Middle School Classroom Decor?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by tiredteacher29, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. tiredteacher29

    tiredteacher29 Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2007

    Okay...this will be my first year teaching in any grade above fourth, I'll be teaching sixth grade language arts & social studies. I went to a teacher store today and was at a total loss as to how to decorate my room. I usually have a theme, last year it was sports, and decorate according to that. Can I still have a theme? What's appropriate? AHHHHH!!! I'm getting more nervous as I go. :eek:
     
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  3. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 17, 2007

    You certainly could still have a theme. Just make sure that your decor isn't too "babyish". Pre-made bulletin board sets that are geared for middle schoolers are few and far between.
     
  4. WorldTraveler

    WorldTraveler Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2007

    I was thinking of having a theme on my door with the students' names..something like Super Star Sixth Graders and have their names on stars or something with travel.....Is that babyish? I will have a homeroom, but they switch classes for math and science. I'm a first year teacher in a K-8 school, and my ST experience was in 4th grade in a K-5 school.
    Any suggestions?!?!
     
  5. historybuff91

    historybuff91 Companion

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    Jul 18, 2007

    It's hard to decorate middle school classrooms. I have a brand new classroom and I was told I cannot hang things from the ceiling, use tap or tacky type substance on the wall, or hang things on my door. This presented me with a giant problem since I loved hanging posters from the ceiling, but so far I've decorated it like this:
    I'm using tables not desks so I have color coded tables (a colored piece of construction paper taped down.)
    American History posters tacked to the bulletin boards, and since I am a huge Yankees fan (and the teacher I share the room with is a Bosox fan,) I have Yankee articles hanging on the whiteboard. That's about all the decoration, besides posters and a few little things on my desk, it's pretty bare. It's a nice room, but since we have so many limitations, it's a little sterile.
     
  6. WorldTraveler

    WorldTraveler Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2007

    Thanks historybuff! I want my room to be organized and welcoming. 6th graders are still kids and like colorful things on the walls...I don't know the rules about decorating yet.....Any tips on managing several classes...I will be teaching writing to 3, 6th grade classes and reading and test prep to my homeroom.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. bridge

    bridge Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2007

    I reverted to my childhood when I started teaching (I guess that's my excuse) and started collecting interesting stuffed animals (never did it when I was young!). My husband loves those silly machines at Wal-Mart with a crane, and "won" many stuffed animals, as well. I brought the interesting ones to school and set them around the room. I set some in "scenarios". I'm kind of goofy, and when the kids would ask about them I would talk about them like they were living and had histories. The kids actually liked it. It unnerved some. My 2 most "sophisticated" girls would roll their eyes, but request to place "Fu" the fat cat on their desks when they had quiet work to do. One of the boys would move some of the stuffeds around (I never caught him) and then tell me about some mischief the critters had been in. Once, I photo copied the face of a stuffed and taped it on the wall, so it looked like it had been photo-copying itself while we were gone for the night.
    I admit- pretty goofy/corny. But the kids seemed to enjoy it (some of the stuffeds became characters in their stories), and it helped loosen up their creativity a bit. But I had to be willing to be unflinchingly goofy along with it (when appropriate). Age does have its advantages. I'll try a lot of things now that I wouldn't have when I was younger!!!! Oh- this was with 6th graders in a middle school. My theme was wild critters, I guess.
     
  8. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Jul 19, 2007

    Don't forget to save room on the walls, etc for student work. I think more than anything else my students enjoyed and appreciated seeing their work displayed.
    Also, you could use school colors and mascot as a decorating theme. Last year we let each student grade (6th, 7th, & 8th) brainstorm class slogans and then they voted for the winner. It became our grade 'theme' for the year. We also had various contests throughout the year (best attendance for a month, most AR tests taken and passed, etc). But, that's another story for another thread. : ) It was a great motivator though to have their own class slogan or theme.
     
  9. historybuff91

    historybuff91 Companion

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    Jul 19, 2007

    I have some ocd tendencies and am a complete organized nut with things! Everything has to be organized and neat in my classroom! So I have to have a lot of file cabinets and storage draws, and since they're rather boring looking I tape clipart pictures and such of the items within the unit. It's nothing special, but it's something. I used to keep little trinkets around the room, but when I'd be in another room they'd go missing. Now I have some of these rubber monkey things that students made in tech. and gave me. They're starting to accumulate on the window sill, but oh well. In my old classroom I had string tied from one wall to the other and hung student work on that, I loved that. Now of course I can't do that, but instead I'm making memory books. I'm going to take student work and put it into a scrap book (along with photos.) Hopefully this will help my room feel my cozey, in a few years. Another thing I'm really excited about is that I've been antique shopping and found TONS of discount newpaper clippings (including an original copy of "The Journal," displaying yellow journalism.) I plan on framing my finds, and placing them against the wall under the bulletin board, since I can't hang them.
     
