Flexible Seating in First Grade

Why flexible seating?

When I was in elementary school

( Way back in the DINOSAUR days )  

1970’s

flexible seating in the classroom

We sat in rows.

Many rows.

All of us looking straight ahead.

At the teacher, at all times!

No flexible seating, here.

flexible seating in the classroom

We kept our hands & feet to ourselves.

We kept our books in our desks.

And we read QUIETLY to ourselves.

Shhh…whisper!

We read.

Some people enjoyed it.

Some people just pretended.

Most did what we were told.

We didn’t ask…WHY?

or

Is there ANOTHER WAY?

How to bring flexible seating options into my classroom?

Because at home…

I would lay on my bed and read for HOURS!

flexible seating

(picture by Dreamstime.com)

And that is how I  LOVE TO READ!

I want my students to LOVE to read!

So I have “changed it up!”

I have added flexible seating options in my classroom for kids to 

read in a comfortable, relaxed, enjoyable experience.

Every day after lunch my first graders do

READ  TO  SELF.

If you have not read the book

The Daily 5

DAILY 5

from “The 2  SISTERS”      YOU  NEED  TO!

My first graders read to themselves.

Not to me,

Not to a partner,

JUST TO THEMSELVES!

Therefore…READ  TO  SELF!

I set the BIG TIMER!

online reading timer

I use THIS one.

We start the year at 6 minutes.  Read.

We work on increasing our reading STAMINA.

 Read longer.

Today, we are at 18 minutes!

18 minutes of uninterrupted reading of books

THEY choose!

BUT there is MORE!

They don’t sit in rows.

They don’t sit at their desk.

We have flexible seating choices for reading.

flexible seating reading rockers

READING  ROCKERS

flexible seating stools

TALL STOOLS

flexible seating short stools

SHORT  STOOLS

flexible seating chairs

SHORT  STOOLS  at  SHORT  TABLES

flexible seating

CHAIRS  by themselves

flexible seating rugs

READING  RUGS

flexible seating

CORNER  NOOKS

flexible seating floor

FLAT  OUT  ON  THE  FLOOR

And when we are done?

Stools under the tables.

Rockers stacked in baskets.

Rugs in the tub.

And chairs stacked.

flexible seating stools

flexible seating stools

flexible seating guided reading stools

flexible seating reading rockers

flexible seating chairs

They MOAN when the timer goes off. 

They ask during other times of the day

to Read in the Rockers.

THEY  WANT  TO  READ!

I have taught them to LOVE to READ..  

ANY HOW…ANY WHERE!

Flexible seating choices have made a HUGE difference

in the reading choices my students make.

They want harder books.

They want to read MORE!

It’s hard to walk into a first grade classroom

and hear…SILENCE.

But the “whispers” of reading are heard, daily!

UPDATE

More flexible seating CHOICES!

I won ..yes…won  these

4 AMAZING Stools at our recent

NorCAL Teachers Meet UP

in Pleasanton, CA!

Check out the fun at:

Instagram

#teacherstakepleasanton

flexible seating storage ottomans

I was the BIG..WINNER  WINNER! 🙂

Yes…I won ALL  4

WHOOP!  WHOOP!

flexible seating wooden rocking chairs

And these Bad boys…

They are wooden rocking chairs,, and they SQUEAK!

I love to hear the squeak, squeak as they rock & READ!

Thank You Donor’s Choose!

My “flexible seating” is complete!

Now to “arrange” it into 

WORKSTATIONS!

I absolutely LOVE IT!

( SO DO THE KIDDOS!)

Some of my “bloggy friends”

have also posted about

their experiences

with flexible seating.

Check them out.

How to fund and implement flexible seating

Teach2Love

10 things to know about flexible seating

Two Sharp Pencils

flexible seating

SassySavvySimpleteaching

If you want to learn MORE about reading

check out these blog posts:

Balanced Literacy

Read  At  Home

Guided Reading in 20 Minutes

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Things Primary teachers do that are QUIRKY!

Primary Teachers are Quirky!

Primary Teachers are QUIRKY!

HUH???

Quirky is defined as…  

”  something that is strange/not normal but cool. Unconventional, surprising, odd.”

You mean ME?  I am… ODD?

YES! YOU!

Here are the top 5 reasons PRIMARY Teachers are QUIRKY!

one reason primary teachers are quirky

Number one reason Primary teachers are Quirky

We like to “DRESS UP”!

Now in most professions, there is a RULE of  PROFESSIONAL ATTIRE.

Teacher's dress codes differ from grade to grade and school to school.

Profession attire for QUIRKY teachers?

In Teaching…we are a little “QUIRKY”!

Elementary teachers dress up to enhance student engagement.

Elementary teachers dress up in tutus. QUIRKY?

Elementary teachers dress up to enhance student engagement.

Minions teacher costumes. Thank You https://teachinginroom6.com

Elementary teachers dress up to enhance student engagement.

Yo Gabba Gabba! Thank You https://teachinginroom6.com

Elementary teachers dress up for Halloween to enhance student engagement.

Character costumes…QUIRKY? Thank You https://teachinginroom6.com

We tend to “go the extra mile!”

And it’s a GOOD thing!

( May have to add that to THING 1 & THING 2).

You get MY drift!

