Tag Archives: How To

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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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! 🙂

Do You Have a ROUTINE?

Do you have a daily ROUTINE?

I do!

First, I get up early.

Then, I get a cup of coffee.. that is ready for me.

(  I set it to brew the night before while I am doing dinner dishes).

Coffee in the Morning

There is NOTHING better than the smell of coffee in the morning. My BEST morning routine!

Next, I check my emails.

Later, I make breakfast & lunch.

Finally, I wake up hubby,

shower,  & get ready for work.

I LOVE my morning routine.

When things run smoothly…I know what to expect.

That’s how our kids feel in the classroom.

When routines work

EVERYONE knows what to expect & how to do it!

ROUTINES MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND!

Here are MY  top  3  Routines

 for a smooth running classroom.

first routine

The first routine

ENTERING  THE CLASSROOM ROUTINE:

I meet my kids on the playground.

Our “first” bell ( line up ) is at 8:20.

I go out to our line at 8:15 and  remind ALL of my students to get out of their BACKPACKS their BLACK homework folder (provided by me at the beginning of the year..black because I don’t use black for any other folder in my room..and their READ AT HOME envelope with TAKE HOME BOOKS. 

They have them “in their hands” before we walk to the door.

WHY?  

NO ONE has to “dig through” their backpacks when we get in the door. 

While we are at the door…I have a Home Depot shelving unit next to the door.

garage shelving unit

Gray Home Depot Garage shelving Unit. this helps with the beginning-of-the-day routines!

They put their backpacks and jackets ON THE SHELVES! Great beginning-of-the-day routine! NO backpacks or jackets on CHAIRS! No room!

 After we enter..2 baskets on the table next to the door. One “homework”..the other RAH (Read AT Home) Envelopes.

Black folders in HW basket, Book envelopes in RAH basket.

DONE!

(Any notes or OTHER STUFF…in HW basket).

NOW, they get a chair 

( stacked at the back of the room..see routine #3)

and WALK to their desk. They know the routines.

When the starting bell rings at 8:25

(5 minutes after we enter…)

I choose the HELPERS for the day.

You can only be a HELPER if you are sitting in your seat when the bell rings! I am prompt!

( No tardies, wanderers, “chatting”).

If you are TARDY…you won’t be a helper on that day if it’s your turn. You will have to wait until tomorrow if you are on time.

An incentive for getting to school ON TIME!

I choose my helpers. 

2 of my 10 helpers for the day are 

TECH  TEACHERS.

I ask the TECH  TEACHERS to choose a “quiet partner” to help them pass out Chromebooks ( We are a 1:1 school ) and earbuds ( they have their own in numbered baggies.

 (We number EVERYTHING!)

They get their Chromebooks, long into our district reading/phonics practice program, and GO TO WORK!

ALL of this takes 10 minutes.

8:20-8:30

NO MUSS…NO FUSS! Routines help manage the classroom!

second routine

The second routine

Transitions. THE WORST TIME OF THE DAY!

Solution: A NEW routine!

 

Kids are working. The “Hummm” of classroom work.

Happy Teacher.

And then…the timer goes OFF!

WE MUST STOP!

Time to TRANSITION TO SOMETHING ELSE!

NO!

First graders like to MOVE…and FAST!

So to help…we  FREEZE!

Change the ROUTINE!

When the timer goes off…we freeze! I tell them they have one minute to clean up and return to their desks.

Always return to their desk.

Kind of like their “LANDING  PAD”.

After everyone is sitting down ( well, almost everyone..there are always the 1-2 stragglers )

I say.. “One, two, three EYES ON ME!” 

They respond  ” One, two, EYES ON YOU!”

And then a call out… ( I have a list )

Could be “MACARONI & CHEESE”

They respond “EVERYBODY FREEZE!”

AND THEY DO!

I hold them “frozen” for 3-4 seconds.

THEY LOVE THIS!

While a few stragglers are getting to their desk, we play a game! A TRANSITION game. I only need a doc camera, my riddle cards, and a SOFT VOICE. If they can’t hear me..they can’t play! See my post on the TRANSITION GAME!

