Tag Archives: classroom organization

Elf on the Shelf- FAIL!

I Failed at ELF ON THE SHELF!

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 will “ELF” a different way. 

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.

The ELVES are WORKING OVERTIME!

The Elves are Working OVERTIME!

The Elves are Working OVERTIME!

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

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

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

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

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

Now…where did I leave that ELF?   🙂  

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

Holiday HELPERS for YOU! 🙂

Classroom Literacy

Data Collecting

Guided Reading

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

 

Fall Dilemma

My OCTOBER classroom DILEMMA!

 

So my October dilemma.

We have a two-week FALL vacation.

 

(NO COMPLAINING HERE!)

Celebrate!

WAHOO!!!

BUT…

We return on Oct. 14.

 MONDAY

21 days (exactly ) until…

YOU  KNOW  IT

THURSDAY, October 31, 2019

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 “HOLIDAY” 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 the necessary vocabulary. I have 10-12  English Language Learners.

 

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

.

Phonics?   Spelling?   Grammar? 

 Required phonics skills for this quarter.

 

What to use for  Spelling? 

BOTH!

 

  Required spelling skills AND  thematic vocabulary words. 

WHAT?      WHY?

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

 

WRITING!

 

Bear wrapped as mummy

Bear wrapped as MUMMY

I want MY Mummy!  🙂

Sorry…. couldn’t resist.

October Writing:

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

Again…I am checking my district curriculum 

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

Whatever our REQUIRED writing prompt will be

( I already know mine  is INFORMATIVE)

We will practice, practice, practice!

 

I won’t skip the other genres.

 

Just FOCUS on the INFORMATIVE!

BUT wait!

 

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

I Love October BOOKS!

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

 

 about???

Fall, Halloween, pumpkins, apples

, plants, Christopher Columbus, 

Squanto, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving

DON’T tell our FIRE MARSHALL.

I might HANG THINGS UP!

Definitely!

I won’t tell if YOU won’t tell.

MATH:

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

And October MATH??

Lots of Graphs, addition & subtractionproblem-solving, story problems

 

ALL ABOUT THEMES!

How many apples, pumpkin seeds, candies, turkeys, 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 the 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!

JULY already? NO!!! Summer… SLOW DOWN!

Where did my SUMMER go?

July???  Already HERE?  End of JULY is close! NO!!!!

 (Sniff…sniff…deep breath..) I need to get my classroom ready for… The First day of SCHOOL!

OK…student’s are coming to school July 30..

I had better go & see what it looks like..

Books on the floor!

EEEEEEEKKKKKKK!

WHO LEFT THIS HUGE MESS in my classroom!!!????

Oh, yeah…ME? 🙂

I locked the door …AND  RAN!!!!!

Whew! Time to clean up!

So, I spent today (again) working in my room, this time…

throwing things away!

I purged like I never have before!

My poor janitor…he came in twice to take away PILES.

But it’s getting there. Now to teacher organization.

I have 3 big things I did TODAY:

1. I got rid of my teacher desk. 

No more file cabinets, drawers, or “piling” surface.

I now have a “U” reading table as my area! 

LOVE THIS!

 I now have 2 tall (5ft) bookcases next to my area.

Teacher's Guided Reading Table

2. I made a “supply” center ( Lowes tool box) 

for all of my desk supplies.

AND…

to keep all of my centers and student stations…

My teacher TOOLBOX.Organize after getting rid of my TEACHER DESK!

LOOK AT WHAT I DID TODAY!

WMart  3 drawer containers.

I “cutsied” ( is that a word?) them..

LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

My counter has NEVER been this clean! 🙂

I couldn’t decide what I wanted on each label.

So, I chose the month ( so I can add theme materials)

AND

next to it, I put what skill is taught during that month.

My thinking is …

when I create or purchase new materials,

I can file them either by the month OR by the skill.

Math was a little harder…most CCSS cross the entire year.

You can’t just teach number & operations in August…all year long! 

I think I will keep the standard, and separate each one by quarter.

Maybe…or maybe monthly…I dunno yet. 

I need to live with it a while & see how things go!

Busy day!  I love getting organized!

Tomorrow I challenge the dreaded….

PUZZLE CABINET!    UGH!

FREEBIE…You made it to the bottom of this post…

Here’s A FREEBIE FOR YOU! (Click HERE)

Back to School Word Work PREVIEW FREEBIE!

Let me know…HOW DO YOU GET READY FOR BACK TO SCHOOL?  

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.
Creating a Reading Community

Creating a Reading COMMUNITY!

Reading Workshop

“Creating a Community of Readers”

via…LUCY  CAULKINS!

This is my newest FAVORITE thing!

https://youtu.be/cgN2WUMW6zM

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!

During Reading Workshop,, 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…

 How?

 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!

A HUGE THANK YOU to Lucy Caulkins!

So there you are.. Reading Workshop…

GET  READING!

🙂

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
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! 🙂

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 🙂 )

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! 🙂

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… 🙂

Click HERE for FREEBIE!

See YOU next week! Wendy 1stgradefireworks

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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!