Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
In summertime (Northern Hemisphere) or winter (Southern Hemisphere), vacation time is…
a time when many children go “on the road” with family or friends to destinations near and far.
Creative road signs in school can help pave the way for smart vacations.
What’s a smart vacation?
Answer: Time away from the classroom when children continue to learn, even as they enjoy a break.
Use street signs in your room and along nearby halls that impart important messages in school to point children in the right direction out of school…
before they leave class for vacation breaks between terms.
Head down Responsibility Drive – Find or make street signs named for character traits and other motivators to help K – 5 kids find the right road to their futures.
Post a sign on a classroom bulletin board or school hall that reads Responsibility Drive and challenge students to guess where this road leads.
Responsibility Drive leads to Opportunity Expressway!
Create Creative Road Signs – Use creative road signs before smart vacations to:
- catch and keep kids’ attention
- assist with classroom management
- make strong curriculum connections
- help motivate students
Order Customized Street Signs Online or Make Your Own – “Sign on to a road show” for your classroom or school hall walls.
Add Tabletop Visuals to Drive Home Desired Character Traits – Look for small posters that impart important messages, like Responsibility – It’s All Yours!, that can double as mini puppet stages.
Hold a small hand puppet behind the poster “stage” and lead a class discussion about key character traits.
Make the puppet “come to life” by using any voice other than your own to make the puppet “talk.” (No professional training required.)
How else can you pave the way to smart vacations?
Make Opportunity Expressway Lead to Writing Process Place – When I take students to Writing Process Place I tell them that we need to not just stop by; we need to park for a while and spend more time learning and using the Writing Process.
A Writing Process Place sign can help kids visualize themselves committing more time at home, as well as in school when the daily schedule allows, to getting quality writing done.
“Drive” home the message that time spent visiting Writing Process Place will help students develop must-have communication skills for success.
National reports, at least in the US, indicate that most student writers are still not proficient.
Many students struggle with words.
They tend to rush through their work to be done with it.
Teachers who post a Writing Process Place street sign in class can help make writing time more fun and inviting.
Turn a classroom bulletin board into Writing Process Place with these steps:
- Post a large rectangular header with the “street name” in bold print that looks like a street sign.
- Post an open map (one you don’t need anymore) in the center with arrows pointing out from the map in different directions.
- Number the arrows 1 – 5.
- Cut out five rectangles that look like street signs in five different colors.
- Print the parts of the writing process, one on each rectangle using road-related names like – Pre-writing Pathway – Writing Zone – Revising Road – Editing Avenue – Publishing Junction.
- Post the rectangular “street signs” next to the arrows, one by each arrow in sequence.
- Take your class on a tour of Writing Process Place and refer to it each time your class begins a writing activity.
Encourage kids to create a Writing Process Place of their own, outdoors or inside, during a smart, fun vacation.
Jump on the Curriculum Bandwagon and Travel On – Invite your students to help you come up with creative cross-curriculum road signs that can pave the way to smart vacations.
Road signs may include, for example,
- Math Line – main link to learning and S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
- Science Pathway – road to research, space exploration, discoveries, new medicines, etc.
- Social Studies Viaduct – Roman gate to learning about different regions, countries, cultures
- Computer Way – a communications network
- Music Thruway – notes following notes; listen as we travel through the melodies and lyrics
- Art Artery – the heart of self-expression
- P.E. Track – route to sports fun and fitness
- Transition Turnpike – time to exit this activity and pick up a new pike
- Lunch Line – orderly exit to the cafeteria (for in school use)
When teachers use creative road signs to pave the way to smart vacations, they help kids head towards Possibility Parkway.
Possibility Parkway presents miles and miles of learning.
Please send comments about how you prepare students for school breaks that continue the learning process.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet