Classroom Theme, Uncategorized

Thinking Ahead…Way Ahead

Most of my blog posts are heavy and full of content. Here’s a little lighter note as we end the school year (and think about the next!)

I’ve had quite a few classroom themes: under the sea, jungle animals, polka dots, chevron, etc. I’ve decided to change it up next year and go for a fruity theme. I fell in love with all the cute watermelon and pineapple treats at Target in the Dollar Spot. Even my Google Classroom themes are going fruity (see pictures above).
I grabbed this watermelon pinata and thought my students could take it outside to smash on the last day of school. My fruit obsession started with these cute bulletin board ideas I saw on Pinterest. I was thinking my board would be red with each kid’s name written on a seed and the title, “Our class is one in a MELON!”

Here are some other cute things I’m collecting this summer to add to my decor:

  • Watermelon Garland (FREE) printable from Miss Bunting.
  • Fruit Garland (Etsy) from GlitterPaperScissor
  • Tropical Binder Covers (TPT) from Samantha Henry (which I use for all sorts of things since they are completely editable.)
  • Tropical Bin Labels (TPT) from Fairways and Chalkboards

How cute are these rugs? Watermelon and Citrus ?!

Last, but not least, I have a “tap jar” in my classroom. It’s a plastic container that I fill with random things throughout the year (erasers, candy, pencils, etc). Whenever we are walking somewhere in the hallway, if I tap a student on the shoulder, they get to take one thing from the tap jar when we get back to class. I tap students for good behavior…facing forward, hands at their sides, not talking, etc.  I think I’ll fill it up with runts at the start of the new year šŸ™‚


Digital Teaching Resources, IB

IB Exhibition: Part III

The research is done (Part I). The community visit or interview is done (Part II). Now what?

Quick re-cap: The students picked a man-made system that interested them, researched the system and current problems with that system, then interviewed or went on a community visit to talk to someone in the field.Ā 

As part of the IB Inquiry Cycle, I now asked my students how they were going to “Take Action” in some way. I wanted theĀ groups to develop a creative and positive way to make a difference (in regards to the problem they’veĀ been researching).

– What can your group do now that you have learned all of this information?
– How can your group make a difference?

I used these two documents to help the students understand what taking action looks like and some questions to guide their thinking.

  • Think of small changes first. Ā Build from there.
  • Be reasonable. Ā Consider time-constraints, manpower, monetary investment, etc. when developing your idea.

Here’s how it looked for a few of my groups:

  1. Transportation system (specifically the local CARTA buses): Students created fliers to pass out in the car-pool line at school to encourage parents to have students walk/ride bikes/use public transportation more often.
  2. Farming system (specifically “farm to table” movement): Students went to a farmers market, bought local ingredients, created a recipe from scratch, and shared it with the class.
  3. Education system (specifically physical education and health/nutrition): Students created a five minute presentation to show to the kindergarten classes at our school to promote healthy eating and exercise over summer vacation. The also created a website to share.

Since Exhibition is the culminating project in the Primary Years Programme, the students add their projects to the end of their portfolios. These portfolios (large binders) have been with the students since kindergarten. I save everything from the year, and we have “portfolio days” where the students select the items they are proud of, worked hard on, or just want to keep. They are constantly reflecting too, on their use of IB attributes and attitudes. All of this is kept in their portfolios.

I invite the parents in for a student-led conference. Before the conference, students use this criteria to flag articles that they are especially proud of. On conference day, their parents can write notes back to them and also describe how they have seen their child grow. After their student-led conference, the students get to take their portfolios home. They will get a new one next year as they start the Middle Years Programme.