Sunday, February 7, 2010

Open House now closed

Open House came and left much too quickly, not that I was enjoying the extra work. It's an interesting concept because we put in the extra hours for a 2-hour viewing of the classroom, and at most half of my parents showed up. Yes, I do it for the school and the prospective families, but if there's one targeted group it's my own students' families. I want them to be proud of what their child has accomplished and to see the progress they've made thus far. Oh, for them to get excited about how much more they'll have learned by June!

But I am thankful for those who did show, for the parents who've been extremely supportive, and for the Lord's grace in bringing me thus far with my special batch of kids this year. They've each come a long ways since the beginning of the year, as it's evident in their journal entries, letters, other writing assignments, and notes that they write me.Without further ado, my Open House tour online exclusive (with director's commentary)...

The students have produced many writings this year - narratives, descriptive paragraphs, letters, poetry, and more.

I had many of the final drafts up on the walls, so on their desk I laid out their portfolio of each writing process along with some other work they had done, a Family Totem Pole, and their animal sculptures.

My students very much enjoy art, so you can see that the results are usually wonderful:

Many of the assignments tie into other subject areas. The artwork above was done during Art, but the final draft writing was typed up in Computers. It related to the Open Court (language arts curriculum) story "City Critters."

My favorite part of the classroom (it looks better in person):

This was, believe it or not, a math lesson. I learned of this project at Asilomar, an annual math conference. Students had already learned about multiplication and arrays, so we introduced parallel lines, perpendicular lines, and finding area. The art portion is actually based on the contemporary artwork of Piet Mondrian. Pretty neat, huh? Here's what it looks like when you first walk in - bam!

Do you remember my tree that I "planted" behind my desk? It changed leaves throughout the year (yellow and orange for fall; barren for the winter), and is now blooming with cherry blossoms for spring - a fitting backdrop to showcase their haikus!

People say that it's what's inside that counts, but I'm awfully fond of our bulletin board outside. The third grade went full force with our "American diner" theme, based on an illustration in my 2010 Sandra Boynton planner. It's super cute, and (don't tell my previous students) it just might be my favorite display I've ever created. If you look closely, you can see our pig (note the newspaper and coffee mug) and cow sitting on the barstools. It's brilliant! Oh, right, and the students' favorite food descriptions, illustrations, and crafts are up there too.

Back inside, I had all the curricula on the back table with a plate of cookies and made myself available for any questions parents might have had and/or pleasant conversation. There was no reporting-Mrs.Woo-to-the-principal shenanigans this year, so that was nice. I even received a bouquet of pretty pink tulips from the art teacher who had used it for her "gallery." All in all, it went well. I just need to make copies of some of their hilarious/insightful/touching/fantastic work so I can add it to my collection for when I need some teacher encouragement.


Hannah said...

i used to really enjoy coming with my parents to open house to show them all the stuff i did. i never thought about all the work that goes into the the planning and prep on the teachers' parts. :D

junia said...

i always had to come with 2 siblings so my parents would quickly pop into all three or split up. :-( I'd be sad.

i bet if my teachers did this, they would have just stayed in MY room! :-D

Esty said...

i love that tree! :)

dan tsai said...

the tree is brilliant.

I said "I will" to Mr. Woo! said...

@Hannah - You know, I actually don't remember the Open Houses from my childhood...
@Junia - Haha
@Esty, Dan - I really like the tree too! AND I made it out of the brown paper stuffing stuff that comes in those boxes with mail orders (e.g. CBD, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc). How "green" for a tree. :P

Mr. Summer said...

wow, that's a really nice classroom