20 Inspirational Third Grade Classroom Ideas

Real-life third grade classrooms!

Four Third Grade Classroom Ideas including shark themed and colorful cubbies.

Third graders are an interesting bunch—they’re not little kids anymore, but they’re still learning so much about the world around them. Support your the learning happening in your classroom with an environment that is warm and welcoming. We’ve created this list of 20 inspirational third grade classroom ideas to spark your imagination!

1. Turn readers into leaders

This incredible library area reminds kids of how books can change their lives.

2. Have a growth mindset

Encourage kids to push past their limits and reach higher every single day.

3. Be organized, have priorities

The right decor can help kids know how to find what they need, whether it’s math supplies or quick reminders to work hard and show kindness.

4. A rainbow of vins

Organize your third grade classroom books in colorful bins to add some fun and make things easier to find!

5. It’s in the pocket

Clear, reusable pockets make it simple to swap out topics and keep things fresh.

6. The cozy and colorful library

Plush pillows, a warm rug, and fun lighting make this a cool little library.

7. It’s okay to brag (sometimes)!

Show some pride and let them know how you feel about your third grade classroom!

8. Put English and Math in the corner

Connecting your reading and math anchor charts in a single, fun corner can be a great option for smaller classrooms.

9. Take Shark Week to another level

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Jaw ready for this? Third grade is set for #sharkweek

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Kids will love Shark Week even more with this third grade classroom decor!

10. Gather and grow together

Create a gathering spot as the heart of your classroom.

11. Small investments, big changes

Bargain hunting can pay off when you know how to combine the right items.

12. Huddle around the campfire

You can’t build a real campfire in your classroom, of course, but you can recreate some of its charm—and warmth! Plus check out our other ways to include a campfire theme.

13. The power of positivity

Help students remember that their actions and attitudes can impact someone else’s day.

14. Make reading irresistible

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This weekend while you are soaking up the last bit of summer – maybe relaxing at the pool or cooling down with ice cream or enjoying a vacation – your child’s teacher is hard at work.⁣ ⁣ Don’t believe me? Drive by an elementary school today. I bet you’ll see a car or two.⁣ ⁣ Teachers are setting up the classroom. Moving furniture around to find a layout that works best. Organizing supplies. Writing lesson plans. Thinking of/praying for your child. And probably sweating. (Did you know some schools don’t have air conditioning and lots that do don’t turn it on for the weekend or during the summer 😅)⁣ ⁣ They are surrounded by Target bags and labels. Their family members have probably been recruited to help hang bulletin boards and set up classroom libraries. First year teachers are scraping together what they can because they won’t even see a paycheck until the end of September.⁣ ⁣ They’re making the classroom warm and inviting, but not over stimulating. They’re worried about each child getting home safely on the first day of school. They’re practicing pronouncing students names and remembering whose parents are divorced. ⁣ ⁣ They’re pouring their heart into your child long before the first school bell rings.⁣ ⁣ So, make sure to smile when you meet them. Compliment their hard work in the classroom. Purchase something from their wishlist. Complete your paperwork on time. And sing their praises to your child. ⁣ ⁣ Supporting your child’s teacher is key to a fantastic year. 💕⁣

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Who wouldn’t want to stand in front of this gorgeous library for hours?

15. Simple seating for all

Add some cushions to overturned milk crates to a folding chair and you’ve got more seating options without breaking the bank! Plus other flexible seating options.

16. Colorful classroom carpets!

You’ve used wall and ceiling space, but don’t forget about the floors! And other colorful rugs!

17. Clever and cheesy for the win!

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It's starting to feel real!! 🤗 I got A LOT done today and, for the first time, it's starting to feel like the classroom I envisioned in my head. By far, my "teacher area" is my favorite. It looks so put together! ▪️ I finished my #teachertoolbox (after having to cut down and fix ALL of the labels I made…such a process!😩) ▪️ The #growthmindset posters are from TpT and are some of my favorite quotes ▪️ "Everybody is Welcome Here" sign is from @fivebelow and looks so cute on the window by the door💕 ▪️ My #wholebrainteaching rules fit PERFECTLY on the little space by the door Succulent wall decals are from @dollartree (they're on the other side of the room) . . . #firstyearteacher #teachersfollowteachers #teachersneedteachers #teachersofinstagram #teachersneedcommunity #teacherlife #iteach #iteachtoo #iteach3rd #iteach3 #teacherloop #thirdgradeclassroom #thirdgrade #iteachela #iteachenglish #charterschool #publiccharterschool #charterschoolteacher #moveintime #movein #somuchstuff #teacherproblems #decorating #classroomdecor #classroomtheme #cactusclassroom #succulentclassroom

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Remind kids that “sticking together” has more than one meaning!

18. Sometimes less is more

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My classroom is ready for the first day of school on Monday! I have so many mixed emotions. I’m so excited for a great year, but this #backtoschool season can be so daunting. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I’m spending my weekend making sure my heart and mind are as ready as my classroom. For me, that means taking care of, well, me. I’ve really been making an effort to prioritize myself better lately. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Today I slept in, lounged around with a new book, had lunch at my favorite burger joint, then spent the afternoon on the river kayaking with my husband. Tomorrow entails brunch with besties and an improv show before an early bedtime. Though I know I won’t be sleeping much tomorrow night (eeek!!) I know I’ll feel emotionally refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to take on a new year. 💪🏼 ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ What are you doing for YOU this weekend? ⁣⁣ ⁣ (Side note: I did a classroom tour and saved it as a highlight story! I tagged and labeled all the things. Go check it out if you’re wondering details.) ⁣ ⁣⁣ #teachergram #iteachtoo #thirdgradeteacher #thirdgradeclassroom #myclassroom #atlantateachers

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Look at this bright, clean classroom! Also, did you notice what this teacher did with the clock?

19. Let’s talk about math

These fun prompts help students find their words when tackling tough topics.

20. Create a focal point

By framing the whiteboard, it will help draw your students’ attention!

Plus check out the ultimate checklist for setting up your third grade classroom.

If these ideas inspired you, join our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group and come talk with the very teachers who suggested them!

20 Inspirational Third Grade Classroom Ideas

Posted by Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne is a mother of six (including toddler twins!), writer, homeschooler, and social sciences professor. She loves cooking, reading, and dancing in her kitchen.


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