It’s typically not a secondary kind of thing to do to have a classroom theme. And I certainly never have in all my years of teaching in 7-12 classrooms had an all-out classroom theme like, say, they do in elementary schools. However, I can say there is great value in having a “theme” of sort – even in a secondary classroom. I like to be super-organized, and a theme/scheme works well for me and the students. My theme is “Rock Star,” and on the first day of school we talk about what my theme is and we have a mini lesson on theme development. I chose the rock star theme because 1) I love music and 2) It sets the “stage” for how we are going to be “owning it like rock stars” every day. Yeah, that may be a little cheesy, but I love cheesy, and it really does work.
I’ve had the rock star theme for several years now, but it was actually pretty “thrown together.” I hadn’t put much effort into the look of it in terms of cohesion or cuteness. It was definitely time to jazz it up a little. I love anything vintage, burlap, pink, and chalkboard, so I decided to put that all together for a shabby chic, glam rock star themed classroom! I had plenty of items in my classroom with “good bones,” they just didn’t match or have much style. I picked a few areas to make focal points of the room, and here are the results.
These curtains could be done a couple of ways. I ordered these ready made inexpensive burlap valances from Amazon and hung them with spring rods. However, there are a number of tutorials out and about for making no sew curtains out of burlap. Everything is better with burlap!
The door is, of course, the first thing students see when they come to your classroom. Like I said before, theme is very important in an English classroom, and we talk about it on day one. So, I wanted them to be aware of it right away – hit them on the head (literally!) Yeah, I did have to pull it up a little higher so my junior and senior boys could walk under it!
This little area is much more functional now with the date blocks, sharpener, and journal buckets all in one place. Plus, now it’s all in one place nearby the weekly playlist of assignments, which I really want them to look at often! I’m so proud of my little chalkboard lamp. It was my granny’s lamp, and I loved having it in my classroom. However, it was green and the shade was dry-rotted. I found that ah-mazing burlap shade at Goodwill for $3.00!!!! After a coat of primer and some chalkboard spray paint, I had a shining jewel for about $10 bucks.
Keeping with my Rock Star theme, I made song quotes chalkboard prints and hung them above where students store their bags. My bulletin boards are covered with black fabric (easier and more durable than paper) and fun layered border. I also smile every time I look at my mirror with the V.I.P. sign above it! I do believe the best boards and walls are student-centered and low-maintenance. See my post on student-centered bulletin board ideas here!
I inherited my podium from a teacher friend my first year of teaching! In its former life, it was a wallpaper stand at a paint store. How cool is that? It wasn’t, however, very fancy. I rolled on a couple layers of chalkboard paint, and now my students and I can write new quotes on it whenever we want! My “I’m Done” box also got a makeover. Here I wanted to add a little bit more pink to the room, so I just bought this durable basket from Michael’s. I used the rest of the chalkboard spray paint on the tray where students return handouts.
It’s not perfect, but I think my classroom is ready — now onto planning.
See MORE classroom decor and organizational pics at these posts, too!
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