Category Archives: Classroom Organization

Classroom Organization. Everything from Teacher Organization, Classroom Design, labels, flexible seating, and organizing student materials. Here is where we find help in the “daily” activities of the classroom. Tips and Tricks help the classroom run efficiently and effectively.

What does READ AT HOME really look like?

I am a BLOG STALKER!
I admit it.
 
I am ALWAYS trying to find the BEST, FASTEST, & EASIEST ways
to make my classroom run smoother & more effective while being 
academically successful.
I want my students to continue to practice their reading & writing skills and strategies 
AT HOME!

BUT..What does Read at HOME really look like?

 
Aren’t we ALL?
 
So each year I try to “change” a few things for the better.
NO THROWING THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATHWATER!
 
(  For YOU youngin’s…  Don’t get rid of the good stuff while trying NEW stuff! )
 
So here is something “NEW” ( or New to ME )  that I am doing this year!
 
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!
I have RAH ( Read AT Home ) envelopes…
Purchased at REALLY GREAT STUFF
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 by 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!
 

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  
Some nights I have them do a page or two from my
Book Reports.
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!
So then what?
If you have a parent who won’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!
BUT…
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..
 
 
 
 
Happy  Reading my Friends!
 
 
625 Valentine Cards in our classroom. Where do we keep them BEFORE the big day?

625 Valentine Cards??? Where do we Put them ALL?

 VALENTINE  CARDS

It’s that time of year when we share Valentine cards!

Kindness cards, Friendship Celebrations, Valentine Parties

Whatever YOUR site chooses to call it.

IT’S  HERE! Let the Valentine Card sharing begin!

The time of year when we color,cut & glue

to show our FRIENDS  that WE LOVE THEM!

Pinterest has LOTS ( I mean LOTS )

of Valentine IDEAS!

These are a few from one of my collaborative Pinterest boards

Valentine STEM Activity fro The Trendy Science Teacher

Valentine STEM Activity fro The Trendy Science Teacher

Valentine STEM Activity fro The Trendy Science Teacher

Check out this fun  Valentine Post  about

Valentine Resources

You need NOW!

 

Kindness Cards

Kindness Cards


CLICK HERE FOR FREEBIE

WE LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY!

But WHAT TO DO WITH ALL OF THOSE VALENTINE CARDS???

How to MANAGE them ALL?

2 days before our “Friendship Celebration”..

*We are NOT allowed to call it a VALENTINE celebration

(separation of CHURCH/STATE thing..)

we make our BAGS!

Now I have done LOTS & LOTS & LOTS of different types of cardholders…

(Again…THANK YOU PINTEREST!)

But I think the MOST important thing to remember is…

WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO PUT THEM?

If you have 25 students…these take up a LOT of space!

So the choice is yours!

Just remember…

ALWAYS…ALWAYS…make 1 extra!

(That student who was absent on CRAFTY day…will want a bag on PARTY day!)

ALSO….

Have your kiddos write THEIR NAME ONLY on the cards.

One in each bag…PLOP..PLOP…PLOP!

NO need to MATCH their friend’s name to the bag.

One for EVERYONE!

When we open our bags…we say THANK YOU to each person who gave us a card!

MANNERS COUNT!

So good luck.

Check your CRAFTING SUPPLIES.

Find our where you want them be..they will be there for two whole days.

AND enjoy!

Don’t forget to make one for yourself!

I am sure your kiddos will have “TREATS” for you too!

Do you NEED a few more Centers for Valentine’s Day?

Can You Make 10? Valentine Math Canter

Can You Make 10? Valentine Math Canter

Can You Make 10? Valentine Math Canter
Missing Addends Math Center for Valentine's Day

Missing Addends Math Center for Valentine’s Day

Missing Addends Math Center for Valentine’s Day
109 pages of Math Task Cards for Valentine's Math Center

109 pages of Math Task Cards for Valentine’s Math Center

Happy Friendship Day!

