Help me create a wonderful place to learn!

Well, I’m just two weeks out from finishing student teaching and hopefully ending my job search!  Education is a tough business right now with very limited financial support, and I need all the help I can get to create a great learning environment in my future classroom.  And I would appreciate any help I can get!

source thesmarterwallet.comAn easy way to support my new classroom and students is to make purchases from my Amazon Teaching Wishlist.  I have a lot of badly needed items sorted by priority order, as well as some items that would really make my classroom unique and a wonderful place to be!  I’m striving to create a place where students feel welcome, safe, and happy, and anything you can give will help me to create that and support their success.

I need some basic things like pencils, markers, and storage, but also some additional items like attention-getters, books, and cleaning supplies.  All of these things will help me to create a supportive environment for my future students – who are of course our future leaders!

Make an investment that’s sure to have a great return – invest in education!  Thank you for all your support!

Simplicity

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I just picked up this GREAT poster from hooray in anticipation of my someday-classroom.   Not only do I love the sentiment (who doesn’t need to be reminded how wonderful we are once in a while, right?), but I was delighted with the use of vocabulary.  Each line has one less letter than the line above it… a great little game to play with students!  “What do you notice about this poster?”  Sounds like a good idea for a quick language arts assignment to me!

I have serious teaching on the brain as I begin classes tomorrow!  Now back to your regularly scheduled craftybloggityblog.

TT: The Creative Classroom

I spent a wonderful day yesterday visiting a teacher friend of mine – and helping out with her adorable 5 month old daughter! – and helping to set up her first grade classroom.  She teaches a delightful first grade class, and I was excited and honored to be a part of getting things ready for them to come back to school in a little while.  One of my charges was to make the welcome bulletin board; she said she wanted to make use of my creativity!  What a kind thing to say!

For my part this school year, I’m going to be a part time guest teacher in Denver and a full time graduate student, so I’m going back to school on a lot of levels.  Creativity has always been an influence on my education; with my background in music and visual arts, I find myself often considering ways to inject art into learning.  As a teacher, it seems like a natural solution to offering students choices in projects, problem solving, and integrating subjects.  There’s math in music!  Art in science!  Not to even begin to mention the possibilities of technology: video, audio, graphic design, photography…

Why is that important?  Because creativity can support ownership and meaning of a student’s learning, which is what makes that learning stick!  We know that when a concept becomes personal and meaningful for a student, they remember it (Piaget calls this assimilation, making something a part of your personal universe by linking it to other important concepts).  Can you remember the formula for finding the circumference of a circle when given the radius?  I remember that it’s twice the radius times pi because it’s something I use to make circle skirts.  That particular formula has meaning and importance to my life, so I remember it!  So, if we can use crafts, technology, anything we can get to give concepts meaning and application for their real lives, students will remember – and even better, be able to use! – these important ideas.  What better way to do it than to let them build, paint, cook, sew, sing, play, and create?

What have you learned due to your creative hobbies?