Saturday, August 20, 2016

First Week of First Grade!

My new firsties and I just finished up our first week (3 days) of first grade!
 I must say, we are off to one amazing start! 
Here is some of the stuff we accomplished this week for our first week of first grade! 

The very first thing we did on the first day of school, after we introduced ourselves was make our Good Morning chart. (Images from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits) A HUGE mistake I made last year was not having a flow chart for the morning and afternoon. It was a major priority this year! Students have been rocking their morning and afternoon routine so far! 

After we created our morning routine, I introduced students to their morning tubs. We talked about not throwing, eating or stomping on materials. Then, I let the students go. I will not be doing morning work, worksheets this year, instead I am going to encourage them to TALK! WHAT?! Yes, talk! It's important, they need to talk. The morning, is the perfect time. The kids always have cool stuff to talk about!

We, of course read the book, "The Night Before First Grade." Students drew their feeling in a little circle and we graphed our feelings. We then, turned this into a mini-discussion on why we felt certain ways.

After we discussed reasons for our feelings, the students completed their first writing and craft for the year! I challenged them, if they wanted to to add a reason to their feeling by using the magical word, because!
Ont he third day of school, students learned about our Ketchup (catch-up) folders. This is where we keep work that has not yet been completed. We wrote our own names on the front and practiced our goal of the week, to work quietly by decorating the inside! 

On Day 2, we talked about what math is, what we know about math, how we use it and why we need math. I did this so I could see their prior knowledge about math. Their answers were adorable. I didn't sway any comments. I wrote them down and hung up this poster! It has a prominent spot on our math wall!


After we discussed our prior knowledge about math, we played our first math game. I put beads in a bucket, gave students a dice. Explained expectations for these two tools and then the students played. All they had to do was roll the dice, remove that many beads each time. When the bucket was empty, they needed to count ALL of their beads. The person with the biggest number won. I walked around and listened to a lot of counting! This was a great way for me to get a feel of where they are at with this important skill! 

On day 3, I set up three stations of math tools.
Station 1: Dominoes, whiteboards and dry erase markers.
Station 2: Ten frames and counters
Station 3: Number grids, whiteboards and dry erase markers.

I again, gave very little direction. I wanted students to explore these tools and think of ways they could use them for math. I walked around, took pictures of students using the tools correctly and incorrectly (remember- I haven't told the students what I expect, so no one was corrected). On Monday, we will look at the photos and discuss correct ways and incorrect ways. I will print off the correct ways pictures and we will make an anchor chart of how to use the tools! Then, we will explore three more tools and do the same thing!

On Day 2, I introduced Read to Self. We made a chart to explain our jobs (forgot to photo). Then, we worked on it! We made it 1 minute and 7 seconds on the first day!! Not too shabby!!! My favorite part of this time was my principal walking in, asking what they were doing... I said read to self and she goes, "So basically just flipping through books." Ha ha!! Yeah, basically! 

The students shopped for books to fill their books bins. Right now, I am only allowing 3 classroom books in their bins at a time. When students shopped for books, I put two bins at each table and there were allowed to shop at their table only. When they finished, a book, they practiced putting it away in the correctly labeled bin.


If you would like to share highlights from your week at school, please link up below!
I can't wait to see what you've been up to!

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Books Teachers Love: September 2016

Welcome to the September edition of Books Teachers Love! Each month on the 15th, a group of bloggers and I come to you with read alouds and ideas that will be useful for the upcoming month. You also have a chance to win a choice of FOUR books from us!

This month, I am coming to you with a book called, "Kindness is Cooler Mrs. Ruler." My elementary school is taking on the theme of "kindness" this year. I am diving in with all my might and doing all I can to come up with fun ways to encourage students to be kind. In our world right now, a little kindness is exactly what we need.

The reason I fell in love with this book is because I just connected with it so well. I also knew students would too. At the beginning of the story, the kids are worn down, on each others nerves and just not being nice to one another. Their teacher has a nice chat with a few of them about being kind. She gives them a kindness challenge and then before long the entire class is involved. There is ONE student though, who just hasn't bought into the whole kindness thing... so persuading him and showing him the benefits of kindness is a big part of the book. As you can see... the kids are happy at the end of the story. :-)

This year, I will be using this book to encourage students to actively show kindness, to think of their actions and to think of others. I want students to know that they need to be kind to everyone... their friends, teachers, family members and anyone they come across in the community.

The challenge that Mrs. Ruler gave a few students in her class was the do 5 acts of kindness for their family. Then, they had to share it out to their classmates once they completed 5 acts of kindness. This is something that could EASILY be completed in the classroom! I created printables so students could draw pictures of their acts of kindness. I included a printable for family, friends and community members.

As the year goes on, I will pull out these printables and challenge my students to show kindness. I will begin with family first. When it is a student's day to share, they'll get the super awesome microphone that you see above and they'll share with their classmates the kind things they did for their family. Mid year, I will send home the friends printable. End of the year, community. I want to encourage kindness all year long. <3 p="">

Once students share, I will ask them to pick ONE of their acts of kindness and we'll make a heart that tells everyone what they did. This is something that Mrs. Ruler did in the book. Such a fun way to tie it together. I may also 'catch' acts of kindness and have students make hearts with those too. ;-)

You can find all of these activities HERE for free. :-)

My hope, is that students realize how easy it is to be kind, they'll think of others and realize that kindness doesn't just make the other person feel good, but it makes them feel good too.

Brainstorming acts of kindness with your students before you send them off is very, very important! I plan to make an anchor chart before I send home each challenge. If you need extra ideas, the book has 100 acts of kindness is the back! Hello!? AWESOME!

Thanks for reading along! 

Here are other posts you may like right now too about some other books I've written about:

 Now, it's time for the giveaway. Make sure to hop around and check out everyones posts so you know which four books you would love to win!

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Books Teachers Love: June Edition

Many of you lucky people are out of school in May! For me, not too far off. I'm out June 3. Three more weeks, 14 more school days!

I am always excited for summer, especially this year because of my little man. I will though, miss my 27 first graders. I found this book, and thought it was just perfect to share, "Last Day Blues" by: Julie Danneberg.

This books is about a teacher and her class. The class feels bad for their teacher because it is going to be the last day of school in just a few short days. They see that she's sad and they want to do something kind for her. So, they decide to come together to get something for her. When the last day of school comes, they give her the gift ad when they leave they're thinking of how sad all of the teachers must be... but in reality, they're just as excited as the kids.

It's a great book to discuss how we can think of others and their feelings!

I also will use this book as a little writing activity and story response to practice identifying evidence and clues from a story.

Just click the picture to grab the two activities.
If you do not own the book, but would like it read to your class it can be found here.

If you would like to win this book, or any of the books of your choice - enter the giveaway below!

To read about more books and grab some fun activities, check out the posts below!