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.

Teacher-Parent Meeting

The Dreaded BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT!

How to get ready for the dreaded  “PARENT’S ARE COMING!”  Night!

Screaming child

Screaming Child

AKA  BACK-TO-SCHOOL Night!

We ALL get nervous speaking to a room of parents! I can speak to a group of first graders all day every day…but a roomful of parents?

My palms sweat & my brain “freezes” up!

(Wear  good  deodorant, use a breath mint, and  wear  comfy  shoes!)

So..THEY are coming.

Today’s tip is about getting parents to sign up for everything you need at BAck to School Night.

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE!

I work in a Title 1 school.

Most parents DON’T WANT TO COME to SEE ME!

So I have to make it very “inviting”.

I tell the kids to “drag” their parents to talk to me.

(Not literally!) Two hands!

I give stickers to kids who “hand their parents the BTS night NOTE!

And then…

Number 1 for Back to School Night

Number 1

Have Food at Back to School Night.

A bowl of apples, a plate of cookies, popcorn, Mini bottles of water!

CHOCOLATE CANDY!

They will come for food!

I also put the Class DOJO sign-up link on a BIG POSTER

 NEXT to the FOOD!  Eat, text, and make the teacher HAPPY!

Number 2 for Back to School Night

Number 2

Even though parent conferences are MONTHS away..

MAKE a chart of dates & times YOU are available,

AND HAVE THEM SIGN UP FOR A CONFERENCE at Back to School Night!

(You will send a reminder note as it gets closer..let them choose first!)

Put out sticky notes & pens for those who want to write it down AND

a poster to remind parents to TAKE A PICTURE WITH THEIR PHONE of the conference chart, to remind them!

Number 3 for Back to School Night

Number 3

If you have any WISH LISTS or things you might need…

HAVE THEM SIGN UP TO PROVIDE CLASSROOM ITEMS and/or VOLUNTEER at Back to School Night!

( We can always use glue sticks, expo markers, tissues, etc)

AND  LAST…

If YOU want volunteers for classroom work, parties, field trips, etc…

HAVE THEM SIGN UP!

This is the ONLY night they will ALL be in YOUR classroom!

USE IT!

Sometimes a CAPTIVE AUDIENCE…is a good thing!

So.. Just a quick reminder

  1. Rewards for students whose family attends.  DANGLE the CARROT!
  2. Bring FOOD and/or drinks.
  3. Have ALL Sign-UP charts READY

DOJO, Conferences, Wish Lists, Volunteers, etc.

4. Breathe, bring water for YOU!  Smile.

For more info on BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT:

 

Good Luck!

Do You Have a ROUTINE?

Do you have a daily ROUTINE?

I do!

First, I get up early.

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

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

Coffee in the Morning

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

Next, I check my emails.

Later, I make breakfast & lunch.

Finally, I wake up hubby,

shower,  & get ready for work.

I LOVE my morning routine.

When things run smoothly…I know what to expect.

That’s how our kids feel in the classroom.

When routines work

EVERYONE knows what to expect & how to do it!

ROUTINES MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND!

Here are MY  top  3  Routines

 for a smooth running classroom.

first routine

The first routine

ENTERING  THE CLASSROOM ROUTINE:

I meet my kids on the playground.

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

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

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

WHY?  

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

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

garage shelving unit

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

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

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

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

DONE!

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

NOW, they get a chair 

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

and WALK to their desk. They know the routines.

When the starting bell rings at 8:25

(5 minutes after we enter…)

I choose the HELPERS for the day.

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

( No tardies, wanderers, “chatting”).

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

An incentive for getting to school ON TIME!

I choose my helpers. 

2 of my 10 helpers for the day are 

TECH  TEACHERS.

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

 (We number EVERYTHING!)

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

ALL of this takes 10 minutes.

8:20-8:30

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

second routine

The second routine

Transitions. THE WORST TIME OF THE DAY!

Solution: A NEW routine!

 

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

Happy Teacher.

