“I was thoroughly loving being a career first grade teacher,” Jessica told us. “So, when I found out that after seven years of teaching first grade that I was moving to third grade, I was absolutely crushed, confused, devastated, dumbfounded, angry and heartbroken. I was, and still am, very close to my first grade colleagues, so it was a very hard adjustment for me. After coming home in tears, night after night, and crying in my husband’s arms, he brought up how third grade would be perfect. Perfect!?!? I couldn’t even begin to think about how third grade would be perfect. He explained that I would now have the chance of having my dream classroom. I could do a Harry Potter Classroom Theme and do so many fun and engaging things with my students.”
Comforted by that thought (Jessica is a MAJOR Harry Potter fan), she got to work. Check out the beautiful fruits of her labor, a real Harry Potter classroom theme. Maybe something like this would work for your classroom, too! (If you’re not nuts about Harry Potter, consider how using another favorite book might translate into a classroom theme.)
Are Your Ready for a Wonderful Year?
I got the clip art for the wands from a seller on Etsy named Lepaperhouse. I enlarged, printed, laminated and cut each wand out for my bulletin board. It was definitely worth all of the time spent cutting out laminating!
Wall of Quotations
I thought about the quotes from various Harry Potter books that not only spoke to me, but that I knew could speak to my students. J.K. Rowling created words that every time I read them, I fall in love with them all over again.
I created the quotes posters by choosing a fun, crinkled paper background. I then found the pages that each of the quotes was located on. I used that as a slightly transparent background, which is one of my favorite aspects. I then set about creating how I wanted the quotes to actually look and feel. I chose fonts that were whimsical, dark, wispy, strong, scary, etc. and I just got to work, doing what I enjoy doing 🙂
The photo collage is from our five-year wedding anniversary trip. We took a three-day trip to Universal Studios in Orlando to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was one of the best things we’ve done together and just seeing Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts Express and Diagon Alley was an experience we won’t ever forget.
Classroom Jobs, Harry Potter Style
The caboose has the job of being at the end of the line, clicking off the lights and pulling the door closed.
For first quarter, they drew a number 1-4, which sorted them into the house I had already assigned that number. I read the sorting hat poem to them, and we discussed the different houses a little bit as we went along. We then watched a clip from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” of Professor McGonagall calling the Hogwarts students up so they can get sorted. They were enthralled and excited when I began calling their name. They came up, sat in my teacher chair and put on the hat. They patiently awaited the name of their house. I played a pre-recorded sound clips of the sorting hat saying the name of their house. They thought it was so magical! They all clapped for each other and were genuinely excited to find our who their housemates would be.
Over the rest of the year, as I get to know them more, kids can move in and out of houses each quarter. After the sorting of the students, they got into their houses (pods of desks) and I gave them a printout of words that represent their house. They discussed the word meanings and chose a word that described them. Overall, each student was really excited about their house, especially after they realized that many of the characteristics fit them. They colored their house crests, which are currently hanging above their houses (pods). It was seriously so wonderful!
How do kids feel about being in Slytherin? Honestly, the kids that were sorted into Slytherin were very excited about it. We talked a lot about how Slytherin house is all about being determined and accomplished. We talked about how cunning is not a bad thing. It is more about being able to get the things we desire in ways that others may not think about.
These are the house points that I can reward the students with. I have been giving them out when an entire house (pod) cleans up quickly, finishes their work first, or is lined up quietly first. For example, we had
These are the house points that I can reward the students with. I have been giving them out when an entire house (pod) cleans up quickly, finishes their work first, or is lined up quietly first. For example, we had a fire drill today and my class absolutely rocked it! I chose one student from each house to reward their house with a point.
I’m using it more as a reward system/motivator to help them work together to follow the proper routines/expectations in our classroom. I try and remember to ask a student to reward their house with a point as often as I can. At the end of the quarter, whichever house has the most points will have an end of the quarter surprise. I haven’t quite decided what it will be though. Maybe a pizza party or maybe something special having to do with Harry Potter.
How’s the Harry Potter Classroom Theme Going So Far?
I am loving the Harry Potter classroom theme and the kiddos are engaged. The best thing I heard from a student was, “I started reading Harry Potter with my family last night”. My heart straight burst out of my chest and I know my smile reached from ear to ear. That is my one goal for my kids. I want them to fall in love with J.K. Rowling’s words . . . just like I did so many years ago.