Wendy

1stgradefireworks

Helper Elf

Are YOU an ELF? A Christmas “HELPER” ELF?

Not, an ELF ON THE SHELF!

A REAL HELPER ELF!

It’s the MOST, WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

SANTA  CLAUS is COMIN’ TO TOWN!

Santa Claus Is Coming to TOWN!

First of all…
I work at a low socioeconomic, Title 1 school.

This time of year can be very hard for some kids.

Some families DON’T celebrate Christmas.

Some families can’t afford gifts.

Some are VERY proud and won’t accept donations.

This means…Santa & his elves don’t come to EVERY house.

So today..we had  THE TALK.


THE talk about what December, Christmas, and Santa

are REALLY  about.


GIVING & HELPING!

Then…
Today, we became HELPER  ELVES!

We talked about 

HOW we can HELP at HOME, 

at SCHOOL, 

and help our FRIENDS!

The kids talked about giving from the “heart”.

Our class meeting was SO enlightening!

My kids were SO engaged.

The conversation was NOT about “ME..ME..ME”.

They were SO excited to brainstorm  “What can I do for OTHERS?”

Sniff..sniff..made tears of joy come to my eyes!

IT WAS AWESOME!

And so..

Santa, you can come to ROOM 3.

(I have a feeling…he will)

Here are  some suggestions for YOU!

But for now..

WE WILL BE HELPING YOU, SANTA!

WE ARE HELPER ELVES!

To help YOU out in this BUSY month..

 Here are some 

CHRISTMAS Goodies

from  my TPT store.

1stgradefireworks

Here is a FREEBIE

from my store!

  MERRY CHRISTMAS, 

 Helper ELVES!

On the Blog...Work Smarter not Harder

Surviving December by Working SMARTER not HARDER

I Love the MONTRA…   Work SMARTER, Not HARDER

Sometimes I find something ( or do something )

that I think…

“DUH!!!  WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN DOING THIS FOREVER???”

This is one of those things…

Here is SPELLING for the Whole YEAR  to help you WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER!

Spelling BUNDLE

Here is SPELLING for the WHOLE YEAR!

Kinder Spelling

I Am in KINDER…see me SPELL!

KINDER SPELLING

We use MUST DO’s & MAY DO’s for centers.

MUST DO’s & May Do’s

Must do's & May Dos

Must do’s & May Dos

 Work SMARTER, Not HARDER

Have you ever used

REPOSITIONAL VINYL LETTERS??

OMG!  I LOVE THEM!

I got mine…at STAPLES

http://www.staples.com/Cosco-098135-Vinyl-Letter-C-N-1-Helvetica-Black/product_712405

BEFORE…last 23 YEARS…

I would write the numbers & Content areas

EVERY WEEK..

 Work SMARTER NOT HARDER!

NOW…I can just add the words / skills

& the kids ALWAYS know where to look!

You can erase over the letters

AND

when you remove them..

NOT sticky ucky  GLUE stuff!

I use multiple sizes for interest…

MY NAME is GIGANTIC!

(Don’t ask me how to spell…MRS. McCARTY )

Love Love Love this!

Again…as we begin a NEW YEAR…
a great time to
WORK SMARTER…NOT HARDER!

Balanced Literacy – Week 1 of 8 – READ ALOUDS

How to Fit it ALL IN?

The Guided Reading COMMAND CENTER

FREE from me to YOU!

 

Happy Holidays from 1stgradefireworks

Wendy

Do You Have a ROUTINE?

Do you have a daily ROUTINE?

I do!

First, I get up early.

Then, I get a cup of coffee.. that is ready for me.

(  I set it to brew the night before while I am doing dinner dishes).

Coffee in the Morning

There is NOTHING better than the smell of coffee in the morning. My BEST morning routine!

Next, I check my emails.

Later, I make breakfast & lunch.

Finally, I wake up hubby,

shower,  & get ready for work.

I LOVE my morning routine.

When things run smoothly…I know what to expect.

That’s how our kids feel in the classroom.

When routines work

EVERYONE knows what to expect & how to do it!