Who Am I Animal Classification Cards to help with transition routines.

Who Am I Animal Classification Cards… 52 different animals.

After we are settled, I can give directions for our next

activity.  I do this SAME ROUTINE ALL DAY FOR TRANSITIONS!

No problems!

third routine

The third routine!

The LAST 30 minutes of CLASS. End-of-the-day routines.

It’s almost OVER!

The day has come to an end.

HOW TO GET THEM OUT THE DOOR?

STOP!

Many things to do BEFORE we leave.

REMEMBER…The class is ALL of yours.

It’s NOT my job to clean up, put everything away, and pick up the classroom AFTER they leave.

We ALL work here. The community is for ALL of us.

We dismiss at 2:30.

Clean-up ROUTINES! 

At 2:10 

we STOP, put our work away,

 and FREEZE to go back to our desks.

At 2:15  we begin the EXIT PROCESS.

My 2 TECH TEACHERS (helpers) put ALL of the Chromebooks back into the cart ( I have taught them HOW to do this MANY TIMES.They know the routines.)

*UPDATE… They now put them in the cart & plug them in! I put a number on each Chromebook with Sharpie Paint Pens. Then I put a RED dot (Sharpie PAINT pen) on the side above the plug. They know ALL the red dots must line up, every number has to have a matching Chromebook, and they PLUG them in on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays! TECH TEACHERS are awesome!  

2 of my other HELPERS are the 

CLEAN UP CREW.

They EACH choose a ‘friend’ to help them

STACK ALL OF THE CHAIRS

into stacks of 6.

Push the stacks to the back of the room, and clean all papers, crayons, pencils from the floor.

While these HELPERS are working SILENTLY..

the rest of the class goes to the carpet. Workers who are TOO LOUD..can be FIRED! If you don’t do your job in the real world with a “respectful” tone..YOU can be fired! #lifelessons 

Each day 5-6 of my students can come to 

AUTHOR’S  CHAIR Routine.

( 5  color coded groups )

As we transition to the carpet, I ask “RED GROUP” if they would like to “READ…in the teacher’s chair” OR  PASS (for this week).

They read one story from their JOURNAL. Their choice.

We LISTEN ( being a good audience )

and then they can choose 1 person to

“ASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTION”.

We must listen, to formulate a HOT question. 

At the beginning of the year, we learn the difference between a HOT question…and a STORY!

After all 5 have read…I have one student bring me EVERYTHING from their cubby. (Student mailboxes ).

I go over ALL work we are taking home.

I open the BLACK  HOMEWORK folder, where I have taken out last night’s HW and put in tonight’s HW.

and

I show them their RAH books to read tonight.

After all of our work has been reviewed,

I excuse them 3 at a time to clean out their cubbies, take everything to their desk, get their backpack & jacket, take it to their desk, LANDING PAD, and pack up to go home.

When they are ready ..

LINE  UP!

I start a GOODBYE CHANT…

“bye bye Butterfly..See you later alligator…etc”

They must be ready to go before we end the chant.

This takes a little practice.

NO… A LOT OF PRACTICE!

BUT…

We can get out the door in 5 minutes!

This ends my 

TOP 3 ROUTINES

for a smooth running classroom.

Many more throughout the day.

I like routines in MY LIFE.

So do the KIDS!

What routines do you have that you do EVERY DAY?

Pick your top one & share in the comments.

We can ALL learn for each other!

Here are a few Classroom Management HELPERS to help YOU set ROUTINES!

 

Happy  DAY!

The seven Dwarfs from Walt Disney.

Do You Have a PLAN for Packing up YOUR Classroom?

It’s THAT time.

Time to pack up my classroom!

Are YOU packing up YOUR classroom?

via GIPHY

WAHOO!  Summer vacation. The Beach. Family BBQ’s. R&R.

BUT, WAIT!  NOT YET!  First I need to pack up my classroom so I can find the things I need when we come back. Back to School is crazy enough without me NOT being able to find my MOST needed items! ( Where is MY stapler???)

