A Move Back to Themes

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by time out, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. time out

    time out Comrade

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    Jun 14, 2012

    So 4-5 years ago I decided to forgo classroom themes. In the past, I've had frogs/bugs and even western. Then I gradually moved towards color schemes like red and black and most recently, sage green and beige.

    Then while browsing for a bridal shower gift in Pier 1, I stumbled across this really cool sign - it was created on distressed wooden slats. Right away, I thought of the beach. Suddenly, I was thinking of all these ideas to create a rustic beach theme for the classroom, just off of this one piece.

    I know it's crazy to start thinking about this now, especially when school just let out last week for us. But you never know when inspiration's gonna hit.

    Is anyone else changing up their decor next year?
     
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  3. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jun 14, 2012

    Haven't decided yet, depends on what I find in the teacher supply stores this summer. (I had a NYC "theme" but no where near as intense as some of the themes I've seen here.)

    Part of the theme was that each table had a picture of a famous NYC landmark/place on it. It all came in a set. So the tables in the classroom were "Central Park", "Yankee Stadium", "Times Square." (I'm talking about it like it's in the past but I still have 8 1/2 days of school left haha.) Even though I laminated them, being taped to the center of their tables for 10 months, they're destroyed and will be thrown out next week when I clean the classroom.

    I bought the whole pack on clearance at some random teacher store I was at on vacation last year so I doubt I'll be able to find the same thing again. I like to change it up anyways. (Again, it wasn't as intense so it will be a lot easier for me to change it.) Although I can it taking me awhile getting used to new names for the tables.
     
  4. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Jun 15, 2012

    I've seen NYC theme stuff on Oriental Trading.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jun 15, 2012

    I want to do something along the lines of a detective theme. Since I focus so much on how to be reading detectives (looking at visual and textual clues to draw conclusions and make inferences), I thought this might be a fun theme for next year.
     
  6. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jun 15, 2012

    I've compiled pictures, tips and ideas for over 30 themes. I LOVE classroom themes!! If all goes well with my html skills, you should be able to link from the button. :) It's so hard to pick just one!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. time out

    time out Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2012

    I adore your website. I was actually browsing on there a little while ago. I love looking at other classrooms for ideas.

    @TamiJ: Scrappindoodles has some really cute detective clipart.

    @iteachbx: I bet the kids had a lot of fun with your NYC theme.

    So I picked up that sign that I saw at Pier 1. If it's even possible, I love it more now than when I saw it yesterday. I also ordered some adirondack chairs for my reading center. I can't wait to get back into the classroom!
     
  8. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    Jun 15, 2012

    I have never done a theme before, more just a color scheme. I want to do an actual theme though this year since I'm starting at a new school. I hope to find some inspiration this summer.
     
  9. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jun 16, 2012

    Thanks I'll have to look into that if I can't find anything at the store.
     
  10. believenachild

    believenachild Rookie

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    Jun 16, 2012

    Great ideas and pictures! Thanks for sharing. Kids love a themed classroom. It just makes more sense.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 16, 2012

    Thems can be fantastic fun...but I disagree they "make more sense".

    My "theme" in sixth grade is clean, organized, comfortable, colorful, and homey. More than once a student has actually thanked me for having such a space for learning. I doubt any of them felt bummed I didn't have an actual theme.

    Why do you feel themes makes more sense? And what does that really mean?
     
  12. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    Jun 16, 2012

    I have never done a theme before either and am confused with the "it makes more sense" comment. My classroom was beautiful, bright, welcoming, and I always got comments on how it looked. My students were never put out because I didn't have a specific theme to my room. I'd rather have an organized, cheery room, than a room filled with useless clutter that takes away from the organization and learning.
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jun 16, 2012

    Last year was my first year with a theme - I played up my love of the New Orleans Saints. I painted the lockers black, and found a few fleur-de-lis, plus added a few pieces of Saints memorabilia that I already had (not expensive stuff), and voila! Instant theme! I plan to continue the theme next year - I'm even painting my bookcases black (they don't show marks and any "dings" can be filled in with a magic marker :) ). It's especially fun for me because there is a 3rd grade teacher at my school who has begun a Dallas Cowboys theme, and we joke back and forth a lot about who has the best team.

    I find that I really like the "team" idea. I can discuss how homework or center work is practice, just like the football players have, and how football players who don't practice don't do well or even get cut from the team. I can discuss working together and building our team. There are many benefits that I won't go into here. I just hope that my wonderful Saints' legal issues :( ruin the effect. I have been a fan since their inception in 1965 and will continue until they are no more!
     
  14. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 16, 2012

    I certainly don't think a theme is necessary, but it helps gives me direction for setting up the classroom decorations. I also usually incorporate something they can learn from as well. Like I've done China (my word wall was on panda cut-outs-- 'Word Panda-monium', we had a Great Wall of Work, our bucket fillers were in take-out boxes, etc.).

    I'm going to have to figure out how to do it this year, we have a new building and aren't really supposed to be hanging up much, so I'll need to come up with something simple.
     
  15. Lionteacher

    Lionteacher Companion

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    Jun 18, 2012

    Not crazy, currently I am torn between two themes for next year. I am either going to go Hollywood with tickets, gold stars, and tickets or Americana since it is a presidential election year. I love themes because I also use the theme to head my bulletin boards so for example this year I did frogs and I had things such as leaping into history, ribbiting through good books, etc.
     
  16. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jun 19, 2012


    Oh my goodness, thanks for sharing that. I haven't had a chance yet to look up detective printables, but it was in my plans. Thanks for the link!
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jun 19, 2012

    I love the China theme idea.
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jun 19, 2012

    Last year, I started a color theme. I have a polka-dot rug, and I took the colors neon green and neon blue from the rug to use throughout my room (with black accents). This year I will be adding yellow, as well.

    It seems like every year I have a group with a lot of ADHD issues. Last year 1/3 of my class had ADHD (or strong, undiagnosed tendencies). Next year I am also going to have quite a few students with ADHD. The more calm, and less distracting, I can make my classroom the better!
     
  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jun 19, 2012

    I have always had the same problem with balancing decorations and kids with attention disorders. Simple is best, but I think one can achieve decor and class themes in such a way that is does not make the classroom itself too busy, nor distracting.
     
  20. believenachild

    believenachild Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2012

    themed classroom

    I have an ELA blocked classroom, 4th grade. Visuals are key for cognitive retention. My entire ELA curriculum has an underlying theme that focuses on the game of baseball. Speaking the same "language" ALL year has proven to help my students excel. Hope this makes sense.:)
     
  21. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Yes, I think it is definitely possible. Sometimes people go way overboard with themes, though. So much visual distraction!
     

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