On the first day of school, Mrs. Montoya surprised her third and fourth grade students with a classroom makeover. When students saw the classroom at the open house a week before school, the classroom had normal classroom decorations. But when the kids walked into the classroom on Aug. 14, it was anything but a normal classroom.
Let’s let Mrs. Montoya tell us all about her surprise classroom makeover:
This year’s summer reading program theme is once again one of my very favorite things: castles. My two favorite loves are space (I wanted to be an astronaut) and castles—I went to Wales to explore the castles and places I have loved reading about my whole life.
So after working with the kids this summer on all of our castle-themed projects for the summer reading program and STEAM camp, it was easy to guess what I was going to do in my classroom. Last year my classroom theme was space, and this year would be castles. Then I started searching the internet. I found so many amazing ideas. I knew I wanted to bring some of them into the classroom this fall.
I could have just had all of the decorations up and ready for open house on Aug. 8. But I noticed the kids were checking out the classrooms over the summer. They were trying to sneak a peek and find out what was going to be new or different. It was then I decided I wanted my classroom decoration to be a secret. I would set the room up like I normally would—just an average classroom.
But when third and fourth grade students walked in the first day of school, they found that the classroom had been transformed! I wanted my classroom to not only have a castle or medieval theme—I wanted it to look like and FEEL like a castle. I started cutting and painting cardboard to be the stones of the walls. On the first day of school, the desks were arranged as if they were a table in the Great Hall.
For at least the first couple of days, we have a drawbridge to cross to get into the classroom.
We are going to design and make our own heraldic shields. These will be hung in the classroom. I will have feathers attached to pencils, so students will feel like they are using quills when they write. There will be tapestries and banners and paper torches on the walls.
I have several more surprises in store for the students this year, but they will have to wait a while for some of them.