Here in NZ we tend to cover The Treaty of Waitangi each year as we work together to establish our classroom rules. Invariably, we end up coming to an agreement and each child 'signs' it to show that they will support and uphold what they have discussed. Each year, I inwardly groan at how boring my class treaty always ends up looking. That is, until I came across this .jpg on Pintrest. It got me thinking... perhaps we could create a set of 'golden' rules.... rules that are displayed around a sun... and the rays of the sun were our handprints... and our handprints were our pledge to uphold the rules. I pitched the idea to the kids and they LOVED it. Each day we painted large sheets of newsprint in a messy, Eric Carle kind of way. Just pour the paint straight on the paper and get the kids to go mad. Geez, it was fun! I have since learned a good lesson: don't use newsprint. It's too flimsy. Go for something a little thicker. With a little help I got the background and sun hung on the ugliest section of the classroom I could find. It's up high, it's ugly and it is otherwise un-useable. Win-win. We typed up the rules we decided on and added them to the mural, along with clouds and our handprints (which we signed with a sharpie). I had HEAPS of blue paper left over in a slightly different shade. So I used them to cut out the letters across the bottom. In case you can't see, it says: "We understand that in RM15...". All rules are phrased in a positive manner. I believe that this is really important. Nobody likes to hear what they CAN'T do... lets tell them what they CAN DO!
I find Math to be an absolute headache in terms of resource management. There is never enough resources, occasionally too many, and they are often in bad repair. This is why my next few posts are about Math resources. Enjoy! As I teach in NZ and follow the Numeracy Projects, place value houses are a common material to work with. I printed mine off A4 size from http://www.nzmaths.co.nz/sites/default/files/Numeracy/2007matmas/Bk4/MM%204_11.pdf . Each 'house' was copied onto a different coloured paper, and then cut out and laminated. I didn't cut them out again after laminating, as it made it easier to punch a hole in the corner and thread a ring through (are they 'magazine' rings?). My awesome set can now hang from the wall if there is space. No more scrunching up in the bottom of a drawer! They are also really quick and easy to unclip and use, then pack up again. I started off using a whiteboard pen to write the digits directly onto the laminated charts