Theme or no theme?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by hawkteacher, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    Aug 4, 2008

    I'm curious --- theme or no theme?

    Are you the type of teacher that uses a theme to decorate/organize your room? How deep does the theme go into your classroom? Do you change your theme? How often do you change it?

    Or . . .

    Are you the type of teacher who doesn't use a theme at all to decorate your room? How do you choose to decorate your room if you don't use a theme?

    Thanks in advance for sharing!
     
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  3. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Aug 4, 2008

    There's no "right" way. But I'm a "no theme" person. I do think themed rooms look so very nice. But I just go with clean and brightly colored. :cool:
     
  4. gab

    gab Comrade

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    I've done both. The last few years I've not had a theme. I decorate with posters regarding reading, the colors, numbers, math charts, word walls, student work, etc.

    Themes I've done in the past were: under the sea, farm, and rainforest.
     
  5. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I generally DO NOT have a theme. I have a color scheme. I decorate my front door. I do a different thing on the front door each year, and that sort of dictates the color scheme.

    Simple example: One year I did the clothes line with t-shirts on the front door. Each child's name was on one of the shirts. Then, when they read books during the year, they cut out another shirt, wrote a review on it and hung it up in the reading area. That was the extent of my t-shirt theme.

    This year I am doing a "Going Green" theme. The door will have leaves on it, with each child's name on it. I bought folders for writer's workshop that are green and say reduce, reuse, recycle. The partner chart will have leaves on it too. Everything else is normal.

    Most of my room is just colorful and friendly!
     
  6. storyh

    storyh Companion

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    Aug 4, 2008

    I did not do a theme last year, but am wanting to do a hunting/camo theme this year. I am trying to come up with a "slogan", but all I can think of is 2nd graders are hunting for knowledge. I have a camo chair I am prob going to put in my room but that is as far as I have gotten. Any ideas would be appreciated.
     
  7. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    I always have a theme on the wall outside in the hallway. Inside my room, though I decorate in primary colors. I do have a lot of sun, kite, flowers, bees inside my room though.
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I have a theme for my welcome back bulletin board (in the hallway) but not for my room. I'm sure themes are nice and all, but to me they just don't seem to be worth all the effort. I like to keep it bright and cheerful.
     
  9. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ Companion

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    Our school has a different theme that we vote on. Last year most teachers over spent so much with curtains and borders. It was way over done. We now have a new theme and I am not too crazy about it. I love the theme idea, however I would like to keep it for a couple of years before changing it.
     
  10. mjennings

    mjennings Companion

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    Aug 4, 2008

    I got with themes

    I teach 1st grade and I find that the kids catch on to having a theme in the classroom. I usually decorate my room to match the theme but I dont go overboard.

    My newsletters, calendar, nametags, bulletin board borders, jobs usually are tied in.

    This year our whole 1st grade is doing a jungle/rainforest theme. Each of the 6 teachers are taking an animal. Monkey, birds, frogs, insects, snakes, and I have fish. So im trying to think of ways to deocate my room since you really dont see many fish in the jungle/rainforest. Any ideas would be great!

    But here is what I plan on doing so far....
    the kids will be "Swimming for Success!"
    my "star" student will be the "Catch of the Week!"
    my newsletter might be "Fishy News" not too sure about that one!

    Any suggestions or ideas. The one thing Im struggling with is my behavior plan. I want to put each of the kids names on fish and every time they misbehave they will have to move their fish but I dont know whether to draw the fish in a fish bowl (which really doesnt go with the theme) or have them swimming in the river. What do you think? :woot:
     
  11. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    This is the first year I will be doing a theme in my room and I have to say, I am LOVING my classroom! I think the theme really brings it all together and it allows me to be creative and come up with some new ideas that I otherwise wouldn't have done. Was it a lot of work to do? Yes, but only because I'm the type of person that has to have everything be perfect or it'll drive me crazy. With the money I've invested into this theme, I will not be changing it for awhile.
     
