Category Archives: Learning something new

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:
 
STEAM

We jumped into STEAM…and the building began!

Build It..and they will come!

They said STEAM.

They said kids will build in STEAM.

Build WHAT?
Has ANYONE seen the Kevin Costner Movie…
FIELD OF DREAMS?
Build it and they will come.

Field of Dreams

On MY top 10 of ALL TIME GREATS!
Yes…I love baseball  (  GO  SF  GIANTS!  )
But
This is SOOOO  much MORE!

It’s about never giving up.

Keep trying.

When others tell you that YOU are CRAZY…

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

I  LOVE  THAT!
SO How do I give my 6-year-old FIRSTIES
a chance to EXPLORE their dreams?
To “think OUTSIDE the BOX”?
To go the extra mile?

Recently, I have been exploring STEAM.

30 minutes of FREE PLAY???
NO.
I don’t call it that!
( Even if it makes my OCD heart skip a beat!)
STEAM!
Now…this is NOT your
“Teacher KICKS BACK while kids DO WHATEVER THEY WANT!”
This is a structured time of the week
( ANY DAY WILL WORK…
add this to your lesson plans)
where kids get “tools” to BUILD!
They make a PLAN, they put their plan into action,
they learn from failures and their successes, and they do it again!

During STEAM, I tell them they are building a city.

We brainstorm
(chart with pictures – Lots of EL students )
ALL of the things WE want
in a PERFECT city!
(They want LOTS of PARKS…grass…Ice cream stores…etc )
And then I group them into groups of 4.
I switch them each week.
I get out their “TOOLS”…
Toy blocks

Toy Blocks for kids to build STEAM cities.

Blocks…Garage Sale & “FRIENDS” donations
Building tools for STEAM

MArshmallows and toothpicks for ENGINEERS!

Their FAVORITE!
Toothpicks & marshmallows.
Engineers in ACTION!
Math blocks

Math Blocks for STEAM

Math Blocks…Want to learn about “sides”, “corners”, “flats”, “rolls” ?
Use them!
Lincoln Logs

Lincoln Logs for STEAM

Oldie but a goodie!
They LOVE to follow the picture DIAGRAMS!
Math Manipulatives

Math Manipulatives to use for STEAM

Get out your MATH Manipulatives…and let them PLAY!
NO! Not “PLAY” 🙂  …BUILD!
Build a CITY!
Cubes

Cubes for STEAM

CUBES!
Legos

Legos for STEAM

And the ALL TIME  FAVORITE…..
LEGOS!
Giant TUB!
I ask Parents to donate a small baggie of their “extras” from home.
We add them to the tub!
I may need a LARGER tub! 🙂
And so… don’t forget.
If you want to encourage kids to DREAM BIG!
We have to let them do it!

Create, problem-solve, share, plan, explore.  STEAM

I hope the future leaders of our country can do ALL of it!
(Better start teaching them HOW!)
And remember…you need to be a part of it also.
I  do.
We do.
You do.
WOW!
Excuse me.
I have some “creating” to do with those legos!

MAYBE…We can read a book on building, BUILD IT, and then WRITE about it!

INTEGRATE!

Here are some classroom resources to help

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Flexible Seating in First Grade

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

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

#teacherstakepleasanton

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

Teach2Love

10 things to know about flexible seating

Two Sharp Pencils

flexible seating

SassySavvySimpleteaching

If you want to learn MORE about reading

check out these blog posts:

Balanced Literacy

Read  At  Home

Guided Reading in 20 Minutes

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Things Primary teachers do that are QUIRKY!

Primary Teachers are Quirky!

Primary Teachers are QUIRKY!

HUH???

Quirky is defined as…  

”  something that is strange/not normal but cool. Unconventional, surprising, odd.”

You mean ME?  I am… ODD?

YES! YOU!

Here are the top 5 reasons PRIMARY Teachers are QUIRKY!

one reason primary teachers are quirky

Number one reason Primary teachers are Quirky

We like to “DRESS UP”!

Now in most professions, there is a RULE of  PROFESSIONAL ATTIRE.

Teacher's dress codes differ from grade to grade and school to school.

Profession attire for QUIRKY teachers?

In Teaching…we are a little “QUIRKY”!

Elementary teachers dress up to enhance student engagement.

Elementary teachers dress up in tutus. QUIRKY?

Elementary teachers dress up to enhance student engagement.

Minions teacher costumes. Thank You https://teachinginroom6.com

Elementary teachers dress up to enhance student engagement.