And then…the timer goes OFF!

WE MUST STOP!

Time to TRANSITION TO SOMETHING ELSE!

NO!

First graders like to MOVE…and FAST!

So to help…we  FREEZE!

Change the ROUTINE!

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

Always return to their desk.

Kind of like their “LANDING  PAD”.

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

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

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

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

Could be “MACARONI & CHEESE”

They respond “EVERYBODY FREEZE!”

AND THEY DO!

I hold them “frozen” for 3-4 seconds.

THEY LOVE THIS!

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

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

Who Am I Animal Classification Cards… 52 different animals.

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

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

No problems!

third routine

The third routine!

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

It’s almost OVER!

The day has come to an end.

HOW TO GET THEM OUT THE DOOR?

STOP!

Many things to do BEFORE we leave.

REMEMBER…The class is ALL of yours.

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

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

We dismiss at 2:30.

Clean-up ROUTINES! 

At 2:10 

we STOP, put our work away,

 and FREEZE to go back to our desks.

At 2:15  we begin the EXIT PROCESS.

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

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

2 of my other HELPERS are the 

CLEAN UP CREW.

They EACH choose a ‘friend’ to help them

STACK ALL OF THE CHAIRS

into stacks of 6.

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

While these HELPERS are working SILENTLY..

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

Each day 5-6 of my students can come to 

AUTHOR’S  CHAIR Routine.

( 5  color coded groups )

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

They read one story from their JOURNAL. Their choice.

We LISTEN ( being a good audience )

and then they can choose 1 person to

“ASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTION”.

We must listen, to formulate a HOT question. 

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

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

I go over ALL work we are taking home.

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

and

I show them their RAH books to read tonight.

After all of our work has been reviewed,

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

When they are ready ..

LINE  UP!

I start a GOODBYE CHANT…

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

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

This takes a little practice.

NO… A LOT OF PRACTICE!

BUT…

We can get out the door in 5 minutes!

This ends my 

TOP 3 ROUTINES

for a smooth running classroom.

Many more throughout the day.

I like routines in MY LIFE.

So do the KIDS!

What routines do you have that you do EVERY DAY?

Pick your top one & share in the comments.

We can ALL learn for each other!

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

 

Happy  DAY!

The seven Dwarfs from Walt Disney.

Do You Have a PLAN for Packing up YOUR Classroom?

It’s THAT time.

Time to pack up my classroom!

Are YOU packing up YOUR classroom?

via GIPHY

WAHOO!  Summer vacation. The Beach. Family BBQ’s. R&R.

BUT, WAIT!  NOT YET!  First I need to pack up my classroom so I can find the things I need when we come back. Back to School is crazy enough without me NOT being able to find my MOST needed items! ( Where is MY stapler???)

Are YOU packing up your classroom?

download

What am I packing?

What is on my classroom packing list?

Here is my list:

Number one is first.

Number One

It’s ALL about ME!  What will I need the first week?

TE's and Lesson plan book

Teacher Editions and Lesson Plan Book

My Teacher Editions  & Lesson Plan Book. I need them to plan for the first weeks.

Mostly Routines and Daily schedules. (Work on THIS before VACATION!)

Multi Colored Sticky Notes

Sticky Notes

Sticky notes inside to remind my “aging” brain…what I INTEND to do!

What MATERIALS will I need to accomplish this? What lesson to focus on those first weeks? What went well? What didn’t?

USE THOSE STICKY NOTES INSIDE YOUR TE!

You will NOT remember months from now… what you are thinking about TODAY!

Use the next few weeks to make your NOTES!

How to Prepare for a Successful Reading Workshop in First Grade

Teacher's Desk

Teacher’s Desk

Don’t forget, in your TEACHER DESK…

hide a few water bottles, mints, chocolate, and Tylenol, sanitizer, throat lozenges,

for the first week back…FOR YOU!

Never know how that FIRST WEEK will go!

BE Prepared!

