Saturday, February 11, 2017

Making Classroom Jobs Manageable!

So... I have a confession. At the beginning of each year, I promise myself to keep up with classroom jobs. I swear that I will give out new jobs each Monday. I will give the kids time do their jobs in the morning and when we pack up. It all plays out so perfectly in my mind... Then, comes week 3 of school, we get busy, we run out of time. Real school starts and... well... class jobs stop existing! I forget about them (ok, I ignore them). I pretend that we never even had them. Then, week after week after week after week (you got the point) my kids remind me that we need to do jobs. We do them, they take up 15 minutes because I forgot to mark down who had what jobs and then the kids are arguing. Basically, I think classroom jobs are a nightmare.  If they work for you, great! For me, I just can't!

I do not want to take away the student's abilities to help out in the classroom because their help really makes a big difference in how much I can get accomplished! I love having student help. I just needed a more manageable way of getting their help that didn't actually take up MORE of our precious time.

So, now we have weekly workers. Literally, all I do is switch out two sticky notes to assign new students their jobs... that's literally it! Like for real, so easy!


Here's a peek at how I make it work and make it a little more fun for the kids! :-) 
Integrating fun is a MUST! They feel such a sense of pride.

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I have two types of jobs in my room.
The first is called, Weekly Workers. 

To set up, I get out sticky notes. I put them in two equal piles. I write ALL of my students names on the sticky notes. I stick the two piles on my Weekly Workers poster. Each week the two names up top are the students who are in charge of all the class jobs. On Friday afternoon, I move those students names to the bottom of the pile to reveal next weeks new Weekly Workers. It takes like, 2 seconds! YES!


When weekly workers are working, which is normally in the morning and afternoon - I have little worker hats for them to wear while they're working. That way, everyone knows they're working. It also makes them feel a sense of pride. <3 it.="" love="" p="" they="">


As a little gift to the students, I also give them Weekly Worker necklaces. They can wear it all week long and take it home at the end of the week!
I prep all of these at once, so they just grab one when it's their turn to be the worker. 




I also have a poster displayed that tells the workers what their jobs are for the week. The jobs don't really change, but if I ever need something extra done (like stuff cut out) then, I can add it to their job list.



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I also give two other students jobs for the week as well to get more students involved (and save my sanity). I call these ones station coaches. I don't know how I would get through rotations without my coaches. They're the biggest help!

It's the same idea as seen above. Write all students names on sticky notes, make two piles, rotate the names. This one though, I am a little more choosy on who I pick. This is an IMPORTANT job and I make sure to tell my kids that. If they're someone who doesn't listen well or stay on task then they can't be hired yet for this job until they show me they can do so.

I advertise this job as a privilege. 


Here are the jobs the coaches do during stations. It's a lot, but honestly, they aren't bothered that much. My favorite job that they have... bathroom permission! Ahh... it's amazing - no one comes to the teacher table to ask. 


The station coaches, also get hats to wear while they're working. Since they're coaches, I thought a ball cap was definitely appropriate! 


They also get necklaces to wear as well. 


If you have trouble keeping up with classroom jobs like me, I encourage you to check this out. 
You will not regret it!

You can find it here:









Sunday, January 29, 2017

You Think it's Easy Being a Tooth Fairy? - Reading and Writing Unit!

Hey guys! I am so excited to show you a unit series that I've begun simply called, Reading and Writing for First Graders! Each month, I'll be introducing two read alouds to you with full blown reading and writing plans for the week, including 3 literacy stations! 

I just LOVE this book!!


You'll get full blown, visual lesson plans inside the unit to walk you through how to carry out this unit throughout the week. I kept our busy schedules in mind so pacing for the week was actually manageable!




Inside each unit, you will find a 5 day reading unit that focuses on a particular comprehension concept or skill. This unit, includes activities to help first graders identify who is telling the story. It's a tough concept for our friends to learn, but I've made it very attainable and engaging for the kids!


This unit includes fun matching activities and writing activities to work with identifying who is telling the story!




In each unit, you'll also find something I call, Quick Writes! These focus on general comprehension of the story. These are great discussion starters to use with the book. You can have the kids make their flaps at the beginning of the week, bring their reading journal to the rug for your mini-lesson and as you read the text, you ask them a question. Students can write the response under the flap and you can share! Short, simple and effective!!

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In each unit, you'll also find simple vocabulary activities. Much of the time, you'll find prompts that allow students to make real life connections with the vocabulary from the text they're reading. I think it's so important to teach the vocabulary from the text. 1-the kids gain a deeper understanding of the story. 2-the kids learn to use the words in context which is turn.... does exactly what we want it to do--EXPAND VOCABULARY!! 



Inside each unit, you'll also find a full blown writing unit. You can be as involved with it as you want! I've included everything you need to allow your students to flourish with their narratives. The book I chose for this unit, lends itself perfectly to a narrative about when the students lost their first tooth. 99.8% of firsties have lost a tooth and LOVE to tell their stories!


Here's a look at what the kids final writing would look like! Nice little craftivity and all!


Last, those literacy stations I told you about! Here they are!!
They are designed to allow students to complete independently!
They're included inside the unit so you don't have to go purchase stations to match the theme separately! I like to place 2 in my word work stations and I always use one for a guided reading activity for the week to review a skill!




If you're interested in seeing more of this unit, click here!










Friday, December 16, 2016

Tooth Trouble Activity Ideas

Welcome another edition of Books Teachers Love! This month, I'm introducing a book "Tooth Trouble."  I have read this book every year since my first year teaching. I don't remember how I found out about the book, but I fell in love with it. It makes the kids (and me) giggle all throughout!





The book is about an adorable kid walrus, named Wibur. At the beginning of the story, we find out that his tusk hurts. Everyone keeps telling him to go to the dentist, but he just doesn't want to. He keeps wanting to play with his friends and do everything they do but he can't with a sore tusk. Eventually, Wilbur talks with his grandpa who doesn't like the dentist either. His grandpa actually has a broken tusk. Talking to his grandpa caused him to change his mind about the dentist. The story ends with Wilbur realizing that goes isn't so bad. Then, he tries to convince his grandpa to go!

 ;) It's adorable!


I always use this book to model making inferences. 
There are so many opportunities to practice! 

First, I like to read the book with the kids and have them focus on Wilbur. 
We work to describe his inside and outside character traits.


After we work on describing Wilbur, then we work to provide evidence!


I also like to allow students to think about a particular part of the book to practice their inference skills.

There is one part in the book when Wilbur realizes that he should probably go to the dentist.
It's when his grandpa tells him that he never wanted to go with the dentist either. Students can really infer here by looking at the characters face and grandpa's missing tooth! :)




You can grab the printables here.

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