How many TEACHER Tshirts do YOU own?

Do YOU wear SCHOOL shirts on FRIDAY?

Do YOU OWN a Dr. Suess HAT?

Do you DESIRE a pair of shoes or socks that look like a PENCIL?

See?  Just a LITTLE  QUIRKY!

 AND …HEELS??? 

 Who can chase little ones

 or grab the glue bottle

 before it puddles 

on the floor..

in heels?

You see…QUIRKY!

Number two quirky

NUmber two things that teachers do that are QUIRKY!

SMELLS..

Who doesn’t LOVE to walk into a room smelling of…

LAVENDER

COFFEE

FLOWERS

COOKIE DOUGH

etc.,  etc.

We all DO!

And so we PACK IN THE SMELLY STUFF!

Strategies for making the classroom SMELL sweeter.

Sweet smelling sprays

Strategies for making the classroom SMELL sweeter.

Air fresheners are NOT QUIRKY!

Strategies for making the classroom SMELL sweeter.

Quirky teachers make the classroom smell sweeter.

And then …24 LITTLE ONES go outside for RECESS.

AND they come back in…

YUCK! Wet puppy smells need strategies for making the classroom SMELL sweeter.

UGH! Quirky teachers DON”T like the smell of WET PUPPIES!

SMELLING LIKE WET PUPPIES!

UGH!

 And SOME of those 6-year-old WET PUPPIES…

NEED  DEODORANT!

And so…we retreat to our OLD FRIEND…

Strategies for making the classroom SMELL sweeter.

Yeah CLOROX!

* in MY district you NOW must obtain a 1 hr. PD and get a “CERTIFICATE” to use CLOROX wipes in the classroom.

A Little QUIRKY!

But…we do what we need to do to survive!

Myself…I prefer cookie dough candles…  

JUST  ME.

DON’T LIGHT THEM…

JUST SMELL THEM! 

Number three

Number three for Quirky teachers

Lunch.

A Primary teacher’s lunch is a LITTLE  QUIRKY!

First, it has to have pieces that can be held in

ONE  HAND!

Teacher multitasking.

The Quirky teacher can do more in one lunch period, than most people do ALL DAY!

I always laugh when someone says,

” You HAVE 40 minutes for LUNCH?”

Yeah…after I get 25 kids to the cafeteria.

AND…one doesn’t forget their lunch and we have to walk back & do it AGAIN!

AND…if I don’t have to call a parent.

AND..if I don’t need to run off papers.

AND..if I don’t need to correct spelling tests, prepare the SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS, write a note, 

AND…HEAVEN FORBID…

GO TO THE BATHROOM!

( Don’t forget to EAT…it will be ANOTHER 4 hours until you are FREE!)

So…bring a lunch that can be eaten in ONE HAND!

The other hand MAY BE BUSY!

A LITTLE QUIRKY!

Number four

Number four for Quirky teachers

DIY? Quirky?

Those DREADED WORDS!

Do  It  YOURSELF…NEVER!  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

I don’t think I have EVER started a DIY where I didn’t involve someone else!

 Thank YOU to my WONDERFUL HUBBY…

He puts up with my QUIRKINESS!

Spray PAINT!

Elementary teachers LOVE to use NEON spray paint for DIY centers and classroom workstations.

Quirky teachers LOVE NEON SPRAY PAINT! Raise your colored finger!

Did YOU feel your hands get clammy?

How your heart rate INCREASED?

Do you have a smile on YOUR FACE?

NEON    SPRAY   PAINT!

Do YOU feel the “NEED”…to  spray

SOMETHING?

I know..it’s OK…

I think some people are “wired” with it.

The NEED  to PAINT!

And we do…

Reading center storage drawers for guided reading centers.

Sterlite drawers

Reading center storage drawers for guided reading centers.

Tool Kits for BRAG TAG drawers

Teacher storage areas for centers, materials, and guided reading books.

Ahhh..organized storage for ALL. Quirky or NOT!

We will SPRAY EVERYTHING!

And…it’s OK!

( I’m sure SOMEWHERE…there is a 12 step program for this!)

QUIRKY?

YEAH!

Number five

Number five for the quirky teacher

Are you QUIRKY about BAGS?

No.Not grocery bags.

I mean BIG, LONG HANDLED, BRIGHTLY COLORED, (maybe) on wheels,

BAGS!

“I Like BIG bags & I cannot lie…”

(I think it’s a SONG)

Me dancing…

Lesson plans, lunch, grading papers...bags for teachers

Quirky teachers LOVE big bags…and I cannot lie!

BIG bags for teachers

Colorful Big Bags!

Bags that have files for grading papers, lesson plans, balanced literacy materials.

Organized BIG Bags…be still my heart!

Big Bags for teachers

Bags on WHEELS! OH YEAH!

But…

LOOK AT THE BRIGHT COLORS!

We will carry 50-80 POUNDS of STUFF in ONE BAG…

GOTTA keep MY hands FREE!

And not think twice about it.

I AM NOT walking BACK to MY classroom AGAIN!

Yes…I can carry it ALL in one trip!

(Why do my shoulders & my back hurt so much?!)

But LOOK at the BRIGHT COLORS! So cute!

No…I will NOT buy 24 folders at TARGET for 17 cents each!

