Friday, October 26, 2012

Today was a good day.

I've been trying to get this post out for a week. Time flies, what can I say?
 
We’re just not sure what is happening to the year. We realize that we’ve been totally neglecting our blog this year, but we are doing the best we can to keep up with all of the demands of first grade. We've been learning the ins and outs of Treasures, our Smartboards, and have been asked to be on various committees (which of course we can't say no to). We've also been asked to do a training on Treasures and Smartboards, so as you can see, we have our hands full. Ya’ll know how it is.  Stick with us, we promise someday we’ll get better. 

My class has been having a little bit of trouble being respectful as of late. Not so much with me, but with any other adult who gets the pleasure of teaching them. It’s a loud class. I have 25 kiddos, and 17 boys. 17.  And they aren’t quiet, calm boys, oh no. They are active, loud, crazy BOY boys. 110% boy.  I am used to boys, as I have a 1st and 2nd grader, but these guys are definitely giving me a run for my money. I swear half the time we walk through the hall looking like a pack of monkeys. Which is a term they find hilarious, and I do not.  So, after being told by another staff member that they were very disrespectful, I knew it was time for a review of what respect is.  I created this little activity to do with the kids, and it actually worked. This activity helped immediately, and the class is finally calming down. Today was a good day. Maybe our best so far. Fingers crossed it's the start of a new trend.

  We stated out by reading The Berenstain Bears book Show Some Respect. The new versions have a few bible verses included, so I just sort of skipped those words in the classroom. They don’t even notice.  Then we had a long discussion about what Respect means, and what Disrespect means.  This part they really understood. They came up with some great examples of each. We then moved to playing a little game of “Respect vs. Disrespect.” The kids sorted theses cards on my pocket chart, as we practiced being respectful.  We followed up by using some of our senses to show what respect Looks like, Sounds Like, and Feels like. Since we have our smart boards, this became a smart board activity rather that printing it for the kids.
 I’ve kept up the sort for the last week or so, and we refer back to it OFTEN.  At some point I will get around to replacing it with an actual anchor chart. Their ideas of what  disrespect felt like were pretty precious {disrespect feels like a tummy ache}. I wish I would have been able to take a pic, but technical issues... If you'd like a copy of the Respect Sort, click on the pictures below.


Hope this helpful! Maybe you can just file it away until it's needed. Hopefully for you, it's not!

We are also getting super excited about our upcoming field trip next week. We are going to the Oregon Children's Theatre to see a presentation of Duck For President. 


 Last year we went and saw Pinkalicious the Musical {click here to check out our Pinkalicious unit) and just LOVED it! This year, we thought what a fun way to incorporate the presidential election into first grade! We've created a little unit to go along with it. It's got a variety of math and literacy activities to go along with Duck For President and/or election day!  Here's a preview of what's included:
Duck For President by Doreen Cronin.
Optional books to also use with this unit are: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, Giggle, Giggle, Quack, and Dooby Dooby Moo which are also written by Doreen Cronin.

*Mayor, Governor & President Activity
*Duck Equations
*Farmer Brown’s Word Family
*Duck for President Board Game with addition (sums to 10) and subtraction equations (with minuends up to 10)
*Word Builder Alphabet Cards
*If I Were President Writing
*Duck For President Retell Pages & Story Map
*Classroom Voting Activity



Head on over to our store to check it out. As part of the performance the kids get to vote for president and we'll see who wins according to all those attending the show. We can't wait! And it's scheduled for the day after Halloween, so we can avoid all the sugar highs in the classroom!

We're working on a few things for fall right now, as well as some activities to be used along with Treasures, so check back for freebies soon!


PS: Have you checked out our First Grade Sub Kit yet? We'll tell ya all about it soon...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How we do literacy centers

Hope you all are having a great start to your week!  We've been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY and it seems like as the weeks go on our schedules get even busier!  We're on our second week of literacy centers  and we're hoping that in a month, when all of the centers have been introduced and fully implemented,    things will be running smoothly.
  With the new program our district has adopted we've had to change our structure for reading groups, and we've had to change the way we teach reading.  Our reading instruction begins with whole group instruction for 40 minutes.  After whole group instruction our students are split into 6 groups and go to their first literacy center.  We meet with our first reading group at this time.  our students are in their literacy centers for 20-25 minutes then we rotate for a second and third session and meet with two more reading groups. 
Since our structure for reading has changed we needed to create new plans and rotation schedules to make that all of our students rotate evenly through centers and meet with us based upon their needs.  

Here is what our small group reading plans and rotation schedule look like:



If you have PowerPoint and you'd like an editable version of the plans above just click{HERE}!

After introducing each literacy center to our students, the charts go on our literacy center bulletin board so we can refer to them often.  
Here's a picture of one of our bulletin boards:

Here's a picture of our literacy center pocket chart cards.  The colors stand for each table group.  Our kiddos rotate through centers with their table group.  


And here's one of our small group reading areas!

Do you have literacy centers/stations going on in your classroom while you teach small reading groups?  We'd LOVE to hear any ideas and/or tips your incorporate.
Just comment below!

Don't forget to stop on by our TpT store and check out our Literacy Center Pocket Cahrt Cards and Posters that are shown above.  

Our pack includes:

*Literacy Center Chart Header 
*12 Literacy center cards that fit nicely in a pocket chart
-Reading
-Silent Reading
-Buddy Reading
-Writing
-Word Work
-Computers & Listening
-Listening
-Computers
-Phonics
-Spelling
-Paper Practice
-Teacher Time
*Just Right Books Poster 
 * 12 Literacy Center Expectation Posters

Our literacy Center Pocket Chart Cards and posters can be found {HERE}

Have a FABULOUS rest of the week and we hope you all have a relaxing weekend!
 We're definitely looking forward to it!