Monday, April 15, 2013

Creating Classroom Community

Hey Everyone,

Happy Monday! I've kind of been on a blogging kick lately, have you noticed? Anyways, I finished our new classroom door a couple weeks ago (I guess that makes it kind of old now), but forgot to feature it. It took a couple hours to make, but I really believe it was time well spent as it bolsters the sense of classroom community in our room. My students gave me tons of compliments when they saw it the next day and even brought other students from other classrooms to show off to during recess.

We also finished our spring mural. I think we might add a couple more spring facts about insects when we get to them in a few weeks, but for now, this is what we have.

I'm not sure why my kiddos painted the lamb black but it's their mural so oh well! I don't think I've ever touched on the actual objectives for our seasonal murals before so I will address those here. My purpose with our murals is to introduce topic specific vocabulary, reinforce sight words, and encourage fluency by creating familiar and authentic text that students re-read everyday. I think it's such an effective and versatile way to incorporate elements of art, writing, and reading across multiple content areas. Our spring facts thus far include:

It is spring because...
  • the air begins to warm up.
  • birds start to make nests and lay eggs.
  • it can rain.
  • baby animals like calves and lambs are born.
  • sap starts to flow inside tree trunks.
  • the flowers bloom.
You can see that each fact deliberately has sight words that we have already learned and tries to utilize new vocabulary that students might not come across in their everyday conversations. We read about these new words in non-fiction books, which is where we pull our facts from, and add them to our existing schema and vocabulary.

As always, thanks so much for reading and happy teaching!

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