* “SUGGESTED” teacher MUST HAVES for the first weeks:

Number 2 is second

Number 2

Student materials ( packets, papers, journals, etc ).

Before packing up your classroom,  RUN THEM NOW!

( Nothing feels better than pulling out MUCH NEEDED things…ALREADY DONE!)

Stacks of copied papers, sorted and ready to go!

Papers copied, sorted, and filed!

Whew! SO glad I prepped these BEFORE school was out!!

Get some puzzles, games, blocks, etc. out.

It’s National PUZZLE Day! Do YOU play GAMES??

Classroom card games

classroom card games

THEY WILL NOT BE INDEPENDENT!

Have a few things ready so they can have “downtime”

while YOU are doing ONE-TO-ONE assessing!

You know you will HAVE TO…prepare for IT!

How do YOU FIT IT ALL IN? Balanced Literacy

Number three is third.

Number three is third.

As you are packing up your classroom with those MANY, MANY BOXES (for centers, games, things you need to go through) … DO THOSE LATER!

I know you NEED these,  BUT

You will “SURVIVE” looking at them LATER!

NO STRESS!

( YEAH, right!)

Read to SELF..LET THEM READ!

Prepare today… after a RELAXING Summer… the thought of coming back

and redoing everything in a day or two is

EXCRUTIATING!

Screaming child

Screaming Child

Breathe…relax…make your lists…stick to them…and PREP AWAY!

The payoff is HUGE!

Now…where did I pack that STAPLER?

black stapler

stapler

These posts might help “ease” the transition Back to School…

Polka Dots please flexible seating blog post.

Polka Dots Please blog post on flexible seating.

Polka Dots Please

Teacher packing up a classroom .

Teacher Stacking chairs

Packing Up Your Classroom

* PS…I just found out I have three weeks to pack up

MY ENTIRE CLASSROOM! I am getting NEW Carpet! I am happy…I think!

PACK UP 26 years of stuff? In 3 weeks? EVERYTHING?

Time to PURGE! Who needs the PD resource from 1999???

I think I need a LOT MORE BOXES!

boxes in warehouse

I may need ALL of these boxes to pack up my classroom.

Hi HO…HI HO…It’s off to pack I go!

                        

via GIPHY

 WENDY  – 1stgradefireworks

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! 🙂

 

Teacher Appreciation Week!

I love Teacher Appreciation Week!

Not only for me, but for my family, & friends!

To my friends & family…

THANK YOU!

And so to CELEBRATE…

I have something for YOU!

To show my teacher appreciation, I am having a GIVEAWAY and A SALE!

I have some AMAZING Teacher friends!

We have “pooled our resources” to give our teacher appreciation TO YOU!

Teacher Appreciation Giveaway announcement

Teacher Appreciation GIVEAWAY

 

TRUE TEACHER APPRECIATION

A $50  TPT CARD  AND  10 “MUST HAVES”?????

Who’s IN??   ME!! ME!! ME!!

Teacher Appreciation Giveaway 10 must haves

10 Teacher MUST HAVES!

 

ALL of this for the winner!  WOWZA!  I WANT IT ALL!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  
 
Prize: 10 Teacher “Must Haves” prize pack including:  Mr. Sketch Markers, Flair Markers, Personal Laminator, Dry Erase Pockets, Dry Erase Markers, Astrobrights Paper, Sharpies, Ticonderoga Pencils, a Wall Calendar, and a $50 Teachers pay Teachers gift card.
 
Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
 
 
 
 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 5/11/18 and is open worldwide.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!
ALSO…

TPT  is having  A  TEACHER  APPRECIATION  SALE!

EVERYTHING in my store is 25%  OFF!!!! 
ALL Bundles, ELA resources, MATH units…EVERYTHING!
Stock up NOW for Back to School.
Have EVERYTHING you need at YOUR fingertips!
I LOVE Teacher Organization!
TpT Store sale from 1stgradefireworks for Teacher Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation TPT Store SALE

Stop by and check out:

 

 Here are some posts that may help YOU:
Back to School Resources:
ENJOY!
WENDY      1stgradefireworks
The end of the school year is almost here!

