Think Outside the Box

Don’t be scared!  Think outside the box, and create your own lessons. The best way for me to think outside the box is to explore how OTHER people think outside the box. That may sound like I am just copying other teacher’s awesome ideas for how to teach a lesson (like the awesome Adjective Lesson I did, or the great Said is Dead poster I found on Chartchums), and in fact, that is exactly what I am doing. But by taking what other teacher’s are doing I am realizing that I can create things on my own too. It has been giving me the confidence to add my own spin on lessons.

After I did the lesson on the Said is Dead poster I thought of other posters to create for other commonly used words. My students learned about those words by acting them out. I might have not thought about those lessons if I had not used the original idea by another teacher. This happens to me all the time, I jump off of ideas and come up with things on my own.

This is why Jee Young and I love sharing our ideas, as well as other colleagues great work. It helps us work outside of the box of our curriculum and become better teachers. We are the ones in the classroom after all.

Here are a few visuals of a few things I have done in my classroom right before and after break:


Alligator mouths made out of popsicle sticks for first grade math!

math stories

Our reading buddy activity with the fourth graders before break was to create a math story,

they did such an amazing job, the stories were SO creative!

me on the map

I found this book at one of the only English book stores in Seoul. It is amazing for Social Studies when students are learning about maps! My students love this book.

signature for real

Oh by the way, do you have a favorite blog you go to for ideas in certain subject areas? In certain grades? Share!



Visuals are extremely important, don’t you think? At the beginning of this year I was introduced to the site: chartchums (their most recent post is actually about an international school in Taiwan!). I love them. I don’t know who Kristi and Marjorie are, besides literacy consultants… but I wouldn’t mind being their friend.

They gave me the idea to visually keep track of my students quiet reading time. At the beginning of the year I saw this chart on their site and I immediately implemented it into my classroom:

My students couldn’t even make it two minutes! But when they saw this chart, they realized they wanted to make it to the star. Now my students can read independently for 21 minutes.

Let your students see their progress, and they will progress that much more. Thanks for the chart idea, chartchums!