I am so in love with my classroom theme this year! It was a blast to pull together, though it took a lot of work. I'm sure the principal, who walked in on me countless times working over summer vacation, thinks I'm insane. I tried to convince him that I really was having fun!
The camping and woodsy touches are fun and relatable for these small-town Idaho kiddos. The lighting is awful, so I apologize for the poor photo quality, but let me show you around. Many of my ideas are taken from the Internet and tweaked for my own use. I'll give credit at the end to those who inspired me!
In the hallway, I welcomed my new students with a silly display:
"3rd grade happy campers...the s'more the merrier!"
This wooden sign sat outside the door to give my room a real campground feel. Andrew helped me build it, and then I painted the lettering. This project cost nothing, because we used free pallets and wood scraps on hand.
This is an activity we did in the first weeks. I wanted to incorporate fireflies somehow. Attempting to help them recognize the difference between long and short vowels, I wrote spelling words on Carson Dellosa cartoon fireflies and hid them around the room. After the kids "caught" a few fireflies each, we placed them in different glass jars based on the vowel sounds of the printed words.
Afterward, we used yellow paint, our thumbs, and some black markers to create the above craft. They wrote a word with a long vowel sound next to each firefly in their "jar." Long Vowel Lightning Bugs. Super simple, quick, and fun learning activity.
Inside, you get a view of our class library. The bulletin board over the books says "Reading Under the Stars" where paper stars dangle from the ceiling. I sewed those garlands together quickly using my sewing machine.
For six months, I collected fake pine trees at thrift stores for cheap. They are placed throughout the room to make the room feel forest-y. A dollar store picnic tablecloth adds more character and color. A bunting made with camping themed scrapbook paper is strung behind my desk.
The couch is decorated with forest animals and pillows with wood grain or leafy patterns.
Kids can earn the privilege to read in this tent. Andrew and I built the frame before I simply draped fabric over the top.
The math fact charts I made on Photoshop using random Internet clip art. It is available to print at my TPT store HERE.
I bought pine tree borders to decorate many of the bulletin boards in the room.
And I added random forest animals. I thought the skunk was a cute way to reinforce my two classroom rules.
I made this sign to post by the hooks where the kids hang their backpacks. The fun "Drift Wood" font can be found here.
Of course we had to have a fire! I built this with rocks and sticks from our yard, a black fabric covered bucket lid, and tissue paper. Andrew's construction glue keeps it all attached. Inside the tissue paper is a string of orange twinkle lights. We plug it in and enjoy our glowing fire on special occasions, or when we are gathered around to hear one another's writing.
A mini picnic basket holds the teacher's random junk.
The kids work hard to earn "Cocoa Points" with good behavior (polite assembly manners, everyone getting their jobs done before the music ends, working hard to learn a new skill, etc.) After 20 marshmallow are added to the mug, we'll have a cocoa party!
I found the four free woodland animal CAFE signs on TPT. Everything else is my own creation. The CAFE circles (along with a matching CAFE binder cover sheet) can be found on my TPT store HERE.
Each student chose a tent to represent them next to their assigned classroom job. Hence the "We All Pitch In" sign. I simply printed tent clip art on card stock.
Random reading corners are set up with kid-sized camping chairs or park benches acquired at garage sales.
I also printed signs on card stock that you might find posted at a real campsite and taped them to yardsticks. There are six of them around the room.
Well, that wraps it up. Thanks for stopping by!
- I got the pennant flags in the hallway as a free printable from here.
- My "Moose Ashmore" door idea came from here.
- "Reading Under the Stars" bulletin came from here, though I added the hanging stars.
- Printable camping signs came from this website.
- The original firefly craft came here. I added the vowel sound practice to it.
- I saw a "marshmallow points" example here, but I used my own mug clip art.
- A"Drop Your Pack" sign at a camping themed party inspired my own.