I really like this image from User Generated Education a lot because it gives a good sense of things you should do to have a successful classroom environment. I was grabbed by the concepts in it – learners’ interests and in instruction, hands-on activities, work with others, challenge the students, engage with emotions, all about the process, and praise effort with success. The drawings are useful to break down the rules into simpler ideas for the students. Many posters that go up in classrooms have pictures with the words to incorporate the visual elements of learning. I had heard of many of these before, but the wording of them is more inspiring!
My class website for Mountain Park Kindercare has it’s first posts and is setup for publishing! The link is https://prekplaypen.wordpress.com/ – please take a look at it, and follow it 🙂 I am very excited that I will be sending this link to families and discussing what is done in our classroom. It is still coming together, but will look better once there are more posts and the school calendar on it. I hope it is to your liking!
Tomorrow at work, I have my first new student! I am very thrilled to get to know her and make her comfortable being in my room 🙂 I hope that she enjoys the centers and comes out of her shell a bit. I plan to make her my helper throughout her half day tomorrow so she doesn’t feel like she is the outsider. The students can be somewhat overwhelming with their energy levels and habit of not listening – it depends on the mood of the day. I really want to make a difference in this girl’s life and school experience!
This will be me on the 31st – it is exciting to meet new students and start the year off right! But, I understand that there is much to do with talking to parents, setting up my newsletter and class website, and reorganizing the classroom. My coteacher and I have already rearranged some parts, and the cubbies are all done which is nice. I can’t wait to get started with the great group of students 🙂
Alongside the excitement of starting a new school year, meeting the kids, their families and new colleagues comes the inevitable feeling of exhaustion.
After spending the last six weeks or so relaxing and looking out for no one apart from myself, the business of school seems so physically and emotionally overwhelming. It’s like going back to the gym after a bad flu, you can’t lift as much weight and still end up hurting the next day.
I’m sure I’m not the only teacher who spends the first Friday night after schools parked firmly on the couch too exhausted to do much more than pick up the television remote.
The wise voice inside my head reminds that it is wise to do less and do it well. Set up the routines and not worry about how far you feel you are behind in assessment and setting up routines – they will…
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Now that I have a job – it feels weird to say that! – I am starting to look at the links that I have saved for when I had my own classroom. I found this one about the traveling teddy bears, and I remember really wanting to do this! The site still has last year’s information, but I hope they post the link for teachers to sign up soon so I can talk to my coteacher about getting it in our room 🙂
This picture on Pinterest really shows a great way to let the students know the positive mood of the classroom. Saying what kind of things the students will get up to while inside makes them aware of the learning that will occur. I love how it involves everyone right from the first entrance in the door!
SOL day 14Today, I had songs in my head that I haven’t heard in a while. It made me think of how/why tunes appear in people’s heads. Some days, I wake up with a song or just start humming, and am shocked by what tune or song it is. Often, it is a song that I heard on the radio earlier in the week or that day, but when a song from months or years ago comes in, it makes me wonder… There must be some trigger in the back of your mind that is so subconscious you don’t even notice it.With children, it is important for them to have appropriate songs in their subconscious because they might learn words that shouldn’t be spoken at their age. I want to have a classroom that incorporates music with transitions, as background music, and with books to help students become aware of music around them (even if it is not current).
Since my classroom theme is going to be safari, I have started looking for ideas for how to make it really connected and standout. The Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes website had a great activity on it that I would share. She had a sensory bin with safari creatures, and ground in it for the students to manipulate and explore. I think this idea seems very engaging and a wonderful way for the students to have a mini safari in the room! It wasn’t too difficult to re-create either (I won’t have the authentic African bowls, but other than that, the beans and animals are easy to find). With the younger grades, which I hope to teach, there are so many hands-on activities that I can incorporate to really connect with them in a fun way. There is definitely a standard about different animals and habitats, so I could connect safari terrain to that 🙂 It is important for children to be excited to learn, and since you can’t actually take the class to Africa, you can bring Africa to the room in miniature. With a theme, I think it is beneficial if you can have as many things connect to it as possible in your room so the students really understand that it ties everything together. It is also a fun way for them to organize materials and keep track of the main ideas.
I know I said that this page was for my first year teaching, and I am not teaching yet; however, I thought that this post was very related to my future first year and I wanted to discuss my enjoyment in what had happened 🙂
I have been thinking about classroom supplies and what mine should look like recently – it’s very exciting! I started putting together a list on Amazon for wall decals, desk organizers, etc. There are so many items needed in a classroom that it is difficult to narrow down ideas. I was browsing to make sure I remembered the majority of classroom decorations and supplies that would be needed, and a Buzzfeed DIY (do it yourself) appeared. It was inspiring to see the cheap ways that teachers designed their room! Duct tape and modge-podge can make something dull look so much brighter and more creative 🙂 I bookmarked other pages about classrooms to make sure I can trigger my memory when setting up my own space. I can’t believe I have taken up such an interest in the future! I was very worried in the summer and into fall term, but now I am more giddy than full of nerves.
After talking with friends from the program, I realized that I didn’t have a theme for my classroom. Even though it isn’t necessary, it is still important to be aware of a color scheme or concept to organize the classroom space. I knew that I wanted to have animals involved because I love the beauty of the creatures, but I couldn’t decide on one animal as my favorite. Last night, I stayed up very late searching for animal-related classroom themes and I decided on… SAFARI! I am very thrilled 😀 I spent hours today finding safari-themed classroom supplies, and I can’t wait to have my own classroom to decorate! (The image below is of a wall decor that I found)
As the fall term is coming to an end, I am reminiscing on my time at Howard in the second grade class. The students and memories I have had since September really show me that teaching is the job for me 🙂 I was welcomed pretty quickly by the children and my cooperating teacher (CT), which helped me feel comfortable stepping in to help answer questions and assess students with reading. I love the connections that I have made with the children, and how excited they got when I showed up during the week! I will miss them and hopefully will be able to work with them again in the Spring.
This school is equipped with lots of technology from a grant they received, and it has changed my views on the downfalls of using technology in class – there were still times when the internet wouldn’t work correctly so the work on the Ipads took longer than anticipated, but the Smartboard and the apps the children are using really will help them in the future. They are were creating their own writing books, taking pictures of their work to show family, making 100s chart to reference on their own, and practicing spelling words. I originally wasn’t so sure about having technology in class because it could be distracting if it doesn’t work or could make the students feel like they can’t do work without it. However, the way that my CT has incorporated it showed me that it can be effective! She inspired me to get a tablet because it is easier to bring around and would help my future teaching career.
Here is an interesting TedTalk about technology in education:
We received our placements for Winter term, when we will be part-time teaching (which means we will co-teach for the first half of the term and then teach two subjects for the rest of the term). I was overwhelmed with all the assignments that we have to accomplish by the end of term, but meeting my supervisor and finding out that I will be in a fifth grade classroom at Ridgeview helped calm me down. I am ready to take on a grade that I have never experienced and work with the retired 30-year teacher!