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.

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!

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!

Why Am I Changing My Classroom Library Again?

Change my Classroom Library…AGAIN?

OH, NO YOU DON’T!!!!

 

So again…WHAT AM I DOING???


REDOING MY CLASSROOM LIBRARY!

WHAT????   AGAIN???? NO!!!!!!!
So, How many times do I have to do it..before I LIKE it??

Here is the BEFORE…

Classroom Library- before or after?
Classroom Library- before or after?

 

Classroom Library

So, why? Oh, why?

Why mess with a GOOD thing? ( Can you hear the shame in my voice?)
BECAUSE. Because I know what wonderful books are in the tubs.

BUT …  the kids DON’T!
They know their favorites. They go to the same tub over & over. I LOVE THAT.BUT…
How do you know… there might be a BOOK you would LOVE BETTER!

They don’t search. They just go to what they know.


SO…I am expanding their KNOWLEDGE BASE!


I have decided to TAKE AWAY THE TUBS!

WHAT???? I know…you with OCD will HATE ME!
WHY?

Because..it’s not MY library…it’s OURS!

I am going to dump EVERY book in a pile in the middle of our carpet area.

AND WE WILL SORT!


Common core says NONFICTION is a PRIORITY!

My kids don’t even know WHAT Nonfiction books we have!

So…we shall sort!

Fiction…Nonfiction…author study…science…etc..etc..etc…NOT ME!

Not my SUMMER! (again )

OURS…ALL OF US!


(Do not do this the day your admin is observing YOU!)

This will take time…time well spent!

My thoughts are to have the kids make labels…NOT ME!

And put them right ON THE SHELF!

YES…ON THE SHELF!

They take ownership,  so they can put things away!

Not ME!

Others have perservered…it IS POSSIBLE!

WOW! A Classroom library that mimics a PUBLIC LIBRARY!???


They will know HOW to USE a PUBLIC LIBARY!

Not “What tub is LIBRARY——-  book in?” Hmm…


Food for thought.


So…if you are thinking of RAISING THE BAR in YOUR classroom library…


LET THEM DO IT!


Close your eyes…change your MINDSET..and collaborate WITH YOUR STUDENTS!


They might surprise YOU!

Classroom Management with BRAG TAGS!

Read At Home

 

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
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!
|
I NEED to start 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!

GAME CHANGER!!!

VOCABULARY BANNERS

I love it when SOMETHING WORKS!

YESSSS!!!!

I have

discovered, learned, found a BETTER WAY!

I LOVE  BANNERS

Obviously..

So  Does  PINTEREST!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/211317407494866485/

and so…

I needed some vocabulary words for MY classroom.

Different ones for EACH MONTH.

FAST & EASY for me.

High Interest for Kiddos.

TADA!

Vocabulary Banners

I have a

GAME  CHANGER

for YOU!

Tie a triple KNOT!

Yes, a TRIPLE KNOT…and staple it to one side of your board ( or window ).

Measure side to side. Add 3-4 inches!

Tie another triple knot and staple to the other side.

( I measured to make sure both sides were LEVEL.)

I know…those of you who know me… I NEVER MEASURE!

EYEBALL  IT!

But…I want to do this ONE TIME…not taking down the yarn until the END OF THE YEAR!

Staple BOTH sides of the KNOT!

The Knot will HOLD the yarn. NO SLIDING!

 

HERE IS THE 

GAME  CHANGER…

After you have laminated the banner ( OR TAPE THE TOP EDGE BEFORE

you HOLE PUNCH!)

Use a hole punch to make two holes at the top.

I went down about ( No measuring there ) a 1/2″.

THEN…

SLIT THE HOLE TO THE TOP!

( SEE  the  PICTURE )

WHAT??????

“NO! Then it will fall off!”

NOT!

No one is pulling on these. They are for

LOOKING…NOT  TOUCHING!

What this does is allows you to change the BANNER page

without having to

remove & put up a new string!

JUST CHANGE THE BANNERS!

YESSS!!!

Alternate sides when you add the vocab. cards.

I wanted an ODD number…

so I could have 1 in the middle.

Add another layer.

Same  directions.

I cheated in the middle layer.

Stapled the middle card ( so the arch would be close to the others).

TADA!

WONDERFUL Vocabulary words at my writing center for kiddos to use!

BIG pictures…spelling…variety

for EL’s, independent work, & everyday  writing!

And i can change them each month…

IN A FLASH!

Just change the cards…not the string!

Here are  my

  vocabulary banners

And so..

A GAME CHANGER

for me!

 

Happy Back to School!

Are YOU  ready?

Flexible Seating: Stools, rockers, rugs, and seats…For READING??

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
 
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
 
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
 
10 things to know about flexible seating
 
flexible seating
 

 

If you want to learn MORE about reading
check out these blog posts:
 

Can reading be the #1 predictor of academic success?

First and Foremost,

Reading is the #1 predictor of academic success.

Students NEED to READ!

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!

Students NEED to READ!

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 curricula have in common :

Students NEED to READ!

READ A LOT!

And then…READ SOME MORE!

Young girl reading a book

So …

My little sisters…

YES…both of my LITTLE SISTERS  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?

Students NEED to READ!

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!

Students NEED to READ!

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…

Students NEED to 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…

Students NEED to 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!

   

  

Where do I put ALL of this “CENTER”… stuff????

Where Do I Put ALL of my CENTER Supplies?

Today my tip is about storing ALL of those center supplies!
Who doesn’t LOVE all of those cute centers!
Holiday centers, reading centers, writing centers, skill centers…
And so on, and so on...
BUT
WHERE DO I PUT ALL OF THEM????

Where Do I Put ALL of my CENTER Supplies?

