HS Classroom Decor - What do you do?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ku_alum, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    When I visit other classrooms (e.g. County-wide inservice), I love to see other classroom decor. What do you have in your classroom?

    I'll start with a description of mine:

    - University of Kansas Jayhawk stuff (this sparks love or rivalry from my students ... either way, a foundation of a relationship ... some students can't wait to see me in the morning after KU takes a beating on the field). Plus, I have seniors, and we talk college a LOT.
    - Band posters (Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, Jewel, Lenny Kravitz) ... again, conversation starters ... even my most shy kids can usually talk about their favorite music.
    - Novel movie posters - have you seen these from Teacher's Discovery (I LOVE THEM!). I have one for Night, The Great Gatsby, The Crucible and Beowulf. They are posters about the novel but look like movie posters.
    - Banned book poster - got this from Teacher's Discovery, too.
    - Song Lyrics poster - again, Teacher's Discovery, focus on poetry but use lyrics from Johnny Cash, 2Pac, LeAnne Ryhmes, Avril Lavine
    - Canterbury Tales poster
    - Large bulletin board with folders full of materials from area colleges
    - A couple of inspirational posters
    - Bulletin board of student news
     
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  3. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    I am interested in seeing what others have to say. I'll post more later. Must go jump on the trampoline with kids now.
     
  4. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I am always revamping what I have in my classroom

    * I have one BB "What's happening at XHS" - academics, sports, kids in the newspaper, good stuff involving our students or school
    * 2 BB's - "why study history" and "why study geography" - I start the beginning of the year with these and add current event stuff that makes connections with what we are currently studying
    * lots of pictures of old maps, inspirational posters
    *one informational door of my storage closet - monthly calendar of events, monthly menu
     
  5. Weazy

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    I have reading and writing posters, novel movie posters, and insprational posters; most purcheased through Teacher's Discovery. I love TD!! I have purchased many texts from TD as well. I also have the kids make nametags (without names) the first day and I hang those up. I have a bulletin board with my favorite college team, and yes, it sparks many conversations, which was my goal. This is the board where I hang lunch menu, college info, etc.
     
  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I teach MS, not HS, but my classroom decor could easily fit in a HS. My classroom theme is "Keepin' it Real" and I find posters or make them to reflect real life uses (and applicable to their lives, as urban kids) of the topics we're studying in Math.
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Oh, forgot to list this in my original post ... my white board is magnetic. I have one of those magnetic poetry kits ... my students LOVE this.
     
  8. eCubed

    eCubed Companion

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    For me, I like to have plants, an aquarium, and a cage with a hamster or a bird inside to start.

    If the school has a strong school spirit (sports fans and/or competitive music program), then I would use the school colors as background/border colors.

    For general design, I personally like to push for Web 2.0 design. Among the easiest to implement with construction paper and other conventional media are:

    1. Rounded corners for boxes. (Emphasize that circles of different radii do play some nice tricks in design.)
    2. Central column layout. (This turns into a nice exercise when you want students to write an expression for the width of the gutter in terms of the entire board's width and the column's width)
    3. Create a prominent heading, not just bold, big letters using the same background as the content. (It's eye-catching and communicative.)

    Look at people's MySpace pages or pay closer attention to the designs and layouts of the webpages you visit. There are lots of awesome ideas waiting for implementation in classroom decor.
     
  9. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My classroom is all Simpsons. I teach English, and I found a book of the Simpsons versions of famous art. I have them on a wall marked "Allusions".
     
  10. GatorGal

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    -This year I had a giant University of Florida flag hanging on the wall an other various UF memorabilia around the room. I agree with ku_alum, it definitely starts a foundation for a relationship.
    -I also made a "Meet Your Teacher" bulletin board, where I put pictures from my personal life--my dog, cat, DH, wedding, places I've traveled, favorite quotes, etc.
    -silk plants
    -poster of the "transparent eyeball" from Emerson (my favorite:up:)

    The rest of the room I just had student work plastered from top to bottom. I'm so lucky I had a student aide to continuously rotate new things. :)

    This summer I am definitely going to find some more decorative pieces. I'll check out Teacher's Discovery.
     