 I just bought the CUTEST  “31”  BAG..  🙂

A LITTLE  QUIRKY!

And so…

Some of us were meant to be PRIMARY TEACHERS.

AND some are NOT!

To those who are…

HOLD YOUR SPRAYPAINTED FINGER UP HIGH…

WEAR YOUR T-SHIRTS PROUDLY…

AND  SMELL  the QUIRKINESS  in YOUR  WORLD!

WELCOME  to the CLUB!

If you have HUNG in here for this LONG  POST…

Keep GIGGLING…

Here is a FREEBIE  for YOU!

Back to School Vocabulary Banner

Back to School Vocabulary Banner from 1stgradefireworks

Check out OTHER fun things from 1stgradefireworks!

Pin IT! 🙂

Grandma & Grandpa

I need to apologize to my grandma & my MOM!

I am such a SLACKER!

I think I have it all together..

I DO NOT! HOW? HOw to do it?

My Grandmother & MY MOM

raised a family, worked at home & outside the home,

and we always had stuff when we wanted it.

AND I NEVER ASKED HOW?

Grandma & Grandpa

My Grandma & Grampa

This is my GMA & GPA…

I miss them both.

They lived on a dairy.

 My GPA taught me about cows, HARD work, & what “silage” tasted like! ICK!

My Gma always wore a dress & heels. She was a petite little thing.

She wore toilet paper around her hair at night, so she would look “good” in the morning.

My Gpa didn’t give us candy.

 When we left his house, he would give us a teaspoonful of brown sugar

, from the jar in Gma’s kitchen.

 Nothing fancy..but it meant EVERYTHING to us!

They owned a peach orchard.

 40 acres of peaches.

I never really thought about it when I was little.

 It was just a “lot of trees”. HOW to keep it all together?

Engangement photo

Mom & Dad’s ENGAGEMENT photo

This is my MOM & Dad ( I just found this engagement pic.) HAHA

59 years

59 years together!

They worked hard.

My dad went to work every day.

 Dressed in his suit & white shirt

( that my mom ironed..I know ..with an iron & ironing board! )

And my mom worked a self-owned business,

was ALWAYS there when we got home form school,

 and helped us with EVERYTHING we ever did ( sports, clubs, school, etc).

And I never asked HOW?

How do you do it ALL?

And now this….

Both my GMA & My MOM canned fruits, made pickles, and baked goodies!

Now I don’t bake ( leave that gene to my sister, Susie).

I have NEVER made pickles..& probably won’t..BUT

I   CAN  FRUIT!   

I CAN FRUIT, A LOT!

I  remember walking into GMA’s garage & seeing shelves FULL of canned goods.

I grabbed bottles of canned fuits from my mom’s shelves in our garage.

Peaches, pears, cherries, etc, etc, etc,,   whenever we wanted!

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

It didn’t matter…it was always there.

HOW????

I never asked.

So now..I apologize to GMA & MOM.

I should have asked to help you peel, or slice, or wash, or……..or….or……

But, I cannot take it back.

SO?

I will follow in your steps.

I will teach MY DAUGHTER to can!

And my granddaughters!

I will continue the family tradition.

Only…we will use the recipe on my laptop.

( I know GMA & MOM didn’t do that!)

So here was my day TODAY ( from start  to finish ).

canning peaches

Canning Peaches – jars

canning peaches

canning peaches

Wash the jars ( hot water & heated dry) in dishwasher.

peaches

fresh peaches

peaches

washing peaches

peaches

blanched peaches

Wash..rinse…BLANCH (  Boil  whole peaches, then put in pan of ICE WATER!)

Their peels  just  slide right off!

Slice, Slice, slice!

canning "station"

Hubbies canning station

Too hot to cook inside!

Set up our campstove OUTSIDE!

Pan on the left is a sugar/water mixture.

Cook the peaches in for a short time, then pour into jars!

Hubby is sooooo  good at this!

peaches

Peaches in jars

canning peaches

Sliced peaches in jars

peaches

peaches in jars

Then…

Boil in a water bath ( 25 minutes ) to seal.

peaches

seal the cans

 and…

VOILA!

peaches

Canned peaches

peaches

canned peaches

There we go!

11 quarts of fresh canned peaches!

They will be sooo  good  this winter!

(Daddy gave us more peaches

…so I am thinking peach cobbler for dinner!)

or maybe…..

I SHOULD MAKE JAM!

Gma made jam……so did MOM….WOW!

This is HOW!

I should THANK them.   🙂

Here are some more posts to help me “get it all together!”

Planting Seeds

No More “HOW DO YOU SPELL???”

Spelling.

( I know..I cringe at that word.)
Kids want to SPELL perfectly…every time!

My fear is…students who STOP writing a wonderful story, because they can’t remember HOW to spell a word.

Just one word. And then..they stop writing! UGH! They ask themselves, “What does it start with?” Oh..I dunno…so where do they look? What do they do? Ask a friend…look on your word list…check the word wall…ASK THE TEACHER! NO!!!   I want INDEPENDENT readers & writers! Those DREADED words…

“HOW DO YOU SPELL…????”

