As a fifth grade teacher, I struggle with the visual look of our classroom. There’s a part of me that loves the cutesy. When I first thought about my room this past summer, I was leaning towards sock monkeys (I haven’t totally let that one go-I might need to revisit it in the future….).
But then I think about my students, and the vibe that I want in the classroom, and I know I want an edgier look. Edgier takes more time. It doesn’t really come in pre-packaged kits from Teacher Pay Teacher. It’s about 3-D displays, meeting students where they’re at (pop culture/puberty/neon?) and adding in the unexpected.
I’m still working on figuring out exactly what this all means. It’s more of a know-it-when-I-see-it thing. And when I saw this display years ago on Venspired.com, I knew I had found part of my edgier look:
I was determined to make it for my outside bulletin board this past summer. I purchased a piece of foam board, a bottle of Elmer’s spray adhesive, pink glitter yarn, pink tissue paper and a small string of lights with a battery pack attached.
And then life happened. The start of school snuck up on me, and the brain never got made. The supplies sat in my office for months and months. The will was there, but the time was not.
And then our school found out we were up for the Distinguished School award. A committee would be walking through our school, looking for evidence that were on top of our game in the relm of science. My thoughts flittered back to my brain supplies, and I knew this was the push I needed. And you know what? It was actually really simple!
I projected the outline of a brain up on my front board and traced it on the foam board. A pair of students cut it out using an Exacto knife. Then I sprayed it with a light layer of spray adhesive and wrapped it with pink tissue paper. It was quick and painless!
Then I sprayed the top of the top of the pink tissue paper with another light layer of spray adhesive and ‘sprinkled’ pink yarn all over the top. I lightly pushed it down on the adhesive to make sure it would stick, but it gripped pretty darn well on it’s own.
When finished with the yarn, I flipped the brain over and made pencil dots around the edge so that the 20 lightbulbs would be evenly spaced. I then poked the lights through at each place I made a pencil dot. I taped the battery pack to the center of the back of the brain.
Like Krissy did in her original post, I used Styrofoam bowls on the back to lift it off the wall. I hot glued a piece of the yarn on the back in a loop so there was something to hang it from, and then attached a Command Hook to the wall and put the yarn loop over it.
And then I was done! The entire brain took maybe 45 minutes from start to finish! No mess, no sticky hands, and it hasn’t fallen off the wall yet (knock on wood). I turn the lights on for special occasions such as open house, and will probably turn them on when we do science rotations next year (I have my own kids now, so they aren’t in the hall before science).
I’m excited to find more fun visual displays like this to add to the classroom-let me know if you’ve seen any around!