  11. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Because we have new rooms, they won't let us put stuff on the walls (bummer!!). However, I do have 5 small bb and one large bb. Because I'm in a MAT program, my large bb is used for a word wall that my practicum prof wants-(but after Decemeber I'm done with her so I can do what I want with it:D )
    Last year I started out having one bb for imp. info-evacuation routes, lunch menu..etc.; one for what is going on in the school with students and activities, one that is 'mine' behind my desk that i can add stuff i need to have quickly, one has the election process and how many delegates in each state etc, the last is a perm. one which i'll be continuing this year-it says american heros (everyday heros) and shows a teacher, firefighter things of that nature, very patriotic/americana, which I love. I have two bb with the school colors as borders and the others are various forms of American flags/americana themed. I had 2 plants, i'm going to get a few more..cause one died and one is close, and i'd like to have a floor plant. I am an Ohio State Fan so I have some items of that-it is a good convo starter since I teach in Kentucky and most are UK fans-heehee.
    I am revamping how I want my room to look this year with the bb's. I will probably have one more permanent bb that will be used for activities the students will do in class, a place for me to hold their handouts for the activities. My room is a good size, but, I have 32 chairs/desks so that limits my space-at some point if I'm able to teach AP classes, which are smaller-i'll get rid of some and make a nice reading nook with beanbags. We have 2 computer tables in the room and those take up space too (however I'm grateful to get 4 brand new computers in my room!) I am one of the more colorful decorators in my SS department..and probably in the school last year. I like brightness and color, the kids do as well. I try to have air fresheners in the room. I get alot of compliments on how nice it smells in my room (a big plus for me!!) I'm a hs teacher, with a elem school flair for decorating! Sometimes I have to remind myself not to get to young for my students :D I'm still in thought process of how my complete room will look next year.
     
  12. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    Wow! That's a lot of bulletin boards. I have one and a 'runner' over my board. I'm thinking of decorating my door this year. No one else at school does that and I think it would be fun.
     
  13. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Jun 11, 2008

     
  14. Historyteaching

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    The principal won't let us use anything. To be honest, between the bb, the smartboard and my two dry erase boards, I don't have much 'bare wall' left. Each of our new rooms are different as far as the bb/dry erase combo..depending on the layout of the room. All of us have smartboard/dry erase/bb..some may have fewer bb and 2 big/1 little dry erase..things like that. As a hs teacher, not many decorate their doors either (not sure if they want us too) but elemenary schools do alot.
     
  15. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    The door to my room has a small poster with my name on it, and I have a reading poster just beneath that. I really don't decorate the door.
     
  16. Ms. Geography

    Ms. Geography Comrade

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    Classroom

    Wal Mart sells a product called Hardwall that are little or big, depending on how much weight you need it to hold. They are little plastic hangers will small nails that will easily hammer into concrete walls and leave very small holes if removed. I love them for hanging things in the classroom that are framed.

    I have one wall with two large decorative shelves these are attached to the wall (thanks to my husband) and I put items on one of them like an African mask, knick-knacks from Mexico; the second has a print of an American eagle with the US flag in the backgroud and a print of Mr. and Mrs. GW Bush dancing (got that from the local Republican party and will have to find a new one at the end of the year). Many of the students ask why do I have the Bush's on my wall, it's simple, he's our president! I have one of those small cloth covered bb for putting up my family photos, plus a small bb for my teacher stuff - calendar, reminders of meetings, cards or such from the students. I have 4 clocks above the whiteboard with the time zones across the continental US.

    I have several framed posters and I purchased the frames at Wal Mart; one teacher print that my husband had framed for me; the have to have's on the wall such as fire drill; tornado drill; and rules. I have some prints of Rockwell's that I framed and have in a grouping. One wall has a large chalkboard on it and since it's magnetic I hang my Bloom's poster on it along with some other Bloom's stuff; have my University of Arkansas poster there too. I also have a picture of one of my former students (autographed) who plays for the Razorbacks, and a 'scrapbook' type poster that I made of one of my former students who will be playing for Tennessee. This is also where I put pictures of the students when they give them to me. My main bb at the front of the room has a calendar for the students and is decorated with school spirit stuff.

    Above the chalkboard is where I have my word wall. I do have a lot on my walls, but since I'm the one that painted my room, and I work for a principal who likes decorations, I have no problems in doing my room my way.
     
