Sunday, 21 August 2016

Types of Classroom Decor Themes

Classroom Decor Themes

classroom d├ęcor ideas
Classroom Decor Themes make any classroom look like a dream. My all time favorite pattern is polka dots but stripes are cute too. There are pattern themes and there are topic themes. There are also seasonal themes but the first two types can be used for the entire school year unlike the seasonal themes. The most popular pattern themes are chevron, polka dots, stripes, animal prints, glitter, patriotic, etc. The topic themes are really fun because you can use them to promote a certain culture or vision that the theme reflects. For example, my favorite topic theme is the bee theme because it promotes the traits of a bee which are being a team player, a hard worker, staying busy and focused, and having that co-operative spirit of helping others and working together. Every topic theme has its own 'mantra' and of course they are really cute!  Most preschool and elementary classrooms would typically have any one of the following: an ocean or under the sea theme, super hero theme, space theme, jungle theme, monster theme, Rock & Roll theme, Hollywood theme, beach theme, owl theme, farm theme, nautical theme, camping theme, etc.  I'll be adding more pictures and Amazon links to this post as I find more themes. I've been working on a few printable classroom decor themes myself, because it's always easier to have a version that is editable rather that a fixed store-bought template, see them below. 

Classroom Decor Themes Elementary

classroom decor kindergarten   classroom board decoration ideas for primary school

This polka dot classroom decor set has a huge variety of labels in different shapes, sizes and polka dot colors (black and white too). The shapes are pennants, circular and rectangular labels. It also includes binder covers. These printable labels can be used to make name tags, filing tags, subject headers, wall/door posters, word walls, etc. You can type directly into each one. The text boxes are already inserted for you. These are 75 editable pages with vibrant colors to lighten up your polka dot classroom decor theme. It is available here at my TpT collection. There is also a glitter version.

What are your favorite themes? Feel free to add your favorite theme in the comments below.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Sequence Cards

sequence cards 3 step

Sequence-Cards-PinterestSequence Cards - 3 step sequencing: These are theme based sequence cards made for the sequencing of everyday events that are familiar to young children. I loaded it with 45 three-step picture sequences - a total of 135 pictures in this set! I wanted it to have the cutest graphics I could find so that my kids would immediately zone into the activity. It is designed to be used throughout the school year and is divided into 6 themes which are Fall / Halloween, Winter, Spring, Summer, Back to school and food. There are three types of frames that your students can use for grouping the cards. The first on page three is for beginners because it uses only numbers: step 1, step 2, and step 3 (suitable for 'How to' types of instruction sequences). Page five has first next and last (suitable for ordering life cycles or events). Page four has first, second, and third. You can print the sets out on a smaller scale for reference as an answer key because they are already presented in the correct order. This is available for purchase here at my TpT collection and if you head over there, you can check out the preview which shows you all off the cards in full scale. I hope you'll like it!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Did you know you can use these in your classroom?

As teachers, we tend to have an eye for seeing the potential of many objects for use in the classroom. From kitchen tools to outdoor fixtures, and of course, dollar store items are a huge favorite. This is my own little list of odds and ends that you may already have that you can use in your classroom.
This is actually a table stand for wedding parties but you can use it for organising your group tables, school library, presentation displays, etc. The also would make cute welcome signs for back to school. Liquid chalk markers work well on these.


You may already have these at home: clipping hangers! I use them to store my large posters and card stock sheets. I hate using rubber bands to roll them and folding them is out of the question. The hangers keep them straight and flat. Tension rods allow you to easily set up a hanger rack.

This is a digital kitchen timer but it can be used for timing your students at school from classroom work to gym and outdoor activities. This timer has a very loud alarm, a magnetic back and a hanging hook.

Over-the-door hangers are really great space savers. I use them over my class door as well as tall cupboard doors but in those cases I strap them onto the door. These are really for shoes but I love that they are transparent so it is easy to find what you're looking for. Each pocket can be for a different group of teaching supplies OR each pocket can be labeled with 

Use party decorations to fit your classroom theme. This one is a Hollywood movie theme set. And here's a picture next to it of what a teacher made with a similar set.

For easy storage of classroom supplies, a light but durable drawer system is best. This set is really designed for small hardware tools or craft supplies but Ms. Driscoll, a teacher, used it for her brag tags incentives for her students.

Feel free to share any other items that you love to use in your class in the comments below. I'd love to add more ideas to this list.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Self Development books for Kids

Hi, if you are looking for new books for  your class, I highly recommend getting books that will teach about problem solving skills that will help students to develop right mindset for uncomfortable situations. These books below are from Julia Cook's 'Best Me I can Be' series. They are funny and students can relate to the situations in each book as well as the characters.

