Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In the Jungle, The Mighty Jungle

I've created a new daily blog specifically dedicated to classroom organization and management. Please visit me there at: The Clutter-Free Classroom

My 50 Page Jungle-Safari Themed Classroom Kit is now available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. It includes all of the items shown in the picture above and bel0w, plus more! Click here to view the kit.

I've hinted at my theme for next year and it's time for the soft opening debut. There is still more to add and I will go into detail about many of these elements in future blog posts. However, I know a lot of you are doing a similar theme so I thought I would share my classroom as it is thus far as well as some ideas I've gathered online.

I was able to find some borders and bulletin board items locally (Lakeshore, Staples and Dollar Tree) but I made a lot of the stuff myself. The things that I made can be found here: Littlest Learners SAFARI / JUNGLE THEMED CLASSROOM PRINTABLES KIT

I've debated what to call this theme. I think I've decided to just call it a "wild animal" theme. I suppose jungle, safari, rainforest or adventure would also apply. The monkeys are my favorite part.

Reading Corner:
Construct a hut
Use animal print fabric to cover pillows

Add to the classroom
fake plants
stuffed animals

3D Elements
safari hats
roll up green paper to make vines
or buy fake vine foliage (dollar stores often carry this)

Bulletin Board Titles/Ideas:

Welcome Boards
Swinging into ____Grade
Welcome to the Jungle
Beware: It's a Jungle in There
Rumble in the Jungle in ___ Grade
Welcome to __ Grrrrrrrrr-ade (with a lion image and tiger print letters)

Student Work
Wildly Wonderful Work
Work to Roar About
No Lion...This is Some Grrrrrrr-eat Work
ssssssss-ensational Work (with snakes)

Student of the Week
King/Queen of the Jungle
Top Cat
Top Banana

Job Chart
Spotted: Classroom Helpers
Hunting for Helpers
Jungle Jobs
Hopping Helpers (tree frogs)

Information Hut (attach rafia to the top of the board)

Birthday Board:
Born to Be Wild

An Elephant Never Forgets

Science is about Exploring (binoculars)
Sssslither into Science (snake)

Any Board:
Wild About ______
Bananas Over _____
____ is Worth Roaring About
Making Tracks in _____

Use the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" as a transition. Play it at the start of the day and let the class know they need to be unpacked and settled before it ends.

The Monkees Theme Song
George of the Jungle Theme Song

Use a large flower pot or coffee can, 6 foot PVC pipe (2 inches wide), plaster of paris, an umbrella, and green and brown paper. Mix plaster of paris according to directions and put into pot until it's almost full. After plaster has set for a few minutes, insert pipe in center of pot. Allow plaster to completely harden. Wrap the pipe in brown paper to resemble a tree trunk. Open the umbrella and put in the top of PVC pipe. Decorate with leaves made from green paper.

Another great way to make trees is to go to a fabric store and get the long cylinder tubes that fabric comes on. Cut it how tall you want your tree. Then get brown paper lunch sacks and cut the ends off. Stuff over the poles and squish down hard. This gives it the bark look. Then make your branches out of rolled and crunched brown butcher paper.

When you form groups in the classroom (cooperative learning/reading/tables) give them animal names.

Create a PRIDE board: Use a lion and let the kids hang up work they are proud.

If you do a communication folder/binder, call it The Jungle Book.

Go on Safari in other classrooms:

Have you seen my classroom themes page at my new site? There are photos and ideas for over 30 themes. Click on the CLASSROOM THEMED button below at the top of this page to check it out. :)

Jungle Themed Classroom Jungle Themed Classroom Photos Jungle Themed Classroom Ideas Jungle Theme Classroom Jungle Theme Classroom Photos Jungle Theme Classroom Ideas Safari Themed Classroom Safari Themed Classroom Photos Safari Themed Classroom Ideas Safari Theme Classroom Safari Theme Classroom Photos Safari Theme Classroom Ideas Animal Themed Classroom Animal Themed Classroom Photos Animal Themed Classroom Ideas Animal Theme Classroom Animal Theme Classroom Photos Animal Theme Classroom printables


Mrs. Robinson said...