  10. WorldTraveler

    WorldTraveler Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2007

    Thanks guys for all your help...love the idea of having the kids come up with their own class slogan! I guess I have to wait and see exactly what I can do when I can get into my room. I saw the room but, I didn't see what I had. I think of what my 6th grade classroom was like and it was rather boring.

    Also, any suggestions on things to do on the 1st couple days...does the school or grade usually have some kind of guide? I'm reading The First Six Weeks of School, but a lot of it is younger grades.

    Questions, questions, questions...such is the life of a 1st year teacher!!!
    Thanks again!
     
  11. WorldTraveler

    WorldTraveler Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2007

    Oh Historybuff...Im going to use the clipart on the drawers...I have nice wooden cabinet and drawers on one side of my room..thanks!
     
  12. Georgia"Teach"

    Georgia"Teach" Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2007

    I am not allowed to hang anything on my walls either. I am trying so hard to find brightly colored objects to place everywhere instead!

    At my school we have free standing metal closets. A fellow teacher told me that she puts magnets all over the closet and allows students to put work on "the fridge" that they are proud of. I am not sure if it will work, but I definitely plan on doing this! I think I'll put one of my college essays or recent work that I did to start the trend. Who knows, maybe it will catch on!
     
  13. CoachRyan

    CoachRyan Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2007

    it's middle school. decorate with the emergency fire escape path and class rules. Everything else is just something to get tore up and be money out of your pocket.


    However, with that said, I coach a LOT of things in the past couple of years and have a ton of school sports t-shirts that I don't wear anymore. I tack them up to the walls. I have a football wall, a wrestling wall, a track wall, team pictures on the walls. Schedules.

    Of course, tons of maps. Hurricane tracking charts, satellite pictures of the school showing it's progress and growth since it was built in 2000, (I even have satellite shots of the area, pre-construction when it was just woods, then halfway built, and so on.) Maps of the county we live in.
     
  14. KLily21

    KLily21 Companion

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    Sep 1, 2007

    Plants (fake or real) will give your room a colorful and healthy look.
     
  15. KLily21

    KLily21 Companion

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    Sep 1, 2007

    Decorating a middle school classroom can be a lot of fun, but finding store-bought age-appropriate bulletin boards and posters CAN be challenging.

    I love making my own posters! I try to make sure that most of my posters are educational. I put them all over my room- even the ceiling! I tell the kids that I know how hard it can be to pay attention for 48 minutes straight so if they're going to zone out for a minute or two they might as well be learning things as they look around the room.

    If you don't feel like you are artisitically inclined, have the students make posters for you! I've noticed that a lot of my students like to draw cartoon characters when they are doodling (Sponge Bob, anime characters, etc.) Tap in to that interest by doing a poster making assignment in which they can incorporate those characters. Or you could even reach out to specific students outside of class time, tell them that you are impressed with their talent and ask if they would be willing to make some classroom posters. (I think I would have burst with pride if a teacher had asked me to do that when I was a student!)

    Word walls are also great.
    Christmas lights, too

    I love to hear how all of you decorate your classrooms! Any more ideas???
     
  16. jwhitg

    jwhitg Rookie

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    Sep 1, 2007

    Don't let the kids fool you - they are still big kids at heart and they love color. I have overheard many students say they don't like a bland room. I love plants and have them everywhere - fake and real. I also have a chair, lamp, curtains and tablecloths to make it seem more "homey." It seems to work well for my kids since I teach in a very low income area. It just makes them feel more comfortable.
    Research also says the best colors to use are blues and yellows, steering clear of red. Red, from what they say, has a agitating effect, while blue is calming.
    On the first few days, teach routine over and over. It will make a smoother year!

    Good luck!!
     
  17. Ms. Geography

    Ms. Geography Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2007

    My 7th grade classroom

    My classroom has something on every wall...I've got framed posters, framed photos, shelves that hang on the wall with various items on them, and my color theme is blue (I have blue desk chairs). I've had a variety of themes over the years and my former students always enjoy looking to see what I've changed or added from year to year.

    Your students would enjoy a sports themed room. You could have a school spirt area and post the schedules for the high school teams, put up the school mascot, Alma Mater, use your school colors throughout the classroom (or your favorite teams), get some pennants from your team and put them around the room; get some pom poms and use them in your decorating; pick up some scrapbook items that are sports related and use them on your rules or on your bullentin board. Start collecting mascots items to display. I have several Razorback items displayed in my room, along with UCA Bears (the university where my son plays football) and Devil Dog/Pup items (our mascot). There is a lot you can do with sports.

    The main thing is that if you are comfortable with your room then the kids will be too.
     

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