The END Of the School Year is NEAR!

The End of the school year is coming up fast!

May 1 begins the RUSH to the Finish Line! As of  May 1, we have 23 school days left!

After the calendar changes, I start getting ready for Summer vacation.

Spring Fever is kicking in.

I daydream of the beach, family barbeques, gardening… Ahhh…

I need a BEACH VACATION!

I am thinking BEACH! Spring FEVER is here!

But WAIT! I am NOT ready for the end of the year.

I have things to do!

STRESS is kicking in!  So what?  What do I need to do?

End of the Year Report Cards.  

All end of the year paperwork for my students needs to be completed. We have to sign off on cum files. Put papers in files. Purge student portfolios so the second-grade teachers only get current information.

Clean out the paperwork on your desk

PURGE those files!

 

OPEN HOUSE

Our Open House for parents is in May. The end of the year is a good time for them to visit our classroom, see their child’s projects, and let their child “teach” them. I step back and become the “visitor”. The kids run the show. I teach them how to properly introduce their parent to me. “Mrs. McCarty, I would like to introduce you to my mother, Maria ” and we shake hands. ( Practicing good manners ALL the time!) The kids are the “guides” and they WALK THE ROOM (start at the door & show them ALL the things we do and then to their clean desk ( cleaned that day). EVERYTHING ON their desk goes HOME with them. MAKE SURE NOT TO PUT ANYTHING ON THEIR DESK THAT YOU WANT TO STAY. We have ALL of our end of the year projects completed and ready to go.

clean desks before the end of the year

Clean classroom desks for OPEN HOUSE

ASSEMBLIES

Our End of the Year assemblies are WONDERFUL! Our school talent show, sing-alongs, class sharing, etc. happen this month.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT

At the end of the year, we celebrate our families. We have a LUNCH on the LAWN for our families. They can bring a lunch (McDonald’s is ALWAYS a favorite), a picnic blanket, and have lunch with their child. They can bring Grandparents, siblings, cousins, whomever. It’s at their regular lunch time, just a fun time for all. ANY student whose parent cannot come, ( like ME..I was always working..dad went) they get to sit on MY picnic blanket and have lunch with ME!

family picnic lunch

Picnic lunch with families. Photo thank you to http://allaboutgracie.blogspot.com/2011/06/school-picnic-lunch-with-gracie.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also have our end of the year BOOK FAIR! Families are encouraged to purchase books for their child to read over the summer. We usually have a good turn out. If you have NOT had a Book Fair at your school, try it!

Scholastic book Fair

Scholastic Book Fair

CLASSROOM

We are winding down with our books and curriculum. Workbooks are almost empty, journals are full, and the crayons and markers have had it! The end of the year has taken its TOLL on student materials! 🙂  But, I have to get ready for NEXT YEAR!

Piles of student books to be sorted.

The books need to be sorted before the end of the year.

Before the end of the year…START NOW!

  1. Have students sort through classroom library books. THEY CAN SORT! Add labels to any books not labeled and have your books ready for next year.
  2. Sort writing center materials ( papers, markers, etc) and make sure everything is in working order. Have your students check markers. Any that don’t work..TOSS!
  3. PURGE your FILES! ( Yes…I said IT!) If you haven’t used it, seen it, or are not even sure where it came from…RECYCLE IT!
  4. OPEN YOUR CUPBOARDS! If you have NOT opened the cupboard this year…YOU DON’T NEED ANYTHING IN IT! Don’t store stuff because you MIGHT need it. If you aren’t using it… BYE BYE!
  5. Take out EVERYTHING from drawers and closets. DON’T PUT IT BACK, if you haven’t used it! ( I found 10 computer cables for the technology we don’t even have anymore!)
  6. Have students CLEAN! I give them a paper towel and SANITIZER! Wipe everything you can touch! NO PAPER OR BOOKS! Chairs, stools, door, tables, desks, TOPS & BOTTOMS! CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!
  7. Think about YOUR bulletin boards for the beginning of the year. Put ALL of the things you will need in one box. Don’t forget a stapler, tape, etc. MARK IT for TEACHER IMPORTANT! Keep it with YOU.
  8. Don’t take home a ton of stuff over the summer. I allow myself ONE box. THAT’S IT! You are NOT going to do a lot of school work over the summer. Don’t FAKE IT!
  9. I begin to pack at the end of the year, as soon as OPEN HOUSE is over. A little EVERY day. My goal is to fill one garbage can a day for the rest of the year. Purge a little every day. You have digital files…use them!
  10. Runoff your first-week materials. Have them in a box ready to go! I am working on my lesson plan frames for next year. I do mine on the computer. Wouldn’t it be nice to open the lesson plan binder and already have the first week DONE??!!! I already have my year-long plans for ELA and MATH. My BFF teaching partner has done that.

