Monday, August 12, 2013

It's Fun Helping Other Teachers :)

Today I spent the day in a classroom...it just wasn't mine! One of my favorite teaching buddies (well actually she's an awesome friend in and out of a school setting) moved to a new school. She was with me at my last school and we often helped each other out. No need for that tradition to end just because we are on new campuses!

Now she's at a great new school, but needed some help figuring out the best way to set up her new and awesomely huge classroom! Our last school was FAR from traditional, and the building was never meant to be a school! There was no such thing as bulletin board walls, cupboards, counters, or storage that's actually useful in the main teaching spaces. Since that was her first couple years of teaching, she was a little behind on the tricks to using the amazing space of a real classroom. She's teaching 4th grade this year :)

So off I went to hang out with her and help any way I could... (I secretly love setting up classrooms!)

It was fun chatting as we sat on the floor cutting out laminated stuff and helping her plan her classroom setup. I was glad she was able to feel much more settled in her room by the time I left. We'll be checking out another teacher store tomorrow and using my Cameo machine to cut out of bulletin board titles. Have I mentioned how much I love that thing?!

This was our proudest creation today! She picked an owl theme and had a basic idea of what she wanted, just wasn't sure how to execute it. These colored sheets are going to be the background for her students' work to be displayed.

 Tips for setting up a board like this:
  • Laminate the construction paper with the blank name tags attached (we used tape)
  • Write names with a Sharpee marker. This makes it so you can use Expo (dry-erase) spray to erase the names if students move away or classes get adjusted in the first couple of days of school. No need to redo the whole wall! Same goes for name tags if you teach with a migrant population like I have in the past.
  • I'm convinced school walls, or maybe the fade-less paper aren't exactly straight! We hung the borders in straight lines, and some paper hung out on the sides/bottom. To fix the problem, slide an open pair of scissors or a razor blade gently along the edge of the border. The thin strip of excess paper cuts right off! Her walls have cracks in them and sharp scissor slide easily down the line for a perfectly straight cut.
  • Work can be hung and exchanged easily using a small binder-clip held on to the wall with a push pin. Putting the pin at a downward angle helps keep the clips from blowing off if there is a breeze through the doorway.
I love setting up bulletin boards! Oh, and desk/furniture arrangements! What's your favorite part of setting up a classroom?
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