An Apple a Day Linky Party!

Ok, I'm all about the Linky parties right now.  It is a great way for me to stay focused as I make my way through the bloggy world!
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An Apple a Day is a summerlong linky....which I love because it gives me lots of ideas for posts.  This week is all about Classroom Decor, which I also love!  Sometimes I think that's why I really became a teacher!  Getting my room ready for a new school year makes me absolutely giddy.  My husband thinks I'm nuts!

I've done decor in the past as part of a school AR reading theme and just left my room plain jane too.  I guess it just all depended on my mood!  I really didn't like decorating to the AR theme because the school picked it and I had very little say in how my room "felt".  If the school voted for frogs....frogs it was! (we never really did frogs, that was my vote every year and it never won!)  So from this system I have decorated with a Hollywood theme, Rock and Roll, Olympics (twice), Around the World (Africa was my focus), and everything in between.  Last year I decided enough was enough after redoing my room for the gazillionth time and decided I would just stick with polka dots.  I have never been happier!  My room "feels" like me for the first time in, well, forever! 

This is my "front door" area.  I know it doesn't SCREAM polka dots, but that's why I love it!  All my posters are bordered with polka dots and my the main color in my room is blue.  Last summer I painted all my cubbies and book shelves blue.  It brought everything together! 

If you love polka dots you must visit Erica Bohrer's Tpt store Click Here  This is her polka dot word wall.  I love it!  AND I finally found a place in my room that it can be within reach and usable for the kiddos!

I teach at an IB school (International Baccalaureate) and we have a board in our classroom that outlines the unit we are currently working on.  It's super tiny (horrible photography here!) but on the board we display Key Concepts, Transdisciplinary Skills, Attitudes, and Learner Profile traits that are focused on throughout the 6 week unit.  I have made these all in polka dot in my store and will be redoing this wall when I go back (end of June? July? the day before school starts?)  

I made them in all 4 colors and also in black.  Now I just have to decide which color to use!  

 This is my math area.  Nothing really to show off here except the painted blue shelves.  Seriously, going with one color makes everything soooo much easier!  It brought all my materials together and makes it look like I have matching furniture!  Even though all my shelves have come from different places!  My math strategy wall is a mish mash of stuff I've found over time or made myself.  I put things on the wall after we have discussed them, so this wall starts out totally blank at the beginning of the year!

 Daily Five was my biggest change last year and it was really important to have a space to display anchor charts, and to teach my mini lessons from.  I love this wall in my room, it is the keeper of all important strategies and resources!  I love it when I see kids look over at the wall when they are quietly reading to themselves, looking for that perfect strategy to figure out a word!  I also teach my mini lessons from this space and my kiddos figured out very quickly most of the answers to "Why do readers practice everyday?" and "Why do we read" were right in front of them on our anchor charts! 
I organized my CAFE lessons into Monday-Comprehension, Tuesday- Accuracy, Wednesday- Fluency, and Thursday- Expand Vocabulary.  It got to the point that I could just say, "It's's focus is.....(students enthusiatically yell COMPREHENSION!)  Seriously, they were that excited about it!  Love, love, love, Daily Five :) 

So now.....what do I want to do this year to take my polka dots to the next level?  Well here are a few ideas I have so far....

Katie King has a Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green decor pack that I have just fallen in love with.  It includes a lot of chevron and stripes....which I also love.  I guess as long as it fits my color scheme it doesn't HAVE TO have polka dots right?  
Click HERE if you want to see this for yourself in her Tpt store.  While you are there take a look at her "Busy Teachers Best Friend" packets.  They are fabulous and have saved me on several occasions!

So that's all I have so far for classroom decor.  I don't go all out, I don't spend a lot of mula, but my room is clean and organized and color coordinated.  It's much easier than trying to make a "theme" each year that you will just do away with in 9 months!    One day I hope to have an ultra cool teal and black room or super trendy summer brights room but until I have something other than primary red, blue, yellow, and green scalloped tables this is it!  You can see better (well a little better....)  pictures of my room in this post. 

Classroom Decor Post ---this was also the day I posted my very first Tpt item so I was super full of enthusiasm that day!  I think that means I am almost to my 1 year anniversary on Tpt.  Woohoo!

Happy Teaching! ~Heather