Blog Swap Sunday with Jessica Harris


It's that time again for Blog Swap Sunday!  I am so excited to introduce you to an amazing teacher, Jessica Harris.  We have had so much fun behind the scenes collaborating, getting ready for this swap and inspiring each other.  Isn't that what this world of teacher blogs is all about!  Well, here she is, Jessica Harris from Mrs. Harris Teaches.

Hi-dee-ho everyone! I am Mrs. Harris, the teacher mastermind behind Mrs.Harris Teaches. hi-dee-ho-neighborMy main passion is teaching science, which works out great because I am currently teach high school earth science and physics. MrsHarrisTeaches Logo ButtonBut science is not what I am all about - I love being sassy (or maybe just pretending that I am cool by making references to Wilson from Home Improvement), making pretty things (or just planning to make pretty things using pinterest- haha), and sharing about all areas of teaching. I strongly believe in teacher collaboration and blog swapping is a great way for me to collaborate with other teacher bloggers. (Another shout-out to Amy!)Blog Swap Sunday logo copyI previously taught fifth grade, so I feel like I have been in the best of both worlds - elementary and high school. Much like my jump in grade levels, my interests are everywhere. For example, is anyone else a YHL addict? I ask this, because I feel like I channel the Petersiks for my classroom decor. Speaking of love, I am in love with Amy's blue jean philosophy and this post is all about creating a "comfy as blue jeans" environment in your classroom by cheaply updating your classroom decor. The best time for a classroom redo is the beginning of the year (which for many of us will quickly be here!). So, what do you need for your cheap classroom redo? Possible Supplies Needed:
You don't need all of the above supplies, but I strongly suggest having at least some scrap-booking paper and contact paper in colors or patterns that match your classroom's theme. I KISS (Keep It Simple Silly!) by having a blue and green color scheme in my classroom. I know other teachers that implement owl themes, sports themes, or robot themes.
OwlPaper FootballPaper RobotPaper
If this is you, find scrapbook paper to go along with your theme. I am queen of using 40% off coupons at my local hobby store. Even better is buying what you want when it is on sale (just wait a couple of weeks - scrapbook paper seems to be on sale every 2-3 weeks!). I buy about 20 12"x12" sheets (or less) each year. You can also buy books of scrapbook paper, but I have had better luck with hand selecting each piece I want to use. Contact paper or wrapping paper with spiffy designs can be found at dollar stores or bargain outlets like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or Big Lots. It can cover file cabinets. Mrs-Harris-Teaches-File-CabinetAnd it can cover desks. Contact paper is a versatile decorating tool in your classroom. Use it liberally. Mrs-Harris-Teaches-Desk-OrganizationScrapbook paper is great to add flair to plastic drawers. You can see a plastic drawer set I have hidden under my desk. I also added it to the insides of my smaller drawer set I use for paper organization. This is where my students turn in and collect work. Mrs-Harris-Teaches-Drawer-OrganizationScrapbook paper makes great borders for anything you put on your classroom walls. (And notice my dollar store hook with a binder clip combo - it's an easy system for changing out what I need to display on my walls!) Mrs-Harris-Teaches-Scrapbook-Paper-BackingsScrapbook can be laminated with your schedule cards. I use a pocket chart for my subjects so I can easily mix up the order of subjects/classes as needed. There are magnets hot glued on the back of each time card since it is on my whiteboard. I use this same setup in my high school classroom (I just don't have a picture of it!). This was from my fifth grade classroom.
Mrs-Harris-Teaches-ScheduleAny organizing label looks much more cohesive with a scrapbook border.
Mrs-Harris-Teaches-Bin-LabelsOrganizing bins are easily added to "holey" crates using metal single ring binder clips. The scrapbook paper and lamination combo adds to the durability of the label.
Mrs-Harris-Teaches-Book-LabelsWrapping paper is versatile too. It is a quick and easy way to get a large amount of a pretty pattern and/or bold color cheaply. I used it in the backs of my bookcases. I've seen others use it for bulletin board backing.
Mrs-Harris-Teaches-Bookshelf-DecorationI happened to have cardboard sheets that were the same sizes as my bookcase sections, so I wrapped the paper around them and put them in back of my bookcases. It would have been much easier to use double sided tape (or tape circles) to adhere the wrapping paper directly to the back of the bookcase, but I had to make things complicated.
Mrs-Harris-Teaches-Bookcase-OrganizationDon't forget about other scrap-booking supplies too! I purchased a set of kraft colored letters on clearance and I used them in my home for holiday decorations (bet you can't guess which holiday!). In writing this post, I had an epiphany that they would be PERFECT for use in a word wall. I could paint them to match my color scheme of blue and green (love me some spray paint!), but I think they'll look great as is (time saver!). Mrs-Harris-Teaches-HouseWith that, I will end with "THANKFUL". Thank you to Amy for graciously allowing me to take over her blog for a moment. (She may not have realized what she was getting herself into!) Make sure you check out her inspiring post about The Power of Music with her own takeover at Mrs. Harris Teaches.  Just click here to check it out!

I hope you found a new idea to update your classroom cheaply and easily! Mrs. Harris Signature  

Wow!  I love all of the ideas Jessica shared and how easy they are to do in a classroom!  I too have a very good relationship with my local Hobby Lobby (although I am not happy with them since I just found out they are moving across town)!  I don't know about you, but now I'm wishing I hadn't given up my teacher desk!  More on that here.  I {heart} the chevron contact paper on the desk.  I don't think I ever would have thought of that! Thank you Jessica for all your ideas.

Do you have any easy and inexpensive ways you decorate your classroom?  Please do share!

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