Thursday, August 13, 2009

Walls + Neckties

"How was your summer vacation?" one of the parents asked me tonight. Well, let's see... I taught summer school, had a huge class, which included special needs students, and had one week off before being summoned back for meetings and prep even though the first day of school is August 19... "Not long enough."

I thoroughly enjoy meeting (most) parents because their children make so much more sense to me once I do so. This year's Orientation Night was an exciting one because most of the students have seen me around and may even had some interaction with me (outside of yearbook signing, which some turn into a competition of who can collect the most).

It went rather smoothly, and some students who showed up (despite being asked not to by the school) seem to like me already. I already have one picture to hang on my wall! :D

Because I only have a (drama-filled) class of 14 this year, I'm quite ambitious in what I'd like to accomplish. One of these goals is to even further create a warm learning environment. The first thing I did was put up lots of color.

This is my Welcome Board. All of 3rd grade class really needs to get along. Of course, only God can change their hearts (since the problem is sin - not behavior modification like some like to believe) so we will be diving into the Word for some massive light-shining. One of the ideas we 3rd grade teachers had was to use puzzle pieces to show that they are all the same and a part of a whole. None of this "No, you're MY best friend!" nor "You're ugly!" business. (If I hear one thing like that in the classroom.... ohhhh, boy/girl, you better apologize immediately.)

This is my Accelerated Reading board. All students are required to reach a certain number of points for this program each quarter. Once they have done so, I will write their name on a big, glittery sun and add it to the board to show that they have met their goal. I haven't added a caption to it yet. I'm thinking "AR Stars" or "Above and Beyond." What do you think?

My favorite part of the entire room (not because it's behind my desk) is the last wall I can show you tonight. I came to learn early on that I was a stars and apples teacher - I liked all things stars and apples. My calendar had to an apple, my welcome sign on my door had to be an apple, the name labels on students' cubbies had to be apple, their nametags on their desk were apple. You've seen the star theme for my AR board, and on top of that I bought more star labels, stickers, and even use "class stars" as one reward system. But one change I made this year, aside from all this color, is my "real" tree! It's beautiful with its pair of green leaves that I cut and folded myself. My class verse (Proverbs 9:10) will be posted on it soon, as well as a nest with a bird - once I make them. This season board will journey through all the seasons will us. In the fall I'll change the leaves to orange, yellow, and red. When winter arrives, I'll make my tree "barren" and with "snow." The nest, of course, will be empty since I have no motive to kill any birds - unless it's two or three with a stone... Then in the spring I can bring back my birdie and its nest and then(!) add those little fluffly chicks!!! How excited I am to incorporate all these new ideas this new school year. Even when I am on vacation, my brain is still working as a teacher (the teacher curse) and in times like these, it really pays off. Hoorah!

Apparel. Because we were rushing to complete a number of tasks before dashing out the door, Mr. Woo asked me to pick out an outfit for him to take to school (we had left in the morning). So I filled the shoes of Stacey and Clinton and picked out a couple of outfit. Both were created business casual and a look that I'd be happy to see my husband wearing.
How'd I do?

THE LEFT (modern/trendy) - Grey pants with white pinstripes. Blue striped white shirt. Black Tie. Cufflinks required.

THE RIGHT (simple/safe) - Khakis. White shirt. Blue/white striped tie.

Mr. Woo picked the one on the left. However, he later changed his mind due to the difficulty he has in tying that particular tie.


dan tsai said...

can't see the stripes very well in the photo, but otherwise, the one of the left is NIiiiiiice.

gracechoe said...

your walls are so beautiful!!
i'm like up to my neck with all the admin stuff and classroom setup stuff. alphabetizing all my books for library took way too longer than i wanted. i totally haven't had any fun with my walls :*(
maybe next year.
i'll keep my walls simple and boring for this year.

junia said...

this is why i could never teach elementary school.. unless my students wanted a dark and dank class...

angie said...

jane i love reading your posts! :)
when i wanted to teach elementary school, decorating the classroom always seemed like one of the funnest parts about being a teacher.. hehe. i think i should visit all y'all on the alameda campus someday. who else is teaching at ccs now?? i can't keep up!

Anonymous said...

Mr. H, hey nice coordination.... And I thought cy came up with all the stuff on his own....BOOOOOOO