Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Little Peek at our Week!

We just finished our third week of school! I can't believe how FAST the time has gone. We've spent a lot of time on rules and procedures these past few weeks. The kids have come so far, already. For example, we used glue sticks this week and nobody glued the glue stick to any part of their body. Transition times are getting better, clean-ups are faster, and they are following directions just a little bit faster. But, yes, there is a but....they are so chatty! They are my little chatter boxes! I think I've pulled out all my tricks already and we are still in August! Haha! Fortunately, I came across this fun little app last weekend called "Too Noisy" to add to my bag of tricks. I'm not going to say it works 100% of the time ....but it's new. Kids like new. Heck, I like new. Here's how it works: I just click on the app and set it under my document camera so it is projected on the screen. It's looks like this:
Well, it looks like this when they are quiet. 

Here's what it looks like when the classroom gets too noisy. Oh look, that's me in the top right corner haha! I haven't quite decided if the app works or if the kids just like watching the screen change...which makes them quiet down & start talking again. So, if you have a chatty class, check out the app. Just a little note, you will have those couple of kids who will want to blurt something out just to watch the face change (while everyone else is quiet).  Give the kids a few seconds to yell and scream after you introduce the app....get it out of their system. You will thank yourself later:).

Moving on to a couple other activities...
We've been working on building sentences that have a subject and a predicate. I think this activity really helped the kids "get it." I asked for a volunteer to be "The tiger" and then would ask the kids if that was a complete sentence (they would say no, after practicing of course). Then, we'd go through the cards and they would help me pick out a card that would tell more about the subject. I would then ask for a volunteer to hold the predicate card. We all read the sentences together. They loved it!
We also worked on identifying the characters and setting in our stories this week. After reading, I gave the kids two puzzle pieces. On one piece they drew the characters from the story and on the other they drew the setting. The kids put the pieces together and shared their puzzles with their partners.
Color bears!
Didn't these turn out cute!? Each student was given a different color set of clothes to cut out. After everything was cut out they had to get up and ask their friends to trade clothing pieces. We practiced using complete sentences....and not just grabbing pieces from each other. It was a success!
Making a trade. Can I trade my red shoe for your green shirt?
Writing with color words.

Have a happy three day weekend!

-Jamie

Friday, August 23, 2013

What Could Be More Fun Than Painting with Marbles?

Friday is finally here! I'm sitting on my couch. Relaxing. With take out. I couldn't ask for a better Friday night. I've started coming down with a sore throat and a case of the sniffles. This is a sign that school is back in session. It just wouldn't be normal if I didn't get sick at some point during the first month of school. I guess it's time to bring on the vitamin C to fight off all these germs!

I'm enjoying my class more and more everyday! They are so cute and can come up with some of the funniest things to say. Never a full moment in room 16. This is a good thing...I enjoy laughter.

Here is a quick run down of a few things that kept us hard at work this week:

I started introducing Language Arts centers this week. This was by far the class fave!  What 6 year old doesn't love play-dough? They practice their high frequency sight words by building the word using play-dough. 

We worked a lot on color words this week. So, this book was a perfect read aloud.

Wheeew! What a project this was! Now, I know you're asking yourself what could possibly be so difficult about this?? But, when you are 6 and are given scissors, glue sticks, and crayons...things like cutting your hair and gluing the glue stick to your shirt seem like much more fun than actually doing what the teacher has asked you to do. But, we did it! The books turned out great!
The finished product-and look, the student is practicing his reading because he is so proud of his book! 
Ahhhh....painting with marbles! What excitement this created!!! It actually created one of those moments you're praying your administrator doesn't walk in and see the "organized chaos!" Haha! After learning our color words this week the kids wrote about which colors were their favorite and then used marbles to paint with those colors.

More organized chaos:).
All of our beautiful artwork!
We spent a lot of time learning the short /a/ sound this week. You know, words like M-A-T and B-A-G. I'm sitting here catching myself blending these words like I do in the classroom as I'm typing. My students have become quite the little blenders already. Impressive!
Once the kiddos were done tracing the words and drawing matching pictures we turned these into cute little books.

Off to enjoy my relaxing Friday night! Have a good weekend!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The First Week of School

The first week of school is complete! I'm going to try and enjoy my weekend without thinking too much about school...as I'm sitting here making mental notes of things I need to pick up for my classroom this weekend. I guess we all know teachers never really stop working. 

