Tag Archives: classroom organization

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!

The end of the school year is almost here!

The END Of the School Year is NEAR!

The End of the school year is coming up fast!

May 1 begins the RUSH to the Finish Line! As of  May 1, we have 23 school days left!

After the calendar changes, I start getting ready for Summer vacation.

Spring Fever is kicking in.

I daydream of the beach, family barbeques, gardening… Ahhh…

I need a BEACH VACATION!

I am thinking BEACH! Spring FEVER is here!

But WAIT! I am NOT ready for the end of the year.

I have things to do!

STRESS is kicking in!  So what?  What do I need to do?

End of the Year Report Cards.  

All end of the year paperwork for my students needs to be completed. We have to sign off on cum files. Put papers in files. Purge student portfolios so the second-grade teachers only get current information.

Clean out the paperwork on your desk

PURGE those files!

 

OPEN HOUSE

Our Open House for parents is in May. The end of the year is a good time for them to visit our classroom, see their child’s projects, and let their child “teach” them. I step back and become the “visitor”. The kids run the show. I teach them how to properly introduce their parent to me. “Mrs. McCarty, I would like to introduce you to my mother, Maria ” and we shake hands. ( Practicing good manners ALL the time!) The kids are the “guides” and they WALK THE ROOM (start at the door & show them ALL the things we do and then to their clean desk ( cleaned that day). EVERYTHING ON their desk goes HOME with them. MAKE SURE NOT TO PUT ANYTHING ON THEIR DESK THAT YOU WANT TO STAY. We have ALL of our end of the year projects completed and ready to go.

clean desks before the end of the year

Clean classroom desks for OPEN HOUSE

ASSEMBLIES

Our End of the Year assemblies are WONDERFUL! Our school talent show, sing-alongs, class sharing, etc. happen this month.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT

At the end of the year, we celebrate our families. We have a LUNCH on the LAWN for our families. They can bring a lunch (McDonald’s is ALWAYS a favorite), a picnic blanket, and have lunch with their child. They can bring Grandparents, siblings, cousins, whomever. It’s at their regular lunch time, just a fun time for all. ANY student whose parent cannot come, ( like ME..I was always working..dad went) they get to sit on MY picnic blanket and have lunch with ME!

family picnic lunch

Picnic lunch with families. Photo thank you to http://allaboutgracie.blogspot.com/2011/06/school-picnic-lunch-with-gracie.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also have our end of the year BOOK FAIR! Families are encouraged to purchase books for their child to read over the summer. We usually have a good turn out. If you have NOT had a Book Fair at your school, try it!

Scholastic book Fair

Scholastic Book Fair

CLASSROOM

We are winding down with our books and curriculum. Workbooks are almost empty, journals are full, and the crayons and markers have had it! The end of the year has taken its TOLL on student materials! 🙂  But, I have to get ready for NEXT YEAR!

Piles of student books to be sorted.

The books need to be sorted before the end of the year.

Before the end of the year…START NOW!

  1. Have students sort through classroom library books. THEY CAN SORT! Add labels to any books not labeled and have your books ready for next year.
  2. Sort writing center materials ( papers, markers, etc) and make sure everything is in working order. Have your students check markers. Any that don’t work..TOSS!
  3. PURGE your FILES! ( Yes…I said IT!) If you haven’t used it, seen it, or are not even sure where it came from…RECYCLE IT!
  4. OPEN YOUR CUPBOARDS! If you have NOT opened the cupboard this year…YOU DON’T NEED ANYTHING IN IT! Don’t store stuff because you MIGHT need it. If you aren’t using it… BYE BYE!
  5. Take out EVERYTHING from drawers and closets. DON’T PUT IT BACK, if you haven’t used it! ( I found 10 computer cables for the technology we don’t even have anymore!)
  6. Have students CLEAN! I give them a paper towel and SANITIZER! Wipe everything you can touch! NO PAPER OR BOOKS! Chairs, stools, door, tables, desks, TOPS & BOTTOMS! CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!
  7. Think about YOUR bulletin boards for the beginning of the year. Put ALL of the things you will need in one box. Don’t forget a stapler, tape, etc. MARK IT for TEACHER IMPORTANT! Keep it with YOU.
  8. Don’t take home a ton of stuff over the summer. I allow myself ONE box. THAT’S IT! You are NOT going to do a lot of school work over the summer. Don’t FAKE IT!
  9. I begin to pack at the end of the year, as soon as OPEN HOUSE is over. A little EVERY day. My goal is to fill one garbage can a day for the rest of the year. Purge a little every day. You have digital files…use them!
  10. Runoff your first-week materials. Have them in a box ready to go! I am working on my lesson plan frames for next year. I do mine on the computer. Wouldn’t it be nice to open the lesson plan binder and already have the first week DONE??!!! I already have my year-long plans for ELA and MATH. My BFF teaching partner has done that.