Ugh! What to do FIRST? We have gone over letter sounds, word families, vocabulary, picture prompts, word walls, word lists, dictionaries, pictionaries, and so on..and so on. And still they ask. “How do you SPELL???” So what is a teacher to do?? Then what?
PINTEREST! ( The place where ALL questions CAN be answered!) And so I search…
Spelling Practice
Spelling Practice from Samantha Almaguer  FREE!

SO MANY SPELLING CHOICES!

So many Spelling WORD LISTS! ( And don’t EVEN get me started on WORD WORK!) Balanced Literacy Word Work And so…what’s a teacher to do? Head to YOUTUBE! Here is a great video from Angie @ Center Station
Still, no answers! AND SO?  What to do? What to do? Create MY OWN! My district has adopted a curriculum. I have 18 boxes waiting for me to unpack! My PD for this new curriculum is 5 days before I have students! I probably won’t have time to REALLY dig into the program. Surface teaching for a few weeks! BUT… My kiddos are ready… BEFORE I AM! And so.. I create! Bookmarks for Sight Word PRACTICE

Here are a few of my newest

SPELLING   creations!

The spelling word lists in this program can be used anywhere, anytime, with ANY program!

Homeschools, interventions, homework, practice pages! Here is KINDERGARTEN
Here is  FIRST  GRADE
And  Grade  2
All of the lists are printed in black and white. SAVES  ON  COLORED  INK! ( I print mine on colored paper!) I print one copy of SPELLING word list for the student’s desk. A little tape on top..and voila! Instant word wall for writing! (NO MORE …HOW DO YOU SPELL…) The other word list I send home for homework each MONDAY! They have to read & practice each night. Spelling tests on FRIDAY! I give “rewards” for 80% correct or higher! I don’t expect perfection…just effort in their work. I add these word lists to SPELLING CITY on our computers. (If  you don’t have SPELLING CITY….GET IT!) 🙂
They practice EVERY DAY!

They also must use the week’s spelling words in their journals.

They read their journals to a partner. WOW! Spelling, reading, writing, word lists, &  homework! I think we’ve got this! I have also added BLENDING LINES for READING FLUENCY PRACTICE!
Blending Lines
Blending Lines for Reading Fluency
BLENDING  LINES….View Preview VIDEO Here

I hope you can use my new SPELLING Packets!

This may help, too!    For more thoughts and talk for November, please visit these great posts. Like what you see, and want to join us? Before posting your link, please email RETTA at retta.london@gmail.com.
Teacher Talk
Leave me a comment !!! Good Luck!
What Does READ AT HOME really Look like? How to support Reading at Home.

How to get kids to Read At Home?

 How do I get kids to Read at Home?

I am a BLOG STALKER!

I admit it.

This year I am trying to get my kids to 

Read at HOME.

I am ALWAYS trying to find the BEST,

 FASTEST, & EASIEST ways

to make my classroom run smoother

 & more effective while being 

academically successful.

Aren’t we ALL?

So each year I try to “change” 

a few things for the better.

NO THROWING THE BABY OUT 

WITH THE BATH WATER!

  

So here is something “NEW”

 ( or New to ME ) 

 that I am doing this year!

apple

 Who chooses the students Read at Home Books?

I am NOT ( Ugh…),  NOT  

choosing the Student’s 

TAKE HOME BOOKS

 each week.

( Let it go! Let it go!)

I LET THEM!

The power is in the CHOICE. 

I thought if I chose reading books that were

 ON their reading level

THEY would MAGICALLY 

fall in LOVE with READING!

NOT!

 How Do Their Books get HOME?

I have RAH ( Read AT Home ) envelopes…

Purchased at

REALLY GREAT STUFF

multicolor hook and loop plastic envelopes

BUT ANY envelope will do!

Each WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY

 they bring their RAH folder back.

I have them choose 2 books…

YES…2 books to put in their folder.

( I place a pile 20 or so, of books at each level …

*disclaimer…right now I have 5 Guided Reading groups…

I group their PILES of books

 at the Guided Reading group level…

So they really are taking home books

 at THEIR reading level.

Just a little teacher

 “nudge”

 in the right direction!

They choose two books,

 put them in their envelopes, 

and put them in their cubbies.

They keep them for 2 nights…

hence bringing them back WED. & FRI. 

We change them for two NEW books … 

and here we go again!

 How do I know if they REALLY read their

Read at Home Books?

Some nights I add a 

READING RESPONSE 

page to their homework.

USE ONE OF YOUR RAH BOOKS!

( Your choice!)

You can get my READING RESPONSE Packet HERE

Read and Write Reading response pages

Reading Response forms for ANY Book. Read and Write.

Accountability?

I do have a paper…lined…for parents to sign each night.

DO ALL OF THEM SIGN IT?

 NO!

If YOU take a horse to water…

Can you FORCE it to drink it?

NO!

Let it go! Let it go!

Let It go!

 What happens if a parent doesn’t read at home
with a student?

If you have a parent 

who doesn’t support reading at home…

 READ, READ, READ at school.

YOU may be 

the ONLY adult 

who reads with

 “THAT CHILD”…

We ALL have “that child”.

Don’t fight it!

Don’t PUNISH the child.

IF he/she could read it BY THEMSELVES…

THEY WOULD!

They can’t.

So

Let it go! Let it go!

Let It go!

