7/8 Grade Classroom Decorating

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by MrsCAD, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    Jun 20, 2006

    I just found out this morning that I rec'd a job teaching 7/8 grade English. My room is kind of small and very plain. I'm wanting to decorate it really interesting and fun....does anyone have any suggestions? This is one of those things they don't teach you in school!
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Congratulations!!!

    Hit the HOme Depot type stores and look at their wallpaper remnants. It makes great background paper for bulletin boards... it's sturdy and holds its color. See if you can develop some sort of a theme based on what you see?

    I always do a monthly birthday card for all the kids in my homeroom; I ask them on the 1st day when theirs is (With an extra in June for the "summer babies")
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Congratulations on your new job!! Check out a recent thread by someone who just got a 9/10 English job and wanted to know the same thing. Obviously, you don't want to go cutesy. I like to use navy blue fabric as the background on my BB. I leave it up all year. I leave up a gingham checked border also. I have it in 3 or 4 colors and use it to border anything and everything. Take pictures of your students (if you won't have hundreds of them!) and post them along with acrostics they make for their own names.
     
  5. agsrule!

    agsrule! Companion

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    Jun 20, 2006

    I teach 7th L. Arts

    Hi, I will be starting my 2nd year teaching 7th grade language arts. I only have one bulletin board in my classroom, and I use it as an information board. It has fire drill map, a large calendar (the kids love to re-do it for you), special event fliers, lunch menu, sports schedules, bell schedule, etc. I made another bulletin board on my wall that wasn't brick (3 brick, one plaster) by just using the border. This one I had fun with. I bought monthly themed bulletin board sets from a teacher supply store (bookworm for back to school, a thanksgiving turkey/fall set for both Oct. and NOv., a winter holiday set for both Dec. and Jan., valentines, rodeo (Houston), spring flowers, and I think that's it. Now, a lot of people, including my co-workers, thought that bulletin board sets like that were too elementary. I really didn't know what the kids would think about it at first, but in Sept. when I took down the one from back to school in August, they immediately started making comments about the room looking different, and why did I take it down, and if I was going to put up another one because the wall looks plain, and if they could help put it up. So, almost every month, I changed out the bulletin board, or my students did during tutorials.

    What I do with those b. boards, is extra credit. I made die-cuts that went along with the theme (pumpkins for Oct. or turkeys for Nov) and wrote essay prompts on them. I stapled them at the bottom of the b. board so they could reach them. The students could take them off, write me a one page essay that I graded for spelling, punctuation, capitalization, just the basics. It got them to write more, and sometimes I could even use that piece they did for extra credit when they were stuck during our regular writing time (they could expand on it). After I graded the essay, I stapled the essay on the wall around the bulletin board to display their work. It worked great all year long. Now, writing the essay prompts out was time consuming, so what I think I may do for next year is create like mailing lables( or a little larger) with the prompts on them, so I can have a student peel and stick to the die cut.

    Then I have the basics language arts posters, editing symbols, writing elements (organization, word choice, voice, etc.) and the types of writing. We are also required to have a word wall which always came from our novels; I displayed in a pocket chart since not a lot will stick to the brick walls.

    Hope this helps. Good Luck
    Melissa
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Jun 20, 2006

    I covered my bulletin boards with fabric in 1998 . . . and it's still there! I just change the boarder every year. I also use a table cloth on my student supply table to dress things up a bit. Oh, and I made curtains--valances, really. I also try to put out a few "decorative" items, including some of my personal photos. The link will take you to the photos I took of my room at the beginning of the year last school year. My room will look different this coming year. I now have a SmartBoard and 30 laptop computers. I also rearranged my posters differently and took down my word wall tree so I could put up posters I had to take down when I got my SmartBoard.

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ebeth_h/album?.dir=3dfc&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ebeth_h/my_photos
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Thanks for sharing pictures of your room! Even middle schoolers need a handwriting friese. And I know they appreciate the little extras that warm up your room. I put a valance on top of my glass door to the outside and have a checked tablecloth on a small activity table in my room. Can't beat that fabric BB. I wish I had as much space as you have!
     
  8. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    Jun 20, 2006

    Thank you so much for sharing your pictures, that gave me a lot of ideas!

    My room is probably about 3/4 the size of yours. I do have a smartboard as well - totally surprised me because this is a very small school district! - the school is also installing 6 new computers in my room as well, which I guess is okay, but I'm thinking that 3 would have been enough. I don't really have the room for 6. I am going to have to be very creative with the use of my space because of the size of the room.
     
  9. adria

    adria Comrade

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    Jun 21, 2006

    I love your room and I must say I will steal....this is my first year as a grade seven reading teacher...I need all the help that I can get.
     
