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This year Instead of doing the Whooo’s in first grade owls I wanted to make something a little more colorful and creative. I took inspiration from Oh the Places You’ll go illustrations… I used water colors to create the landscape, and scrapbook paper to create the hot air balloons. The balloons have pictures of my students inside.
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I use posters as a classroom management tool for primary grades. The pictures and words help to build literacy, and remind students of expectation when they are not readers yet.
The students use sign language to ask to use the bathroom. It is silent I can nod and continue teaching or working with small groups without interruption.
Part of the sign is covered up because I went from a classroom where we had our own bathroom to having to use the “big kids” bathroom.This changed the expectation.
I use DRA (developmental reading assessment) levels to allow students to choose their “Just Right Books”. They are able to choose from the bucket at their level when they choose shopping during Daily 5.
I also have the students choose a few “Free Choice” books by genre. Here is how I organize these books.
I use pictures and words to show the students the genres, I change out the buckets every quarter with new genres. I have 8 different genres out at one time.
I use Velcro to stick each label on.
The rug area is where we spent our calendar time.
A few helpful things about this picture. Having a picture schedule is great for primary grades and English Language Learners. This schedule gave must students the power to know what their day would look like. I didn’t have to worry about students asking me “when’s recess” etc. I tried to use picture reminders to go along side the words. An example of this is the bathroom poster.
For this bulletin board, I covered up a blackboard that was there that I didn’t use. I used brown fabric at the background. Fabric won’t fade like butcher paper does. The border is an Eric Carle Border.
This was the back-wall of our “kinder garden”.
How To: I used large light blue butcher paper first for the sky. Next, I cut the hills from light green butcher paper and stapled them over the blue. The clouds were cut from white paper with googly eyes. Each student had their own flower. They drew a “me on the first day of school” portrait on white paper. I used these flowers for the cover of their portfolio at the end of the year. The butterfly’s came from a small shop in Portland, OR. Though I found something similar here: Butterfly Garland
It’s important for your students to see themselves in their classroom. To feel some ownership and pride in the space. A great way to do this is to make sure their work decorates the room.
Creating a positive, and joyful classroom environment has always been very important to me. For a child to feel safe and at home in their classroom will only benefit their learning. In this site you will get an idea of how I use my classroom pace to facilitate learning, and keep me sane. Please feel free to ask any questions and “how to’s” and I will post them for you.