Friday, August 10, 2012

Clothespins and New Classroom Decor!

I have been working in my classroom this week trying to get it ready before we HAVE to report on August 20th and the KRAZINESS begins! Last Spring (right before Spring Break), our school was painted so we had to take everything off of the walls. I was not about to redecorate my classroom with only a few weeks left in the school year and boy am I glad I made that decision! Staring at the boring white walls paid off in the end.

After both the students and teachers finished the school year, we had some training for our district's new Reading adoption called Imagine It! At the training we found out that the program came with about 45 sizable Alphabet/Phonics cards (the company refers to them as Sound/Spelling Cards) to hang up around the room. Not only did we have to find homes for 26 Alphabet cards, 5 Long Vowel cards, 8 Vowel Digraph cards and 6 Consonant Digraph/Blend cards but the cards have to be able to be flipped as they are introduced. Plus, we were also told that we would have more High Frequency Words to put on our Word Walls this year AND we needed to have a "Question/Concept" bulletin board that changes about once a month! Whew!

Since the training, I have been trying to figure out where in the world all of this stuff was going to go in my classroom and how to hang it so it can be flipped. The good news, I had a "blank slate" due to having nothing on the walls! It was mentioned at the training that we could use clothespins to hang the letters. I was sold...Cheap and easy! My friend and colleague Anna mentioned she had painted hers to make them more appealing. I was planning on doing NOTHING to the clothespins except hanging them on my walls. Needless to say, Anna inspired me! I didn't really want to paint clothespins so I got on Pinterest to see if there was a different way. What I quickly found out is that there are MANY ways to decorate clothespins...Who knew? Here's the way that I chose to do it:

Pinned Image
This picture is the one I found via Pinterest, but the idea actually came from a blog called Clean Mama. 

I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Clean Mama for the awesome tip! It worked great!

Here are the materials that I used for my clothespins:

I found this border at Michael's in the scrap booking isle.

Here's how my clothespins turned out:

Here are a few pictures of my new and improved classroom decor:
My Alphabet Sound/Spelling cards from far away.

 The letter cards are blank and boring right now, but as we introduce them we flip them and they have pictures and spellings on the back. The Long vowel cards are hanging above the Alphabet line and should be blank right now, but I wanted to see what they looked like.

Vowel Digraph Cards
These will also be blank until we introduce and flip them over. I chose to put them near my Guided Reading area, but the Buckaroos can reference them from anywhere in the classroom!
Here are two cards up close so you can really see the clothespins!

Consonant Digraph/Blend Cards
 Up close...

and far away. They are also near my Guided Reading area, but can be seen from anywhere in the classroom!
(Please ignore the messy bookcase, I took my pictures and then cleaned it off.)

Question/Concept Board
I am utilizing this space on my wall as my Question/Concept bulletin board. It's a blank slate right now, but that will change in a few weeks.

I am slightly obsessed with my clothespins! (Aren't they cute?!) Plus, I am so glad that all my new decor has a home! Let me know what you think about everything going on in my classroom so far, and stop back soon for more updates!

Holly Kaczmarek


  1. I LOVE the clothes pins Holly!!! I am so glad you posted this, I was just talking to a teacher today about how to hang them and after a few suggestions I decided clothespins still sounded like the best option and now I KNOW they are:) I can't wait to do this, thanks for the FAB idea! I'm pinning it:)

    Teaching with Z

  2. That tape is awesome. Off to check it out.