I spent a few hours in the classroom this morning and things are just about ready for the first day. Among other things I put the finishing touches on my chalkboard drawing.
I’m so excited about doing this drawing with the students. We’ll begin by drawing the mountain scene that is in the background. I’ll have them happily draw away — putting flowers in the grass, birds in the sky, leaves on the trees — all of the details will be in place and it will be a complete drawing on its own. Then we’ll add the cave around the outside. I just love how this drawing begins to suggest the sixth grader’s developmental phase. The happy, sunny mountain scene is childhood, but now we’re beginning to enter the cave of adolescence.
I made a conscious decision to do the lettering in white (like stone) and with serifs. Even the guidelines convey the lawfulness that is a dominant theme for sixth grade.
I also drew this almanac section of the chalkboard. I’m including this almanac section as part of my daily morning rhythm. Each day we’ll check the newspaper and record the weather conditions, high and low temperature and sunrise and sunset times. My thought is that checking the weather is a good way to start introducing the newspaper into the classroom.
We’ll also be using these facts in various ways and I’m having fun thinking of all of the different things we can do. Here are just a few of my ideas.
- Chart the high and low temperatures.
- Chart the difference between the high and low at different times of the year.
- Calculate the ratio of sunny days to cloudy days — weekly, monthly, yearly.
- Create a bar graph of the number of minutes of daylight in each day.
- Keep track of how often the weatherman was correct.
- Create a pie chart of the weather conditions — monthly, yearly.