I choose my year-long theme before the students arrive because I decorate my classroom for the theme before they come on the first day. This adds excitement to their arrival! I send home a note to let them know that they are in my class, and, in that note, I announce the theme. I also do many things during the first week related to the theme, so it would be hard to wait and have the students choose the theme themselves.
The only theme that is not highlighted on my website is my current nautical theme, "Pier 13." However, you can see photos related to this year's nautical theme at this blog post: http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teaching/2009/09/there-are-times-when-i-feel-more-like-an-interior-designer-than-a-teacher-im-sure-there-are-many-of-you-who-can-relate-to-th.html
I will add more information about the nautical theme to my website this summer!
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