We started back to school earlier this month and everything seems BRAND NEW! The students are all new to Pre-K and some of them are new to the school. My assistant and I are BRAND NEW teachers to the students, even though we've been in the school for several years. I've changed our class mascot from fish to owls, so there are new owl decorations everywhere! There is just something about things being new that seems to make life just a little more exciting!
On the first day of school, I took pictures of the students that will go in a memory book for them at the end of the year. I posed them in front of one of the bulletin boards that will have seasonal changes, but basically remain the same. At the end of the year, we'll take another picture in the same place and be able to see how much they've changed and grown!
Also in the first week, I had each of them color a circle to decorate a large owl in our room. Later, these circles will be placed in their memory books, as well.
My classroom received a refurbishment grant this year to replace worn out materials and classroom supplies. One of the big things I got was a new rug! Isn't it bright and beautiful? It is humongous and has spots for everyone to have a little personal space.
We also got a few new bikes for our playground. I chose the "big wheel" style and they have been a big hit! There are always friends waiting for a turn!
I have wanted MagnaTile blocks for a long time, but frankly, they are very expensive and there are always so many other things I need. I was able to use some of the grant money to purchase a set. I am amazed at the creativity and imaginative things the children create with them. I picked the translucent blocks with the plan of using them with light box I'm making. They will look great when lit up, I think!
We got some new foam blocks that are great for building and perfect for use with the new animals we got for the block center!
Some of our dramatic play costumes had seen much better days. We ordered several new ones. This is the NASA astronaut uniform that we got! (It is especially nice paired with awesome cowboy boots! ;)
I love this little couch and chair set that we purchased with refurbishment funds! I broke the set up and now have a cozy spot to curl up with a book in reading center and added the sofa to our dramatic play area.
Even the way the children are experimenting with familiar materials seems "brand new". Watching this new class explore in centers and try new techniques brings me a little joy each day.
I'm sure that as time goes by, these things will all become worn, well loved and lack their "new" appeal, but for now we are enjoying the discovery of "brand new"! I have a few more items that I haven't put out right away, just to savor the excitement of having something fresh for later on. Hope your "brand new" school year is off to a good start!
If you'd like to read more about our first day of Pre-K, hop on over to PreK+K Sharing and read "On The First Day of Pre-K..."