HELP! Decorating the Classroom

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by ansherwo, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. ansherwo

    ansherwo New Member

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    Oct 30, 2007

    Hey Yall!

    I am so excited- I just got hired as a first grade teacher! This will be my first year teaching ( I just graduated college)

    I am observing tomorrow ( Wed) and Thursday, and on Friday I can begin setting up my classroom. I have picked out a theme, I am going to do a Jungle theme, but I only have 2 days to set up a class and I don't know where to even begin! If anyone has any tips or advice as to what direction I should start in that would be FABULOUS.

    Oh, and any other tips in general would be ICING on the cake.

    Thanks guys, I cant wait to learn so much from all of you!

    Ashley
     
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  3. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Oct 30, 2007

    I personally think the best decorations are projects the kids do. Perhaps you can have them do self-portraits and do a writing project by way of introducing themselves to you. Also maybe some type of project involving their names.

    A jungle theme is cool but perhaps something more seasonal and do a jungle theme later in the year??? I would probably leave the classroom pretty much as it is in terms of set up to give the kids time to transition and then make changes gradually. It is tempting to change everything because it is your classroom now and you are excited, but having some things the same will be more comfortable for the kids.
     
  4. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Nov 4, 2007

    Yes, definitely decorate the room with their work as much as possible. I teach 1st grade as well and as far as decorations I dont have that many. I have a lot of things up that were there from last yr like posters that go over things such as colors, shapes, letters, etc. I have my behavior management and my helping hands stuff in the back of the room. Then I have my bulletin board which has their Math meeting stuff on it. Other than that that's all I have. Don't spend too much time worrying over decorations. Make sure you have supplies and things that you need. Thats what's most important. To be honest with you, my students dont usually pay attention to anything I have up, except on holidays when I decorate for that.
     
  5. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Nov 5, 2007

    You should check with the school too and see if they have a school wide theme. I know one of our local schools has the theme "treasure" this year.

    It is a lot of fun to decorate the classrooom! :) I teach high school but I think my inner elementary school teacher comes out when I decorate! However, I usually just put up the initial decorations-after that my students do all the decorating. It is not how I would like it but my students do feel a lot of ownership! In fact, my eight graders just made themselves a bulletin board and labeled it "the eight grade hall of fame". They put up everyone of their bloody illustrations of a Tell-tale heart. Aren't they cute? But they are so proud of themselves so that is what is important.

    I don't know if that would work with first graders though.
     
  6. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Nov 8, 2007

    I'm a new first grade teacher as well! :) I was hired a week and a half before the school year started, and had to spend some of those days in workshops and orientation, so I only had a few days to set up also.

    I'm a very visual person- neat, attractive appearances and environments are extremely important to me. Going into my classroom, I had grand ideas of how I wanted my room to look-- and over a few days, I watched my ideas fizzle as reality hit (and it hit HARD). I practically had a nervous breakdown- trying to set up the room, plan my first days, and take in the curriculum. I had to accept that there was NO WAY my room would be the way I wanted it by the time school started.

    So, I got things in order (cleaning took up most of my time). And I concentrated on the curriculum instead. It's now November, and my room STILL isn't the way I want it! There is still stuff I have not gone through. But that's okay.

    I guess what I'm trying to say- is prioritize. Like many of the other teacher's said, use the children's work to decorate the room. The basics are number line, letter cards, job chart, birthday chart, colors, shapes, rules, consequences, hundreds chart, calendar, weather wheel, straw pocket chart (hundreds-tens-ones: to count days of school), and a few charts like: short/long vowels, word families, blends/digraphs, punctuation, time, money. addition, subtraction, and a word wall.

    I started with the bare basics, and am still changing and purchasing new things. :) DJ Inkers is one of my favorite companies... google it for REALLY cute bulletin boards, borders, accents, etc. You can also buy great decorations anytime from Carson Dellosa, Trend Enterprises, Really Good Stuff, Becker's... etc. (Just google the names to find them, they all have websites).

    The Mailbox has great books about bulletin boards (google "Mailbox Magazine")...

    *On a side note- for File Folder Games, check out Carson Dellosa's books, and for envelope/bag centers, check out Evan-Moore books.

    Not sure what kind of reading program your school uses, but get familiar with it! :) My school uses Open Court Reading, which is phonics based (which is completely different from everything I learned in college). Colleges tend to stress best practices like learning centers, guided reading, literature circles, etc- but unfortunately, a lot of districts do not incorporate these things into their curriculum. It's up to the teacher to find the means and ways to do that, which is next to impossible for a first year teacher still learning the curriculum. However, there's a lot of resources out there to make it easier! Search like crazy (www.busyteacherscafe.com is another great site), ask your fellow teachers tons of questions, and invest in materials like high frequency word cards...

    Wow, that was a long post! I know that I'm not a seasoned teacher yet, however, just wanted to let you know that I understand how you feel, and if you want any advice from someone who has been through it only in recent time, please feel free to pm me.

    Good luck, and have fun! 1st grade is awesome!!!

    * www.mspowell.com is also a great site about management ideas.

    * "First Class Teacher", "Assertive Discipline", "The Organized Teacher", and "The First Days of School" are great books!
     
  7. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Nov 8, 2007

    Wear comfortable shoes.

    Thanksgiving break is just a few days away and that will give you time to do lots of the extras.
     

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