Yo Gabba Gabba! Thank You https://teachinginroom6.com

Elementary teachers dress up for Halloween to enhance student engagement.

Character costumes…QUIRKY? Thank You https://teachinginroom6.com

We tend to “go the extra mile!”

And it’s a GOOD thing!

( May have to add that to THING 1 & THING 2).

You get MY drift!

How many TEACHER Tshirts do YOU own?

Do YOU wear SCHOOL shirts on FRIDAY?

Do YOU OWN a Dr. Suess HAT?

Do you DESIRE a pair of shoes or socks that look like a PENCIL?

See?  Just a LITTLE  QUIRKY!

 AND …HEELS??? 

 Who can chase little ones

 or grab the glue bottle

 before it puddles 

on the floor..

in heels?

You see…QUIRKY!

Number two quirky

NUmber two things that teachers do that are QUIRKY!

SMELLS..

Who doesn’t LOVE to walk into a room smelling of…

LAVENDER

COFFEE

FLOWERS

COOKIE DOUGH

etc.,  etc.

We all DO!

And so we PACK IN THE SMELLY STUFF!

Strategies for making the classroom SMELL sweeter.

Sweet smelling sprays

Strategies for making the classroom SMELL sweeter.

Air fresheners are NOT QUIRKY!

Strategies for making the classroom SMELL sweeter.

Quirky teachers make the classroom smell sweeter.

And then …24 LITTLE ONES go outside for RECESS.

AND they come back in…

YUCK! Wet puppy smells need strategies for making the classroom SMELL sweeter.

UGH! Quirky teachers DON”T like the smell of WET PUPPIES!

SMELLING LIKE WET PUPPIES!

UGH!

 And SOME of those 6-year-old WET PUPPIES…

NEED  DEODORANT!

And so…we retreat to our OLD FRIEND…

Strategies for making the classroom SMELL sweeter.

Yeah CLOROX!

* in MY district you NOW must obtain a 1 hr. PD and get a “CERTIFICATE” to use CLOROX wipes in the classroom.

A Little QUIRKY!

But…we do what we need to do to survive!

Myself…I prefer cookie dough candles…  

JUST  ME.

DON’T LIGHT THEM…

JUST SMELL THEM! 

Number three

Number three for Quirky teachers

Lunch.

A Primary teacher’s lunch is a LITTLE  QUIRKY!

First, it has to have pieces that can be held in

ONE  HAND!

Teacher multitasking.

The Quirky teacher can do more in one lunch period, than most people do ALL DAY!

I always laugh when someone says,

” You HAVE 40 minutes for LUNCH?”

Yeah…after I get 25 kids to the cafeteria.

AND…one doesn’t forget their lunch and we have to walk back & do it AGAIN!

AND…if I don’t have to call a parent.

AND..if I don’t need to run off papers.

AND..if I don’t need to correct spelling tests, prepare the SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS, write a note, 

AND…HEAVEN FORBID…

GO TO THE BATHROOM!

( Don’t forget to EAT…it will be ANOTHER 4 hours until you are FREE!)

So…bring a lunch that can be eaten in ONE HAND!

The other hand MAY BE BUSY!

A LITTLE QUIRKY!

Number four

Number four for Quirky teachers

DIY? Quirky?

Those DREADED WORDS!

Do  It  YOURSELF…NEVER!  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

I don’t think I have EVER started a DIY where I didn’t involve someone else!

 Thank YOU to my WONDERFUL HUBBY…

He puts up with my QUIRKINESS!

Spray PAINT!

Elementary teachers LOVE to use NEON spray paint for DIY centers and classroom workstations.

Quirky teachers LOVE NEON SPRAY PAINT! Raise your colored finger!

Did YOU feel your hands get clammy?

How your heart rate INCREASED?

Do you have a smile on YOUR FACE?

NEON    SPRAY   PAINT!

Do YOU feel the “NEED”…to  spray

SOMETHING?

I know..it’s OK…

I think some people are “wired” with it.

The NEED  to PAINT!

And we do…

Reading center storage drawers for guided reading centers.

Sterlite drawers

Reading center storage drawers for guided reading centers.

Tool Kits for BRAG TAG drawers

Teacher storage areas for centers, materials, and guided reading books.

Ahhh..organized storage for ALL. Quirky or NOT!

We will SPRAY EVERYTHING!

And…it’s OK!

( I’m sure SOMEWHERE…there is a 12 step program for this!)

