Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Working in Small Groups - and Our First Mystery Reader

The last two weeks, I have been trying hard to get into our small groups groove!  We are on week 3 of centers - just started our 3rd round of  centers. They are getting better about making sure of getting where they need to go without me telling them. They are learning to rely on the screen and become independent. That's BIG in my room - being independent.  They will get there. Some have already come so far!  So anyway, this week in small groups, we are reading in our books (I use Reading A-Z books for my guided reading), focusing on reading strategies - how to decode words.

This week it is Lips the Fish and Eagle Eye!

Here are the links for the rest of the Beanie Babies for the posters

After practicing reading the book together and reviewing some reading strategies, I handed them the whisper phone for them to read their book a few times.

I posted about how to make your whisper phones in {THIS} post.

These are some of my favorite tools for my guided reading groups.

If you want to see more of my favorite guided reading tools, check out {THIS} post.

We've also been working on Handwriting. I forget how much we need to work on handwriting with some students in the beginning of first grade. ah!

Floating letters, big letters, tiny letters, backwards letters, non-connected letters, squished letters, capital letters everywhere - ah! So, we've been using my {handwriting pack}.

And we've been using some of my {number practice pack} too!


AND we had one of our mystery readers come in to read a book to us.

After I read {Jodi's post} on her The Book with No Pictures, I knew it had to be that book!

So we wrote a letter to her and asked her to come read the book. 

The kids absolutely love this book. In fact, in our journals that we just wrote on the topic, "What is your favorite book?" and about half the class wrote that this book was!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Erasing Permanent Marker from Lamination

So...did you guys know that you can erase permanent marker off of lamination??

When I posted about my {Math Centers}, I had a lot of questions about how I erase the permanent marker on my cover sheets. 

I know you can use finger nail polish remover. But I don't like the smell.

So, I figured out another way to get it off.

Super simple too!

Get a black dry erase marker, scribble on what you want to erase....

Erase the dry erase marker....

And there you go!

Now you can reuse TONS of laminated things!!

Like these name tags. You can download these name tags on {THIS} post.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Math Centers for the First Week

So, last week, I introduced math centers. I run math centers a lot like I run Reading centers (you can read about my reading centers on {THIS} post). I use the screen to tell them where to go, BUT, I don't use a menu for math centers, so I use a different method for them to know if they've been to that center. I have these math center cover sheets that I have taped to the tops of the boxes. They are laminated and when kids do that center, I take a sharpie and cross off their names. (You know you can take off Sharpie with a dry erase marker, right!?). That way when they go to choose which center they want to do, they can look at the cover sheet to see if their name is crossed off. If it is, then to the next center the go!

Inside the box, I keep everything they will need to do that center. For this one, they'll need die and counters...or chips as some of my kids like to call them.

So what did we do for our first week of math centers?? Well, I wanted my kids to be able to do these with NO problems. Math is tricky, but you can still do math centers! I have math centers for every month in my store you can check out {HERE} but for the first week of centers, I wanted some Kindergarten review skills first. 

My teammate showed me one of activities she does and when I searched for it, I found TONS of great free activities on the post! Check it out {HERE}.

This is "Shape Fill In" where they practice dot recognition.

Number Bingo

Dot and number recognition

Kindergarten Yahtzee

and this {Bump Game} we do ALL year long, but the "board" changes with the season. Denise has them for every season!

If you want the math center cover sheets, click the picture below!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Behavior Management with Money

Once upon a time, I had this fabulous behavior management system that I had used for 12 years. I used it in grades 2-5 and it worked in all those grades! If you want to read about it, you can check out {THIS} post.

Then last year, I moved to a new school. And the whole school does the clip chart. I'm not a fan. But I don't like to get in trouble, so of course I complied. But I did a combination of my old system and the clip chart system. You can read about THAT in {THIS} post.

Well, this year, I'm changing it up a bit. Still using the clip chart and I'm still using the prize pass, but this time, I'm not doing Teeny's tag system. Sorry, Teeny! I'm doing it with money!  Do I believe that kids should get "paid" for good behavior? no, of course not. But instead of doing the tabs, I'm paying them with coins. This will definitely help with their recognition of coins and their value. And I already have kids telling me they need a nickel for their 5 pennies! That's what I call a win!

So, let me break it down for you.

Every student keeps their personal clip chart on their desk. You don't have to use a personal one, I just don't like having one up front the world to see. These are from Rachelle at {What the Teacher Wants.}  I buy the small little clothespins and I keep them in our desk hoppers. I got those from {Really Good Stuff.} The coin containers I got from The Dollar Tree. They just happened to hve my class colors so I scooped up a bunch!

Sooo.. instead of moving the kids up and down all day, because I'm really bad about that, I use caution cards. I learned this from some of my teammates. And I thought this was brilliant, so I started using it and it helps me to move the kids up throughout the day. 

So, there are 2 times during the day that I do a whole class "movement." I do it before we go to activity and then before the end of the day. Instead of moving kids down, I hand out caution cards.  When the "movement" time comes, I collect caution cards for that  round.  One caution card means you don't get to move up, but you don't move down, either. Two caution cards means you move down one and three caution cards? Well, that's a problem, I guess - ha! You are moving down twice for that. And unless you are have moved up, that's already on Parent contact.   BUT, if you're on parent contact in the first movement, you can turn your day around during the second "round." After I move the whole class and collect caution cards, they start over....meaning caution card free. They stay where they are on the chart though. Right before we leave for the day, I do another movement. If you don't have a caution card during this round  you can move up one, EVEN if you had caution card the first round. THIS round you didn't have one, so you can move up. 