SEND HOME STUDENT MATERIALS

I send ALL workbooks ( with pages we didn’t get to), BRAG TAG necklaces, student-made books, etc. on the last week. If I change the routines, I must deal with behavior problems. AND WE DON’T WANT THAT! We have a game day the last day. They can play our rainy-day classroom games. Then we write a letter to the kindergartners telling them about First Grade.

The end of the year is a fun time, a stressful time, and a time to organize for next year. Don’t “over-do” it. Remember…it’s YOUR vacation TOO!

When you are getting ready for Back To School…  check out these HELPFUL resources:

Check out this great BLOG POST from LAURA at www.thecoreinspiration.com on setting UP your classroom library.

classroom library set up

How to Set Up Your Classroom Library www.thecoreinspiration.com

My friend, CHRISTINA DECARBO will help YOU get organized for the END of the YEAR!

 https://www.missdecarbo.com

end of the year organization tips & tricks

End of the Year Organization https://www.missdecarbo.com/

What is a Balanced Literacy Classroom?

Balanced Literacy

BALANCED  LITERACY

Fluency practice pages

Be A Reader Blending Lines for FLuency

BE  A  READER…  BLENDING LINES FOR FLUENCY

 

 

Journal pages for vocabulary practice

Write On Journal Pages

     WRITE   ON

 

 

Short vowel word work

Back to School Word Work                                      BACK TO SCHOOL WORD WORK

 

          

  CA JOURNEYS MEGA BUNDLE…

CAN WORK WITH ANY CURRICULUM

YOUR WHOLE YEAR…   DONE!

 

          

JOIN THE BOOK CLUB

These posts will help ease your stress:

How to Prepare for a Successful Reading Workshop in First Grade

How to do GUIDED READING in 20 minutes or less..(FREEBIE TOO!)

How Do you Fit It ALL in? Balanced Literacy.

HUG  your kiddos.   BREATHE.  Think ahead.  Enjoy your SUMMER VACATION!

 

Wendy    1stgradefireworks

Young children love to read during Reading Workshop

How to Prepare for a Successful Reading Workshop in First Grade

Reading Workshop

“Creating a Community of Readers”

via…LUCY  CAULKINS!

This is my newest FAVORITE thing!

I LOVE Lucy Caulkin’s

READING, WRITING,

&

COMPREHENSION LESSONS

If you get a chance to hear her, see her, and/or youtube her…

DO IT!

When I teach reading, I don’t want my students to stop and ask for help.

I want them to have skills to be independent readers.

I want them to be problem-solvers.

So, I am…

Making a Community of Readers

How to create a community of readers

 How?

Before reading, take a sneak peek!

What do you do BEFORE reading?

 Take a picture walk.Cover the words.

Make them use the visual cues in the story.

Frontload any vocabulary that may change thinking,

distort comprehension, or unfamiliar to them.

Have them make predictions PRIOR to reading.

After reading, check their predictions.

After reading, think about it!

When you finish reading, do something!

 I LOVE this!

After reading..then what? DO SOMETHING!

Reread it for NEW information. Retell it to yourself or a friend. We use our 3 fingers retell. I love this part…DIGEST IT! Just as a good meal…when you are finished, appreciate it. Think about it.

 ENJOY IT!

When you finish readin,g read it AGAIN!

Read MORE!

 You are NEVER done!

When you finish…read more! My kiddos love to stack ALL of their books on the left..as

they finish reading a book…place it in a pile on their right. Keep reading! Their goal is to

read more every day! STAMINA! Reading MATS are used to make goals.

Our goals are to read MORE!

Read with your eyes. No need for fingers.

Use your eyes to read…not your fingers.

 We want kids to quit using their fingers to read.
Good readers use their EYES!

“SCOOP” up words (phrases) with your eyes. When reading, put 3-4 words together

and read the phrases! GREAT time to teach prepositions & prepositional phrases!