                                                                         and Disagreeing the Right Way!

The Worst Day of My Life Ever!                             I Just Want To Do It My Way!:
                                                                                 about Staying on Task and Asking for Help

Sorry, I Forgot to Ask!:                                      Thanks for the Feedback, I Think:
about asking permission                                         about accepting criticism and
and making an apology                                             compliments the right way

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Why I Love Construction Paper Projects!

Hole-Punchers for Crafts

I discovered construction paper during my first year of teaching and I will never stop using it. We refer to it as scrap book paper or craft paper because at my school, that's what we use it for - art, craft, cutting, folding, gluing, etc. It's not only the students using it, I use it too! Why? Let me list the reasons:

Construction Paper project Parts-of-a-flower-poster
1. The many different colors (even black)! I use them to make classroom posters that need to project different layers. Each color would represent a different part of the concept and bring a lot of color to by display area. See the different parts of a flower being represented in the poster above?

Construction Paper book projects 

Construction Paper book projects 

Construction Paper class procjects

2. You can get it in loose pages or already bonded in booklet form. I love the ones that are already bonded because I let my students use these to make their own books as an end of year project. Click here to see an older post I did showing the books my students created about butterflies. The pictures above show the symmetry books my students made. To see more of the symmetry books they made, click here!

3. It is firmer than regular paper but is still easy for little hands to cut and it is available in different sizes to suit any purpose. The very large sizes can be folded down to a quarter of its size to create greeting cards that are quite sturdy. I still love using felt and card stock paper but construction paper is the easiest paper for students to handle, especially if cutting is involved. The picture above shows one that comes with cut-outs of objects from different themes

I'll say that when it comes to cutting, construction paper is definitely a cut above the rest! And speaking of cutting, here's a look at my cutting supplies... I love this stuff! I collect all kinds of crafting supplies and if it cuts, I have it. I also use them for scrap-booking. 

Cutting tools for Crafts     Craft hole-punchers
These are mostly craft knives and paper cutters. Always use a craft knife that has a locking blade. Mine is an 18mm cutter by Maped. The rotary cutter also has a safety feature that lets the blade retract and lock at the touch of a button. Of course, these are just for me, not my kids! The hole punchers however, are safe enough for my kids to handle but they usually need a little help with the squeezing of the handles. The purple one at the bottom took me a while to find because long arm hole punchers are rear but I use it for certain things. I know that the regular metal hole punchers are commonly used but I prefer to use the black and gray one because it is so comfortable... holding the plastic covering beats having to squeeze hard metal any day! The shape cutters come in all sorts of shapes like hearts, snowflakes, flowers and stars. The cut-outs look like confetti! Click here to see how I used them to make a phonics craft project with my new class!

Hole punch shapes
Not only is hole punching fun, but it strengthens up the grip for writing.

Making cards with shape borders using a hole puncher
Hole punching is also great for borders. Oh, the possibilities!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Back to School Interactive Calendar Bulletin Board for any Year

DIY School Calendar Bulletin Board for any Year

Start each day with a sentence building activity that answers the question: 'Which day is it today?'

The sentence strip you see above comes with a complete set of word card inserts for the days of the week, date ordinals, and months of the year. This is part of my Months of the Year Interactive Bulletin Board for any year which also contains an illustrated word wall for the months of the year and a monthly-calendar building activity for any month with insertable tabs to be changed monthly (see pictures below). You can click here to see a complete list of everything that comes in the set and get your digital copy.

Months of the year word wall Months of the year word wall cards with clipart

monthly calendar activity

About Me

My photo
As a Caribbean primary school teacher, I share my unique classroom with the world through this blog. Readers step into my class through the pictures, articles and classroom samples of games and lessons used in my class. I have been teaching since 2005 at the std. 4 primary level in Trinidad and Tobago. I am particularly interested in sharing my own personal lesson plans, tests and activities. Teachers need to share ideas and support each other because in doing so, we help to educate our students and develop ourselves as teachers. Technology is ever evolving and we as teachers should get on board with it, collaborate and keep up to date with this new age that we live in. Our students belong to this technological era and we must embrace opportunities to learn from each other in this global community. I also love to express my creativity in the classroom. I am a bit of a craftster . So I'm always cutting, gluing or making something... a game, a chart, a learning center, etc. So, teachers and parents, feel free to stop by and see what's new at Nyla's Crafty Teaching!