Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pinterest Addict

Alright, I'll admit it:

I'm addicted to teaching blogs and pinterest.

Big time.

I think it has something to do with the fact that I have a lot of rearranging that I would love to be doing in my classroom, but my keys are turned in and locked away. Sigh.

As I've mentioned a million times before, I love, love, love Ladybug's Teacher Files; however, she is on vacation right about now. Her trip is perfectly timed with my mental obsession about my classroom reorganization...and now I am pouring over the Clutter Free Classroom !

The post that is linked is what has inspired a whole lot of online shopping: using sheets as bulletin board backgrounds.


Ages ago, a former teacher of mine recommended using fabric to cover boards. While I also agreed that this was a fantastic idea, my OCD kicked in and I could see crooked edges...which would drive me nuts. So, I just finished a date with that resulted in three brown sheets (to match my dots on chocolate colors) for $20! I shall report the results once I have returned to the land of the classroom.

Otherwise, I just finished today's Pinterest project of the day, and it worked out perfectly! With that Pinterest obsession I mentioned, I've seen a whole lot of pins where cheap frames are used to display lesson objectives. Seemed easy enough!

Math Teacher Friend and I took a trip to the Dollar Tree and Michael's today to buy scrapbook paper and frames.

Michael's was having a 50% off sale on their scrapbook paper (plus the teacher discount), so I got very adorable paper to frame! (Sadly no polka dots, but awesome orange patterns.)

After dismantling the frame, I traced the cardboard insert so the size would be marked properly.

In order to have sharp lines, and create enough layers so things wouldn't slip around, I opted to fold along my pencil lines rather than cut. It worked out really well, since the $1 frames needed a little extra help to make everything fit nicely.

And look! Cute little dry erase board! Perfect for writing eye-catching lesson objectives on and sticking on the white board! I do anticipate using black markers when they're actually displayed; however, blue is all I had on me.

Now all that is left is to figure out a nice configuration and to get them onto the white board! I'm also tossing some pink and blue in with my orange this year (again, to match the dots and chocolate), so I made sure to make the "objectives" sign in a different color.

And again, I leave you with the tease of my interactive notebooking research. I've been in the trenches looking, but I have not yet convinced myself that I want to implement it into my math program. We shall see!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Anchor Chart Academy

Oh are far too wonderful!

I have been enjoying my days playing with markers, colored pencils, and posters. Posters, posters, posters...

This 150 hours of classroom work thing has been rather successful so far (80 hours down) as I prepare charts, decorations, and documents for myself and my coworkers. My circle cutter and I did some bonding way back in June, and I finally got those circles adhered to their respective posters.

As promised: CHAMPS Posters!

I've mentioned it before, but we use CHAMPS for our classroom management program. Throughout the activities of the day, we make sure to explain our expectations for (C)onversation, (H)elp, (A)ctivity, (M)ovement, (P)articipation, and (S)uccess. These expectations are displayed on the board for students to reference when they need a reminder.

This summer's CHAMPS party consisted of creating these charts for our whole third-grade team. (dibs on orange!) One of my teammates came up with this great format last year, and we really wanted to keep our expectations the same across the grade level while we also use the Walk to Learn model this year. Her format is particularly wonderful because it prominently displays all of the expectations, and each one can be mixed and matched by moving clothespins around in their respective areas.

Additionally, I've been avoiding the focus wall chore and drawing up some posters that I found on Pinterest. All that art training I have under my belt has helped me to make some very accurate recreations!

We do a huge focus on writing in third, so I really wanted to have a cute chart up!

Way back during the school year, I posted here about our whole school learning about metacognition. One of those strategies involves using paint chips to help students classify how they are feeling about certain assignments. By marking the darker color on the chip, students show that they are not feeling 100% (in the "dark"); marking the lighter color, students show that they are confident in themselves ("it's all clear!").

Yes, these can be flipped around and used in whatever color gradation you wish...but the point is, I want to implement this strategy with the previous poster so that the kiddos can explain how they are feeling throughout the many different concepts of the day.

There are several more academic ones sitting on my desk, but I risk being too picture-heavy this time, I just wanted to toss in the birthday sign for my friend's baby...because that was fun to play with :)

Soon to come: Exploration of the interactive notebook...and more posters...possibly another focus wall...!