Saturday, August 29, 2009

Changes and Additions: Organization, Morning Meeting, news-2-you Plans and Auto-ball-ography Project

We start on Monday.  I'm not really ready but am hoping that by tomorrow evening I will be closer.  Not being able to go in my room until so late has made it tough as I'm a single mom to a child who can only handle about 2 hours at a time in the classroom so I'm doing a lot of running back and forth.

As I've been getting ready, I've made some changes and additions along the way that I thought would be worth recording/sharing.

I have decided to rotate staff every 3 weeks instead of every 2 weeks. I just feel we can maintain a bit more consistency then. I'm also feeling like we may not be able to get through everything I want to get through in just 2 week time frames.
Morning Meeting
Have added a "Do you want to feel the weather?" section to going through the weather.  Students will be asked if they want to feel the weather after we have gone through the weather.   If its windy, they will be able to switch activate a fan to feel the wind.  If its sunny they will switch activate a heat lamp to feel the heat (see note at the end of post).  If its raining, we will lightly mist them with a spray bottle (remember they were asked if they wanted to before we do this to them).  If its snowing we will have a bin of snow that they can touch (if there is enough snow).  If its cold, we will have an ice pack they can touch.  I'm still playing around with it but I wanted to add a sensory/interactive component to the weather for the students and thought this might work.
When we do morning prayers, we will do "intentions" where each student can say something they want to pray for.  I will ask parents to put this as the first thing on their step-by-step if they have anything.  I will have a staff check them as students come in and then we will add the intentions that are there to the end of our morning prayer.
Classroom Jobs will be handed out on a 3-week basis so that they are consistent with staff changes.  Each team will be assigned jobs for the 3-week time frame. 
I will need to find 3 or 4 more days of activities related to Super Sand Castles to do because we will be doing that theme for longer.
news-2-you Planning
After some thought I have decided to do a new news-2-you topic every 3rd week instead of every 2nd week.  This links in to the fact that I've decided to change staff every 3 weeks.
My next news-2-you theme will be the one related to the Wizzard of Oz.
Auto-ball-ography Project
I'm still working on the bulletin board for this.  Its a race against the clock to get it done on time for the beginning of the year.  The books are pretty much ready for the students.
I have added a couple pages to end of each students book that are titled "This year I'm going to work on..." and then I'm making picture symbols of the things that are focus areas in the student's IEP and they will cut these out and glue them on those pages.  This fits in to our division assessment for learning focus and I also think it will be neat for other students to see the type of work that happens in our room as well as for everyone to look back at the end of the year.
Added note on heat lamps: I had a couple of questions about heat lamps and I was thinking to get one of those lamps that you would use in a reptile cage from a pet store when I brainstormed this idea.  I have not actually purchased one yet so did a bit of looking around the Internet and found another option that I'm thinking I like better.  Check it out at

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