Tag Archives: teachers

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!

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!

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation? It might SURPRISE You!

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

I am a VETERAN teacher.

NO.

 I have NOT fought in a WAR.

I have taught in GRADE 1

 ( exclusively )

for over 30 years!

WOW!

( Never “graduated” to second grade..as my students tell me!) 🙂

But…

I have changed my “VIEW” on teacher appreciation.

We ALL want to be appreciated.

We want to be recognized for

SOMETHING “GOOD”

 we have done!

But..

things can get a little …

OUT OF HAND!

I believe..

YES…

I believe there are

those who

are APPRECIATED

and those who

WISH THEY WERE!

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

I will say this ONE TIME…

IT  IS  NOT  ABOUT  TEST SCORES!

The teachers with the SUPER highest test scores

are NOT, always,

the teachers who are

APPRECIATED the MOST!

Now…disclaimer…teachers work WAY TOO hard!

I got that!

Some are SOOOOOO  focused on the “data”…

they forget, or can’t “document” the traits of the child the “data” came from!

Nowhere is there a box to check that says:

___  Didn’t have breakfast ( or dinner the night before ).

___ Couldn’t sleep because my parents were arguing LOUDLY!

___ No one would help with homework/reading ( for the past two weeks!)

or

___  not in a good “mindset”  today.

BUT…

these are kids!

This is life!

To attach a “number” to a student, 

based on “today’s testing module”

is NOT  what teaching is all about!

( Ok sorry…OFF my soapbox!)

So,

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

Where? How? When?

Admins…

Please… I don’t need a new pen with my school name on it.

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

If YOU really want to show me your appreciation…

HAVE MY BACK during an IEP

when ‘the team” says

I NEED TO DO MORE!

By the time I have gotten to his stage…

I HAVE DONE ALL I CAN DO!

Take the stand that I AM DONE!

SEND ME SOME HELP!

Now I have great admin’s…

I know they have my back!

THAT’s  APPRECIATION!

If you want to “give” me something…

…TAKE MY RECESS DUTY!

…Take my class for an hour at the end of the day, if MY child is home sick!

… Come in and do reading groups once in a while

( an extra adult doing centers is ALWAYS appreciated).

You see…it’s NOT about the “things”

it’s about WHAT you DO!

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

How do you know if your “team” appreciates YOU?

Do you “share”?

Do you “follow through?”

Do you “care” about each other?

My “teaching partner”…

( I said “partner” one time..it took on a WHOLE DIFFERENT meaning!)

and I have taught next to each other

( rooms 3 & 4)

for 24 years!

We are going to retire together 

the same year…in 3 years.

( We “pinky sweared”…

..as long as nothing catastrophic happens before then).

Her mom works in her room.

I call her MOM!

Our students think we are

SISTERS!

See the family “resemblance”?

In my heart…

SOUL SISTERS!

We run homework for each other.

We share our students.

We laugh, we cry, we CARE about each other!

We are NOT the ONLY grade 1 teachers.

We have 1-2 others who teach with us.

( Depending on the year and student numbers).

We ALWAYS include them!

This is NOT a

CLOSE YOUR DOOR & DO YOUR THING!

NOPE!

WE DO!

Together.

Feel appreciated? YEP! Daily.

( I could have transferred to another school in MY district..many times!)

NOT LEAVING!

LOVE MY CRAZY TITLE 1 school!

and then…

Your students…

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

When do they make YOU feel appreciated?

Is it when you are passing out report cards?

Is it when they forgot their homework?

Is it when they have interrupted you for the 1000th time that day?

Probably NOT!

It’s when that SAME little girl walks in EVERY morning

and says…

“Can I have a HUG?”

or

When the little boy who STUTTERS ( severely )…

asks if he can READ his newest story

TO THE CLASS!

( And EVERYONE cheers  for him!)

or

The “behavior problem” child

who knows ( his MAMA tells him a lot )

that he is a PROBLEM…

and he hands me a heart he made with a picture of me & him!

( Melts my heart..right before he hits another student!)

and last…

the “older students” who come back…

just to say HI!

or…

“I got my driver’s license & I promise to be safe..just like you said!”