SEND HOME STUDENT MATERIALS

I send ALL workbooks ( with pages we didn’t get to), BRAG TAG necklaces, student-made books, etc. on the last week. If I change the routines, I must deal with behavior problems. AND WE DON’T WANT THAT! We have a game day the last day. They can play our rainy-day classroom games. Then we write a letter to the kindergartners telling them about First Grade.

The end of the year is a fun time, a stressful time, and a time to organize for next year. Don’t “over-do” it. Remember…it’s YOUR vacation TOO!

When you are getting ready for Back To School…  check out these HELPFUL resources:

Check out this great BLOG POST from LAURA at www.thecoreinspiration.com on setting UP your classroom library.

classroom library set up

How to Set Up Your Classroom Library www.thecoreinspiration.com

My friend, CHRISTINA DECARBO will help YOU get organized for the END of the YEAR!

 https://www.missdecarbo.com

end of the year organization tips & tricks

End of the Year Organization https://www.missdecarbo.com/

What is a Balanced Literacy Classroom?

Balanced Literacy

BALANCED  LITERACY

Fluency practice pages

Be A Reader Blending Lines for FLuency

BE  A  READER…  BLENDING LINES FOR FLUENCY

 

 

Journal pages for vocabulary practice

Write On Journal Pages

     WRITE   ON

 

 

Short vowel word work

Back to School Word Work                                      BACK TO SCHOOL WORD WORK

 

          

  CA JOURNEYS MEGA BUNDLE…

CAN WORK WITH ANY CURRICULUM

YOUR WHOLE YEAR…   DONE!

 

          

JOIN THE BOOK CLUB

These posts will help ease your stress:

How to Prepare for a Successful Reading Workshop in First Grade

How to do GUIDED READING in 20 minutes or less..(FREEBIE TOO!)

How Do you Fit It ALL in? Balanced Literacy.

HUG  your kiddos.   BREATHE.  Think ahead.  Enjoy your SUMMER VACATION!

 

Wendy    1stgradefireworks

Teacher appreciation at graduation.

What is Teacher Appreciation? It might SURPRISE you!

What is TEACHER APPRECIATION?

I am a VETERAN teacher.

NO.

 I have NOT fought in a WAR.

I have taught in GRADE 1

 ( exclusively )

for over 25 years!

WOW!

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

Do kids appreciate their teacher?

Kids graduating from elementary class.

But…

I have changed my “VIEW” on teacher appreciation.

We ALL want to be appreciated.

We want to be recognized for

SOMETHING “GOOD”

 we have done!

But…

things can get a little …

OUT OF HAND!

I believe…

YES…

I believe there are

those who are

APPRECIATED

and those who

WISH THEY WERE!

Super Teacher

Super Teacher

I will say this ONE TIME…

IT  IS  NOT  ABOUT  TEST SCORES!

The teacher’s with the SUPER highest test scores

are NOT, always,

the teachers who are

APPRECIATED the MOST!

Now…disclaimer…teachers work WAY TOO hard!

I got that!