 How do You REWARD students who do Read At Home?

I do REWARD

 those who make the continued effort

 to read at home

EVERY NIGHT!

When they bring their envelopes back,

 I check the paper.

IF the parent HAS NOT SIGNED…

I highlight in RED that date.

At the end of the MONTH..

I give a reward 

(and a SPECIAL BRAG TAG

to those who have read

EVERY NIGHT!

I know…NOT fair for “that child”.

Fair is NOT Always EQUAL!

I want my kiddos who 

DO THE WORK

to know

I NOTICE!

And so my friends…

I keep stalking.

LOTS of great ideas out there in 

BLOGGY LAND.

And PINTEREST  LAND.

AND  INSTAGRAM LAND.

If you need some ideas…

Check out MY PINTEREST BOARDS.

1stgradefireworks logo

Happy  Reading my Friends

It's time to get the gardens started. You might get your hands DIRTY!

Get YOUR Hands DIRTY in the GARDEN!

GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY IN THE GARDEN!

The SUN is SHINING!
The birds are “chirping”.
My chickens are laying EGGS!
It’s almost SPRINGTIME folks!

It’s time to plant the garden!

We gotta get ready!
So …how?
What do I do first? Then? Next?
( Sound familiar? )
We in NORCAL are ready to…
GET OUR HANDS DIRTY!

We have 3 raised gardens…

Grapes growing on the white fence.

The garden behind the white fence.

And an extra large garden.

The windmill for looks, in the garden.

The windmill in our garden.

 Yes…We have our own windmill.
( NO..it does NOT pump water…BUT IT LOOKS SO COOL!)

A twelve-foot sunflower grew in our garden.

Our twelve-foot sunflower in the garden!

Last year… 12 ft. tall SUNFLOWERS!

The garden has vegetables growing.

Our garden has tomatoes, onions, corn, and peppers.

Corn, tomatoes, garlic, onions, tomatillos, cilantro, peppers,
green beans, squash, pumpkins, grapes

Our garden has sunflowers beginning to grow.

The sunflowers are beginning to grow in the garden.

In the beginning…(sunflowers)

The little kids love the garden worms.

Our granddaughters found worms in the garden.

And our helpers…
Our granddaughters  &  grandson   LOVE DIRT!
Best friends with WORMS!
(Put your coffee grounds into your garden…worms LOVE THEM!)

The black chicken helps in the garden.

The black chicken is in the coop.

The white chicken likes the garden.

The white chicken likes to eat the vegetables from the garden.

We also have 2 chickens…
Snow white (Black..I know…SNOW WHITE has BLACK HAIR)
and Rapunzel (  She used to have yellow feathers..)
Granddaughters named them…
Thank You, Disney!
We also live in the suburbs…NO FARM!
We just grow what we use & use what we grow!
So Valentine’s DAY is usually the “day”.
START YOUR SEEDS!

Plant your garden!

HUH?
How? Where?
HUH?
We use seed starter kits.
( Lowes, Home Depot, etc)

Seed starters help us get the plants for the garden.

We start the seeds for the garden in small starter kits.

We put one seed in each “pot”, water daily,
and keep in the sun…
INDOORS!
(Usually on MY kitchen table for a while). 🙁
As the seeds sprout…we move them into a small greenhouse outside for acclimation.

The greenhouse helps get out garden plants started.

A small hothouse helps the small plants grow.

As the seeds gain height and leaves…
We plant them in the gardens.
We try to plant/ sprout / acclimate/ plant in the gardens
at different times.
That way we always have produce ripening.
I also have herbs:
cilantro, parsley, basil, rosemary, chives, mint
growing year round.
This year we are trying something new.
( In addition to what we already have..)

We can plant our vegetables in the straw bales.

Straw bales for the new garden.

Straw Bale Gardening!
Researching it now.
Looks promising!
(I think I may propose this one at school too).
Great for growing plants in a small space!
A NEW garden!
OK..then what?
We have ALL of this summer produce!

What do we do with it?

(You can only eat so much…so fast!)
Well…
Hubby cans!
(Yes…HE  CANS!)
* This year SANTA brought him a new pressure canner!
Happy hubby…Happy  wife! 🙂

We can our produce from the garden.

After we harvest, we can to preserve our produce.

Peaches…yummy!

We made tomato sauce.

We made sauce from the garden tomatoes.

Salsa, spaghetti sauce, tomatoes.
ALL kept in storage for WINTER!
And me?
I dehydrate…I dehydrate WELL!

Dehydrated garden vegetables.

We dehydrate the garden vegetables.

Our garden produce is preserved.

Preserving fruits and vegetables.

I Love my dehydrator!
My new LOVE is
PERSIMMONS!

Orange persimmons from the garden.

Persimmons can be preserved.

I can’t wait to dehydrate them this fall.
Persimmons to snack on…ALL YEAR LONG!
YUMMY!
And ALL from the gardens!
According to 2018

2018 US Farmer's Almanac

The 2018 US Farmer’s Almanac

IT’S  TIME  TO  PLANT!

According to FARMER folklore,
The farmer’s timetable for planting is:
“When you can put your bare behind on the soil
& it is WARM…
time to plant!”
I haven’t actually tried that…
I  think I will wait for a little more SUN and make a good GUESS!
It’s almost time!
Get your gardens ready..it’s time to
GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY!  🙂

The farmer and his wife.

