Consider this my DISCLAIMER…
I read. I read a LOT!
I am NOT A College Professor.
I do NOT have a MASTERS ( or above )
Just a READING CERTIFICATE!
I teach reading!
I am just a teacher.
A first-grade teacher.
A Veteran (27yrs ), first-grade teacher, in a TITLE 1 SCHOOL!
I read!They read!
I have seen a LOT!
Done a LOT!
Hear me ROAR!!!!!
Ok. So again.
(Aren’t they cute????)
I have been through:
Leveled Readers ( DRA, GSP, AR, Lexile)
Words Their Way
High-Interest Reading Books
A MULTITUDE OF PUBLISHER’S CURRICULUM!
New sets every 7 years!
Having said this…1 thing most curriculum’s have in common :
READ A LOT!
And then…READ SOME MORE!
My little sisters…
YES…both of my LITTLE SISTER’S are
We were discussing school.
( I know..we are NOT supposed to discuss SCHOOL during SUMMER VACATION!)
But…um…we were discussing school…
and we are trying to WRAP our minds around the
and they will
(way of thinking.)
I LOVE reading with kiddos!
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 it ALL come TOGETHER?
At a recent PD, my little sis said she understood the
READ, READ, READ philosophy.
Integrate science, social studies, math, technology
You can’t have one without the other!
THEY NEED EACH OTHER!
There needs to be a BALANCE of:
Skills & Strategies
in conjunction with independent reading & writing!
I said IT!
Reading & Writing SKILLS:
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
you read and write!
Unless you are teaching ADULTS in a COLLEGE CLASS…
A 40-minute LECTURE on diagramming sentences
IS NOT…I REPEAT..
the way to do it!
If you WANT to spend 40 minutes discussing grammar…
Do 2-3 MINILESSONS over a few days…
Let it SINK IN!
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…
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!
LET THEM READ!
WRITE…and write some more!
Skills, Strategies, Reading, Writing
They will become “BETTER”
and isn’t that what we ALL want to be?
Need some HELP?
Here are some “HELPERS” for YOU!
Check out ALL my reading & writing products!
I want my kiddos to
I am NOT your MAMA.
I am NOT your Grandma,
I AM NOT YOUR MAID!
We ALL work & play in our classroom.
If you work here,,,you are a part of our TEAM.
So HOW to
“Share the JOBS?”
Make it a
I let them choose what they would like to do each day.
Here are my helpers:
I write their names on
a cardstock strip .
I use a 12″ X 36″ pocket chart.
2 Clean Up Crew members,
2 Ball Handlers ( for recesses ),
2 Tech Teachers ( pass out / collect ipads )
1 line leader,
1 door holder,
and 1 messenger.
9 helpers each day.
My NUMBER 1 RULE!
If you are NOT quiet and in your seat when the
YOU CANNOT BE A HELPER
( Don’t be Tardy…or NOISY!)
My kiddos LOVE it!
(I’m HERE & I’m QUIET!)
I ask the next person on the card…
“_(susie)___ “, would you like to be _( ball handler)_ or __(tech teacher)_”
( Go straight down the pocket chart…)
Until ALL the jobs are filled for the day!
They like having a CHOICE in their day!
And…I LOVE THAT!
Oh, How I LOVE my RED SOLO CUPS!
( I hear the Toby Keith song in my head!)
ALL mixed up. YUCK!
RED SOLO CUP!
I admit it.
I AM TIRED!
I am counting the days until vacation.
I am counting the days until I don’t have to leave the house by 7:15 AM.
I am counting the days…until I can have coffee at 8:00AM.
Ah…I Am READY!
My teacher BRAIN won’t
I want to start getting ready for
I know…relax, breathe…ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!
I can’t STOP! I want to plan!
We are getting a new reading program next year.
CA JOURNEYS here we come!
And so…I have begun. counting.
MY day, my month, my year!
I am starting my new projects today!
Here’s a PREVIEW!
Focus Wall Printables
The BEST PART???
These Packets can be used with ANY program!
( Just because it follows CA Journeys…doesn’t mean it will ONLY work with
Here is the FREE Focus Wall Headers… 🙂
More on the WAY!
Keep checking back!
I’m counting on it!
All available HERE.
Now…Where is my beach chair? 🙂
Time to relax! 🙂
5.5 days to go… 🙂
I am a VETERAN teacher.
I have NOT fought in a WAR.
I have taught in GRADE 1
( exclusively )
for over 27 years!
I have changed my “VIEW” on teacher appreciation.
We ALL want to be appreciated.
We want to be recognized for
we have done!
things can get a little …
OUT OF HAND!
I believe there are
those who are
and those who
WISH THEY WERE!
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!
No where 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.
these are kids!
This is life!
To attach a “number” to a student based on “today’s testing module”
what teaching is all about!
( Ok sorry..OFF my soapbox!)
Where? How? When?
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!
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 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 you “share”?
Do you “follow through?”
Do you “care” about each other?
My “teaching partner”..
( I said “partner” one time..it took on a WHOLE DIFFERENT meaning!)
and I have taught next to each other
( rooms 3 & 4)
for 21 years!
We are going to retire together
the same year…in 5 years.
( We “pinky sweared”…
..as long as nothing catastrophic happens before then).
Her mom works in her room.
I call her MOM!
Our student’s think we are
See the family “resemblance”?
In my heart..
We run homework for each other.
We share our students.
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!
Feel appreciated? YEP! Daily.
( I could have transfered to another school in MY district..many times!)
CRAZY TITLE 1 school!
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 interuupted you for the 1000th time that day?
It’s when that SAME little girl walks in EVERY morning
“Can I have a HUG?”
