Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Ant"-icipating Purposeful Changes

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" This is such a contrast to how we think about education these days, but am I old-fashioned for agreeing with it most of the time? I just think if something is proven successful, the only change that needs to be made is fine-tuning. Sometimes the wheel is reinvented so many times it doesn't even fit the car anymore. I don't hate change. Change just has to have a purpose; especially in education!

I'm going into my seventh year teaching fourth grade in Room #314, and two big (and more importantly, purposeful) changes are taking place this year! We are going self-contained, so I will be going to the dark side (A.K.A. teaching math) for 90 interesting minutes per day. Thank you for your prayers. My team and I decided that we need to make better connections with our kids and their parents, and I love that they were open to this idea when I threw it out there at one of our team meetings. 

I'm also changing up the theme of my classroom. You're probably thinking, "So what?!" You don't understand... I was MARRIED to my black and yellow classroom! I even blew up Pinterest a couple years ago with pictures of my decor. I still love it, but it's simply time for me to look at something new every day! A classroom should be inspirational to the teacher as well as the students. My new classroom will be PICNIC-THEMED! 

You might be disappointed in how I got the picnic idea. Towards the end of last year, my students had a lot of unfinished work and a few minutes to kill before the end of the class period. I gave them some time to catch up on whatever they needed extra time on. They exchanged confused glances with each other since "extra time" in class was so rare. Right then, I randomly wished I had a ketchup bottle so I could put it in front of the class and announce, "It's 'ketchup' time!" How fun of a visual would that be? Ketchup made me think of condiments, condiments made me think of a picnic, a picnic made me think of cute little paper ants scattered all over the room, and then it was all over. Just like that, a change was born.

Stay tuned for pictures of my new and improved picnic-themed classroom! For now, this is the only thing I have to show off:

I also found this epic duct tape at JoAnne's Fabrics a few months ago:

I can't believe how just redoing a bulletin board had me beside myself with excitement! I was smiling at a bulletin board by myself in my classroom. Either I have finally lost it, or this confirms that this change is a purposeful one. It's probably a little bit of both. 

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