  17. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    It's just the ugliest door I have ever seen. It's literally the color of mudd. I found these really cute wall stickers that are astronauts and stars and I thought I would do a shoot for the stars thing on my door. But I also don't want to appear too elementary. I don't know.

    In my room my bulletin board going to have a disco dancer on it and say "English is Groovy" then in a thought bubble he's going to say "Write On". I thought it would be fun. I also have a Police poster from last year's tour, a Sting poster that says Read, and a slew of the Apple "Think Different" posters. Oh and my Globe Theatre poster (it's an interior view). I almost forgot I also have a timeline of Shakespeare's life on it with his picture superimposed on top.
     
  18. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Sumnerfan, for my door, I get a large posterboard (maybe 3.5 x 6) and re-create the cover of the novel we are reading. After my first one I painted, The Great Gatsby, I didn't think students really cared about it, no one mentioned it. But, when we started our next novel, my kiddos said, "when are you going to paint the book cover for your door?" So, I did it for all of the novels we read.
     
  19. GatorGal

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    How cute and creative, ku_alum!

    Isn't it funny how they seem to notice all the small things?
     
  20. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    We're encouraged to keep down "clutter" on our walls and use only curriculum posters . . . and to refer to them in our lesson plans--that way we can keep them up during state testing. I have mine divided by type--writing, reading, grammar, management, character. I try to pull all that together by using similar colors on my bookshelf covers, tablecloths, floor covers, storage bins, etc.
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I cover my bulletin board with a fun blue/black/purple-with-silver-stars fabric. I use the same fabric to make a curtain for my door window.

    Near my desk I hang small posters of my favorite bands/singers--mostly Morrissey, but next year I'll also add Underworld and Radiohead.

    On the walls I have several posters promoting Latin, a huge Italian flag (it was the closest thing to ancient Rome I could find!), a poster outlining the expectations/topics of study for the AP Latin exam, and a large world map.

    Since I'll be AVID next year, I'll also have numerous university banners on display.

    On the way out the door, kids see a small poster with Uncle Sam and it says, "I want you...to practice every day!"
     
  22. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    cassie753, I was recently on art.com and they had several Radiohead posters.
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Thanks for the info! :)
     
  24. DocHistory11

    DocHistory11 Rookie

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    Since I teach history, I have fake "artifacts." I bought 5 "African Tribal Masks" from the local flee market for $50 and hung them above my board. Then, on the other wall, I have a mural depicting George Washington Crossing the Delaware (for my U.S. Classes). The art dept. painted a mural in each classroom. Next, I have my BB decorated with student projects from the first day of school (they had to create a small poster about themselves). I,too, was told not to hang posters on the wall, so I hang them from the ceiling in the back of the room. The only problem comes when there's a breeze.
     
  25. Geographynut

    Geographynut Rookie

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    you all are giving me lots of cool ideas!
    I buy a lot of stuff from World Market like hanging lights and fabrics that I hang around the room. I also have a lot of UTEP stuff and basketball posters (I love women's basketball!).
    We are also lucky to live right on the Mexican border, so I have acquired stuff like rugs and little statues of gods that the students love. But right now it's too dangerous to go, so I'll have to wait to get more stuff from there.
    I never thought about posters of the bands I like! I think I may try to find a few of those this year too, thanks for the idea!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2008
  26. Jayemsi5

    Jayemsi5 Rookie

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    I just got hired as a high school business teacher today! I'm so excited about putting together my classroom, and of course just like Geographynut, I too am looking forward to displaying my UTEP pride! Please keep the decorating ideas coming! I love reading them :)
     
  27. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    As a culinary arts instructor, I collect restaurant menus and put them up on the wall. I also have an FDA food pyramid, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) posters, and student recruitment posters from various culinary arts colleges including the CIA, the Culinary Institute of America.

    Since I make soap products that look like real food, I have a display of my soaps in a corner of the culinary arts lab.

    Pictured below is one of my hamburger soaps complete with condiments, lettuce, tomato, and pickle ... all of which were handcrafted from oil & lye or glycerin based soaps.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. greatestteacher

    greatestteacher Rookie

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    I love your ideas, Chef Dave! I, too, am going to be an electives teacher next year teaching HS for the first time. I'm so anxious! Here's my question, though, how do you handle decorations if you're sharing a classroom? Any thoughts?
     
