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.

I SEE PUMPKINS! Meet the “little ones”…

I SEE PUMPKINS! Meet the “little ones”…

My hubby, AKA  Farmer Without a Farm, is growing pumpkins!
In our backyard.
On the fence.
Across the lawn.
In EVERY garden we own!
And FINALLY…Yes, I say FINALLY…

WE HAVE PUMPKINS!

2 to be exact!
Meet the “little ones”.
Clara the colorful…
She is turning ORANGE the fastest.
Sidewinder SAM.
He is growing SIDEWAYS ON my ladder!
Just like the “STEPS” he can take to grow!
HAHAHA
Pumpkin  HUMOR 🙂 
And this is Junior!
Junior is was growing in our garden at school.
I work at a TITLE 1 school…someone STOLE him!
RIP junior.
You would have made a great  PIE!   🙂

To help my FIRSTIES get into the FALL  SPIRIT…

I have brought out the FALL GOODIES!
 Remember…it’s 95 degrees in NORCAL this week…
hard to feel FALLISH!

Fall BUNDLE

Falling for NOUNS ( Common Core Grade 1 )
and
FALL Fluency
BUNDLED TOGETHER to save $$
FALL  THEMATIC   UNIT
Includes:

Reading-
Reading Passage
Comprehension Printable
Reading Response Printables
Vocabulary Pocket Chart Cards
Poem ( And Cut a part printable )

Writing-
Spelling List Forms
Word Family Charts
HFW Lists
Journal Pages & Covers
Interactive Journal Pages
Flap Book Graphic Organizer

Assessments-
BPST printable
Fluency Assessment
HFW List

Grade 1 / 2

AND…
BRING ON ANYTHING  HALLOWEEN “ish”…
Finally,
MORE TASK CARDS
These are  ADDITION ONLY!
Good starting PACKET
Now…If I could just get the PUMPKINS
to
CARVE THEMSELVES!
( I Hate the SLIME!)
Oh, well.
Stay COOL my FRIENDS!
Fall Dilemma

My OCTOBER classroom DILEMMA!

 

So my October dilemma.

We have a two-week FALL vacation.

 

(NO COMPLAINING HERE!)

Celebrate!

WAHOO!!!

BUT…

We return on Oct. 18.

 MONDAY

21 days (exactly ) until…

YOU  KNOW  IT

Sunday, October 31, 2021.

Thank You HALLOWEEN for being on a weekend! 

Says EVERY teacher, EVERYWHERE!

Trick or Treat Kids

Happy Halloween!

HALLOWEEN!

Parties,

CANDY,

Kids who can’t wait to get home ( highly DISTRACTABLE!)

(some schools…not mine….)

COSTUMES!

So … My October 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 “HOLIDAY” stuff…and Promote the FALL  stuff?

Do I  add  THANKSGIVING?

Should I keep it ALL going until THANKSGIVING?

What to do?  What to do?????

Fall Leaves

FAll Leaves

BTW…   I  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE   FALL!

I love October!

My favorite season.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

Starbuck's Pumpkins Spiced Latte

Starbuck’s Pumpkins Spiced Latte

YUMMY!

But…

CONTENT is EVERYTHING!

My students 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?

October INTEGRATE!

I must teach SCIENCE and SOCIAL STUDIES!

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

So here is MY October plan:

Reading:

  • Nonfiction about pumpkins, apples, plants
  • Biographies 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 the 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!

 

Bear wrapped as mummy

Bear wrapped as MUMMY

I want MY Mummy!  🙂

Sorry…. couldn’t resist.

October 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 October BOOKS!

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

 about???

, 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 October MATH??

Lots of Graphs, addition & subtractionproblem-solving, story problems

 

ALL ABOUT THEMES!

(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…

Bat craft

Bat craftivity

BATS! 

Black Cat watercolor

Black Cat Watercolor

Black  Cats

Pumpkin plants in garden

Pumpkin plant in the garden

Growing  Pumpkins

Crock Pot applesauce

Crock pot applesauce

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!

Don’t you just LOVE OCTOBER?

To those of you who hung in there to the bottom of this LONG POST…

A FREEBIE FOR YOU!

Happy FALL!

BOO BANG!

Boo Bang

Boo Bang FREEBIE!

Fall, Apples, & Johnny Appleseed



It’s ALMOST HERE!

FALL

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 apple activity for fall!
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
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

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!)

___  not in a good “mind set”  today.

REMEMBER –   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 26  years!

We are going to retire together

the same year…in 3-4 years.

( We “pinky swore”…

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

Her mom worked in her room. (Before COVID)

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!

