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Friday, August 19, 2011

Interactive Classroom

One of my goals for the year is to make my classroom more interactive. By this, I mean I want someone, a parent for example, to be able to walk in and see that the kids are learning all around the room and not "just playing." I am trying to post questions in as many areas of the room as possible. And by "post," I mean put it on the wall or shelf or somewhere in plain sight in large enough print to be easily seen. Last year, I made cards with the questions on them, but that was pretty much a waste, I don't think they were used once. So, that way any adult, including teachers for quick reference, can easily connect what the children are doing in an area with what they are learning. For example in science (discovery) area (photos coming soon), you would see the question "What will happen if you...?" I left the end blank, but covered with contact paper so I can change the ending with dry erase markers, so it could say "if you mixed red and blue?"

Another way to make it more interactive is to make the environment a teacher. With interactive charts (photos to come), pointers, magnetic letters on the chalkboard, and hands-on activities all over the classroom available for children to use at any time, they guide their own learning and the teacher is only there to facilitate learning by asking many questions and allowing the children to explore to come up with the answers.

This all goes hand in hand with Head Starts 2 initiates for this year, Family Engagement and Kindergarten Readiness. I am going to make sure we have things planned ahead of time for these and I am already working on a K readiness bag that I will use for small groups. Families will be able to participate more in the classroom, not that they weren't always welcome before, but now we will have prepared and planned activities ready when someone comes to the room as well as take-home activities.

Which brings me to my first photo:

What, you may ask, is this??? My secret book of tricks. Much of it will be revealed slowly in future blogs. But there are so many interactive things you can do in the classroom. And this book is jam-packed with ideas. Story props are another one of my goals for this year. I am hoping to get a good collection started that I can add on to each year. Here are 2 ideas to keep you going until I can really get some good photos from the classroom to blog about. 

This is pretty easy, just cut and laminate the pie pieces so they can be put together. Velcro on the back to use with felt board. Nice way to introduce fractions.

So, I'm assuming I don't have to say what book these go with. And if you don't know, you must not be reading my previous blog postings. Great prop to help act out the story. Kids can put their fingers through them like little puppets. Great for sequencing and counting!

Well that's all for now, but I'm sure there will be more on this subject in the near future.

I realized there was a lot of math in this post, so I linked up to Marygrove College's Math Linky.