  29. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    The best thing to do would be to talk to the other teacher. If you talk to the other teacher, you could come up with a common agreement regarding:

    * location of desks including the teachers' desk

    * location of any tables for small group work or teacher materials along with the location of commonly used teacher supplies and the audiovisual cart

    * bulletin boards ... ideally you should each have one.

    * decor (if any) ... as mentioned in this thread, many high school teachers don't decorate their rooms.
     
  30. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Is this a classroom that is equally shared by your and one other teacher or do you float from one classroom to another?
     
  31. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    When I floated I put student work in the hall outside the room and left everything else up to the primary teacher. In some ways it was very nice. I didn't have to worry about decorating anything.
     
  32. greatestteacher

    greatestteacher Rookie

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    I'm not sure since the schedule isn't solidified just yet but I think I'll be going back and forth between two classrooms, one of which is my own, and one of which I will share. I don't think I'll like it, but I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about it.
     
  33. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    My favorite addition to my room’s wall has been a poster. My ecology class has been doing this awesome water quality project. I am a nut about taking pictures, so towards the end of the year I took a bunch of my pictures and made a poster out of them (I had it professionally printed).

    The kids love it! They brought friends from other classes into my room to show it off. I had younger students looking at the poster knowing that they could participate in this project in the future.

    I even ordered an extra poster to give to the school board (we have a really small district).

    To see a copy of my poster:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonandbev-adams/2442354904/
     
  34. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    Cool poster. Was it expensive?
     
  35. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Deserttrumpet, how much did it cost you to get the poster printed? What an AWESOME idea!
     
  36. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    I love the idea! I also have to watch the cost. How much?
     
  37. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    I used Qoop to make the poster, which has different sizes. Shipping was a bit high. Cost runs from $10 for a small 11" x 14" to $40 for a 30"x40" poster. The quality of print was awesome.

    www.qoop.com
     
  38. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Have each student paint one ceiling tile!
    Add curtains even if you don't have windows.
     
  39. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Well, I'm teaching for the first year next year, but they told me I'd have my own room.
    -I want one BB to show the relevance of Spanish so I'm doing a red carpet bulletin board showing a bunch of celebrities who speak Spanish.
    -I want a magazine rack because I have some Spanish language magazines (People en Español, Sports Illustrated Latino, TV y Novela, Latina, Men's Health en Español [racy articles removed]) to try to encourage exposure to the target language.
    -College Corner: Sweatshirt, license plate and pendant flag from my university, study abroad brochures for spanish speaking countries
    -Posters for Spanish Language movies and bands and singers that sing in Spanish (Nelly Furtado, Shakira, Daddy Yankee, etc.)
    -Mini Flags for Spanish speaking countries (including the U.S. of course, even though Spanish is not an official language [neither is English for that matter])
    -Some souvenirs from my study abroad trip to Mexico: A marionette (un títere), a sombrero with Mexico stitched on it, some sand pictures of the Aztec Calendar and one of Don Quijote, a student newspaper from the university I studied that had a front page article about our study abroad program, some glass soda bottles (jarritos- hecho en Mexico)
    -Some magazine covers that I made in Flickr using my study abroad pictures

    That's all I've thought of so far.
     
  40. greatestteacher

    greatestteacher Rookie

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    Not to be argumentative, but English is an official language of the US.

    http://www.coxwashington.com/hp/content/reporters/stories/2007/06/07/BC_IMMIGRATION07_2NDLD_COX.html

    I think your ideas for decorating are great! I'm teaching a language too, so I'm going to use some of the ideas, especially the "famous people that use" ASL bulletin board. Interesting. Thanks!
     
  41. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    oh, cool! I took ASL in high school and loved it! You should try to find a poster from "Children of a Lesser God" Marley Matlin (<---I'm almost positive that's spelled wrong, lol). That was a great movie. And maybe you could get a picture of her on Dancing with the Stars. And maybe you could get some promotional materials from Galludet University. lol. Can you tell I'm kind of ADD with my ideas. I keep a small note pad with me so I can write down ideas before my mind bounces to the next thing.
     

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