Love At First Sight!!!
Tonight I got to meet my 21 precious little first graders, and it was love at first sight! Every single little child I met was the sweetest, most energetic and excited child I've ever met! I can tell this is going to be an awesome year!
My room is finally put together... YAY! Just in time for open house!
This is my computer center! This will be a station during Guided Reading time!
ActivBoard and morning meeting area!
Each day I have a math assistant. In fact, it is one of my classroom jobs! I will have to guide the math assistant for the first quarter until they catch on, but generally by second quarter they are able to do it on their own. The math assistant starts by discussing the days of the week, adding to the calendar, making our weather bears wear appropriate clothes for the weather, and graph the weather. The most important part of my math assistant's job however, is to do the "day of the year." We have 180 total school days in one year. Each day we will do two things in order to keep track of the number of days we've been in school. The first thing they will do is add a base ten block to the red pocket chart. In the past, I would have used straws, and then upon accumulating 10 straws, I would bundle them up and move them to the tens and so forth for the hundreds. However, I have found that if you do this routine using base ten blocks, ones, tens rods, and hundreds boards, they will be able to connect this to place value! As the year progresses, students will begin taking the standard form of the number and write it in expanded notation. The second important part of their job is the tens frame. Students will add a colorful circle sticker to the tens frame. We will keep track of those and connect them to the tens blocks. Since patterns are no longer technically in first grade, I will use the patterns of colors to help further their knowledge of patterns without explicitly teaching it.
I have 10 classroom jobs. I tried to do a classroom job for each child, but it got overwhelming and since most of the jobs ended up being unused, I decided to only do the jobs that were really needed. My jobs are:
Line leader, door holder, 2 lunch helpers (sweep and clean tables), teacher's assistant, scrap monster (cleans up at the end of the day), electrician (turns out lights when needed), P.E. equipment (responsible for taking recess equipment outside and inside), math assistant and caboose. They students' names are on the hands as well as their number. This just helps me keep track of the order they go in. My students are assigned a number and they will always stand in line according to that number, however, just like the jobs rotate once a week, the line order will rotate once a week, with the line leader becoming the caboose and each student moving up in the rotation of jobs.
This is my reading area for SSR during guided reading!
Again here are my birthday bags, but my favorite part of this room is my craft area! I found that over the years I was buying craft items over and over again that I already had! So in the process of changing schools and grade levels, I cleaned out and organized my craft supplies. The white plastic bins next to the sink house all of my craft supplies with labels so I know what materials I already have! To add some color to the white bins, I simply taped a piece of colorful card stock to the inside of the drawer!
Well... not really! We all know that teachers generally don't sit down unless they are doing a Guided Reading lesson! So here is where I will be doing those lessons, as well as planning when the kiddos aren't around! On the yellow paper behind my chair, I have the Beanie Baby reading strategies on display, with each beanie baby stuffed animal beneath it. While teaching students to sound out unfamiliar words, I will have my students tell me which strategy they are going to use! You can find these beanie baby reading strategies for free at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-Strategy-Posters They are free!!!
My favorite part of my writing center is the poster that is stapled in the middle of the bulletin board. It has words and pictures associated with each month. It allows students to use words that they may want to write about, based on the month, in their writing without having to ask how to spell them. It gives them enough to jump start their brains on what to write, without giving them all the words... because they still have to practice sounding out unknown words they want to write!
Open House Treats
When each student came into my classroom, this is what they found on their desk! Inside the red folder was all of the paper work that the parents would need throughout the night. I hope that by giving parents a folder, they can keep all important documents from class in one central location! I also had an apple on their desk. This is to go with my theme about parents being teachers too! You can find this poem at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Apple-Parent-Night-Gift The poem template cost $.75, or you can use the poem and create your own picture! This is a well known poem that a lot of teachers use, so I don't think there is any copyright on it!
This picture shows the gift that I gave to the students. It is a little bag of "Jitter Mix" or UTZ party mix from Walmart :) It also has a poem with it that talks about eating this mix before going to bed the night before school so the butterflies in their tummy will go away! You can find this poem at
My mom has finished my wonderful chair covers, so I will post step by step instructions on how to make them tomorrow!