The farmer and his wife.

If you are looking for a fun gardening unit for your CLASSROOM…
*click on the FREE PREVIEW..:)

Robby Rabbit's Garden

Robby Rabbit’s Garden

Click  HERE to see the new packet.

 

Check out some more  GARDEN fun from 1stgradefireworks:
To see the SUNFLOWER UNIT
click  HERE

Teach your students about seeds with SUNFLOWER SEEDS A Plant Unit

Sunflower Seeds plant unit

seed germinators

Spring gardening 101 and a FREE CHICKEN DANCE!

I love SPRING!

DID I MENTION…

I LOVE SPRING!

This Spring I taught my students how to recycle water bottles into seed germinators!

Hello Spring

I Love Spring!

I am an AVID  Gardener!
 
LOVE to get my fingers in the dirt.
 
We call my hubby “FARMER WITHOUT A FARM!”
 
We are “suburbanites” with a backyard farm. Chickens included!
 

Luna our backyard chicken

Black Chicken

Sunshine our white backyard chicken

Sunshine – white chicken

 
 
More on that later.
 
 
This year we installed
 
PALLET  GARDENS!

How to plant in a Pallet Garden

Grow plants in a PALLET GARDEN!

So easy!  
Lay down wooden pallet.
Fill with potting soil & steer manure.
Plant!
 
We did seeds.
And more seeds. (Rotate your crops)
 
We didn’t have a lot of room for “vines”.. so we did NOT grow pumpkins.
 
We did grow some BEAUTIFUL SUNFLOWERS in the back.
They need A LOT OF room. They got 10-12 feet TALL!

                                Check out my Sunflower Seeds Plant Unit.                                                                                AWESOME!

 
Grow vegetables that you eat. I wanted to show the kids
ROOTS, STEMS, LEAVES, FLOWERS, etc.
Choose plants that will help with that!
 
We also made individual planters for the kids to take home.
 
As we had been studying EARTH DAY…
 
We RECYCLED 
water bottles as seed planters!

Water bottles for planting seeds.

Recycled Water bottles for planting.

Start with water bottles.
Cut them in half.
Poke a hole in the lid.
Tie a knot in string & thread through the hole.
When lid is ON…string hangs DOWN.
Flip the  TOP of bottle..into the  bottom.
The bottom will hold the water.

Add soil.

Cut bottles in half. Add soil.

Add soil.
And seeds to top.
Fill the bottom with water.
The string acts like a wick…to water itself!

Water bottles growing seeds.

Recycled water bottles with seeds.

Water bottles as seed germinators!

We have sprouts!

Soon… sprouts!
We took them HOME at OPEN HOUSE!
The kids were SO excited to show off their garden.
Maybe THEY will become MASTER GARDENERS some day!
 

Happy Dance!

Happy Dance!

 
In honor of my 
CHICKENS…
 
Chicken Dance is FREE!
 

Word Game

Chicken Dance Word Game from 1stgradefireworks

Happy Spring to all!

Classroom Management..from Harry Wong to Brag Tags!

Classroom Management.

I don't have my ducks in a row...but they are in the same pond...

I know.   I said it.

WAIT!  DON’T LEAVE!

Classroom Management isn’t a BAD  thing!

It’s how to create a CALM…so you can teach!

And isn’t THAT our GOAL?

There are a GAZILLION places to learn how to do

classroom management. 

When I was beginning my career, 

HARRY  WONG

was the JEDI of Classroom Management!

Book on classroom management

It’s a good read for ALL of us! 

After a trillion different management attempts,

 retries,

 changes, 

changes again..

I think I have found classroom management

that works

FOR ME!

And it HAS to WORK ..

FOR YOU! 

What the teacher next door is using

maybe the best thing, 

“since sliced bread”.

BUT

If it doesn’t work FOR YOU,

it’s USELESS!

So WHAT do I use?

Three step program.

(NO… not a 12 step program…ONLY 3)

As every primary teacher knows,

Consistency is the key to success.

Young kids like to know what is coming next.

They like to know ” IF THIS…THEN THAT!”

And they keep ME on my toes!

And pulling my hair out!

yes, they make me crazy sometimes

 I start my school year with group points.

It lasts about a month.

After they figure out which “friend” is going to be a problem in THIER group…

points don’t count.

I used to use “CLIP CHARTS”.

Great kids move up.

Those who need more “attention” moved down.

I had a great visual 

of the “cans” and the “cannots”.

Not for me.

And so began ..

MY  3  STEPS  to  MY  SANITY!

1. CLASS  DOJO

2. GOLDEN  TICKETS

3. BRAG TAGS

These 3 management strategies work for me.

If they help YOU…JUMP ON IN!

#1

CLASS  DOJO!

Class Dojo

Class Dojo for phone

* I am NOT receiving ANYTHING from DOJO…

I JUST  LOVE IT!

Class DOJO has allowed me 

to connect with

 students 

and  PARENTS

quickly and effectively!

Isn’t that the point of classroom management?

To effectively 

“manage” a situation 

and correct it, 

or support it,

 immediately?

YES!