Are YOU packing up your classroom?

download

What am I packing?

What is on my classroom packing list?

Here is my list:

Number one is first.

Number One

It’s ALL about ME!  What will I need the first week?

TE's and Lesson plan book

Teacher Editions and Lesson Plan Book

My Teacher Editions  & Lesson Plan Book. I need them to plan for the first weeks.

Mostly Routines and Daily schedules. (Work on THIS before VACATION!)

Multi Colored Sticky Notes

Sticky Notes

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

What MATERIALS will I need to accomplish this? What lesson to focus on those first weeks? What went well? What didn’t?

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!

How to Prepare for a Successful Reading Workshop in First Grade

Teacher's Desk

Teacher’s Desk

Don’t forget, in your TEACHER DESK…

hide a few water bottles, mints, chocolate, and Tylenol, sanitizer, throat lozenges,

for the first week back…FOR YOU!

Never know how that FIRST WEEK will go!

BE Prepared!

* “SUGGESTED” teacher MUST HAVES for the first weeks:

Number 2 is second

Number 2

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

Before packing up your classroom,  RUN THEM NOW!

( Nothing feels better than pulling out MUCH NEEDED things…ALREADY DONE!)

Stacks of copied papers, sorted and ready to go!

Papers copied, sorted, and filed!

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

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

It’s National PUZZLE Day! Do YOU play GAMES??

Classroom card games

classroom card games

THEY WILL NOT BE INDEPENDENT!

Have a few things ready so they can have “downtime”

while YOU are doing ONE-TO-ONE assessing!

You know you will HAVE TO…prepare for IT!

How do YOU FIT IT ALL IN? Balanced Literacy

Number three is third.

Number three is third.

As you are packing up your classroom with those MANY, MANY BOXES (for centers, games, things you need to go through) … DO THOSE LATER!

I know you NEED these,  BUT

You will “SURVIVE” looking at them LATER!

NO STRESS!

( YEAH, right!)

Read to SELF..LET THEM READ!

Prepare today… after a RELAXING Summer… the thought of coming back

and redoing everything in a day or two is

EXCRUTIATING!

Screaming child

Screaming Child

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

The payoff is HUGE!

Now…where did I pack that STAPLER?

black stapler

stapler

These posts might help “ease” the transition Back to School…

Polka Dots please flexible seating blog post.

Polka Dots Please blog post on flexible seating.

Polka Dots Please

Teacher packing up a classroom .

Teacher Stacking chairs

Packing Up Your Classroom

* PS…I just found out I have three weeks to pack up

MY ENTIRE CLASSROOM! I am getting NEW Carpet! I am happy…I think!

PACK UP 26 years of stuff? In 3 weeks? EVERYTHING?

Time to PURGE! Who needs the PD resource from 1999???

I think I need a LOT MORE BOXES!

boxes in warehouse

I may need ALL of these boxes to pack up my classroom.

Hi HO…HI HO…It’s off to pack I go!

                        

via GIPHY

 WENDY  – 1stgradefireworks

Get those Kinders Ready for First Grade!

I hear it a lot.

How do I know if my child is ready for FIRST GRADE?

He/she will be six.

Is he/she ready?

Well..as a “veteran”  

 FIRST GRADE teacher,

there are a few 

lessons EVERY Kindergartner should know

BEFORE starting FIRST GRADE.

 

What should kinder students know before entering first grade?

Helping kindergartners get ready for first grade.

Here are the 

5  MOST IMPORTANT THINGS

you can help your

kindergartner

get ready for

FIRST GRADE.

How to be ready for first grade.

number one

First and foremost…

they need to be able to

TIE THEIR OWN SHOES!

And KEEP THEM TIED!

child tying his shoes

Help your child learn to tie their own shoes

There is NOTHING worse than kids

running on the playground

tripping on 

THEIR OWN SHOELACES!

I cannot teach 25 students to tie their shoes.

Parents…please…teach your kids to tie their shoes!

