Monday, August 18, 2008


part of today meant going through a huge cart of my old posters and poems and deciding what to throw away, what to give to other teachers, and what to hide under the bed in our brand new but very small house where mr. lipstick wont see.

i found some things that put a huge smile on my face and made me miss the classroom. (at the moment i can't figure out how to make these pictures turn, but when mr lipstick gets home i'm sure he'll help)

this is an interactive writing poster i did with my first graders. we made a list of things that plants need, and then a list of things first graders need. i love it because i find it so true.

it reads: *books, books, books homework *teachers *writing *good role models *good friends *running *reading *someone to care for them. this is the interactive reading strategy chart one of my classes made. i loved making my own posters for my classroom. plus the kids loved illustrating the strategies we were working on.

another thing i use to do (which totally lables me a pack rat) was save great art work from past kiddos. a lot of my kids would tell me that if they took their art home their moms would just throw them away so instead i'd put it up in the classroom. these are from my first year of teaching. i thought they were so beautiful i used them to decorate my classroom every year before i had new artwork to put up. i have no idea what to do with them now. they are beautiful, but obviously there is not much point in keeping art work that is not my own child's.

the art teacher was also a first year teacher and she joked that her talent was knowing when to take the art away from the children. they would never be "done" but she'd decide that any more would ruin their work. she did have a great eye for when to stop them!

every year i would have a huge writing celebration at the end of august so we could tell the world that we are authors. i know that the experts say not to make your first writing celebration your biggest, but i loved starting the year with the huge celebration of our first month's work. it made the kids excited to keep writing as the year went on. plus, i used it to squeeze in as many lessons as i could. we would make cupcakes, which of course meant planning the ingredients, writing a shopping list for mrs lipstick, reading the instructions on the recipe, baking the cupcakes using math skills and team work, decorating them, and finally eating them. i did this because so many of our kids have trouble sequencing information and they especially have trouble with planning ahead and self-talk. below are the sentence strips i made one year for the children to use at a center in order to practice putting something in sequential order. everyone loves remembering good food, right?

and then there was the year i went to china to teach for 2 weeks during intersession and decided to try interactive writing there. turns out in china they learn words as whole parts. the teachers i was working with were really confused by the idea of phonics, as were the kids. it was one of the oddest interactive writing experiences of my life. 50 kids, 1 teacher, 1 pen. it says, "we live in Xian China. We like jump rope and football. Love," and then they signed their english and chinese names.

yes, i kept a lot of stuff over the years. and it is probably good to get rid of it now. i just would have liked more of a warning.

1 comment:

Snippety Gibbet said...

As I started reading this post, those flower paintings came to mind. I always loved seeing those in your classroom the year we worked together. They are such beautiful pieces.