Most scondary classrooms don’t have a theme, and I certainly never have in my years of teaching in middle-high school classrooms 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. One theme I’ve used in the past was “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 love anything vintage, burlap, pink, and chalkboard, so I decided to put all those ideas 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 bring my vintage rock star glam vibe to life and decorate my high school classroom. Here are the results.
Classroom Windows, Vintage Rock Star Style
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!
Classroom Door and Hallway, Vintage Rock Star Style
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!
Student Supplies and Information
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.
Bulletin Boards and Classroom Walls,Vintage Rock Star Style
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. Bulletin boards should be informational, student-centered, and student created.
Teaching Station,Vintage Rock Star Style
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.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of my classroom, and I hope you found some ideas that will inspire you on your journey this year!
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Written by: Julie Faulkner