“I got a full-ride scholarship…to HARVARD!”..yes  it did happen!

“I want to be back in first grade so I can PAINT!”

“Thank you , Mrs. McCarty, for listening to me!”

Giggles, Grins, Hugs, & High Fives to 

ALL of YOU!

YOU make a difference!

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

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!

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.

Planting and Learning About a Garden.

How do YOU garden?

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! 🙂

 

3 Steps to Sight Word Fluency

3 steps to sight word fluency.

Not exactly steps..a hop..a skip..and a JUMP!

When teaching my kiddos to read,

I use MANY tools!

Books, whiteboards, markers, pocket charts, flashcards, etc..

But… when teaching sight words

or

high-frequency words

or

FRY words, Dolch Words etc, etc, etc.

It ALL comes down to this…

IF YOU CANNOT READ  SIGHT WORDS

You WILL NOT read at grade level!

Scary??    YES!

 HOW  DO  WE HELP???

We research.  We try. And we try AGAIN!

There are MANY resources on Pinterest

to help you find lists, and lists, and lists of words!

27-awesome-sight-word-activities-for-kids-pin

Awesome Sight Word Activities

27 Awesome Sight Word Activities

sight-words-pin-700x1000

Sight Word Activities

Learn Sight Words Through Play

And LOTS of OTHERS!

HFW Dots from 1stgradefireworks

Awesome Sight Word Activities

HFW Dots

NOW I know what to teach…

 HOW  do  I Do  IT?

Here are your

3 steps to Sight Word FLUENCY!

steps

Step 1

Matching  Game

Each student makes their OWN word cards on colored paper.

(Practice sounding out, spelling, & writing EACH word)

I use 8 – 10  words.

Then they cut them apart.

Find a friend who has a different colored paper.

Both friends turn their word cards face down.

Rock, paper, scissors…winner goes first.

Choose one of YOUR word cards and one of your friends.

READ BOTH CARDS…friends help if needed.

If they match…keep BOTH cards. If not, turn them over and partner’s turn!

Winner has the most matches at the end of time

( or when ALL cards are  turned over)

PLAY  AGAIN!

Kids playing Sight Word Matching Game

Awesome Sight Word Activities

Great PARTNER work!

steps

STEP  2

Pocket Chart

MAKING WORDS

and

MATCHING WORDS

I use

MAKING WORDS

 GRADE  1

Making Words for Sight Words

Awesome Sight Word Activities

for my word study WORD WORK.

I make the letter cards and the word cards.

We pocket chart them ( my kiddos like to play SCHOOL during MAY DO time).

One of the Activities is

MAKING  WORDS!

Pocket Chart for Sight Words

Awesome Sight Word Activities

After MAKING WORDS

we play

MATCH IT!

Pocket Chart Match Sight Words

Awesome Sight Word Activities

Turn them over & MATCH IT!

We also invented

SPEED READER

(NOT SPEED RACER!)

I turn them over & as a class,

we read as FAST AS WE CAN!

Step 3

steps

Word Wall for Sight Word Fluency

We play

I SPY

They use their whiteboards

and I call OUT…

I SPY A WORD ON THE WORD WALL that

starts with a “_____”  and RHYMES with “____”.

They find it on the all…and write it on their boards.

Sometimes I will change it up with

“A verb that starts with a “__”, etc. etc.

 The main theme here is PRACTICE…PRACTICE PRACTICE!

No matter how many “steps” it takes…

they need practice activities & time

to HOP, SKIP, & JUMP  into FLUENCY!

Balanced Literacy for the Primary Classroom

ALL Classrooms should be a BALANCED LITERACY Classroom!

ALWAYS  begin with BALANCED  LITERACY!

And so we begin.

Matching Words

Making Words

I Spy

To help with Sight Word Mastery
CLICK on the links for help!

Small Groups

Those Crazy Word Walls

Hi Ho Hi Ho..It’s Off to High-Frequency Work we GO

Ready to TRANSFORM your Classroom 

into a 

BALANCED LITERACY Classroom?

Here you are! 

Balanced Literacy 

If you need more help, check out my TPT Store. LOTS of goodies in there!

Wendy