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Hi, This is my first year teaching third grade,and I could sure use some help.Thanks Alot, Janessa Bristol Fl

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Gofer 05-29-2017 08:41 PM

I love your idea about using a giraffe theme for a third grade classroom, although I note it was posted eleven years ago!

groverth 09-06-2011 06:42 PM

I was wondering what you do with your lightbulb theme. Our school theme is inventors/inventions/innovations. I teach 1st and thought lightbulbs would be an interesting way of interpreting the theme for my class.

hananh 07-25-2011 06:12 PM


Love your idea....

I theme my room this way at Halloween and have been thinking of doing it as a year theme. I'm swaying with oz, pirates, and alice in wonderland....

great ideas!

Indica 10-04-2010 10:55 PM

very interesting post.

MZ BIGHASS 08-11-2009 02:09 PM

Themes are very important, they help invite the children to learn! Last year I used giant crayons in my class made from bulletin board paper, all of which I made myself. The whole room was decorated with them. I used them as bulletin boards, word banks, strategy posterboards and backgrounds to display the students work.

Having a theme each year is tough, but it adds appeal to your class and again it welcomes the children. Other basic themes might include:

theme park

These are just some examples but you have to get creative, trace giant size portaits of the item and apply them to the walls with staples. If you plan on keeping them for another year its best to laminate them. You can also find niffty items at the dollar tree/store to go along with your themes.

Enjoy your new year!

Disney1 07-09-2008 06:50 PM

I am starting my first year of teaching in a third grade class. I wanted to make my room fun and inviting for the children. I want to include a China/Kung Fu Panda/Mulan/Olympics theme for the first months of school. Does anyone have any ideas?

swirlytwirly 06-17-2008 09:47 AM

Without a window it could be easy to come up with a theme. How about an underwater world theme. You can have the kids draw on poster board things in the ocean or even you can, or find posters. Then make it look like your classroom is a submarine and the posters/pictures can be your windows. If your doing a safari/jungle you can do the same thing. Outside your your classroom there could be a blue whale or even an zebra.

TS 08-16-2007 09:57 PM

Hi Jessica,
Welcome to the world of teaching. This will be my 13th year teaching 3rd grade and it is the best grade to have. I would suggest to take things as they come. If you try to plan everything out, it gets to be too overwhelming. I would try to plan out things two weeks at a time. Remember it is better to overplan than to underplan. Make sure you have a lot of activities to do the first day. Especially independant things. There tends to be a lot of papers that come into school and you need to look at them. Make sure the kids are kept occupied.

Also I think the most important thing you can do is to make sure to have a good classroom management/behavior system. I use a system of rewards and consequences. I have a place where each child has a cup. When they are caught being good they get a bingo chip in their cup. I set goals for the children where they earn certificates and prizes for different amounts. Thats for good behavior. For bad behavior I have a chart set up that has a library card holder for each of the children. Each child gets four cards -green blue yellow and red. Each child starts out the week on green. As the child does something wrong, they flip their card. Blue card means morning recess is lost, yellow is lunch outdoor recess is lost, red is a demerit and 5 demerits is an after school detention.

Really stay in contact with the parents. It helps a lot.
I hope this helped you.
Good luck!!!

TS 08-16-2007 09:44 PM

I did a room with a Wizard of Oz theme one year. It was really bright and cheerful. I had go all throughout the room. On one wall I made emerald city and had cut outs of the characters. My bulletin boards were: "We represent the lollipop kids" ( i had different colored circles and popsicle sticks attached to make them look like lollipops. I took their pictures and placed the pictures in the center of the lollipops. )
Board 2 was "We'd like to welcome you to Munckinland" (I used a die cut of a house and cut them out in rainbow colors. Then I had a yellow brick road and then took the children's pictures as if they were walking. Then I put their picture to look like they were walking on the yellowbrick road.
My behavior board said "No monkey business allowed" and i found a flying monkey pattern on google images.
I hope this helps. It really was a lot of fun and since the play Wicked is out, it's a little more popular. Good luck

janessa 08-16-2007 06:47 AM

Hi, This is my first year teaching third grade,and I could sure use some help.Thanks Alot, Janessa Bristol Fl

Swimy 07-26-2007 04:04 AM

Go with an Ocean Theme and get Blue net (fabric) from any store and hang from the ceiling with fish and etc other ocean animals.
Hang blue streamers from ceiling then just keep going deep into the ocean.LT

Janey 06-24-2006 12:52 PM

I also had a room without a view and we made one wall an ocean view. The bottom half was the water and from that emerged whales tales. My students were older and helped. However it is easy enough to do with a helper. The largest whale tail sported hand prints from each child going up the 2 sides of the tail because the whale's tale is like a human finger print; no two are alike. Throughout the season, students drew, colored and cut out new ocean and beach critters they learned about I had a chance and added them to the wall. It grew and changed withtweather, too. If I miss those days, but I am happy in my first grade job. I am discovering ways students can take ownership of the room decor.

Begood 06-18-2006 09:20 PM

At first I was going to strickly do bees, but I think I may get sick of it and garden stuff I thought was go well.

I even thought I bugs theme, but them I thought I'll the kids would start bringing in live one. YUCK!

