Owl Themed Classrooms are a Hoot!

Jul 29th 2014

Clearly I love owls and my students do too! Here is a peek into my second grade classroom, my home away from home. Each year, I refine my classroom with special finds from Target and Hobby Lobby (my favorite!) to make it comfortable and inviting. My goal is to make the room a safe, creative space that promotes engagement and exploration.

Welcome to my classroom!

Welcome to my classroom!

HAZEL HOOT’S READING ROOST:
This area is my students’ favorite place. Each day students attend Hazel’s Reading Roost (my guided reading group) as one of their four reading rotations. During this time, we use a woodland strategy animal as we learn and practice specific reading concepts through the context of authentic literature. Students read text at their instructional level using our Hoo Can Read? Reading Fluency and Comprehension flashcards and complete graphic organizers that accompany the strategy animals.

Hazel’s Reading Roost revolves around Hazel Hoot, a struggling reader, who comes across a magical tree one day on the way home from school. She meets 10 strategy animals who help her learn the necessary skills and strategies needed to become a successful reader. To replicate the magical tree, I purchased an inexpensive faux tree from Goodwill and gave it a dusting of gold glitter spray paint. I glued glitter foam leaves to give it an enchanted gleam and used Velcro to attach the animals. This allows for easy removal during reading group time.

Hazel's Reading Roost: Guided Reading Center

Hazel’s Reading Roost: Guided Reading Center

HAZEL HOOT’S PROBLEM-SOLVING POND:
Our Problem-Solving Pond features 10 strategy animals that help students solve story problems. In the pond story, Hazel Hoot swoops down to eat a fish and he begs her to let him go as he is Upton Understanding Fish, the ruler of Problem-Solving Pond. Hazel lets him go and Upton introduces her to the strategy animals, teaching her critical problem-solving skills in the process. Each week students learn and practice new strategies as they complete a differentiated template in their problem-solving journal.

In order to recreate the Problem-Solving Pond, I covered a bulletin board with fadeless blue water paper and added green tulle and pond stems to border the pond. I found this stuffed animal on Ebay that looks just like Upton Understanding Fish at the top along with his problem-solving steps. As I introduce each strategy animal, I put it in the pond for students to reference.

Hazel's Problem Solving Pond: Math Bulletin Board

Hazel’s Problem Solving Pond: Math Bulletin Board

O.W.L. BULLETIN BOARD:
Observe, Wonder, Learn are the key themes in my room and this bulletin board is the first thing you see when you walk into the room. I made the paper using turquoise water color paint, water and white butcher block paper. I love the watercolor effect. I purchased the owl rug from Target (in the bath section) and painted thin wooden letters purchased from Hobby Lobby. I added laminated orange cardstock squares as a backdrop for student work. I change this board frequently to display our learning.

 

OWL Bulletin Board

OWL Bulletin Board

THE LEARNING NEST:
This area serves as our whole-group space for activities such as morning read-alouds, writing lessons and center activities. In the beginning of the year, I create a carpet seating chart. The owl rugs are the start of each row; I put horizontal lines of masking tape on the carpet and write each student’s name in his/her spot. After students are trained, I remove the tape (I’ve learned that custodians hate masking tape). I place thematic, leveled books in the bookcase and hang student work from the owl clips made from clothespins and our owl templates.

The Learning Nest

The Learning Nest

Owl clips for displaying work

Owl clips for displaying work

STORAGE BINS:
I used owl-shaped labels to organize and clearly mark the contents of supply baskets, book bins, and other storage containers throughout my classroom. It not only pulls the classroom theme together, but also creates a literacy rich environment.

Storage bins

Storage bins

Books bins for classroom library

Books bins for classroom library

DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS:
Sometimes it’s the small things that matter most. I regularly add new owl accents, picture frames, rugs, and other items to the classroom (I might have a problem….). Ebay and Target have a wide variety of owl accents and I love the fuchsia, turquoise and apple green frames and accents found at Hobby Lobby. Here is an example of how I used masking tape and an owl rug to teach students the correct pathway to pick up their mail from their cubbies for their dismissal routine.

Perfect pathways

Perfect pathways

Owl decor details

Owl decor details

CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR:
Even my newsletters, parent communication forms and behavior charts coordinate with my owl themed classroom! Here are two FREEBIE behavior chart files for you!

Hootin’ for a Great Day:

Hootin' for a Great Day!

Hootin’ for a Great Day!

Look “Hoo’s” Behaving:

Look "Hoo's" Behaving!

Look “Hoo’s” Behaving!

INSPIRATION:
It is fun to collaborate and share ideas with fellow owl lovers! I’ve started an Owl Themed collaborative Pinterest board to collect inspiration for my classroom and share ideas. If you’d like to be added to the board, please follow the board and comment with your Pinterest information below and I will add you.

Owl Themed Classroom Collaborative Board

Owl Themed Classroom Collaborative Board

Thanks for stopping by!

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