Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mr. Moo Class Mascot and Classroom Theme Help Needed!

First, I want to welcome all my new followers and thank everyone for entering the Back to School Bonanza Giveaway!  The response has been overwhelming.

Class Mascot
Now, on to the freebie!  Here is a packet I created for my class mascot, Mr. Moo.  Having a class mascot promotes the home school connection.  Mr. Moo, a cow, went with my classroom theme.  Click on the pictures below to download the file for free from TpT.

Perhaps, cows are not your thing.  Let me offer you an important tip for picking a mascot:  Pick a stuffed animal that you can purchase multiples of.  It will get dirty and not look the same after a year of use.  Webkinz stuffed animals work because they are small, not too expensive, and plentiful.

Classroom Theme Help Needed!
I have had a cow print themed classroom for the past 10 years.  I picked this theme because I found super cheap cow print contact paper.  Well, it just spiraled from there!  Despite telling parents that "my herd was full," I still got tons of cow knickknacks.  I am not a fan of knickknacks.  I like all animals but would not say cows are my favorite.  So this year, I want to change to a new theme but I cannot seem to decide on one.  The cow theme worked out great because black and white was easy to find things in and I was also able to find farm themed items.

The problem is I need a new theme, but I want one where I will not be getting knickknacks.  I also want my classroom to still look cute.  I love the way black bulletin board paper looks and would like to keep something like that.  I wish I could design my own boarders!  I love the color scheme of my blog but have not been able to find borders like that.  I thought about dogs and cats, since I do animal rescue fundraising, but I only found an ugly paw print border at Michael's.  So now I am on to polka dots.  Has anyone seen any cute polka dots borders that would go with black?  Or does anyone have any other ideas?   I joke that my new theme should be "money" because I would not mind if students brought that in!

Click {here} to see more photos of my classroom.

Thanks in advance for your help!


  1. http://www.creativeteaching.com/p-3843-dots-on-black-apples-border.aspx

    I love this theme right now! It's still the black, but incorporates apples and color.

  2. They also have other colorful themed polka dot things on that site as well.. I just take well to the apples! :)

  3. There are lots of borders out right now with black backgrounds. I'm using tons of black w/ polka dots. I found some awesome black & white library pockets for my helper chart. One idea for a word wall - use black fabric as your background, black & white gingham border and make your A-Z letters on yellow, white and shades of grey polka large circles (polka dots). The yellow, grey, black & white is SUPER cute! And polka dots are pretty easy to find. If you have a black filing cabinet, cut tons of yellow white and grey circles to decorate it with. I could go on.. ha!!

  4. I did a farm theme last year. I got a lot of cows too! Hee! Hee! I am changing to space this year. The black transitions well, and there are a ton of super cute space borders. I am also including astronauts and aliens in my theme, to give me a wider range of tie-ins. :-) Good luck! I am sure what you will do will be fabulous! :-)

  5. First of all, I love your cows! Black background actually goes well with any theme or color. There are a lot of borders out there now that have all kinds of polka dots. But, when it comes to theme I think you need to "brainstorm" things that you do enjoy. My room began years ago centered around books. They still do but my theme is now Hollywood. I love moose and we have a class friend Mr. McMoose who visits us. Our class mascots are bears (which I love.) Do something that feels right for you. I know whatever you choose it will look great! (Love your room, by the way!!)
    Keep us updated.
    Robin (Bigbird)

  6. I, too love the whole polka dotted thing! I was thinking to incorporate dots with frogs this year. But, now I am leaning more towards monsters---hot pinks & blues???? I am teaching Kinder this year and thought it was cute???? Any suggestions would be great:)

    Last year (1st grade), I did a pirate theme! The kiddos LOVED it:) I did lots of black & red. "Treasured Writing" "Arrrrgh Great Work" Plus, the knickknacks I got can be used now for Halloween. We even had a "Dress Like A Pirate Day" for our end of year party:) It was a blast:) Good Luck!!!

  7. Mr. Moo is SOOOO cute! I love your classroom! It looks great!

  8. WOW! Your room and organization is AMAZING:) My room appears to be a 1/3 of yours and I have 32 students. You have inspired me to use more labels...thanks:)

  9. I saw a lot of pirate stuff at the dollar store the other day that I almost bought! That sounds cute and easy to find a lot of stuff, both at the store and on TPT.
    One of the other teacher bloggers had bees. That was a really cute theme. she even had "bee bucks" as a freebie on TPT, I think! I also saw a page of bee stuff for sale from Oriental Trading.

  10. I think polka dots would be SOOOO cute! You can do any polka dot on top of black! I think a lime green polka dot border would be SUPER cute! :)

  11. Well I vote for frogs, but then you will get tons of them lol so stick with polka dots :)


  12. I found fabrics tonight at walmart that are exactly the colors in your blog. I know you can create bulletin trim. Here is a link to abcteach with teacher created borders. I love the bee trim and think this will be great with your colors and black bulletin board paper.

    Primary Graffiti

  13. Mr. Moo is soo cute!!! Love the letter to parents also!!!

    Mrs. Ayala’s Kinder FUN

  14. I love to look at scrapbook paper and cut my own borders from it. You can trace the wavy type from a pre-made set or just use a straight border cut with a paper cutter...