Some are SOOOOOO  focused on the “data”…

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

Nowhere is there a box to check that says:

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

___ Couldn’t sleep because parents were arguing LOUDLY!

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

or

___  not in a good “mind set”  today.

BUT…

these are kids!

This is life!

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

is NOT

 what teaching is all about!

( Ok sorry…OFF my soapbox!)

So,

Teacher Appreciation.

Where? How? When?

Admin's appreciate teachers.

Administrator’s appreciate a teacher’s work.

Admin’s…

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

If YOU really want to show me your appreciation…

HAVE MY BACK during an IEP

when ‘the team” says

I NEED TO DO MORE!

By the time I have gotten to his stage…

I HAVE DONE ALL I CAN DO!

Take the stand that I AM DONE!

SEND ME SOME HELP!

Now I have great admin’s…

I know they have my back!

THAT’s  APPRECIATION!

If you want to “give” me something…

…TAKE MY RECESS DUTY!

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

… Come in and do reading groups once in a while

( an extra adult doing centers is ALWAYS appreciated).

You see…it’s NOT about the “things”

it’s about WHAT you DO!

How do you know if your “team” appreciates YOU?
Do your working peers appreciate YOU?

Teacher groups working together.

Do you “share”?

Do you “follow through?”

Do you “care” about each other?

My “teaching partner”…

and I have taught next to each other

( rooms 3 & 4)

for 20  years!

We are going to retire together

the same year…in 5-6 years.

( We “pinky swore”…

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

Her mom works in her room.

I call her MOM!

Our student’s think we are

SISTERS!

Teacher friends appreciate each other!

Teacher friends

See the family “resemblance”?

In my heart…SOUL SISTERS!

We run homework for each other.

We share our students.

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

We are NOT the ONLY grade 1 teachers.

We have 1-2 others who teach with us.

( Depending on the year and student numbers).

We ALWAYS include them!

This is NOT a

CLOSE YOUR DOOR & DO YOUR THING!

NOPE!

WE DO!

Together.

Feel appreciated? YEP! Daily.

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

NOT LEAVING!

LOVE MY

CRAZY TITLE 1 school!

and then…

Your students…

Students appreciate the work their teacher does.

First Grade students celebrating with an appreciated teacher!

When do they make YOU feel appreciated?

Is it when you are passing out report cards?

Is it when they forgot their homework?

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

Probably NOT!

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

and says…

“Can I have a HUG?”

or

When the little boy who STUTTERS ( severely )…

asks if he can READ his newest story

TO THE CLASS!

( And EVERYONE cheers  for him!)

or

The “behavior problem” child

who knows ( his MAMA tells him a lot )

that he is a PROBLEM…

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

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

and last…

the “older students” who come back…

just to say HI!

Graduation Caps to tell teachers the are appreciated.

Graduation Caps

or…

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

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

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

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

Giggles, Grins, Hugs, & High Fives to 

ALL of YOU!

YOU make a difference!

EASTER GIVEAWAY!

Hippity, Hoppity

Easter’s on its way!

Happy Easter!

 Myself and a team of amazing teachers

have grouped together

to gift an awesome teacher

with a $150 TPT gift card

to show them how appreciative we are!

Easter giveaway

The Easter Bunny is having a giveaway! Who wants to win a $150 TPT Giftcard? ME!

Anyone want a

$150

TeachersPayTeachers

GIFTCARD?

HANDS  UP!  I DO!  I DO!

The Giveaway information…

Starts: Sunday 25th March 2018 12am

Ends: Sunday 1st April 2018 12am

How to enter?

HERE….

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also enter on my

INSTAGRAM 

site.

1stgradefireworks logo

1stgradefireworks logo

 Good LUCK!

Wendy    1stgradefireworks

Can reading be the #1 predictor of academic success?

First and Foremost,

Reading is the #1 predictor of academic success.


Consider this my DISCLAIMER…

I am NOT  A  College Professor.

I do NOT have a MASTERS ( or above ) 

in ANYTHING!

I am just a teacher.