ROUTINES MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND!

Here are MY  top  3  Routines

 for a smooth running classroom.

first routine

The first routine

ENTERING  THE CLASSROOM ROUTINE:

I meet my kids on the playground.

Our “first” bell ( line up ) is at 8:20.

I go out to our line at 8:15 and  remind ALL of my students to get out of their BACKPACKS their BLACK homework folder (provided by me at the beginning of the year..black because I don’t use black for any other folder in my room..and their READ AT HOME envelope with TAKE HOME BOOKS. 

They have them “in their hands” before we walk to the door.

WHY?  

NO ONE has to “dig through” their backpacks when we get in the door. 

While we are at the door…I have a Home Depot shelving unit next to the door.

garage shelving unit

Gray Home Depot Garage shelving Unit. this helps with the beginning-of-the-day routines!

They put their backpacks and jackets ON THE SHELVES! Great beginning-of-the-day routine! NO backpacks or jackets on CHAIRS! No room!

 After we enter..2 baskets on the table next to the door. One “homework”..the other RAH (Read AT Home) Envelopes.

Black folders in HW basket, Book envelopes in RAH basket.

DONE!

(Any notes or OTHER STUFF…in HW basket).

NOW, they get a chair 

( stacked at the back of the room..see routine #3)

and WALK to their desk. They know the routines.

When the starting bell rings at 8:25

(5 minutes after we enter…)

I choose the HELPERS for the day.

You can only be a HELPER if you are sitting in your seat when the bell rings! I am prompt!

( No tardies, wanderers, “chatting”).

If you are TARDY…you won’t be a helper on that day if it’s your turn. You will have to wait until tomorrow if you are on time.

An incentive for getting to school ON TIME!

I choose my helpers. 

2 of my 10 helpers for the day are 

TECH  TEACHERS.

I ask the TECH  TEACHERS to choose a “quiet partner” to help them pass out Chromebooks ( We are a 1:1 school ) and earbuds ( they have their own in numbered baggies.

 (We number EVERYTHING!)

They get their Chromebooks, long into our district reading/phonics practice program, and GO TO WORK!

ALL of this takes 10 minutes.

8:20-8:30

NO MUSS…NO FUSS! Routines help manage the classroom!

second routine

The second routine

Transitions. THE WORST TIME OF THE DAY!

Solution: A NEW routine!

 

Kids are working. The “Hummm” of classroom work.

Happy Teacher.

And then…the timer goes OFF!

WE MUST STOP!

Time to TRANSITION TO SOMETHING ELSE!

NO!

First graders like to MOVE…and FAST!

So to help…we  FREEZE!

Change the ROUTINE!

When the timer goes off…we freeze! I tell them they have one minute to clean up and return to their desks.

Always return to their desk.

Kind of like their “LANDING  PAD”.

After everyone is sitting down ( well, almost everyone..there are always the 1-2 stragglers )

I say.. “One, two, three EYES ON ME!” 

They respond  ” One, two, EYES ON YOU!”

And then a call out… ( I have a list )

Could be “MACARONI & CHEESE”

They respond “EVERYBODY FREEZE!”

AND THEY DO!

I hold them “frozen” for 3-4 seconds.

THEY LOVE THIS!

While a few stragglers are getting to their desk, we play a game! A TRANSITION game. I only need a doc camera, my riddle cards, and a SOFT VOICE. If they can’t hear me..they can’t play! See my post on the TRANSITION GAME!

Who Am I Animal Classification Cards to help with transition routines.

Who Am I Animal Classification Cards… 52 different animals.

After we are settled, I can give directions for our next

activity.  I do this SAME ROUTINE ALL DAY FOR TRANSITIONS!

No problems!

third routine

The third routine!

The LAST 30 minutes of CLASS. End-of-the-day routines.

It’s almost OVER!

The day has come to an end.

HOW TO GET THEM OUT THE DOOR?

STOP!

Many things to do BEFORE we leave.

REMEMBER…The class is ALL of yours.