When the little boy who STUTTERS ( severely )…
asks if he can READ his newest story
TO THE CLASS!
( And EVERYONE cheers for him!)
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!)
the “older students” who come back..
just to say HI!
“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!
So here is to YOU , my teacher friends!
YOU ARE APPRECIATED! By ALL of US!
“Creating a Community of Readers”
This is my newest FAVORITE thing!
I LOVE Lucy Caulkin’s
If you get a chance to hear her, see her, and/or youtube her…
During Reading Workshop,, I don’t want my students to stop and ask for help.
I want them to be problem-solvers.
So, I am…
Take a picture walk. Cover the words. Make them use the visual cues in the story. Frontload any vocabulary that may change thinking, distort comprehension, or unfamiliar to them. During Reading Workshop, have them make predictions PRIOR to reading. AFTER reading, check their predictions.
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!
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! Reading
Worshop takes time. Make the time for it!
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!
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!
A HUGE THANK YOU to Lucy Caulkins!
So there you are.. Reading Workshop…
It’s Time! Roll your sleeves up, grab some garbage bags, & a cup of coffee!
It’s time for SPRING CLEANING!
Not your house..not your closets..
It’s time to CLEAN YOUR CLASSROOM!
Now I don’t mean put on the gloves and scrub down the walls.
( Might not hurt to have some rags & cleaners though. )
So where, oh where, to begin?
YOUR PAPER FILES! UGH!
I know…start here.
I have been called many things..
A “Professional” Piler..etc..etc…
But it’s time…time to
THROW IT AWAY!
Grab a JUMBO Garbage bag ( actually two )
and get started.
Here is my criteria:
If a paper can be printed from my computer
(I can always print another one!)
If I have NOT used it this year…
OR last year..I usually give myself two years..
( You won’t miss it..I promise!)
Clear out EVERYTHING..files, crates, BINDERS…
IT IS LIBERATING..and SCARY ( What if I need “that”? )
It’s on my computer..
that is NEXT!
I create file folders on my computer so I can find my documents fast & easy!
First I do ELA & MATH
Then I do this:
…Aug> Back to School
I create folders within folders.
This way I can go directly to BACK TO SCHOOL
WHAT AM I DOING IN AUGUST?
I can also go directly to Johnny Appleseed…
Same with MATH
…Beg Year Assessments
…Numbers to ten
Takes a little time…BUT SO WORTH IT!
Then when I need the masters ( because I already RECYCLED them)
Back UP all of your files on a memory stick!
Better SAFE than SORRY!
Do YOU have math manipulatives
YOU JUST DON’T USE?
The little teeny tiny ones some publisher somewhere thought kids age 6 would
LOVE to use?
( USE FOR WHAT? TEETHING..FLIPPING…THROWING???????)
I can teach most math lessons with a few cubes, white boards, & smartboard.
I don’t need 700 little beans!
The “tissue paper” booklets SOMEONE thought my firsties would need to practice fact families!
(PUBLISHERS…little fingers need CARD STOCK!)
And so…away they go!
I try to keep this to ONE box.
Don’t want to store this either.
and LAST for today..
Should be this…
Don’t let it go to this… 🙂
Can be messy!
Really take a look at WHAT KIDS ARE READING!
Old ones? DONATE!
Torn ones? FIX
Need to level? I suggest LEXILES!
( Redoing mine this summer..We use DRA/Guided reading levels)
CCSS is all about lexiles..
Learning As I Go! 🙂
And so ..a little cleaning will make your teacher heart happy!
There is MORE..under the cabinets, construction/ writing paper, the dreaded
Storage drawers…I really don’t know what’s in the BACK of those drawers!
And so on & so on!
Enjoy the weather..spend a little time each day…recycling
and HAPPY SPRING CLEANING!
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
When I was beginning my career,
was the JEDI of Classroom Management!
It’s a good read for ALL of us!
After a trillion different management attempts,
I think I have found classroom management
And it HAS to WORK ..
What the teacher next door is using
maybe the best thing,
“since sliced bread”.
If it doesn’t work FOR YOU,
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!
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!
* I am NOT receiving ANYTHING from DOJO…
I JUST LOVE IT!
Class DOJO has allowed me
to connect with
quickly and effectively!
Isn’t that the point of classroom management?
“manage” a situation
and correct it,
or support it,
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! 🙂
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.
#2 Golden Tickets
THIS IS MY “GO TO” PROGRAM!
IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM!
Run a copy of Tickets on YELLOW OR GOLD PAPER.
CUT UP into tickets.
Keep in a box.
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
for ways to give positive feedback
to each other.
They have to tell their classmate what
they SAW or HEARD
that earned their ticket!
After they get their ticket,
they write their name on the back.
Twice a week we COUNT tickets.
If they have 10
they can choose
I am NOT spending ANY $$$$$$
NO need to!
Here are there rewards…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
Here we are in action.
LONG POST… sorry
We LOVE BRAG TAGS!
Many THANKS to
We started using the LINK necklaces for Brag tags.
TOO HARD to OPEN for our little fingers.
BRAG TAG storage 🙂
Now we use RINGS instead of link chains.
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
Get YOUR Golden Tickets HERE:
For your time…
Here is a FREEBIE
from ME..to YOU!
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! 🙂
What TIME is it?
It’s McBLARNEY TIME!
What TIME is it?
What TIME is it?
When Irish eyes are smiling, Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring. In the lilt of Irish laughter You can hear the angels sing. When Irish hearts are happy, All the world seems bright and gay. And when Irish eyes are smiling, Sure, they steal your heart away.
What TIME is it?
It’s McBlarney TIME!