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.

Creating a Reading Community

Creating a Reading COMMUNITY!

Reading Workshop

“Creating a Community of Readers”

via…LUCY  CAULKINS!

This is my newest FAVORITE thing!

https://youtu.be/cgN2WUMW6zM

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!

During Reading Workshop,, 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…

 How?

 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…

GET  READING!

ūüôā

Mary Poppins..A spoonful of Sugar

SPRING CLEANING

It’s Time! Roll your sleeves up, grab some garbage bags, & a cup of coffee!

It’s time for SPRING CLEANING!

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..

PACK RAT,

KEEPER of EVERYTHING,

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

RECYCLE IT!

(I can always print another one!)

If I have NOT used it this year…

OR last year..I usually give myself two years..

TOSS IT!

 ( 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!

Computer FILES!

I create file folders on my computer so I can find my documents fast & easy!

First I do  ELA  &  MATH

Then I do this:

ELA 

..Qtr 1

…August/Sept/Oct

…Aug> Back to School

…Aug> CVC

….Aug> Handwriting

etc.etc. etc

I create folders within folders.

This way I can go directly to BACK TO SCHOOL

OR

WHAT AM I DOING IN AUGUST?

I can also go directly to Johnny Appleseed…

Same with MATH

…Qtr 1

…August/Sept/Oct

…Beg Year Assessments

…Numbers to ten

etc..etc..etc..

Takes a little time…BUT SO WORTH IT!

Then when I need the masters ( because I already RECYCLED  them)

voila! ūüôā

SUPER  SUGGESTION…

Back UP all of your files on a memory stick!

Better SAFE than SORRY!

MATH MANIPULATIVES!

UGH!

My nemesis!

OK…reality check.

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???????)

BAG them, Pack them up, BOX them, STORETHEM AWAY!

I can teach most math lessons with a few cubes, white boards, & smartboard.

I don’t need 700 little beans!

GONE!

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..

Classroom library!

Should be this…

Don’t let it go to this… ūüôā

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! ūüôā

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!

Classroom Management..from Harry Wong to Brag Tags!

Classroom Management.

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

I know.   I said it.

WAIT!¬† DON’T LEAVE!

Classroom Management isn’t a BAD¬† thing!

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

And isn’t THAT our GOAL?

There are a GAZILLION places to learn how to do

classroom management. 

When I was beginning my career, 

HARRY  WONG

was the JEDI of Classroom Management!

Book on classroom management

It’s a good read for ALL of us!¬†

After a trillion different management attempts,

 retries,

 changes, 

changes again..

I think I have found classroom management

that works

FOR ME!

And it HAS to WORK ..

FOR YOU! 

What the teacher next door is using

maybe the best thing, 

“since sliced bread”.

BUT

If it doesn’t work FOR YOU,

it’s¬†USELESS!

So WHAT do I use?

Three step program.

(NO… not a 12 step program…ONLY 3)

As every primary teacher knows,

Consistency is the key to success.

Young kids like to know what is coming next.

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

And they keep ME on my toes!

And pulling my hair out!

yes, they make me crazy sometimes

 I start my school year with group points.

It lasts about a month.

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

points don’t count.

I used to use “CLIP CHARTS”.

Great kids move up.

Those who need more “attention” moved down.

I had a great visual 

of the “cans” and the “cannots”.

Not for me.

And so began ..

MY  3  STEPS  to  MY  SANITY!

1. CLASS  DOJO

2. GOLDEN  TICKETS

3. BRAG TAGS

These 3 management strategies work for me.

If they help YOU…JUMP ON IN!

#1

CLASS  DOJO!

Class Dojo

Class Dojo for phone

* I am NOT receiving ANYTHING from DOJO…

I JUST  LOVE IT!

Class DOJO has allowed me 

to connect with

 students 

and  PARENTS

quickly and effectively!

Isn’t that the point of classroom management?

To effectively 

“manage” a situation¬†

and correct it, 

or support it,

 immediately?

YES!

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

attributes that YOU set up.

I had a BIG problem with tardies.

8-10 kids tardy…daily.

One of my positive attributes is

ATTENDANCE  ON  TIME.

Every student gets a point for being in their seat, 

ready to work when the bell rings!

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

FOR me?   Success!!!

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

INSTANT PARENT NOTIFICATIONS

..and I didn’t have to do ANYTHING!¬† ūüôā

AND…

After parents have signed up for texts 

THAT IS THE HARD PART…GETTING THEM TO SIGN UP

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

I can text them at a moments notice.

AND I DO!

I also do class messages and send pictures.

I am just learning DOJO, too.

#lifelessons   #newtechtolearn

#2 Golden Tickets

THIS IS MY “GO TO”¬† PROGRAM!

IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM!

Simple.