Now, sometimes your behavior is so bad...or so good, that I will move you up or down personally. So at the end of the day you could end up on "Top of the Chart."

Does that make sense? Yes? No? I don't know. It's kind of hard to put in words.

So, the next part.. they get paid for their clip charts. 
Green - nothing. womp womp. If you end up on green, that means that I've had to talk to you too many times that day and you couldn't move up at all.
Blue - 1 cent
Purple - 2 cents
Top of the Chart - 3 cents

Now, if you are on yellow or red?? You owe ME money.
Yellow - 1 cent
Red - 2 cents

What do they do with their money??

Well, I don't do a treasure box. BUT something I've used for the last few years and STILL love to this day is the prize pass I got from Christie! You can check out her post on it {HERE}.

I broke up the passes into two different catalogs; 15 cents and 25 cents.

You can choose what you want to do for each catalog, and I don't even use all of her passes. One that I DID add in was to buy a classroom job that they wanted. 

Later on in the year, I will increase the cost of the passes and increase the amount they can earn for each color. But right now, I want them to become familiar with pennies and nickels. We are already trading coins! They know that 5 pennies gets traded for a nickel and 2 nickels for a dime. They are on their way! I'll be sure to post about it when I increase everything, so I can share how it's been going.

If you want the caution cards, click on the picture below!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Our First Full Week and Plans for Next Week!

Last week was SO crazy!!

We had "severe weather" during our already crazy dismissal 3 out of 5 days. Which meant that we didn't finish with dismissal until almost 3:00, an HOUR after we start dismissing. 
We had a faculty meeting the same day the girls had gymnastics, and a meeting on our early release day.  I didn't get to get too many pictures since the first week I'm constantly running around because first graders are NOT independent just yet...ha! But, here's a few snap shots of what we did last week.

We did a fun little Ten Frame Name Activity that my teammate found - you can download the freebie {HERE}.

We also did some activities from my {Pout Pout Goes to School} activity pack!

We've been practicing handwriting this week too! After this week, if anyone has any issues still, they will be getting handwriting homework - I just don't have the time to work on it anymore! ahhh!

This is from my {handwriting pack}

With all the craziness, needless to say, I did NOT get time to plan for next week.

So I brought it home with me... which is what a lot of teachers do anyway, right? Of course that's not our goal, but it happens.

So here's my planning pile...some of it anyway.

I have my wonderful planner from Traci - my weekly planner and year long curriculum planner are from her. You can check them out {HERE}.  The Pete the Cat pack is mine and you can see more about it {HERE}. 

So here is what we have going on in our week...

Short A

 I finished "testing" all of my kids to find their starting point in our differentiated spelling. In addition to our core words starting this week, every student also has a different personal word list for spelling homework.

You can check out more about that {HERE}

We are also doing short a words this week in our core spelling, so I'll be using some activities from my {phonics packs}.

Pete the Cat

For Whole Group Reading this week, I'm using Pete the Cat! The kids love this unit EVERY year, so I HAVE to put it in. And I love doing it in the beginning of the year because it kind of grabs their attention.  I did it last year too, and it worked out GREAT! You can read about it {HERE}. We're going to be focusing on Story Elements, Character Traits, and Sequencing Events.

“I Like” sentences

We're going to be using more activities from Pete the Cat and writing "I like" sentences.

So, then what am I doing for Small Group Reading?? Well, I'm finished with my Running Records, Sight Words Assessment (you can find out what I use for that {HERE} - Be a Sight Word Star!), and I'm currently waiting to get our PASI/PSI tests, so in the mean time, I'm starting reading groups! We did center rotations last week, and I was able to show the kids HOW we do centers, so now I'm going to start pulling them back to my table during centers. If you want to see how I run Small Groups, check out {THIS} post.

Small Groups
Group A - I Love Art Class
Group B & C - Busy at School
Group D - A Day of Firsts

If you've been following me for a while, you know that I do NOT use any of the curriculum. I like to teach thematically and integrate our science/social studies content. And this is why I use Reading A to Z. I can just type in the theme/content I am teaching and it shows all the books at every level so I can print whatever levels I need! So this week, I'm still doing the "Back to School" theme so I found books at Levels B, C, and E for the exact levels that I need. 

1.Phonics – Short A Family (August Menu Centers)
2.Word Work – Sight Word Syllables (August Menu Centers)
3. Listening – Pete the Cat (Pete the Cat)
4. Writing – Write the Room (Lori)
5. Sentences -  Pete the Cat Scrambled Sentences (Pete the Cat)

Number Decomposition up to 10

For this, I've been kind of making up what we do as we go. I made some numbers to glue into our INBs and we've been using some of {Deanna's Guiding Firsties Math} sets to help us along. By the end of this week, we'll be finished and moving on!

This cool little Ten Frame Stamp came from Really Good Stuff. I love it! I wish they had a bigger one though! I would totally buy every size if they had different sizes!

And after we talk about the numbers, I use {Alisha's Math posters} to hang on our math board! I love how they look!

Here's the rest of my math board...a.k.a - my entire front white board! ha!
The How Many Days you can find {HERE} and everything else on the board that's Calendar like you can find {HERE}.

Well, that's it! Hope your weekend is full of sunshine and fun! I'm off to jump in the pool with my girls!

 - TeachersPayTeachers.com