You see, teachers want a classroom that looks great and most of us want a theme. The problem for me is, there's no commercially produced theme that I love. Robin is doing monsters in her classroom now (she started last year) and it's perfect - for her. There was a time that I taught in a block of classrooms named "Water House" and at that point the underwater/ocean theme was perfect. I got rid of all that stuff in June, though, because I don't plan on ever doing the underwater/ocean thing again. I've seen awesome surfing inspired classrooms, and another of my best friends has always had turtles because personally, turtles are her thing. I think, for me, it all boils down to it being a place that I want to look at every day, but more importantly a place where the kids want to be because it's an extension of the teacher who loves them. Hence, Polka Dots.
I started with Polka Dots 2 years ago. It's versatile, it's adorable, and it's not necessarily feminine or masculine. The crux of my color scheme is pink, green, and black, but I try to incorporate lots of brightly colored (not primary, though) dots. That's not to say I don't have other decorative elements in my classroom, such as the super-cute cookie jar and cookies that I found last year at Target of all places, but at it's heart my classroom is Polka Dots. Last year we started the year with a Mission Statement (I'll do a post on that in mid/late August) and my class chose the name "The Polka Dot Party." They got it from the window display I had with the same words. It was even on our class shirts. This year, I'm thinking the window will say "Polka Dot Paradise" or "We're Dotty for Learning." I haven't quite gotten there, yet. Here's the "special chair." I recovered a basic rolling chair from Staples two years ago with sturdy polka dot canvas-type fabric. It's since been recovered (the white background was a no-no, even though I used Scotch Guard). I can't wait to get back into my classroom so I can start sharing pictures of what it looks like now!
Custom Classroom Project #1: Birthday Display
You will need:
1 piece of 12" x 12" scrapbook paper (mine has cupcakes on it)
1 piece of 8.5" x 11" scrapbook paper in a coordinating solid color
1 piece of poster board, I used white
Scrapbook letter stickers
a glue stick
This was a really simple and easy project and I'm happy with how it turned out. I layered the papers on the poster board in the same order you see them above. I glued them all together and put the letter stickers on. This is the final product.
this one. I'll write the day of the month on the cupcake they hold. Then, at the beginning of each month, I'll put their cute picture up on this. I plan on changing it at the same time I change my calendar. It shouldn't take long at all. I know it'll take longer than having one poster with them all displayed, but in this case my wall real estate was more valuable than a few minutes a month. At the end of each month the kids will get to take home their picture, too, so it's a bonus birthday treat for them.
Custom Classroom Project #2: Homework Display Poster
You will need:
1 piece of poster board
5 pieces of 8.5" x 11" scrapbook paper
1 piece of 12" x 12" scrapbook paper
font you love
time and patience :)
This year when I was packing up my classroom, I noticed that the poster was a little worse for the wear. I threw it away and decided I'd just order another one before school started. My particular poster was black where the above is yellow and green where it's blue. Of course, mine is no longer available. I could have gone with another color, but I started thinking about ways I could improve upon this concept. Here's what I did.
First, I laid out the smaller paper on the poster board and cut out the stickers for all of the letters I'd be using and lined them up for spacing.
|Download this font by clicking here.|
Stay tuned for Robin's hand-lettered (if it turns out) Homework poster and our Learning Goals display posters.
Enjoy what's left of your weekend, the summer, and I hope you're joining me in cheering for Team USA.