A while back I wrote about how I wanted to use t-shirts as a teaching tool in my classroom. Of course I was being a bit hyperbolic at times and not every shirt was a direct link to the classroom. I have now, though, had the time to start using the shirts in the classroom during certain lessons and on certain days and I wanted to share some of the results that I've collected from the use of the shirts (plus add a few shirts that were recently released by snorgtees.com).
This shirt was a fun puzzle shirt for my kids. The students who are keeping their eye out for what I'm wearing were already trying to solve the puzzle before I ever even introduced it. I used this t-shirt on the day we were starting spelling in the classroom. Someone said "I don't get it." I flattened the shirt and let them take a moment thinking about it. I said, "Don't words usually follow the 'I before E' pattern, except after a C where the E would come before the I? Don't you think that's wEIrd?" It was great the students won't forget weird, but I used it as a reminder that the "ie" combination doesn't always go "ie," It might follow the "ei" pattern. That is why we are learning features in spelling, so that they can be aware of the certain types of word structures that occur naturally in the English language. It is a great thinking shirts where the students have to start applying what they know to solve the problem. It also causes that kind of awareness that they need to start developing to be more participatory members of a productive community.
What? A Sharknado shirt? Yes! My students were working on their narratives again and I wore this shirt as a reminder of how EPIC they needed to be! I said "we're going to need a bigger classroom with all these amazing ideas!" It worked for my students writing a standard narrative AND those who were working on their super hero origin stories.
This is the shirt I am anticipating the most. While teaching spelling this last week, my students had to deal with certain spelling features which focused on vowel/consonant combinations. So, for example the long a using the CVCe word pattern. (Yeah, it's a little intense, I think, as far as spelling is concerned.) As a review, I asked the students, what are the vowels. . . they are sixth graders. . . and they were like "It's like. . . a-w-sometimes y." I mean, they kept saying w. . . and it made me wonder what disconnect happened where they thought u was w. So I went home that night and I saw this shirt on snorgtees.com and knew it was a must. Here are all the vowels that are always counted, partying inside and Y is only invited sometimes. Love it! Hopefully they'd never forget it. We'll just assume they're drinking soda and punch. What? You thought it was alcohol? Shame on you! Be an adult!
Now that I'm getting to wears my shirts in the classroom, it's wonderful to see that my plan for hooking the students is seriously working. My peer coach also recommended having reference posters that remind the students about some of the t-shirts. I'm not sure what I want to do about that. Either way, I am loving being able to wear my t-shirts in the classroom. Complete with dress pants! It's a great idea for use in your classroom if you're a teacher, especially in middle school.