Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"welcome to the jungle, we've got fun and games"

I originally had a different post planned for today but I found this linky party and couldn't help but link up!

I love classroom themes! 
It's one of my favorite things about a new school year!

This past year, I had a jungle/animal print theme and quickly became known as the animal print queen! (Sorry Snooki!) I had toyed around with the idea of coming up with something new for next year, especially if I switch grade levels, but I really loved my classroom this year. I have a feeling the theme will probably stick around until I get sick of it.

Here ya go: Tour de la Mrs. Dunn's Classroom

Every two weeks we had a new student featured on Safari Spotlight. I was featured for the first week of school so students could get to know Mrs. Dunn. I had pictures and work samples of when I was third grade. My parent letter can be found here to give you a better idea of what students did each week. (Let me know if you want me to create a more generic letter, as this one still has all of my information.) 

I made fish tanks for my jobs and changed them weekly. The student on Safari Spotlight was always the line leader. Other jobs included door holder, light monitor, greeter, snack helpers, bathroom monitor, lunch helpers, librarian, substitute, equipment manager, caboose, materials manager, and trash monitor. I have a full list of jobs and job descriptions I'll try to add later. (They're on my other computer.)

The bulletin board was made using duct tape. Student could leave messages for me on the board that I would check at the end of each day. This was a materials station for students to get white boards, clip boards, or other things they needed. I used a shoe organizer on the side for highlighter, glue sticks and other school supplies. 

One of my computer stations (with a homemade zebra print lamp and animal print desktop backgrounds for the computers. Obsessive, I know).

I wrapped my teacher desk and assistant desk with these tan grass skirts to add to the jungle theme. I really liked it but need to find a better way of attaching it (I used thumb tacks last year).

On my desk I also had a "Fishing for Compliments" fish bowl. When students were caught being good they would get a paper fish that they could write their name on and put in the fish bowl. Every Friday we would would have "Fishbowl Friday" and I would draw a random number of fish out of the bowl. Those lucky little fishies got to choose a prize out of the prize drawer! My kids went nuts for Fishbowl Friday!

This was my back bulletin board wall. My elephant bulletin board was my favorite! It was our "Nuts About Multiplication" board where we kept track of students' multiplication tables using peanuts. 

Library - complete with animal print pillows and blankets.

Our carpet area - I loved the bamboo director's chair I found at TJ Maxx last summer. I painted the stool and we used it for Morning Meeting shares. (P.S. I have no idea why it won't let me rotate it the right way)

Book bag cubbies and chalk board easel. This was where I wrote snack each morning.  You can also see a little bit of my animal print curtains. I had windows that opened into the hallway. My stepmom made curtains for them using cheetah print fabric, green fabric, and animal print ribbon to attach them to curtain rods. They weren't finished when I took this picture but they were supa cute! 

Front of my room. You can kind of see how the students desks were grouped. I also had tiger striped fabric covering my technology table that held the projector and the elmo.  

This was where we kept track of AR progress. It was my LEAP FROG board (get it ha). Each student had their own frog. If they made an 85% or higher on an AR test they got to add a sticker to their frog. After 5 stickers they got a (tiny) piece of candy. I am not a big fan of the candy rewards but alas I gave in. This picture was taken at the beginning of the quarter, but as time went on and students met their AR goals, their frogs turned into princes (they got to add a crown to their frog). 

I think it's really important to the success of your students and to your happiness to create a fun, functional room. If you think about it, we spend more time in our classrooms than in our living rooms (gah). I think teachers should take the time and effort to create a warm, inviting classroom just like we would to create a warm, inviting living room. (Just a little of my two cents for ya.)

Hope you enjoyed! Don't forget to head on over and link up to share your classroom ideas!




  1. Your room looks so fun! I love animal print it is really popular right now! I really want to put a grass skirt around my desk too. I just haven't been able to find one yet. Thank you so much for linking up!!

    1. Thanks! Fun was definitely what I was going for! The grass skirt is actually several kids grass skirts from the dollar tree! Good luck and happy decorating!


  2. Great idea's. You can do so much with that theme. I am awarding you the versatile blogger award. You can pick it up at Homemade First Grade http://homemadefirstgrade.blogspot.com