Sunday, July 14, 2013

New classroom theme and other goodies for me...

Because you can never have
enough border...
So, as everyone who reads this humble blog of mine knows, my basement flooded recently and was being a real downer on my summer vacation. So I took some measures to make myself feel better and they worked pretty well! I'm not sure if "retail therapy" is the best way to deal with things...but I needed these things, right?!

I decided that I am going to take the fact that I am moving grade levels and classrooms as an opportunity to change up my classroom theme and colors for the first time in years and years. I've had an insect theme for sooo long and to be honest I tired of it two years ago. My colors have been primary green, yellow, red and blue (solids, no patterns) for as long as I can remember too...and I'm just over it now.

80% off at the Hob Lob made all this under $80.
Of course, a new theme means shopping! So, after some virtual and in-person trips, I found some great things to go in my room!

In my new division we study Africa, Japan, Air & Aviation, Ecosystems, and Pennsylvania History, among other things. This, plus a few other factors (like my rockin' new blog design) led me to decide to go with "180 days around the world" or basically a world travel theme as my new focus and a color switch to more subdued earthy/jewel tones. I haven't even started fixing up my new room yet and I'm super excited.
Because I really needed more scrapbook
paper, right?! Killer B says no.

I've redone most of my old classroom posters already, made new CAFE headers, made all new CAFE strategy cards for my board, made some new library labels, made a custom writing process progress clip chart, pinned like crazy on pinterest, and busted out my washi tape and mod podge. (That's another post!)

I do have some challenges to overcome though... This is my new classroom. See the giant primary yellow wall?! Aaargh. Also, notice anything missing on the floor? It's not just because they're cleaning the floors...this room doesn't come with a carpet! Apparently it kept getting cut smaller and smaller because of stains until it didn't really exist anymore. Double Aaargh! I call the kids to "the carpet" like a hundred times a day! But I've been doing some research and just might invest in a cool carpet of my own. (Shhh! Don't tell Killer B! They're crazy expensive!)

And, Killer B was already nice enough to not say a word when I insisted that we really, really needed a new high-quality (for a change!) color printer. This is the one we got, and I must say it r.o.c.k.s. The print and scan quality is ridiculous. 

All those fancy new posters, student numbers, CAFE headers, etc that I've been working on look great. 

But what good would printing high quality images be if they just got torn to shreds on the first day of school?! Well, that was all the justification I needed to finally take the plunge and get myself one of these bad boys. And I have to say, if you have been hesitant about getting your own personal laminator...jump in. 
This is my current "to cut" pile. Getting bigger every day.
I love it. It laminates at a MUCH higher quality than when my school laminates stuff. And in my district teachers can't laminate for themselves. We have to/get to send it (and all of our copies) off to the "print shop" where they are printed or laminated and then sent back to us about a week later. Obviously this has its ups and downs. It's really nice to not have to do most of my own copying, but every once in awhile it's a pain to have to get everything approved and sent in a week in advance. But, no more downs for me when it comes to laminating!

I was reminded of this some ecard!
Anyone else changing themes this year? I feel like I'm so obsessed with getting my room organized and decorated that I can't focus on making myself get down and dirty with the actual standards, objectives, and how I want to do my workshops, etc. But I'm justifying it because it's early in my summer! I'll worry about that in August!


  1. Nick,
    do you use desks or tables in your room? We're having more classrooms switch to table groups to help build collaboration, etc.

    You SS/Science unit sounds pretty nice. I'm guessing the kids enjoy it quite a bit.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

    1. I have desks in my room right now, but I've always had my kids in table groups. Usually sets of 4 or 5. We just don't have enough tables available for all the teachers who would want a class set of tables. I usually zip tie the legs together.

      I kind of like having desks because of the storage aspect. But it kills my OCD side when one kid's desk has to be taller than the others at his/her set...

      I am SUPER excited to be able to teach Japan again. It was one of the social studies units when I taught 2nd grade in Georgia, so I have about 7 years of stuff for it.


    2. I use tables with big kids and LOVE it. It really gives them the freedom to move about and not have an "assigned seat". They have a home base table, but rarely use it. A lot of teachers at my school want tables and bazillions of emails go out at the beginning of the year begging for anyone to give up a table they aren't going to use. Looking inside desks about sends me over the edge. I can't take it!
      Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. For the past 2 years, my school's theme was "Around the World in 180 Days!" It was a great theme. I've never really had a classroom theme, just stuck to basic colors (red, blue, yellow, green) so I didn't have to replace everything every year. This year, I'm going with "Let's Get Wild about Learning!". I'm super excited to have a theme!

    My Kinder-Garden

  3. I'm with ya. I have to get the shell of the room ready before I can focus on the curriculum stuff.
    Creating Lifelong Learners
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

  4. Have you checked out Walmart online for a rug? I was able to buy one there that was almost the exact same as a rug I was looking at in a teacher's catalog for much, much less- I saved about $150 getting it from Walmart. Just a thought!

    1. I'll have to check them out. I really, really want one of those rugs with the rows of squares...but not in primary colors. I found one online, but it's like $200. I'd do a donorschoose for it, but I want it for the first day of school! First world problems, right?!

  5. I love the idea of your new theme! From the looks of your pictures, you are well on your way in terms of having what you need. I LOVE the suitcases! I had an owl theme last year and this year I decided to do a camping theme.

    Foreman Teaches

  6. Love everything about this post!! You rock! I would want to be in your class, for sure. :)
    ideas by jivey
    Follow me on Facebook!

    1. Are you kidding? You rock! I've thought that a ton of times while reading your blog posts! Thanks!

  7. Oh no... I'm starting to want a laminator too after reading everyone's posts. My running buddy got one too and is having a blast laminating all of her school stuff with that nice think plastic... Your floor looks waxed and ready. :)
    Grade 4 Buzz

  8. Love your new theme! I am in love with those cute hot air balloons and your grey chevron borders. I hear ya on the laminating. My school only laminates on Wednesdays and teachers aren't allowed to use the laminator. I swear if Scotch made a double size laminator I'd buy it! That thing rocks.
    A Burst of First

  9. I love your new theme! And I secretly covet your laminating machine! Shhhh! Don't tell anyone ;) It's on my "next paycheck" list.

    I, too, inherited a room without a rug and am on the hunt for a new one.


  10. Awesome new theme! I love the traveling trunks and other goodies you have pictured!
    I am so jealous of your new laminator....I am having an internal struggle with myself about purchasing one. I have put it in and taken it out of my amazon cart about 10 times in the last week! Is yours the 13 inch or the 11 inch?

    Happy decorating!
    On the Trail of Learning

  11. Where did you get your bulletin board stuff? I "need" that chevron border!


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