It’s NOT my job to clean up, put everything away, and pick up the classroom AFTER they leave.

We ALL work here. The community is for ALL of us.

We dismiss at 2:30.

Clean-up ROUTINES! 

At 2:10 

we STOP, put our work away,

 and FREEZE to go back to our desks.

At 2:15  we begin the EXIT PROCESS.

My 2 TECH TEACHERS (helpers) put ALL of the Chromebooks back into the cart ( I have taught them HOW to do this MANY TIMES.They know the routines.)

*UPDATE… They now put them in the cart & plug them in! I put a number on each Chromebook with Sharpie Paint Pens. Then I put a RED dot (Sharpie PAINT pen) on the side above the plug. They know ALL the red dots must line up, every number has to have a matching Chromebook, and they PLUG them in on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays! TECH TEACHERS are awesome!  

2 of my other HELPERS are the 

CLEAN UP CREW.

They EACH choose a ‘friend’ to help them

STACK ALL OF THE CHAIRS

into stacks of 6.

Push the stacks to the back of the room, and clean all papers, crayons, pencils from the floor.

While these HELPERS are working SILENTLY..

the rest of the class goes to the carpet. Workers who are TOO LOUD..can be FIRED! If you don’t do your job in the real world with a “respectful” tone..YOU can be fired! #lifelessons 

Each day 5-6 of my students can come to 

AUTHOR’S  CHAIR Routine.

( 5  color coded groups )

As we transition to the carpet, I ask “RED GROUP” if they would like to “READ…in the teacher’s chair” OR  PASS (for this week).

They read one story from their JOURNAL. Their choice.

We LISTEN ( being a good audience )

and then they can choose 1 person to

“ASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTION”.

We must listen, to formulate a HOT question. 

At the beginning of the year, we learn the difference between a HOT question…and a STORY!

After all 5 have read…I have one student bring me EVERYTHING from their cubby. (Student mailboxes ).

I go over ALL work we are taking home.

I open the BLACK  HOMEWORK folder, where I have taken out last night’s HW and put in tonight’s HW.

and

I show them their RAH books to read tonight.

After all of our work has been reviewed,

I excuse them 3 at a time to clean out their cubbies, take everything to their desk, get their backpack & jacket, take it to their desk, LANDING PAD, and pack up to go home.

When they are ready ..

LINE  UP!

I start a GOODBYE CHANT…

“bye bye Butterfly..See you later alligator…etc”

They must be ready to go before we end the chant.

This takes a little practice.

NO… A LOT OF PRACTICE!

BUT…

We can get out the door in 5 minutes!

This ends my 

TOP 3 ROUTINES

for a smooth running classroom.

Many more throughout the day.

I like routines in MY LIFE.

So do the KIDS!

What routines do you have that you do EVERY DAY?

Pick your top one & share in the comments.

We can ALL learn for each other!

Here are a few Classroom Management HELPERS to help YOU set ROUTINES!

 

Happy  DAY!

Fall, Apples, & Johnny Appleseed



It’s ALMOST HERE!

FALL
The leaves will be changing, sweaters & boots come out of the closet, & PUMPKIN SPICED LATTE!

The world will be “balanced” again!

To celebrate the 
COMING OF THE NEW SEASON

I have a new product!
I LOVE APPLES!
Apple pie, apple cake, applesauce…apple everything!

September is the MONTH of celebrations!
We celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday too.
We make… APPLESAUCE!


To add to this year’s celebration..
I have a NEW product.

Apples are the BEST!


September Literacy Booklets for Apples and Johnny Appleseed.

Booklet style..2 on a page..B/W

21 PAGES of Reading, Graphic organizers, Word Work, Grammar, labeling, & Writing!
All in ONE BOOKLET!
Great for Whole Class, Small groups, Partner Work, Independent practice.

Early Finishers WILL LOVE THIS!

Fall themed. 

If you need more Literacy Products… follow 1stgradefireworks

I hope you can enjoy 
APPLES ARE THE BEST!

