I love when I decide on a new theme for my classroom and begin the planning process. Our school is studying places in the world and each classroom chose a country to focus on. It was an easy choice for me since I love Egypt.
Once I decide on my theme, I then go all in searching for hands-on activities that would integrate the skills I am teaching, be developmentally appropriate for my students, and teach my students fun and interesting facts about the theme. My activities are based on finds from internet searching, my personal experiences, and children's books. Often ideas come to me when I'm driving to school thinking about my students and when I'm actually working with my students and see what they are excited about.
After planning, its time to begin prepping. This means shopping for materials, making templates, examples, and center activities, writing books, etc. However, the prepping increases my excitement for the theme.
It takes a lot of planning to create a new theme but as long as it is a theme I'm excited about, then I know my excitement will spill over into my students and all my hard work will pay off.
After teaching in North Carolina for 30 years, I moved to the UAE to teach. Over my teaching career I have seen the classroom go from being an engaging hands-on environment, to one filled with worksheets, testing, and data. Let's get back to making learning fun!
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