Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Classroom job dilemma...

Well... time is starting to slip away from me!!  Can the summer already be halfway over??  Yikes! I know, I know, I shouldn't have said it.  I haven't completely decided if it's a good or bad thing yet.  On one hand, I love hangin' by the pool and running to Target here and there, but on the other hand, I thrive on a routine and that's what school brings.  

Thinking about routines sent me on a search for how I want to manage my classroom jobs this year.  Last year, I decided to have one student (the star of the week) in charge of everything.  The star of the week was the line leader, passed out papers, turned on the lights, etc.  It was great because there was no confusion, and everyone knew who was in charge.  Sounds great, but there were a lot of flaws and gaps to that method too.  This year, I'm going to switch things up.  

I love the idea of having multiple jobs so that all the students feel a sense of responsibility.  As soon as I'm able to get back into my classroom, I'm going to make a job chart ASAP.  It is such an important part of classroom management.  Since I am recently obsessed with the design, I made my class job labels different colored chevron and added them to my store.  

I included 16 different classroom job titles, but I haven't decided which ones I am going to use for sure. I also love the idea of the students really understanding each job and if are qualified for it.  So.... I'm going to have them fill out job applications for the positions they think they want. In an attempt to save paper (look at me being all green =]), I made them half sheets.  You can download the freebie by clicking here.  

Well, my mouth is watering and dinner is calling my name!  Thanks for reading.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Crafty Classroom Furniture

One of the most exciting things about moving into a new classroom this year, is getting to start from scratch.... yikes! One thing I know I will keep the same, is a round reading table I made last summer.  I was on the lookout for a small table to put in my classroom library,  and after searching high and low (and getting ready to pull my hair out!!), my brilliant mother suggested trying to make my own using an electrical spool.  Since I like a challenge, I decided to give it a whirl, and ended up LOVING the result.  Here is what I did....
  • First, I went to a local electrician to see if they would be willing to donate (teacher's budget remember??) a large electrical spool for an elementary classroom.  They were MORE than willing to help, and they even let me pick out the perfect one (the cleanest and sturdiest).  Here's what they looked like. 

  • Next, I measured and cut two large circles out of plywood to screw onto the top and the base of the spool.  The plywood creates a smoother surface and also covers up any screws or holes that may be showing.  
  • Then, I made sure to file and sand all the edges down so it would be smooth all the way around.  
  • Finally, I got to the fun part!!  Since I already had paint colors that would work, I decided to paint the table with a Dr. Seuss quote.   Don't forget a clear protective coat over the top for those sticky fingers...

My students loved, loved, loved reading and working at this table, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.  It was a great, inexpensive way to furnish my classroom library.    

Last year, I had my students use regular chairs around the table, but I have been working on SPOOL STOOLS this month!!  

I found sturdy spools that were just the right size, and I can't wait to get them all ready.  Stay tuned for more on the progress of the stools.  

- Katie