Follow my PINTEREST boards for MORE
FALL  FUN!!!

My October Dilemma…What to teach? Freebie!

So my dilemma.
We have a two week vacation
 from Oct. 1-Oct. 15.

(NO COMPLAINING HERE!)
BUT…

We return on Oct. 16.

 MONDAY

15 days (exactly ) until….

YOU  KNOW  IT

TUESDAY, October 31, 2017

HALLOWEEN!
Parties,
CANDY,
Kids who can’t wait to get home ( highly DISTRACTABLE!)
(some schools…not mine….)
COSTUMES!

So …
My  dilemma.

When we go back,
Do I put out HALLOWEEN themed centers?
Do I keep it OCTOBERish with Columbus, Halloween, Fall, Pumpkins,etc?
Do I just “touch” on the “HOLDIAY” stuff…and Promote the FALL  stuff?
Do I  add  THANKSGIVING?

Should I keep it ALL going until THANKSGIVING?

What to do?  What to do?????

BTW…   I  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE   FALL!
My favorite  season.

YUMMY!
But…
CONTENT is EVERYTHING!
My student’s MUST take a BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT in December.
I want them to do well.

( I don’t think there will be a HALLOWEEN question on it.)
Unless it’s about 

HOW MANY CANDIES DID YOU EAT ALL TOGETHER?

So ..what to do?   What  to do?

INTEGRATE!

I must teach SCIENCE and SOCIAL STUDIES!

( Living things…life cycle…Plants/animals…Lifestyles Long Ago..)

So here is MY plan:

Reading:
  • Nonfiction about pumpkins, apples, plants
  • Biography about Christopher Columbus, Squanto
  • Fiction about Fall, Halloween, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving
I am checking my district curriculum ( yes, we have one )
for REQUIRED (Tested )  Skills & Strategies for this quarter.

As we delve into our reading…I make SURE to incorporate TESTED strategies.
Questioning? Sequencing? Retelling? Etc..etc…

Vocabulary?   Again…check NECESSARY vocabulary for success!
I spend A LOT of time on necessary vocabulary. I have 10-12  English Language Learners.
They need visuals, modeling, & practice before they can “TAKE ON” the new information.

Phonics?   Spelling?   Grammar? 
 Required phonics skills for this quarter.
What to use for  Spelling? 
BOTH!
  Required spelling skills AND  thematic vocabulary words. 
WHAT?      WHY?

Because…I want them to have some  INTRINSIC vocabulary to use easily in their..
WRITING!

I want MY Mummy!  🙂
Sorry….couldn’t  resist.
Writing:

  • “How To”..grow..carve…etc… about pumpkins, apples, plants
  • “Informative”  about Christopher Columbus, Squanto,Pilgrims
  • “Narrative”  about Fall, Halloween, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving
  • Thank You cards, Invitations, Lists, Etc.
Again….I am checking my district curriculum 
for REQUIRED (Tested )  Skills & Strategies for this quarter.

Whatever our REQUIRED writing prompt will be
( I already know mine  is INFORMATIVE)

We will practice, practice, practice!
I won’t skip the other genres.
Just FOCUS on the INFORMATIVE!

BUT wait!
I want crafts! I want CUTSIE! I want products! 
I Love BOOKS!

And so…we will make CUTSIE lapbooks, paintings, charts, stories & crafts
 about???

Fall, Halloween, pumpkins, apples
, plants, Christopher Columbus, 
Squanto, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving

DON’T  tell  our FIRE MARSHALL..

I might HANG THINGS UP!
Definitely!

I won’t tell,  if YOU won’t tell.

MATH:
  • addition / subtraction
  • missing addends
  • place value
  • graphing
  • story problems

And MATH??
Lots of Graphs, addition & subtraction, problem solving, story problems
ALL ABOUT THEMES!

How many apples, pumpkin seeds, candies, turkies, indians, etc, etc.
(Math Journals are GREAT for this!)

and, yes..

