July 28, 2014

Word Wall is UP!

This being my first year teaching, I have a LOT to set up! One of the very first things I tackled was my word wall. I don't have large bulletin boards in the room, but I do have two very large white boards. I only plan on using one (the one in the front of the room), so I created a word wall out of a portion of the other one (on the side of the room)! I have a plan for the other portion which I will post soon. :)

I did things a bit differently. I saw an idea on Pinterest to use plastic table cloths from the dollar store instead of bulletin board paper because they don't fade (and they are only $1)! So that is what I decided on. I grabbed a red one and went to town. Here is what I discovered:

1. My white board is plastic... which means my initial plan of attaching everything with magnets didn't work out.
2. It is nearly impossible to get the table cloth flat, so there will be bumps. I can see where this won't happen on a bulletin board since you can use staples, but on a plastic board where tape is your only hope, it is a headache.
3. Packing tape and sticky tack are good for nothing on that plastic.
4. Duct tape is your BFF.
5. The table cloth rips easily around the edges.

I initially wanted the red table cloth and then a red, yellow, and blue alphabet border around it that I got on sale at a local teaching supply store. I was then planning on attaching black letters. Easy. Peasy. BUT THEN I FOUND THESE AT WALMART:

If you've been keeping up with my blog, you will know that I am doing a pirate and polka dot theme in my room and my main color is red! How cute are these?? They were in the party section for 97 cents for a pack of 10, so I grabbed 3 packs and knew I had to integrate them somehow into the room. I thought my word wall would be great for this!

I had already had my border up, so I went with it. I decided to put some yellow and blue papers in the center of the plate so the colors would match the border a little better and the letters would stand out more. Plus, yellow is pretty dominant in my room as well. Here was the result:

I LOVED my plates. But I hated the combo with the border. It took me so long to get that border up on that plastic table cloth that I kept trying to convince myself that the kids wouldn't care and that I should leave it. Well, I did leave it over the weekend. I went on vacation and didn't think about school for 4 days. When I returned this afternoon... it seems I was destined to change it...

The strong packing tape I used in combination with a little sticky tack (well, the sticky tack was really only to help me keep the cloth straight...) totally did not hold the plates. When I originally hung the cloth with the alphabet border I was not planning on adding so much weight to it. After I found those awesome plates and added them to the mixture, things went awry. I was not upset though! This meant I had to change it! All I did was use black duct tape as the border AND the adhesive and VOILA!

The black looks so much better and I am confident it will stay up. My only complaint is the lump and streaks in the plastic, but as mentioned before... it was a pain to keep straight. I was able to smooth it out a bit after I took this photo and I think over time as I add words to the wall, it will smooth it out more as well. But I am happy with it! I can't wait to start using it with my first class of kinders!