Back to School

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2011 at 9:51 am

I am not sure if this deserved a blog post but well…I found myself here. It also might be an excuse for not having blogged in a long time (I told you I am not much of a blogger – the information, blogs and websites out there are overwhelming, who needs another one?). 

First, take a peek into our classsroom this year. I made a Word doc so you can download it (if it helps in any way). 

Our first day was filled with fun. Details? Yes, please. 

Tell Me Something Nice– I pinned various tags on each student’s back and let them move around (e.g “Tell me something nice about my hair”. ) Compliments upon compliments began to pour! But guess what? One of them came to me and my colleague (the Romanian language teacher) and pinned tags on OUR backs, too! He said, “You deserve compliments, too!” 


Snowball Fight – each kid wrote three things about themselves on a piece of paper (I told them to change their handwriting, so others would not recognize it). They crumpled the papers and …boom! Flying balls all over the classroom until I said “Stop”. We grabbed any paper we got our hands on, sat in a cricle and read, trying to guess who was who. (Of course, I wrote, too! I changed my writing so much that only one kid could guess!) 


Musical Chairs – But nope, not your usual game. This is exactly the opposite! We take a chair and the ones sitting need to MAKE ROOM for those left out! Imagine when we had only 1 chair left – 14 kids on top of each other , hah! 


HOPE – I created the word “hope”exclusively out of post -its, and then invited students to write their hopes for the new school year. 


ME – I gave the kids the paper below with two instructions. They cut and glue letter “M” upside down. What did it change into? “W(e)”  🙂  We had a discussion on the purpose of this activity (community and collaboration). 

Of course…the last activity was reading a wonderful book: Little Blue and Little Yellow. If you haven’t read it to your students, you (and they) are really missing out. It is about a little blue dot who plays with his friend, the little yellow dot. One day they hug one another and…oh, they turn green! They want to return to their homes but neither family (blue, nor yellow) wants to let them in…I won’t tell you more, let your students find out. It is a wonderful story about friendship, differences and identity – as we will start our learning journey this year with a an inquiry unit about identify and diversity (Marvelous, Marvelous Me). 

I almost forget – we also wrote a “recipe”for our Reading Buddies (who now are in second grade and with whom we read the entire last school year) – How to Be a Successful 2nd Grader 


Well, this would be about our first day at school. We will tell and show you how we keep learning this year, and hope yours will be as great as ours! 🙂 






  1. Cristina,Sounds like it was a great start. Wishing you a fabulous year.Cathy

  2. Thank you, Cathy, the same to you!

  3. Wonderful activities and photos as always. Thanks for sharing, Cristina. Hope you all have a fantastic year.

  4. Thank you, David – hopes returned! 🙂

  5. Wow… just checked out your flickr page and your classroom photos are awesome. I really like the 3D displays… you’ve created a visual art enviro that will resonate for your students in ways that a typical bulletin board rectangle with colour on it would not.Cheers to you and btw, this is a fantastic blog. You’re making learning visible in so many interesting ways.Sean

  6. Thank you, Sean. I tried to create that kind of environment where kids would feel more as being part of a community where their questions, learning and reflection are valued.

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