Dojo is an online program where each student has an avatar. They gain or lose points as they follow the positive or negative 

attributes that YOU set up.

I had a BIG problem with tardies.

8-10 kids tardy…daily.

One of my positive attributes is

ATTENDANCE  ON  TIME.

Every student gets a point for being in their seat, 

ready to work when the bell rings!

I am down to 2 tardies..average..daily.

FOR me?   Success!!!

Dojo also sends an automatic email to parents on FRIDAY, detailing their child’s points for the week!

INSTANT PARENT NOTIFICATIONS

..and I didn’t have to do ANYTHING!  🙂

AND…

After parents have signed up for texts 

THAT IS THE HARD PART…GETTING THEM TO SIGN UP

(I AM RELENTLESS…I BUG THEM OVER & OVER)

I can text them at a moments notice.

AND I DO!

I also do class messages and send pictures.

I am just learning DOJO, too.

#lifelessons   #newtechtolearn

#2 Golden Tickets

THIS IS MY “GO TO”  PROGRAM!

IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM!

Simple.

Run a copy of Tickets on YELLOW OR GOLD PAPER.

CUT UP into tickets.

Keep in a box.

Golden Tickets for classroom management

Kids earn them for ANY positive interaction, action, or reaction.

Help a friend? TICKET!

Pick up the floor? Ticket!

Say kind words? Ticket!

A friend helped YOU?  Give them a TICKET!

And so MY STUDENTS start looking 

and listening 

for ways to give positive feedback

  tickets,

 to each other.

They have to tell their classmate what

they SAW or HEARD

 that earned their ticket! 

 SO  engaging!

After they get their ticket,

they write their name on the back.

No…sticky fingers.

Twice a week we COUNT tickets.

If they have 10

they can choose 

their reward!

I am NOT spending ANY  $$$$$$

on rewards!

NO need to!

Here are there rewards…

Posted rewards for golden tickets. Classroom management

 Reward CHOICES:

Tech Time …15 minutes on the ipads!

They can choose whatever app they want!

Friendly Lunch..ALL TIME FAVORITE:

I purchased 8 plastic placemats – 4 sets of 2

They choose 1 friend to give a placemat to, and they sit next to each other at lunch in the cafeteria, and eat lunch with their placemat and their friend. AFTER lunch, they sanitize the placemat, and put it in the office so I can pick them up after lunch.

ROYALTY for A DAY..

Students can choose to WEAR A CROWN, and be KING____ or QUEEN _____  for a day. The crowns?  BULLETIN BOARD borders I have

  used, scrounged, saved, begged for from others, 

on hand. Measure, staple, VOILA..instant CROWN!

Wear it, take it home. I DO staple a golden ticket to the front. EVERYONE will ask WHY DID YOU GET THE CROWN?

They can explain about GOLDEN TICKETS.

Teacher chair:

They get one of my BIG SQUISHY chairs at their desk for a day. They will spin, moved, be tall, and LOVE their BIG chair.

SWIP  SWAP:

Change desks with a partner FOR A DAY!

Use their books & stuff and THEY use YOURS!

Must clean each others desk

( put things back better than they were

when YOU got there..)

at the end of the day.

FREE Homework PASS!

NO homework for 1 night!

I write a note and put it in the HW folder so parent’s know.

FLUFFY  FRIEND:

They can bring a stuffed animal to school for 1 day.

Sits on their desk, works in teh classroom, cannot go outside.

If kids don’t have one..they can choose 1 of mine.

LINE Jumper:

First graders LOVE to “cut in line”. The LINE JUMPER can cut in line ANYWHERE they want, for 1day. They MUST tell the person behind them…”Excuse me, I am a LINE JUMPER!”

(You can NEVER step in front of someone

 without using the words EXCUSE ME

..and tell them WHY!)

#manners

Here we are in action.

Student on ipad for golden tickets rewards.

Golden tickets rewards.

Golden Ticket's reward.

Golden Tickets reward.

Stuffed animal as fluffy friends.

LONG POST…  sorry

#3

BRAG  TAGS!

We LOVE BRAG TAGS!

Many THANKS to

Lucky Little Learners

  Angie Olson @ Lucky Little Learners

Brag tags necklaces on the wall.

We started using the LINK necklaces for Brag tags.

TOO HARD to OPEN for our little fingers.

#toomanyforteacher

Drawers hold each set of brag tags.

BRAG TAG storage 🙂

Rings hold Brag tags.

Now we use RINGS instead of link chains.

Wear your BRAG TAG necklace home!

At the end of the MONTH, 

we take ALL of our Brag TAGS and BEADS

 OFF of our RINGS

and string them on a STRING.

Make a BRAG TAG necklace to WEAR HOME!

Most kids say they save them

 at home for the whole year!

Great HOME connection!

WHEW! Long post…SORRY.

I just want to give you all of the details so

YOU can choose 

what works for YOU!

Here are some other posts I have on

classroom management:

BRAG TAGS

What’s Up in Room 3?

Get  YOUR Golden Tickets HERE:

Brag Tags and Golden Tickets

For your time…

Here is a FREEBIE

from ME..to YOU!

Free POPCORN sort from 1stgradefireworks

So let me know…

What do YOU use for YOUR classroom MANAGEMENT?

Share your story in the comments.