Run a copy of Tickets on YELLOW OR GOLD PAPER.

CUT UP into tickets.

Keep in a box.

Golden Tickets for classroom management

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

Help a friend? TICKET!

Pick up the floor? Ticket!

Say kind words? Ticket!

A friend helped YOU?  Give them a TICKET!

And so MY STUDENTS start looking 

and listening 

for ways to give positive feedback

  tickets,

 to each other.

They have to tell their classmate what

they SAW or HEARD

 that earned their ticket! 

 SO  engaging!

After they get their ticket,

they write their name on the back.

No…sticky fingers.

Twice a week we COUNT tickets.

If they have 10

they can choose 

their reward!

I am NOT spending ANY  $$$$$$

on rewards!

NO need to!

Here are there rewards…

Posted rewards for golden tickets. Classroom management

 Reward CHOICES:

Tech Time¬†…15 minutes on the¬†ipads!

They can choose whatever app they want!

Friendly Lunch..ALL TIME FAVORITE:

I purchased 8 plastic placemats – 4 sets of 2

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

ROYALTY for A DAY..

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

  used, scrounged, saved, begged for from others, 

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

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

They can explain about GOLDEN TICKETS.

Teacher chair:

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

SWIP  SWAP:

Change desks with a partner FOR A DAY!

Use their books & stuff and THEY use YOURS!

Must clean each others desk

( put things back better than they were

when YOU got there..)

at the end of the day.

FREE Homework PASS!

NO homework for 1 night!

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

FLUFFY  FRIEND:

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

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

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

LINE Jumper:

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

(You can NEVER step in front of someone

 without using the words EXCUSE ME

..and tell them WHY!)

#manners

Here we are in action.

Student on ipad for golden tickets rewards.

Golden tickets rewards.

Golden Ticket's reward.

Golden Tickets reward.

Stuffed animal as fluffy friends.

LONG POST…¬† sorry

#3

BRAG  TAGS!

We LOVE BRAG TAGS!

Many THANKS to

Lucky Little Learners

  Angie Olson @ Lucky Little Learners

Brag tags necklaces on the wall.

We started using the LINK necklaces for Brag tags.

TOO HARD to OPEN for our little fingers.

#toomanyforteacher

Drawers hold each set of brag tags.

BRAG TAG storage ūüôā

Rings hold Brag tags.

Now we use RINGS instead of link chains.

Wear your BRAG TAG necklace home!

At the end of the MONTH, 

we take ALL of our Brag TAGS and BEADS

 OFF of our RINGS

and string them on a STRING.

Make a BRAG TAG necklace to WEAR HOME!

Most kids say they save them

 at home for the whole year!

Great HOME connection!

WHEW! Long post…SORRY.

I just want to give you all of the details so

YOU can choose 

what works for YOU!

Here are some other posts I have on

classroom management:

BRAG TAGS

What’s Up in Room 3?

Get  YOUR Golden Tickets HERE:

Brag Tags and Golden Tickets

For your time…

Here is a FREEBIE

from ME..to YOU!

Free POPCORN sort from 1stgradefireworks

So let me know…

What do YOU use for YOUR classroom MANAGEMENT?

Share your story in the comments.

I will choose 1 person this week

for a FREEBIE.

I will choose from my comments!

Leave me your email! ūüôā

ENJOY!

McBlarney TIME Time to the hour and half Hour

The “WEE” Little Ones are a’WATCHIN … What time is it?

What TIME is it?

It’s McBLARNEY TIME!

 
‘Tis the month of MARCH!
 
The “WEE LITTLE ONES”..
are a’watchin..
 
 
 
(Like my Gealic?) HAHA
 

What TIME is it?

ALREADY?
 
BTW…
There are 294 days 
…until CHRISTMAS!¬†
Just wanted to  FREAK YOU OUT!!!!!

What TIME is it?

It’s ONLY ¬†MARCH!
Whew!
 
As an “official” IRISHLASS.
¬†Well…kinda…married a McCarty…
IRISH TO THE MAX!
And ..I carry Scottish/Irish genes.
 
So I AM an “IRISH ¬†LASS” !
 
One of my fav. poems..I know it’s a song!
I love the lyrics!
 
 
 
The chorus…
 
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.
 
 
Awwww….
Makes me heart HAPPY!
 
I have been to the “EMERALD ISLE”.
I have “KISSED THE BLARNEY STONE”
…kinda gross.
( Story another time )

What TIME is it?

It’s McBlarney TIME!

¬†I want to share some “Blarney” with YOU!
 
 
McBlarney Time on TPT
 
 
 
And
 
 
 
 
Celebrate the WEARIN OF THE GREEN
on St.Paddy’s DAY!
 