A first-grade teacher.

A first-grade reading teacher.

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

in a TITLE 1 SCHOOL!

I have seen a LOT! Done a LOT!

Hear me ROAR!!!!!

 So, I repeat.

I am a teacher. I teach reading.

circle of students looking at books

(Aren’t they cute????)

I have been through:

Whole Language

Environmental Print

Interactive Writing

Phonemic Awareness

Leveled Readers ( DRA, GSP, AR, Lexile)

Phonics

Words Their Way

HFW

Sight Words

High-Interest Reading Books

SIPPS

Read Naturally

Daily 5

And 

A MULTITUDE OF PUBLISHER’S CURRICULUM!

New sets every 7 years!

Next, having said this…

1 thing most curriculum’s have in common :

READ!

READ A LOT!

And then…READ SOME MORE!

Young girl reading a book

So …

My little sisters…

YES…both of my LITTLE SISTER’S are 

PRIMARY TEACHERS!

We were discussing school.

Yes… we do that!

 We are trying to WRAP our minds around the

“READ…READ…READ more”

and they will 

“GET IT!”  (way of thinking.)

happy baby

Well, maybe

I  LOVE reading with kiddos!

See my post here about the

 GUIDED READING TABLE!

But then my concern is…

When I “release” them to read,

When I want them to become INDEPENDENT readers,

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

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

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

If they keep reading…

Will all the skills and strategies come TOGETHER?

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

READ, READ, READ philosophy.

Integrate science, social studies, math, technology

INTO  literacy!

YES!

Writing and Reading

COMPLIMENT  and Coexist

WITH  each other!

You can’t have one without the other!

THEY NEED EACH OTHER!

BUT…

-Me  SPEAKING-

on my soapbox

There needs to be a BALANCE of:

Skills & Strategies

in conjunction with independent reading & writing!

THERE!

I said IT!

Reading & Writing SKILLS:

Letter Sounds

Blends

Vowels

Word Families

Chunks

Grammar

Punctuation

High-Frequency Words

Capitalization

Handwriting

and MORE!

Comprehension

Questioning

Summarizing

etc, etc, etc…

(I sound like my Education College Professors!)

I was listening!

ALL of these “lessons” MUST be taught

IN CONJUNCTION with 

Reading & Writing!

Yes…To be a better reader…

YOU  MUST  READ!

BUT…to be a better reader who UNDERSTANDS…

You must have skills and strategies  to use

WHEN  you read and write!

NOW…CAUTION!!!

baby with glasses

Unless you are teaching ADULTS in a COLLEGE CLASS…

A 40-minute LECTURE on diagramming sentences

IS NOT…I REPEAT…

NOT

the way to do it!

If you WANT to spend 40 minutes discussing grammar…

CHUNK IT!

Read a little.

Discuss it.

Let it soak in.

And do it again. And again. and again!

READ!

Do 2-3 MINILESSONS over a few days…

Let it SINK IN!

Show  kiddos:

  What it looks like.

Where to find it.

How to use it.

Why we use it.

When to ask for help.

Kinder-Grade 1-Grade 2 teachers…

UNITE!

Mini-Lessons with a WORKSHOP!

Use SMALL Groups for STRATEGY & Skill Groups!

Let kiddos have a chance to PRACTICE

what YOU have taught them!

Let it SINK IN!

And Then…

LET  THEM  READ!

and 

READ!

and

READ!

and then

WRITE…and write, some more!

2 kids reading books

readl to self

independent reading

small group reading

Skills, Strategies, Reading, Writing

They will become “BETTER”…

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

BETTER!

Need some HELP?

My friend, Alison, at 

Learning at The Primary Pond

 

Button from Learning at The Primary Pond

learningattheprimarypond.com

has a great post about

What Does Reading Workshop Look Like In The Primary Grades?

what does reading workshop loolk like in the primary grades?

Here are some “HELPERS” for YOU!

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

Click HERE for more reading & writing products!

   

  

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?

 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.

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