Monday, August 25, 2014

Close Reading Turned Social Story :o)

Sweetest moments...  I have a cute little class. They are BABIES. When I call them "littles", it really describes them. Lots of growing up to do! Good! My favorite kind of class! Such a huge contrast from the precocious smarties I had last year! I find myself backing WAY up. Beginning at the beginning is what they need.
I decided to try one of my Back to School Close Reads, the one titled " School".
It happened. It was the moment we fell in love.
 The  PDF was on the smart board and we were reading/re-reading. We were talking about words we might not know or understand. One little guy said "What is tare?".  It took me a minute, but... oh. Care. "What is care?".  I explained that it means the teacher cares about you (making a heart with my hands placed over my heart).

The look on his face. His eyes. The little sweet smile.   "Oh. He said. "You yuv us."
"Yes. I love you."

(And your adorable, developmental speech errors!! Then my heart melted, we exchanged googly eyes at each other and the rest is history.)

Which then led to lots of other gestures and discussion of other social parts of adjusting to school, like the time away from home being short and how our parents are so proud of us. Our little close read turned into a dear social story that solidified our class bond, and we have been referring back to it for several days now. I could never have planned for it. I love it when I am teaching and happy moments such as this catch me by surprise, and the next time I teach it I can try to turn that happy accident into something I do on purpose. ;O)
I think this is the start of something good......






Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back to School with the Hack of a Lack and Chalkboard Charm!

Back to it! I was thinking today about why it takes me soooo long to get my classroom ready for school.
I mean, I should have this down by now, right? After all this is my 26th Back to School!
If I could just. Stop. Doing new things. And stick with something for a couple of years. Yes! That would be a great idea. Wonder when that will happen for me?

My name is Pam & I have a problem. I. Like. Getting my classroom ready for school.
I shouldn't, I am exhausted!  I haven't been home before 6:30 in a week. What is wrong with me?!!
Here's some of my trouble.
Last weekend we were in IKEA to get a few things for our daughter for moving back to college very soon (sniff, sniff!) and I see it.... a Lack. No big deal, nothing exciting, I bought one last year for our son's night stand...  but this time when I saw it, I had .... a vision. You see I have another problem. I am obsessed with chalkboards. I had a vision of a new little table for my classroom Book Nook.
Muahhahahaha.... I burst with excitement!! My husband thinks I'm nuts. I might be. Oh my.


Would it work? Not sure, but for $4.99 (IKEA Family Member Price) I decided it was worth a try.
The idea hinged on my sweet, smart, and very talented daughter Chelsea. She and I worked on some sketches for the top and legs, I helped out a little with the ideas and artwork, and she got busy!! She really is amazing. :o) She used a little bit of regular chalk for shadowing, but mostly Chalk Markers that I had gotten from Amazon.
After it was all done we sprayed it with several coats of  Krylon, to seal and protect.



My new bookcase is so super cute too!  It was a lucky find at Lakeshore. I found it  all put together and marked half price for "damage". Never figured out what the damage is! It is exactly what I was looking for. It has little label holders in the front that I made chalkboard labels for. This is such a cute book little shelf for littles to be able to easily access books that are organized into different categories.

My chalkboard obsession has continued to drift into my resources too! In my previous post I told you about my No Prep Photo Props for Back to School. I have another new resource out called Chalkboard Charm Alphabet and am working on several products to add to the "Chalkboard Charm" line! (Look for them coming soon!)



If you get an itch to be creative, then hacking a Lack might be a good project for you!!
If you try it send me a picture, I would love to see it!
Also... I have no affiliation with any of the above (IKEA, Amazon or Lakeshore). Just wanted to share! (The little stools are from IKEA too) :o)



Happy Back to School!