So as of today (it may change) I have bees, ladybugs,butterflies, flowers, windsock, I think that will brighten up my dull room.


SusanTeach 06-14-2006 12:14 PM

I wanted a "sunny" room, so I did several things:
1. Made a giant sun out of bulletin board paper - that was where my word wall went. I called it my "synonym sun" - and we added synonyms to it all year. He had big sunglasses (drawn on) and really added to the room. The small ray had a word (for example: big), and the larger ray behind it had the synonyms for it (humongous, gigantic, etc...).
2. Put yellow paper on the door, glued small sunglasses with each child's name on it (use a paint pen and write on the cheap sunglasses' lens). I put a giant pair for myself, and then wrote "Bright 3rd graders enter here" on the top.
3. Hang 3D sun and brightly colored twirly things (not sure of their name, but you can find them at Walmart) in my reading corner. I used bright colored construction paper to write the genre of books for each of my baskets of books in there. I had tye-dyed fabric for the curtain and body pillows for the kids to sit on.
4. Place giant colorful butterflies around the room, on the end of bookcases, etc... I forgot where I bought them.
5. Buy bright colored fabric to cover under any tables (makes a great storage place, too).
6. Add another word wall above your white board - I used strips of colored bulletin board paper for each letter of the alphabet - and wrote the most commonly misspelled words on it.

That's all I can remember right now, but you get the general idea.

Jheaven 06-14-2006 08:57 AM

I going to third grade for the first time this year. I am thinking about using race cars for my theme. The hit movie cars has motivated me to try to use cars as my theme. Racing takes place outside and with bright colors such as red and yellow would make the room bright without a window.

Pineywoods 06-05-2006 09:59 AM

I don't have a window either. I'm thinking of getting some of those full-spectrum daylight bulbs and going with a theme that would place my room itself "outdoors" (a forest, the beach, no need for a window). I read (from an ASCD link?) that students perform better when they have well-lit rooms.
One way to look for a theme is to browse through kid's party websites. Often there are craft ideas there, too. Another option is to look through kid's decor websites (as in home decorating).
I am trying a theme for the first time this year (...this is my 12th year as a teacher!). Usually my room has more of a color scheme than a real theme, but there's considerable pressure at my campus to have a theme. Some I have considered are:
stars/planets (reach for the stars; coordinates with 3rd grade science in my district)
fish (done a lot at my school, since we live by a lake)
forests (temperate zone, not rainforests)
elephants (never forget; something BIG is happening here)
seven continents
Good luck and keep looking until you find one that EXCITES you!!

M'Lou 06-05-2006 05:18 AM

No window - maybe you could make your own - as many as you wish- create a frame, panes, window treatment etc., maybe a scene outside the window - it could change with the seasons. Use newsprint, constructions paper or whatever would work. Extra ambitious? actually create the frame out of wood. Hope this helps

pkjw 06-03-2006 06:06 AM

One way to brighten a room and make it look more inviting is to hang curtins around a bulletin board so that it looks like a window. You can decorate under it with any type of outdoorsy theme like camping, safari, woodland animals, etc.

mel 06-02-2006 10:08 AM

ocean, rainforest, western, space, apples, circus, stars, Hollywood, turtles, race car, sports, rainbow, jukebox/music
Some of these have lots of items that are pre-made by some of the different companies like Carson Dellosa. Try looking at their website to get some ideas

Laura I 06-01-2006 07:22 PM

I did sunflowers and a light blue denim last year and it was very bright. I was in a "yucky" portable and wanted something to make the room brighter and more appealing - it was great. You could even make a fake window with a flower scene behind it. I also bought some inexpensive floor lamps at walmart and found that that kind of light was much brighter than the harsh classroom lights. Good luck!

javamomma 05-31-2006 04:52 PM

I really dont have a "theme"
but my class Mascot is the giraffe. There are several good qualities about the giraffe that I share with my students at the first of the year.

*The giraffe will always reach for the very top of the tree for leaves even though there are ones lower. (Always try your best)
*The giraffe takes chances while getting water, it has to spread its legs to balance, and is most vunerable at that time (It is ok to take chances)
*The giraffe heard will take care of one another (we as a class will take care of each other.)

I start out the year with all giraffes, send home letters on giraffe stationary ect...

Amy in AL 05-31-2006 12:02 PM

I'm doing a jungle/African safari theme. There are lots of neat things I think you could do with that. I haven't spent a LOT of time being creative yet but you can make a reading hut, make a neat tree etc. As far as brightening up the room, I'm not sure, do you have lamps in there? I see a lot of teachers use lamps and I really like it. What about stringing lights from the ceiling, the kind that are used to decorate backyards? I'm just going to 3rd this year, so lots to think about! Why don't you have a window in your room? Hope this maybe sparks some ideas for you.

KY Teach 05-31-2006 06:37 AM

Help! I need to find a theme that will brighten up a room without a window. Several themes that have been taken down my hall are frogs, bees, garden and USA. I want my theme to be inviting, motivational but not overpowering. I have tried going back into last summer's archives, but I have had no luck. I am not pulling up all that was on there. I would appreciate any ideas! Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts!

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