Superheroes in the Classroom

Have you ever wished you were a superhero? Our students love superheroes. They dress up like them. They read about them. They watch videos and movies about them. They imagine that they are one! This is the reason I choose to use a superhero theme to begin the school year. It is a great motivator and a great way to get your students to connect with you from the start. When they know you like superheroes, they automatically think you are a pretty cool teacher!

In this post I will share a few things I do to get my classroom superhero ready!

Setting the Stage

The new school year has not begun yet for me, however I do take 2 or 3 of my summer days to work in my classroom. I like to do this because I can get a lot done when my teacher friends are not around! {I am sure you can relate.} I begin by doing any touch up painting of furniture that needs to be completed and setting up the furniture. After that, I like to get all of my classroom library books and sort them all out. My library is sectioned into 3 sections: leveled books, books by genre and topic and chapter books. I also take out all of the books that I don't want in the library until after I have used them for a read aloud, book talk or work station activity. Once that is complete, I begin adding the details ... numbering cubbies and student book boxes, setting up table caddies, and putting together the bulletin boards!

Preparing for Meet the Teacher Night

I don't know about you, but for me, meet the teacher / open house night can be a bit overwhelming. So many students and parents visiting the room at the same time. Everyone wants to talk to the teacher but it is hard to say everything that needs to be said ... over and over! This summer I decided to be proactive and create station directions for the parents and students. I am excited about the superhero theme and I can't wait to see the excitement of the children when they get to the photo booth station!!

The First Days

In my classroom, the first 2 weeks are all about building relationships and forming a community of friends and learners. Since we are a Leader in Me school, we focus on the 7 Habits and what it means to be a leader. We also do some getting to know you activities, growth mindset and having grit lessons and team building STEM activities.

Kids love to have choices and opinions. I like to use this four corners activity in the beginning of the year to get to know each other and to show them that it is ok to have different opinions. This activity brings a lot of conversations. Good listening and speaking is a must and with this activity, I can model how to be a careful listener and clear speaker. I keep the corners up all school year and use them throughout the school year for a lot of different reasons, such as exit tickets, choosing teams, and answering questions in math lessons.
One of the first lessons I begin the year with is about having a growth mindset. I use superheroes as a metaphor and explain how many of them have a growth mindset and grit. I start this activity by reading aloud some books that lend themselves to conversation about not giving up and having perseverance.
I like to build the anchor charts with my leaders and we do it little by little. It usually takes 2-3 days sometimes 4 until they are complete. We usually only sort a few of the statements a day so that we continue our conversations about having a growth mindset. We watch videos on Go Noodle and Class Dojo about growth mindset.

I also like to introduce my leaders to a mood meter during the first 2 weeks of school. Using a mood meter allows them to understand that when they are not in a good mood or when they are tired, it is harder for them to learn. I want them to understand what it means to be fully ready to learn. I also want them to be able to verbalize how they are feeling about situations or words or problems that may come their way. I have used this in my room for the past 3 years and each year, I have noticed a greater awareness of my students understanding and monitoring their feelings and being able to talk about them. They feel comfortable referring to the mood meter and they know that one of their superhero powers is to use their voice!

Now you know how I have been prepping my superhero classroom for my new leaders. Comment below with any questions. Click here for a FREE G.R.I.T. mini-poster  for your classroom.

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