Monday, August 4, 2014

Blasting Back to School: Giveaway and 5-Back to School Classroom Decorating Tips for a Time-Challenged Teacher



Are you ready for Back to School? I'm joining several other upper grade teachers to help you get ready for the next school year, and to give away some AWESOME prizes! You'll have the opportunity to win something different on each blog in our group, so make sure that you visit the next blog in the blog hop at the bottom of this page. To enter to win the HUGE gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers, visit our group blog, Lesson Delicatessen. Make sure you hop through all the blogs to read all the great back to school tips and be entered to win over 20 different prizes!

Everyone thinks teachers have it so easy...ten months of teaching and two months off!


Yeah, right!  Unless you have been an educator in a school building awaiting the arrival of a homeroom full of students, you truly have no idea what it is like to get a classroom ready for another school year!  Many of us are moved grade levels, classrooms, or to different buildings during the summer months, some right before the first day arrives, and the task of organizing an entire room is daunting.

On top of that add the fact that many of us have kiddos that we are juggling while we are tackling this endeavor.  Working for 10 months, and relaxing for 2 months is truly a legend.  I know my summer months are always filled with preparing for the next year, so here are a few tricks to help you get started and feel excited about the arrival of the new year...

#1:  FABRIC:  Use fabric on your bulletin boards.  I leave mine up for the year or longer and find that it doesn't show staple holes, or fade.  You can purchase inexpensive fabric at JoAnn Fabrics or Walmart.  Teacher discounts are available at Jo-Ann Fabrics, which is perfect for all of us who spend a fortune on supplies for our classrooms.



This is just a piece of red gingham fabric that cost a few dollars.  We have to post our CHAMPs procedures, so this is the perfect board to keep this classroom must-have in place.


#2: CLOTHESLINE:  Use a clotheline with clothespins for hanging student work, anchor charts, classroom posters, etc.  It is inexpensive and requires only hooks to hang. 


The clothesline serves a dual purpose...it holds all of our anchor charts for quick reference, as well as blocks some sunlight from our faces during the sunny morning hours.



#3:  ART WORK:  Use inexpensive IKEA frames to showcase thoughtful messages for your students around the classroom.  I downloaded these from:  http://www.technologyrocksseriously.com.  Click the image to find some of your favorites.   Here are a few of mine:


http://www.technologyrocksseriously.com/p/school-signs.html#.U81cobHYRco

I place these on bookshelves and in windowsills as reminders for my students.  The frames were $2 a piece and I printed out the colored copies on my home printer.  I have heard of people finding frames at yard sales and spray painting them as well.  If you want to reuse and recycle, that is a great plan, but I found this to be easier.

#4:  BOGGLE BOARD:  Have a spot in your classroom from the very first day where students can find something to work on when they finish early.  I find that in those very first days, I am really getting to know each of my new learners and some work much more quickly than others.  While I have a library FILLED with books, reading isn't always a task that my upper elementary kiddos are seasoned to do.  I have this...a Boggle board which for the first few weeks I utilize as an early finisher word work tool!





I found the letters on http://www.technologyrocksseriously.com  Click the image to find letters for you!  I printed them, took them to Staples to be laminated, backed them with Velcro, change the letters weekly, and I have a permanent spot in my room for students to find an extra task.  It is a hit because my students are always on a quest to find the most words.




#5: "NO NAME" BOARD:  Back to IKEA for this necessity!  I used an IKEA 8X10 frame and attached clothespins with superglue.  I created a simple "No Name" design and drilled it into the front of my classroom.  Students that don't get an assignment back can check there to find it, write their name, and have it entered for credit.  I find that I only have a few each year that have a hard time writing their name...



While there are about a bazillion other things needing done at this time, room order is key!  I can't stand a disorganized or unwelcoming space.  After all it is where we spend a huge portion of our time.  I would love to hear about any perfect tips you have to organize your classroom for the upcoming school year!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Click the Lesson Delicatessen button to complete the hop!
 
Lesson Deli-button
 


post signature

Labels: , , , ,

33 Comments:

At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Tweenteacher said...

I LOVE this post-so much I am pinning it so I can find it again!!! It is great! And, while I am not a blogger, I follow a LOT of bloggers and I am so glad that I found your blog! I only wish I had come across it earlier!!!!! I set up a section in my room called the "Information Station" It is one entire wall and my students know that ANYTHING they need to know can be found on that wall(I am adding/stealing your missing/no name work board for this wall as well this year!! I include the daily schedule, the daily homework, a grading scale, our chore chart, etc. This way it is all centralized for the students.

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Krista R. said...

I started using clothespins last year to hang student work. Love how easy it is to change out!
My classroom set up tip: I always have trouble getting letters for board titles perfectly straight (it drives me bananas when it looks crooked) So instead, I off-set them on purpose...one up, one down slightly. It looks funky and allows for imperfections :)

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Elie said...

Great post... Love the boggle board. I use magnets everywhere with a number system.

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Amy M said...

I love the ideas you included in this blog post- especially the boggle game! Thank you for the giveaway :) I keep my students' books organized in individual book buckets.

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Ursula said...

I decorate my hallway bulletin board for the following year on one of the last days of school. Thanks for the opportunity to win!!!

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Pam Olivieri said...

I am definitely making a "No Name" board or poster!
Pam
Rockin Resources

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Astrid said...

My tip that I learned the heard way. Make sure your classroom is welcoming and accessible to you and your students. Make sure students know to respect and own their classroom so that bigger issues do not come up.