Any-hoo, I had a lot of fun with my firsties this week! I had no idea how different first graders would be from second graders! I have to quickly share a cute little story. I had my students working on "All About Me" books this week. When it was time to clean up I said, "Stack your books (referring to the books they were making)  in the middle if your group, and I'll come pick them up." Seconds later I look over at one of the groups and they have a tower of anthologies, practice books, and folders all stacked up in the middle of their group. I asked what they were doing and why all of their books were out of their desk??? One of the kiddos says, "Teacher, you told us to stack all of our books in the middle." I laughed, and thought to myself...yes, yes I did. Moral of the story: first graders will do exactly what you say...model everything. Oh...how I wish I had taken a picture of the tower of books!

Here are a few things we worked on the first week of school:

We read this cute little story on the first day of school.

We read this poem by Abby Mullins to go with it.
Of course we made Jitter Juice!

The kids LOVED it!!

What's the first day of school without cute pictures? Chalk spray paint, a ruler, and chalk markers make for some cute photo props!

We made these to go with our books.
Another one of my favorite books we read.
Elmer project. Don't mind the star-just trying to cover up the name.
Our Elmer board.

That's all for now...off to enjoy my weekend!

Jamie


Monday, August 12, 2013

Another Year Begins!

Back to school night is officially over. Our school does Back to School the night before school starts so the kiddos can come and meet their teacher and get acquainted with the classroom. My students were absolutely adorable! They all came in with the biggest smiles on their faces and were filled with hugs! I didn't realize how tiny the kiddos would be....much smaller than my second graders. This year is going to be awesome!

My feet on the other hand...not feeling so awesome. After a summer of nothing but flip flops....the high heels were a little rough tonight-by a little, I mean a lot. I'm seeing flat shoes in my future tomorrow. Hopefully my feet can adjust by Christmas. 

Here is one of the items I passed out tonight to help the students and parents get to know me a little better.

Hopefully I'll get some sleep tonight. I think I get just as nervous (if not more) than the kids about the first day of school.

Happy back to school!

Jamie

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chalk Markers? Yes, please!

It's official. Summer vacation is over! I'm  "officially" back at work on Wednesday. Although, with all the laminating, cutting, bulletin board prepping, chalkboard spray painting, and crafting mishaps....I feel like I've been back for a couple of weeks now.  I will admit, I'm getting excited. Because I'm changing grade levels this year, there has been a lot to do! For those of you who didn't know, I've spent the last three years in second grade and will be moving to first grade this year. I'm looking forward to working with the firsties this year!

Here are a few things I've been working on:

I re-did my word wall. Not just once, but three times! Third time is a charm, right? I just couldn't get over the cluttered mess my wall had become. So, I re-sized, re-printed, and re-laminated all the words. Yes, all of the words. Then I decided the paper was too wrinkled. Yes, you guessed it...it came down too. I also decided there was too much chevron print going on in the room, so I changed out the border as well. The final change was the alphabet letters...they look so much better. I'm happy now. That's what's important, right?

An up close picture of the newly organized word wall.

All the words I re-sized, re-cut, and re-laminated. I'm glad I LOVE my new laminator so much!

Ok, I'm loving my latest creation! The crate stools. I had seen these on Pinterest a long time ago and knew I'd be making them at some point. This was the year! I fell in love with the chevron fabric several weeks back during one of my shopping trips to Joann's. I knew I had to have it. I didn't know for what, but I was buying it! I'm glad I remembered that I had "pinned" these crates. Who ever came up with this idea is a genius! Shockingly, they were just as easy to make as Pinterest described.

Chevron & yellow polka dot crate stools. I can't wait to see the kids using them during reading centers.

I picked up this cute little owl chalkboard at Professor Toy. 

First day of school photo props. More
photos will be coming soon. I made these by using chalkboard spray paint so they are re-usable. Just wipe and re-use.

I just discovered these. Chalk markers! They are awesome and I think I need an entire set.

My new chevron print lamp. I think it looks great on my desk. You can pick one up at Bed Bath & Beyond.

I will be using these to mark the group captain for the week. No more fussing over who is getting supplies and passing out papers. Those duties will go to the "Owl Star" captain.

Again, loving the chalkboard paint! I have also concluded that I can not paint with a paint brush. These were my second go at the pots. Shhh...dont tell anyone. I'll just stick to spray painting. I will be using my chalk markers to label the pots-crayons, markers etc.

That's all for now...

Jamie