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 http://www.therpf.com (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!

The Owlery

My challenge was to make my brand new classroom feel like it belonged in a gothic style castle. 

Don't you love the keys? My director came and put up the classroom key in case of a lockdown. The fact that I already had flying keys above the door worked out perfectly. The new key just became one of the many.


Students who choose to buy an owl, keep them in our school owlery. Every student has their own mailbox. The Owl Post workers are in charge of sorting the mail from the outgoing box. 

The giant pendulum is from the Hogwarts Clock Tower. I also posted the Hogwarts school song, my version of the Sorting Hat song, and a description of traits and information for the three houses. 

I made sure to include envelopes and stamps at the Owl Post for the students to use. I also included a few extra details like two of Harry's Hogwarts acceptance letters and a Kwikspell Correspondence course letter addressed to Filch. If you open the envelopes the letters are all there. I love to leave little details for my students to eventually discover. 

The Great Hall

 The Sorting Hat

The hat talked...or at least appeared to. I used a text to speech program online that had a British accent, which sounded very similar to Sorting Hat in the movie. I wrote a custom messages for each of my students and then recorded it with my iphone. During the sorting, I held the phone behind the hat. Then I just clicked on the student's name, and the hat would talk and sort them. I even had the hat sing a special welcome song before the sorting! 

Example Sorting Messages:

Ah…you have a clever mind…plenty of courage too I see…and you love a challenge…you are a tough one…let me see…you want to go where? Are you sure? I think I know best… I am a hat after all …and I see it plainly all here in your head… You will do well in Hippogriff!

Ah...I see...creative and clever... but athletic and resourceful too...I see you have a need to explore and take risk...well I know just what to do with a mind like that...better be Phoenix!

Now don’t worry…I have a mouth..but I don’t bite…let’s have a look in your head…I see…I see… well…This is easy…you’ll do well in Dragons!

I divided the classroom into seven different sections. Each section represents a different location. The Great Hall, the Owlery, Herbology/Care of Magical Creatures, the Library, Headmaster's Office, Common Room, and Diagon Alley. Each blog post will highlight a different location in the classroom.

The main seating area represents the Great Hall. 

I keep track of the house point on the whiteboard. 

For the ceiling, I made 60 floating candles and hung them up in rows with fishing line. I used yellow construction paper and covered the flame with glitter. It came out very nice if I do say so myself.

Since this is Hogwarts International School for Muggles, our houses are different. We have three houses at our Hogwarts. The houses are Dragons, Phoenix, and Hippogriffs. Each house has their own personality traits that are most valued. The sorting hat took each student's personality into consideration when sorting them into their houses.

The pixies came out better than I expected. I found some pixie pictures online and added blue wings to them. When I hung them on the wall, I bent their arms, legs, and wings out a bit. Now when the heat or air conditioner comes on, they flutter about and look like they are moving.

This is the jobs board. Every student in my class has a job. The jobs change once a month. If the students do their jobs well, they can earn galleons to spend in Diagon Alley. My students love having a way to earn galleons. Everyone's favorite job is Prefect, because Prefects are allowed to take up to 5 points if they see any rule breaking. So far, the prefects have done a wonderful job not abusing their power and this has taught them that being in charge isn't always easy.

If anything bad happens in the room, we blame it on Peeves.

Herbology & Care of Magical Creatures



 Care of Magical Creatures

I made a collage of pages from the book, Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book. 

The blast-ended skrewts escaped!