Saturday, 29 September 2012

Teacher Language Posters

A follower had commented about the Teacher Language Posters that were in one of my pictures on my Classroom Pictures Page. I told her I would post them for free!

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They go along with Responsive Classroom Principles and the book “The Power of our Words: Teacher Language that helps Children Learn.

It talks about 3 main kinds of language: Reinforcing, Reminding and Redirecting.
It also focuses on direct language that is concise and respectful to the student. Email me if you would like them!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Math Daily 5 Posters and Work on Writing

TGIF People! This has been a long week and I didn’t even have kids on Monday! We have been working hard on building up our stamina in Math with Someone. This has been the hardest one for us so far as we are having trouble working with another friend quietly and also playing fairly. We have spent many classes going over how to be a good partner, follow the rules of the game and be a good sport. Today we were able to work for 10 minutes with only 2 re-starts. Haha.
Here are the Daily 5 Posters I created for my kids. I’ve kept the language very similar for each one so that it is easy for students to follow and adhere to. I’ve also mimicked the I charts from Daily 5 in the morning. This helps the students to transition to Math Daily 5 a lot easier and faster.
NOTE: These Math Daily 5 resources are unofficial adaptations of Math Daily 5 by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser. Visit the Daily 5 website for information on Math Daily 5.
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Click {HERE} to download from my TPT shop. (colours vary)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Daily 5

My kids are almost at 20 minutes in Read to Self! Yay! I still have a few who are having trouble building stamina, but they will be the kiddos who will sit closer to me during Daily 5 so I can check on them and keep them focused. When I have a child who is having trouble staying focused, I often have them join me at my guided reading table while I am taking a small group. I can manage and support them with minimal effort while also teaching my guided reading group. Those are also the kiddos who tend to need more support in other areas of literacy so I will be meeting with them more often anyways, which cuts down on the amount of independent practice time they need to sustain.

Here is our Read to Self Poster:

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We also started Work on Writing a few days ago and we are up to 6 minutes. I always find this one the hardest. Most of my students have no letter/sound correlation and a few can’t identify all their letters. This makes it difficult for them during this time. I model what good writers do in these very first few days to make sure all of us feel like writers!!

Good Writers:

Think, Draw, Write.

We will later add in label, add details etc. But this has been able to get them started for now! The only thing is I have a few who will draw the whole time. I don’t want to take the drawing piece away as I feel it is important for young writers, but how do I get them to move to the writing piece without telling them directly?

Hmm…I was thinking of maybe getting some sand timers with a longer time span such as 5 minutes. They take a timer with them, flip it over and they have 5 minutes to draw. When the sand timer is up, you must get started on writing. When you are done writing you can always go back and add details to the picture you didn’t get to finish.

How is everybody else running Work on Writing? This is my 4th year with Daily 5 and I have changed the writing every year!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Leaves, Calendar and Crayons

This is a scrambled post so I  will let pictures do most of the talking.
First Leaves:
We went on a walk to a nearby forest and collected leaves! We were super lucky to get to bring a class set of cameras with us so every partner had a camera to share and take pictures with! It was so great to go through them after and see their viewpoint and what was important to them. And let me tell you………their pictures are AMAZING!!! I couldn’t believe it!
Here are some I took on our trip:
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After we collected them, we came back and sorted our leaves by:
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Shape (EEK! I forgot to take a picture of this one…but you get the drift)
We then picked 5 of our best leaves and sticky tacked them down to our papers.
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Then we sprayed!! I put tempera paint into spray bottles with a little bit of water and spread out paper on the ground. We sprayed our leaves with brown, orange, yellow and red.
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Once it was dry, we took off the leaves.
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They didn’t turn out exactly as I was expecting but ah well!
Ok..second is Calendar
I wrote in a previous post about how I was changing up my calendar and not doing a “routine.” It’s not exactly pretty but I’m not minding it.
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I made 12 of these. One for each month and then hole punched them and hung them up with rings and tacks. I used label dots to write the numbers on and them stuck them on, so hopefully I can take them off at the end of the year and re-use the calendar again.
Today we added some special events to our calendar with sticky notes. We talked about when things had happened and what day we might put the sticky note. We also noticed that 2 students birthdays were on the same day of the week!
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I was a little late on getting the calendar ready so we kinda missed September events. Oh well!
Last but not least: Crayons
They finally arrived after being back ordered with the pencil crayons. We sorted them and then put them in these tiny sterlite bins. They fit perfectly as the colour cups I use for pencil crayons and markers were too big for the crayons.
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Phew. That was a long post…with tons of pictures.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Classroom Pictures and an Anchor Chart

I finally took some classroom pictures last week from my classroom. I haven’t changed much since last year so I only took a few pictures. Check them out on the Classroom Pictures page {HERE}.