I will need to keep it going until Thanksgiving.
And I will need to use EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY!
And yes… it will take planning, and prepping…

BATS! 



Black  Cats

Growing  Pumpkins

Making APPLESAUCE!
Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed!


And YES
I WILL LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

You see…
FALL IS MY FAVORITE SEASON OF THE YEAR!
To those of you who hung in there to the bottom of this LONG POST…
A FREEBIE FOR YOU!
Happy FALL!

How Calendar Time Starts MY Day!

My favorite CALENDAR,,,Krista @ Creative Clips Paper
My favorite CALENDAR,,,Krista @ Creative Clips Paper

Calendar Time. I’m NOT sure WHO needs it more..

ME?   or my students?  

Coffee?

Restroom Time?

RECESS????

NO!

CALENDAR  TIME!

I Love Calendar Time.

I Love reading through the MONTH.

What’s happening THIS week

Next Week.

All month!

It keeps my “getting older” brain…

FOCUSED!

It helps my kiddos stay on top of events for this week and this month.

This week we are discussing:

CALENDAR TIME

and

MORNING  MEETINGS!

classroom calendar
My classroom calendar wall

My calendar is next to my focus board.

This is where we begin our morning meeting.

After vocabulary discussions, calendar,

 days of the week ,months of the year, HFW cards..

I get to do a READ  ALOUD!

Working on reading strategies!

All of this in about 15-20 minutes!

Whew!

Classroom calendar
first grade calendar…How to start the day!

My calendar is in PLACE VALUE numbers!

I got it HERE.

I also have MELONHEADZ Holiday cards.

LOVE THEM TOO!

I try to “release” the CALENDAR instruction to my students as the year progresses.

By the end of the yer, THEY lead the calendar time.

But , I still get to do the READ ALOUD!

I LOVE IT!

Just a quick shout out to

Krista@Creative Clips Papers Collection

Creative Clips Paper Products
teacher paper calendar

This is MY Calendar!

I use it every DAY!

My Preps, meetings, Notes, appointments, etc.

AND  I  GET  TO  USE  MY  FLAIR  PENS!  🙂

One PAD lasts 2 years!  

I LOVE MINE! 

I do MATH Calendar after lunch.

Math wall, focus wall, math calendar wall

We go back to number of days in school, place value, etc.

This begins my REVIEW of math concepts BEFORE we begin anything new!

We count to 120 by 5’s & 10’s ..2’s to 50 at the end of the year.

This is my FAVORITE!

monkey math, first grade math

It ALL begins with Calendar TIME.

Check it out on PINTEREST and TPT!

Can reading be the #1 predictor of academic success?

First and Foremost,

Reading is the #1 predictor of academic success.


Consider this my DISCLAIMER…

I am NOT  A  College Professor.

I do NOT have a MASTERS ( or above ) 

in ANYTHING!

I am just a teacher.

A first-grade teacher.

A first-grade reading teacher.

A Veteran (27yrs ), a first-grade teacher,

in a TITLE 1 SCHOOL!

I have seen a LOT! Done a LOT!

Hear me ROAR!!!!!

 So, I repeat.

I am a teacher. I teach reading.

circle of students looking at books

(Aren’t they cute????)

I have been through:

Whole Language

Environmental Print

Interactive Writing

Phonemic Awareness

Leveled Readers ( DRA, GSP, AR, Lexile)

Phonics

Words Their Way

HFW

Sight Words

High-Interest Reading Books

SIPPS

Read Naturally

Daily 5

And 

A MULTITUDE OF PUBLISHER’S CURRICULUM!

New sets every 7 years!

Next, having said this…

1 thing most curriculum’s have in common :

READ!

READ A LOT!

And then…READ SOME MORE!

Young girl reading a book

So …

My little sisters…

YES…both of my LITTLE SISTER’S are 

PRIMARY TEACHERS!

We were discussing school.

Yes… we do that!

 We are trying to WRAP our minds around the

“READ…READ…READ more”

and they will 

“GET IT!”  (way of thinking.)

happy baby

Well, maybe

I  LOVE reading with kiddos!