  12. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    My short attention span runs over into my classroom. I've always just done bright colors in the past, but this year I was inspired. I have a Harry Potter reading area, a frog 'Writing Pad' (writing area), and a tropical morning meeting area. Our science theme is Magic Schoolbus, as I'm going to try to use those books instead our of terribly out of date textbook. Our over-arching 'theme' is Mrs. Uppman's Undercover Agents, so we're investigating all year. We have the Super Slueths club, and magnifying glasses on our of our postcards and magnets from Vista Print. I'm kind of all over the place, but I think it's really going to come together.
     
  13. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    I'm a first year teacher and as cute as I find themes, I just can't devote that amount of time and enery to coordinating everything in my classroom (which is strange b/c I am the type of person that loves to coordinate). I figured it would be more work for me in my first year of teaching. I have a color scheme though - bright orange, bright yellow, lime green, and bright blue (not sky blue, but a tropical blue). I'm also going to use accents of black in my classroom such as black gingham or black polka dot material here and there.
     
  14. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I don't think a first year teacher should worry about a theme. What a lot of work!! Wait until you get down the basics, then focus time on adding the details around the room, if you want. I am not even sure a theme really enhances the actual outcome of the students in the classroom, or just boosts morale.
     
  15. Deb06

    Deb06 Companion

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    Last year I did a beach theme and this year I will be doing a 50's/Rock and roll theme. I really enjoy decorating the classroom, and the kids seem to enjoy it as well. :)

    There has been a year where the school was late on waxing the floors, and I didn't want to push myself to try to decorate for a theme, but if it's definitely worth it if there's sufficient time.
     
  16. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    I'm glad to read that there is a mix of people who do themes and people who don't. At this point in my life as a teacher, I don't have the time (or the brain capacity for that matter) to be that creative. I go with bright colors and try to make the room seem as organized, open and approachable as possible. I was worried that I was somehow lacking because I didn't have a theme, so it's a big relief to realize that we all decorate in different ways!
     
  17. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    The only reason I'm doing 'themes' this year is because I have a lot of downtime with my office job. If I had come off from teaching last year, I do not think I would have the energy to do it. But I have enough created from my past few years of teaching, and enough downtime at the moment, that I can work on it. I don't know any other teachers personally who do/did themes, though. Although I never really wandered classrooms at my last elementary. I guess one guy did sports. But that was it.
     
  18. Grace

    Grace Companion

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    Last year I had a loose garden theme. I naturally gravitated towards things with flowers and nature, and this year I have added a little bit more to fulfill that theme. I haven't centered everything around the theme, but I think I might add a little more as time goes on.
     
  19. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    I do not do a theme. Last year I had some Dr. Suess welcome characters and name tags. (It just kind of happened that way) So I went with reds and blues on the bulletin boards.

    This year I just wrote out handprint desk plates and I wrote out name tags (that they wear) on plain white label stickers that I will stick to matching paper and I have handprint stickers I'll use. But, that's the extent of it. I will go with matching colors for other things.

    For the most part I have primary colors in my room. I change bulletinboard borders as the mood strikes. I don't have a bb outside my room so I don't do a class names welcome bb. I did manage to acquire a bb down the hall a bit last year to display student work. We'll see if I get to do that again this year.
     
  20. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Aug 5, 2008

    I decided on a no theme classroom for my first year. I realized that if I themed my classroom, I would have probably spent enough money to make up a month's rent for my apartment.

    The teacher I'm taking over for was kind enough to leave me ALOT of stuff--- so right now I have plenty to work with. I'm going to choose soothing blues and greens to decorate my bulletin boards, but otherwise the only decorating I'm going to do is putting up my student's work. Those are truly pieces of art :)

    But don't get me wrong... I LOVE theme ideas. Right now I'm trying to focus more on getting my classroom organized and usable for me and the students.
     
  21. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Aug 5, 2008

    I have a theme of polka dots. I like it because it doesn't really limit me to one thing and I have solids and stripes mixed in with the dots. I have incorporated dots by using dot wall stickers, two different kinds of dot fabric/borders on my BBs, and a rug with dots, lamp with dots.
     
  22. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    I had all intentions on doing a theme this year (Zoo theme). But that idea fell apart b/c I could not seem to come up with zoo ideas. So, my them is now mixed. I just came up with some general "cute" ideas for my word wall and bulletin boards. Some have trains and some are lady bugs:)
     

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