Pinterest

Let’s get ready for first grade.

number two

a loose tooth hanging in a child's mouth

Your child will lose a tooth in first grade.

In first grade…they will might..maybe will,

LOSE A TOOTH!

They will might have a “wiggle” tooth.

I WILL NOT PULL IT OUT!

“I promise not to put MY hands in YOUR mouth,

AND you will NOT put YOUR hands in MINE!”

Please..discuss this AT HOME!

Almost ready for first grade.

number three

If your pants are too BIG…

get a BELT!

Not a belt with multiple straps, or a buckle that requires PLIERS!

PLEASE..a belt that can be put on and

 TAKEN OFF…QUICKLY!

Odds are..if the belt needs to come off…it needs to come off  FAST!

Parents, please…teach your kids how to use it!

dark brown belt with buckle

dark brown belt with a buckle

AMAZON

They are almost ready for first grade.

number four

Pencils are for writing with…
NOT CHEWING ON!

They are NOT TEETHING RINGS!

Please keep them (and most other first grade tools)

OUT OF THEIR MOUTH!

chewed up pencils with erasers

pencils with teeth marks on them

So close to being ready for first grade.

and last..

and MOST IMPORTANT..

I am your TEACHER.

blonde teacher

Mrs. McCarty

You may call me Mrs.

You may call me MOM.

I answer to GRANDMA.

I probably will answer to GRANDPA.

number five

Treat me kindly.

Say nice things.

Be Polite.

Follow our rules.

Smile.

Give me a hug.

And we will have a wonderful year in

FIRST  GRADE!


NOW…You are ready for First Grade!

OK..kindergarten parents…

GET THEM READY FOR FIRST GRADE! 🙂

 

DO you Garden? A little or a LOT?

What does YOUR garden look like?

 Do YOU garden?

My hubby is a gardener.

I mean HE LOVES TO GARDEN!

raised vegetable garden bed

We have raised garden beds.

raised vegetable garden bed

A few of them.

bowls of tomatoes

And we have PRODUCE!

One week’s harvest!


Check out these posts for more about MY 

FARMER – Without – A- Farm!


Get Your Hands Dirty

It’s Garden Time

Secret of Life

Meet the “Little Ones”

I need to APOLOGIZE…

Me?  Not “love” to garden.

I “like” to garden.

I love to HARVEST.

I love to eat.

I don’t like to WEED.

I don’t like to sweat.

Fingers dirty?  It’s OK.  

As long as I can WASH THEM…SOON!

Love my new GLOVES!

white leather garden gloves

Amazon.


So we plan our garden.

We grow seeds on our kitchen table.

We start them indoors, 

so we can move them

OUTDOORS!


He reads OLD FARMERS ALMANAC.


As a teacher, 

I want MY students 

to learn to grow their own food.

I want my students to LOVE to garden!
We planted a GARDEN!

first grade raised garden

We will plant tomatoes, pumpkins, Swiss chard, 

& lettuce in our raised garden.


The garden flowers will go on either side of the planter.


Now to help you in the classroom…

1stgradefireworks sunflower seeds unit

Sunflower Seeds

gardening and plant unit

Robby Rabbit’s Garden

Check out my

Learn  All about Plants  

Pinterest  Board.

1stgradefireworks Robby Rabbit's Garden Orange

Robby Rabbit’s Garden. Complete CCSS Grade One unit for Reading, Writing, and Math.

More Fun ideas for

Planting and Learning About a Garden.

How do YOU garden?

How to get kids to Read At Home?

1. How do I get kids to Read at Home?

I am a BLOG STALKER!

I admit it.

This year I am trying to get my kids to 

Read at HOME.

I am ALWAYS trying to find the BEST,

 FASTEST, & EASIEST ways

to make my classroom run smoother

 & more effective while being 

academically successful.

Aren’t we ALL?

So each year I try to “change” 

a few things for the better.

NO THROWING THE BABY OUT 

WITH THE BATH WATER!

