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How do you afford changing?
Old 06-12-2010, 06:35 AM
 
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I had a sports/team theme in my class last year. I love it! I had been keeping it for at least a few years. Then I was inspired yesterday at a workshop to change it to camping. I noticed a lot of you change your themes from year to year. How do you afford to do that? I guess I am not as creative so I have to buy a lot of stuff.


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Changing Themes
Old 06-12-2010, 06:47 AM
 
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This is one of the main reasons I have not changed my theme yet. I have invested so much time and money in my theme each year I add something new and I am now at a new school so it does not matter too much to me if I keep the same theme.
I eventually want to change to a circus theme the colors I use would work I already have curtains that I made a few years ago. I have also wanted to do a western theme I have started gathering items and ideas for both themes until I decide which one I want to do.

You can start small!! As you are out and about always keep an eye out for things that will go with your theme, hit flea markets and yard sales. That is how I got many of my stuffed animals and books.
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changing themes
Old 06-12-2010, 06:55 AM
 
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I am changing themes for the 3rd time in 5 years. My advice is to decide on your theme as far in advance as you can (a year ahead if possible) and begin looking for SALES while you are out and about.

I have found gobs of stuff at rummage sales and dollar stores.
If you look online for ideas, you can recreate them for a fraction of the price as you would have to pay for it in the store.

I'm frugal...I especially don't like the idea of spending tons of my own money on classroom decorations. I buy things throughout the year when I find it on sale instead of spending however much in a short amount of time...the money sting doesn't hurt so bad.
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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I too am changing themes AGAIN. I didn't think I would, because I had an amazing camping theme that I loved. It is a long story, but I am starting from scratch in my room (which is two huge rooms connected). So I just want to say I understand! There is a lot of time involved in a themed room. The pp's have given you great advice, the only thing that I might add is to use the resources of a friend or relative that is artsy. By some fluke (neither I nor my husband can draw an apple) one of our sons can draw! I am going to get bulletin board paper, etc. and have him draw/color some giant things for my walls (that are specific to my new theme). I usually get a lot of compliments when he does that sort of thing for me, so maybe it will work for you. The only downside is I have to bribe him. Good luck to you!
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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I change my theme yearly and I just buy a little at a time or make my own things. You can use an overhead and enlarge clipart and things for your wall. I've also ran scrapbook paper through the copier and made some awesome name tags and decorations. Borrowing is a good idea. I have a ton of borders and bulletin board sets and I often loan things out to teachers.


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themes
Old 06-12-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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When I change themes I try to keep the same color tones so I don't have to change the background of my BB or the curtains, or the filters for my lights. This way I can same some money.
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:26 AM
 
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I think it depends on the theme. There have been years that I spent a fortune and years I spent next t nothing. One year I went out and bought tons of stuff. The next I used the overhead and created really cute western themed characters by tracing clipart images that I projected onto craft paper and then painting them.

A camping theme is great because you can use your classroom to store some of your summer stuff if you have it. I brought in camp chairs and coolers for the kids to sit on during group. Not only did I not have to spend money, but it freed up space in my basement.

If you have an AC Moore or a Michaels nearby you could also use 50% off coupons.

Try the local thrift stores / salvation army. They always have cheap flannel shirts. You could stuff them to make pillows.

With the camping theme you could also gather stuff from nature: rocks and large pine cones would make cute accents.

Here's some pictures of the classroom themes that may help inspire some ideas: http://www.clutter free classroom dot com/classroomthemes.htm

Have fun with it!
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Trade with someone
Old 06-13-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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Sometimes we trade off with each other when we are tired of our theme. We use it then return it after a year. This has really cut costs. I just add a few different things. This works if you trust the other person to take care of your items.
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I am a fairly new teacher
Old 06-13-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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I enjoy themes. I did Sports this year, I found a lot of things on Ebay, at Goodwill and the Dollar Store. Teachersclubhouse is a cheap way to get theme related graphics. I am doing camping for the new year. Since, I decided this right after school started, I began snapping up tents, woodland stuffed toys, etc as I came across them. I am anticipating one more theme (Hollywood or Western). After that I will rotate them every three years.
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:15 PM
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theme
Old 06-26-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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I am using the same theme next year as I did this past year...it cost quite a bit of money because I did Dr. Seuss and you can't find a lot of that stuff for cheap. I will use it for a few more years (it's different kids so it's new to them!) and I will try to add new stuff to change it up a bit. Eventually, I do plan on doing a monsters or polka dot theme and then I can alternate between the two every other year.


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