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How do YOU decide on one?
Old 06-19-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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I love themes as I know many of you here do too. It's not for everyone, I understand that as well.

But with the plethora of themes to do, how do YOU decide?

Do you dare to be different?
Go for what's cute?
Strong kid appeal?
Something that you love?


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It's All About the Kids
Old 06-19-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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I made the decision this year to go with what appealed to the students. I absolutely love geography and learning about places in the world, so I wanted to do an Around the World theme. I have traveled some, and wanted to incorporate my own photographs into the 'decor'. BUT - the students I will have this year care nothing about 'the world'. MANY of them are on IEP's, of some sort, and attention-span is already an issue. Plus, World Geography isn't a priority skill for them to learn - just be introduced to. I think it will be a better learning environment if the decor is something to which they relate.

That being said, I had many of these same students last year, and I used the Magic School Bus series to assist in their science lessons. They begged for more. About two weeks ago, I saw one of the students and he started telling me all about a Cloud story he had read at summer school, how he already knew all of the answers because of what I had taught him, and he knew even more than the reading coach about the cloud formation - all because of what he saw on The Magic School Bus. It was at that time that I realized how one 30-minute program added to my lessons had made a HUGE impact on this young man.

SOOOOO...... Magic School Bus it is! Unfortunately, there aren't many Magic School Bus themed decorations, but with the help of coloring pages and an overhead projector, I'm making my own. I will probably incorporate other plain 'school bus' decor (notepads, pencils, fabric). I've purchased (but haven't rec'd yet) a complete set of Magic School Bus DVD's from a seller on iOffer.com, and have found fabric panels of the Magic School Bus on eBay. I've even located some McD's kid's meal MSB toys that I may use as hall passes. eBay is wonderful! Plus, I can still use the Magic School Bus theme to 'visit' some of those worldly places that I wanted, but in the long run, it's all about the kids - that's why we're there.
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Themes Therapy
Old 06-19-2011, 08:56 AM
 
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I have a hard time every summer picking a theme. I like to change every year, but may try to stick with one for a couple of years. I just like a fresh start. I love to love at pictures of other peoples rooms and try to do a theme that not many others are doing. I want the kids to love it most of all, but I'm there for many hours so I have to like it, too. I also think it's important for the kids to see touches of your personality in your theme.
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I went with what I like
Old 06-19-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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I have a Hollywood/ movie theme because I'm a movie buff, finding things for it was easy, and I love the red, black, and yellow color scheme, and what kid doesn't like movies and being called a superstar? It's bright and colorful and my past three classes have loved it. I figure I'm going to spend the most time looking at it, so I should love it and if done in a appealing way, the kids will love it too.
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I have to be honest
Old 06-19-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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I always try to pick something that I know my kiddos will enjoy.

So what if I like it too!!

I've done Sports (Teamwork), Camping (Discovery) and now Hollywood/Movie.

I think it is important to think about the age group you are dealing with because some themes are better suited for younger/older kids.

But make sure YOU can live with it.


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Kinder
Old 06-19-2011, 02:11 PM
 
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I pick something that is age appropriate (Kinder) and colorful. It also depends on what I find out there. Some themes are just easier than others (ex. jungle or bees) and you can find most anything with these prints - posters, pillows, lamps, etc. Others are a little more challenging, but worth the trouble once they come together.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:56 PM
 
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I've been using a monkey/jungle theme for the past couple years. I went with it because it's something I like. I think kids will enjoy just about any theme that you do if you put a lot into it. I was thinking of doing a new theme for next year, but honestly the cost of switching all my things over is scaring me away. Maybe I'll slowly gather things and switch in a year or two!

Does anyone else have a hard time (mentally) shelling out cash for a new theme?

Last edited by Ms. Purple; 06-19-2011 at 09:01 PM.. Reason: added question
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Ms. Purple
Old 06-20-2011, 04:48 AM
 
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I hate shelling out money.... PERIOD!!!

So once I decide on a new theme, I am on the lookout for bargains.

I always shop the Dollar Store, Thrift/Resale Shops, Garage Sales, Ebay and online shops that have downloads for 99 cents.

I probably never spend more than $100 on a new theme and if I don't buy a new area rug, I can make that $50.
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Overjoyd
Old 06-20-2011, 03:16 PM
 
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Where do you find good deals on your classroom rugs? I have been looking for one for my room next year.
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I LOVE music
Old 06-22-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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and little things people say or do are constantly triggering a song lyric in my head. So..... I went with a rock-n-roll theme. My students soon learn that I will sing off and on during the day. Most of them love it too - of course some think I'm a little goofy. Last year was the first time I ever used a theme and I really enjoyed decorating my classroom. I'm going to keep this theme for a few years then maybe I'll change it. I'd like to do a sports theme sometime too.


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Ms. Purple again
Old 06-22-2011, 10:24 PM
 
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I look on ebay for theme specific ones to use in my reading nook because often these cutesy rugs are more expensive.
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