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. During Reading Workshop, have them make predictions PRIOR to reading. AFTER reading, check their predictions.
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!
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! Reading Worshop takes time. Make the time for it!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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….
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
HELP THE TEACHER! 🙂
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 🙂 )
change the helpers in a small pocket chart at the front of my room.
My pocket chart came from the $1 section at Target. Nothing FANCY!
MY JOBS are:
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!)
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 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.
PURGE those files!
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 classroom desks for OPEN HOUSE
Our End of the Year assemblies are WONDERFUL! Our school talent show, sing-alongs, class sharing, etc. happen this month.
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
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!
The books need to be sorted before the end of the year.
Before the end of the year…START NOW!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!)
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!
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.
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!
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!
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: