Schoolroom Swag

Elementary Teacher

Having fun in the classroom and "balancing" life!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A David idea for PBL and higher level thinking

Check out that David! Is he awesome or what!? A gift from a parent last year who made and painted him.

David's thinking "Let's go outside!"

David is thinking "This is awesome"! Pretty perceptive- he probably would think that!

I've seen so many cute projects with David. Which is understandable because who doesn't love David? He's the good and bad in all of us. Don't you just want to meet the real David Shannon? I bet he's super fun to hang out with. And maybe he's been to the dentist since he was little. Sorry. But the teeth...I know, I know...they're part of what makes him so lovable. 

So my twist on the David projects:
1. We had already read and brainstormed our classroom rules after reading David Goes to School.
2. Discuss the question (A little problem based learning for some upper level thinking!) "What would our classroom be like without rules"?
3. Organize thoughts based on what our classroom would 1)look like  2)smell like  3)sound like  4)feel like -the atmosphere
4. In one sentence (or more for those who are able) describe what our classroom would be like without rules
5. In a second sentence (or more), tell whether or not you would like to be in a classroom without rules, and why.
6. Make David's head
7. In the thought bubble, Write what DAVID would think about being in a classroom without rules. More upper level thinking! Yay!
I didn't give the kids any direction on how to make David, other than giving them paper to use for eyes and nose and mouth. They could also draw them on if they wanted. I think they would've looked more like David if I had, but I let them create him all on their own. I wanted it to be a little more student-directed. I got my templates for David's head and speech bubble from First Grade Wow. She does her project a little differently, but as always, it's awesome.
Thanks for reading!

 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Higher Level Thinking Questions and a freebie

Last year at my evaluation, my principal scored me a lower score on asking higher level questions. What???!!! Everything I do is not perfect all the time???!!!   I didn't necessarily agree (of course!) but what are you gonna do? Maybe he's even right!!! So I came up with the a way to help myself remember to ask those higher level questions. Here it is:

These are verbs used from Cognitive Rigor, a program that combines Bloom's Taxornomy with Webb's Depth of Knowledge. A matrix for Cognitive Rigor was created by Karin Hess and the phrase was coined by The Standards Company.

These are verbs I use from Bloom's taxonomy. Each level has it's own corresponding color.

 I laminated these cards (there's 4 to a page) and put them on a ring. I hang them from my teaching areas in the room so that I have easy access to the verbage and questions I need. I prettied them up with paisleys, but there is a black and white version included in my packet, as well.

They aren't free, only because it was a very slow and tedious process to find and type all of it. But they're only $2 at TPT and make my life so much easier, while making sure I am trying to elevate my teaching. Right now they're on sale for $1. I'll send a free one to the first two people to make a comment and pin it!

 Have a great weekend!
.. Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Enchanted forest classroom tour


I decided to jump into this blog hop after reading some of the other's posts. I'm a day late to the party, but here are some pictures from my classroom. I decided to do an enchanted forest theme. I chose blue, green and purple for my main three colors. I think it turned out really good- full of detail but calming. I know that teaching in a private school gives me allowances that many of you are not able to partake in, but I really will be using everything in my classroom for a reason. I LOVE decorations, but I try really hard to make everything purposeful- not just decorations for decorations sake. So are some pictures. I'll let you be the judge!

The view from the back door. I was set up for Back to school night, so that table is starting to fill up with school supplies.

Looking toward the front of the room. I put out the green buckets for school supplies. Everything is labeled, and it all gets put away in a snap on the first day of school! I made myself a little "closet" in the upper left hand corner. I LOVE it. It doesn't look great, but much better than the mess of keeping it all open.
The clip chart- everybody got to choose which clip they wanted. Dollar store bugs and stickers jazzed up the clips! This is a link to the decoration unit at my store if you are interested.
A view from one of my doors. Makes my classroom look HUGE. My room is big, and I appreciate that. Although, I'm not sure if it's as big as it looks here. (:
This is the view from the front of the room looking toward the back.
We have dark brown curtains in our room for light and security. They're not hideous, but are a little obtrusive, so I tied them with ribbon and added some dollar store vine and butterflies.

The first day- we all went around and touched whatever we wanted!

The library- the tree will be full of leaves with author and book names. The mushroom spots will have our spelling words on them. I put packaging tape on the mushroom and then taped the white paper spots onto the packaging tape so that the paper doesn't rip, and the words can be taken off and on.

This is a cottage behind my small group area. A little sad, but I think you can pretty much tell it's a cottage. That white stuff is smoke coming out of the chimney. This was taken a few weeks before school started, so the rest of the room is pretty much a mess, as you can tell.

word wall- can you tell I love clothespins? They make everything easier! Our words are also written on leaves and will be clipped on.

This area I use for Social studies, Science, and Bible classes- also morning meeting.

Dollar store leaves and flowers! The "grass" metallic border is wrapping paper from of course, the Dollar store! Do you see the red ant? My daughters helped me glitter up the bugs this summer.

This is next to the tree by the library. It will be our anchor chart. We will use the cloud to record why we read to self, and each child will get a bird to write how they will behave during read to self. The owl is for me, the teacher, and will say what the teacher will be doing during read to self time.

Hobby Lobby clearance basket. I LOVE those baskets. Perfect timing in finding them. About 3 bucks a piece. I have only 3 tables full of kids this year, so the baskets hold markers and crayons for now. Glue and scissors are separate.

Also another anchor chart area. Same idea as Read to Self with the birds, but this time we will use frogs to write on.

Looking at the top of my door.

Inside a cubby!

Thank you for putting up with all my pictures and touring my classroom. To me, it really feels calm and full of detail. I hope you feel like your time was well spent checking it out! If you're interested in any of the paper products (nameplates, clip chart, calendar stuff, etc), my decoration unit is on TPT for $4.
 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]