See my post here about the

 GUIDED READING TABLE!

But then my concern is…

When I “release” them to read,

When I want them to become INDEPENDENT readers,

Where do they “learn” the skills to use when they “get stuck”?

Will they use strategies, when they don’t know what’s happening?

When a story isn’t making sense…do they keep reading?

If they keep reading…

Will all the skills and strategies come TOGETHER?

At a recent PD, my little sis said she understood the 

READ, READ, READ philosophy.

Integrate science, social studies, math, technology

INTO  literacy!

YES!

Writing and Reading

COMPLIMENT  and Coexist

WITH  each other!

You can’t have one without the other!

THEY NEED EACH OTHER!

BUT…

-Me  SPEAKING-

on my soapbox

There needs to be a BALANCE of:

Skills & Strategies

in conjunction with independent reading & writing!

THERE!

I said IT!

Reading & Writing SKILLS:

Letter Sounds

Blends

Vowels

Word Families

Chunks

Grammar

Punctuation

High-Frequency Words

Capitalization

Handwriting

and MORE!

Comprehension

Questioning

Summarizing

etc, etc, etc…

(I sound like my Education College Professors!)

I was listening!

ALL of these “lessons” MUST be taught

IN CONJUNCTION with 

Reading & Writing!

Yes…To be a better reader…

YOU  MUST  READ!

BUT…to be a better reader who UNDERSTANDS…

You must have skills and strategies  to use

WHEN  you read and write!

NOW…CAUTION!!!

baby with glasses

Unless you are teaching ADULTS in a COLLEGE CLASS…

A 40-minute LECTURE on diagramming sentences

IS NOT…I REPEAT…

NOT

the way to do it!

If you WANT to spend 40 minutes discussing grammar…

CHUNK IT!

Read a little.

Discuss it.

Let it soak in.

And do it again. And again. and again!

READ!

Do 2-3 MINILESSONS over a few days…

Let it SINK IN!

Show  kiddos:

  What it looks like.

Where to find it.

How to use it.

Why we use it.

When to ask for help.

Kinder-Grade 1-Grade 2 teachers…

UNITE!

Mini-Lessons with a WORKSHOP!

Use SMALL Groups for STRATEGY & Skill Groups!

Let kiddos have a chance to PRACTICE

what YOU have taught them!

Let it SINK IN!

And Then…

LET  THEM  READ!

and 

READ!

and

READ!

and then

WRITE…and write, some more!

2 kids reading books

readl to self

independent reading

small group reading

Skills, Strategies, Reading, Writing

They will become “BETTER”…

and isn’t that what we ALL want to be?

BETTER!

Need some HELP?

My friend, Alison, at 

Learning at The Primary Pond

 

Button from Learning at The Primary Pond

learningattheprimarypond.com

has a great post about

What Does Reading Workshop Look Like In The Primary Grades?

what does reading workshop loolk like in the primary grades?

Here are some “HELPERS” for YOU!

go to: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/1stgradefireworks

Click HERE for more reading & writing products!

   

  

Teacher appreciation at graduation.

What is Teacher Appreciation? It might SURPRISE you!

What is TEACHER APPRECIATION?

I am a VETERAN teacher.

NO.

 I have NOT fought in a WAR.

I have taught in GRADE 1

 ( exclusively )

for over 25 years!

WOW!

( Never “graduated” to second grade..as my students tell me!) 🙂

Do kids appreciate their teacher?

Kids graduating from elementary class.

But…

I have changed my “VIEW” on teacher appreciation.

We ALL want to be appreciated.

We want to be recognized for

SOMETHING “GOOD”

 we have done!

But…

things can get a little …

OUT OF HAND!

I believe…

YES…

I believe there are

those who are

APPRECIATED

and those who

WISH THEY WERE!

Super Teacher

Super Teacher

I will say this ONE TIME…

IT  IS  NOT  ABOUT  TEST SCORES!