Finally, When do they make YOU feel appreciated?

When you are passing out report cards?

Is it when they forgot their homework?

Or better,  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!

10 Things You Need.

10 Teacher Items YOU need TODAY!

Back to School is coming soon. I am NOT ready! I love summer vacation.

BUT…I do need to start getting ready.

HOW? WHAT? WHEN?

My vacation brain won’t wrap around the thought of setting up my classroom!

WHAT do I need?

Help is on the way!

Here are 10 teacher items YOU need TODAY!

Like it? Pin it!

1. Flair Pens. You NEED at least 24. The MORE the Merrier!
|
2. Astrobright Paper – You will print EVERYTHING in colored paper!
|
3. Book Boxes- Where will your kids put all of their independent reading books?
|
4. storage drawers- Where to keep all of YOUR stuff?
|
5. pencil sharpener – THE BEST!
|
6. labels – After you get all of your ‘goodies” unpacked…LABEL everything so YOU can find them later!
|
7. Growth Mindset Posters – Helping kids and adults create a positive mindset.
|
8. Writing Centers – Every classroom needs a place for writing.
|
9. Teacher Planner – YOU KNOW YOU NEED THIS!!!
|
10. Balanced Literacy Resource – MY personal FAVORITE! Helps me remember what I need to do!
|
It’s time to start the thinking. Begin the planning. Open my teacher Bag.
Check out my BACK to School Pinterest Board! Pin If you LIKE!

First I need to jump in the pool again!
Maybe I’ll start tomorrow!

When you are ready…Let me know!

Toby Keith and his Red Solo Cup...what does that have to do with PAINTING?

Toby Keith, Red Solo Cups, and Watercolors

Red Solo Cups…
Oh, How I LOVE my RED SOLO CUPS!

Um…I’m talking about in my classroom LADIES & GENTS!
What DID YOU THINK…Hmmmm??? 🙂
My kiddos had a problem with markers.
No lids, mixing up colors, etc…
I needed a 12 step intervention. 

  QUICK!

Enter…RED SOLO CUPS! 
Toby Keith and Red solo Cups?
What does that have to do with markers & painting
in our first grade classroom?
Check it out!

( I hear the Toby Keith song in my head!)

What does that have to do with Markers?

Toby Keith and his Red Solo Cup…what does that have to do with Markers?

But… I need those Cups!

 

Here is our before… in a tub . 
ALL mixed up. YUCK!

 Enter my HERO!
RED SOLO CUP!
 RED SOLO CUP!
My firsties have become OCD about it!
ALL lids on! check
Colors separated! check
Markers standing tall! check
 
( RED SOLO CUP! RED SOLO CUP!
…sorry song stuck in my head!)
Thought I’d add some FIRSTIE LOVE TOO…
 
 
We never paint!
 Well, we haven’t until now.
So here is our gift to you!
 
EYE CANDY FOR GRADE 1 TEACHERS!
 
(Doesn’t take much to make us happy!) 
Enjoy!

Do you like to play games? GOTCHA!

I LOVE GAMES!

I really do.

My kiddos LOVE to play games.

They learn to take turns, to negotiate, to strategize…
and to win peacefully, 
and lose graciously.
So…I created a game.
Not just ANY game.
A game kindergartners can play WITH second graders…
AND  WIN! 🙂
Here is my newest product:
(Think 4-in-a-row type games.)

 

The directions are pretty simple…
Take turns placing your tokens on the MAT…
Try to get 4 in a row.
You can get 4 in a row horizontal, vertical, or diagonal!
BUT…be careful!
Your partner will try to BLOCK YOU!
When you BLOCK them…
YELL…

 

Multiple game mats are included.
You can play a variety of levels, as needed.
Differentiation at its BEST!

 

The tokens are what make the difference.
There are a variety of leveled tokens.
From ABCs & 123’s…to short vowels…to contractions, and more!
Players must READ before playing a token!
READ?  and have fun???   
WOW!

 

Packet includes:

3 differentiated game mats.

16 different themed player tokens.
Here is a PREVIEW of the packet.
Click Below
 
 
Happy Summer my friends!
Wendy  1stgradefireworks 
Young children love to read during Reading Workshop

How to Prepare for a Successful Reading Workshop in First Grade

Reading Workshop

“Creating a Community of Readers”

via…LUCY  CAULKINS!

This is my newest FAVORITE thing!

I LOVE Lucy Caulkin’s

READING, WRITING,

&

COMPREHENSION LESSONS

If you get a chance to hear her, see her, and/or youtube her…

DO IT!

When I teach reading, I don’t want my students to stop and ask for help.

I want them to have skills to be independent readers.

