Sunday 29 September 2013

The Only Quote in my Classroom

There are many teachers with quote after quote up on their classroom walls.  I'm not one of those people. I've got nothing against them...I guess I've just never found that many quotes that I think could really make a difference. 

This week, however, I found myself referring to a quote I heard a while back again and again and again.  

Particularly useful in maths, where children must do many calculations or repetitive activities, I think this quote has a space in my classroom.  I was able to explain my personal experience with the quote when learning the guitar. I told them how I was learning chords to a song and the first time I got it right I thought I was done.  Then the next time I played the song, I got the chords wrong and I realised I hadn't learned the song completely until I'd practised it until it was never wrong. 

Sunday 15 September 2013

My Favourite Assessment Stamper

This is a just a quick post about an assessment stamper I had made last year which I love and have used loads.  Similar to the "Verbal Feedback Given" ones, this stamper saves a long essay in children's books and helps me keep track of which subjects which children need recapping on. 

The stamper says:

It can be used like this:

On that day, the child must come and find me during the lesson, I will give a quick input on the subject and then I'll tick where the stamp is in their book to show that I've covered it.  The child then has to show what they learned from my input by either doing a question or writing a sentence or two about what they now know, having "chatted" with me.  

I think it's effective because it keeps a record for the child, it's much less aggressive than "see me" and also means the subject is covered on a day appropriate to the planning for the week.

The stamper was one of these personalised wording-only assessment stampers from PTS Stickers.

Mrs P

Saturday 7 September 2013

A Tour Of My Classroom

So this is my 2013-14 #ClassroomTour which shows each area from the centre.  This year I was fortunate enough to have a brand new classroom, newly built and newly furnished. So below are the before (left) and after (right) pictures of each area.  Then scroll down for some annotated close ups of displays and areas.
Reading Corner

Theme Board

Introducing the Class

English Board and Desk Area


Maths Board

Table Tidy
Groups and Timetable
A closer look at displays - I've annotated these using Skitch to show what will go where. 
Writing Display
Reading Display
Maths Display

Inspired By Pinterest 3 - First Day

I've been collecting ideas for starting a new year with a new class on this Pinterest board.  I've had the chance to try some of them out and here's how I got on!

1 - How do we treat books
Inspired by this pin and with a brand new book corner, I really wanted to put a focus on the treatment of books.  The children had great ideas which I will display in the reading corner and remind them of if things aren't looked after.

2 - Post-It Questions
This activity has been flying around Pinterest and Twitter for a while and I've always liked the look of it.  I never expected children to come out with the things they did or to be so engaged with it.  There are 6 things they must write on post it notes:
School is important because...
Our classroom should be ______ everyday.
What are your goals for this year?
What do you need to do to achieve your goals?
What does Mrs P need to do to help you this year?
How can we make sure our classroom runs smoothly?

The original pin (from my boards anyway) can be found here.

3 - Class Headed Paper
I loved the idea from this pin and so adapted it for my movie-themed classroom.  The children drew their face, I wrote their names and we stuck it all together and photocopied it many times. We now have personalised paper for them to write any free-writing or letters on. 

Inspired By Pinterest 2 - Displays

1 - Starring Board
I thought this pin showed a really great board for introducing my movie theme. Each child is holding a clapper board and, soon to be displayed is a book with information about the "cast"! (I've blanked out faces for anonymity).

2 - Reading Display
There are many of these on Pinterest so I took inspiration from this pin and this pin to create a reading display complete with question prompts and links to the reading AFs.  I learned to make the spotlights using this pin. There is a section of books on the bookshelf that are books of movies or books that have been made into movies.  The children asked if they could bring their own in if they had them.
3 - Movie Jobs
Finally, this display shows the jobs for the class set out as a cast and crew board.  Inspiration came from this pin and this pin.