Tag Archives: How To

GAME CHANGER!!!

VOCABULARY BANNERS

I love it when SOMETHING WORKS!

YESSSS!!!!

I have

discovered, learned, found a BETTER WAY!

I LOVE  BANNERS

Obviously..

So  Does  PINTEREST!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/211317407494866485/

and so…

I needed some vocabulary words for MY classroom.

Different ones for EACH MONTH.

FAST & EASY for me.

High Interest for Kiddos.

TADA!

Vocabulary Banners

I have a

GAME  CHANGER

for YOU!

Tie a triple KNOT!

Yes, a TRIPLE KNOT…and staple it to one side of your board ( or window ).

Measure side to side. Add 3-4 inches!

Tie another triple knot and staple to the other side.

( I measured to make sure both sides were LEVEL.)

I know…those of you who know me… I NEVER MEASURE!

EYEBALL  IT!

But…I want to do this ONE TIME…not taking down the yarn until the END OF THE YEAR!

Staple BOTH sides of the KNOT!

The Knot will HOLD the yarn. NO SLIDING!

 

HERE IS THE 

GAME  CHANGER…

After you have laminated the banner ( OR TAPE THE TOP EDGE BEFORE

you HOLE PUNCH!)

Use a hole punch to make two holes at the top.

I went down about ( No measuring there ) a 1/2″.

THEN…

SLIT THE HOLE TO THE TOP!

( SEE  the  PICTURE )

WHAT??????

“NO! Then it will fall off!”

NOT!

No one is pulling on these. They are for

LOOKING…NOT  TOUCHING!

What this does is allows you to change the BANNER page

without having to

remove & put up a new string!

JUST CHANGE THE BANNERS!

YESSS!!!

Alternate sides when you add the vocab. cards.

I wanted an ODD number…

so I could have 1 in the middle.

Add another layer.

Same  directions.

I cheated in the middle layer.

Stapled the middle card ( so the arch would be close to the others).

TADA!

WONDERFUL Vocabulary words at my writing center for kiddos to use!

BIG pictures…spelling…variety

for EL’s, independent work, & everyday  writing!

And i can change them each month…

IN A FLASH!

Just change the cards…not the string!

Here are  my

  vocabulary banners

And so..

A GAME CHANGER

for me!

 

Happy Back to School!

Are YOU  ready?

Can reading be the #1 predictor of academic success?

First and Foremost,

Reading is the #1 predictor of academic success.

Students NEED to READ!

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!

Students NEED to READ!

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 curricula have in common :

Students NEED to READ!

READ A LOT!

And then…READ SOME MORE!

Young girl reading a book

So …

My little sisters…

YES…both of my LITTLE SISTERS  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?

Students NEED to READ!

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!

Students NEED to READ!

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…

Students NEED to 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…

Students NEED to 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!

   

  

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!

YOU want to…P.P.Paint ????

Just hearing the 

“P A I N T”

word.

Sends shivers down my back!

I have nightmares of 

spilled water, ruined paintings,

our janitor YELLING ,

“NO!  STOP! NOT ON THE NEW CARPET!”

 Ok…NOT yelling…but  you know…”NO!”

So, I guess

24 …   6-year-olds

sitting at desks, 

painting beautiful pictures

was NOT was I thinking about!

AND

I SHOULD HAVE BEEN!

I admit…it was ALL about ME!

WHAT WILL  I  HAVE  TO “Deal With”?

And you know what?

NOTHING.

Every time we paint

(and I try to do it once a month)

THEY AMAZE  ME!

Clean, quiet, detailed, HAPPY!

They worked for about 45 minutes…

TOTALLY  ENGAGED!

(I wish some of MY lessons were SO ENGAGING!)

I start with my BFF…

PINTEREST!

I have some GREAT pins on my boards.

Check them out!

This months “painting inspiration”came from

Elyse 

@

PROUD to BE PRIMARY

And now we are…
ALL ready for JANUARY!

Here’s a few of ours!

They are sooooo cute!

AND

NO   SPILLS!

I think they are getting the HANG OF IT!

Duh…   you mean with

PRACTICE

we get BETTER!?

I wonder what wonderful teacher gave them that ADVICE???

Anyways…

we will PAINT!

And we will PAINT..a  LOT!

Next month… 

I’m thinking SNOW, and Penguins, and Nature Scenes.

Maybe some “still life”…    Hmmmm.

MONET!     DEGAS! 

Watch out WORLD OF ART…

HERE  WE  COME!

Check out pinterest for more ideas!

First Grade Writing – NONFICTION

First Grade Writing

So…we have taken the step  jump  LEAP into writing

NON-FICTION.

As a Title 1 teacher

with half of my class CELDT Levels 1&2 ( low English),

I am ALWAYS trying to give my kids more vocabulary, visual clues, and

FRONTLOAD information

…before we WRITE!

So this week…was

REINDEER  WEEK!

I was going for REAL REINDEER.

We read books, watched VIDEOS, did real research ( yes, ONLINE!)

We even attempted to watch the

REINDEER.CAM

Can’t show kiddos in my district…

TOO MUCH SANTA!

I know…don’t go there!

So …I kept it real!

ONLY REAL REINDEER!

I was going for NON-FICTION!

They did great!

As an adult, I felt they had mastered

 a LOT

of information!

What do reindeer LOOK like?

Where do they LIVE?

What do they EAT?

( One of our movies mentioned MUSHROOMS…

BOY did they pick up on that!)

