Teaching is a lot of work, but it has definite advantages. One of those advantages is the excuse to indulge in creative outbursts every time the mood strikes.
On Wednesday morning, Zaphod told us that we’re supposed to put up a “word wall” in our classrooms to teach some vocabulary list I’d never heard of. I don’t have a lot of spare bulletin board space, but I got some index cards, a roll of magnetic tape (looks like a roll of Scotch tape, except it’s black and magnetized; $6.99 at Hobby Lobby), and a Sharpie and started making an oversized magnetic poetry kit for the dry-erase board that runs the length of the back wall in my classroom.
While I was picking up the magnetic tape, I bought three Makit Bakit suncatchers. I haven’t messed with Makit Bakits in probably 25 years, but I have big windows in my classroom, and I decided some cheap little suncatchers would look pretty with the sun shining through them. I have them in the oven right now.
I swiped an idea from the office at school. My kids are forever taking pencils and forgetting to return them. The girls in the office have solved the problem of pens going AWOL by attaching them to silk flowers, then stashing them all in a flowerpot on the counter. They just look like a pretty silk flower arrangement. I went to Michael’s craft store yesterday after school and picked up a couple of cheap bundles of silk sunflowers, a roll of florist’s tape, and a four-inch terra cotta rose pot. I’m getting ready to paint the pot.
I’m thinking of swiping another idea from a terrific elementary teacher back in my hometown. Toni Gayer used to let her students draw all over muslin with permanent markers, and then she would use the material to make curtains for her classroom or a dress for herself. The kids thought it was great. I think I’m going to have my kids use crayons to put literary terms and vocabulary words all over some cheap fabric. I’ll lay paper towels over the fabric and press it to lift off the wax, then use it to make valances for the windows. If they get their oral presentations all out of the way Monday and Tuesday, I might let them do that Wednesday, since we’ve got short class periods and they’re likely to be goofy all day because it’s the last day before fall break.
I’ll try to post some pictures of our handiwork if I can remember to take the camera to school.