What's with all these cutsie themes?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Sarge, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jun 22, 2010

    Nobody does anything like that at my school.

    Our "theme" is based on whatever unit we are studying at the time. So I might put up pictures of race cars, bikes and airplanes during our "things that go" unit. etc. Same for our units on Weather, Animals, and Journeys.

    Are these room decorating themes or do they actually become part of the curriculum?
     
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  3. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Jun 22, 2010

    I don't truly have a theme....I have lots of apples around, but I wouldn't call it a theme....
     
  4. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    The one year I did themes, they were purely decorating themes. This year we're doing a year-long study on space and California history, so I think I'll pick one of those to kind of focus my efforts on in terms of ideas. My decorating theme this year is basically 'green'-as much natural material as possible, with an emphasis on re-using in unique ways.

    But mostly the themes you read about on here, Sarge, are just decorating themes. ;)
     
  5. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Yeah, I don't get it either. My last school was big into themes like Alice in Wonderland, movie theater, and disco party. They had nothing to do with the curriculum, and seemed like a waste of time to me. They were supposed to make the students feel comfortable in the room. I prefer to spend my time and energy on the curriculum. :)
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Some people spend their time and energy on curriculum...and then more on decor and themes. And I think that's great! You certainly don't have to have an actual theme, but I remember fondly the elementary rooms I most loved.
     
  7. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I don't do a theme either. I'm not big on decorating-even at home.
     
  8. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jun 23, 2010

    Yep. I love spending my free time on the classroom. When you're riding your bike, Sarge, I'm thinking up design schemes for the classroom. ;)

    It doesn't mean we put less time into planning out our units of study or working on the academic side-we just use our free time on the extras!!
     
  9. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I was thinking the same thing, but I am a secondary teacher so I am sure that's why. I've never actually been inside a classroom with a theme, besides when I was in elementary school and we did units and we (the students) decorated the classroom to go along with the unit.

    I do see how it would make it a pleasant learning environment, especially for the younger guys. Too many decorations overwhelm my special ed. students. It's also a lot more money. I can see why people do it, and it is really cute, just not for me :)
     
  10. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    So glad to hear that not everyone does themes for their classroom. I simply do not have extra money (we don't even get a budget for our classrooms anymore) OR any "free time". = ( I would love to be able to, though....
     
  11. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Jun 23, 2010

    None of my own teachers when I was growing up had a classroom theme and I don't know anyone in my current school with a theme. Some are much better at coordinating things than others, but no real themes. I don't think there is anything wrong with themes at all, and I do think a nice environment is a good thing, but I just don't know anyone IRL who uses one.
     
  12. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jun 23, 2010

    I had a gardening theme my first year of teaching. It was kinda fun. We had little buckets on the tables with their supplies, a shovel on the wall by the students writing that said "dig into writing" and a bulletin board with their photos that said "watch our Kinder garden grow!" and really pretty glazed pots held some supplies- It looked good. Haven't done one since, although, everything I bought for next year, cubbie tags, welcome bulletin board, desk plates, homework and birthday posters, has bears or owls, so my theme could be forest animals :D
     
  13. WestCoast Teach

    WestCoast Teach Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2010

    I personally love themes and have seen so many adorably creative and inspiring pictures of classrooms on this site! Funny timing, I use a frog theme in my classroom and overheard one of my students talking to another today mentioning how they wanted to buy me a 'frog-themed' end of the year present becuase ...."SHE REALLLLLLLLLY LOVeS FROGS!!!!" lol. I wonder if they think I have a weird obsession with frogs?!?! Cute.
     
  14. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Being a Montessori teacher, we don't use themes for decorating the classroom, either. In fact, part of our philosophy is simplicity, and so we want to make everything as visually uncluttered as possible. We do hang pictures on the walls and the children hang up their own artwork as the year progresses, but nothing like what I've seen on here.
     
  15. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    My understanding has been that research has shown that students with FAS or FAE or ADHD often find decorations in the room to be far too distracting, so I keep decorating to a minimum.
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Themes aren't common in classrooms here--discussions here have been my only exposure to it.
     
  17. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Jun 23, 2010

    Some teachers at my school go over-the-top with themes and decor for their classrooms. Others decorate sparingly.

    To each his/her own I guess. :)

    I like to make the children feel safe and welcome in my classroom, so I try to create a "kid friendly" enviornment where the children will feel free to learn, thrive, and grow. :)
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I had never heard of them before seeing them here.
     
  19. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2010

    I used themes, but as a way to tie together the odds and ends of my classroom. The cubby tags, hook tags, helper chart, behavior chart, and desk tags visually tied together. I had high windows that were blinding when the sun poured through. The year I did an animal theme, I used animal print tissue paper to cover the window. My intro. letter that went to the students in the summer matched the theme, as well. Some teachers went to more trouble, some less.
     
  20. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    As someone with ADHD myself, this has always been my line of thought. I would like to cutesy up my room a little with some bright rugs, but I know I would be overwhelmed and distracted in some of the rooms I look at. Plus, I get bored with one thing after a while, so I am afraid I would invest all this money in a theme, and then hate it by the end of the year!
     
  21. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 23, 2010

    I have to decorate my boards every year-it gives me some direction of where to go with it-otherwise I'm just buying a bunch of borders I think are pretty. Every year I use the theme too for our little library nook-I think it makes it more inviting for the kids to read. Last year I did pirates and used a small plastic turtle pool for their reading center-they loved it! We don't have many teachers at our school who do it, but we do have some.
     

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