  15. Well I love you organized and labeled boxes of stuff. I have the same thing in my closet and its a life saver when you go to look for things. I must say that I love theme classrooms and whjatever theme I do my reading ceter has to be the bomb! I would love to do a camping theme/outdoors but my room is just too small for what I want to do. Tent in reading area, smore word wall, amd my favorite a fake campfire for when students' publish their work.

    Clutter Free Classroom has some great pics.


  16. I'm not sure if anyone else suggested this but you could make your own border. Right now, Walmart has solid color borders for 97 cents a pack. Put dot stickers (found at Dollar Tree) on that boarder. You can customize your colors and it's cheap!

  17. I think polka dots would be really cute. This blog: http://ladybugsteacherfiles.blogspot.com/2011/06/round-leveled-labels-for-book-bins.html has some super-cute round book basket labels that would look great with a polka-dot theme. Good luck!

  18. Great room but lots of cows! I think go for a color scheme not theme. You can add a pop of color throughout. I think black, white, yellow would look great in a room. This may avoid all the Knicks knack gifts. Maybe...

  19. Great pics Erica. I get all of my back to school borders at Banks school supply near my home but you can order online as well. Here is a link to their borders page:

    Mrs. Randall’s Learning Library

  20. I've always loved polka dots- I think you'll be amazed as you look around you will find things that will work. Lisa and Amy's great ideas above are truly customizing for your situation! Love it!
    I didn't have a theme last year, I too, received too many frogs and needed to make a clean break of it. I'm sticking with red, yellow, blue and green this year- accented with those color crayons as well; if I can find them. Polka dots sound perfect also. Thanks!
    ...And what was up with the comment above (from the guy's 4:37 am post? That is cReEpY!

  21. Last year I bought some Eric Carle polka dot border. It's very cute and goes with everything. They also make it in stripes. I found it at Barnes & Noble originally, but I think you can get it at most teacher supply stores. Maybe you want to Google it and check it out.

  22. I love all the great ideas! Thanks everyone.

    At Anonymous 6:55 am, I deleted his post and marked it as spam.

  23. I LOVE the Mr. Moo idea!!! I have a "western/cowboy" themed classroom and have for the last few years. Each year I add more to the theme so by now I have invested so much into it I hate to change! My husband has built a "jail", a wooden entryway, cactus, etc. for my room. My father-in-law has made me a split rail fence and I put the saddle (we had as kids) on it. You could also add western to your cow design! I have downloaded many free ideas. Let me know if you would like to see them.
    Tammy Case gtcase@hotmail.com

  24. The polka dot theme is really cute. If you want to continue with an animal theme, what about monkeys (my blog theme!), which is also what I'll be doing in my classroom this next year (for the first time). Good luck! I can't wait to see what you go with.

  25. I love polka dots and have liked your blog background everytime I go on it. I would look for scrap booking paper, laminate and cut with fancy scissors to make your own border. I also liked the idea of adding stickers to plain border. I have also laminated material in the past and cut with pinking shears. I also saw some cute polka dot material at Walmart last week. Polka dots seem to be in this year!!!!!

  26. I love the Mr. Moo idea! I am working on a class mascot and I am using a frog. Do you have any places where you find free or inexpensive borders to use for your documents? Thanks for your help! :)

  27. I just looked at your classroom photos and your room from this past year is super cute! I also love the indoor recess idea. I would of never thought in a million years to make an index card with dots at the bottom for the number of students that can go to that center, using clothespins. Indoor recess is my least favorite time because there's like 50 students at one activity. I am using this brilliant idea for this year! THANK YOU!!! You've totally made my day :)



  28. You could do a polka dot and paisley theme. It would be so cute! Then if you wanted a class mascot, you could do a ladybug and call her Dot. =)

  29. Soooo funny Jo...I am using the polka dots and ladybugs but hadn't thought to have a mascot and name her Dot!! Thanks for the GREAT idea :)
    They do have a polka dot border at The Dollar Tree that has a black background that I am using for my welcome board. My saying will be "I SPOT an awesome class", unless someone has a cuter saying that uses dot in the title?

  30. Seriously?! That is the most organized room I have ever seen! SO awesome. :)

    Glad to have found your blog! I like the customized ideas for your room, and there ARE tons of polka dot themed borders, etc. out this year if you go that route.

    @Sandy- that's a cute saying! Only other phrase I could think of was "spot on" but I think yours is cuter. :)

  31. Hobby Lobby has amazing cow-themed items!!!

    Beg, Borrow, Steal

  32. This is PERFECT for me! My hubby & I own a dairy in Maricopa, AZ with about 1500 cows & 1300 acres. My entire 1st grade classroom has the COW THEME!!! This is great thanks!!!

  33. One idea to keep with the black would be to do panda bears or zebras...but I do love dots!

  34. I love your Mr. Moo, Skippy and Pete classroom mascot packs. I was thinking of getting a webkinz dog since my room is puppies. Would you consider making a generic pack that could be used for any mascot?


    1. Sure, I can also make one for a dog if you email me the books you want included. I know someone has a cute Clifford freebie take home pack.

  35. Hi there! I was wondering..what is the name of the font you used for the Mr. Moo letter? I saw that you put that it came from kevinandamanda.com but I can't seem to find it on there. Thank you in advance!

  36. I love your blog and have already downloaded a ton!!
    I have a all black classroom and my theme is Hollywood! I have had this theme for a few years and love it! I do not get any knickknacks. I take pictures of the kids with boas and movie star sunglasses and make a walk of fame board! They love it! Email me if you would like pictures! Sarahawilson@cusd.com


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