And then…

what makes them different

 (special )

from

other ANIMALS?

Here are some of our writings…

(Don’t judge….we have NOT edited for CONVENTIONS..

Just  CONTENT!!  🙂

Sorry pics are turned…

Can’t get them to TURN! UGH!

No where…no how…

did I   MENTION

SANTA  or   RUDOLPH!

99%  of my students wrote

that the important thing about REINDEER is…

THEY PULL SANTA’S  SLEIGH

AND

THE LEADER IS…RUDOLPH!

And THAT is NON FICTION!

HAHAHAHA

But that is their

 PRIOR  KNOWLEDGE!

SO CUTE!

They brought it into their writing!

Let their VOICES be heard!

And so…

ADULTS  BE  AWARE!

The little ones WILL be HEARD!

I LOVE TEACHING FIRST GRADE!

They make me GIGGLE!

If you need some writing help…

WRITE  ON!

ENJOY!

Write On! Journal Pages with Support!

 

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 30 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

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! 🙂

I Needed a KICK IN THE PANTS!

I can tell it’s SPRING…

I’m getting

LAZY!

But I have FINALLY, updated one of my MOST Valued PRODUCTS!

BOOK CLUBS! 

HURRAY!

Now…I work 3 jobs…

I get up at 5:00 AM and go to bed at 9:00 PM.

I think I deserve some DOWN time!

BUT…

Then…I..get…really….complacent…

procrastinate…LAZY!

So every once in a while,

I need someone to give me a little

PUSH    SHOVE

KICK IN THE  PANTS!

Time to git ‘er DONE!

This has been one of those weeks!

So…

I have a packet I made that I use in my classroom

A  LOT!

If any of you already have this…

DO NOT FEAR!

Help is on its way!

Now,

MY KIDS LOVE THIS!

The packet is full of independent activities, comprehension questions, word work, etc

ALL related to the BOOK OF THEIR CHOICE!

I can use it with ANY book.

My independent readers can read a book

 and as a GROUP

( can we say COLLABORATE )

they can DISCUSS & complete the pack TOGETHER!

Now I don’t use it daily…maybe once every two weeks or so.

It takes them awhile &

I really want them to “get into it”.

Lots of rewards, positive notes, specials when completed.

It’s a GOOD THING!

BUT…

It’s OLD. Really OLD.

It was in need of “A LIFT” ( in all the right places ).

Sounds like me! 🙂 

I DID IT!

I GOT ‘ER DONE!

And here she is.

ALL gussied up and purdy!

She has grown from 14 pages to 44!

She is ALL GROWED UP NOW!

I added a booklet style because

PAPER & INK ARE AT A PREMIUM!

So now…less paper… less ink… more productive teacher & students!

My Little LOVE…

Book Club

 is available

at my TPT store

1stgradefireworks

You will  LOVE this!

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?

Frontload any vocabulary that may change thinking, distort comprehension, or unfamiliar to them.

Take a picture walk. Cover the words.

Make them use the visual cues in the story.

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

STEAM

We jumped into STEAM…and the building began!

Build It..and they will come!

They said STEAM.

They said kids will build in STEAM.

Build WHAT?
Has ANYONE seen the Kevin Costner Movie…
FIELD OF DREAMS?
Build it and they will come.

Field of Dreams

On MY top 10 of ALL TIME GREATS!
Yes…I love baseball  (  GO  SF  GIANTS!  )
But
This is SOOOO  much MORE!

It’s about never giving up.

Keep trying.

When others tell you that YOU are CRAZY…

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

I  LOVE  THAT!
SO How do I give my 6-year-old FIRSTIES
a chance to EXPLORE their dreams?
To “think OUTSIDE the BOX”?
To go the extra mile?

Recently, I have been exploring STEAM.

30 minutes of FREE PLAY???
NO.
I don’t call it that!
( Even if it makes my OCD heart skip a beat!)
STEAM!
Now…this is NOT your
“Teacher KICKS BACK while kids DO WHATEVER THEY WANT!”
This is a structured time of the week
( ANY DAY WILL WORK…
add this to your lesson plans)
where kids get “tools” to BUILD!
They make a PLAN, they put their plan into action,
they learn from failures and their successes, and they do it again!

During STEAM, I tell them they are building a city.

We brainstorm
(chart with pictures – Lots of EL students )
ALL of the things WE want
in a PERFECT city!
(They want LOTS of PARKS…grass…Ice cream stores…etc )
And then I group them into groups of 4.
I switch them each week.
I get out their “TOOLS”…
Toy blocks

Toy Blocks for kids to build STEAM cities.

Blocks…Garage Sale & “FRIENDS” donations
Building tools for STEAM

MArshmallows and toothpicks for ENGINEERS!

Their FAVORITE!
Toothpicks & marshmallows.
Engineers in ACTION!
Math blocks

Math Blocks for STEAM

Math Blocks…Want to learn about “sides”, “corners”, “flats”, “rolls” ?
Use them!
Lincoln Logs

Lincoln Logs for STEAM

Oldie but a goodie!
They LOVE to follow the picture DIAGRAMS!
Math Manipulatives

Math Manipulatives to use for STEAM

Get out your MATH Manipulatives…and let them PLAY!
NO! Not “PLAY” 🙂  …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!

MAYBE…We can read a book on building, BUILD IT, and then WRITE about it!

INTEGRATE!

Here are some classroom resources to help

Follow me on INSTAGRAM

                                                               Follow me on Pinterest