Island Jungle Theme

With the cold winter months just beginning, I decided to turn our classroom into a tropical paradise. My students and I spent our whole first week back from winter vacation decorating. They were like little leaf cutting machines! One huge advantage of teaching older students is that they make very capable helpers! Now that we are done, we can enjoy our island classroom for the rest of the year. 
For the ceiling, I hung a green hula-hoop up in the center. Then I strung alternating shades of green streamers. I used a fishing line hung across to help hold up the streamers in the middle so that they wouldn't hang too low.

I also added a few paper flower garlands I bought on Amazon to add some more color. I love decorating the ceiling! 
For the background around my whiteboards, I stapled up some tropical leaf bulletin board paper. I framed it with four inch strips of  bamboo printed paper. 
For my festive chair, I stapled a lei to the top of the chair and taped the skirt under the bottom. It stays in place pretty well. I've been using it now for a week and had no problems. I can't even feel that it's there when I sit. 
 I replaced the blue paper with green for the bookshelf background. The treasure chest is full this time. The students have to earn five coins in order to open the chest and select a treat. All of the candy is stuff that you can't buy here, so that makes it a special treat!

Leopard print border with fake fabric leaves and some real plants that have survived from last year's Hogwarts herbology display. Also my students requested a tea area. They are really into drinking green and fruit teas. They are allowed to have it as long as they keep the area clean and bring their own supplies like tea and honey to share. 
 My students joke that I'm the big tiki head and that they are the little ones. 
My "window," also bordered by the bamboo paper strips. 
Bamboo printed paper strikes again! 
 Our Mayan temple. It's hard to see in the picture but the black part on the sides is lined with red christmas lights that blink. Our temple looks like it belongs in Vegas.

The leaves look really impressive, but were not that hard to make. I made six different leaf stencils and gave my students tons of green and yellow paper. They traced the leaf design onto one page and then layered several sheets of paper when they cut. This way they could make 6-7 leaves each time. Multiply that by six workers and you have lots of leaves in no time! I made a few large basic leaf designs with green bulletin board paper and then they layered their leaves on top.
 The hallway outside our classroom.
I recycled the green kelp forest pieces and the blue water pieces from my last class theme for this waterfall. I also bought a long silver strand streamer doorway decoration. To make the waterfall, we used a huge piece of cardboard and cut out a rocky design. Then I layered the blue strips and the silver streamers to make the water. I added some extra blue pieces to the bottom for a pool. I twisted brown bulletin board paper to line the bottom and stapled a few fabric leaves to it. I surrounded the whole thing with the green vines. There is actually a door to a classroom behind the waterfall, but it's not used.
If you're wondering how I so perfectly spaced the decorations, they were pre-hung on strings and I just had to staple them to the wall.  
 Classroom entry
The blue lanterns and spirals are also recycled from the ocean theme.
Middle School Lockers

Ocean Classroom Theme

New School Year, New Room Theme!

While I still love Harry Potter, I also love to decorate and I couldn't wait to start planning out a new theme! While this room isn't as over the top as my previous Hogwarts classroom. I like it even more and I have the Lilly Pulitzer wardrobe of octopus and jellyfish dresses to match. 
Enjoy the tour!

 I copied this wall from a picture I saw on pinterest. The blue pieces are strips of plastic table cloths. The seaweed is made from stringing fishing line through paper cone cups that I spray painted lime green.
 My students made the "coral" from paper cone cups and from a mixture of tissue paper and dyed coffee filters. 
 I used glue dots to stick everything up on the wall and to add the fish onto the tablecloths. 
       The kelp forest is also made from plastic tablecloths. I added some silver cupcake liners randomly to look like barnacles. The sunken ship is just cut out from black bulletin board paper. 
I don't have teams and points this year. Instead students earn gold coins. When they collect enough they can open the treasure chest. I change out the number of coins it takes to open the chest and what is inside each time it is opened.

Most of the decorations I got this year came from Party City and Dollar Tree. I brought back a whole suitcase full of stuff I bought when I was in the US this summer. I have to admit it was nice to not have to make everything by hand this year! 
 I did still make a few things myself. I made this whale out of cardboard and used the cone paper cups to make barnacles. It's hanging from the ceiling using fishing line. I got the idea from something I saw in an Anthropologie store window display. I also added blue paper behind the cabinets to give them a pop of color.

 I still have a few leftover bottles and miscellaneous stuff around from my Harry Potter room, but most of it I gave away to my students last year.

 I left that wall mostly blank because it doubles as my projector screen. Whenever I need it, I just hook the ceiling decorations on each other to move them out of the way.

 The streamer ceiling took the longest to complete, but turned out beautiful so it was worth it!

The Empty Classroom

You wouldn't know by looking at it, but this is a magical place! From the moment I saw the building plans, I began dreaming about what I was going to do with this exciting blank canvas. My plotting began in June. The theme was obvious, Hogwarts.

I have loved the Harry Potter books since I first discovered them when I was in high school. I went through college reading each book as it came out. Later, I forced my husband to dress as Ron and accompany me to the midnight release party for the Deathly Hallows. I have always included elements of J.K. Rowling's fantasy world into my classroom, but this was my chance to do it right!

Platform 9 3/4

Welcome to
 Hogwarts International School 
for Muggles! 

Hogwarts Express
I used my projector to trace the train onto black bulletin board paper. I then painted the details and printed off the Hogwarts Express Label from (thanks Barneyrfd). I used a Ferrero Rocher gold wrapper for the light on the front of the train. Finally, I glued the train onto a big piece of flat cardboard to make it more sturdy and durable. Since we just moved into a new building, cardboard was in plentiful supply!

Platform 9 3/4
The Hogwarts Express 

I know what you're thinking. And yes, everyone keeps trying to run through the brick wall. 

Extendable Ears

I used two rubber ears and some wire to make my own extendable ears. I saw something like this when I visited Zonko's at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this past summer. I figured it would be a fun detail and a way to remind students in the hall that we can hear them.

The Walls
Have Ears!