When reading, always reread the text for comprehension.

Always reread text

 Always, always…reread!
You will see more, read more, and understand more when you reread a story. Read it to a partner, a
parent, a friend. The same book can sound new when you are reading it the second or third time!
Lucy Caulkins Units of Study

Lucy Caulkins Thank You

A HUGE THANK YOU to Lucy Caulkins!

So there you are..

GET  READING!

Remember….

When in doubt…

ALWAYS make it

BALANCED  LITERACY

What part of a Balanced Literacy Classroom is reading?

For more early literacy reading and writing resources

Check out

 1stgradefireworks

Classroom Management..from Harry Wong to Brag Tags!

Classroom Management.

I don't have my ducks in a row...but they are in the same pond...

I know.   I said it.

WAIT!  DON’T LEAVE!

Classroom Management isn’t a BAD  thing!

It’s how to create a CALM…so you can teach!

And isn’t THAT our GOAL?

There are a GAZILLION places to learn how to do

classroom management. 

When I was beginning my career, 

HARRY  WONG

was the JEDI of Classroom Management!

Book on classroom management

It’s a good read for ALL of us! 

After a trillion different management attempts,

 retries,

 changes, 

changes again..

I think I have found classroom management

that works

FOR ME!

And it HAS to WORK ..

FOR YOU! 

What the teacher next door is using

maybe the best thing, 

“since sliced bread”.

BUT

If it doesn’t work FOR YOU,

it’s USELESS!

So WHAT do I use?

Three step program.

(NO… not a 12 step program…ONLY 3)

As every primary teacher knows,

Consistency is the key to success.

Young kids like to know what is coming next.

They like to know ” IF THIS…THEN THAT!”

And they keep ME on my toes!

And pulling my hair out!

yes, they make me crazy sometimes

 I start my school year with group points.

It lasts about a month.

After they figure out which “friend” is going to be a problem in THIER group…

points don’t count.

I used to use “CLIP CHARTS”.

Great kids move up.

Those who need more “attention” moved down.

I had a great visual 

of the “cans” and the “cannots”.

Not for me.

And so began ..

MY  3  STEPS  to  MY  SANITY!

1. CLASS  DOJO

2. GOLDEN  TICKETS

3. BRAG TAGS

These 3 management strategies work for me.

If they help YOU…JUMP ON IN!

#1

CLASS  DOJO!

Class Dojo

Class Dojo for phone

* I am NOT receiving ANYTHING from DOJO…

I JUST  LOVE IT!

Class DOJO has allowed me 

to connect with

 students 

and  PARENTS

quickly and effectively!

Isn’t that the point of classroom management?

To effectively 

“manage” a situation 

and correct it, 

or support it,

 immediately?

YES!

Dojo is an online program where each student has an avatar. They gain or lose points as they follow the positive or negative 

attributes that YOU set up.

I had a BIG problem with tardies.

8-10 kids tardy…daily.

One of my positive attributes is

ATTENDANCE  ON  TIME.

Every student gets a point for being in their seat, 

ready to work when the bell rings!

I am down to 2 tardies..average..daily.

FOR me?   Success!!!

Dojo also sends an automatic email to parents on FRIDAY, detailing their child’s points for the week!

INSTANT PARENT NOTIFICATIONS

..and I didn’t have to do ANYTHING!  🙂

AND…

After parents have signed up for texts 

THAT IS THE HARD PART…GETTING THEM TO SIGN UP

(I AM RELENTLESS…I BUG THEM OVER & OVER)

I can text them at a moments notice.

AND I DO!

I also do class messages and send pictures.

I am just learning DOJO, too.

#lifelessons   #newtechtolearn

#2 Golden Tickets

THIS IS MY “GO TO”  PROGRAM!

IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM!

Simple.

Run a copy of Tickets on YELLOW OR GOLD PAPER.

CUT UP into tickets.

Keep in a box.

Golden Tickets for classroom management

Kids earn them for ANY positive interaction, action, or reaction.

Help a friend? TICKET!

Pick up the floor? Ticket!

Say kind words? Ticket!

A friend helped YOU?  Give them a TICKET!

And so MY STUDENTS start looking 

and listening 

for ways to give positive feedback

  tickets,

 to each other.

They have to tell their classmate what

they SAW or HEARD

 that earned their ticket! 

