Tuesday, 21 August 2018

PYP Class Essential Agreements / Mission Statement Displays

Creating classroom agreements or a class mission statement is a must-do in your first week with a new class. I've found the book, "If Everybody Did" by Jo Ann Stover a fantastic way to lead into discussion on what we should do in our own classroom. I've always worked with my whole class to create their agreements and split them into groups to illustrate them. Here are some of the ways I've displayed them over the years. Then I'll show you some inspiring examples I've happened upon online.

This Angry Birds display was from my first year teaching in a PYP school (clearly I did not yet know that the word "rules" is not used in PYP schools. Perhaps that should have read, "Our Golden Promises.") The children wrote and illustrated the agreements on giant eggs. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the finished display!

Next came these hanging owls. The children illustrated the agreements on their tummies. 

And I'm sure you'll recognise these Lego superheroes from my blog header. They've been used to hold up classroom agreements for the last few years. They were painstakingly and lovingly made so I couldn't part with them after only a year.

 Here they are hanging at the front of my classroom.

Lately I was really inspired by these class mission statements shared by Susan Powers' (author of the PYP Teaching Tools blog) on Instagram.

If you don't already follow Susan online, make sure you do so! She shares fantastic, thought-provoking posts about inquiry-based learning in the PYP.

This gorgeous Class Promise display was shared by Jennifer Jones.

I love how simple this one from Upper Grade are Awesome is! The key words really stand out in colour. Naturally in a PYP school, you would not use the word "rules." However, the process she and her class have carried out to make these agreements is perfectly PYP-friendly!

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Make Someone Smile FREEBIE

Hi all,

Here's a little freebie to brighten up your staff room or classroom! Print it, laminate it and then you can write jokes with a whiteboard marker. Simply wipe it clean when you're ready for another terrible joke!

Here's hoping it brings your staff/students lots of eye-rolling and hidden smiles!

Monday, 6 August 2018

3D Cactus Art

Question. What do you do when you have too much bright green tissue paper lying around your house and you're trying to stop hoarding craft supplies and actually use them? Answer. You make 3D cacti, of course!

I was looking at some cute cactus clip art on Pinterest and thought they might be a cute way to brighten up my teacher bulletin board. I learned this technique from a children's art magazine when I was about 8. The resulting 3D fruit bowl stayed in my parents' kitchen for many years after. So why not take a trip down memory lane? Here's how I made them!

I drew the cactus shapes on card and cut them out. I then balled up cotton wool and taped it on top.

Next, I wrapped tissue paper over the top of each part and taped it at the back. I taped all of the pieces together and used strips of card to make it more sturdy.

I drew on eyes and a mouth and then added bead stickers and tissue paper pom-pom flowers. Here's a tutorial on how to make pom-pom flowers. Finally, I made some cardboard pots et voilà, they're done!

Friday, 3 August 2018

Miraculous - Ladybug and Cat Noir Flip Sticks

Do you use flip sticks in your classroom? They're a very useful classroom management tool. You have two colours on a lollipop stick. Each child's name is written on one end. It's very easy to choose a child at random (fairly!) for a special job. If you want to keep track of who you have questioned, whose homework you have checked, etc. you can simply turn the sticks upside down and it's very easy to see who has not yet had a turn.

Last year the watermelon theme seemed to be EVERYWHERE on Pinterest. I jumped on that bandwagon and had these ones in my classroom. The children LOVED them. Though I was in love with the watermelon print when I made them, I wanted to make fresh colours for the coming school year. 

(TIP: If you want to reuse the same sticks, simply stick on the child's name on little pieces of paper with PVA glue - then you can peel it off and reuse the sticks the following year). 

I decided to go for a "Miraculous - Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir" theme. I'm really happy with how they turned out! Even if children don't recognise where it comes from, they may still like the contrasting colours/animal print effect. If any of you have other suggestions for possible flip sticks themes with contrasting colours/patterns, please comment below!