Tag Archives: classroom organization

625 Valentine Cards in our classroom. Where do we keep them BEFORE the big day?

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

 VALENTINE  CARDS

It’s that time of year…

Kindness cards, Friendship Celebrations, Valentine Parties

Whatever YOUR site chooses to call it.

IT’S  HERE!

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 from The Trendy Science Teacher
Valentine STEM Activity fro The Trendy Science Teacher
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

(seperation of CHURCH/STATE thing..)

we make our BAGS!

Now I have done LOTS & LOTS & LOTS of different types of  card holders…

(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
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

How to GROW a RAINBOW in YOUR Classroom!

How to Grow a RAINBOW in YOUR classroom!

This week: Classroom Helpers

Each of us is a flower… Growing in Life’s Garden (by Charlotte Diamond)

Can I really GROW A RAINBOW? YES!

This is the entry into a world where ALL students are flowers in the classroom garden. Each is unique, colorful, and needs it’s own nurturing to THRIVE! How to create a classroom environment where each student with different needs and abilities will blossom. When we create our classroom bouquet, we have grown a RAINBOW from the seeds we have planted.

Each of us is a Flower. How to grow a RAINBOW in the classroom. Tips & Tricks.
Beautiful Garden of Mixed Flowers

One time per week, I will post a TIP, a TRICK, and/or a HACK to help YOU, the teacher, nurture our students into thriving blossoms of learning! My hope is that through support, trials & tribulations, and time-saving tips, YOU may grow YOUR RAINBOW!

RAINBOW of flowers. From: How to grow a rainbow in your classroom. 1stgradefireworks
RAINBOW of flowers. From: How to grow a rainbow in your classroom. 1stgradefireworks

Today’s TOPIC:

CLASSROOM HELPERS

First, My number 1 goal in MY classroom is to make INDEPENDENT LEARNERS!

Because, I want my students to be active participants in society. I want them to be LIFE-LONG LEARNERS! AND…I want them to be independent THINKERS!

HOW? Model…TEACH…Model…TEACH…I DO. WE DO. YOU DO! Then, RELEASE THE KRACKEN!

Release the Kracken!

In order to help support the independent learning, I give each child the OPPORTUNITY to be a HELPER.

A Leader. The person “in charge”.

For some this may the first time they have ever been given the WHOLE responsibility of a JOB!

(Think HELICOPTER PARENTS).

For some, it is a responsibility they take on JOYFULLY!

For others, they embrace the position, but NOT the RESPONSIBILITY!

Practice..practice…practice.

And so, to help nurture the independence of each of my little “seedlings”,

I CHOOSE DAILY Helpers.  I know, some classrooms have weekly helpers, some permanent helpers, but for ME? I choose them daily. In my class of 24, each student SHOULD be each of our helpers by the end of the month. I say SHOULD. I make no promises. We are in a continuous state of growing!

WHAT HELPERS DO I NEED?

If you go to pinterest there are thousands of samples of 

Classroom helper/job cards

in a MULTITUDE of classroom themes!

These are a few I have found on pinterest….

Classroom Helpers Set.
Mrs. Lirette’s Learning Detectives
from Grow a Rainbow – 1stgradefireworks
How to Grow a RAINBOW in Your classroom. Planet Happy Smiles. 1stgradefireworks
How to Grow a RAINBOW in Your classroom. Planet Happy Smiles. 1stgradefireworks
How to Grow a Rainbow in YOUR Classroom! Mrs. Possum's Classroom. 1stgradefireworks
How to Grow a Rainbow in YOUR Classroom! Mrs. Possum’s Classroom. 1stgradefireworks

But…putting up the cards and

USING THEM TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

are two different things.

And that is THE OBJECTIVE…

Helper ( JOB )  Cards are a way for students to take RESPONSIBILITY

AND

HELP THE TEACHER! ūüôā

Here is HOW I USE THEM!

Each morning our  bell rings at 8:20 AM.

We are working at 8:21.

My students put HW folders in the basket,

backpacks & jackets on the shelves,

and get ready for chromebooks.

(Don’t be tardy…you will miss computer  time) 

While they are “waiting patiently”..Ie: staring through my back, grinning quietly, hoping I call their name…

I take name cards ( nothing FANCY…3 X 5 cards with THEIR NAME ON IT ūüôā )

and 

change the helpers in a small pocket chart at the front of my room.

I know..BAD PICTURE…I swear the POCKET CHART is right there! ūüôā

My pocket chart came from the $1 section at Target. Nothing FANCY!

MY JOBS are:

Line Leader

Door Holder

Messenger

Clean Up Crew (2 students)

Ball Handlers ( 2 for recess)

Tech Teachers ( 4 students )

They change daily.

They biggest change I have made is..

YOU MUST BE

 “ON TIME AND IN YOUR SEAT” – To be a HELPER!

WOW…no more tardies!

EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A HELPER!

AND after JANUARY… They can choose their job!

(I wait until January because I want to make sure they ALL know EXACTLY what the job is, and may have had a chance to be that “special” helper once before. I want them to see it in action, before they have CHOICE!)

When I turn over the name cards…

(Yesterday’s names to the back of the pile,,)

I ask..

“Do you want to be a ____   OR  _____?”

Whatever the next two jobs available are.

They CHOOSE what they want to do.

That choice allows them to take personal responsibility.

AND THEY DO!

Allow the little ones to be a PART of the classroom!

They LOVE IT!

I hope YOU check out the blogs and pins online to find the HELPERS that fit YOUR classroom and YOUR style! If you need a SPECIAL order HELPERS CARDS SET, email me. I do special orders, too!

1stgradefireworks@gmail.com

Whatever JOBS you choose…let them take RESPONSIBILITY! Don’t do it for them!

NO HELICOPTER TEACHERS! Even when YOUR OCD kicks in!

MODEL..MODEL..MODEL!

Come back next week for ANOTHER round of …

HOW TO GROW A RAINBOW IN YOUR CLASSROOM!

Here is a little “HELPER”

to help YOU get started… ūüôā

Click HERE for FREEBIE!

See YOU next week! 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!

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?   ūüôā  

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

Holiday HELPERS for YOU! ūüôā

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! ūüôā  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!) ūüôā
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… ¬†ūüôā

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!) ¬†ūüôā

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! ¬†ūüôā

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…
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” ūüôā ¬†…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! ūüôā
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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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.