I will choose 1 person this week

for a FREEBIE.

I will choose from my comments!

Leave me your email! 🙂

ENJOY!

Write On Journal Pages

Helping my EL’s with Writing.

My kiddos come with a SMALL  amount of ENGLISH print.

MOST..not all..but MOST have enough English to communicate 

everyday NEEDS to me.

BATHROOM, Recess, and When is LUNCH?

How to help EL’s write, when you don’t speak the same language?

We are OK.

BUT…

English PRINT?

WOWZA! Another WORLD!

FIRST…

 We begin…BEGIN…with  Phonemic Awareness.

Sounds…

ORAL…

NO PRINT!

Letter Sounds, Vocabulary Words, Rhymes, Alliterations,,

SOUNDS

and LOTS OF THEM!

Next…

We ADD 

PHONICS!

A symbol (letter/word) to the sounds.

Alphabet, HFW, Word Families, emergent readers, etc.

For those who make READING a priority…

they excell!

For those who don’t have a LOT of support at home..

It can take LONGER…

But..

THEN…

We WRITE!

We write well and we write A LOT!

Lists, poems, booklets, stories, and they LOVE IT!

The problem occurs when they don’t have an ENGLISH word to attach to the “word” in their head!

Vocabulary MUST be a HUGE part of the daily writing minilessons.

And RESOURCES!

We use Step Up to Writing…

Writing Stoplight

and

I “supplement”…Ummm

SUPPLANT

with

LUCY CAULKINS!

YESSSS!!!

http://www.heinemann.com/products/E07729.aspx

Click HERE to see it…

FINALLY..

We  use  my

WRITE ON!

 papers because they have 

VOCABULARY

built in!

Write ON! Writing and Vocabulary to help EL’s with Writing.
Write ON!
Write ON
Write ON
Write ON

Available HERE

My kids are doing GREAT!

(Most could only write their names at first!)

Daily PROGRESS! 🙂

First Grade Student Writing

First Grade Student Writing

First Grade Student Writing

And so..

we 

PRACTICE, we TALK, WE SING,

WE CHANT,

AND ..we

  WRITE ON!

And HERE is a FREEBIE to Help you on your way!

Check My Writing. Post Writing Checklist.
Check My Writing. Post Writing Checklist.

HI Ho, HI HO…It’s OFF to High-FrequencyWord Work we go!

High-Frequency Words…or  Sight Words

(depending on your generation..) 🙂

Back in the “OLDEN DAYS” when I became a teacher…

( um…Let’s just say in the late 80’s..)

I was taught to work on HFW (High Frequency Words) DAILY!

These are the words my student’s would see in their daily reading.

Some can be “sounded out” and some JUST HAVE TO BE MEMORIZED!

In order to memorize a word…

a student MUST work with it at least 30 times!

WHAT???!!!!

Each word???   YEP!

So we do…DAILY!

Now the list of grade level high-frequency words is ever changing.

You can see FRY WORD LISTS, DOLCH word lists, CURRICULUM word lists…

BUT the main focus is NOT on the LIST,

BUT WHAT YOU DO WITH IT!

Again…to embed a word into a first grader’s BRAIN..

they must work with it at least 30 times!

(Some kids more..some kids less)

HOW??

READ…..WRITE….SPEAK

Say it with me, “READ..WRITE..SPEAK”

OK. Now the work begins. PINTEREST!

High Frequency Words

 

High Frequency Words

 

High Frequency Words

 

 

High Frequency Words

 

High Frequency Words

 

These samples came from Pinterest..

MANY,MANY,MANY boards to help YOU

create a class list &

MANY, MANY, MANY

different activities to help your kids

WORK WITH HFW!

They need to practice DAILY!

I myself, am a KINESTHETIC learner…HANDS ON!

NOT a SUPER fan of worksheets.

( Yes..we do some..I AM ONLY HUMAN!)

Thank You PINTEREST!

High Frequency Words

 

High Frequency Words

 

High Frequency Words

 

Sight Words

 

And so you see…Practice..practice..practice..

This year my class is a One-to-one classroom with ipads!

(THANK YOU TO WHOMEVER DREAMED OF THIS!)

My newest LOVE is an app called

“SHOW ME!”

Ipad app Show Me

 

It’s an individual interactive whiteboard!

We play word games, I SPY, word ladders, etc.  each on their own tablet…

and then SWISH!

CLEAR ALL…and we start again!

We do daily practice for about 10 minutes.

That’s about ALL they need in a “chunk” of time 10-15 minutes.

Later in the day…they each have individual word rings.

I have sets available in my store or you can search TPT for others.

Here’s a sampling…

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Roll-Read-Color-180-Sight-Words-First-Grade-3728976
Roll. read. cover – Sight Words from 1stgradefireworks

Roll, Read, Color

TPT 1stgradefireworks

Happy HFW..Snowman Style

High Frequency Words Tpt 1stgradefireworks

 

High Frequency Words Tpt 1stgradefireworks
Fry First 129 Words
High Frequency Words Tpt 1stgradefireworks
High Frequency Words Tpt 1stgradefireworks

Available at:

1stgradefireworks TpT Store

And so…

HI  HO 

HI  HO

It’s OFF to HFW

WE GO!

Enjoy! 🙂