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Sarah Larson said...

I am actually a first year 6th grade teacher so I've been blog hopping to find ways to decorate my classroom. For now I'm starting simple with the school's colors and mascot but I want to make a no name poster and have interactive things on the walls. My plan is to have student work displayed and have info from each subject area posted. Hopefully I can accomplish that in my first year of teaching! I love your blog and I am so excited to have found another 6th grade blog!

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Karen H said...

I use fabric to cover my bulletin boards. It doesn't fade or tear and I can keep it up until I decide to change it out.

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Misty said...

I used tablecloth to cover my wall!

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger TheRoomMom said...

Fabric as a bulletin board cover is the best! Thanks for sharing your other tips.

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Martha Hach said...

I've used clotheslines for vivid vocabulary that we find in the books we read. I might use your Boggle idea this year... I did it with math when I taught 4th grade math. Thanks!

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Simone said...

I love fabric for my bulletin boards. I think I put some up about 7 years ago when I moved into that room and it still looks great, Maybe this year I will get some new fabric. =)

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Jennifer Larson said...

Great ideas! I use picture frames in my classroom too, except that they are in the library area of my classroom, so they have pictures of favorite book covers on them. I like your reminders/quotes idea equally well.

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Mrs Smith said...

Love the artwork- so cute! We actually played Boggle today (first day of school), and I think my students are hooked! I have gifted students, and they blew it out of the water!

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Rebecca Schaubhut Worrel said...

I clue small cut outs of my class theme (owls), onto clothespins for all types of hanging space throughout the classroom. I then hot glue the clips to cabinets or the walls, or use them to clip work to a clothes line! so easy! :)

 
At Monday, 04 August, 2014 , Blogger Theresa said...

"When using hot glue to mount things on cinder block/brick-covered-in-plaster walls, use a WOODEN spoon to smooth things out.... NOT YOUR THUMB!!" says the voice of Wisdom.

 
At Tuesday, 05 August, 2014 , Blogger Neetu said...

I love Ikea frames... I bought SO many last year with the intention of doing something similar... but they stayed in my storage container... it was one of those things I just never got around to doing. You inspired me to get them out for this year! Anyone else buy things and completely forget about them... or is it just me?

 
At Tuesday, 05 August, 2014 , Blogger Shannon Murdock said...

Love the idea for hanging the clothesline to showcase student work!

 
At Tuesday, 05 August, 2014 , Blogger Shannon Murdock said...

Also, instead of fabric or paper, I paint my bulletin boards with semigloss wall paint! Has lasted for years (although it probably could use a touch up this year!)

 
At Tuesday, 05 August, 2014 , Blogger Andrea L. said...

I have a whole area in my room dedicated to "I'm finished, what do I do?" stuff - riddles, boggle, misc. activities. I find kids going to that area even when they don't have to during free time, rather than leaving right away for snack/lunch.

 
At Tuesday, 05 August, 2014 , Blogger foleytr said...

Great ideas. I love the boggle

 
At Tuesday, 05 August, 2014 , Blogger Emily said...

I use sturdy magazine boxes to keep all my materials for novel studies together. Love the clothesline idea for anchor charts. I've been using scotch blue tape to stick them to the walls but they eventually fall down.

 
At Wednesday, 06 August, 2014 , Blogger SENCO Cat Herder said...

I just don't know where I would be without my clothes line - the artwork can all be displayed and allowed to dry up there - the only problem was once when I had slightly overloaded it and it fell down during the night and set off the school burglar alarm system - luckily I have a very understanding caretaker who covered for me and said it must have been a moth!!!!

 
At Thursday, 07 August, 2014 , Blogger Eilidh said...

My bulletin board in the hallway has pieces of scrapbook paper hung on it with binder clips at the top. Then, I can hang student work on the papers as they complete them. But, it still looks good while it's waiting. :)

 
At Thursday, 07 August, 2014 , Blogger Erin Beers said...

I like the "Information Station" idea! I simply called mine "NEWS", but your title is better. I would also put the weekly newsletter in that space because student pictures were always in them, and they love to see their pictures. Have a great school year!

 
At Thursday, 07 August, 2014 , Blogger Erin Beers said...

I feel the same way about crooked boards! Great tip! Best of luck to you this year!

 
At Thursday, 07 August, 2014 , Blogger Erin Beers said...

Genius! I wish I were that prepared to do that task! With our 6th grade graduation and the excitement of the end of the year, I am always too enthusiastic about summer break starting! I will for sure keep this in mind!

 
At Thursday, 07 August, 2014 , Blogger Erin Beers said...

Just be careful with any super glue! I was a little over zealous and tore up my computer desk with too much super glue!

 
At Thursday, 07 August, 2014 , Blogger Erin Beers said...

This is a huge one! I bet your room will be perfect this year!

 
At Thursday, 07 August, 2014 , Blogger Erin Beers said...

You can truly break the bank trying to set up your classroom for those first couple of years! Stick with $1 store items for seasonal decorations, too! They have some great stuff at the perfect price.

 
At Thursday, 07 August, 2014 , Blogger Life in Room 407 said...

I am not a decorator, so I usually buy what I like and somehow it finds a spot in my room. I wish I had the talent to have a theme or color scheme. I love following others and seeing what they do and then add it to my room.

 
At Friday, 08 August, 2014 , Blogger Markisha said...

Use plastic table clothes for bulletin boards.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home