QUIRKY?

YEAH!

Number five

Number five for the quirky teacher

Are you QUIRKY about BAGS?

No.Not grocery bags.

I mean BIG, LONG HANDLED, BRIGHTLY COLORED, (maybe) on wheels,

BAGS!

“I Like BIG bags & I cannot lie…”

(I think it’s a SONG)

Me dancing…

Lesson plans, lunch, grading papers...bags for teachers

Quirky teachers LOVE big bags…and I cannot lie!

BIG bags for teachers

Colorful Big Bags!

Bags that have files for grading papers, lesson plans, balanced literacy materials.

Organized BIG Bags…be still my heart!

Big Bags for teachers

Bags on WHEELS! OH YEAH!

But…

LOOK AT THE BRIGHT COLORS!

We will carry 50-80 POUNDS of STUFF in ONE BAG…

GOTTA keep MY hands FREE!

And not think twice about it.

I AM NOT walking BACK to MY classroom AGAIN!

Yes…I can carry it ALL in one trip!

(Why do my shoulders & my back hurt so much?!)

But LOOK at the BRIGHT COLORS! So cute!

No…I will NOT buy 24 folders at TARGET for 17 cents each!

 I just bought the CUTEST  “31”  BAG..  🙂

A LITTLE  QUIRKY!

And so…

Some of us were meant to be PRIMARY TEACHERS.

AND some are NOT!

To those who are…

HOLD YOUR SPRAYPAINTED FINGER UP HIGH…

WEAR YOUR T-SHIRTS PROUDLY…

AND  SMELL  the QUIRKINESS  in YOUR  WORLD!

WELCOME  to the CLUB!

If you have HUNG in here for this LONG  POST…

Keep GIGGLING…

Here is a FREEBIE  for YOU!

Back to School Vocabulary Banner

Back to School Vocabulary Banner from 1stgradefireworks

Check out OTHER fun things from 1stgradefireworks!

Pin IT! 🙂

Grandma & Grandpa

I need to apologize to my grandma & my MOM!

I am such a SLACKER!

I think I have it all together..

I DO NOT! HOW? HOw to do it?

My Grandmother & MY MOM

raised a family, worked at home & outside the home,

and we always had stuff when we wanted it.

AND I NEVER ASKED HOW?

Grandma & Grandpa

My Grandma & Grampa

This is my GMA & GPA…

I miss them both.

They lived on a dairy.

 My GPA taught me about cows, HARD work, & what “silage” tasted like! ICK!

My Gma always wore a dress & heels. She was a petite little thing.

She wore toilet paper around her hair at night, so she would look “good” in the morning.

My Gpa didn’t give us candy.

 When we left his house, he would give us a teaspoonful of brown sugar

, from the jar in Gma’s kitchen.

 Nothing fancy..but it meant EVERYTHING to us!

They owned a peach orchard.

 40 acres of peaches.

I never really thought about it when I was little.

 It was just a “lot of trees”. HOW to keep it all together?

Engangement photo

Mom & Dad’s ENGAGEMENT photo

This is my MOM & Dad ( I just found this engagement pic.) HAHA

59 years

59 years together!

They worked hard.

My dad went to work every day.

 Dressed in his suit & white shirt

( that my mom ironed..I know ..with an iron & ironing board! )

And my mom worked a self-owned business,

was ALWAYS there when we got home form school,

 and helped us with EVERYTHING we ever did ( sports, clubs, school, etc).

And I never asked HOW?

How do you do it ALL?

And now this….

Both my GMA & My MOM canned fruits, made pickles, and baked goodies!

Now I don’t bake ( leave that gene to my sister, Susie).

I have NEVER made pickles..& probably won’t..BUT

I   CAN  FRUIT!   

I CAN FRUIT, A LOT!

I  remember walking into GMA’s garage & seeing shelves FULL of canned goods.

I grabbed bottles of canned fuits from my mom’s shelves in our garage.

Peaches, pears, cherries, etc, etc, etc,,   whenever we wanted!

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

It didn’t matter…it was always there.

HOW????

I never asked.

So now..I apologize to GMA & MOM.

I should have asked to help you peel, or slice, or wash, or……..or….or……

But, I cannot take it back.

SO?

I will follow in your steps.

I will teach MY DAUGHTER to can!

And my granddaughters!

I will continue the family tradition.

Only…we will use the recipe on my laptop.

( I know GMA & MOM didn’t do that!)

