Classroom Set-Up Using a Theme
One Major Theme for the Year
Many teachers use seasonal themes in their classroom, but fourth grade teacher Carrie Zook (LaSalle Elementary in Mishawaka, Indiana) sets up her classroom using one major theme for the entire year. In fact, longer.
Theme materials can be expensive, so she economizes by using a theme for two or three years.
Finding a Theme
Over the past six years, Zook has used the typical themes - Oceans, Space - but this year she wanted something different. She looked online and at the card and party store outlets for ideas. She selected the theme of Hollywood because it's fun and...
They love movies in the fourth grade. And I talked with my fourth grade niece and asked her: If you walked into your classroom, what would you want it to be like? What would make you think "This is cool"? And make you excited to be there?
So Hollywood it was.
Using the Theme to Showcase Classroom Activities
Zook purchased ready-made items for her bulletin boards and walls that shouted Hollywood - reels of film, small and large yellow stars, clapboards, silhouettes of cameraman behind a camera, and oversize movie tickets, celluloid film, and a popcorn container filled with candies. She incorporated the Hollywood theme in many ways throughout the year.
Zook uses themes to add interest, humor, and fun to her classroom. Like the "gold" academy award that stands atop the mailboxes she set up for students to receive their graded work or information they need. But the themes are more than decoration. They're a way to keep connecting with many aspects of daily school activities.
Learn more about how Zook arranges her classroom in Classroom Set-Up by Function or Activity.
Carrie Zook teaches fourth grade at LaSalle Elementary in Mishawaka, Indiana