"In this classroom, relationships are fostered, families are respected, and children are honored.
In this classroom, nature's gifts are valued and children's thoughts are captured.
In this classroom, learning is alive and aesthetic beauty is appreciated." -Unknown

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Post-It Personalities


Last fall I had the privilege to go on a trip called Directors on the Move. We went to the Monterey area and visited several locations to find inspiration. We visited the Monterey Peninsula College Lab School and definitely found loads of ideas. You can view the album on my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.197037990407742.37877.170943436350531&type=3  One of the things I immediately decided to try in my own classroom was what we've decided to call Post-It Personalities. I knew I wanted to do it at the beginning of the school year and posted it for the first time at our Back to School Night/Parent Information Meeting. The photo below shows the directions given at the lab school. Mine were handwritten as I ran out of time with all the other preparations for the evening. 

After signing-in for the evening, parents were given this assignment:  


This is the full view of the display. I always take a beginning of the year photo of each child on our first full day together. This photo gets used in the child's cubby, in a class memory game, on a namecard in the Writing Area, and in the end of the year slideshow. This time I also used it for this display. I matted the photos on either a dark brown or olive green piece of cardstock that I had measured to leave enough room for the Post-It Note. I adhered kraft paper to the door and matted the photos.

The first thing I love about this is that it caused the parents to pause... and really think about how to describe their child's personality in three words. Some parents did it pretty quickly, which was perfectly fine. Others talked together to try to find out which three words described him or her the best.


Here are close-ups of a couple of the Post-Its.


How they chose to list the words were entirely up to the parents. Some put bullets, some just wrote three words, and some wrote the child's name along with the three words. 


The other thing I love about this activity is the excitement when the children saw their photos on the door the next day and when they heard what their parents had said about them. Joy!!

What special things do you post or set-up for the beginning of the year?



13 comments:

  1. What a lovely idea. Think I have to steal it. thanks

    sandi

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    1. Go for it, Sandi!! I knew when I saw it at the Monterey Peninsula College Lab School that it was something I definitely wanted to do in my classroom. Thanks for your feedback!

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  2. This is absolutely adorable. What a great way to foster a sense of belonging.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. It's been a very fun and enlightening activity for both the parents, the kiddos, and me. Thanks for your feedback!

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  3. Wow- Barbara, I want to be in your class and play! Can I steal it! LOVE, not only the parent participation, but the kids get to see it and as a teacher you can talk about what some of the words mean and build vocab. as well as make their little hearts swell with pride and self-esteem! Brings tears to my eyes as I read it and write this! Thanks for all your ideas and inspirational thoughts! You should be so proud to be called "Teacher".

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    1. Thanks so much, Heidi! Yes, you may come to my class to play anytime you'd like. Absolutely, you may steal it. How many of our ideas or originals? I saw it at the lab school in Monterey Peninsula and tweaked it to work in my class, with giving them credit in my blog, of course. Feel free to modify it to fit the needs of your class. I am very proud to be a teacher and very proud to call you a colleague and friend!

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  4. What a wonderful idea! And such a great way to get parents' insight into their children! Our Parent Orientation night is Tuesday and I'm thinking about trying to get this together. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Cynthia! I think you'll love it. I'm so glad I chose to do it. When I take each one down, it will become part of their portfolio that they will get to take home at the end of the school year. If you do modify it to work in your class, please post a photo of yours on my blog's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-Children/170943436350531
      Can't wait to see how it turns out!!

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  5. This is...lovely! Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Play-based Classroom. It served as a great way to connect with families at the beginning of the year.

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  6. We did this after I found your idea via Pinterest. I love it! http://www.thingstoshareandremember.com/personality-plus-preschool-display/

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    1. Just popped over to take a look-see. It looks great!!

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