Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Focus Wall (or Why I Need to Teach 2nd Grade Next Year

It was a dark and stormy night....or perhaps it was cold and in Bakersfield. Same thing....

Months ago, I began the thought process behind setting up a whole new addition to my language arts program. All of this based on the idea that as the week went on, my students were not always quite sure what it was that we learned that week. All things considered, I sat down and began writing out all of the pieces necessary for my kids to be aware of for each story in the entire curriculum.
Fun times.
We're talking theme, story title, author, illustrator, genre, phonics skill, writing skill, grammar skill....I neglected spelling skill and I think I will add that some other time when I have ample hours to kill on a project.

In any case, I sat down on the day after Christmas and began typing out everything that was on my list. When the printer began a long and arduous journey through 30 some-odd pages, I didn't realize the work that was to be done.

Still didn't really realize it four hours (and many episodes of Next Great Baker) later when I had a couple nice piles that looked like this:

I got to know my paper cutter really well.

Having spent my last night at home with family cutting out tiny sheets of white paper, I thought that it would be nice to spend my New Year's Eve with friends cutting out tiny pieces of orange paper. This thought process allowed me a good amount of days in which I could procrastinate and continue to enjoy the fact that I was on break (i.e. do nothing). Fortunately, I was rather successful in spending my evening cutting orange paper. It had been a good warm up to cut the white paper first, as the orange paper only took a few episodes of Grey's Anatomy and one hilarious viewing of Mega Pirahana to complete the process.

Now there were all sorts of piles of things.
Time for another day of procrastination, forced by the fact that I couldn't get to Lakeshore to laminate.....but hey, why put off till tomorrow all of your putting off for today? Who wants to laminate anyway? Oh yes, me. And my lovely friend that I forced into the best party of her life (laminating hundreds of pieces AND having a date with BTSA).

We spent a good amount of time at the laminators that day. She kindly tried to keep the footage down in order to keep the price down, but I wasn't so good at that.

I knew this project was a lot of work: cutting, gluing, cutting, laminating, magnets...but the part that slipped my mind was that there was still one more round of cutting. This was how I cared to spend the last day of my winter break. Cutting lamination and taking breaks to work on my BTSA portfolio. Woo hoo! The result was nice though. Many, many shiny pieces of laminated paper just sitting in a pile ready to help my students focus.

The magnet part, being the last part, was also the best part. I had assumed that I would be using copious amounts of magnet tape and time in order to complete the final leg of this project....but I found the best thing in the entire world: Peel and Stick Magnetic Dots. These things are amazing! As of yet, nothing has fallen down or apart since I put everything up on my board, and it took the shortest amount of time possible for a giant project. All I had to do was pull the paper off of each dot and stick it down on the paper. I have a whole bunch left over and have already used them on a couple of things I'd been using tape to adhere to the board.

Giant project, hand turned into a claw from too long with the scissors, owe friend big time, but I found the best magnet idea ever! Win!

1 comment:

  1. You just solved my star wars magnetic canvas issue! I say this with love from one claw handed scissor fiend to another :)