  10. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I'm also planning how to decorate my classroom for a new grade level. I was teaching 4th, now I'll teach 7th math. I haven't seen my room for next year yet, but plan on doing the following, some of which I've done before:

    --put fabric over the tops of shelves and small tables to add a bit of color and take away from yucky browns..
    --decopauge cardboard trays for "in" and "out" paperwork for each class period.
    --fake but realistic-looking flowers in a vase
    --make my own posters with colored pencils (gives a softer effect)
    --beaded curtain layered over a sheer looking curtain (depending on window)
    --lots of stackable containers to hold the office supplies that could otherwise turn to clutter.
    --extra trashbin for by my desk-- I am able to keep my desk a whle lot cleaner if there is a trash can right next to it.
    --photo of family in a frame or pinned to bulliten board
    --I use various things to decorate a bulletin board: pipe cleaners bent into the shapes of letters for titles, punchout letters from teacher or dollar store, fabric for backgrounds, newspapers/wallpaper/wrapping paper backgrounds, interesting magazines pictures comics to fill up space before student work goes up, a large calendar to add important dates relevant to students, regular bordette, sentence strips decorated in various ways such as decopauged pictures of numbers for math
    --a big sign with my name on it which I laminated and stick to my desk (helps with students who need to know the spelling)
    --small paper mache monster 3D figures which I plan to make.
     
  11. scienceteach50

    scienceteach50 Companion

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    Jun 21, 2006

    last year was my first year teaching 8th grade science. I taught in a portable and had only one tiny bb. So I made bb's using fabric and border on the dry wall. Invest in a good staple gun from home depot now, or if you have brick walls get a glue gun, you'll need it. I even made a window to the sky for my stars/space unit which i changed when i got to the weather unit on my ceiling. I used die cuts and shapes that I made on my own to make stars, planets, sun, clouds, lightening, etc. Then i used the brown BB paper from the teachers lounge and cut it into strips and made a window by laying the strips around it. The kids loved it. You could do something with a theme to it for a book you are studying in class as well.

    If you have the need to hide things on shelves, i found that cheap and colorful shower curtains work wonders.

    I saw an LA teacher who found some old book covers that were being thrown out have them laminated and made a border for her classroom out of them.

    Dollar tree has cut out letters and all sorts of stuff you can use to decorate with. Also check out clearance sections in fabric stores for funky and colorful fabrics you can use. Some teachers put velcro on the fabric and on the underside of tables or desks and use it to cover up any clutter or storage under neath.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Jun 22, 2006

    Wow--I LOVE the shower curtain idea! I really need to use that on my textbook shelf. Once school begins the books are under the student desks, and I tend to use the shelf for a catch all. The shower curtain is a perfect solution.
     
  13. cwp873

    cwp873 Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2006

    Middle School kids (all kids) LOVE LOVE LOVE photos of themselves. If you can, get a digital camera and once in a while take photos of them doing activities in your class. You could even assign different kids to take the pix while you're teaching. Then print out and display. They'll love it.
     
  14. Jen

    Jen Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2006

    Classroom decorating ideas

    I love a lot of the ideas shared here on this post:love: . I too will be teaching reading for the first time(7th & 8th). I have decided that I want my room to look more like a room from home with curtains, lots of potted plants, a reading area with wicker chairs & table,etc. I am also using a shower curtain to hide office supplies. This shower curtain will be my inspiration for my color theme of yellow, green, blue, and white. I plan on extending those colors through out the room with curtains, throw pillows in the wicker chairs, and maybe a skirt around my desk. If anyone has any more ideas that go along this line, I'd love to hear from you...or better yet, I would love to see pictures of classrooms decorated more like a living room than a classroom. I feel like this will help the kiddos relax more and enjoy reading as if they were at home rather than a classroom atmosphere. Please :D send any ideas my way.

    Thanks-Jenn
     
  15. adria

    adria Comrade

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    On Friday, I am going to see my classroom....I am excited. I will draw a sketch and think about what I will do with the classroom. I love the shower curtain idea. I am giving myself one week in July to set up my classroom and I will decorate as I go throughout the year. Jen maybe we can exchange emails and give each other support consider this is our first year in reading. Let me know how you feel about this idea...you can send me a private message.

    good luck
     
  16. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Lamps give a nice warm feeling. I found one last year at a thrift store in my colors with an apple on the shade.
     
  17. Tubby Teacher

    Tubby Teacher New Member

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    I like a fountain with a variety of sounds. I turn it on during reading and writing periods. The rule is that you have to be able to hear the fountain. The kids tend to be quiet and work.

    I also paint my cork boards with latex paint in colors like aqua, sunflower, purple, and mint. I use borders around the edges. I use tons of posters, but I don't like using any with text on the high parts of the wall. That way, I don't have to take them down during state testing.

    I've had teachers tell me that the room is too busy, but they are mostly auditory learners. I'm visual (just 5% auditory), so I tune out talkers. About 50% of your students will be visual, while only 20% will be auditory. The research I read indicated that most teachers are auditory, so if that describes you just remember that there will be more visual learners in your room than any other type. You should consider leaving the easy to reach spaces in your room bare, so that you can place student created work in those spaces.
     
  18. Mrs.Goble

    Mrs.Goble Rookie

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    GREAT ideas ladies! Thanks for sharing and for the pictures. I will be visiting fabric stores very soon. :)
     

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