Back to School : Shoes

Look Who's Climbing High in Junior High
Janet G. Olson, Woodlawn Baptist Academy, Millington, TN
Grade Level: junior high/middle school-grades 6,7,8

From the beginning, I wished to help my students feel at home in the classroom and to reassure them that their contributions would be valued. I also wanted them to feel involved. I had seen the idea of each student personalizing a paper sneaker before. Next, I thought about the three grades and about how each student was at his/her own level of climbing the mountain of success. The largest cloud is labeled Senior High.

I found a sneaker pattern and the smaller sneakers at a free clip art site. A fellow teacher from Mississippi supplied the pattern for the largest sneaker. I cut out the mountain and clouds freehanded. I chose the three stair steps to represent each grade.

The board was waiting for the students when they arrived the first day of school, with their names sticking out of unfinished sneakers. I took digital photographs of each child and made copies. Each student decorated his or her own shoe and put these on the board with their "faces" peeking out of each shoe. The parents and the students seemed to like the board a good deal. My principal was pleased.

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