Tag Archives: classroom organization

Helper Elf

Are YOU an ELF? A Christmas “HELPER” ELF?

Not, an ELF ON THE SHELF!

A REAL HELPER ELF!

It’s the MOST, WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

SANTA  CLAUS is COMIN’ TO TOWN!

Santa Claus Is Coming to TOWN!

First of all…
I work at a low socioeconomic, Title 1 school.

This time of year can be very hard for some kids.

Some families DON’T celebrate Christmas.

Some families can’t afford gifts.

Some are VERY proud and won’t accept donations.

This means…Santa & his elves don’t come to EVERY house.

So today..we had  THE TALK.


THE talk about what December, Christmas, and Santa

are REALLY  about.


GIVING & HELPING!

Then…
Today, we became HELPER  ELVES!

We talked about 

HOW we can HELP at HOME, 

at SCHOOL, 

and help our FRIENDS!

The kids talked about giving from the “heart”.

Our class meeting was SO enlightening!

My kids were SO engaged.

The conversation was NOT about “ME..ME..ME”.

They were SO excited to brainstorm  “What can I do for OTHERS?”

Sniff..sniff..made tears of joy come to my eyes!

IT WAS AWESOME!

And so..

Santa, you can come to ROOM 3.

(I have a feeling…he will)

Here are  some suggestions for YOU!

But for now..

WE WILL BE HELPING YOU, SANTA!

WE ARE HELPER ELVES!

To help YOU out in this BUSY month..

 Here are some 

CHRISTMAS Goodies

from  my TPT store.

1stgradefireworks

Here is a FREEBIE

from my store!

  MERRY CHRISTMAS, 

 Helper ELVES!

Elf on the Shelf- FAIL!

ELF on the SHELF…FAILURE!

I admit it…I failed..

I tried the ELF thing…FAILED!

I forgot to move it.

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

My kiddos didn’t find it!

OH…exhausting!

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

I GIVE UP! 

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

Change..inevitable
THINK POSITIVE!

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

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

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

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

So I think I will focus on content.

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

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

But for now, we will focus on learning.

Are YOU a HELPER ELF?

( BORING I KNOW…BUT NECESSARY!)

So…next in my list…MATH!

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

THIS ELF IS NOT ON THE SHELF

1 more..1 less…10 more..10 less

So…to help with my “ELF FAILURE”

AND

to maximize my math time…

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

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

ENDLESS possibilities!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now…where did I leave that ELF?   🙂  

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

Holiday HELPERS for YOU! 🙂

Classroom Literacy

Data Collecting

Guided Reading

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

No More “HOW DO YOU SPELL???”

Spelling.

( I know..I cringe at that word.)
Kids want to SPELL perfectly…every time!

My fear is…students who STOP writing a wonderful story, because they can’t remember HOW to spell a word.

Just one word. And then..they stop writing! UGH! They ask themselves, “What does it start with?” Oh..I dunno…so where do they look? What do they do? Ask a friend…look on your word list…check the word wall…ASK THE TEACHER! NO!!!   I want INDEPENDENT readers & writers! Those DREADED words…

“HOW DO YOU SPELL…????”

Ugh! What to do FIRST? We have gone over letter sounds, word families, vocabulary, picture prompts, word walls, word lists, dictionaries, pictionaries, and so on..and so on. And still they ask. “How do you SPELL???” So what is a teacher to do?? Then what?
PINTEREST! ( The place where ALL questions CAN be answered!) And so I search…
Spelling Practice
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/5911043239308984/
Spelling Practice from Samantha Almaguer  FREE!
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/515802963551850222/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/42784265188753752/

SO MANY SPELLING CHOICES!

So many Spelling WORD LISTS! ( And don’t EVEN get me started on WORD WORK!) Balanced Literacy Word Work And so…what’s a teacher to do? Head to YOUTUBE! Here is a great video from Angie @ Center Station
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZhkKImvI4g
Still, no answers! AND SO?  What to do? What to do? Create MY OWN! My district has adopted a curriculum. I have 18 boxes waiting for me to unpack! My PD for this new curriculum is 5 days before I have students! I probably won’t have time to REALLY dig into the program. Surface teaching for a few weeks! BUT… My kiddos are ready… BEFORE I AM! And so.. I create! Bookmarks for Sight Word PRACTICE

Here are a few of my newest

SPELLING   creations!