I love the new theme and the great ideas on how to build a tree. Very creative! Only recently have I found your blog, and I now visit it daily!

I notice your FACE board - I am trying CAFE/FACE for this first time this year. I am going to take pictures of my students, print in B/W (matted on black construction paper), and use it as a border around my FACE bulletin board. Are you going to keep the mni-lesson titles up under each FACE category or are you going to let the students write them? I am a huge control freak and prefer things to look pretty, but I am going to try to let this kids write the titles of the lessons. I might be a little hard on them to make it look right, though! : )

Another tip I leanred from you, which I am definitely going to use in the future, is having the kids outline their drawings in black Sharpie! Brilliant, I tell you. Makes everything look so much sharper.

Your book is great - I received it last week. I am always trying to find new ways to organize my materials. I can't control myself when it comes to baskets, bins, trays, and holders of any kind.

Thanks for all of the fabulous ideas. I look forward to reading your blog throughout the summer and into next year. If you get a spare moment, I'd love for you to check out my blog. After using websites in the past, I am excited to be trying out a blog this year!


Anonymous said...

Nice work on your classroom. I was wondering if you could tell me where you got the toucan? I would really like to have one for my rainforest room this year. I haven't been able to find any...thanks so much. Vicky

L. Garcia said...

I LOVE your theme ideas for the new school year! I look forward to reading your blog everyday. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I can't wait to order your new book.

Question: What program do you use to create your classroom signs? I teach in a bilingual classroom and would like to create similar signs, but in Spanish.

Thank you!

Littlest Learners said...

@Mrs. Robinson: Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked the book. I did the traditional CAFE board this year and let the kids write the cards. I nearly killed me to look at it. I'll feature the board in a future blog post, but the cards are all up using photo corners so they can be removed. I'll take them all down before school starts and add them as we do the minilessons. i do plan to use their head shots in place of post-it notes to show which skill they are working on. I love the idea of a border made of their pics and would love to see a photo when you get it done. Looking forward to checking ot your blog. I used it in the classroom in place of a traditional website starting in 08 and love it.

The toucan came from The Dollar Tree. It's going to read "Toucan Read Better Than One Can" and the pocket chart with house my reading partners photos. I'd be happy to check my Dollar Tree if you don't have one near you.

Thank you! I mainly use photoshop although sometimes I get crafty in pages or keynote and then make a PDF.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed you are already ready for the coming school year. Darling ideas for a jungle theme. I had planned to do an ocean theme. That's how I came across your website initially! I'm excited about doing something different than frogs (my last theme, for 3 years).

Anonymous said...

Did you have to buy the butcher paper? We can't access our supply room yet, and we don't get new butcher paper till 1 week before school starts. I know I can use sheets..... Would you mind telling me about how much did you spend on the items for this theme? Just curious.... Your room looks darling! About how long did it take you to accomplish all this!?

Littlest Learners said...

@Anonymous: Thanks for the compliments. My school does have the butcher paper for us. I typically use sheets and fabric for most boards.

I didn't spend too much on this theme. I've really scaled back what I spend. Let's see...

The big purchases were the monkey/vines set and the giraffe growth chart. I also bought 4-5 packs of borders at 3.00 each. The toucan, rafia, vines, and monkey border came from the dollar store. My aide made the larger animals (see tomorrow's post) using butcher paper and I cut the letters using scrapbook paper I had. I would estimate the entire look cost between $30.00 and $50.00. I'll add a few more things, but mostly stuff I make.

It took about a week to put together, but that was at the end of the school year so I was also doing other things like paperwork. I had help from my students and classroom aide.

futureflstar said...

:) I love it. I did monkeys last year...mostly because it was the only set I could find everything for LOL...and I liked it. I am going with Frogs this year(pond theme mostly with carson dellosa frogs) and am soo excited after seeing your themes! You seriously rock!

futureflstar said...

Oh I also wanted to add...I had put up the kids name on a board (on the monkeys holding bananas) and it said "swinging into a new year" and I ended up keeping it up all year.

Anonymous said...

Aide????? What's an aide????? Thanks for your reply. On my wish list: an aide!

Anonymous said...

I love the theme and the music - who is it "It Makes Me Happy'. :-)