Monday, February 10, 2014

What's Developing - Academic Pom Poms

I love coming up with ideas to make the room cute. It's a bonus when I can find an academic use for them, too! This year, I'm missing my half-time classroom from last year so much! I could hang stuff from the ceiling there, and it really made a huge difference. My school this year has motion-sensors, so anything hanging in the room could set them off. No fun!

One of my favorite functional decorating items were these pom poms that I hung over my different center tables. Depending on the unit or the time of year, I would change the vocabulary words that were attached to the poms poms. Instead of saying, "Group 1 will be at Table 1" or "Go to the Blue Center," I'd used current vocabulary. "This group will go to the Addition center, and this group will go to the Sum center."  This reinforced the use and the recognition of academic language.  Before sending my first graders to their centers, I might say, "Today, you're going to the Total center. What's another way to say total?" It was so efficient and took seconds to ask the question and get answers, and it was really fun at the same time. Students were very interested when the words were changed. 

As we got deep into the testing season, I switched it up a little more. I wanted to empower my students and plant a little seed to help them feel confident and smart. I changed the labels to Genius, Smarty Pants, Einstein, and Brilliance. It's the small things, but I could see them light up a bit when I told them they were in the Smarty Pants or Genius center that day! I love the little things! I really love classrooms that don't have motion-sensors. I'm still trying to come up with a creative way to designate my centers next year. I might have to build some desktop topiary!  =) If you can hang things in your classroom, consider these pom poms. They're eye-catching and can be a great way to expand your word wall and remind your students of the vocabulary at hand.


  1. Thank you, Angela. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting!