Monday, May 5, 2014

The Best for the Best!

I am so excited to be participating in my first ever blog hop, and I have to say a huge thank you to Amy over at Teaching in Blue Jeans for organizing it! This blog hop is all about celebrating teachers, and I could not think of a more deserving group, let's face it, we all know that teachers work long, hard hours and don't get the recognition that they deserve. I'm happy to help change that!

Today I want to share one of my favorite products with you. This particular product shows just how far I've come in the last couple of years, and it shows the incredible difference that a really clean polished product can make when it comes to confidence and professionalism as a teacher.


This is my Question of the Day Notebook.  Whenever I tell people that I teach Preschool, they typically respond with some version of "I bet you have some great stories." This notebook has led to many, many hilarious stories from my kiddos, and while that's fun, it's not the reason that I started doing Question of the Day in my classroom.

Question of the day has always been one of my favorite activities for a number of different reasons. From a theoretical and developmental standpoint, I love that it gives children the opportunity to practice answering questions. They get to see the process modeled by their teachers and peers, they have to comprehend the question, and then formulate an answer. That's a lot for a preschooler to do! I also love that answering a different question every day gives them an opportunity to form their own opinion and grow as an individual.

As soon as I started posting the children's answers in my classroom, parents started coming into the room to read them. They loved to see what their children were saying, and talk to each other about the other children's comments. It really built a sense of community in the classroom.  The children also talked to each other about their answers, and began to understand that they can have different answers to the same question.

As much as I love incorporating Question of the Day into my daily lessons, I am not super proud of the way that I originally displayed the questions and answers.  I'm sharing the photos with you only so that you understand why I had to create this product. Just know that I am cringing as I upload these photos.




That's a lot of faded construction paper... I mean, I guess I had to start somewhere right? Besides how sad my documentation looks, as the year went on I found myself having a really difficult time coming up with questions - I found myself asking the children what their favorite vegetable was for goodness sake.

I found myself scrounging Pinterest for a year long list of questions, which of course I never found. So, I made one myself.  This product includes 255 questions (enough for 51 weeks), both seasonal and general, so that you will never run out of questions like I did.  It also includes two different note page designs, so that you have cute paper to write your student's responses on.




This product has allowed me to continue using one of my favorite activities in the classroom, while helping my classroom look just a little more polished and professional.  Each week I take the previous week's responses down off the wall and place them in a binder which looks much neater than my giant notebooks of ripped, faded construction paper. I'm not embarrassed to share these!

I hope that you will find it to be as useful as I have!

Now here's the important part of this post, you can win my Question of the Day Notebook! Just enter the Best for the Best giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The next amazing product is from A Sunny Day in First Grade!
Continue on The Best for the Best Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop by clicking the link below.

Thank you to Amy from Teaching in Blue Jeans for hosting, and to Michelle (from 3AM Teacher) and Marcy (from Simply Sprout Educate) for the awesome graphics!

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