  

So here is something “NEW”

 ( or New to ME ) 

 that I am doing this year!

apple

2. Who chooses the students Read at Home Books?

I am NOT ( Ugh…),  NOT  

choosing the Student’s 

TAKE HOME BOOKS

 each week.

( Let it go! Let it go!)

I LET THEM!

The power is in the CHOICE. 

I thought if I chose reading books that were

 ON their reading level

THEY would MAGICALLY 

fall in LOVE with READING!

NOT!

3. How Do Their Books get HOME?

I have RAH ( Read AT Home ) envelopes…

Purchased at

REALLY GREAT STUFF

multicolor hook and loop plastic envelopes

BUT ANY envelope will do!

Each WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY

 they bring their RAH folder back.

I have them choose 2 books…

YES…2 books to put in their folder.

( I place a pile 20 or so, of books at each level …

*disclaimer…right now I have 5 Guided Reading groups…

I group their PILES of books

 at the Guided Reading group level…

So they really are taking home books

 at THEIR reading level.

Just a little teacher

 “nudge”

 in the right direction!

They choose two books,

 put them in their envelopes, 

and put them in their cubbies.

They keep them for 2 nights…

hence bringing them back WED. & FRI. 

We change them for two NEW books … 

and here we go again!

4.   How do I know if they REALLY read their Read at Home Books?

Some nights I add a 

READING RESPONSE 

page to their homework.

USE ONE OF YOUR RAH BOOKS!

( Your choice!)

You can get my READING RESPONSE Packet HERE

Read and Write Reading response pages

Reading Response forms for ANY Book. Read and Write.

Accountability?

I do have a paper…lined…for parents to sign each night.

DO ALL OF THEM SIGN IT?

 NO!

If YOU take a horse to water…

Can you FORCE it to drink it?

NO!

Let it go! Let it go!

Let It go!

5.  What happens if a parent doesn’t read at home
with a student?

If you have a parent 

who doesn’t support reading at home…

 READ, READ, READ at school.

YOU may be 

the ONLY adult 

who reads with

 “THAT CHILD”…

We ALL have “that child”.

Don’t fight it!

Don’t PUNISH the child.

IF he/she could read it BY THEMSELVES…

THEY WOULD!

They can’t.

So

Let it go! Let it go!

Let It go!

6. How do You REWARD students who do Read At Home?

I do REWARD

 those who make the continued effort

 to read at home

EVERY NIGHT!

When they bring their envelopes back,

 I check the paper.

IF the parent HAS NOT SIGNED…

I highlight in RED that date.

At the end of the MONTH..

I give a reward 

(and a SPECIAL BRAG TAG ) 

to those who have read

EVERY NIGHT!

I know…NOT fair for “that child”.

Fair is NOT Always EQUAL!

I want my kiddos who 

DO THE WORK

to know

I NOTICE!

And so my friends…

I keep stalking.

LOTS of great ideas out there in 

BLOGGY LAND.

And PINTEREST  LAND.

AND  INSTAGRAM LAND.

If you need some ideas…

Check out MY PINTEREST BOARDS.

1stgradefireworks logo

Happy  Reading my Friends

Skinny Food for Skinny Jeans? Lifestyle changes.

I must admit…

I am NOT a fan of SKINNY JEANS!

skinny jeans require skinny food

Well…just NOT on me!

I am a 54-year-old Grandma.

I couldn’t wear those when I was 12…

more or less today!

Yes. I am BIG BONED…always have been!

So I am determined to make the lifestyle changes

to “decrease” my density.

So..Weight Watchers and I have been in a

RELATIONSHIP,

for the past 40 years…on and off!

I have been through MANY, MANY 

programs.

Yes, I ate LIVER, counted FIBER grams, and 

Worked out for MORE POINTS!

MORE POINTS  =   MORE  FOOD

I can honestly say..the last 18 months

I have made MORE Lifestyle changes

than I EVER had.

My blood pressure is down, my knees don’t hurt,

 I work out 4-5 days a week, 

and I eat fruit! 

A LOT OF FRUIT!

And I have lost & KEPT OFF 30+ pounds!