Go n-éirí an bothar leat
(May your journey be successful)
 
* Don’t forget to wear YOUR GREEN on St. Patrick’s Day
…don’t want to get
PINCHED! ūüôā
 

seed germinators

Spring gardening 101 and a FREE CHICKEN DANCE!

I love SPRING!

DID I MENTION…

I LOVE SPRING!

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

Hello Spring

I Love Spring!

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

Luna our backyard chicken

Black Chicken

Sunshine our white backyard chicken

Sunshine – white chicken

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

How to plant in a Pallet Garden

Grow plants in a PALLET GARDEN!

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

                                Check out my Sunflower Seeds Plant Unit.                                                                                AWESOME!

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

Water bottles for planting seeds.

Recycled Water bottles for planting.

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

Add soil.

Cut bottles in half. Add soil.

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

Water bottles growing seeds.

Recycled water bottles with seeds.

Water bottles as seed germinators!

We have sprouts!

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

Happy Dance!

Happy Dance!

 
In honor of my 
CHICKENS…
 
Chicken Dance is FREE!
 

Word Game

Chicken Dance Word Game from 1stgradefireworks

Happy Spring to all!
625 Valentine Cards in our classroom. Where do we keep them BEFORE the big day?

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

 VALENTINE  CARDS

It’s that time of year…

Kindness cards, Friendship Celebrations, Valentine Parties

Whatever YOUR site chooses to call it.

IT’S  HERE!

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 from The Trendy Science Teacher
Valentine STEM Activity fro The Trendy Science Teacher
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

(seperation of CHURCH/STATE thing..)

we make our BAGS!

Now I have done LOTS & LOTS & LOTS of different types of  card holders…

(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
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

How to GROW a RAINBOW in YOUR Classroom!

How to Grow a RAINBOW in YOUR classroom!

This week: Classroom Helpers

Each of us is a flower… Growing in Life’s Garden (by Charlotte Diamond)

Can I really GROW A RAINBOW? YES!

This is the entry into a world where ALL students are flowers in the classroom garden. Each is unique, colorful, and needs it’s own nurturing to THRIVE! How to create a classroom environment where each student with different needs and abilities will blossom. When we create our classroom bouquet, we have grown a RAINBOW from the seeds we have planted.

Each of us is a Flower. How to grow a RAINBOW in the classroom. Tips & Tricks.
Beautiful Garden of Mixed Flowers

One time per week, I will post a TIP, a TRICK, and/or a HACK to help YOU, the teacher, nurture our students into thriving blossoms of learning! My hope is that through support, trials & tribulations, and time-saving tips, YOU may grow YOUR RAINBOW!

RAINBOW of flowers. From: How to grow a rainbow in your classroom. 1stgradefireworks
RAINBOW of flowers. From: How to grow a rainbow in your classroom. 1stgradefireworks

Today’s TOPIC:

CLASSROOM HELPERS

First, My number 1 goal in MY classroom is to make INDEPENDENT LEARNERS!

Because, I want my students to be active participants in society. I want them to be LIFE-LONG LEARNERS! AND…I want them to be independent THINKERS!

HOW? Model…TEACH…Model…TEACH…I DO. WE DO. YOU DO! Then, RELEASE THE KRACKEN!

Release the Kracken!

In order to help support the independent learning, I give each child the OPPORTUNITY to be a HELPER.

A Leader. The person “in charge”.

For some this may the first time they have ever been given the WHOLE responsibility of a JOB!

(Think HELICOPTER PARENTS).

For some, it is a responsibility they take on JOYFULLY!

For others, they embrace the position, but NOT the RESPONSIBILITY!

Practice..practice…practice.

And so, to help nurture the independence of each of my little “seedlings”,

I CHOOSE DAILY Helpers.  I know, some classrooms have weekly helpers, some permanent helpers, but for ME? I choose them daily. In my class of 24, each student SHOULD be each of our helpers by the end of the month. I say SHOULD. I make no promises. We are in a continuous state of growing!

WHAT HELPERS DO I NEED?

If you go to pinterest there are thousands of samples of 

Classroom helper/job cards

in a MULTITUDE of classroom themes!

These are a few I have found on pinterest….

Classroom Helpers Set.
Mrs. Lirette’s Learning Detectives
from Grow a Rainbow – 1stgradefireworks
How to Grow a RAINBOW in Your classroom. Planet Happy Smiles. 1stgradefireworks
How to Grow a RAINBOW in Your classroom. Planet Happy Smiles. 1stgradefireworks
How to Grow a Rainbow in YOUR Classroom! Mrs. Possum's Classroom. 1stgradefireworks
How to Grow a Rainbow in YOUR Classroom! Mrs. Possum’s Classroom. 1stgradefireworks

But…putting up the cards and

USING THEM TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

are two different things.

