Sunday, April 23, 2017

DIY Classroom Borders

Summer is only 2 months away and I'm still working on getting my classroom perfectly decorated. First year teachers really do have it tough! Since I'm a first year teacher and don't necessarily have a whole lot of money to keep pouring into my classroom, I decided to opt out of buying bulletin board borders. After shopping with a few of my teacher friends, I quickly realized that I am way too picky to be willing to buy a few packages of borders that were specific colors and designs. I wanted to keep up with my rainbow theme, but all of the rainbow themed borders at the stores were just not up to par with my standards and style. Instead, I created my own. Not only did I get them to look exactly the way I imagined them to look, I also saved money.

  All I really did was grab some blank printer paper from the copy room and got to work. I folded the sheets in half and glued on some geometric shapes that I cut out of construction paper/card stock paper. I had the card stock already and I had used it as a background/border for one of the projects the kids did, so the left over scraps were already cut. I just put them in a Ziplock baggie hoping to get some use out of them later on. Well they definitely went to good use. I glued on the geometric shapes in a tile and grout mosaic type of design. I didn't have any purple card stock so I just used what I had. After gluing the pieces on, I stapled the half sheets onto the wall as my borders! Yeah they're shorter than normal classroom borders but hey they're basically free! I am actually loving the design and I am planning to get the pieces laminated at the end of the year to reuse them for my future classroom(s).

-Just a note- 
     It was suggested to me from some other teachers to just have the students make them since I was doing it all myself, and when I was just about finished I gave in and let them help make some. They turned out really bad. Unfortunately, I had to scrap their glue drenched masterpieces. Even high schoolers can get crazy with a glue bottle! Who knew!? Anyways, if you're as anal as I am when it comes to having your art and decorations perfect, save yourself the trouble (and the glue!) and just do it yourself!

    I stapled all of the borders connecting one end to another and they really did turn out exactly how I had imagined them to. The work inside was put up for a demo photo as I was waiting for some colorful background paper, so it looks a bit awkward and bare here. Our school doesn't allow poster paper to go to any teachers, just ASB, so it took a while to actually get my hands on some. Luckily, one of my sweetest students has a mom that works at another school and brought me some in all different colors! She's such a sweetheart. After putting up the paper, readjusting the borders to cover the edges and ultimately reorganizing the work in a much more appealing manner, WHA LAH. My classroom DIY masterpiece.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Moving Into My First Classroom

It has been a few months (okay half of the school year) since I started working at my school and I'm finally posting photos of my classroom! The school I was hired at this year has been going through plenty of changes, and plenty of construction. I was lucky enough to be placed in a classroom in our school's new two-story English and Math building, so I got a fairly large classroom with a modern, 21st-century style to it -and the furniture to match! The classroom was pretty plain and empty when I first got it, and to be honest, I was hesitant to even decorate it because it looked so clean and polished!

After about a month or so, I ended up spending around $1000 😬 on school supplies, furniture and little knick-knacks to decorate it a bit. Even after spending all that money, I still didn't have much to decorate the walls with. I was so excited to have an entire cork board style wall, but I never realized how hard it would be to decorate it since the canvas is so huge. Was I supposed to put up posters from the floor to the ceiling? It was so tough to even think about. $1000 in and I still didn't even have any posters. I later spoke to a veteran teacher on campus, and she said "The cheapest and most creative way to decorate your classroom is to use your students' work as decoration." So I got to work-or at least my students did. After a while of fun and creative assignments, I had some pretty colorful work to start filling the walls with! I spent a lot of time on Pinterest to get some ideas, and I cannot tell you how hard it is to find classroom decor for high school on there! They were all elementary school decor ideas! So I went with it! I decided to grab some streamers, in all rainbow colors, and create a rainbow under the whiteboards to really make the room come to life without seeming to baby-ish! I must admit, they turned out so well! I originally started off with rainbow streamers going down each of the whiteboards, but unfortunately with so much student movement, they ripped very easily and I had to take down the whole set in the back. I ended up grabbing some painted pictures from the school's gymnasium after one of our pep-rallies, since they were so darn cute, and stuck those around the class as well to really pull the rainbow theme together.
     Since I'm still a first year teacher, it's far from perfect. I'm still collecting work as I go, and it's definitely still a work in progress, but what do you think so far? I'll have more photos for you as the end of the school year approaches, and I'll definitely go into more specific details in a later post, so be sure to subscribe and stay tuned!🍎🍏📚📖 
-Amanda Teaches

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