Saturday, August 30, 2014

Extreme Makeover: Classroom Reveal with a Q and A Session

I'm linking up with The Primary Gal for a classroom reveal.  My school district starts school really early, like end of July early!!!  So I've been in school for a month already and am looking forward to this 3 day Labor Day weekend.  I showed you some pictures of my classroom in this post.  Today I will be revealing a friend's classroom.  This makes me super excited because this is a teacher from my hometown back in Virginia.  When I saw her classroom pics, I fell in love!!!  I did a little Q and A session to pick her brain.  She teaches 1st grade and has a "too cute" pirate themed classroom.  Take a look:

Here's a peek at our Q and A: 

Name:  Mrs. Barker

Years and grades you’ve taught:  16 years   (7 in 2nd grade;  9 in 1st grade)

Why you LOVE teaching FIRST grade:    What is not to love?  First graders are hilarious and have such a unique view of the world!  They are enthusiastic and get excited about the littlest things!   For the most part,  they are very observant little people and soak up information like a sponge.   I can be silly and funny (such as singing directions or talking in a alien voice) and they think it’s the greatest thing in the world.   Everyday, you never know what to expect…but you can almost always guarantee it will end with a HUG!  <3

How did you pick your classroom theme?  This year, I got my inspiration from Schoolgirl Style.  I wanted to do something a little different than I had done before.    I chose a pirate theme because loved the colors and thought it would look cute in my room. 

What’s your favorite part of getting ready to go back to school?  Everything is new and different.  I feel very motivated and excited to try new things.  It’s definitely refreshing.
What’s your least favorite part?    That there just never seems to be enough time to get everything done.    

What are some of things you do on the first few days of school with your kiddos?     I have a couple of units that I like to do with the students encouraging “getting along” and “acceptance”  involving the stories Chrysanthemum, David Goes to School,  Bucket Fillers, First Day Jitters.  We make “Jitter Juice” to chase our first day jitters away.  

What is the most effective way you’ve found to communicate with your parents?     For class news,  I send home a weekly newsletter.    This year,  I have found that Class Dojo (which is what I use for discipline/ reward tracking) has a new feature of messaging…which makes it very handy for communication between me and my parents.  I still make phone calls and write letters when needed.

What’s your go-to place to get new teaching ideas?   I’m definitely a teaching blog addict!  I have the bloglovin app and follow several (mostly first grade) teachers.  I love all the new ideas I can find.   I also use TeachersPayTeachers for new ideas. 

Any advice you’d like to give a new teacher:  Pair up with a veteran teacher and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Your colleagues can be a treasure of solutions for almost any situation.   
I'm sure her kiddos are screaming with joy as they enter the classroom every morning.  What an awesome place to learn!!!

Now head over to The Primary Gal and check out the other Extreme Makeovers.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Meredith,
    I just found you and am your newest follower...cute blog and I love your pirate themed classroom. How fun! I taught first grade for about 16 years a little of second and third and now I'm back in third and loving it. Enjoy your long weekend...glad I found you!
    Teaching and Much Moore