Teacher’s Brain

Choosing the Perfect Classroom Theme for Elementary

As we gear up for another exciting school year, it’s time to start thinking about how we can create a warm and inviting classroom environment for our students. 

One fantastic way to do that is by selecting a captivating classroom theme! If you’re looking for classroom theme ideas, classroom decorations, or other inspiration for the new school year, you’re in the right place!

classroom theme

What is a Classroom Theme?

A classroom theme is like the magical glue that holds your classroom together. It’s the central idea or concept that guides your classroom decorations, bulletin boards, and even some of your lesson plans throughout the year. I like to think of it as a story that unfolds as your students step into your classroom each day. 

A well-chosen theme can foster a sense of unity, excitement, and engagement among our little learners, and who doesn’t love that?!

What are Some Good Themes for School?

Oh, the possibilities are endless! Here are a few tried-and-true classroom themes that have brought smiles and laughter to many elementary classrooms:

  • Under the Sea Adventure: Dive deep into an underwater wonderland filled with colorful fish, friendly sea creatures, and sunken treasures. Your students will be thrilled to explore the depths of learning with this theme.
  • Jungle Safari: Embark on a wild journey through the jungle, complete with lush foliage, adorable animals, and a sense of exploration. This theme is perfect for sparking curiosity and discovery.
  • Space Odyssey: Blast off into outer space and discover the mysteries of the cosmos! Planets, rockets, and stars will take your students on an educational journey that’s out of this world.
  • Superheroes Unite: Calling all young superheroes! With capes, masks, and a classroom decked out in heroic gear, your students will feel empowered to conquer any learning challenge.
  • Enchanted Garden: Create a whimsical world where imagination blooms. Butterflies, flowers, and magical creatures will nurture a love for learning and creativity.

How Do I Choose a Classroom Theme?

Picking the perfect theme is like choosing the colors for a masterpiece you’re about to create. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you select a theme that resonates with you and your students:

  • Reflect on Your Interests: Start by thinking about what excites you. Do you have a favorite season, hobby, or animal? Incorporating your interests into your classroom theme will make the experience even more enjoyable.
  • Connect to Your Curriculum: If you can find a theme that ties into your curriculum, that’s a double win! For example, a “Historical Time Travel” theme could align with history lessons, making learning even more engaging.
  • Versatility is Key: Opt for a theme that offers flexibility. This way, you can easily adapt your decorations and activities as the school year progresses.
  • Plan for Engagement: Think about how the theme can spark discussions, projects, and interactive learning experiences. The more engaged your students are, the more memorable the theme will become.
  • Create a Welcoming Atmosphere: Above all, choose a theme that creates a warm and inviting environment. Your goal is to make your students excited to come to class each day.

One of my favorite themes lately is a fun, bright, and colorful Retro Groovy theme!

I have seen this trend pop up and I am loving it. If you are looking for retro themed classroom decorations, check out these resources! 

Retro Calendar Set

classroom theme

Retro Classroom Job Chart

classroom decorations

Retro Birthday Celebration Chart

retro classroom theme

Retro Affirmation Station

Retro Alphabet Line

retro classroom theme

Retro Classroom Posters

retro classroom theme

Retro Class Decor Set

classroom decorations

Want it all?? Bundle and save with this resource!

Looking for more classroom theme inspiration? Check out my post here!

5 Classroom Management Tips for Back To School Time

It’s that exciting time of the year again – back to school! 

Are you ready? 

I know we’re all eager to create a warm and productive classroom environment where our young learners can thrive, and one way to make that happen is with an effective classroom management system. 

classroom management

What is a classroom management system? 

A classroom management system is a set of strategies and techniques that we can  use to create a positive and organized learning environment. It encompasses a range of practices, from setting clear behavioral expectations and routines to fostering strong teacher-student relationships. 

This system empowers us teachers to effectively manage student behavior, encourage active engagement, and promote a conducive atmosphere for learning and growth.

If you’re looking for some rockin’ classroom management system tips for elementary, you’re in the right place! 

So, let’s dive into some tips and ideas for effective classroom management that have worked wonders for me over the years.

Tip 1: Set Clear Expectations

Start the school year by discussing and establishing clear expectations with your students. Let them know what behaviors are acceptable in the classroom and what the consequences might be for breaking those rules. Keep these expectations simple, age-appropriate, and positively framed. It’s like setting the compass for your class journey!

Tip 2: Create a Fun and Organized Physical Environment

A classroom that’s inviting and organized can do wonders for managing behavior. Use colorful decorations, student artwork, and interactive displays to make the space engaging. Arrange desks and seating to minimize distractions and encourage interaction. Don’t forget to designate specific areas for materials and supplies – it helps keep chaos at bay.

Tip 3: Use Positive Reinforcement

Celebrate your students’ achievements and good behavior with praise, rewards, or simple gestures like stickers or high-fives. Positive reinforcement can go a long way in motivating them to follow your classroom rules. It’s like sprinkling a bit of magic encouragement to keep their spirits high!

Tip 4: Implement Routines and Procedures

Kids thrive on routine, so establish consistent daily routines and procedures. From entering the classroom to transitioning between subjects, having predictable steps can help minimize disruptions. Remember, routines aren’t about rigidity; they’re like the rhythm that keeps your classroom orchestra in tune!

Tip 5: Foster a Strong Teacher-Student Relationship

Building a positive rapport with your students can make a world of difference in classroom management. Get to know them, show genuine interest in their lives, and listen actively when they talk. When students feel valued and understood, they’re more likely to respect and cooperate with you. Think of it as nurturing a garden of trust and connection.

