Choosing and Setting Up Classroom Decor

Friday, June 8, 2018 No comments
Do you get overwhelmed when it's time to set up your classroom?



Don't we all! One of the best things I have found to help me feel less overwhelmed when I first walk into my classroom is to have my decor theme planned, prepped and ready to go!

I LOVE decor themes and so do my students! My students enjoy seeing the theme mixed throughout the room. My favorite thing is when they comment randomly about the topic throughout the year!

What are some of my go to themes?

I've tried a lot of different themes over the years, but some of my favorite themes and other popular themes are. Links included to some of my decor sets:



Maybe you'd rather have a more 'color' theme rather than a topic! Your students will love any color theme you choose! Pick a theme like Brights or Pastels and decorate!

You can make your theme as LARGE scale or SMALL scale as you want! I've seen full sized camping tents in classrooms or you can just print a few decorations and add them throughout your room! The best part of decor is that YOU can choose what you want and how much you want to use! 

When I first started teaching, I used to go to the local Teacher Store, buy some bulletin board pieces, laminate, hang and I was done. Sadly, in my area most of the Teacher Stores are all gone. So now, I find that if I want a new decor theme, I usually have to purchase it from Teachers Pay Teachers, print, cut, laminate and prepare it myself! That may sound like a lot, but the best part is there are SO many more choices this way and I can pick and choose to print only the parts I want to use. Even better, most of the sets on Teachers Pay Teachers are EDITABLE too! 

Now that you've chosen your theme, purchased a set from Teachers Pay Teachers, you are ready to start prepping!!

First, you've got to go through and decide what you want to print. Don't just print everything! I like to make a list of page numbers I am planning to print. 

Next, make sure you have ink in your printer. Nothing is worse then sending your job to the printer to find out 20 pages later than none of it printed right because you were out of ink! Oh No! 

Don't forget to DOUBLE CHECK your printer settings before printing also. If the file you are printing from is a PDF, make sure that you have chosen "FIT TO SIZE" or "SHRINK OVERSIZED" pages or else some of your page MAY get cut off when printing! 


I often print pages where I know students may interact with the pieces on cardstock for added durability! Most of my posters and signs I just print on regular paper and then laminate!



LAMINATE! LAMINATE! LAMINATE! 

After you print and cut out everything, you don't want all your hard work to go to waste because something gets ripped or torn. If you have access to a laminator, I would suggest you laminate everything! If you don't have access to a laminator, then it might be best to try and use cardstock. 

I have this Swingline Laminator at home that we picked up at the local office store, but I am also lucky enough to have a full sized laminator at my school to use for my classroom. 



LAMINATING ALTERNATIVE ---  use clear adhesive paper! I have done this SOOO many times in the past. It is a bit tricky to keep all the bubbles out of the adhesive paper, but it does help to protect your work better than not covering it at all! 

Add some special touches! Check out your local home goods stores and see if they have anything that fits your theme! Find authentic items to add to your classroom and help bring the real world into the hands of your students. 

For instance, doing a travel theme? Bring maps or real travel photographs into your classroom! Don't have any? Try printing some free ones from websites like unsplash.com! Bring the real world to life in your classroom! 



Once everything is ready to go, it's time to have fun decorating your room!! 

What theme will you choose?


Draw and Write Writing Activities in Action

Sunday, July 23, 2017 No comments
My class absolutely LOVED working on my Draw and Write Writing Activities this past year. I used them both as a center and as a whole class writing activity.

Here's a snapshot of one of the centers from my Draw and Write February Set that my students completed this past year.


They LOVED doing this activity as a center. Each student received their little packet during our center time and worked on their draft and practice illustration. You can see one of the packets in progress here:


Then, after a quick spellcheck from me, the students published their good copies and we hung them on the wall! They loved this activity so much we did them throughout the rest of the year! Some were done as center activities, where the students worked independently, others we did as our whole class writing assignment for the week. The students loved doing them both ways!

Here's a snapshot of another Draw and Write activity my class did that I'm planning to include as a special gift to my newsletter subscribers just in time for back to school season. 

Draw and Write Hot Chocolate will be sent out to my newsletter subscribers in August! If you would like to receive this special exclusive Draw and Write Freebie, make sure to sign up for my newsletter on the sidebar of the blog!! 



If you like these fun writing center activities make sure to pick up my Draw and Write Freebie in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store:


Even Better -- Get a WHOLE YEAR of Draw and Write Activities to keep your students Engaged and Practicing Their Writing Skills!


6 Month Bundles and Individual Months are Also Available to Purchase in my 



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Smart-2-Heart-Creations/Category/Draw-and-Write-Writing-Center-277879


Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter on the sidebar of the blog to receive the Draw and Write Hot Chocolate exclusive freebie throughout August! 

Classroom Decor Time

Friday, July 21, 2017 No comments
It's hard to believe that the back to school season will be upon us soon (and may have already started in your area!)

One of my favorite things about this time of year is choosing a theme for my classroom each year. I have a few tried and true themes that I go back to all the time, but I also love trying out new themes from time to time!

I'm excited to offer a line of Classroom Decor Items in my Teachers Pay Teachers store to help make choosing a new theme easy for you! I have SIX different Classroom Decor packs ready and in my store for you to choose from!! All of my decor packs are JAMMED full of goodies for you!!







I'm still deciding which one I want to use this year!! I love them all so much it will be hard to decide!
Which one is your favorite?

If you already have decor items and just want to add to your set, I also offer alot of the parts from each pack as individual purchases! 

Check out all my Decor Items including the Individual parts of each theme HERE!

Hello Summer and a Giftcard Giveaway!

Friday, June 23, 2017 4 comments
I can't believe it's really summer already! Time has really flown by since I last had a chance to update my blog! I have so many new products to share, but today I'm even more excited to share a special giftcard giveaway that I am part of! This is a MASSIVE gift card giveaway! THREE lucky TPTers will each receive a giftcard. Two $100 gift cards and one $50 gift card will be given away!

*** $250 TPT GIFTCARD GIVEAWAY ***

Fancy winning some extra spending money to help you purchase everything you need for your 2017-18 classroom?  Myself and a team of amazing teachers have grouped together to gift THREE awesome teacherS a TPT giftcard - PRIZES ARE 2 x $100, and 1 x $50 TPT GIFTCARD!



Starts: Friday 23rd June 2017 12am

Ends: Saturday 1st July 2017 12am

Prize: 2 x $100 TPT Giftcards, and 1 x $50 TPT Giftcard

Check out the Rafflecopter to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Draw and Write - Directed Drawing and Writing Center

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 No comments
I'm SUPER excited to introduce my newest series of products: Draw and Write.

Draw and Write will be a monthly series. Each month will include 5 directed writing activities with a fun directed drawing sheet as well. These are perfect for learning centers, but can also be used for whole group lessons.

Each pack is designed to match the writing standards and include practice in persuasive, informational and narrative forms. You will also find variations of each form of writing including letter writing, poems, how-tos, research and more!

Today I'd like to introduce my first two sets and also my GROWING Bundle where you can save big on a set of 6 months of Draw and Write Activities.

Each Monthly Pack comes with the prompts, the directed drawing sheet, and writing paper to finish your writing project.

Here's what you'd get in the February Pack:

And here's what you'd find in the March Pack:


Each of the five writing activities in the pack include a direction sheet, a planning/drafting sheet, the directed drawing sheet, paper for writing a good copy, and a black page with matching border to use as desired (perfect for redrawing pictures if desired or writing without lines)




Not sure? Try out my Draw and Write Freebie:


Buy now for an even bigger savings! 
The price will go up as new packs are added!