Saturday, July 19, 2014

Decorating my class for the fast approaching new year!!

My class is getting set up. I moved schools this year, back to fifth grade and that meant I needed to unpack and decorate all over again. This year I didn't have a ton of ready made decorations bought from the store. I lost a lot in the move and have no desire to replace any of it. I want to keep the cost down (I can spend a fortune at the teacher store) and flex my creative muscles and DIY my class decor.

I have a couple simple goals with decorating my class. 
1. Paper goes up and stays there- I don't like changing it. 
2. A lot of the things I put up are student created, so I need it to look good empty and remain versatile so it can change and not get stuck as a specific board.
3. Did I say I hate changing paper, I also hate the idea of wallpapering the bulletin board, too much paper and time.
4. I like using things I create they meet my needs exactly and I believe inspire the kids to create their own too.

First let me show you some pics then I'll tell you what I did to get the look. I'm still setting things up so it's a mess. But the walls are nice and the bones are there.

Front corner where the computer has to be for the Smart Board is. Printer and phone must be there. Laptop will plug into the board here. Note the rules front and center.

The other side of the Smart Board.

My desk, now in the back of the room separate from the computer area. A door to my neighbor opens just on the other side of the black cabinet.

Close up of banner above my desk and cabinet.

Next to my desk looking at door to the hall. All those colored strips, by the student desk, are the Super Improver Wall levels.

At the class entrance looking to the front of the class.

Butcher block paper: school supplied, limited colors. I could have waited for the new colors to show up but I liked the blue and orange. I pulled off pieces large enough for the board space and cut it down (extra I will use for class project.)

1. I folded the orange lengthwise (hot dog style) and used a straight blade to cut it in half, it's a narrow stripe so it could be used on two boards this way. I put that up all the way around the class. Then hung up the blue paper, no cutting needed a foot below the top of the board. This way the cut edge of the orange didn't need to be perfect, and was easy to be consistent. I used push pins to stick it up so I could measure and adjust. That was the hardest part. the rest was easy!

 2. Crape paper streamers- I had the streamers on hand I believe they were a dollar store pick up, so each color was a dollar. I made the stripes at different heights so each board is a little different. Plus I didn't have enough of any color to go across the entire room, so the color change is on purpose.

3. Yellow dots- cut from butcher paper using the schools letter/shape punch. I had a ton left over from a different project.

4. Banners- the triangles are cut from a fact book, another dollar store find. I glued them to the ribbon, which again came from the dollar store. (I made four but only used three of them)

5. paper fans- I used these to finish off the end of the banners, they looked a little bare. I got them from the party store a few years ago.

6. WBT basics I had ready to go. The rules are hand painted with cute animals (I'll make a digital version to print out soon) I also had my Super Improver Wall Levels posted already so the kids can start wondering what it is right away.

The hall outside my class, only had to boards now it has four. How did I get so lucky to be responsible for 4 my neighbor has 1?
Similar theme in the hall. I used the only 4 colors available right now, but I liked them all together. I made the stripes using streamers again. I kept them high up so passers by hopefully treat them nicely. Dots are in the corner of the boards.
The colored squares are positive thoughts my students last year created. I laminated them and have it posted for my new students to add to this year.

Here in Arizona we start school in August. I got the decorating part out of the way so I can focus on organizing and creating fun for my students from here on out. My brain just needs this part done first.

What creative things do you do in your class? I'd love to see as you all start preparing your own classes.