Looking for the perfect classroom management system? I have you covered with this free Desk Pet Starter Pack Resource!

Need a great way to help your class improve daily behavior? Desk Pets are great for helping with classroom management! Try these FREE printables to help you begin your Desk Pet Pal Positive Behavior System Journey!

classroom management system

What is in this download?

Pg. 1 Cover

Pg. 2 Link Page to Full Resource

Pg. 3 What is a desk pet?

Pg. 4 Adoption Application EDITABLE PowerPoint

Pg. 5 Labels (Adoption Center and Hotel)

Pg. 6 Editable Page to create Writing Prompt or other Idea

Pg. 7 Zoo Habitat for a Pet

Pg. 8 How to Fold the Habitat

Pg. 9 Other Resources

Pg. 10 Credits

Get it for free here!

Looking for more classroom management tips? Check out my post here!

Joyce Lansky TpT Conference and COVID Resources

I attended a Teachers Pay Teachers National Conference in 2018. I was able to meet up with my online friend, Joyce Lansky. To know Joyce is to know joy! She is always smiling and willing to help me learn all about the TpT world. She also loves dogs and a good ghost story too! What is not to love? 🙂 I had a wonderful time being able to get to know her better.

A little over a year later, we both worked on COVID resources for teachers during the pandemic. It was great to be able to bounce ideas off of each other about how to make resources that were digital, and appropriate for different aged students. You can find her Logic Puzzle HERE.

Joyce Lansky

If you are ever wondering if it is worth it to attend the National TpT Conference, I highly recommend it so you can find your “JOY” too!

Joyce Lansky COVID Resources

Simple Strategies to Teach Alphabet Letter Writing In Elementary

As teachers to little learners, we know the crucial role that letter writing plays in developing strong literacy skills. Kindergarten is an exciting time for the kiddos to embark on their journey of reading and writing, and mastering the ABCs is a foundational step! 

If you’re wondering how to teach alphabet writing, you’re in the right place. 

letter writing activities

In this blog post, I’ll share some friendly tips and engaging activities that will help your kindergartners practice and perfect their alphabet letter writing skills. So, grab your favorite marker and let’s dive in!

Introduce Letter Writing Gradually

Begin by introducing the letters of the alphabet one by one, focusing on both uppercase and lowercase forms. Each week, dedicate time to a specific letter, allowing ample practice before moving on to the next. Encourage students to trace the letters using their fingers or with tactile materials, fostering familiarity with the shapes and strokes.

Multisensory Approach

Engage your students’ senses and make it FUN by incorporating a variety of activities to reinforce letter writing. Use playdough to shape letters, allowing them to experience the tactile sensation. Draw letters in sand or shaving cream for a sensory experience that reinforces muscle memory. This multisensory approach not only makes learning enjoyable but also supports their kinesthetic and visual learning styles.

Letter Formation Songs and Rhymes

What kiddo doesn’t love music and rhymes?! Use catchy tunes or create your own letter formation songs to help children remember the proper formation of each letter. Singing and dancing along to the songs not only makes learning fun but also helps reinforce the visual and auditory aspects of letter recognition and writing.

Letter Tracing Activities

Provide your students with tracing worksheets that guide them in forming letters correctly. Just make sure that the worksheets have large, clear letters, and ample space for practice. You can encourage them to use a variety of writing tools, such as markers, crayons, or colored pencils, to keep their interest high. You can also laminate the worksheets to create reusable surfaces, allowing for repetitive practice.

Hands-on Manipulatives

Incorporate hands-on manipulatives to make letter writing interactive. Use magnetic letters, foam letters, or letter tiles for children to arrange and build words. This not only reinforces letter recognition but also helps students associate sounds with symbols, building phonemic awareness alongside letter writing skills.

Letter Writing Crafts and Art Projects

Combine creativity with letter writing by incorporating alphabet crafts and art projects. Encourage children to create collages using magazine cut-outs of objects that begin with the letter they are learning. They can also form letters using various materials like pipe cleaners, yarn, or clay. You can even get some finger-paint out and allow them to create art by painting letters! These activities not only reinforce letter formation but also foster fine motor skills.

If you are looking for the perfect resource for alphabet letter writing or letter writing activities, I have you covered! 

Grab the Alphabet Writing Practice Pages, Tracing Worksheets & Crafts Bundle! 

letter writing activities

Letter recognition and sounds are so important for students to grasp quickly and what better way than to practice! Use these printables and crafts in centers, whole group, small group, or for homework. This is an A-Z bundle!

These provide hands-on options as well as worksheets to help with busy mornings. Students will learn how to work independently after the first couple of letter sets are used because every unit follows the same pattern. There are plenty of things to choose from for the week if you are doing a letter a week. Students will practice fine motor skills with writing, cutting, and tracing.

letter writing activities

What is the download?

  • Letter A (16 printables which includes 3 crafts, a spinning game, letter identification, forming letters, playdough letters, BINGO daubing, tracing letters (upper and lowercase), letter sounds, and beginning sounds of words.) 
  • Letter B (16 printables which includes 3 crafts, a spinning game, letter identification, forming letters, playdough letters, BINGO daubing, tracing letters, letter sounds, and beginning sounds of words.) See Previews
  • Letters C-Z (These will follow the same format as units for letters A & B, but with different crafts.) 
  • Over 450 Print & Go pages
letter writing practice

Want to try it out first? No problem! Grab the freebie here! 

letter activities

If you love these ideas, I share even more alphabet practice activities here!