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Friday, August 28, 2015

Five For Friday: August 28th

This is my first Five for Friday since we started back to school.  We started this past Tuesday, and I am excited to link up with Doodlebugs Teaching to share with you what we have been doing all week!

Five for Friday

Like I said, we started school on Tuesday.  I was so excited and ready to go back, and I am thankful that my son feels the same way.  I am also thankful that he goes to the same school that I work at so I get to see him every day!  What a privilege. {For me at least - I'm not sure he loves the fact that I talk to his teacher every day.}

We had fun taking some silly pictures on the first morning too.

Of course, I finished setting up my classroom Sunday night after church. {I didn't want to have to go in Monday.  I wanted one more full day off.}  I went with a bright colored chevron theme and I love it! You can't see the chevron very well in this picture, but you can see more pics of my classroom {and pick up some freebies} in this post

My first graders have been working hard at practicing quiet reading time. I have a nice cozy reading corner with lots of fun books displayed.  We have been working on "reading" silently for up to 10 minutes every day.  You can read more about how I started our quiet reading time here.

I have also been reading lots of stories to my first graders.  After all, I want them to love reading.  I think my favorite for this week was The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.  I had been hearing about this book quite a bit on social media, and it was definitely as cute as everyone said.  My kiddos loved hearing the letters from the crayons!

Speaking of crayons, our first Phonics unit focuses on learning the color words while we review the letter sounds.  So we have been having lots of fun with colors this week!

We wrote our color words and then colored a picture full of colors. 

 We have also been coloring our Colorful Monsters books to take home.  And today we played Go Fish with the Colorful Monsters playing cards.  That was a huge hit.  My kiddos loved playing a game in school.  {Not only did it help them practice reading color words, but it also gave them a chance to practice saying my name when they asked me for a card. Win win!}


Look at the excitement in the last picture.  Can you tell this was the first set found in the whole game?!  He was so excited!

If I'm being honest, I can't think of a 5th thing that happened this week.  I am exhausted and falling asleep as I write this.

There is no tired like end of the year teacher tired... Unless you count beginning of the year teacher tired. 

So I'm going to bed. I hope everyone else's week has been as good as mine.  You can read about the weeks of other teachers over at Doodlebugs Teaching.  Don't forget to stop by and check it out! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Starting Independent Reading in First Grade

Well, our first day of school is in the books.  I am teaching first grade this year which is a bit different from my usual upper elementary.  I will admit that I was a little hesitant about the switch, but I loved it!  Those little cuties are so fun and eager to learn.

One of the things we started today was independent reading time.  Now I knew that most of these kiddos were not going to be actually reading books during reading time.  However, I still wanted to get them in the routine of having a time to quietly look at books.
And I think for the first day, it went pretty well.

I started by having them all sit in our reading area.  We talked about all the places where books can be found in our classroom.  I told the children that they can read any of the books in the room, even if the books are on display.
This is our classroom reading area.  All of the books on display are from my local library.

Next, I talked about how reading is simply telling a story.  I reminded them that they can "read" a book by just looking at the pictures and telling a story about the pictures to themselves.  A few of my students looked a little shocked to hear me call that reading!

Then, I told them that I was going to let them read quietly by themselves for 10 minutes.  We talked about what reading quietly was and wasn't.  I also told them that they could read anywhere in the room, even under their desks!  Boy was that exciting!!

Finally, I asked them if they had ever seen a bookworm.  Obviously they all said they hadn't.  I showed them my jar of bookworms {gummy worms}.  I told them that if they read quietly for 10 minutes, they would earn a bookworm to eat right then. Talk about motivational!

 Then we started reading.  I think they did pretty well for the first day.  I'm not going to say that they were perfectly quiet the entire time.  However, I was impressed with their ability to look at books for the whole time.  And when they did talk, it was to show a friend a picture that they liked in their book.  You can see where they were most excited to read.

