Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My First Grade Classroom... Ideas

As I am planning the move to 1st grade, there is a lot going on in my mind.  I have been playing with a lot of different ideas for my classroom.  Here are some things that I have found as I have been reading and searching through other blogs. :)

Palm Trees for my reading area... I am going to be making two of these soon!

I found this idea on Mrs. Jump's Blog.  (She has a lot of great ideas and I am very excited that I found her blog!)

I am also planning on implementing the Daily 5/Cafe this year!  I am excited about all of the ideas I have found to help me do this. 

I will be updating this post as soon as I find other ideas I want to use this school year!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Exciting News... I am going to 1st Grade!

This week was the final week of school!  I will be moving to 1st grade next year! I am excited for this change because I have always wanted to teach this grade.  While I will miss the independence of 4th graders, I am excited to finally be teaching the grade I have wanted.  

With that said, I am going to have to learn a lot this summer!  With the implementation of Common Core next year and a new grade level, I am going to be busy!  If you have any cool ideas please feel free to help me out by sharing.  I am thinking I want to do different themed units such as, back to school, fall/Thanksgiving, caterpillars/butterflies, halloween/bats, Christmas/Snowmen, etc.  I have been searching on TpT, Pinterest and TeachersNotebook for ideas.  It will come together!  Thanks for all the help/ideas!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

We're gonna KNOCK the SOCKS off the EOG!

Tuesday morning we will begin taking our state tests- EOG's!  Needless to say, nerves are catching up with all of us.  I planned to do some fun little things for my kids this week.  To kick it off... Friday we had "Knock the Socks off the EOG" day!  They had so much fun wearing crazy socks and keeping their shoes off all day in the classroom.  (And, it didn't smell too bad!) 

I am now beginning to think of what I can do with my students after the EOG's are over each day, and with the enrichment groups who will not be retested.  (Students are scored 1-4.  A 3 or 4 is "passing", and if they make a 2 they are automatically retested.  We provide remediation for those students who need it and enrichment for the ones who do not.)  This has proved to be slightly tough for me.  I want to make sure these kids are learning and expanding their knowledge, as well as, having fun.  I have found some things, but not three weeks worth of materials.  So, if you have anything that you think would be helpful, feel free to let me know!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It's Been A While...

As I began this blog journey, I thought I would have much more time to post and share my own ideas.  However, this has proven to not be true.  I am going to do better though!  I have still been keeping up with others in the blog world.  There are so many great bloggers out there that give me inspiration for my classroom.  I am excited for the new ideas I will be using in the next school year thanks to others on here.  I will post links to their pages as I use them and make them my own.  

For now, I want to talk about the end of year.  Students across North Carolina will soon be taking their end of year tests called the EOG's.  My class will be taking this test over three days starting May 1st.  Only 6 days!  This week, I have planned to have some fun activities/themes for different days to give my students the encouragement they need to succeed.  These are my ideas so far:  Monday- You are the apple of my eye! (I will give students a card that says this along with an apple eraser.)  We have been studying figurative language and I think this will fit right in! :)  Tuesday- You are a smartie, I believe in you!  (I will give students a card that say this along with a pack of smarties.)  Friday- We are going to knock the SOCKS off the EOG!  (Students will wear crazy socks for the whole school day.)  I am going to fill in something for Wednesday and Thursday, but I haven't quite figured it out yet.  If you have any ideas, please let me know! I could potentially have one more day as well, because we don't start testing until Tuesday of the following week.

This is it for now, and I promise I will be posting more often!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A quick note & my first linky!

Just stopping by to drop a quick note and let everyone know that it has been super busy this week in my classroom.  We have celebrated Pi Day, finished earning STAR's for our school wide incentive program- STAR stands for Students That Are Ready, finished our MAPs test with great success and managed to have a lot of laughs along the way.  (Laughing keeps me sane.)  I will try to post some pictures of students enjoying their STAR party day and my classroom tomorrow.

I wanted to thank Lorraine over at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies for having a linky for all 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers!  Such a great idea!  It is also my first linky! (A big deal for a new blogger!)  So, needless to say, I am excited about all of the new blogs I can now stalk nightly as my husband enjoys his own computer time.  (He is a computer nerd and enjoys when I spend time on the computer as well.) 

For now, check out the linky and I will post again soon!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Anxiously awaiting...

Tomorrow begins with 15 smiling faces ready to begin the day with me. (Yes, I only have 15 students.  That will never happen again.)  The room will buzz with conversation first thing because we had a long weekend and I know that they will have something to share with someone.  (Hey, we all know we enjoy to talk to our friends and catch up.)  I am slightly more lenient on Monday mornings for just this reason, but by the time the bell rings at 8 they will all be working diligently on their morning assignment.

I am excited for this particular Monday because I am going to be implementing and teaching a few new activities that will be utilized for the remainder of the school year.  The first thing I will be trying are two new differentiation strategies.  (Think-Tac-Toe and Choice Menu)  Both of these are exciting for me because I feel like my kiddos will enjoy having the choices and the ability to pick what they are working on.  (Who wouldn't!)  These are strategies that I learned in a recent training and I know that it will pay off!  I will post photos sometime this week.

The next new idea I am going to begin implementing is Math Notebooks!  I found this idea from one of the blogs I began reading a few weeks back when I was searching for resources.  Check it out, Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes!  I am super excited to try this with my kids and begin to build a great resource for my students as they prepare for the upcoming EOG.  (In North Carolina, this is the test that students take at the end of the year.  The end of grade test.)  I wish I would have found this sooner!  The first skill we will use in our notebooks is adding and subtracting decimals.  I chose this because I found a cool idea to create a t-chart for organizing the numbers and keeping them lined up.  The students have worked with this some previously so I can have more of a focus on how to utilize the notebook.

I am also going to begin using a new idea for my math rotations.  (I am very ambitious this week!)  This will not be as big of a change for my students but it will still be something new and different.  My main goal is to mix it up slightly so my students aren't in a rut.  (We all have been there and it is not a fun place to be!)  I got the idea from, yes you guessed it, another blog that I was reading.  Check this one out- Math Workshop!

As you can see, the title is very fitting because I am anxiously awaiting the use of these new ideas.  However, this is enough for now.  Until tomorrow, I will leave you with a quote...

"Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire"

-William Butler Yeats


I want to light a fire, do you?

The Beginning

This is the beginning, I am becoming a blogger!

This adventure has begun due to the obsession I have recently developed of blog reading.  There are so many wonderful teachers out there who share their ideas via blogging and I want to join the crowd!  I have a few goals for this adventure I have set on.
  1. Leave tracks of my own learning and growth as a teacher.
  2. Follow blogs that hold interest and value to my own teaching.
  3. Learn from the great teachers out there!
  4. Share my own ideas with others.
These are only a few that I can think of currently, but I can add more later if needed. 

This week we will be starting some new EOG prep activities this week that I learned from a workshop taught by Kathy Bumgardner.  (Check out her website!)  She is wonderful and I love using a lot of her different reading strategies and tools with my students.  They love them as well!  I am also going to begin some new ideas in math, but more on that later.

For now, I am going to enjoy the last of my weekend.  Tomorrow, I am going to post some pictures of my classroom and bulletin boards.  I need to make a quick trip to Wal-Mart/the dollar store for supplies, gather materials for the week, and finish getting ready for my kiddos tomorrow.