The first day of school is in two days and I am really excited to start a new year. I have been into my room for the last 2 weeks and can not wait until my students can see what it looks like. This summer I have read many different blogs and postings about if you should have a "classroom theme". It made me think weather I should change the way I present my room. As I thought about it more, I could not bring myself to take about the opportunity for my students to come into a highly simulating environment away. Each year I decorate my room based on a different theme and the students look forward to seeing what it is going to be for the following year. As a middle school educator, I think any time you can get a bunch of teenagers excited about something as simple as drawings on a board, it is an amazing thing. Throughout the year I take in suggestions from students about the theme and use the one which is talked about the most. I have had themes such as Muppets, Disney films, Mad scientist and this year the themes is:
The theme in the room allows the students to add to or take down as they see fit for their learning. The room becomes theirs and they change it through out the year. I teach 7 classes of grade 7 science and I find many of my quite students want to stay behind after class to talk to me about a connection they have made with something in the room. Sometimes students I even catch students quoting something they have read or seen in the room. The room changes through out the year but the theme gives us all a starting point to grow from.
So as the summer draws to an end I look forward to presenting my NEW Superhero classroom to the 250 new students that I will welcome to the school this year. My wish is that the positive messages throughout my room makes them smile, empowers them, challenges them or takes them to whatever adventure they choose to take. So, maybe the classroom theme and decorations are not for everyone but they work for my students!
Here's to a SUPER year!