We also started talking about Daily and Seasonal Changes in Theme.  The leaves have been changing and it is getting colder so it seemed like a perfect time. We read some books about Fall and the changing seasons and made an anchor chart all about Fall and the changes you see. I am not sure who created the materials for this printable. If it is yours, please let me know and I will give you credit!

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On Tuesday, we will be going on a class walk to a nearby forest to collect leaves and explore how the environment is changing with the seasons!

Have a great Sunday night!


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Math by Myself

Hey folks,
Today was our 3rd day building stamina in Daily 5 Math and we are up to 9 minutes in Math by Myself. We made an I chart of all things the students and teachers would be doing in Math by Myself.
Math by Myself:
Quiet voices
Stay in 1 spot
Work on math the whole time
Work on stamina
Get started right away
Bubble Space
I introduced math bags which were empty and we talked about how to take care of the bags and the materials in them. I also introduced this first pieces we would be adding to the bag: whiteboard (page protector), eraser (kleenex), marker, dice.
Again I modeled and demonstrated how to use the whiteboard marker, how to fold the kleenex and use it to erase, how to erase the whiteboard and how to put everything back into the bag with nothing getting crunched. Students had a chance to demonstrate and notice what they did to take care of their materials.
I usually start with a very simple math by myself game. We played Dice Roll and Record with dice pictures and with numbers.
dice 2dice roll

Email me if you would like a copy!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Our first Math Notebook

We started our first page in our math notebooks Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. Lets just say our “cutting skills” are something to be desired. It took F.O.R.E.V.E.R. 3 days to be exact. I soon realized that I would need to pre-cut this stuff beforehand. Anywho….
On our first page, we did a “I can write my numbers” page. We glued down our title and then cut and ordered our numbers from 1-10. We glued them down and practiced writing our numbers by making 1 beautiful number beside each one.
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(NOTE: We have not glued down 6-10, as this activity is taking forever!! It will now be a Monday-Thursday activity. Yikes.)

I saw this cute Subway Art sign on Pinterest saying “ The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” from the movie Elf. I love this post however I wanted to put it up in my classroom, so I changed it a bit! We sing tons of songs at Morning Meeting and for energizers so I made one like this:

subway art

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Building Stamina and Class Rules

Today was our 3rd day building stamina in Daily 5. We are up to 6 minutes, with a few "come back and let's try it again." I have a few barometer kiddos who are finding it hard to stay focused on their books and stop their eyes from wandering and checking out what everyone else is doing! Right now, they are building stamina near me as I watch from my guided reading table, trying to avoid eye contact with them. Haha.

Here are a few of our reading buddies and cushions this year. We are learning to use these as "Reading Friends" and not toys.

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We also worked on our class rules today. Yesterday we did a “Hopes and Dreams” activity from Responsive Classroom. It is to get kids thinking about what they want to do in grade 1 and what they want to become better at. What is their hope and dream for grade one? My hope and dream for grade one was to help my kids become independent. My kids had hopes and dreams about helping to teach other kids new things, becoming better readers, learning all the letters, etc.

We then used our Hopes and Dreams to lead into class rules. Our question was:

“ What are some rules we will need to follow if we are going to to be able to enjoy doing the things we thought of in our hopes and dreams?”

We read David Goes to School and then brainstormed ideas. I wrote down every idea we thought of and then we narrowed our class rules down into 3 overall class rules that encompass everything.

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We also did a super cute drawing of David that I found on Pinterest from Forever in First. It was a directed drawing and some got it a little more than others.

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Here are some close ups!

