Sunday, September 12, 2010

How to Build a Jungle Tree!

Hello blogging world! It's been awhile and I'm sorry for that. Life isn't all that interesting when you don't have kids to talk about :p Now that school has started though I have 22 of them to talk about!

Before getting into the year I HAD to make my classroom look amazing. I love walking into a fun, creative, welcoming classroom each morning and wanted the kids to feel the same way. The school's theme for the year is SAFARI. I decided to go with "Jungle Safari" because there was a lot more "out there" for Jungle. The first thing that popped into my head for decorations was: A TREE! I wanted an awesome tree in the reading corner. In my head I planned this tree for months. How tall would it be? What would I make it out of? What should I hang on it? Will the kids like it? Will my room stand out from everyone elses? (I like to be different.... I wanted my room to be the "cool room" this year!)

So, the night before school started for teachers (I know, I successfully put the project off ALL summer!), my husband and I went to Lowes. We spend about an hour looking at materials and setting up a game plan. We came home and got working!My husband is fond of his garage and his tools. This project gave him the perfect excuse to use both.

Here is how we made the tree (along with pictures!)

1 2x4
3/4 inch plywood (or any plywood would work)
1 PVC pipe (as tall as you'd like the tree)
4 10 foot skinny pvc pipes (in the plumbing aisle)
Butcher paper to decorate with!

The first step: making a wooden tree stand so that the tree would not fall over!

Dan got to buy a new tool for this so he was excited.

Next step: Putting the "frame" together!

Stick small pvc pipes into larger pipe. Stick into stand!

It's starting to look like a tree! The next step was the hardest (for me at least!) Decorating!!
I used brown and green butcher paper and about 6 hours to complete my tree.

Trunk is covered!


Next, I needed leaves! I added huge leaves first. It definitely didn't look right so I added a bunch of smaller leaves. I also added a blow up monkey and some cut out bananas and coconuts.

I still wasn't happy with it.The branches were too droopy and there weren't enough leaves. So, I continued working!

I used fishing line to tie the branches to the ceiling. I also added lots of leaves. I used pipe cleaners on the leaves to get some of them to stick up.

The rest of my room looks something like this:

Looking in through the door.

To the right. My Guided Reading table and "Good Work Board"

Attendance and Behavior

My desk area. Sloppy... I know! School hadn't started yet :)

"Front" of room.

Math and Centers Board

Sign outside my door

The beautiful quilt my mother-in-law and sister-in-law
helped me make out of my students work! (Outside my door)

That is it for now! I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and my classroom tour! More to come at a later date!