf where they just pick it up from time to time. I also add a layer of tape on the bottom on the inside and the outside which help keep them from falling apart. If book bins aren’t in your budget, these are a great option. You can see my students book bins on the shelf where they stored them after they were personalized and filled.
I have also wanted to add these Trofast systems in to my classroom for storage. I love that they have drawers where supplies can be put away and out of sight. I have not purchased one yet but every summer I think about buying one to help clear up some of my cabinet space and make things a bit more accessible for my kids.
The Trofast systems come in many different styled arrangements. Depending on your space you can find the arrangement that fits. One of the things I like the best about the Trofast system is that you can choose to have the shallow drawers or the deep drawers or a combination of both depending on what you need.
I’ve also picked up some smaller pieces for my IKEA classroom over the years. I keep a Raskog cart next to my guided reading table that I keep supplies in and can wheel over whenever I need it.
I have a couple of these kitchen timers and have used them for so many things over the years. They’re super cheap and they are nice to have on hand for when you need a timer! My favorite way to use these is to have them available for students who need to take a timeout or a break. They just pick up the timer, set it for 10 minutes, and go.
This is a laptop support/lapdesk and I have 6 of them. They stack neat enough that they could go in a corner of the room but I keep mine stacked under a Lack table for easy access for students. They’re another flexible seating option for my kids to choose when they’re working independently. It comes with the velcro not secured yet which is why it’s white in the picture. It also unzips and is machine washable!
I have a black and white theme in my classroom and try to keep most of my furniture and larger pieces in those two colors to keep things from being overwhelming. It also helps that these two colors will work with virtually any color scheme in a classroom. My current classroom has blue cabinets, but if I get moved to another section of my building, my cabinets may be red or green. Having the big, expensive pieces in just black and white means they will work no matter what room I’m in.
It has full size alphabet chart cards, numbers to 20 cards, 6 table signs, calendar pieces, desk nametags, signs for the word wall or book bins if you level your library, and classroom job cards. It also has two editable components: labels and binder covers. That way, if you need to make different jobs or something else to match, you can. You just open the file in Powerpoint, insert a text box, and write what you need.
It also has my Classroom Calendar pieces. I’ve used this same calendar in 1st through 3rd grades, and used the pieces that were more relevant to that grade. In 1st grade and 2nd grade I used most of the mathematical pieces, while in 3rd grade I only use that calendar itself. You can see more about how I run my calendar routine in the post below.
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Hi! I'm Tessa!
I’ve spent the last 15 years teaching in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, and working beside elementary classrooms as an instructional coach and resource support. I’m passionate about math, literacy, and finding ways to make teachers’ days easier. I share from my experiences both in and out of the elementary classroom.