Tuesday, December 8, 2015

No Time to Decorate Your Classroom for Christmas?

9 DAYS??? Can there really only be nine teaching days left before we break for the Christmas break? Here, in California, it doesn't feel quite like "Christmas" yet. The weather has been beautiful.

I took both of these photos just this week on my street.

And, Thanksgiving WAS just over a week ago. We are having a Christmas party in 9 days and my classroom looked like THIS the other day. Honestly, I don't know about you, but when class ended right before Thanksgiving, I WASN'T worried at that point about making sure the class came back to a room ready for Christmas. I love my class, they are a really kind and sweet group.....but they are 5 and have non-stop energy! So much so, that I love joking that working with them can be compared to what it might look like if one were to try to change the laundry right in the middle of the spin cycle. When we came back after the Thanksgiving break, my classroom still looked like this...


Immediately upon returning, only 3 days later, we hosted an Open House for prospective new parents to come check out the school. We were told we didn't have to create new projects for this, but I felt that with it now being December, I shouldn't have up all my Thanksgiving decorations, so what to do in such a short time?

I took a break from the academics in the middle of the day on Monday and Tuesday and got the kids all excited by telling them we were going to work like little elves to create some beautiful Christmas decorations for the room. They LOVED that.

We created the penguins from Deep Space Sparkle's website. You can see some painting their stripes in the foreground while others were creating their "anything goes" penguins with cut paper, glue, jewels, buttons, cotton balls, and any other scraps we have in the classroom. I love how each one of them turned out differently. After the students created their penguin iceberg with oil pastels, I had them glue their penguin to it and then both of those to their painted stripes background. You can not tell from the photo, but some of the paint was sparkle paint. I cut wavy lines around their creation and matted those against black paper to make the colors pop more.

We also made these cute Rudolphs in only one day. I did a directed instruction drawing lesson. They drew their reindeer with crayons and colored it in. They later painted a background with either blue or green watercolor paint. I added bottled, silver watercolor paint to each color so that the final product has a sheen to it (that you can't see in the picture).

I obviously need to talk to Santa about a drying rack. I made due with letting the masterpieces dry on our playdoh mats. We were literally working on these in any spare moments we had in between our academics. Thankfully, they dried fairly quickly, so I just ran my scissors around them in a wavy cut and matted them on red paper to bring out Rudolph's nose.

We also had a visit from our 4th grade buddies, so we worked together to make these angels. I have purple doors in my classroom, so these looked pretty nice on the back of our doors (which we do have to keep closed during the day for fire safety regulations).

The angels are a pattern cut-out from our Bible curriculum, but can be made easily by cutting out the 5 pieces from construction paper. The students decorated the lines on the angel gowns with glitter glue in colors of their choice and used star stickers in any design they wanted around their angel.

Some other touches I added: hung silver snowflakes on a wire across the room, silver garland and red and white lights above the whiteboard, a life-sized light up snowman, and numerous light-up snowmen around the room.

I didn't take the best pictures to highlight the decorations, but in only two days, they were able to make projects that transformed the room from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I do have one with my co-worker who teaches across the hall. We did Open House together in my room.

After the room was set, we put out "stations" for the parents to visit.



We also had a PHONICS and READING table too. The handwritten title placards were obviously an after-thought, so for our next one in a few weeks, we will print them. 

With so little space to display, I'd love to hear what you all do for Open House. 

I'd also love to hear about the ideas you have for your students to decorate your classroom in the next few days that you have together.

Finally, I'd like to thank Megan Favre at A Bird in Hand Designs for my new blog design. She put a lot of time into making it look so much better. Check out her site if you are interested in redesigning your blog.

A Bird in Hand Designs


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