A Tree for all Seasons

27 September 2015
I'd like to introduce you to the newest attraction in my classroom - our beautiful, life-size learning tree.  I am in love with it.  And so are my students.  Seriously in love.  It took me a few days to get it finished, and the students weren't quite convinced it was actually tree for the first day or two, but it was so very worth it.  It's going to be a permanent and treasured fixture in our classroom all year long.

It all started with these little back to school apples. I like to do this craftivity during the first week of school.  They tell me a lot about the students, let me get some quick insight into their writing skills, and look great in the classroom - especially during parent nights and open houses.  I usually just line them up along the top of our bookshelves for a perfect back to school display.

But then, two of my blogging friends raised the bar ... all the way to the top.  Mrs. Mathis' Homeroom  and Teaching is a Gift also completed this apple craftivity and sent me the most gorgeous pictures of the trees they made to hang the apples from.  I was hooked.  And I just knew I had to do this right away.  

I started with a roll of brown craft paper I bought at Staples (the kind you use to wrap packages in).  A small roll will do because you don't use all that much.  I cut a strip the length of the wall I was working on, and began scrunching it up and taping it to my metal wall with packing tape - now, these metal walls are terrible for tape actually sticking to them, but the packing tape has worked wonderfully.  For the branches I cut smaller strips and scrunched and twisted them up.  I slid in one end behind the trunk and taped it there, and then used another piece of tape at the end of the branch.

After the first day my students didn't believe this was really a tree.  I'm quite sure they questioned their new teacher's artistic talents.  lol

But then, as more branches were added, the tree began to take shape.  And then once the leaves went on (I used two colors of construction paper, cut out random leaf shapes, and just stapled the leaves to the branches), it really really started to look like a tree.  

To hang the apples, I stapled the apple leaves to the branches - two staples through one of the leaves, and it held perfectly.  One of the other teachers used tape, and the other hung them with Christmas hooks.  All three techniques have worked quite well.

Early November Update:  We've taken down our apples and added our Fall poetry leaves to the tree - and now it is a beautiful Poet-tree.  :)  The leaves may be dropping off the trees outside, but we have a gorgeous Fall tree of learning in the classroom to brighten our days.

If you've been following me on facebook or instagram, you may have already seen some of these pictures as part of my #project 188 - where I share a pic from my school day for each of our 188 school days (we just finished day 14).  I often share different pics on instagram and facebook, so be sure to follow both!  

Happy Sunday!!!

1 comment

  1. I love this idea!! Such inspiration for creative activities to do throughout the school year!