The spelling word lists in this program can be used anywhere, anytime, with ANY program!

Homeschools, interventions, homework, practice pages! Here is KINDERGARTEN
Here is  FIRST  GRADE
And  Grade  2
All of the lists are printed in black and white. SAVES  ON  COLORED  INK! ( I print mine on colored paper!) I print one copy of SPELLING word list for the student’s desk. A little tape on top..and voila! Instant word wall for writing! (NO MORE …HOW DO YOU SPELL…) The other word list I send home for homework each MONDAY! They have to read & practice each night. Spelling tests on FRIDAY! I give “rewards” for 80% correct or higher! I don’t expect perfection…just effort in their work. I add these word lists to SPELLING CITY on our computers. (If  you don’t have SPELLING CITY….GET IT!) 🙂
They practice EVERY DAY!

They also must use the week’s spelling words in their journals.

They read their journals to a partner. WOW! Spelling, reading, writing, word lists, &  homework! I think we’ve got this! I have also added BLENDING LINES for READING FLUENCY PRACTICE!
Blending Lines
Blending Lines for Reading Fluency
BLENDING  LINES….View Preview VIDEO Here

I hope you can use my new SPELLING Packets!

This may help, too!    For more thoughts and talk for November, please visit these great posts. Like what you see, and want to join us? Before posting your link, please email RETTA at retta.london@gmail.com.
Teacher Talk
Leave me a comment !!! Good Luck!
Bring on FAll

Bring on FALL! We are READY!

Have I mentioned…

I  LOVE  FALL!

OK…Many times.

I live in NORCAL.

We don’t have the  TRADITIONAL

4 seasons.

DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE  4   ????

In NORCAL…

we have

Summer ( 90-100 degrees )

Fall   (  80-90 degrees)

Winter   (  foggy…  60-70 degrees…sometimes cooler )

Spring  ( 70-90 degrees )

It’s OK…I LOVE my HOMETOWN.

Sometimes.

OH…well…  🙂

And so on.

SO now that it’s 80 degrees & FALL..

What’s UP in ROOM 3??

Fall Brings…

BRAG  TAGS!

We use Brag Tags on rings during the month.

They earn BRAG TAGS

for

 following classroom / school rules

AND

Lifeskills

At the end of each month…

They transfer their earned BRAG TAGS  from RINGS…

To string necklaces.

They get to wear their necklaces ALL DAY AT SCHOOL

and then

HOME!

( Parents are told at BTS night to

 REWARD their kids for necklaces

 at the end of the month!)  🙂

Fall Brings…

English   Language   Arts

Word Work

Word  Sorts…NO GLUE!

Pick 3 crayons.

Color the words according to the KEY!

Write!

Back from 2 week vacation.

TEACHER…..CLEAN   YOUR   TABLE!

 I don’t have a teacher desk.           #bestdecisionever

Reading  ROCKERS!    #alternativeseating

Birthday  Books.

On each student’s birthday  ( or close  to ),

We make a class BIRTHDAY  BOOK!

We do these during  MUST DO TIME!

Independent work.

We have a “FRAME” style we use.

Everyone makes a page.

We STAPLE together and VOILA!

CLASS   BIRTHDAY  PRESENT!

We sing and dance as we PRESENT ( haha )  it to the birthday  student!

LAST..( whew..what a  week !)

Fall Brings…

GUIDED MATH

My  newest  &  favorite time of the day!

 We are doing

MATH  MUST  DO’s  &  MAY  Do’s

( Same format as ELA centers in the AM )

KEEP  YOUR  ROUTINES  THE  SAME!

We go the the MATH  Calendar  (  next to ELA  Calendar  )

after  lunch.

Math  Calendar

After  we go through the “math board”…

We NOW ( Quarter 2)  do MATH MUST DO’S.

(  Approx.  45   minutes  )

Must DO’s

#1    MATH    JOURNAL

Story  Problem  with  illustrations &  number  sentence.

