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.

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

Don’t Blink..YOU Just Might Miss IT

IS IT SPRING BREAK YET? 

DON’T BLINK..

FREEBIE..

I LOVE the Song by Kenny Chesney
“Don’t Blink”
Don’t blink
Just like that you’re six years old
 and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you’re twenty-five and 
your high school sweetheart
 becomes your wife


Don’t blink
You just might miss your babies growing 

like mine did
Turning into moms and dads 

next thing you know your “better half”
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend

 a hundred years 
goes faster than you think
So don’t blink…

Well…..  I  BLINKED!

I am still taking down Christmas Decor
and it’s almost MARCH!
Wait! Slow down! I AM NOT READY!

So…I am slowing things down in my classroom.
We are almost done with the third quarter
of first grade.
We have “phonemic awarenessed” 
ourselves daily.
We practice word families.
We have learned more grammar rules
 than I ever dreamed.
We write 1,2,3,4,5 times a day.
We read every half hour.
We know more math than our parents.
We know about Presidents, animals, 
weather conditions, 
We know HOW TO, Who, What,
When, Where, & Why

(Well…some most of us do)

We have TESTED & RETESTED…

And now…we are SSSlowing things down!

Time to take a breath & practice
 using ALL of this new first grade information!

My kiddos have come a LONG way.
Very proud of them!
As we finish the next 3 months..

DON’T BLINK!

It will be gone before you know it!

 PS…Is it SPRING BREAK yet?

Thanks for hanging in there 
all the way to HERE!!!
FREEBIE FOR YOU!



I Needed a KICK IN THE PANTS!

I can tell it’s SPRING…

I’m getting

LAZY!

Now ..I work 3 jobs…

I get up at 5:00AM and go to bed at 9:00PM.

I think I deserve some DOWN time!

BUT…

Then…I..get…really….complacent…

procrastinate…LAZY!

So every once in a while,

I need someone to give me a little

PUSH    SHOVE

KICK IN THE  PANTS!

Time to git ‘er DONE!

This has been one of those weeks!

So…

I have a packet I made that I use in my classroom

A  LOT!

If any of you already have this…

DO NOT FEAR!

Help is on its way!

Now,

MY KIDS LOVE THIS!

The packet is full of independent activities, comprehension questions, word work, etc

ALL related to the BOOK OF THEIR CHOICE!

I can use it with ANY book.

My independent readers can read a book

 and as a GROUP

( can we say COLLABORATE )

they can DISCUSS & complete the pack TOGETHER!

Now I don’t use it daily…maybe once every two weeks or so.

It takes them awhile &

I really want them to “get into it”.

Lots of rewards, positive notes, specials when completed.

It’s a GOOD THING!

BUT…

It’s OLD. Really OLD.

It was in need of “A LIFT” ( in all the right places ).

Sounds like me!

I DID IT!

I GOT ‘ER DONE!

And here she is.

ALL gussied up and purdy!

She has grown from 14 pages to 44!

She is ALL GROWED UP NOW!

I added a booklet style because

PAPER & INK ARE AT A PREMIUM!

So now…less paper… less ink… more productive teacher & students!

My Little LOVE…

Book Club

 is available

at my TPT store

1stgradefireworks

You will  LOVE this!

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:

How to Make CHUNKY CRAYONS for your classroom.

Have YOU ever made
CHUNKY CRAYONS?
ALL kids LOVE to draw.
They LOVE big, chunky crayons!

MAKE THEM!

Use the broken crayons from your classroom…
AND
BEG OTHER TEACHERS FOR THEIRS!

Teachers LOVE to get rid of broken crayons.

Then …start searching stores ( including thrift stores, Goodwill, etc )
for silicone shaped candy molds!

If not… my BFF…AMAZON PRIME!
You are NOT making food…
They can be “recycled” …wink , wink!

I found some snowmen, trees, and gingerbreadmen 
at Goodwill for $1.00 !!

Now what?

Have the kids…
YES THE KIDS
…take off ALL the paper wrappers!

DON’T  TELL  THEM  WHY!  🙂

Paper wrappers …I did them MYSELF!

Should have had kids do them…
they would have ENJOYED IT! 🙂

Gingerbreadman

Christmas Trees

Lots DONE… FAST…EASY
If you don’t have a LOT (it takes a LOT) of broken crayons,
ask for donations from other teachers.

Bring the unwrapped, broken crayons home.

Break up the crayons into LITTLE  chucks!

Put them into the molds…press them down a little.

Place molds onto a cookie sheet.

 Bake 60 minutes (1 hour) at 200 degrees.

Take them out & let them cool.
If rushed…PUT THEM IN THE FREEZER!

(Don’t POP them out…until they are SOLID.)

POP them out…

and   VOILA!



I also made them in the SUMMER.

Check out this blog post.

More fun making CHUNKY  CRAYONS!

Have fun! 

Let me know if YOURS work or not.

HI HO.. HI HO It’s OFF to High Frequency Work..WE GO!

High Frequency Words…or  Sight Words
(depending on your generation..) 🙂
Back in the “OLDEN DAYS” when I became a teacher…
( um…Let’s just say in the late 80’s..)
I was taught to work on HFW (High Frequency Words) DAILY!
These are the words my student’s would see in their daily reading.
Some can be “sounded out” and some JUST HAVE TO BE MEMORIZED!
In order to memorize a word…a student MUST work with it at least
30 times!
WHAT???!!!!
Each word???   YEP!
So we do…DAILY!
Now the list of grade level words is ever changing.
You can see FRY WORD LISTS, DOLCH word lists, CURRICULUM word lists…
BUT the main focus is NOT on the LIST,
BUT WHAT YOU DO WITH IT!
Again…to embed a word into a first grader’s BRAIN..
they must work with it at least 30 times!
(Some kids more..some kids less)
HOW??
READ…..WRITE….SPEAK
Say it with me, “READ..WRITE..SPEAK”
OK. Now the work begins.
High Frequency Words
High Frequency Words
High Frequency Words
High Frequency Words
High Frequency Words
These samples came from Pinterest..
MANY,MANY,MANY boards to help YOU
create a class list &
MANY, MANY, MANY
different activities to help your kids
WORK WITH HFW!
They need to practice DAILY!
I myself, am a KINESTHETIC learner…HANDS ON!
NOT a SUPER fan of worksheets.
( Yes..we do some..I AM ONLY HUMAN!)
Thank You PINTEREST!
High Frequency Words
High Frequency Words
High Frequency Words
Sight Words
And so you see…Practice..practice..practice..
This year my class is a One-to-one classroom with ipads!
(THANK YOU TO WHOMEVER DREAMED OF THIS!)
My newest LOVE is an app called
“SHOW ME!”
Ipad app Show Me
It’s an individual interactive whiteboard!
We play word games, I SPY, word ladders, etc.  each on their own tablet..
and then SWISH!
CLEAR ALL…and we start again!
We do daily practice for about 10 minutes.
That’s about ALL they need in a “chunk” of time 10-15 minutes.
Later in the day…they each have individual word rings.
I have sets available in my store or you can search TPT for others.
Here’s a sampling…
High Frequency Word BUNDLE TPT
TPT 1stgradefireworks
High Frequency Words Tpt 1stgradefireworks
High Frequency Words Tpt 1stgradefireworks

High Frequency Words Tpt 1stgradefireworks

High Frequency Words Tpt 1stgradefireworks
Available at:
And so…
HI  HO 
HI  HO
It’s OFF to HFW
WE GO!
Enjoy! 🙂