Sunday, July 5, 2015

Poetry Basket Page

I decided to try to make my own gallery page.  To be honest I am not making any money blogging so I try not to spend any money blogging as well. I blog to share and exchange with other teachers.  I think the gallery page turned out ok for my first try.  Unfortunately the text does not line up where I set it up but that's ok.  I think I will have to try to make my next gallery page in a program that lets me add the links and text with the picture.  

I combined my poems from The Very Busy Kindergarten and The Very Busy Classroom(which I no longer blog at) all in one place so that you can see if there is anything you can find useful for your class.  

Please stop by and check in out.  You can find it in the Poetry Basket right under the header.  


Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

First Grade Writing Workshop Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Writing Workshop Basics

My favorite idea from Chapter 1 which I plan on incorporating in my classroom this year is a Writing Folder.  Last year my students had Writing Journals similar to this:
My partner teacher purchased them from Office Max and the students paid for them on the first day of school.  It worked out perfectly because everyone had the same kind of notebook and the parents did not have to chase around town to find them.  This notebook works out fine for rough drafts.  

When my students move to book making they use a template that I found from Deedee Wills and Deanna Jump.
All complete books go in file folders in the writing center.  Each container will have matching file folders with about five students.  
Last year my students just kept their journals and books somewhere in their desks.......yikes.  There where many tears throughout the year when books could not be found.  Ms. Lynch suggests in her book that the students have writing folders for their desks.  What a great idea!  She even recommends "reinforcing the folders with clear, wide, packing tape." 

What do the students keep in the writing folder?????
  • Writing Journal
  • Books they are writing
  • Student Dictionaries
  • ABC Chart*
  • List of 100 High Frequency Words*
  • List of Irregular Words*
(*All these lists/charts are available in the back of the book.)

Here is a picture of what I made for my students....

On the left side of the folder the students will keep their books. 

I decided to put a pocket folder in the folder to hold the ABC Chart and student dictionary. Behind the pocket folder is a clear page protector with the lists of words. 
  
In the right pocket the students will keep their writing journal.
  
I decided to make a folder for myself. This way when I am explaining how to put things away or how to use a word list I have a folder handy for a mini lesson.  
I made a second folder for myself to keep track of notes about the students writing.  Ms. Lynch has an excellent chart to track which students you conferenced with each week.  






Friday, July 3, 2015

Five for Friday -- July 3


I haven't shared one of these for a while.  I really like Kacey's idea at Doodle Bugs Teaching where you share five things you did/enjoyed/accomplished each week.  It gives you a chance to reflect on your week.  

1. Writing Folders 
I am excited about the writing folders I put together.   I have the post set for tomorrow.  So if you want to read more about them please stop by again.

2.  Welcome Flip Books
I found this idea on Pinterest and purchased the pack from Chalk and Apples at TeachersPayTeachers.  I love the idea that you can change it to make it what you want it to be.
I decided to make it my welcome card for the year.  I like to send a card to welcome my students/families to my class.  This way they can get lots of important info before open house.

3.  Clean Kitchen
I am still working on "Spring Cleaning" my house. I have a couple more areas to do.  
4.  Yummy Gluten Free Cookies
I finally found some good tasting gluten free cookies.  I know I should not be eating cookies but sometimes you just need something sweet.  I added some white chocolate chips to them as well. 

5.  Repurposed White Baskets
This week I spray painted some white baskets for my craft room shelves.  I had some baskets in the Goodwill pile and I thought I would see what happens when you spray paint them.  I think they turned out great.






Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Labeling Folders and Notebooks




I am a bit of an organizing freak.  Nothing drives me crazier at school then a student not able to find something in his/her desk.  In order to help  the children organize their things I created these labels.  On the first day of school I collect the supplies that the children bring to school and then I organize them and pass them back.  

I purchase plastic folders from Really Good Stuff for Reading Folders every year.  
source
I put this label on them as well as a label with their name.

When the students arrive they bring several red folders, one green folder and a blue folder.  I will use one red folder for a Work Zone folder.  The Work Zone folder is where we keep all unfinished work.  

I use the green folders for the challenge folders.  Each month I had challenge work for the students to do.  My challenge work is for students who have all their work complete. 

 I found some yellow 3-prong folders in the file drawers and I decided to use them for Writing folders.  
My students will have two notebooks, one for their writing journal and the second one for their coloring book.  

The Coloring Notebook is a notebook that the students can color in when their work is done.  There are times when I just a few quiet minutes or I need to get organized so they can color.  

If you right click on the images you can download the images for free.  The graphics were from KPM Doodles, and Meonheadz Illustrating.  







Friday, June 26, 2015

First Grade Writing Workshop




I posted my summer homework list last week.  I am not able to cross off anything from my list however I am working hard on my Writing/Reading/Phonics Framework and my exit expectations.  I did take some time for daydreaming on Amazon and I found this book that looks interesting so I ordered it.  
It came the next day....really I couldn't believe it.  So I am adding it to my summer reading list.  I read the introduction today and my goal is to read a chapter a week.  I did this last year too. I like to read the chapter and instead of telling you about the chapter I like to reflect on my own teaching and how I can use that information in my classroom.  Hopefully you will find some new ideas from my review as well.  

"Writing every day"
I do believe that the children should have time every day to read and write.  One thing I plan to change in my classroom is to make sure that the students have at least 20 minutes of writing time each day.  That does not include my mini- lesson.  I felt this was lacking in my classroom last year.  I struggled with time constraints all year.  My math lessons went over each day and took time from my mini lessons, which then took time from writing.    

"Mini-lessons...echo what is introduced in a core program.....but with examples from my students each week."  
I need to make my mini-lesson short and to the point.  We talked too much on the carpet.  I need to make sure I am using their work to teach.  


"students write every day about topics they have chosen that are dear to their hearts" 
This I felt my kids were able to do.  I generally gave them one suggestion a quarter and then they had time to write one piece of their choice as well.  Some students wrote some cute stories.  My motivated students wrote several books a quarter where as some of my students struggled to finish one.  I need to have a better grip on the progress they are making.  



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