Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Finished Work Chart

Manic Monday!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Today I'm going to share one of the best things I've ever come up with....don't mean to toot my own horn but I LOVE this system for managing student work (turned in & correct, returned to student to fix, missing).

I teach first grade, so I train my kiddos early on how to use this and I never need to help them figure out what's missing.  My rule is on Friday if a student has any missing or unfinished work, they have to stay in at recess to get it done. Plus, during the week, if they finish all their Morning Work (which includes finishing their work) they get to go see choice time.  
Maybe I should post that next week :)

Takes a Lickin' and Keeps on Tickin'

Yep, I've felt like a Timex watch this weekend.  I got a flu shot last fall but think that's what I've got going on right now.  But life goes on and so must I.  My husband was at an RTI conference all weekend, so I was on kid duty...while feeling like a truck ran over me.  PLUS I got this great idea from a colleague last week and had it on the brain all weekend.  Theme Journals!  

I've struggled with "What do kids do who have finished writing but others are not done or time is not up?" FOREVER and have tried many different things. But Theme Journals make total sense and I'm so excited to whip them up and try them out.  The colleague who showed me hers used notebooks you can buy anywhere.  But I wanted to include the handwriting paper I use (HWT), so I made up my own notebooks from scratch.  I'm almost done with the pack I made and want to put them on TPT and TN.  Each Theme Journal has a word bank to go with it.  Here's a sneak peek:

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The GingerBURNT Man

Run, run, as fast as you can....because your cookies are burning!

So we started a Gingerbread Man unit last week and read 3 different versions of the book.  Today I decided we'd make Gingerbread cookies.  I made the dough last night and after we read The Gingerbread Girl this morning, kids got to work.  They rolled out the dough, used the cookie cutter and I put them all on the cookie sheet.  When they were out at recess, I went to the staff lounge and turned on the oven to 350 degrees.  When I came back 7 minutes later to sit down and eat my lunch with a colleague, I put the little guys into the oven.  Pretty soon I smelled something and went to check on them....but the oven was LOCKED!  My colleague came over to help and by that time I saw a little bit of smoke coming out of the oven and smelled burning Gingerbread.  We could not get the door open, so I turned off the oven and ran to get the secretary.  She couldn't figure it out either so I ran into the lunchroom to get our BPO.  By the time I came back with him, another staff member somehow got the door open, phew!  I had one tray of fine cookies and 1 tray of burnt cookies.  I explained everything to my kiddos after lunch and they were disappointed but very understanding and accepted chocolate chip cookies instead, phew!

I'm still a bit embarrassed by the whole mishap, but now I have an idea for a book: The GingerBurnt Man!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Avast Me Hearties!

Arrrrrrrrgh you ready for some pirate fun?

For some reason I've had pirates on the brain lately!  
I'm evening thinking of changing my classroom theme to pirates next year...

As you may know, I LOVE Readers' Theater to the bottom of the ocean and back and just read a great book by Kim and Doug Kennedy called Pirate Pete's Big Adventure.  Then I discovered there were 2 other books in the series.  So I whipped up a script for each one and it's now my first Pirate Pack!  I'm planning on two more Pirate Packs because I've found 6 other stories.  

So check out me plays or walk the plank you scallywag!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Manic Monday

I'm linking up with Charity again over at Classroom Freebies.
Today I'd like to share some Guided Reading Tools that I use in my classroom with my small reading groups.

* lesson plan (that you laminate and reuse week after week)
* blank running record (that you can also type text onto)
* groups tracking chart for the books they read with you

Click here!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Made It!

Monday Made It!

Happy New Year!  I'm linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics to share something I, am making because it's not quite the way I want it yet but I wanted to share and maybe get some feedback ;)

I LOVE Readers' Theater!!  I do incorporate costumes and prop though because it's so much fun for everyone.  I've been really wanting to make some kind of stage or curtain for us to use, especially when we invite parents in to watch us perform.  So at 7:30a.m., the day before Winter Break, I was at Home Depot with an idea in my head and hope in my heart.  I literally put my idea together in the plumbing aisle with PVC pipes!  It's NOT 100% to my liking because:

* It needs to be wider....gotta add more pipe and a 3rd leg in the 
     middle to support that length.
* It needs to be taller so none of my student's heads are peeking 
     over it.
* It needs to be sturdier.

I really want this to be collapsable and storable as well, but also easy and quick to put together.  So take a look and PLEASE give me feedback if you've done this or if you've got a great idea :)

Manic Monday

Manic Monday!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

It's a manic Monday because #1) I go back to work after 2 weeks of Winter Vacation and #2) I'm linking up with Charity over at Manic Monday to share a handwriting freebie.

I don't know about  you but, being a first grade teacher, kiddos come into my classroom with their handwriting ways kind of set-in-stone.  I watch my 4-year-old write letters and some words on her own and see how she forms them....I've never taught her handwriting.  Kids just are wired I think.  But formal teaching and LOTS of practice are necessary.  So here's a little something I created to keep up handwriting long after we've done our formal lessons 1st quarter.  Hope you like it!

Click here!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Spin on Readers' Theater

Partner/Trio Plays

I know I've professed my love for Readers' Theater BUT I put a new spin on it because I was looking for something for my higher readers to use to practice and refine their fluency and expression.  Of course I couldn't find what I was looking for....and whenever that happens (I'm picky), I create it!

Check out this PACK of 10 different Fables that I've turned into Readers' Theater scripts for either 2 or 3 kids.  So that's 19 plays...over 50 pages of fun fluency practice!

Click here!

You can download this free version of 1 of the fables just to see if you like it.

Click here!

I'm sooooooo excited to get feedback because I've worked soooooooooo long and hard on it!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pinterest _______

Fill in the blank:

Pinterest __________.

1) Is something I finally gave in to being part of.
2) Is what I'm perusing while feeding my 4-month-old or when just before going to sleep around 1a.m. (I'm a night owl on vacations).
3) Is where I've found GREAT ideas for everything, including teaching!
4) Is, inadvertently, bringing more art projects into my classroom.

Teach 123 is having a linky party of Pinterest favorites 
(click on the above image to go to the blog).
So I want to pass on my faves to others!


Beth Heinemann used to work with me at a French language summer camp called Lac du Bois and is now a 1st grade teacher as well and I LOVE all the teaching things she pins!!  
Plus she's an excellent baker and has her own Etsy store with her yummies!

My pins: 

Of the 64 teaching ideas I've pinned, I've actually done/created 5...that's what breaks are for I guess!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Readers' Theater: Partner Plays

I LOVE Readers' Theater!
I love taking students through the process, I love watching them perform and I especially love writing scripts to go along with good books.

I've been looking for something lately to use with my high readers that they can do independently during my Daily 6 Groups so I don't need to meet with them each day.  I've also been looking for something that will help these readers with fluency and expression.  After not finding anything, I got the idea for partner and trio Readers' Theater plays.

You can download my first one for free by clicking here.

I'm working on a set of 10 that I'll hopefully have done by the end of the weekend.  I can't wait to start using them with my high kids and hopefully eventually all of my kids!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Come Tour My Classroom!

Here it is, my new classroom tour video!
My classroom layout/decoration changes slightly from year to year and since I was out on maternity leave for the first quarter of this year, I haven't had a chance to make and post a new video....thank goodness for Winter Break!

You can watch it here

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year's Resolution...

Happy New Year!

It's 12:16a.m. and I can actually see fireworks out my back deck door and they're really close!

This sums up my New Year's Resolution:

I've even created a calendar for myself to keep me on track!

Stay tuned for the updated video tour of my classroom...