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To Theme or Not to Theme?
Old 06-04-2007, 05:06 PM
 
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This year I did a camping theme.

The year before was a tropical theme.

I can't even tell you how many people have been asking me about "next year's theme." I am flattered by the hype, and had a few themes in mind, but I would kind of like to just skip it.

So my question is...what do you think about classroom themes? I like them because they are fun and give me a focus, but they also limit me as well. I was going to post my question on the theme board, but figured the people on the board are there because they are pro-theme. I would like a variety of thoughts.


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Old 06-04-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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I don't do a theme for the whole year in my room. I do more seasonal themes and ones for certain areas in my room. I like to change it during the year instead of looking at the same stuff all the time.
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:32 PM
 
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Like Sharon, I like to change my theme throughout the year. I do seasonal boards and seasonal or theme sections of the room. I need the change. I also don't let the pressure from what everyone else does effect what I want to do. Some change every month...that is ok sometimes, but sometimes it just doesn't fit with what I am doing in the classroom.

Do what makes you happy. If you feel like skipping it...then skip it. You don't necessarily have to skip it for the whole year, either. You may find you miss it 1/2 way through the year..or you may find that you don't miss it this year at all.

Have fun..and do what makes you happy!
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Theme?
Old 06-04-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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I do a theme that is every where in my room at the beginning of the year. As the year goes on, we tend to replace the themed things with other stuff the kids create. I do not change the theme every year. It would just be too time consuming and expensive for me. The kids are new every year so I don't feel the need to change. I am changing this year because I am just plain tired of the old theme. Do what you feel happy and comfortable doing.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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I have never done a year theme either-- I would think that would be way too limiting. I do themes based on our science or social studies units usually, then work around that- decorate the classroom, etc, based on that.


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themes
Old 06-05-2007, 09:33 AM
 
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I didn't do a theme my first few years of teaching because I was too busy digging into the curriculum. Now that I'm more comfortable with that, I find that decorating my room a certain way is really fun! I don't spend a lot of money on it, but I like how it seems more uniform. If I have it decorated at the beginning of the year (before the kids start) then I don't have to think about different bulletin boards, wall hangings, etc... during the year.

The kids really love it, so that makes me even more pleased to do it.

I don't think it's "necessary", and if you don't feel like it then I wouldn't do it. There's no need to make added stress for yourself.
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:51 PM
 
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I don't use a theme. I honestly can't be bothered with the time and expense. I definitely don't think that themes are necessary. I prefer to just go with a colour scheme.

That said, I think that themes can be really cute. I especially loved a camping theme that a friend of mine did...she had a mesh tent in her reading corner and they had a fake campfire that they'd use for meetings and singalongs. Her room was decorated with frogs, lightning bugs and pine trees. I wouldn't do it because it wouldn't fit my personality, but I really loved being in her room.
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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I think themes are cute but I definately don't go overboard. I just buy things I would normally (bboard borders, etc.) but try to have them go together. For example, I used stars last year. Easy to fun but also easy to put up science/ social studies/ math materials and not have them clash. I used them with America themes as well as constellation themes and Hollywood themes. It is really quite broad.

If it makes you happy to put the effort into it, go for it. If not, don't. I think the kids like having a themed room but not enough to put time and money into it if you aren't happy with it.
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No themes for me
Old 06-05-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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I've never had a "theme" per se -- unless decorating using matching Mary Engelbreit decor is a theme! The kids just like a well-organized room that is cheerful and inviting and ME or Susan Winget accomplishes just that!!! Besides, after awhile, I'd forget about the theme.
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I use a theme
Old 06-05-2007, 04:38 PM
 
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for a couple of reasons. I like to coordinate the look of my room but that's the least of it. I think the theme creates a special sense of community. All year my kids are known as "my darling drivers" or "lords and ladies." We consider ourselves special members with an identity. I don't avoid other "themed" activities or times of the year. I don't take down most of my bulletin boards anyway. Those seasonal things are put up elsewhere in the classroom or are hallway displays that highlight work. The fact that the kids always want to know next year's theme indicates their enthusiasm as well. I am looking forward to doing a Hollywood theme for the first time next year (with my third graders at a new school.). I asked my new principal if she thought a theme would fly and she loved the idea.


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