Thursday, July 26, 2012

Unpacking and Vocabopoly

I can't believe that teachers in my district officially go back to school next Thursday. This summer, just like all of the others since I've been teaching, has flown by. Today I spend about 6 more hours working on my classroom. I was moved to a new classroom on a different hall this year. Thankfully it is actually on the hall that the rest of my grade level share. It's my 9th classroom in 10 years of teaching, so I've grown quite accustomed to the packing/unpacking ritual that I go through each year. However this year is different and I blame it on Pinterest. I have so many ideas for curriculum and how to decorate and organize my room this year - all thanks to Pinterest. In past years I've worked 2-3 hours in my classroom before preplanning starts, but this year I feel compelled to have my classroom completely finished before preplanning. I think it is going to definitely help get the year started in a more positive way. Today I finally finished unpacking my room. Almost everything is in its place, but it still looks very clinical. I have yet to hang all of my decorations, posters, etc. That will come next week. One thing that I made a priority to do this year was to throw out all of the junk and give away everything that was still useful but I no longer needed or wanted. Today I went through my tall wicker laundry basked that I store rolled up posters in. I was so excited to find the VOCABOPOLY game that I created when I was in college. I thought I had lost it in a move between schools. This game was created to meet a course requirement in one of my college Education classes. The objective was to create a game that would be useful in our own classroom. I decided on VOCABOPOLY. The great thing about VOCABOPOLY is that it can be used in any subject area with a few simple changes to the game board. I've always used my copy of VOCABOPOLY as a station activity, so I've never took the time to make more than my original game board that I created 10-11 years ago. I tell you this so that you will excuse the condition of the game board. Part of our gifted program requires that all gifted students in grades 6-8 learn stems. Every other week students get a list of 20 stems, which they have a test on 2 weeks later. The test are cumulative, so I'm always looking for ways to help students study. This game has truly helped students remember their stems! In my next post I will give instructions on how to create a VOCABOPOLY game board and game cards as well as instructions for playing the game.

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