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Going Slow…

Today was our second day together as a whole group. I forgot how much time routines and procedures take at the beginning of the year. As Responsive Classroom would say “Don’t assume anything…..teach everything.” So we do. We have learned how to walk in a line, how to put the lids on our glue sticks (listen for the click), how to carry our scissors, how to put books back in the reading corner, how to line up our shoes on the shoe rack, how to make room for a friend in the circle…and the list goes on. I don’t mind spending the first couple weeks on this stuff as it pays off for the rest of the year! Usually if something goes awry and I’m getting frustrated….it’s because I didn’t take the time to properly model it in the beginning. So we go slow and slower and hope that this will all become second nature in the next couple weeks. Then it’s easy breezy. Totally independent. (for the most part)

One way I teach a routine or procedure in the class is through Interactive Modeling. This is a component of Responsive Classroom and has a few steps:

1. Teacher names and presents the desired behaviour

Ex: “When we walk in line, it's important for us to get where we're going safely and quietly, so other people in our school can stay focused on what they're doing. I'm going to show you what it looks like to walk in line. Watch and see what you notice."

2. Teacher models and demonstrates behaviour

Ex: Have a student to pretend to be in line in front of you. Walk in line around the room behind this student. Slow pace, close but not too close, quiet feet, quiet voices.

3. Teacher asks students to notice and name the elements of the behaviour.

Ex: "What did you notice about how I walked in line? What did you notice about the distance between Joe and me?" Etc

4. Students practice “tricky” parts by demonstrating and noticing what works.

Ex: “Who can show us how to walk in line the same way I did?"

5. Students practice behaviours as a whole class.

Ex: “Now we are all going to practice walking together as a class.”

6. Reinforce observed positive behaviours.

Ex: “I noticed kids walking at a good pace. I noticed kids using quiet voices and staying close but not too close.I think we are ready for the hall!”

It works. I use it for any behaviour or procedure I want to practice. Walking in line, how to get our book bins from the shelf etc.

You can learn about Responsive Classroom and it’s principles {HERE}.

Another thing I do with my kiddos is a goodbye at Closing Circle. We go around the circle and say farewell to each other at the end of the day. Kind of like a greeting in the morning but we are saying “Goodbye! Glad you were here today! See you tomorrow!”

I like to use Goodbye Rhymes. We use most of them together in pairs. One friend says the first one and the other says the second back.

Example: 1st friend “See you later Alligator!” 2nd friend “In a while Crocodile!”

All while giving a friendly handshake.

Sooo here is my Goodbye Poster Page for you!

Click on the image to download!

I made it in black and white so you can save some ink and print on coloured paper! Graphics from KPM Doodles, fonts from Sweet Shoppe Designs.

going home

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Giveaway Winners!

Hi Folks,

I’m here to announce the winners of my First Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Laurie and Suzie!

I will be emailing you shortly!

Thank you to everyone who entered! I appreciate the support!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

1 More Hour For Giveaway!

Hey Everyone!

Here are my agenda cards up on my whiteboard for our first day tomorrow!
(Note: we do not have Phys  Ed from lunch until recess..but we will be learning about the the Reading Corner and how to take care of books in it! I don’t have an agenda card for that! haha)


Enter my giveaway for these {HERE} !!!! It ends in an hour!!!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Monday Made It! {on a Tuesday…..}

Today was full of meetings, meetings and more meetings. Tomorrow the kiddos each come for 10 minutes to meet the teacher!

I am linking up with Monday Made it from 4th Grade Frolics even though its Tuesday. I actually made a lot of it on the weekend, so it counts!

First {Tuesday} Made It:

Magnetic Information Cards

I made these cute cards with my email and school phone number to give to parents to put on their fridge! All I did was print, cut, laminate and then hot glue gunned a magnetic piece to the back! I think they turned out cute!

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Second {Tuesday} Made It:

1st Day in Grade One Picture Frame

I’ve seen this on Pinterest for a while and finally decided to make my own! I am going to take the kids pictures in it and turn it into a class book! I am also going to send one home with the kids for their parents!

1st day

Third {Tuesday} Made It:

Binder Units

This doesn’t exactly fit in but oh well! I got this great idea from Pinterest (sorry can’t remember the blog!) She puts all her units into binders instead of filing cabinets and file folders! So I moved my box of Science and Social Studies clusters into binders and made cover pages for them! Now everything for that 1 unit is in page protectors and sorted in the binder.  (Sorry for the Glare!)


Link up with Fourth Grade Frolics if you made something on Monday! (or Tuesday for that matter.)

