Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Accidental Classroom Theme!

Welcome to those of you heading over from Facebook... did someone link to me? (I'm so curious where the sudden traffic is coming from!)

Anyway- I don't know if you've noticed... but I'm kind of obsessed with frogs. I grew up loving horses, and then went to camp and spent time in a nature center that had tree frogs. I think by that point, I'd realized I was never going to own a horse. (Frogs are a much more realistic pet. And SO cute!)

I mean, look at this adorable little guy! (Okay, I took a picture of him at a zoo. I don't have pet tree frogs anymore. But I would totally LOVE to!)

Anyway, frogs have kind of taken over my classroom. Not in a crazy way, where EVERYTHING is frog-themed... but there's definitely a trend. I didn't actually plan on making my room froggy, but I either had some of this stuff already or other people knew I liked frogs and bought me frog stuff for my classroom!

One of the big frogs in the library was definitely in my senior picture of me with my frog collection. The frog bulletin board was a gift from my brothers years ago, but he works perfectly for displaying a few random things in the classroom, like these adorable Thinking Clouds from Shenanigans in Second (they are totally free- how wonderful is that?)

 The bucket is one of the few things I picked out... but the two little frogs below are from kids in my class. Awww.

Not all of the froggy stuff is just for the cute factor, though!

One of my favorite things in my classroom this year was gifted to me by my first co-teacher. (I started my teaching career as an interventionist/ assistant for a really great teacher.) It was really frustrating at times being an assistant despite having my degree, particularly the second year, but this teacher and mentor continually told me that she believed that I was ready for my own classroom (even when the principal didn't). For Christmas, my birthday, and the end of the year, she gave me teaching supplies and cards packed full of encouragement that I so needed.

One of the things she gave me was this great frog-themed number line (that I put into a hundreds chart). It came with some extra blank lilypads, frogs, and dragonflies. The frogs are all different colors, and some of them are sitting like this guy in the picture, and others are long and leap-y with their legs stretched out.
Of course, we use this for mental math all the time. I taped one of the short frogs and one of the long frogs on each end of a pointer, and made 2 simple rules.

Short frog can only jump by ones.
Long frog can only jump by tens.

Having to "hop" for movements works perfectly. It's laminated, too, so dry-erase markers can write on it and then be erased away easy as can be! Great for showing the 'hops.'

In January we made a class resolution to read 100 books together before the end of the school year, and I keep one of the extra frogs on the number of books we've read and move it each time. Then I can ask how many more we have to go, and students can come up and share their strategies with the frogs.

One last frog I love in my classroom, and this is not a new idea at all. This little guy was at a garage sale with a beanbag around the time I was buying beanbags for my classroom, and I couldn't resist. I mean, could you?

This little froggy likes to sit at a group that's working hard and is quiet at the right times. When we have groups, I just set the frog in the middle of the best group, and... that's the reward. That's it. And they love it. I know, I know, you've probably all been doing this for years.  :)

So, basically... I didn't ever plan to have a frog-themed classroom, but it kind of worked out that way! Do you have a sort-of, kind-of obsession that carries over into the classroom classroom theme?


  1. I had a frog themed classroom last year and I loved it! I think your classroom looks adorable! I love your blog and became a follower! I would love if you could stop by my very new blog!

    Lohren Nolan

  2. I love your frog themed classroom! It looks like a fun and inviting place to be.


  3. I am returning to Kindergarten after years of teaching second grade. I so appreciate you sharing your lesson plan template. Every little time-saver helps! Thank you for your great ideas!


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