And yes, one of my girls spent most of the time looking at our classroom dictionaries.  I told her that was completely fine. {After all, I remember liking to look at my dictionary when I was a little girl.}  After the 10 minutes was over, I rewarded each of my little readers with a delicious bookworm.  Hopefully the fun they had today will help them be just as excited for independent reading time tomorrow too!

Monday, August 24, 2015

My Classroom Reveal

Thank you so much to the fabulous teachers of Blog Hoppin' for the fun blogging ideas this week. Today's link up is all about our classrooms.

We have been in school for over a week now so my classroom is in full use and gets pretty messy during the day. {I don't know how kids so little can manage to move their desks around so much during one day!}

  Of course before school started, I spent plenty of time writing out my lesson plans, finding charts and manipulatives for the first week, and putting workbooks in desks.
But a large part of my time was spent in decorating my classroom.
They DON'T get it, nor do they understand that we believe it to be true...and because we BELIEVE it to be true...IT IS! You can't do cute in TWO DAYS! My thoughts are with those of you who are trying! 
Some years, I don't love the way my classroom turns out.  But this year, I absolutely adore my room!  So I wanted to share my room with you - maybe you will see some ideas you like as well.
{And by the way, lots of the products I used were freebies from different TpT authors.  I have linked each picture so you can find the products too!}

 This is the front of my classroom.  You can find the alphabet charts as a freebie in my TpT store!

Chevron Welcome Banner

This is a free behavior clip chart from Sunny Days.  On the left are the reward coupon choices.  {I am going to let them pick a reward coupon or from a prize box this year.}

These are my white shelves that run down one side of my classroom. The left shelf I use for teaching supplies, and the middle and right shelves are full of books! {You can never have enough classroom books, right?!}
Speaking of reading, I am loving my little reading area this year!  I picked up two new bookshelves and some extra pillows from IKEA this summer.  Once I finally got them put together, I filled them with books from my local library for my students to look at.
You can pick up the READ posters in my TpT store too.

READ posters
 I am planning on changing out the books at least every other week so the students have books to read about the topics we are covering in class.

 We read all about going back to school, colors, and numbers the first week.  This week we are reading all about firefighters because of our field trip to the fire station yesterday!

Of course, a classroom wouldn't be complete without a few brightly covered bulletin boards!  I have three boards in my classroom.  All three of them are too high for the students to interact with so I use them for displays.

 I am using this board to display good student work! {Kids get so excited to see their papers up on a bulletin board for everyone to see.}

 I keep my calendar on this board all year long.  I just change the month header, rearrange the date pieces, and switch out the decorations around the calendar. And yes I did change it to September yesterday, but I forgot to take a picture!

I used this board to hang up some of the color words writing and pictures that we did during our first week of school.  We are all about learning those color words right now. You can read more about our color word fun in this post.

The back of my classroom also has a little writing center.  Students don't always sit and write here. However, it is nice to have an area with extra writing supplies, writing prompts, and a copy of the writing process for students to look at.
{The adorable writing pencil banner and writing process posters are by Pinkadots Elementary.)

And here is my corner of the room.  Desk, bookshelf for teaching books, and filing cabinet are all tucked away at the front left of the room.

You can't see them that great, but I found some super cute color word pencil window clings at the Christmas Tree Shops.  Isn't the view out this window beautiful though!

I cleaned everything. {It's amazing how many cobwebs can collect over a summer.} And I put a little treat on every desk for my kiddos on their first day of school!
I love coming in my classroom every morning.  It is bright and colorful, and it makes me happy!

Make sure to stop by Blog Hoppin' to see pictures of some other beautiful classrooms!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Giveaway Winner Announcement!

I just have to say a huge Thank You to everyone who entered my giveaway this weekend!  I was so encouraged by the results.  Thank you also to all of you who commented on my new blog design, whether on here or on Facebook.  This is definitely one of my favorite things about the blogging community - how much support we show to each other!

And now, the moment everyone is waiting for...the winner of the $25 TpT gift card is... Jan!!!  I will be emailing you today with your gift certificate!  Congratulations!
 Thank you again to everyone who participated!

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