Thursday, October 9, 2014

Table-Group Signs with Style and Charm

I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb here and say my classroom is stylish. 

To me, at least.

I've got a rustic, antique kind of vibe going on... lots of table lamps, barn-wood bulletin board paper, old kitchen hutch re-purposed into a bookcase, curtains. Yes, I have curtains. They add to my color scheme, which I try to maintain throughout my room: blues, purples, and orange. So, 'ya know: stylish. My style, anyway.

Our table-group signs, those things hanging from the ceiling above each group of students, serve multiple purposes, one being that they are a perfect way to unify the colors I've chosen with which to decorate the room.

Those signs' functional purpose, just like with anything you would hang above your table-groups, is to give an identity to each group of students. I can simply call the "orange group" and ahhhhh, everyone knows who I'm talking to.

My favorite purpose for the way I do our group signs is to build teamwork and cooperation skills within each group, because the members of each group are planning and decorating their own signs.

What follows are step by step instructions for our stylish table-group signs.

The supplies I use are large sheets of construction paper (12"x18") carefully chosen to fit my color scheme, fishing line or string, and ceiling hooks.


I give each table group a different piece of construction paper to design. Each group can design their paper however they choose. I don't give many restrictions, except to allow only crayons and colored pencils. I've found that markers can be so bold that they can distract from the true color of the sign. I like to have students all incorporate their names onto the signs too. Even when we switch seats, the signs will stay in place, and these original groups will always remain the "founding members."


After each group has decorated their sign, I collect them and laminate them. Then I roll each one and tape it into a tube, with the design on the outside.


Then I punch three evenly-spaced holes around the top rim of each tube.


Next, I tie pieces of fishing line, two feet in length, to each hole. Fire code for our district requires an 18 inch gap from the ceiling to whatever is hanging from the ceiling.


I pull the three pieces of fishing line together and tie the ends into a knot.


Then I hang the knotted end onto a ceiling hook that is positioned over each table group.


There you have it. The signs remind me of pendant lights, without the light, of course.


The custom student-design of each sign and the bold pops of color make these table-group signs my favorite type of "hangy thing" in my classroom.

And they also add a little style. I think.

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