So I haven’t been a good blogger this year, and I was feeling like I needed a little inspiration so I was cruising through Pinterest (Which is totally my new favorite teacher haunt!) and I found a few new crafty/Teachery websites, and after spending…oh….ALL DAY!…reading them, I decided that I am in a slump. A teacher slump. And I know that my teacher friends would not agree but I feel like I need some spice in my teaching!
I think I have a great classroom set up and it is super colorful, but how often do I really USE the things on my bulletin boards? Not hardly. And I don’t have a bunch or cutesy stuff on them or even purchased posters, it’s just a bunch of quick made anchor charts and vocabulary slapped up on sentence strips. While organized and nice to look at, I think it makes the boards useless for the kids. And what am I wasting my time putting stuff up if it isn’t adding to their learning?
With it being halfway through the year, now is the time to evaluate what is working, and what the kids need more help with mastering. And when I looked at where my students are struggling I noticed it was the subjects and stations that I haven’t committed to making better. Wow. Hard lesson.
So now I find myself searching for some ideas to beef up and improve those areas in my teaching and in my classroom environment. I started getting warmed up by fancying up the hallway bulletin boards, with fabric and border and *gasp* punched out letters! (Before now, I literally had up the same bulletin boards I had since day one, I just changed the work product.)
Today, I cleaned up my catch all bin by the door to make it useable and created a teacher action tote. I have hopes to ditch my teacher desk soon….even though I have a really awesome probably 1950s era wooden teacher desk. Maybe I will just transform it into a super awesome writing station?
Then comes the bulletin boards. Well. The problem is once I start cleaning them off it’s like unearthing ancient relics…times gone by….projects/concepts that never took off the right way but their ugly reminders still linger. Like the idea I had to make reusable charts for guiding questions and the such but I really haven’t reused them so the expo marker has now become permanent idea. Or the Monday thru Thursday Word Work routine that the kids hated so they never did it until they broke me and I gave up but the anchor charts are still there. Or the 5,365,401 vocabulary words written on sentence strips and stapled, taped, glued, sticky tacked on every bulletin board all over the room that I have to have up but are soooooooo booooooring that way. What to do? Oh yeah and the remnants of CAFE from Daily 5 that I did last year 10-11, but I changed this year because well, I didn’t like it the way they had it (and it actually works for me, and my love of interdisciplinary units, better to do it my way). I feel like giving a big ol Charlie Brown ARRRGH!
But I must persevere, and come up with something! So my quest has begun…here’s my list…
–Fix up the bulletin boards to make them more interactive/usable/interesting for kids.
-Make word work activities for each spell pattern that are varied and engaging for kids.
-Take all of the work I started 3 years ago with number of the day and problem of the day and make it work in a station like I had intended.
-Go big, or go home!