Cathedral Building

Another Teaching Blog

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Classroom themes.



(Disclaimer: this is not a critique, just a wondering/observation!)

I’m noticing many teachers (mostly elementary) posting about classroom “themes.” I get what they are, but I’m wondering when and where this trend began. I try to leave my room as blank as possible at the beginning of the year so I can start putting up kid art and work right away, so the students feel invested in and ownership of the classroom. It is not MY classroom, it is OUR classroom.

Those of you who choose to use classroom themes — I’m wondering why you choose to have a theme and how you choose it. Is it based on your interests, something you saw on pinterest and thought was cute, or something else?

I’m just feeling perplexed by this, because it is not something I would ever have thought of doing (or likely ever do). Help me understand?

I don’t do themes, per se, but the people I know who do, do them as a sort of “welcome to the classroom!” and to connect basic things they’d already be putting up on their walls anyways- for example, I could use a Hello Kitty calendar, HK nametags, HK weatherboard, HK themed letters for my word wall, etc… (you get the picture).  I can see it as a nice way to pull things together.


(But I wouldn’t choose HK, because I know many of my kids wouldn’t like it, so I’d probably choose something more neutral)

It’s funny, I don’t think I ever questioned why this was a thing.  I planned for it but didn’t actually stop to think of why I did it to begin with.  I just found ways to tie it into curriculum and decoration.

Actually I was going to go with Miss ____’s Garden, which allowed variation (various plants, insects, and animals) that didn’t narrow anyone by gender or otherwise, allowed for a rotational decorating theme that also reinforced lessons about seasonal changes and science, and allowed for my then-near-obsessive love of things apples and ladybugs (and also sunflowers, and sometimes owls).  At the time, I figured I was planning for first or second grade.

I also used this, at one point, as joking retrospective justification for ending a failed relationship.  “Miss [her last name]’s Garden doesn’t sound half as good.”  As a joke, guys.  As a joke.  A horrible horrible joke.

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  1. adventuresofastudentteacher reblogged this from shapefutures
  2. cockychick1 answered: nope
  3. enardsy reblogged this from shapefutures
  4. amiteachingyet answered: I’m going for a color scheme (poorly). I have tons of spaces, so I want some things to be up and some to be student/class work and to change.
  5. mydiyk answered: I use a theme sparingly. I like having a unified looking space but not too much visual distraction. My theme will never replace student work.
  6. ms-hyphenated reblogged this from girlwithalessonplan and added:
    My SENIOR AP English teacher had a flamingo themed room. This English teacher was one of the best teachers I have ever...
  7. missjennsopinion reblogged this from girlwithalessonplan and added:
    I simply always wanted to create an extensive “reading tree” that would include all the kids’ handprints as “leaves”...
  8. delightfullyweird answered: I’ll never forget my 3rd grade “Where the Wild Things Are” themed classroom. As an 8-year-old, it was the greatest thing ever.
  9. ineedabiggerneckruff answered: I do it more for my amusement than my students. I hate looking at blank or boring walls. Plus in HS, we don’t get too much student art.
  10. alwayslearningsomethingnew answered: Our team for years was a bee theme because we were unit 7B. It just helped to unite the team and let the kids see we worked together for them
  11. shapefutures reblogged this from monasequeda and added:
    It’s funny, I don’t think I ever questioned why this was a thing. I planned for it but didn’t actually stop to think of...
  12. argylepumpkin answered: I have one because I like things to coordinate/match. Since I spend most of my waking hours in that classroom, I want to be comfortable!.
  13. pablophonic reblogged this from girlwithalessonplan and added:
    Well, my school has a nautical theme and with a last name like Fischer, I’m looking to start the year with some sort of...
  14. grayer answered: I don’t do themes in my elementary classroom. I hang up student work and change things up a lot. I also think less is more.
  15. girlwithalessonplan reblogged this from thinkbrit and added:
    Oo. I’m interested in this. In the mid 90s I remember the 4th grade teachers in my school each had a theme in their...
  16. thinkbrit posted this