More to go..but on my way!

CLAP…CLAP…CLAP

So HOW?

What made the difference this time?

I am determined to never, ever DIET again!

If I want chocolate cake..eat chocolate cake.

 

 To make a LIFESTYLE change, you have to have a PLAN!

There is a BALANCE SYSTEM.

Kind of like my checking account.

I can make deposits (save points & workout more)

So that when I make a withdrawal (chocolate cake).

I NEVER EVER GET OVERDRAWN!

Zero means zero!

When you use ALL of your points for the day…

YOU ARE DONE!

I am NOT a weight watcher leader.

I am NOT getting paid…just good info!

Just trying to keep my hubby & me healthy!

We have 4 children & 5 grandchildren.

I plan on being there to be a GREAT GRANDMA!

I want to see graduations, weddings, births, etc, etc.

I will do everything I CAN.

I will make lifestyle changes to ensure I will be there.

I have a very active PINTEREST BOARD.

Weight Watchers chocolate cupackes

Weight Watchers Chocolate cupcakes from Pinterest

Here are a few pins so you can choose 

what works for YOU!

TRY SOMETHING NEW!

Make a lifestyle change!

Do Your BEST!

LOVE WHAT YOU DO!

Believe in YOURSELF!

WE GOT THIS! 🙂

Guess What? Pigs DO Fly!

PIGS DO FLY!

Pig flying

OK…I admit it…I HATE to CLEAN!

Spring Cleaning Purging is NOT FUN!

It is a chore!

But, the Christmas dust bunnies 

are MULTIPLYING!

 Just in time for EASTER!

After my 3rd cup of coffee, this AM,

I decided to get to work!

Hubby at work for the day..so

I made a deal with myself …

NO SHOWER until DONE CLEANING!

(I LOVE MY SHOWERS!)

So, what’s a girl to do?

GET CLEANING!

I CRANKED UP THE COUNTRY MUSIC…

LOUD…

REALLY LOUD!

Tim McGraw

Luke Bryant

Kenny Chesney

I WAS LISTENING, SINGING,

 & DANCING to the music!

Thank GOD, no one could SEE me!

Anyways…

I CLEANED…AND Cleaned…

and cleaned….and cleaned.

More SPRING CLEANING

I even cleaned out my earring tree!

Didn’t know I had SO many that

only had 1 earring! GOODBYE!

Closets, bookshelves, drawers, 

took BLANKETS to the LAUNDROMAT…

SPRING Clean” THEM TOO!

My house smells like PINE-SOL!

If I didn’t know any better…

I’d swear I was NESTING!

NO WAY LADIES…

This GMA is TOO OLD for that! 

Then…shower..AAAHHHHH!

SPRING CLEANING & BAKING?

No…I am NOT ill.

So then I decided that because of the EB…

Easter Bunny

EASTER BUNNY

is on HIS way …I could help him!

My family LOVES

Reeses EGGS!

Reeses peanutbutter chocolate eggs

(WHO doesn’t?)

But…I AM CHEAP! 

I know…really cheap!

So today I decided to MAKE them!

You heard that right! MAKE THEM…ME!???

For the girl who doesn’t cook, 

they turned out pretty good!

 homemade chocolate eggs

 homemade chocolate eggs

 homemade chocolate eggs

Here are MY Reese’s  Eggs!

They are ready for Easter Baskets!

So, my friends…

Guess what?  

Pigs DO Fly!

pig flying

Happy  Weekend!

If YOU need more Easter Goodies…

1stgradefireworks logo picture

CLICK HERE!

Can reading be the #1 predictor of academic success?

First and Foremost,

Reading is the #1 predictor of academic success.


Consider this my DISCLAIMER…

I am NOT  A  College Professor.

I do NOT have a MASTERS ( or above ) 

in ANYTHING!

I am just a teacher.

A first-grade teacher.

A first-grade reading teacher.

A Veteran (27yrs ), a first-grade teacher,

in a TITLE 1 SCHOOL!

I have seen a LOT! Done a LOT!