Monday, 3 September 2012

Math Notebooks, Question of the day and Calendar

Today is my last day of summer vacation!! Tomorrow is a Teacher Day, Opening Conferences Wednesday and kids come Thursday! My kiddos are coming in on a staggered entrance, so I get half Thursday and half Friday and then they all come Monday.
This might be a long post so stay with me! I want to talk about Interactive Math Notebooks, Math Writing in Math Daily 5 and my new idea for Calendar!
I’ve been trying to get my Math Notebooks Set up and ready for Math Daily 5.  I’ve been reading tons of posts and looking on Pinterest for ideas about how people use interactive notebooks. I really want them to be used to help my students, not just as a place to store worksheets (which I hate). We are going to record all the learning that we have been doing in math in these notebooks. Students will take them with them to their Daily 5 Math choices and use them as references and needed support. I am thinking that we are going to record and glue down new info and activities in them every Friday instead of making math choices that day. As the year progresses, and they become more independent, they might become a choice in Daily 5 Math in math Writing to finish up stuff.  I’m not sure yet.
So here is what I’ve set up so far. I went with buying the composition books. I’m not sure if this is the best choice as I’ve never used them before. Other teachers who use interactive notebooks were saying they like them better than binders and spiral notebooks, so we will see! I am not sure if they are going to be too small for the kiddos to write in. Hmm…..
Anyways……I made math notebook labels for the front. I still have to put the kids names in and then they will get packing taped down. 
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Inside the notebook on the back of the front cover I taped in a Ziploc bag. This will hold any paper pieces that kids don’t finish gluing down.
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I then found this great idea on Pinterest for keeping the notebooks closed once they are chock full of foldables and other stuff. Click {Here} to go to the original post.
They hole punched a hole in the back top corner of the notebook.
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And then put a large elastic band in and looped it.
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Then the kids stretch the elastic over the notebook to help keep it closed! Love it!
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Take 2. This picture actually took about 5 takes, as my kitten Jack loved that elastic band.  Voila!september2, 2012 025
Now onto Math Writing in Math Daily 5. One of the choices my kids chose from was Question of the Day. In the morning as part of my kids morning jobs, they have to come in and answer the Question of the Day. I got the idea from {HERE}.
I have 2 cookie sheets hot glue gunned up that say YES and No. The Question of the Day is always a yes or no answer. It also is something that does not have a right answer so kids can’t just copy what the person in front of them does. For Example: it might say “ Are your eyes blue?” and then kids have to find their magnet name (print names on coloured cardstock, cut, laminate and attach a magnet to the back) and put it on the cookie sheet that says YES or the cookie sheet that says NO. I just write the question of the day every morning on a dry erase strip above the cookie sheets.
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Then……at Daily 5 Math time, if you chose Math Writing: Question of the Day, then you could grab the Question of the Day page and use the data from the mornings question and record it!
For Example…lets say the question was “ Are your eyes blue?” then we might end up with 6 kids names under YES and 10 kids names under NO. The kiddos need to use that data to fill out a graph, ten frame, create a number sentence and write tally marks etc. My rounds in Daily 5 Math are only 15 minutes and most of my kids were able to complete this page independently in that time. In the beginning of the year, this page was only one sided. Then we added the second side later on. We also did this page whole group MANY times before it ever became a choice.
Phew. Are you still with me??? For anyone who has read this long and is still here Thank You!
Now onto Calendar…. I had mentioned in an earlier post that I don’t like Calendar and frankly don’t do it. I came across a fabulous idea that totally matches my thinking on this whole Calendar thing on Pinterest!
Instead of having students put up 1 new day every day, the whole calendar is already filled and set up with all the days of the month. (This is something I have been doing for a while!) It’s important for students to be able to see the whole calendar and make sense of it. They don’t use it as a “routine” or a set time for calendar, but rather a space to record special events in the students lives. {LOVE} They write down birthdays, pizza days, specials events in the class, moms and dads birthdays, holidays etc. The students began to see the connections between events in their lives and their friends lives and how days and weeks and months work! One teacher had the whole 12 month calendar up in her room! I don’t have that much space, but I might have them all on like a flip chart and flip through. We will record special events on sticky notes and attach them to our calendar. This will hopefully generate some great conversations about how long it is till certain events, when a certain event happened, etc.
If you want to read more about this idea..Weeds in the Garden has a great post about how she uses it in her classroom. Check that out {HERE}.
There is also a great article called “How many days till my Birthday?” It talks about helping Kindergarten students understand calendar connections and concepts. Check that out {HERE}.
PHEW. That is the longest post I have ever written. Thank you if you stayed all the way to the end!!
Don’t forget to enter my Giveaway for FREE personalized Agenda Cards!!!!
Enter {Here}
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