#2    Math  Paper

A  Workbook Page FROM  YESTERDAY ( review )

#3    MATH   TUB  (center)  with a PARTNER

I do the whole class MATH lesson  BEFORE  centers.

SOMETIMES we do the workbook page together…sometimes they do.

Depends on the Lesson.  We  have a district curriculum to follow.

( Approx.  time    45  minutes  )

What  am I doing?

GUIDED   MATH   GROUPS!

I meet with 2-3  kids at a time.

We work on a STRATEGY.

NO  worksheets!

They need  to have independent  strategies to do ON THEIR OWN!

I  can’t  take the assessments  FOR THEM!

So…

Here is what’s UP  in room 3 in the FALL?

Need  supplements for ELA  or MATH?

Brag Tags

Balanced Literacy

Check out my store for GOODIES!

1stgradefireworks

Fall Dilemma

What do I teach in OCTOBER?

 

So my October dilemma.

We have a two week vacation

 from Sept. 29-Oct. 14, 2018.

(NO COMPLAINING HERE!)

Celebrate!

WAHOO!!!

BUT…

We return on Oct. 15.

 MONDAY

16 days (exactly ) until…

YOU  KNOW  IT

WEDNESDAY, October 31, 2018

Trick or Treat Kids

Happy Halloween!

HALLOWEEN!

Parties,

CANDY,

Kids who can’t wait to get home ( highly DISTRACTABLE!)

(some schools…not mine….)

COSTUMES!

So … My October dilemma.

When we go back,

Do I put out HALLOWEEN themed centers?

Do I keep it OCTOBERish with Columbus, Halloween, Fall, Pumpkins,etc?

Do I just “touch” on the “HOLDIAY” stuff…and Promote the FALL  stuff?

Do I  add  THANKSGIVING?

Should I keep it ALL going until THANKSGIVING?

What to do?  What to do?????

Fall Leaves

FAll Leaves

BTW…   I  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE   FALL!

I love October!

My favorite season.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

Starbuck's Pumpkins Spiced Latte

Starbuck’s Pumpkins Spiced Latte

YUMMY!

But…

CONTENT is EVERYTHING!

My students MUST take a BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT in December.

I want them to do well.

( I don’t think there will be a HALLOWEEN question on it.)

Unless it’s about 

HOW MANY CANDIES DID YOU EAT ALL TOGETHER?

So ..what to do?   What to do?

October INTEGRATE!

I must teach SCIENCE and SOCIAL STUDIES!

( Living things…life cycle…Plants/animals…Lifestyles Long Ago..)

So here is MY October plan:

Reading:

  • Nonfiction about pumpkins, apples, plants
  • Biographies about Christopher Columbus, Squanto
  • Fiction about Fall, Halloween, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving

I am checking my district curriculum

( yes, we have one )

for REQUIRED (Tested )  Skills & Strategies for this quarter.

As we delve into our reading…I make SURE to incorporate TESTED strategies.

Questioning? Sequencing? Retelling? Etc..etc…

Vocabulary?   Again…check NECESSARY vocabulary for success!

I spend A LOT of time on necessary vocabulary. I have 10-12  English Language Learners.

They need visuals, modeling, & practice before they can “TAKE ON” the new information.

Phonics?   Spelling?   Grammar? 

 Required phonics skills for this quarter.

What to use for  Spelling? 

BOTH!

  Required spelling skills AND  thematic vocabulary words. 

WHAT?      WHY?

Because…I want them to have some  INTRINSIC vocabulary to use easily in their…

WRITING!

Bear wrapped as mummy

Bear wrapped as MUMMY

I want MY Mummy!  🙂

Sorry…. couldn’t resist.

October Writing:

  • “How To”..grow..carve…etc… about pumpkins, apples, plants
  • “Informative”  about Christopher Columbus,   Squanto, Pilgrims
  • “Narrative”  about Fall, Halloween, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving
  • Thank You cards, Invitations, Lists, Etc.

Again…I am checking my district curriculum 

for REQUIRED (Tested )  Skills & Strategies for this quarter.

Whatever our REQUIRED writing prompt will be

( I already know mine  is INFORMATIVE)

We will practice, practice, practice!