 SO  engaging!

After they get their ticket,

they write their name on the back.

No…sticky fingers.

Twice a week we COUNT tickets.

If they have 10

they can choose 

their reward!

I am NOT spending ANY  $$$$$$

on rewards!

NO need to!

Here are there rewards…

Posted rewards for golden tickets. Classroom management

 Reward CHOICES:

Tech Time …15 minutes on the ipads!

They can choose whatever app they want!

Friendly Lunch..ALL TIME FAVORITE:

I purchased 8 plastic placemats – 4 sets of 2

They choose 1 friend to give a placemat to, and they sit next to each other at lunch in the cafeteria, and eat lunch with their placemat and their friend. AFTER lunch, they sanitize the placemat, and put it in the office so I can pick them up after lunch.

ROYALTY for A DAY..

Students can choose to WEAR A CROWN, and be KING____ or QUEEN _____  for a day. The crowns?  BULLETIN BOARD borders I have

  used, scrounged, saved, begged for from others, 

on hand. Measure, staple, VOILA..instant CROWN!

Wear it, take it home. I DO staple a golden ticket to the front. EVERYONE will ask WHY DID YOU GET THE CROWN?

They can explain about GOLDEN TICKETS.

Teacher chair:

They get one of my BIG SQUISHY chairs at their desk for a day. They will spin, moved, be tall, and LOVE their BIG chair.

SWIP  SWAP:

Change desks with a partner FOR A DAY!

Use their books & stuff and THEY use YOURS!

Must clean each others desk

( put things back better than they were

when YOU got there..)

at the end of the day.

FREE Homework PASS!

NO homework for 1 night!

I write a note and put it in the HW folder so parent’s know.

FLUFFY  FRIEND:

They can bring a stuffed animal to school for 1 day.

Sits on their desk, works in teh classroom, cannot go outside.

If kids don’t have one..they can choose 1 of mine.

LINE Jumper:

First graders LOVE to “cut in line”. The LINE JUMPER can cut in line ANYWHERE they want, for 1day. They MUST tell the person behind them…”Excuse me, I am a LINE JUMPER!”

(You can NEVER step in front of someone

 without using the words EXCUSE ME

..and tell them WHY!)

#manners

Here we are in action.

Student on ipad for golden tickets rewards.

Golden tickets rewards.

Golden Ticket's reward.

Golden Tickets reward.

Stuffed animal as fluffy friends.

LONG POST…  sorry

#3

BRAG  TAGS!

We LOVE BRAG TAGS!

Many THANKS to

Lucky Little Learners

  Angie Olson @ Lucky Little Learners

Brag tags necklaces on the wall.

We started using the LINK necklaces for Brag tags.

TOO HARD to OPEN for our little fingers.

#toomanyforteacher

Drawers hold each set of brag tags.

BRAG TAG storage 🙂

Rings hold Brag tags.

Now we use RINGS instead of link chains.

Wear your BRAG TAG necklace home!

At the end of the MONTH, 

we take ALL of our Brag TAGS and BEADS

 OFF of our RINGS

and string them on a STRING.

Make a BRAG TAG necklace to WEAR HOME!

Most kids say they save them

 at home for the whole year!

Great HOME connection!

WHEW! Long post…SORRY.

I just want to give you all of the details so

YOU can choose 

what works for YOU!

Here are some other posts I have on

classroom management:

BRAG TAGS

What’s Up in Room 3?

Get  YOUR Golden Tickets HERE:

Brag Tags and Golden Tickets

For your time…

Here is a FREEBIE

from ME..to YOU!

Free POPCORN sort from 1stgradefireworks

So let me know…

What do YOU use for YOUR classroom MANAGEMENT?

Share your story in the comments.

I will choose 1 person this week

for a FREEBIE.

I will choose from my comments!

Leave me your email! 🙂

ENJOY!

I Have an OBSESSION!

I have an obsession
I used to think it was only a “hobby”.
I  thought I only had a “few”.
I was using them for good.
I can give them up at ANY time..right?
Well…I have heard the first step
to a
 CURE
is to
ADMIT
 you have a
 PROBLEM.
I am OBSESSED by…
STERALITE  DRAWERS!
You know… you have done it!
Amazon, WalMart, Target…
We walk in…they have them stacked so neatly.
They are EVERYWHERE!
YOU…Yes YOU…
YOU need to be ORGANIZED!
Classroom, kitchen, bathroom, office, bedroom, etc, etc.
OK.
Here is my WORLD.
My Classroom.
Don’t judge. 🙂

Where I “FILE” my “STUFF”.