And that is THE OBJECTIVE…

Helper ( JOB )  Cards are a way for students to take RESPONSIBILITY

AND

HELP THE TEACHER! ūüôā

Here is HOW I USE THEM!

Each morning our  bell rings at 8:20 AM.

We are working at 8:21.

My students put HW folders in the basket,

backpacks & jackets on the shelves,

and get ready for chromebooks.

(Don’t be tardy…you will miss computer  time) 

While they are “waiting patiently”..Ie: staring through my back, grinning quietly, hoping I call their name…

I take name cards ( nothing FANCY…3 X 5 cards with THEIR NAME ON IT ūüôā )

and 

change the helpers in a small pocket chart at the front of my room.

I know..BAD PICTURE…I swear the POCKET CHART is right there! ūüôā

My pocket chart came from the $1 section at Target. Nothing FANCY!

MY JOBS are:

Line Leader

Door Holder

Messenger

Clean Up Crew (2 students)

Ball Handlers ( 2 for recess)

Tech Teachers ( 4 students )

They change daily.

They biggest change I have made is..

YOU MUST BE

 “ON TIME AND IN YOUR SEAT” – To be a HELPER!

WOW…no more tardies!

EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A HELPER!

AND after JANUARY… They can choose their job!

(I wait until January because I want to make sure they ALL know EXACTLY what the job is, and may have had a chance to be that “special” helper once before. I want them to see it in action, before they have CHOICE!)

When I turn over the name cards…

(Yesterday’s names to the back of the pile,,)

I ask..

“Do you want to be a ____   OR  _____?”

Whatever the next two jobs available are.

They CHOOSE what they want to do.

That choice allows them to take personal responsibility.

AND THEY DO!

Allow the little ones to be a PART of the classroom!

They LOVE IT!

I hope YOU check out the blogs and pins online to find the HELPERS that fit YOUR classroom and YOUR style! If you need a SPECIAL order HELPERS CARDS SET, email me. I do special orders, too!

1stgradefireworks@gmail.com

Whatever JOBS you choose…let them take RESPONSIBILITY! Don’t do it for them!

NO HELICOPTER TEACHERS! Even when YOUR OCD kicks in!

MODEL..MODEL..MODEL!

Come back next week for ANOTHER round of …

HOW TO GROW A RAINBOW IN YOUR CLASSROOM!

Here is a little “HELPER”

to help YOU get started… ūüôā

Click HERE for FREEBIE!

See YOU next week! Wendy 1stgradefireworks

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

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!

Elf on the Shelf- FAIL!

ELF on the SHELF…FAILURE!

I admit it…I failed..

I tried the ELF thing…FAILED!

I forgot to move it.

I didn’t want to spend the time moving it to who knows where.

My kiddos didn’t find it!

OH…exhausting!

I went to PINTEREST and saw ALL of these AMAZING ELF activities.

I GIVE UP! 

And so…I QUIT!  I am NOT  “ELFABLE!”  

Change..inevitable
THINK POSITIVE!

Change my mindset.  Change is good. Change is necessary!

So maybe I don’t ELF this year. Maybe I focus on a DIFFERENT type of KINDNESS. I think I might look at…

Sharing ORNAMENTS!  Or presents, or smiles!  Or handshakes, or time. 

Maybe my “LESSON” to my students isn’t about THINGS…    

So I think I will focus on content.

I will share the GOODWILL of the ELF ideals,  through lesson content.

I hope my students’ families will give them the “warm fuzzies” they deserve. I do EVERY DAY. 

But for now, we will focus on learning.

Are YOU a HELPER ELF?

( BORING I KNOW…BUT NECESSARY!)

So…next in my list…MATH!

UGH! I know. HOW CAN THE ELF HELP US IN MATH?

THIS ELF IS NOT ON THE SHELF

1 more..1 less…10 more..10 less

So…to help with my “ELF FAILURE”

AND

to maximize my math time…

This ELF is NOT on the SHELF!
This Elf is NOT on the SHELF

This can be made into a booklet, used as math centers, individual practice, assessments…

ENDLESS possibilities!

It may NOT be as EXCITING as finding the ELF each day.

BUT…my students won’t be confused or saddened because they think the ELF doesn’t care.

They know I care. And that’s better than ANY ELF!

And so my friends, I admit it. I am an ELF on the Shelf failure. 

But…my student’s did REALLY WELL on their math assessments and we 

giggled, grinned, hugged, & gave high-fives all through the year.

Now…where did I leave that ELF?   ūüôā  

Elf on the Shelf taped to classroom clock.
HELP ME!

Holiday HELPERS for YOU! ūüôā

Classroom Literacy

Data Collecting

Guided Reading

Leave me a comment…help me be an “ELF” convert. How do YOU use the “ELF”???   There must be a support group SOMEWHERE! ūüôā  Happy Holidays!