My master teacher Mr. Murphy always had a fun fact on the board (or weird fun holidays) and his high school students loved to read them every day (they would get upset if there was not one on the board). I have been doing it ever since. To save time I print out a bunch of fun random facts and important dates with weird, fun words and have it on a clipboard by the board that I can conveniently grab each morning. It gets students to look at the board, the agenda, important announcements and they learn something new!
(Oh and do you see that plastic sleeve? I taped it to my board to put our schedules in it, so I can easily switch schedules for the day (without having to write them all the time). I do this with the CA State Standards, Essential Questions and Big Ideas. Easy to print once and then switch daily. TIME SAVER!
A rainbow threw up on my room...and I like it.
I absolutely love and simultaneously dread setting up my classroom for the new school year. I love starting fresh and coming up with new ideas to help my classroom operate more efficiently but it is also a lot of hard work and very time consuming.
Some time saving tips: laminate posters, string together flags and pennants so you only have to use a couple of staples, cover entire walls with paper (top of the ceiling -to the floor) it makes the room look larger, save your borders every year (they are pricy!), go to Allposters.com when they have sales or look in their clearance for inexpensive posters (sometimes only a dollar!) and invest in a staple gun (best investment EVER).
Keep rules short and sweet, but put them in a VERY visible location. I have this at the front of the room next to the screen of the projector. The little pockets are for Homework/ Tardy Cards for each class to stay organized. I just cut a manila folder in half and stapled the sides.
College pennants are expensive so a great alternative is to find a color printer (beg an administrator) and print images of college's logos and glue to colored pieces of paper and presto...college pendants!
Print out tons of facts and words of the day so you don't have to constantly search them up. Kids love these and look forward to reading them.