Tag Archives: classroom organization

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

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! 🙂

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation? It might SURPRISE You!

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

I am a VETERAN teacher.

NO.

 I have NOT fought in a WAR.

I have taught in GRADE 1

 ( exclusively )

for over 30 years!

WOW!

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

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!

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

I will say this ONE TIME…

IT  IS  NOT  ABOUT  TEST SCORES!

The teachers 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 my parents were arguing LOUDLY!

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

or

___  not in a good “mindset”  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,

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

Where? How? When?

Admins…

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

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

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 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!

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

How do you know if your “team” appreciates YOU?

Do you “share”?

Do you “follow through?”

Do you “care” about each other?

My “teaching partner”…

( I said “partner” one time..it took on a WHOLE DIFFERENT meaning!)

and I have taught next to each other

( rooms 3 & 4)

for 24 years!

We are going to retire together 

the same year…in 3 years.

( We “pinky sweared”…

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

Her mom works in her room.

I call her MOM!

Our students think we are

SISTERS!

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…

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

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!

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!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 http://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

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?

Frontload any vocabulary that may change thinking, distort comprehension, or unfamiliar to them.

Take a picture walk. Cover the words.

Make them use the visual cues in the story.

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

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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What are YOU Packing? https://1stgradefireworks.net

It’s Time to Get Ready for…The END OF THE YEAR!

A FREEBIE to Help you get PACKING! 🙂

What are YOU Packing?

WHAT ARE YOU

 PACKING IN BOXES

 FOR THE END 

OF THE SCHOOL YEAR??

Here is my list:

It’s ALL about ME!

What will I need the first week?

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

What MATERIALS will I need to accomplish this?

USE THOSE STICKY NOTES INSIDE YOUR TE!

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

Use the next few weeks to make your NOTES!

Before the end of the year, get ready for the BEGINNING of the Year!

Don’t forget…hide a few

 water bottles, mints, chocolate, and Tylenol

 for the first week back…FOR YOU! 

Never know how that FIRST WEEK will go! 

BE Prepared!

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

RUN THEM NOW!

( Nothing feels better than pulling out MUCH NEEDED

things…ALREADY DONE!)

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

I ran off ALL papers I would need for the first two weeks, before the end of the year.

Beginning of the year..all prepped!

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

THEY WILL NOT BE INDEPENDENT!

Have a few things ready so they can have “down time”…

while YOU are doing ONE-TO-ONE assessing!

You know you will HAVE TO…prepare for IT!

Last….MANY BOXES for centers, games, things you need to go through

LATER!

I know you NEED these..

BUT

You will “SURVIVE” looking at them LATER!

NO STRESS!

( YEAH, right!)

Prepare today…

after a RELAXING Summer…

the thought of coming back

and redoing everything in a day or two is

 EXCRUTIATING!

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

The payoff is HUGE!

Now…where did I pack that STAPLER?

Here are some HELPERS to get your year started!

EVERYTHING?

Time to PURGE!

I think I need a LOT MORE BOXES!

Hi HO..HI HO…It’s off to pack I go!

Here is a little FREEBIE to help you get ready!

Back to School FREEBIE!Word Work Preview.
Back to School FREEBIE!Word Work Preview.
625 Valentine Cards in our classroom. Where do we keep them BEFORE the big day?

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

 VALENTINE  CARDS

It’s that time of year when we share Valentine cards!

Kindness cards, Friendship Celebrations, Valentine Parties

Whatever YOUR site chooses to call it.

IT’S  HERE! Let the Valentine Card sharing begin!

The time of year when we color,cut & glue

to show our FRIENDS  that WE LOVE THEM!

Pinterest has LOTS ( I mean LOTS )

of Valentine IDEAS!

These are a few from one of my collaborative Pinterest boards

Valentine STEM Activity fro The Trendy Science Teacher

Valentine STEM Activity fro The Trendy Science Teacher

Valentine STEM Activity fro The Trendy Science Teacher

Check out this fun  Valentine Post  about

Valentine Resources

You need NOW!

 

Kindness Cards

Kindness Cards


CLICK HERE FOR FREEBIE

WE LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY!

But WHAT TO DO WITH ALL OF THOSE VALENTINE CARDS???

How to MANAGE them ALL?

2 days before our “Friendship Celebration”..

*We are NOT allowed to call it a VALENTINE celebration

(separation of CHURCH/STATE thing..)

we make our BAGS!

Now I have done LOTS & LOTS & LOTS of different types of cardholders…

(Again…THANK YOU PINTEREST!)

But I think the MOST important thing to remember is…

WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO PUT THEM?

If you have 25 students…these take up a LOT of space!

So the choice is yours!

Just remember…

ALWAYS…ALWAYS…make 1 extra!

(That student who was absent on CRAFTY day…will want a bag on PARTY day!)

ALSO….

Have your kiddos write THEIR NAME ONLY on the cards.

One in each bag…PLOP..PLOP…PLOP!

NO need to MATCH their friend’s name to the bag.

One for EVERYONE!

When we open our bags…we say THANK YOU to each person who gave us a card!

MANNERS COUNT!

So good luck.

Check your CRAFTING SUPPLIES.

Find our where you want them be..they will be there for two whole days.

AND enjoy!

Don’t forget to make one for yourself!

I am sure your kiddos will have “TREATS” for you too!

Do you NEED a few more Centers for Valentine’s Day?

Can You Make 10? Valentine Math Canter

Can You Make 10? Valentine Math Canter

Can You Make 10? Valentine Math Canter
Missing Addends Math Center for Valentine's Day

Missing Addends Math Center for Valentine’s Day

Missing Addends Math Center for Valentine’s Day
109 pages of Math Task Cards for Valentine's Math Center

109 pages of Math Task Cards for Valentine’s Math Center

Happy Friendship Day!

Wendy

1stgradefireworks

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!