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Old 06-20-2006, 05:31 PM
MrsCAD's Avatar
MrsCAD MrsCAD is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 207
7/8 Grade Classroom Decorating

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!

Old 06-20-2006, 06:18 PM
Aliceacc's Avatar
Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27,642
Math teacher

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")
Old 06-20-2006, 06:20 PM
Upsadaisy Upsadaisy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 17,701
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.
Old 06-20-2006, 06:36 PM
agsrule! agsrule! is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 159
Houston, Texas
7th Grade Teacher
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
Old 06-20-2006, 06:37 PM
Ima Teacher's Avatar
Ima Teacher Ima Teacher is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,151
Middle School Teacher
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.

Old 06-20-2006, 07:01 PM
Upsadaisy Upsadaisy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 17,701
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!
Old 06-20-2006, 09:44 PM
MrsCAD's Avatar
MrsCAD MrsCAD is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 207
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.
Old 06-21-2006, 06:29 AM
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adria adria is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 379
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.
Old 06-21-2006, 08:40 AM
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paperheart paperheart is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,351
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.
Old 06-21-2006, 10:46 PM
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scienceteach50 scienceteach50 is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 114
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.

7 or 8, classroom, decorating, grade

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