So here was my day TODAY ( from start  to finish ).

canning peaches

Canning Peaches – jars

canning peaches

canning peaches

Wash the jars ( hot water & heated dry) in dishwasher.

peaches

fresh peaches

peaches

washing peaches

peaches

blanched peaches

Wash..rinse…BLANCH (  Boil  whole peaches, then put in pan of ICE WATER!)

Their peels  just  slide right off!

Slice, Slice, slice!

canning "station"

Hubbies canning station

Too hot to cook inside!

Set up our campstove OUTSIDE!

Pan on the left is a sugar/water mixture.

Cook the peaches in for a short time, then pour into jars!

Hubby is sooooo  good at this!

peaches

Peaches in jars

canning peaches

Sliced peaches in jars

peaches

peaches in jars

Then…

Boil in a water bath ( 25 minutes ) to seal.

peaches

seal the cans

 and…

VOILA!

peaches

Canned peaches

peaches

canned peaches

There we go!

11 quarts of fresh canned peaches!

They will be sooo  good  this winter!

(Daddy gave us more peaches

…so I am thinking peach cobbler for dinner!)

or maybe…..

I SHOULD MAKE JAM!

Gma made jam……so did MOM….WOW!

This is HOW!

I should THANK them.   🙂

Here are some more posts to help me “get it all together!”

Planting Seeds

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!

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!  🙂

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 🙂

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! 🙂

ENJOY!

Write On Journal Pages

Helping my EL’s with Writing.

My kiddos come with a SMALL  amount of ENGLISH print.

MOST..not all..but MOST have enough English to communicate 

everyday NEEDS to me.

BATHROOM, Recess, and When is LUNCH?

How to help EL’s write, when you don’t speak the same language?

We are OK.

BUT…

English PRINT?

WOWZA! Another WORLD!

FIRST…

 We begin…BEGIN…with  Phonemic Awareness.

Sounds…

ORAL…

NO PRINT!

Letter Sounds, Vocabulary Words, Rhymes, Alliterations,,

SOUNDS

and LOTS OF THEM!

Next…

We ADD 

PHONICS!

A symbol (letter/word) to the sounds.

Alphabet, HFW, Word Families, emergent readers, etc.

For those who make READING a priority…

they excell!

For those who don’t have a LOT of support at home..

It can take LONGER…

But..

THEN…

We WRITE!

We write well and we write A LOT!

Lists, poems, booklets, stories, and they LOVE IT!

The problem occurs when they don’t have an ENGLISH word to attach to the “word” in their head!

Vocabulary MUST be a HUGE part of the daily writing minilessons.

And RESOURCES!

We use Step Up to Writing…

Writing Stoplight

and

I “supplement”…Ummm

SUPPLANT

with

LUCY CAULKINS!

YESSSS!!!

http://www.heinemann.com/products/E07729.aspx

Click HERE to see it…

FINALLY..

We  use  my

WRITE ON!

 papers because they have 

VOCABULARY

built in!

Write ON! Writing and Vocabulary to help EL’s with Writing.
Write ON!
Write ON
Write ON
Write ON

Available HERE

My kids are doing GREAT!

(Most could only write their names at first!)

Daily PROGRESS! 🙂

First Grade Student Writing

First Grade Student Writing

First Grade Student Writing

And so..

we 

PRACTICE, we TALK, WE SING,

WE CHANT,

AND ..we

  WRITE ON!

And HERE is a FREEBIE to Help you on your way!

Check My Writing. Post Writing Checklist.
Check My Writing. Post Writing Checklist.

2020 is a New Decade | We get a “Balanced Literacy” DO-OVER: Week 8 – Word Work

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

2019 is the Year of BALANCED LITERACY!

But wait! THIS IS 2020!

Did I miss it???  NO!

2020 is a new decade!

We get a BALANCED LITERACY  “do-Over”!

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR PLAN!

The Why? The What? and The How?

This Week:  Word Work

Balanced literacy has been defined as  “an approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001)

It is an approach to teaching. NOT a curriculum. It is HOW we teach our students to be independent readers and writers. It is NOT what books we use to teach them.

Balanced Literacy has been defined in “components” or  “pieces” of literacy instruction.

This 8-week series will focus on the components of a complete BALANCED LITERACY program. We will focus on clear and concise definitions. Definitions that educators can discuss in collaboration.

A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.

