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Thursday, September 27, 2012

First Grade Common Core

We are diving right into the Common Core this year.  We've been given the permission to do what we want to get our littles to meet the First Grade Common Core standards.  Scary?  Yes.  Exciting?  Yes.  Overwheleming?  YES!  Overwhelming because there are so many great ideas out there.  But what to choose and create so that I can meet each standard is a little daunting. 

Well, I was perusing through all the great blogs that I'm following and came upon Fun in 1st grade's post. 

I was so excited because this book has already created worksheets, activities and posters all aligned with the Common Core for both language arts and math!  How awesome is that!  One less thing for us to worry about.  Do you know the best part?  They're giving away an electronic copy for...wait for it...FREE!  So, go here to check out how you can get your free copy of this book as a blogger too.  I can't wait to use it!

But hurry!  Because the "giveaway" ends on September 30th!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My apologies

Hi Everyone!  I wanted to apologize for not responding to all the emails quicker.  My teaching blog is connected to my personal blog and it's email account, so I forget to check my "teaching blog" email sometimes.

But, it seems like there's a problem downloading some of my documents.  Something must have happened when Google switched my account over to the newer version.  So, I went back and fixed all the ones that was brought to my attention.  If there's a document you wanted and cannot access, please let me know.

Thanks so much for checking out my blog!  Things have been busy and I will post soon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Solo Cups

Is it just me or does it seem like this year is going by so fast! I know it's only 15 days of school for my district, but it's already been 15 days!

I have 26 first graders this year. (That is alot. But some of my friends in a nearby district are at 30 firsties, so I'm not complaining.) I'm also a first time resident teacher and so I have an eager and enthusiastic student teacher to mentor this year as well.

With the new Common Core State Standards, my district is diving right into it. That means there are ALOT of new things happening this year. We have a new writing program, a new Data System, new report cards, and new "benchmarks" testing, just to name a few in my district.

In my classroom, I'm also trying alot of new things. One of them involves solo cups. I saw this video from the organized classroom blog (found through teaching blog addict) and loved the idea. I'm using it during workshop. I tested it out today and it worked wonderfully! The kids were on task, working quietly, etc.

I knew I had to think of a way so that I wouldn't have to be the one getting up from my small group to switch the cups. I already had a workshop patrol student. (I don't remember where I got that idea from. If you're the wonderful person who gave me that idea, please let me know so I can give you credit.) I took that idea from a great teacher and changed it up a bit this year.

Since I have 6 groups in my classroom, I have 2 students who will be the workshop patrol team. I trained them today, telling them that before workshop begins, they would need to get their tub that held the cups and pass out the cups to the groups they were in charge of. (I wrote numbers on the cups to correlate to the groups.) Then I explained to the class that only these two students (and me of course) are allowed to switch the cups to a different color.

The rules (for now, since I'm testing to see what will work.) are that if they stay on the green cup during the whole workshop time, they will get group points (the group with the most points at the end of the week gets a prize.) If they are the only group that stayed on green, they will get group points AND signatures on our principal's passport. (These get filled up and then they take them to the office to redeem for a prize.)

If their group had their cups turn to yellow, that means warning. They better start following the workshop rules or else their cups will be switched to red. Red means that they will owe 5 mins of recess or "free choice" time.

Now, as a student I hated getting in trouble for the other students in my group. So, I explained to the students that if it's just one or two students in their group that just can't follow directions, that student will be the one to owe the 5 mins.

This system (just like in the video shows) also allows the students to be able to go back a color. So, if they got to yellow, they can go back to green.

So, when a group isn't following directions, I call on my workshop patrol who is in charge of that group to walk over and turn the cup to to the next color. Now, I wanted to keep track of who had to turn their cups and who didn't. I created this form to keep track of that. I printed it onto cardstock and had it laminated.
So, when my workshop patrol team have to switch a certain group's cups, they will switch the cups then walk over to this sheet and put a tally mark under that table's name. That way I don't have to worry about keeping track during my small group time, and I will have a way to track who stayed on the green cup and who didn't. Now, I may change this idea. It all depends on how well it works. I didn't test it out today because since we're still practicing the routine for workshop, I didn't pull a small group. So, I was able to keep track on who stayed on green and who didn't myself.

Anyway, hope that wasn't too confusing. :) Happy Wednesday everyone!

Friday, August 10, 2012

First Grade Fairytales

Sweet Kelly at First Grade Fairytales is having a fantastic giveaway! Go to her blog and check her out.

Friday, August 3, 2012

120s chart

Since 1st grader are required to know up to 120 now, I created these. There's a smaller version for the kids to use. The bigger version I'm going to print, then glue onto construction paper, tape them side by side and post it up with my calendar. Click here and here to download.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Name Plates

Polka Dot name plates!

I needed some for my classroom and created these. There are two versions, one is made to be printed on 11 x 17 paper and the other on 8.5 x 11 paper. You can either send them off to staples to print or do what I'm going to do and just print them up at work. Cheap and cute!

I plan on printing them, cutting, and laminating (so they can be reused next year, or until they start falling apart.)

So, click on the pictures to download them!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


So, last year I bought birthday pencils, made copies of the following onto colored card stock and attached them to the pencil for the kids. (I'll have to post what it looks like later when I go back into my classroom.) You can get the download of this file here.

But for this year, I will also be adding these goodies I found at the dollar aisle at Target. ( I love Target.) I bought one for my daughter and she LOVED it. So, I thought my first graders would like them as well. I mean who wouldn't? A coloring book, stickers, crayons/markers AND it's a favorite character?!?! And, it's good for me because it was only $1! LOVE! I bought 4 designs (there were some Cars packets too but they didn't have it at the first Target that I went to. I was tempted to buy them but I had already bought a whole bunch.) I'm planning on giving the kids a choice amongst the 4 designs. For my summer babies, we will have to celebrate their half birthdays. I have a summer birthday too so I know how it feels to not be able to bring in treats or celebrate it with the class.

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