I want them to be problem-solvers.

So, I am…

Making a Community of Readers

How to create a community of readers

 How?

Before reading, take a sneak peek!

What do you do BEFORE reading?

Frontload any vocabulary that may change thinking, distort comprehension, or unfamiliar to them.

Take a picture walk. Cover the words.

Make them use the visual cues in the story.

Have them make predictions PRIOR to reading.

After reading, check their predictions.

After reading, think about it!

When you finish reading, do something!

 I LOVE this!

After reading..then what? DO SOMETHING!

Reread it for NEW information. Retell it to yourself or a friend. We use our 3 fingers retell. I love this part…DIGEST IT! Just as a good meal…when you are finished, appreciate it. Think about it.

 ENJOY IT!

When you finish readin,g read it AGAIN!

Read MORE!

 You are NEVER done!

When you finish…read more! My kiddos love to stack ALL of their books on the left..as

they finish reading a book…place it in a pile on their right. Keep reading! Their goal is to

read more every day! STAMINA! Reading MATS are used to make goals.

Our goals are to read MORE!

Read with your eyes. No need for fingers.

Use your eyes to read…not your fingers.

 We want kids to quit using their fingers to read.

Good readers use their EYES!

“SCOOP” up words (phrases) with your eyes. When reading, put 3-4 words together

and read the phrases! GREAT time to teach prepositions & prepositional phrases!

When reading, always reread the text for comprehension.

Always reread text

 Always, always…reread!

You will see more, read more, and understand more when you reread a story. Read it to a partner, a

parent, a friend. The same book can sound new when you are reading it the second or third time!

Lucy Caulkins Units of Study

Lucy Caulkins Thank You

A HUGE THANK YOU to Lucy Caulkins!

So there you are…

GET  READING!

Remember…

When in doubt…

ALWAYS make it

BALANCED  LITERACY

What part of a Balanced Literacy Classroom is reading?

For more early literacy reading and writing resources

Check out

 1stgradefireworks

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!

Get those Kinders Ready for First Grade!

I hear it a lot.

How do I know if my child is ready for FIRST GRADE?

He/she will be six.

Is he/she ready?

Well..as a “veteran”  

 FIRST GRADE teacher,

there are a few 

lessons EVERY Kindergartner should know

BEFORE starting FIRST GRADE.

 

What should kinder students know before entering first grade?

Helping kindergartners get ready for first grade.

Here are the 

5  MOST IMPORTANT THINGS

you can help your

kindergartner

get ready for

FIRST GRADE.

How to be ready for first grade.

number one

First and foremost…

they need to be able to

TIE THEIR OWN SHOES!

And KEEP THEM TIED!

child tying his shoes

Help your child learn to tie their own shoes

There is NOTHING worse than kids

running on the playground

tripping on 

THEIR OWN SHOELACES!

I cannot teach 25 students to tie their shoes.

Parents…please…teach your kids to tie their shoes!

Pinterest

Let’s get ready for first grade.

number two

a loose tooth hanging in a child's mouth

Your child will lose a tooth in first grade.

In first grade…they will might..maybe will,

LOSE A TOOTH!

They will might have a “wiggle” tooth.

I WILL NOT PULL IT OUT!

“I promise not to put MY hands in YOUR mouth,

AND you will NOT put YOUR hands in MINE!”

Please..discuss this AT HOME!

Almost ready for first grade.

number three

If your pants are too BIG…

get a BELT!

Not a belt with multiple straps, or a buckle that requires PLIERS!

PLEASE..a belt that can be put on and

 TAKEN OFF…QUICKLY!

Odds are..if the belt needs to come off…it needs to come off  FAST!

Parents, please…teach your kids how to use it!

dark brown belt with buckle

dark brown belt with a buckle

AMAZON

They are almost ready for first grade.

number four

Pencils are for writing with…
NOT CHEWING ON!

They are NOT TEETHING RINGS!

Please keep them (and most other first grade tools)

OUT OF THEIR MOUTH!

chewed up pencils with erasers

pencils with teeth marks on them

So close to being ready for first grade.

and last..

and MOST IMPORTANT..

I am your TEACHER.

blonde teacher

Mrs. McCarty

You may call me Mrs.

You may call me MOM.

I answer to GRANDMA.

I probably will answer to GRANDPA.

number five

Treat me kindly.

Say nice things.

Be Polite.

Follow our rules.

Smile.

Give me a hug.

And we will have a wonderful year in

FIRST  GRADE!


NOW…You are ready for First Grade!

OK..kindergarten parents…

GET THEM READY FOR FIRST GRADE! 🙂