Hear me ROAR!!!!!

 So, I repeat.

I am a teacher. I teach reading.

circle of students looking at books

(Aren’t they cute????)

I have been through:

Whole Language

Environmental Print

Interactive Writing

Phonemic Awareness

Leveled Readers ( DRA, GSP, AR, Lexile)

Phonics

Words Their Way

HFW

Sight Words

High-Interest Reading Books

SIPPS

Read Naturally

Daily 5

And 

A MULTITUDE OF PUBLISHER’S CURRICULUM!

New sets every 7 years!

Next, having said this…

1 thing most curriculum’s have in common :

READ!

READ A LOT!

And then…READ SOME MORE!

Young girl reading a book

So …

My little sisters…

YES…both of my LITTLE SISTER’S are 

PRIMARY TEACHERS!

We were discussing school.

Yes… we do that!

 We are trying to WRAP our minds around the

“READ…READ…READ more”

and they will 

“GET IT!”  (way of thinking.)

happy baby

Well, maybe

I  LOVE reading with kiddos!

See my post here about the

 GUIDED READING TABLE!

But then my concern is…

When I “release” them to read,

When I want them to become INDEPENDENT readers,

Where do they “learn” the skills to use when they “get stuck”?

Will they use strategies, when they don’t know what’s happening?

When a story isn’t making sense…do they keep reading?

If they keep reading…

Will all the skills and strategies come TOGETHER?

At a recent PD, my little sis said she understood the 

READ, READ, READ philosophy.

Integrate science, social studies, math, technology

INTO  literacy!

YES!

Writing and Reading

COMPLIMENT  and Coexist

WITH  each other!

You can’t have one without the other!

THEY NEED EACH OTHER!

BUT…

-Me  SPEAKING-

on my soapbox

There needs to be a BALANCE of:

Skills & Strategies

in conjunction with independent reading & writing!

THERE!

I said IT!

Reading & Writing SKILLS:

Letter Sounds

Blends

Vowels

Word Families

Chunks

Grammar

Punctuation

High-Frequency Words

Capitalization

Handwriting

and MORE!

Comprehension

Questioning

Summarizing

etc, etc, etc…

(I sound like my Education College Professors!)

I was listening!

ALL of these “lessons” MUST be taught

IN CONJUNCTION with 

Reading & Writing!

Yes…To be a better reader…

YOU  MUST  READ!

BUT…to be a better reader who UNDERSTANDS…

You must have skills and strategies  to use

WHEN  you read and write!

NOW…CAUTION!!!

baby with glasses

Unless you are teaching ADULTS in a COLLEGE CLASS…

A 40-minute LECTURE on diagramming sentences

IS NOT…I REPEAT…

NOT

the way to do it!

If you WANT to spend 40 minutes discussing grammar…

CHUNK IT!

Read a little.

Discuss it.

Let it soak in.

And do it again. And again. and again!

READ!

Do 2-3 MINILESSONS over a few days…

Let it SINK IN!

Show  kiddos:

  What it looks like.

Where to find it.

How to use it.

Why we use it.

When to ask for help.

Kinder-Grade 1-Grade 2 teachers…

UNITE!

Mini-Lessons with a WORKSHOP!

Use SMALL Groups for STRATEGY & Skill Groups!

Let kiddos have a chance to PRACTICE

what YOU have taught them!

Let it SINK IN!

And Then…

LET  THEM  READ!

and 

READ!

and

READ!

and then

WRITE…and write, some more!

2 kids reading books

readl to self

independent reading

small group reading

Skills, Strategies, Reading, Writing

They will become “BETTER”…

and isn’t that what we ALL want to be?

BETTER!

Need some HELP?

My friend, Alison, at 

Learning at The Primary Pond

 

Button from Learning at The Primary Pond

learningattheprimarypond.com

has a great post about

What Does Reading Workshop Look Like In The Primary Grades?

what does reading workshop loolk like in the primary grades?

Here are some “HELPERS” for YOU!

go to: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/1stgradefireworks

Click HERE for more reading & writing products!