The teacher’s with the SUPER highest test scores

are NOT, always,

the teachers who are

APPRECIATED the MOST!

Now…disclaimer…teachers work WAY TOO hard!

I got that!

Some are SOOOOOO  focused on the “data”…

they forget, or can’t “document” the traits of the child the “data” came from!

Nowhere is there a box to check that says:

___  Didn’t have breakfast ( or dinner the night before ).

___ Couldn’t sleep because parents were arguing LOUDLY!

___ No one would help with homework/reading ( for the past two weeks!)

or

___  not in a good “mind set”  today.

BUT…

these are kids!

This is life!

To attach a “number” to a student based on “today’s testing module”

is NOT

 what teaching is all about!

( Ok sorry…OFF my soapbox!)

So,

Teacher Appreciation.

Where? How? When?

Admin's appreciate teachers.

Administrator’s appreciate a teacher’s work.

Admin’s…

Please ..I don’t need a new pen with my school name on it.

If YOU really want to show me your appreciation…

HAVE MY BACK during an IEP

when ‘the team” says

I NEED TO DO MORE!

By the time I have gotten to his stage…

I HAVE DONE ALL I CAN DO!

Take the stand that I AM DONE!

SEND ME SOME HELP!

Now I have great admin’s…

I know they have my back!

THAT’s  APPRECIATION!

If you want to “give” me something…

…TAKE MY RECESS DUTY!

…Take my class for an hour at the end of the day, if MY child is at home sick!

… Come in and do reading groups once in a while

( an extra adult doing centers is ALWAYS appreciated).

You see…it’s NOT about the “things”

it’s about WHAT you DO!

How do you know if your “team” appreciates YOU?

Do your working peers appreciate YOU?

Teacher groups working together.

Do you “share”?

Do you “follow through?”

Do you “care” about each other?

My “teaching partner”…

and I have taught next to each other

( rooms 3 & 4)

for 20  years!

We are going to retire together

the same year…in 5-6 years.

( We “pinky swore”…

..as long as nothing catastrophic happens before then).

Her mom works in her room.

I call her MOM!

Our student’s think we are

SISTERS!

Teacher friends appreciate each other!

Teacher friends

See the family “resemblance”?

In my heart…SOUL SISTERS!

We run homework for each other.

We share our students.

We laugh, we cry, we CARE about each other!

We are NOT the ONLY grade 1 teachers.

We have 1-2 others who teach with us.

( Depending on the year and student numbers).

We ALWAYS include them!

This is NOT a

CLOSE YOUR DOOR & DO YOUR THING!

NOPE!

WE DO!

Together.

Feel appreciated? YEP! Daily.

( I could have transferred to another school in MY district..many times!)

NOT LEAVING!

LOVE MY

CRAZY TITLE 1 school!

and then…

Your students…

Students appreciate the work their teacher does.

First Grade students celebrating with an appreciated teacher!

When do they make YOU feel appreciated?

Is it when you are passing out report cards?

Is it when they forgot their homework?

Is it when they have interrupted you for the 1000th time that day?

Probably NOT!

It’s when that SAME little girl walks in EVERY morning

and says…

“Can I have a HUG?”

or

When the little boy who STUTTERS ( severely )…

asks if he can READ his newest story

TO THE CLASS!

( And EVERYONE cheers  for him!)

or

The “behavior problem” child

who knows ( his MAMA tells him a lot )

that he is a PROBLEM…

and he hands me a heart he made with a picture of me & him!

( Melts my heart..right before he hits another student!)

and last…

the “older students” who come back…

just to say HI!

Graduation Caps to tell teachers the are appreciated.

Graduation Caps

or…

“I got my driver’s license & I promise to be safe..just like you said!”

“I got a full-ride scholarship…to HARVARD!”.. yes it did happen!

“I want to be back in first grade so I can PAINT!”

“Thank you, Mrs. McCarty, for listening to me!”

Giggles, Grins, Hugs, & High Fives to 

ALL of YOU!

YOU make a difference!