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August 31, 2016

Dive Into Second Grade

By Nancy Jang
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    Every year I love choosing a theme for my classroom. Sometimes it’s simply a color and sometimes it’s a full-blown theme. In the past, I have rotated between a space theme, a camping theme, and a Western theme.  This year I am happy to reveal an ocean theme! Here is a peek into my ocean-themed classroom. Let’s dive in!

    During the summer, I comb Pinterest and Google images of classrooms looking for ideas for decor that give me the most bang for the buck. There are tons of cute decor kits in the teacher resource stores, but I really love the uniqueness of creating my own materials to add to my room. Check out the fun sea jellies hanging from a corner in my room. These are paper lanterns cut in half. I unraveled a bath loofah and hot glued it to the inside rim. Then I used pieces of thick and thin ribbon and glued to the center of the inside and let dangle down. Finally, I glued fringed tissue paper around the rim and hung everything with fishing line. You could certainly do the whole project with tissue paper and crepe paper streamers.

    If you don't feel confident in your abilities to draw, don't worry! If you have a projector, it's easy to project a piece of clip art and trace it onto a sheet of butcher paper, then fill it in with any paint you have on hand. If you are lucky to have a friend or relative or parent volunteer that is artsy, it's a great send-home project. The amazing ocean murals that cover my office supply cabinets were painted on butcher paper and pieced together using this method.

    In addition to the murals, many of my bulletin board accent pieces were hand-drawn and painted. The awesome shark cutout that I am using for my Shark of the Week poster and the treasure chest accent on a blank board add an element of fun and really pop on the walls.

     

    This year, I wanted to make putting up student work easy and quick. It's more work on the front end, but a timesaver during the school year. I hate trying to line up every sheet of paper every time I put new student work up. If you are as unenthusiastic as me about this lining-up problem, read on for some simple solutions.

    5 Hacks for Changing Student Work

    1.  Clipboard Displays

    Use your leveler to mark a gridline and then screw clipboards into the wall (a little home drill makes this fast and easy). Student work gets clipped on the clipboard in a jiffy. No staples! If you want to add some extra pizazz to the display, have your students decorate their clipboard with pictures and then decoupage over it.

     

    2. Framed Pockets

    These great cardboard frames come with a clear page protector built in. It's super easy to slide student work in and out of the pockets and the frames highlight student work without mounting it on an additional sheet of paper.

     

    3. Bulldog Clips and Rulers

    I used E6000 glue to attach two bulldog clips to the front of a wooden ruler and then glued two thumbtacks to the back of the ruler. It fits perfectly at the top of a 12-inch square piece of scrapbook paper and can display horizontally- or vertically-oriented projects.

     

    4. Evergreen Borders

    This is an idea that fellow blogger Nicole Kent also talks about in her post, "Ready, Set, Teach: It's Back to School We Go." Choose borders that are generic and can stay up all year. Since I have an ocean-themed classroom, I'm planning to change all of my borders to shades of blue or ocean themed, then leave them up all year. 

     

    5. Roll-Up Blinds

    I have a large window in my room with an amazing view of the playground, but it can be a little distracting at times. Our school has staggered recesses and lunch breaks. So at any given time, a different grade level is outside my room on the playground. I bought a very inexpensive roll-up plastic blind at Home Depot to cover the window. Now, kids are less inclined to go over to the window to observe the playground shenanigans and it doubles as another bulletin board!

    What are some of your favorite bulletin board hacks?

    I'm very excited to "sea" my new students and swim into a new school year!

    Happy teaching,

    Nancy

    Every year I love choosing a theme for my classroom. Sometimes it’s simply a color and sometimes it’s a full-blown theme. In the past, I have rotated between a space theme, a camping theme, and a Western theme.  This year I am happy to reveal an ocean theme! Here is a peek into my ocean-themed classroom. Let’s dive in!

    During the summer, I comb Pinterest and Google images of classrooms looking for ideas for decor that give me the most bang for the buck. There are tons of cute decor kits in the teacher resource stores, but I really love the uniqueness of creating my own materials to add to my room. Check out the fun sea jellies hanging from a corner in my room. These are paper lanterns cut in half. I unraveled a bath loofah and hot glued it to the inside rim. Then I used pieces of thick and thin ribbon and glued to the center of the inside and let dangle down. Finally, I glued fringed tissue paper around the rim and hung everything with fishing line. You could certainly do the whole project with tissue paper and crepe paper streamers.

    If you don't feel confident in your abilities to draw, don't worry! If you have a projector, it's easy to project a piece of clip art and trace it onto a sheet of butcher paper, then fill it in with any paint you have on hand. If you are lucky to have a friend or relative or parent volunteer that is artsy, it's a great send-home project. The amazing ocean murals that cover my office supply cabinets were painted on butcher paper and pieced together using this method.

    In addition to the murals, many of my bulletin board accent pieces were hand-drawn and painted. The awesome shark cutout that I am using for my Shark of the Week poster and the treasure chest accent on a blank board add an element of fun and really pop on the walls.

     

    This year, I wanted to make putting up student work easy and quick. It's more work on the front end, but a timesaver during the school year. I hate trying to line up every sheet of paper every time I put new student work up. If you are as unenthusiastic as me about this lining-up problem, read on for some simple solutions.

    5 Hacks for Changing Student Work

    1.  Clipboard Displays

    Use your leveler to mark a gridline and then screw clipboards into the wall (a little home drill makes this fast and easy). Student work gets clipped on the clipboard in a jiffy. No staples! If you want to add some extra pizazz to the display, have your students decorate their clipboard with pictures and then decoupage over it.

     

    2. Framed Pockets

    These great cardboard frames come with a clear page protector built in. It's super easy to slide student work in and out of the pockets and the frames highlight student work without mounting it on an additional sheet of paper.

     

    3. Bulldog Clips and Rulers

    I used E6000 glue to attach two bulldog clips to the front of a wooden ruler and then glued two thumbtacks to the back of the ruler. It fits perfectly at the top of a 12-inch square piece of scrapbook paper and can display horizontally- or vertically-oriented projects.

     

    4. Evergreen Borders

    This is an idea that fellow blogger Nicole Kent also talks about in her post, "Ready, Set, Teach: It's Back to School We Go." Choose borders that are generic and can stay up all year. Since I have an ocean-themed classroom, I'm planning to change all of my borders to shades of blue or ocean themed, then leave them up all year. 

     

    5. Roll-Up Blinds

    I have a large window in my room with an amazing view of the playground, but it can be a little distracting at times. Our school has staggered recesses and lunch breaks. So at any given time, a different grade level is outside my room on the playground. I bought a very inexpensive roll-up plastic blind at Home Depot to cover the window. Now, kids are less inclined to go over to the window to observe the playground shenanigans and it doubles as another bulletin board!

    What are some of your favorite bulletin board hacks?

    I'm very excited to "sea" my new students and swim into a new school year!

    Happy teaching,

    Nancy

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