Here in Massachusetts (well, this city, anyway), thanks to Nemo the kids don't get out until June 26. Feels like FOREVER. Although now that the state testing pressures are off, I can refocus my energies on poor, neglected little Social Studies and Science, woohoo!
In order to breathe some life into the classroom during a school year that runs the risk of feeling really, really long, I did a little freshening up right before the state tests. Some of you may remember the before that I posted at the start of the year. I kept the same color scheme since our desks are teal, the bookshelves are blue and green, the walls are white and the floor is brown. However I saw these fantastic tablecloths at CVS for $2 each! I thought they'd add a new punch of color and let me join the "cover your shelving with fabric club" that so many teachers in my building and the blogosphere have been doing. So here are my upgrades:
The round table got a round tablecloth of course, and I put some double sided tape in 8 spots around the circumference. It seems to be staying in place very well. Behind that I took a rectangular tablecloth, folded it in half, and put Duck Tape on the fold at the top. This gave it some durability when I hole punched it. I got the tiniest size of those 3M hooks for the edge (I think I used 4 in total). This way I can easily remove when needed.
For my shelves near my desk, it's hard to envision the full effect all the way across (with my desk there in the middle), but I did a solid blue in the center, and then the striped panels on the ends. For those I accidentally got round tablecloths! D'oh! So I cut each one in half, folded it, and again, Duck Taped the top where I'd cut for durability. The little hooks make it easy to get to the books underneath.
For the kids' shelves I decided to leave half of it open so they could find things more easily. For indoor recess I told them to remove the panels so they don't rip. I also used those little plastic hole-punch reinforcements applicators for even more durability.
I had 2 panels left, so I put them over at the computer table. We only ever use the middle computer anyway; the others each have their own little "quirk" that makes them undesirable.
Finally, not really an upgrade in decor, other than to keep my "dotted table" a lot more organized, was the Morning Meeting Kit. Previously all those things were spread out on the table and it looked messy. Now we have the Shares Sign Up board, a whiteboard with marker and eraser, character education information, and a ball for games. I LOVE it, and I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier! This vertical storage works so much better than the tub I put there first.
Did anyone else feel the need to spruce up their classroom decor this spring? And do you have an Instagram account yet? I just gave it a try! You can follow me at: http://instagram.com/amberthomas7 I am also linking up with What the Teacher Wants:
If you have never used Instagram before (like me 3 weeks ago) you need to download the app for your iThing or Android device. From there you can set up an account, take some pictures, edit them, and post them on Instagram (it's often likened to Facebook in that it's all about sharing and followers and what-have-you).
Now I know what you're thinking. Why bother?
Well, I'm bothering because I love to look at other people's classrooms. :) So if you love to get ideas about classroom setup and decor, you'll probably want to join in! I already do so on Pinterest. And I think Instagram will become an even better medium for this since you can post instantly. Pinterest is great too, for websites and full blog posts. But if you like just the visuals, it seems like this will be another great medium for you. At least that's how I see it. :)