This week's VIPKID post is about how I use Velcro in my classroom. I'm fairly new, so I've been partially making up my own way of creating a classroom, and then borrowing things from other people, especially with rewards. One trend I've been noticing is that people use baking sheets to hold up rewards they give in their classroom. If you've read my previous posts, you've seen that there is NO WAY I can use a baking sheet. There's my husband's desk, which has my props, and then the PVC Pipe Stand behind my chair. The only thing my students can see is me and my PVC pipe stand-made background behind me. There's no where to prop one of those up.
Those are great rewards for brand new students or little 5 to 7 year olds, but what about the older kids? Those rewards are BORING. I have loved how we share with each other, it's so great. I hope this is making a great contribution. It's my way of giving back.
I've read how teachers give their students emojis and stick it onto a phone. Or how they play the game, "Find the Star." I have a few students who LOVE that game. Dress Dino has also been a hit with my kids too. However, most people I know use a cookie sheet to help display this reward. Well, here's how I've overcome that problem for my classroom.
Let's start with this one. It'll lay the foundation for the rest of rewards I use. What I've done to display the reward is that I've placed a piece of adhesive hook velcro onto the back of my phone. Like this:
I also made my own handle out of tape on the back to make it so I can hold onto the phone without having my fingers in the way when I bring the reward up close to the screen (I hardly use it though). At the beginning of class and when I'm not using the reward, I'll fasten it on a piece of loop velcro on the fabric behind me. When I'm using the reward, I'll unfasten it from the fabric and bring it up close to the camera so the students can see the details better.
So that's all fine and dandy, but how do you stick the reward onto the phone over and over again? Tape? That's what I used to do. However, I found that over time, the tape would lose it's stick. Or even worse, it would rip off some of the paper from another reward. I have several rewards that just look awful because the tape has ripped some of the image off. But I guess you have to live and learn.
So my friends, I've decided to use Sticky Tack! I've had this stuff since I first went to college almost ten years ago and it's still going! It's pretty easy to take on and off, it doesn't lose it's stick as easily, and it won't ruin your other rewards.
Pretty easy, and very effective.
I use this same concept when I put my "Find the Star" reward together. I cover my "Find the Star" sheet with a sheet protector. Then I cover each image with a numbered square, stuck on with sticky tack, and hang it in the back just like this phone. Easy!
I love when I get the kids who pick all the crazy items, like the clown hat and the pirate's cap. So fun! As you can see, same principle, Dino has a piece of adhesive hook velcro on the back and it's fastened to a loop piece on my fabric.
All of the costume items have a piece of sticky tack and I simply place it on Dino during the lesson. Because I haven't laminated Dino, he now has some nice blue spots where I usually put the sticky tack (oops, didn't see that one coming).
Here's something to keep in mind. Most of the time, one piece of tack will work. But if the item is pretty big, like the clown wig, you'll need an additional piece. I've had the wig fall off on me a few times during a lesson... I normally play it off, but it wastes time having to pick it back up and put it back on.
We dress Dino after I've award a star, it gives them a little break. So with 5 stars, we put on 5 pieces. We start with the smaller pieces (sunglasses, tie, etc.) and save the big ones for last. They don't have as much time to fall off that way.
Now, here's a teaching technique I'm going to share. Right now, I mostly teach Level 2 and a few Level 3 students. With their limited English, they don't know the word "dress" yet. So this image you see below is what the kid would see at the beginning of class (except I'm waving hi):
Then when I tell them what they get to do today, I unfasten Dino from my fabric and bring him up to the screen saying, "You get to dress Dino!" And they see Dino in his costume and think, "Oh, that's cool. Dino looks funny." But then, I take off the pieces and that's when they understand, "Oh! We're putting stuff on him! That's cool." I've seen several light bulb moments happen when I've done it this way. Then they're excited for the reward.
Recently, my technique is that we "build" the background with the rewards. The background starts with just the base decor and is built from there. In this case, you see the end from the beginning. I also use this technique with my Emoji/Phone reward as well, but I usually just have one on there from the beginning and keep it up there for the entire class.
Well, that's it, folks! That's my classroom set-up. As I've stated before, I don't know if this has affected my ratings. I haven't had a parent comment on my background in the feedback. I have had parents say that the class has a fun atmosphere, and I feel how I've made my classroom background look and function has something to do with it. But like I've heard from someone on Facebook about bookings, "personality and talent win through in the end." I think that's very true. We're all our own individuals.
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Want more tricks? Check out my new post: My VIPKID Classroom Upgrade. You'll love it!
Hello! My name is Char. Thank you for visiting my blog, CallCrafts. I am a wife and mother who LOVES to make things. Read tutorials on crafts I've created to decorate my home, for parties, and more! Read more about me in My Story.