Monday, 27 August 2012

Bulletin borders x 2!

I've been working away at getting my classroom ready for next week. I seem to have quietly developed a border obsession. The simple step of adding a second border so impressed me, that now I can't do a board with only one!
See what I mean? It just seems to give it that extra "pop"! Next I moved on to covering my blackboards with a bright yellow vinyl fabric. Since I was still in a border state-of-mind, I added a border around the outside as well as the inside of the frame. Overkill? Possibly. But it makes me happy:)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Dress Up Center

My new dress-up center is finally ready to move into my classroom! I had many ideas, but finally decided to modify an old cubby unit from Wal-Mart. It used to look like this.
and now...with some spray paint and lots of hooks ...

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Inquiry design challenges

I am so happy to finally post my inquiry design challenges file. I have worked really hard on adding read aloud titles to the inquiry projects. It's available on TPT for $5.00 and that's a steal considering there are enough inquiry design challenges for an entire school year! The ideas are easy to use to challenge primary students to be creative thinkers and problem-solvers. It's such a thrill watching the students engaged in these challenges - and no two projects ever seem to turn out the same!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

New teacher chairs!

I was once again "pinspired"! I saw some super-cute recovered office chairs on Pinterest and had to give it a try. I did a matching for me and one for my teaching partner. It was easy and I'm loving the result!

Monday, 13 August 2012

invisble writing activity

This is a super cute activity that I have done in the past. I print these frames and the kids write their name on them but don't draw anything! They think it's hilarious. They write on a page behind the frame all the invisible things that are in their invisible artwork. The sky is the limit! Some of them really let loose and are so creative! I use Shel Silverstein's "Invisible Boy" poem for the intro to this lesson, and it's always a hit! Invisible Boy "And here we see the invisible boy In his lovely invisible house, Feeding a piece of invisible cheese To a little invisible mouse. Oh, what a beautiful picture to see! Will you draw an invisible picture for me?”

Monday, 6 August 2012

Back at it...and a writing process visual

I'm back in the game! Planning back to school and wrapping my head around another school year after taking a relaxing break! I'm heading back to full-day kindergarten (JK/SK) in September and I'm really looking forward to it. Also looking forward to someday not having to move my classroom at the end of every school year :) I thought I would share an idea that I modified from Pinterest a while back.... I loved the idea of using seeds/flowers as a visual for the writing process. I found some posters on Pinterest but I decided to make them a little more noticeable by making them 3D (I also changed the wording to suit my needs). It was a huge hit with the class...and their writing process work was fantastic!
It was simple to make and I was really impressed with the final product. The pots were from a dollar store and I cut them in half with scissors. Then I just added an empty seed packet and some artificial flowers, all taped to the insides of the pots. The picture didn't quite catch the whole display. The first sign is for "IDEAS" with a seed packet in the pot. On day one of our introduction to the writing process, students jotted down "seed ideas" on simple graphic organizers to start our process. Day two we selected one of our ideas to "plant" and created rough drafts; writing about our chosen idea. Day three went surprisingly well considering it was our first time with peer-editing. We had talked a lot about how to add details to improve our writing. In groups, students read their work then peer editors wrote simple suggestions on recipe cards that their friends could add to their work (this was very cute!) The final draft was created on day four as our writing "bloomed". Students wrote their good copy on special paper using suggestions from their peers and checked their work with a partner before handing it in. Finally, we celebrated our writing by presenting it to the class. This week-long process was a huge success with my SK/1 class...but I waited until Spring to try it out. I could not have pulled it off in the fall :)