In the meantime, here are some things I discovered while decorating my classroom:
- Windows--Check if your window sills are magnetic...I wanted to hang things in the window this year, and I discovered that the top of the window sill is actually magnetic. If you are going to hang something light, like student writing, a hook magnet might work. For me, I'm hanging glass terrariums. I used magnetic hooks and outdoor mounting tape. This makes it permanent, but I'm confident it won't fall, which is a really good thing since it's glass. (It is probably a good idea to pop the magnets out first, because the glue holding the magnet in will eventually give way.)
- Concrete brick walls--Clean them with rubbing alcohol...Hanging stuff on those things and keeping them up seems to be a constant battle. I know some teachers in my building use hot glue guns. If you have access to an outlet and a glue gun, try that. I have not tried it, but they all assure me it comes off clean. Me? I discovered from reading different packages that if you clean the bricks with rubbing alcohol first, it helps things to stick better. It really does work, and then I just use frog tape or painter's tape. (FYI, take the rubbing alcohol home when you're done and clean the walls when the kids aren't around. Kids are not allowed to have access to this. Safety first.)
- Assigning students numbers--Use calendar numbers...A lot of teachers assign their students numbers rather than putting their names on things to allow anonymity, and especially if something is going to be used year after year like a book box. I decided to go with this idea for the things I reuse, but I really didn't want to have to write numbers on everything. I wanted something printed rather than written. A simple solution--use the ready-made calendar numbers (hopefully no one will ever have a class bigger than 31...) They also do sell sticker sheets of just numbers in the scrapbook section at your local hobby store. They didn't seem like a readily available item (I got the last sticker sheet), so it might be better to order online.
- Pinterest--If you are an avid Pinner and are looking for ideas for the classroom, don't forget to check the home section. Most of us are really good at thinking outside the box, and can turn a home idea into something for the classroom. In fact, I get more classroom decorating ideas from there than from the education tab.
- Air Plants--These are what are going in the glass terrariums. They won't be ready before the kids get here, so I'll post it now. To be honest, I'm not a plant person (they usually die on me), but I thought air plants might be a good alternative. If you haven't heard of them, they are rootless plants that you spray or give a "bath" to once per week, and they don't need soil. They are small and come in a lot of different varieties. I'm sure it will provide great learning opportunities, too. If you are going to try them and get the terrariums, the tip is to order "votive candle holders." They are the same as "terrariums," but way cheaper. You can even use those clear plastic tree ornaments. Google it. They are fun!
Here's a pic of one of my air plants and the terrarium/votive holder. You can keep the terrariums plain like this or add decorative rocks, wood, moss, etc.
That's all for now, hopefully the classroom will be done tomorrow, and you will see pics to help give you some more ideas.
Have fun on the first day of school!!!!!!!