The 8 components we will focus on are:

  1. Read Alouds
  2. Shared Reading
  3. Guided Reading
  4. Independent Reading
  5. Modeled / Interactive Writing
  6. Shared Writing
  7. Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
  8. Word Work

Each week we will focus on one area of Balanced Literacy and share experiences,  teacher tips, and resources to support and expand our Balanced Literacy repertoire.

BALANCED LITERACY

This week:   WORD WORK!

You can’t THINK of Word Work without thinking …

Sight Words, High-Frequency Words, Word Families, Spelling, Phonics, etc…

Before we start..

WHAT IS WORD WORK?

During Word Work, students experiment with spelling patterns, memorize high-frequency words, and develop a genuine curiosity for and interest in new and unique words. By playing with words, word patterns, word families, prefixes, suffixes, and so on, students hone their knowledge of words and increase their speaking and writing skills.

Daily 5

This Reading Mama

https://thisreadingmama.com/what-is-word-work/

What is WORD WORK?

Word work is a hands-on time to explore the spellings and/or meanings of words (vocabulary). Making time for word work is vital because it helps patterns and words move into long-term memory. Word work can help our learners become better readers, spellers, and writers. Depending on our learners’ developmental stages, they might use this time to focus on letters and their sounds, read and spell words, or work on word meanings. At the same time, learners have time to explore sight words.

When or HOW do I teach WORD WORK?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Before a Small Group Reading Lesson – Before small group reading lessons, I review a previous word study, based on my learners’ word work needs. Beginning sounds, short vowels, ending sounds, etc. The key to these is that they should be quick and easy.

2. Spelling word practice. During our guided reading lesson, I might focus on our spelling words for the week or the word families we have reviewed in previous lessons. I always start with what the kids know…and then add new information.

3. A Small Group Lesson – Frequently I have strategy lessons just to focus on a particular phonics or spelling strategy, especially if we notice several learners struggling with the same thing.

4. Whole Group Instruction – I recommend a simple phonics lesson for all learners in the classroom each day. This isn’t a long lesson (10-15 at most) and covers phonics material that is on grade level. I have a district required curriculum. I use the curriculum phonics as my MORNING MEETING lesson. I can expand on it during my small group time.

I incorporate word work mini-lessons into my writing lessons, when appropriate. If we are working on multi-syllabic words, we will edit our writing for those words, also.  

Always be on the lookout for opportunities to support your students! When we are doing interactive writing, we incorporate MANY literacy practices! 

Balanced Literacy does NOT isolate skills and strategies.

Best practices are integrated throughout the entire school day.

First Grade Roars

Free Word Work

Free Word Work

Bethany Ray

 

CA Journeys BLENDING LINES Grade 1 Units 1-6

1stgradefireworks-Blending Lines

Word Work can be integrated from ANY curriculum and ANY resource.

Use science, social studies, reading, writing, and ANY vocabulary experience to support your WORD WORK studies. 

These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

Read Alouds

Reading at Home

These Word Work resource books for TEACHERS may be helpful for YOUR reading.

 

Brain Games Word Workout Kit

Brain Games

Let's Go Fishing ( for Sight Words)

Let’s Go Fishing for Sight Words

 

So…Leave me a comment… What does Word Work look like in YOUR classroom?

2019 is the year of BALANCED LITERACY! Pronoun Word Work FREEBIE!

2019 is the year of BALANCED LITERACY!

Pronoun Word Work FREEBIE![/caption]

PRONOUN WORD WORK FREEBIE!

 

How to get your Kindergartner 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?

5 Lessons to get ready for First Grade

Here are the 
5  MOST IMPORTANT THINGS
you can teach your
kindergartner
BEFORE
they enter FIRST GRADE.

How to be ready for first grade.

number one

Number One

First and foremost…
they need to be able to
TIE THEIR OWN SHOES!
And KEEP THEM TIED!

child tying his shoes

Learn to tie your 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!

How to be ready for first grade.

number two

Number Two

a loose tooth hanging in a child's mouth

Your child WILL lose a tooth!

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!

How to be ready for first grade.

number three

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

A child’s belt

How to be ready for first grade.

number four

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 chewed up

How to be ready for first grade.

 
and last…
and MOST IMPORTANT…
 
I am your TEACHER.

blonde teacher

I am YOUR Teacher

You may call me Mrs.
You may call me MOM.
I answer to GRANDMA.
may,  probably will answer to GRANDPA.

How to be ready for first grade.

number five

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!
 
OK..kindergarten parents…
GET THEM READY FOR FIRST GRADE! 🙂