After I got rid of my  teacher desk…
YOU gotta have a place for the “little things”!

Guided Reading Drawers…I use them daily!
If you need some guided reading resources…
check out my

Word Work “EXTRAS”..
I am noticing a trend. ( “STUFF, “EXTRAS,…”)
I think I need to PURGE!

More “stuff”…
you know…stickers, scissors, boxes of “stuff”,
TAPE! LOTS of tape!
BTW…I LOVE  washi  tape.
Might be ANOTHER obsession!

I KNOW… more stuff.

And I could NOT LIVE without my curriculum drawers!
Centers & “stuff” for each month!
Both MATH (Dark Blue)  &  ELA Blue/Green
Skills & Standards for each MONTH!

OK.
I might have a LOT!
BUT…
They keep my “Stuff” where I can find it
AND
THEY LOOK SO GOOD!
If  YOU are in need of some
ORGANIZATION…
( I can help spread the LOVE)
So I have and ORGANIZATION obsession.
I guess it could be worse…
Could I be a hoarder, too???
Nah!
I just have a lot of “STUFF”,
 I might need some day!
What teacher isn’t??  🙂
Enjoy!

Give from the…HEART!

Teachers  are  givers.

Kids are TOO!

We want EVERYONE  to  have 

ALL of their WISHES come true!

BUT….

So how?

How can we teach curriculum,  maintain  sanity,

and MAKE WISHES COME TRUE?

Give!

GIVE  FROM  THE  HEART!

In our classroom we  make ornaments.

NOT all of the ornaments are for CHRISTMAS.

Some of my kiddos don’t celebrate Christmas.

BUT…

They  create.  They  inspire.  They  give.

From the  Heart.

My  favorite things are HANDMADE.

( Sniff… from the heart)  🙂

Where do we get our  ” inspirations” ?

PINTEREST!

(You can follow me here…)

No stress…pictures…some directions…Ahhhhh.

My  happy  place!

Here are some of MY  favorite  ideas!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AauKHq04s3VIDuE8bceSrLCmvzxEHKxLIV9dfmZwn2y-Qrg2qgtIP88/

Popsicle  sticks! 

Glue! Paint!  Decor!

Let the imagination go!

NOT ALL OF MY KIDS MAKE THE SAME ORNAMENTS!

Let them have choice!

I show them the pictures.

 I share the BASICS.

I let them GO!

MY  choices and their choices MAY BE DIFFERENT!

Different is good! 

Give from YOUR heart!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/101260691599483836/

SALT  DOUGH!

Who doesn’t  like  DOUGH?

Squishy, squeezy  balls of  FUN?

I  LOVE  handprint ornaments.

(GMA  HERE)  🙂

Our kiddos are small for such a short time.

Make those MEMORIES!

I  bring out ALL the cookie cutters I can find, borrow, beg for.

SUGGESTIONS…

Don’t let them be too THICK.

Let them dry FOR A LONG TIME ( 3-4 days ) 

before PAINTING!

Hot glue string on the back after dry,

OR

Poke a hole on the dough with a straw BEFORE drying.

MY newest LOVE!

HANDPRINT   SNOWMEN!

ALL of MY kiddos make this one!

I make these in small groups

( I can only do 3-4 kiddos at a time)

If you have a PARENT HELPER…

this is a PERFECT craft for them!)

Paint on day 1.

DRY  day 2.

Faces ( I suggest  BLACK SHARPIES )  Day 3

Scarves  (  felt, material/ paper scraps…srapbook paper works great!)   Day  4

Let EVERYTHING DRY 

& then 

add  a  string  for  a  hanger!

BE SUPER CAREFUL when sending these home!

( No dropping )

Place in a gift bag

 ( we use hand decorated lunch bags)

with LOTS, LOTS, LOTS

of tissue !

So…we  GIVE FROM THE HEART!

It’s not about the $$ amount 

when giving.

It’s about the thought, the effort, and the LOVE

that goes into it!

Here is another gift I do FOR my kiddos.

See the blog POST here.

I hope you have a WONDERFUL Holiday SEASON!

Make memories.

Share the LOVE.

And

Give From the HEART!