Monday, 28 January 2013

Quiet Critters

In Queensland this weekend the weather has been truly terrible.  We have had gale force winds and torrential rain since Friday so I have been hiding inside for a few days.  I'm sure you've seen the images on the TV of the flooding that many parts of the state are experiencing.  It's really sad - especially since many families and businesses are still recovering from the 2011 floods. :(

To try and make the best use of the forced time inside, I worked on some lesson planning and sorted through my classroom materials before I take them back up to school tomorrow.  This afternoon I took an hour-ish to make some Quiet Critters.  These guys come to sit on the desks of kidlets who are working quietly.  At the first sign of too much noise they disappear.  I'm sure you've seen these little fellas on Pinterest and other blogs.  I can't determine whose original idea this was - I think perhaps Quiet Critters have been around for ages!

It's back to school for us tomorrow - although we have a week of interviews and testing with our Preppies before they start a regular week next Monday.  Good luck to everyone starting with their kids tomorrow! :)


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Back to school!

This time last week I was in the air somewhere between Calgary and Brisbane, flying home after my year of adventure living in Canada!  In the time that I've been back, I've certainly hit the ground running.  After a hideously jet-lagged weekend I went back to school on Monday for a week of pupil free days.  In typical style meetings were scheduled for pretty much all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Today when I tried to get stuck into planning I had all sorts of problems trying to print and find things on the network. (Should I be complaining when I was handed a brand new Macbook Pro and iPad when I arrived on Monday? Probably not!)  Tomorrow I need to get my classroom organised and decorated, as well as prepare for interviews and testing of our new little Preppies next week.

In amongst all of that I've had a little bit of time to catch up with friends and family... but not enough time to unpack my suitcases!  Stay tuned for before and after classroom photos. :)


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Choosing a Classroom Theme

I am so thrilled to be going back to my Prep teaching job in just a few weeks.  It was a HUGE decision for me to resign to come to Canada when the option for unpaid leave wasn't available for me - so I was thrilled to be re-hired by the school that I love so much... and even more excited when another wonderful teacher felt like a year level change and left the Prep spot free for me!  When I left at the end of 2011 I packed up everything that belonged to me and it's currently in storage at my Mum and Dad's.  I also left a heap of stuff in the Prep block, partly because I didn't have room for it, and partly because I knew the other teachers could use it.  Now that it's only two weeks until the new school year I need to get my act into gear and think about how I will arrange stuff and decorate my room again when I get there.

I work in a beautiful block that was custom built for Prep classrooms.  We have large rooms with vaulted ceilings, shared storage and a kitchen, a big undercover play area, a separate room for the teacher aides to work in and bathrooms for the kidlets attached to each classroom.  There's also secure outside storage, and BIG sandpit and grassed area and a playground.  I am VERY fortunate to work in such a great space. (As soon as I'm there I'll post some photos!)

Since I'm dealing with a room that will be stripped of all it's finery I'm faced with the tough choice of choosing a classroom theme - or if I should choose one at all.  I've read a few amazing blogs with details of how other teachers theme their rooms (most recently Casey over at adoring lilly) and I have a few ideas of my own that I'm yet to decide between.  In the past I've done a garden theme that integrated cute bugs and butterflies.  I'd love to do some sort of 'Around the World' travel theme, or use beautiful colours for a rainbow room.  This year though, I'm leaning towards a Dr. Seuss inspired space!

I'm thinking that I can use characters from his books as my small group names, decorate with truffula trees, use a positive quote as my behaviour management catch-cry... and illustrations from Dr. Seuss' books lend themselves nicely to bright colour blocking on my bulletin boards and wall spaces.  
I found this print at Balancing Home.
Mrs. Lodge made these beautiful truffula trees.
Dr. Seuss canvas art from Pottery Barn Kids.
Do you have a classroom theme? Better yet, do you have a Dr. Seuss inspired room? I'd love to hear what other amazing ideas are out there for classroom themes. :)