Back to School Decorating

Just got home from a few hours of decorating my classroom. We don’t start until after Labor day, so I still have plenty of time but I like to go in a little early and get a head start. We have to take everything down in June- which is a bummer but at the same time it forces me to recreate myself in the fall. My goal is to make my students feel like they are walking into a Spanish -Speaking country when they come into my room. I try to combine cultural images with signage that will help them pick up and learn new vocabulary.

I’m far from done but here are some pics of what I have done son far.

What do you think? Any ideas for my blank bulletin boards?

This bulletin board is in a super weird corner in my room. In years past I’ve put many different things on it- mostly posters and student work but no one ever looked there because it is in the back corner of the room. Stealing from my colegas over at Creative Language, I decided to make the board a little more functional. I called it “El Rincón Estudiantil” and the first 3 folders are – frases útiles (for extra vocab/phrase of the week sheets), el desafío (extra challenge work) and hojas de calentamiento (sheets that students use to complete their daily warm-up). Then I got two hanging files from Target and labeled them by grade. Each folder is labeled with the lesson (1-4) and then homework and assessments. This way if a student is out they can access what they missed. This all used to live on the side table and it was just a big, unorganized mess. Hopefully this will work!  The background is fabric from walmart- it’s greener than using paper and it lasts longer- no fading!

El rincón estudiantil

 

 

These posters are on the side wall and are question word posters I got from Carlex- they are super cute and have the question word and a scene that helps the students figure out what each one means (no English!)

                         

I only have two windows- but they are pretty big! Perfect for weather signs!

This is yet another steal from Creative Language- Using the doors for greetings and farewells. Brilliant! I’ve attached my word doc with the pics and phrases if you’re interested.

Saludos y Despedidas

Saludos y Despedidas

greetings_signs_2012

Then I have the space above my board- I created signs for the survival phrases they need in my classroom. I attached the file too- it is editable.

Frases para sobrevivir en mi clase! LOL!

frases para la clase afiches
This next wall is my biggest challenge- there is just SO much space.  I have many countries posters so I think I will just fill this space with those again.

Huge wall!

 
This is my inbox or correo- I use it to organize assignments and assessments turned in by class- it’s wonderful because I can just take it off the wall and take it home and grade.  Also students know where to put things if they’ve been absent.

Inbox

 

Questions of the day!  Every day (with both grades) after they have worked on their calentamiento, I greet the class and ask them these questions.  Routine is great because they expect it and they get a lot of language out of it.  My calendar is next to this with a makeshift bulletin board I made out of fabric and bulletin board borders- more pics to come.

Questions of the day

I have these two very large bulletin boards that I don’t know how to decorate. Any ideas? Again, I used fabric for the background and bulletin board borders I bought through Teacher’s Discovery and Carlex.  I have some art posters as well as some realia.  I want it to catch their attention.  Ideas welcome!

big bulletin boards

Here are two of my class “pets”- I got them in Colombia years ago.  I usually have the kids name them every year.  They like it and I talk to them as if they were part of the class!

Guacamayas

So, what do you think?  Any ideas for my blank spaces????

 

 

11 thoughts on “Back to School Decorating

  1. Thanks for sharing. I love seeing what other Spanish teachers’ classrooms look like!

  2. I like having a display of magazines on my back wall in clear plastic sleeves. Students access them for silent reading🙂

  3. Hola! I loved your board so much I went out and bought those hanging files and have been making the labels tonight too! I also have a bulletin board in a back corner and never know what to put back there since the kids don’t really pay attention to it. This will give them a reason to check it out! Thank you so much for sharing

    • Thanks for visiting Alyssa! I’m glad you got a good idea out of my post! I also have one hanging file at the front of my room that I use as an “in box” for each class. They drop their assignments in the corresponding folder and at the end of the day I just take the folder off and bring it home- so easy! I have it hung up w/ one of those removable hooks you can buy at target or home depot. I’m excited to see how my students utilize this new area. Send me pics or let me know how it goes🙂

  4. I have a suggestion for your large blank wall that will trick them into learning language without them knowing it! I have two subscriptions to People en espanol. One goes in the magazine rack for the students to read when they have a chance. The other I use for the ads. I rip out the full page ads (the ones that are appropriate for middle school) and create a realia ad wall. The ads are usually for products the kids recognize (Gain laundry soap, Oreos, etc) and are in Spanish. I always have kids that look at them when they get a chance. I change them up every other month or so and it’s always fun to see when the kids notice. I got the idea from a blog by Senor Noble. http://senornoble.blogspot.com/2011/09/classroom-idea-people-en-espanol.html

    I also have an interactive cultural bulletin board. I put up interesting, eye catching pictures of various cultural topics and then put up a flyer next to then with little pieces of paper they can rip off (kind of like an ad you can see on like a community bulletin board where the papers have someone’s number on them). The papers have links to a website that they can check out to learn what the pictures are about. Some of them even write about what they learned in their journals!

  5. Hi! I love your website and the ideas you shared with us. I’m also a Spanish teacher and in my classroom I have a “traffic light” made with big paper circles (red,yellow,green) and I call it my Vocabulary light. The way I use it is to review and introduce new vocabulary, the goal is to move everg word to the green area. Hope you like the idea. Muchas gracias por compartirnos tu conocimiento e ideas. Saludos!

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