I won’t skip the other genres.

Just FOCUS on the INFORMATIVE!

BUT wait!

I want crafts! I want CUTSIE! I want products! 

I Love October BOOKS!

And so…we will make CUTSIE lapbooks, paintings, charts, stories & crafts

 about???

Fall, Halloween, pumpkins, apples

, plants, Christopher Columbus, 

Squanto, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving

DON’T tell our FIRE MARSHALL.

I might HANG THINGS UP!

Definitely!

I won’t tell if YOU won’t tell.

MATH:

  • addition / subtraction
  • missing addends
  • place value
  • graphing
  • story problems

And October MATH??

Lots of Graphs, addition & subtraction,                 problem-solving, story problems

ALL ABOUT THEMES!

How many apples, pumpkin seeds, candies, turkies, indians, etc, etc.

(Math Journals are GREAT for this!)

and, yes..

I will need to keep it going until Thanksgiving.

And I will need to use EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY!

And yes… it will take planning, and prepping…

Bat craft

Bat craftivity

BATS! 

Black Cat watercolor

Black Cat Watercolor

Black  Cats

Pumpkin plants in garden

Pumpkin plant in garden

Growing  Pumpkins

Crock Pot applesauce

Crock pot applesauce

Making APPLESAUCE!

Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed!

And YES

I WILL LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

You see…

FALL IS MY FAVORITE SEASON OF THE YEAR!

Don’t you just LOVE OCTOBER?

To those of you who hung in there to the bottom of this LONG POST…

A FREEBIE FOR YOU!

Happy FALL!

BOO BANG!

Boo Bang

Boo Bang FREEBIE!

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)
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!
Here are some classroom resources to help

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Balanced Literacy

In a Balanced Literacy Classroom, the Guided Reading table is THE COMMAND Center.

What is YOUR favorite time of the day?
Before lunch?
Recess?
 
Mine is…

GUIDED   READING!

 

guided reading table

The MAGIC happens at the Guided Reading Table

In a BALANCED LITERACY classroom,  

this is the place where “MAGIC” happens!
The “AHA!”..the lightbulb…whatever you want to call it.
 
Last year I got rid of my 
TEACHER  DESK.
 

This is my 

Guided Reading

CENTRAL COMMAND.

 
 
 

The guided reading table where I do small group reading as part of my balanced literacy.

Guided Reading Table

 
Then I added stools from IKEA.
My kiddos LOVE IT!
 

I use flexible seating stools at the guided reading table.

The central area of any Balanced Literacy classroom…the guided reading table!

 

My next favorite

Guided Reading”accessory”

from by

BFF…

AMAZON!

 

Brewster Wall Pops 

WPE99065 Peel & Stick Calypso Dry-Erase Dots

 with Marker

 

Vinyl clings make seating areas The guided reading table where I do small group reading as part of balanced literacy.

Dry erase dots!

 
I put  BIG teal dots on my table!
 

 

Vinyl clings make seating areas The guided reading table where I do small group reading as part of balanced literacy.

We write on our dry erase dots during guided reading,

 
My kids write on them!
 
 

 

Vinyl clings make seating areas where I do small group reading as part of balanced literacy.

Using dry erase dots on our guided reading table for word work, comprehension, and vocabulary.

 
After we read… then
we write questions on them
 and then change seats to answer them!
Musical Chairs!
 
 

Vinyl clings make seating areas where I do small group reading as part of balanced literacy.

Students are highly engaged during guided reading.

 
They LOVE it!
Write & WIPE! 
 
The BEST!
 

I use my 

BALANCED LITERACY BINDER

for Guided Reading Resources.

 

ALL of the elements needed for a Balanced Literacy classroom in one resource.

Balanced Literacy Resource Binder. ALL of YOUR Guided Reading resources in ONE BINDER

 

ALL of the elements needed for a Balanced Literacy classroom in one resource.

The components of Balanced Literacy.

 
I use it
to assess kids reading levels,
 to group them with like skills,
 and to teach them AT THEIR LEVEL.