How do I store all of this stuff???
Well…I have a solution.
 
I LOVE Sterilite drawers!
 
NO…I mean
 I REALLY LOVE SERILITE DRAWERS!
 I did NOT put the casters on them.
I line them up on my counter…
I TOLD YOU I LOVE My drawers!
I teach 9 months a year ( Approximately )
SO…
 
9  English Language Arts drawers 
AND
9 Math drawers!
 
Conveniently they come in stacks of 3! 
These fit nicely on my counter.
9 ELA drawers
I used scrapbook paper to “cover” the front of the drawers.
(Hides the mess  contents  inside…)
9 Math drawers…Math is blue..just for me!

Where Do I Put ALL of my CENTER Supplies?

How do I organize it all?

Each drawer has a label on the front:
Each drawer has a month
AND
The skills my MATH PROGRAM teaches each month.
Yes, I have a math program I must follow.
My kids are assessed on these skills.
So I organize them by the skill for each theme taught each month.
 I always, ALWAYS need an ETC drawer!
Who doesn’t have EXTRAS???
I partnered up the first two months of school to get an extra MATH drawer.
Mostly the same concepts for the first two months.
Each ELA drawer has the same.
Each one has a month and the skills taught in my ELA Program!
Yes, we also have an ELA program!
Tested skills… 
So now..my drawers are labeled…NOW WHAT???
As I create or purchase centers,
I laminate, cut apart, and put in GALLON ZIP-LOCK BAGS!
Then…place in the drawer by SKILL!!
What about cutesie ones that are holiday-themed, but in the wrong month?
FOR example…
I teach short a & short i in August..
what if I have a cute short a center with SANTA on it?
SO WHAT?
MY KIDS LOVE SEEING SANTA IN AUGUST!
or
Bring it out again in December for review…
It won’t hurt them!
Centers are for independent practice…ALL THE TIME!
When we finish a theme…place them back in the drawer! DONE!
Sometimes drawers get “messy”…
THAT’S WHY WE COVER THEM!
Close the drawer & walk away!
Can you see me SMILE?
So, as you are doing SPRING CLEANING or
this SUMMER when you have “extra” time…
Think about drawers…I LOVE THEM!
( I have another set for Guided Reading…6 drawers for 6 groups!)
Here is a freebie of drawer labels for YOU…
 
Leave me a comment.
 How  do YOU organize your centers?
PS… Here are a few LINKS to centers in MY store!

How do YOU FIT IT ALL IN? Balanced Literacy, that is!

BALANCED LITERACY IN FIRST GRADE!

I can’t believe this is year 30!

MY own twins were in first grade

My first year of teaching!
( NOT in my class…TG…)

Each year things CHANGE!

 Literacy has changed!

It is SO very important!
CHANGE is NOT a BAD thing!
It can make you rethink, reevaluate, redo, remake, revitalize!

After 30 years…I can HONESTLY say..

I will NOT throw out the BABY with the BATHWATER!

WHAT????

OK…We have a new curriculum.  AGAIN!
EVERY  7 YEARS.
Whether you want it …or NOT!

And so, here we go again.

It really doesn’t matter what “program” you give me.

BALANCED  Literacy
is
BALANCED Literacy

My “STRESS” level rises when I try to plan.
 

Reality check…

Some days I can…some days I can’t.

 

It’s ok. 
Life won’t end if you don’t do it ALL!
BUT…
 
TRY!
 
Let’s start with :
 

 #1.. READ ALOUDS for Literacy Mentor Texts

 
READ  ALOUDS!
 
I start my day with READ ALOUD.
AND
I end my day with a READ ALOUD!
 
( I try to make ONE of those Read Alouds
 a SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES, or HOLIDAY story)
 
INTEGRATE whenever YOU can!
 
After EVERY story…We Discuss.
 
Characters.
Setting.
Problem.
Solution.
 
EVERY Read Aloud.  
Discuss for  10 minutes …MAX!
Highly Effective! 
 
When students THINK about a story,
“turn & talk”
about it,
use the “academic language”
from the story, they are engaged!
They might NOT take it on
for themselves the first time…..
but…over time, they will!
 
This week I heard some “reading partners”
 discussing  our anthology
story.
 
I heard “MAIN CHARACTER”, 
“Beginning, Middle, END”, 
“How did they SOLVE that Problem?”
 
WOWZA! 
 Teacher  Happy DANCE!
 
If you need suggestions for Read Alouds…
PINTEREST!
 
Next on my BALANCED LITERACY plan…
 
#2   INTERACTIVE  WRITING
 
So, how?  Where?  WHEN?
 
I LOVE interactive writing!
Interactive Writing is when the KIDS do the writing.
 We use chart paper. We discuss a story PLAN. 
We start with MAIN IDEA. Then we add 3 detail ideas.
 We add a conclusion. 
 
They help each other spell.
We sound out words together.
We discuss grammar.
 
And we write..and read..
and edit..and rewrite!
 
What a wonderful cycle!
 

I am using my interactive writing skills to

 incorporate our

#3  Word Work

NEW long vowel phonics concepts. 
We made a chart. 
Together we thought up words
that use our long vowel
 word families.
We made a vocabulary box
on the chart 
to remind us of words
we want to use in our story.
 And…THEY  WRITE! 
Smelly markers are a must! 

And we read..This happens during our morning

meeting time. 
We spend about 5-10 minutes writing 
each day for 5 days. 
Mondays..we begin a new story.
THEY LOVE THIS!
 
We started with Kate.
Long a with silent e.
Then Irene.
Long e with silent e.
Next week…
Long o with silent e.
 
Check out ..
Next we preview…
 
WRITER’S  WORKSHOP