Archive for ‘Boards and Doors’

September 9, 2011

Room Decorating

by stryson

As I mentioned back in this post,  I quite enjoy my door decor right now. I finally got a decent picture of it today.


I also mentioned in this post that I got some neat activities for back to school, including a project involving t-shirt cutouts and a clothesline. Not every student’s shirt is finished and up yet, but it definitely looks cute so far!

Some of the kids took it more seriously than others. Naturally, some of them also have a little more inherent creativity and artistic ability than others, too. I really think the cheerleading shirt in this shot is particularly cute:

We had a little bit of Battle of the Sexes going on in my vocabulary class.

On that cute note, let’s have a resounding TGIF. I’ve made it through the first week unscathed. After working late this evening, it’s officially time to kick back and recharge. Have a relaxing weekend!

September 2, 2011

And so it begins.

by stryson

Ah, Labor Day Weekend. The in-between holiday for teachers, where we’re completely immersed in prepping for the coming week, and yet we cling to the  last weekend of freedom.

We had our faculty inservice yesterday. We were supposed to have it on Tuesday, but we were delayed because of lingering damage from Irene. Regardless of the delay, most of our school remains without power. I worked in my classroom until the light wasn’t good enough anymore. JCP&L says we should get power back by tomorrow; we’ll see. In any case, we held our full-faculty meeting in one of the few rooms with power. I don’t understand how the school is wired, honestly. Two rooms in one hallway had power. The rest of the school was dark. However, the admin offices across the street were with power. Strange! In the afternoon, I set up my door and the labels for the kids’ lockers. I am going to take a picture of the door when it’s better lit; it’s actually quite cute. I got a set with a juke box and 45s, on which I printed the kids’ names. My banner, a music staff with notes all around it, reads “4th Grade ROCKS!” I’m currently working on the cover sheets for their binders, which have their names & homerooms on them. I decided to put “Tryson Group  4A ROCKS!” inside of an image of an iPod (or, at least, a generic mp3 player – the image came from Word’s Clip Art) and their names at the top, using a funky font.

It’s stuff like this that I love about teaching. I get to let my inner nerd loose.

As we gear up for the year to begin, I’d like to leave you with this quote:

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”
— Haim G. Ginott

Let’s go forward with the conscious intention of being instruments of inspiration.

March 8, 2011

Bored with Boards?

by stryson

For someone who considers herself a generally creative person, I have a huge mental block when it comes to designing bulletin boards. It’s a shame, too, because I have a pretty decent bulletin board layout for the size of my room, which is underwhelming. I have a very hard time taking ideas that look good small-scale and making them work in the larger space.  Many of my bulletin boards come out moderately uninspired, such as this one:Compare and Contrast - Venn Diagrams

Honestly, for my Compare and Contrast bulletin board, the one thing I am proud of is the Venn Diagrams, which were made with a program called Inspiration. You’ll hear plenty more on that topic later; Inspiration is one of my favorite teaching tools.

Acknowledging all of this, I have to gloat a bit. Several weeks ago, I made what I feel is an exceptionally good bulletin board. I’ll start with the picture, then I’ll elaborate on the things I like.

Warm Up With Poetry

In addition to the beautiful array of colors, I’m really pleased with the content of this board.  It was made by a mixed third and fourth grade reading group.  We were touching on poetry – what it is, how to recognize it. We also covered a couple of other skills with these two poems.  On the left is “The Thoughts of a Winter Mitten.” This poem is an excellent source to teach personification. If you look closely, some of the mittens the kids colored actually have faces on them, as they “personified” them. (I’ll post the citations for these poems, in case they can be of use, at a later time. The books are at school and I am at home. This was not planned out well.) The poem on the right, “Quilt Patches,” was used to continue a lesson in comparing and contrasting. The poem uses many superlatives, giving us the chance to address the -est suffix. Having the kids make a paper quilt was a lot of fun, too. I had several students who were unsure of the meaning of “quilt,” as opposed to “blanket,” at the beginning of the poem, and it added some hands-on interaction with the vocabulary word.

I’m happy for spring to be on the horizon, but I’ll be sad to disassemble this board. I’m also contemplating cashing in on my previous success and turning it into a spring-themed poetry board…. with the title “Spring Into Poetry.” We’ll see. Any and all creative ideas are welcomed in the comments!