Guided Reading 101

 
Now a couple of things I have learned “on the way”…

The reading strategy element needed for a Balanced Literacy classroom.

Teaching reading strategies is vital to a Balanced Literacy reading program.

1.  Guided Reading is NOT independent reading time!
They read to themselves (READ TO SELF) at a different time of the day.. we do it after lunch.
 
2. Guided Reading is NOT a time for a LONG teacher LESSON!
 I only have them for 15-20 min.
  Always give them a skill or strategy they can use NOW!
 
Your goal is to create INDEPENDENT READERS… do not enable them to wait for YOU to do the reading.
 
3. You DO NOT have to read a BOOK every day!
 This is not the time for HOW MANY BOOKS have you read?
 
  My lowest reading group needs PHONEMIC AWARENESS. If you don’t know your letter sounds…it’s really HARD to read.
 
My “bubble” kids ( those that have some skills, but need support and practice to move over the “BUBBLE” into INDEPENDENT READERS) need phonics support to be able to solve reading problems, independently!
 
So Guided reading should be called
 

GUIDED  LITERACY

 
Meet them at their level.
Give them a “take away” that they can use TODAY.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

 
I also use FRIDAYS for assessments ONLY.
 
NO GROUPS!
 

Student assessment recording sheet needed for a Balanced Literacy classroom.

Assessment drives the guided reading groups.

 

Student assessment recording sheet needed for a Balanced Literacy classroom.

Teacher “HOW TO” pages for guided reading assessment.

Student assessment recording sheet needed for a Balanced Literacy classroom.

Assessing skills for guided reading groups.

I do one-to-one RUNNING RECORDS.
I do fluency assessments.
I do letter, spelling, word family, & phonics assessments.
BUT…
 
Don’t  “DAWDLE”…

don't dawdle...run fast

Turtle and rabbit running FAST!

 
Make it quick. Not a “story” time.
Try to get the most BANG for your buck.
 
Suggestion:
 
Start with your middle groups.
The “BUBBLE” kids.
They will be moving the fastest.
 
Next.
 Alternate assessments between your highs & lows.
 
Your highs probably will make continued growth with “less” support…they came in with strong foundations or they wouldn’t be HIGH!  
Don’t forget about them. Keep them connected with BOOK CLUBS,    Writing, and LOTS of COMPREHENSION.
 
My low babies. You can’t practice TOO MUCH.
When they become “done”…distracted, unable to focus, etc.
CHANGE IT UP.
Interactive writing, phonics games, reading with “finger pointers”, etc. etc.  
 Change the game…not the content.
 
Here is a Sight Word FREEBIE for YOU to get started !

FREE Sight Word game to practice reading

FREE sight word game for guided reading.

 

Remember…

1. Assess your students. Check data frequently.

2. Sort students into groups ( 4-6 student per group is perfect!)

3. Reteach skills and Strategies.

4. LET them READ! They need PRACTICE!

 
So I LOVE the guided reading table.
 
LOTS of learning goes on there.
 
BUT ALWAYS, ALWAYS, remember…
 
IT STARTS WITH

DESK Plates for student names…No Paper Needed!

This week’s theme…

Student desk plates.

Name tags. Desk Plates. Whatever YOU call them.

Do you have name plates on your student’s desks?

Do they
WRITE ON THEM?
 RIP THEM?
 PLAY WITH THEM..ALL THE TIME?
I have a SOLUTION!

PAINT PENS!

WHAT?
PAINT their desks?  NO WAY!
No …Not Paint their desks!
I use SHARPIE PAINT PENS…
(OIL BASED)

To write their names ON THE DESK!

Check out the CUTE Colors!

But…HOW DO I GET Desk Plate   OFF???

Shhh….don’t tell

BLACK EXPO MARKER & a Good eraser

will take off ALL PERMANENT Marker

and

Oil-based  Paint pens!

WHO KNEW?

Now…No papers on their desks.

No TAPE!

Nice…smooth…clean…

I LOVE IT!

Try it!

You can change it whenever you want!

( add cuties for the changing seasons!

SO FUN!

And so easy the add or change

when a new student enters your classroom community!

 

Check out MORE  about

classroom organization.

 

 

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! 🙂

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!