Like many of the other spaces I analyzed this summer, my Every Day Counts Wall has already undergone some real improvement over the past couple years, but that bar can always be raised a little higher and I think I know what needs to be done here!
- Everything is at a good "level." The calendar is high enough to be seen across the room. Same with the fractions and vocabulary words. Those are really the most important things to keep track of, in my mind.
- Nothing has fallen off. Even though these are closet doors, everything has stayed securely in place, even those cups holding the bills. It worked out better than the rubber banded things last year and the plastic sleeves provided by the kit the year before.
- All forms were at our fingertips this year.
What needs to change:
- The cups are not really attractive. At first I thought a strip of Duck Tape would make them look nice, but then I realized it's not just the color that's the problem. The fact that they are round means that they are always going to look wobbly. What I need to do is either shell out at the party store for nice flat "chinese food" style boxes, or fold my own out of cardstock. Then I can whip out the Duck Tape, no problem.
- There is not enough room for the vocabulary words, and as a result, they are not organized. And disorganized words are difficult to follow and learn. Luckily I have a solution. It might be lofty, but the plan is every month I will take the words off the board and adhere them to poster board. I might even create a "central" word or number (since each month is based on a multiple) to use as a title instead of just the name of the month. Those posters will need to be trimmed to fit over the math wall. It's too high for me to reach on a daily basis, but I can climb up once per month, no problem.
- File those forms away. I was SO proud of all the calendar math forms I created, but I have to admit; worksheets and empty templates do NOT belong on display. It's not enhancing the decor or the learning experience. I'll tuck them in with the other "Weekly Worksheets" over on the kids' paperwork table.
- Create a new daily calendar job system. I thought the ticket system I created this year was a great idea. I started it near the end of the year before when the kids were more independent. This year it was a DISASTER. Any time I tried to ease off and give the kids some independence in the process of updating the calendar it didn't get done. I abandoned it, tried names on the board, abandoned that to try calling kids up on the spot...I still couldn't perfect a system for this past group. However, every group is different, and now I have 4 different systems to try out with the new group. I'll be setting up a posted rotating schedule to start out with, and if it doesn't work, onto the next idea!
This has been the final installment in my "Summer Projects" series. The next few posts will be focusing on what I actually did accomplish! I think that's even more exciting, although I hope seeing some of the "befores" got your creative juices flowing in terms of how you'd fix the problems. If you're setting up your class this week, I hope you're feeling excited about some new things and you'll share them in the comments below!