Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dalmatian Costume

Since my new classroom is dog-themed also, I am just adding to the fun decor that came with me. In going through costumes the other day, I came across this flannel dalmatian costume I'd made my son, Ger, when  he was little. So, I brought it to school and put it on a a stuffed doll and sat it in the director's chair - pretty cute, especially since we are approaching Halloween. ( I haven't decided if he will stay after halloween or not, but I think he will.)

This can work for many different classroom themes. Think about your theme and if there are costumes that would easily work into your creative decor.  An animal-print theme could have any of the jungle animals costumes to match, like the do-it-yourself lion costume I just saw on Pinterest.  A Harry Potter-themed class would be easy to find, buy, borrow, or make one of the characters, muggle or otherwise. Dr Seuss classrooms are big now and that would be fun!

Even if your classroom doesn't give you any ideas for a costume to match your theme, you could dress up a stuffed doll as a mad scientist for the science section, or a colonial girl, or something to match the book you might be reading.

I'd love to hear about your ideas! Your students will notice your imaginative ideas and even come up with their own. My students pull this little dog up into their small groups so he won't be left out......

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How's Your Weather?

When students come into the classroom in the morning, they pick up the clip with their name on it and clip around the edge of the "How's Your Weather?" chart. This gives teachers a heads-up on their emotional weather. Equally important, it gives each student a quick opportunity to self-assess the climate they are starting the day in.

Most days everyone is on SUNNY or CLEAR - that's why I made them larger and on opposite sides of the chart. The other choices usually get noticed so teachers can go by and (in a few seconds) have a little conference:
"I see that you're STORMY today..."
"Yes, everyone was rushing around at home this morning. It made me cranky."
"Everyone has mornings like that sometimes. I hope you can just go from here and get SUNNY."

Sometimes students move their clip to a better emotion later in the day but it's mostly just a morning thing.

At the first of the school year these choices were put on a whiteboard space and students would write their name on the board, but I knew there had to be a more efficient way, so this is what I did:

I drew up a plan. I cut posterboard for each area and glued it to a posterboard. I put the question in the center since there's no clip-action there. The last thing was to put duct tape on all four sides all the way around. It's folded back halfway. This was to reinforce the poster where the clips will be moved so it will last. The poster is now on the whiteboard with big magnet clips.

YOU can make it to match your classroom theme or colors easily. Attach a photo here and share because we would all love to see them!