>> Friday, 3 September 2010 – Classroom Tree
You can find ‘Making a Classroom Tree” here and here, and “Decorating a Classroom Tree” here and here.
Today I want to show you my classroom tree. When I was subbing last year I saw a tree and someone's room, and thought that a tree was a wonderful idea. So, I asked the teacher who has a morning class if I could put up a tree in the room, and she was all over the idea. Then I told my friend Gay (who taught preschool for many years) that I wanted to make a tree in my room, and she said, "Oh, I had a tree in my room, too." Which automatically signed her up for my Official Tree Co-Builder.
I wanted my tree to be as 3-D as possible, so I decided to start with a cardboard base that I could wrap up with the brown tree paper. Fortunately, it was the week before school when we built it, and I found a whole dumpster full of discarded cardboard boxes behind Jericho's school. We rummaged around in the dumpster for the perfect-shaped box (without Jericho, of course. We didn't want to "humiliate" him before he even started his first day as a freshman". We found a very long and skinny box, which we folded in half to look like this:
In the "crotch" of the fold I put an old flower pot for the hole. Before I put the pot there I covered the inside of it with brown paper. (Actually, I took a piece of brown paper and shaped it around the outside of the pot. Then I pulled it off and glued it onto the inside. )
We then used three long pieces for brown butcher paper to "wrap" the tree. We glued the pieces together at the bottom so it was like one big sheet, but we still basically tried to use one width for each of the three sides of the cardboard base. We left the top part separate, so each could later be a main branch of the tree. We then scrunched up the paper for the trunk, and hot glued it all over to the cardboard. Then we scrunched up the three main branches and attached them either to the wall with staples, or the ceiling with yarn. Finally, we added extra, smaller branches with staples, and leaves.
Last week the kids did their first "tree" project by making their hand prints for more leaves. Everyone was happy with this except for one little one who seemed truly horrified by the idea of having his hands painted, and one whose favorite color is orange, and really wanted to make an orange leaf. I told her to wait and month or two, and then she could make all the orange leaves she wanted.
Here is the current state of the tree now:
It will have apples in a few weeks, then fall leaves, then perhaps snowflakes later...we'll switch out animals soon, too.
Who knew a tree could be such fun?