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Home : 2007 : Jul : 23

    Jungle/rainforest/survivor decorating ideas
    By Lisamay

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    This year I'm doing a jungle/rainforest/safari theme. Here are some of the things I have done so far in my room:

    1. I built a 3-d tree in my reading corner using crumpled bulletin board paper for the trunk (hot glued to the wall over the corner of the wall). I bought (about 3 yrs ago...this is not the 1st time I have used the tree idea) these leaf sections or picks (they are about 12" in length with lots of leaves)...I got them at a discount floral supply near our town (3/$1.00)...I attach them to the celing tiles by using bent paper clips, and so when completed it looks like you are standing underneath a tree. My kids, parents, and other teachers love it. (I came up with the idea when we went to the rainforest cafe and the Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN a few years ago. I have a couple of monkeys hanging in the branches of my tree (purchased a garage sales for $.25 each).

    2. I have twisted green and brown bulletin board paper and have hung them twisted from the ceiling all over. I tried not to hang too low, because once school gets started we do lots of anchor charts.

    3. I have 4 bulletin boards that I have began decorating...just the base color and if you have any wonderful ideas please let me know. The one by my door is brown with twisted bulleting board poster around it to look like vines....I glued leaves all around it...I have no title yet...this would be like an informational board. The next board is a long one, which I have decorated with orange paper and tiger print border...I have a title on it.."Wild about Math" I'll use it for problems of the week and to display student work. The other is behind my background with leopard print...I think I'll do something like.."Spotted...good behavior" and do my Queen and King of the jungle (ideas picked up from this website)...the other is right next to my tree...I have decorated it much like the one by the door, but think I'll do something like "We're going Bananas for Books" or something...any other ideas??? I also thought I could use it for my students to do book recommendations...I saw an idea about using a net, and putting books or book covers in a net and saying "Caught in a good book" or something.

    4. My mother-in-law is helping me...I'm getting about 5 chunks of tree stumps (I guess you'd call them)...she lives in the country, and knows someone who cuts wood...they are making them into little stools to put around in my reading corner...I also have a large animal print body pillow...and 2 beanbags (that are red and purple...nothing to do with my theme, but they love them)

    5. My mother-in-law also helped me sew banners from canvass. I have painted one to hang over my desk that has my name on it. I bought bamboo on clearance from Hobby Lobby, and I broke them to go through the casing on the banners and I have hung it from the ceiling with rope, over my desk. I have tables in my room for grouping, so I have a banner for each table, and I'm trying to come up with creative names for each table (tribe), and a first day activity will be for each group to decorate their banners so I can hang them over their tables. We will have weekly challenges for tribes, such as math problems of the week, good behavior, turning in homework, teamwork, good sportsmanship, etc...haven't worked that all out yet.

    6. I'm going to hang rafia skirting over my windows, and grass skirting around my desk.

    I love doing themes in my classroom...I believe this sets the tone and atmosphere for the year. I am NOT a creature of habit, so I look forward to changing my theme each year...I have only been teaching going on 5 years, but I think now I have several in place and can rotate them. I'm in a temporary (18 yrs. old..ha!) mobile I have to do anything I can to make this place inviting.

    Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!! I'm really excited about this year. I have a group of kiddos coming up that I will definitely have to be creative and stay on my toes to keep them engaged in learning.

    Please share your ideas!!!!

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