Giant Spider Web (Classroom Halloween Decoration)

Check out this cool Halloween decoration idea submitted by a reader! She purchased a cheap spider web (the wad of web in a bag for a few bucks) and then stretched it out  around the legs of student desks. Have your own cool idea! Send it to me at squareheadteachers at gmail dot com!

Giant web with desks

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Lord Of the Rings Classroom Ideas

Some teachers like to have a theme for their classroom. If you’re into Lord of the Rings, or your class reads Lord of the Rings as literature, you may enjoy these ideas (that I found on Pinterest!)

Encourage your kids to become familiar with your school’s library website

 

 

LOTR bulletin board

 

(I could not find the source for any of these photos, so if they’re yours, please let me know!) Any other ideas for a Lord of the Rings classroom theme? Comment below! Thanks!

Giveaway Coming This Week!

I’ve been working with my friends over at the Roylco Little Fingers, Big Art blog to put together something special for you! This week, I’ll be launching my Christmas giveway with a special prize for one lucky winner! Check back this week for a chance to enter!

Little Fingers Big Art

Easy Chair Numbering

Some schools have one specific teacher teach special classes like art, music, PE, health, etc. Often the general classroom teacher does that, but not always. Anyway, if you teach a class in a room with chairs but no tables (like the music classroom pictured below), this idea might interest you.
Easy Chair Numbers photo
First, number note cards from 1-30 (or however many seats you need). Consider using different colored markers or cards so you can group students easily (all the students with purple cards are in a group, etc.). Then tape the numbers to the back of the chairs. Then you can assign each student to a seat. Having numbers on the chairs helps students be accountable for a single chair if you’re a teacher who has students move their chairs around a lot.  No this idea is not complicated or extra cutesy, but it’s helpful. Also notice that the teacher divided the class up into 3 sections using masking tape on the ground. (Always check with your principal or custodian to make sure this is ok at your school.)
Have an idea you think is pretty snazzy? Send it to me (squareheadteachers at gmail dot com) so you share it with other teachers! Thanks!

 

Where Should I Sit? (Student Spacing Trick)

Where Should I Sit Photo
There are times when students need to sit on the ground. It may sound like an easy task, but most teachers have heard “There’s not enough space here!”  or “Scoot over! You’re too close to me!” right after you give that direction. Here’s an easy solution:
 Cut out a bunch of small foam circles. Then as you’re giving directions, drop them on the ground in a spread out circle so students know where to sit. This is an idea that many PE teachers use (but they use those dinner plate sized rubber circles that are pretty pricey). This idea takes the genius of that concept and adapts it to an economical, storage-friendly solution.  Just be sure to have kids return the foam circles when you’re done with the activity (or maybe right after they sit down, so they don’t become a distraction).
Have a good idea to share? Send it to me (squareheadteachers at gmail dot com) so other teachers can benefit also! Thank ya much!

 

Write On Plastic Pocket Charts

Check out this cool idea a reader submitted. It’s simple, but genius!
If you use a pocket chart to hold vocabulary words, you can diagram them right on the pocket! Use an overhead marker or a whiteboard marker to diagram words onto the clear front pocket of the chart! This way, you can leave it up for the week while you’re focusing on a specific principle, and you don’t have to write on the word strip.
pocket charts
Have any other great ideas?  Send them to me (squareheadteachers at gmail dot com) and I’ll post them on this blog! Thanks!
pocket charts 2

Minimize Distractions and Visual Clutter in Your Classroom

curtains D
Piles and clutter drive me crazy (in my classroom and my home)! And it’s not just physical clutter that I can’t stand. Visual clutter also bugs me. Here’s a super easy trick to hide stuff and minimize the visual clutter in your classroom.
curtains A curtains B
Use panel curtains and a tension rod to hide sections of a bookcase and other areas.  But more important than addressing my pet peeve, these curtains minimize the distractions in your classroom. If every inch of your classroom has multiple colors, shapes and patterns in view, your students will have a harder time concentrating on what you’re saying and showing them. I recommend choosing a solid color or light pattern for your fabric. It doesn’t have to be boring white, but it shouldn’t be super eye-catchy.  While it’s pretty trendy right now to pick a bright color scheme and use it in every pattern possible all over your room, think about what it does to your students who already have a harder time focusing. Kids only have so much focusing power in them, so help the focus on what’s really important (which probably isn’t your cute color scheme). 🙂
curtains Ccurtains E
How have you minimized the visual clutter in your classroom? Send me a picture (squareheadteachers at gmail dot com) and I’ll post it here to share with other teachers. Thank you!

Cowboy Classroom Theme Ideas

Looking for a fun western theme this year? Here are some ideas:

Word wall = “Word Herd”
cowboy theme 2

Student Spotlight = “Buckaroo of the Week”
cowboy theme 1

Student Display Bulletin Board = “Work Worth Hootin’ and Hollerin’ About!”
cowboy theme 3

Classroom Jobs = “Ranch Hands”
cowboy theme 4

 

Any other ideas to add to this list? Please comment below! 🙂