Saturday, June 29, 2013

First Week of School Picture Books

What picture books do you like to read the first week of school? These 3 are sure to be in my basket.

First Day Jitters is a favorite. It is sure to get a few laughs and relieve a little anxiety.

Chrysanthemum is sure to be a class favorite.  I love to use the kids names in lots of activities the first days of school and this will be a great addition.

Leo the Late Bloomer is one of my personal favorites.  I try to stress that we are all unique and this book brings that home in a great way.

Check out this fabulous linky to share your picture book favorites for the beginning of school. Thank you to DeAnne for doing this fabulous post as we sort through our books to start getting ready for a new year.

Click here to check it out: 
First Grade and Fabulous: Picture Books-A LInky Party

Clara  @ Teaching 365 - First Grade with Sunflowers and Ladybugs


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Friday, June 14, 2013

Daily Five - Summer Reading and Planning

I am moving to first grade this year and have decided to implement Daily 5.  Although it seems a little daunting, I believe from all I have read and all that teachers have shared that Daily 5 will provide the structure and direction that first graders need to develop into readers and writers. I have a great first grade colleague that is willing to join in the fun with me.

Daily Five, written by "The Sisters" is a great resource.  From Chapter One, I read that teachers have children "doing" lots of stuff in the literacy block.  I asked myself, "How is what I am planning on having children do creating young readers and writers?" With the goal of engaging my kiddos in meaningful reading and writing practice every single day, there is much to think about.

One of my first steps is to plan a learning environment to support the design of Daily Five.  I will need a meeting area that the Sisters call a "Gathering Place.  In first grade, that can be a carpeted area with open space on the floor.  I also need to plan for display areas for bulletin boards for CAFE and Daily Five anchor charts.

Here are some pictures of my first grade classroom - a blank canvas - ready to be transformed into a warm and safe learning place for first graders.  I am one of those teachers that needs my environment to be ready before I can really buckle down into some serious planning.  How about you?

 There is a wonderful carpet in the room that I can use for a Gathering Place.  Love the primary colors.

 A very long bulletin board stretches along the side wall of the classroom.  I may use it for Daily Five anchor charts and CAFE strategy display area.

In the end, I pulled down the old fabric from the walls from the previous teacher.  They were about 10 years old, very faded in spots, and I want a fresh new canvas to work with.

More pics to come to share my journey into Daily 5 with first graders and my new classroom design.

First Grade Sunflowers and Ladybugs 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Classroom Freebies: Shaping Kids Up Booklet

Check out this awesome activity posted by Classroom Freebies for teaching shapes. I love the kinesthetic component for first graders. Bonus - make it into a class book.

Classroom Freebies: Shaping Kids Up Booklet: Your students are the stars of this shape booklet. Pose your students in the various shapes and take their picture.  Enlarge...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Moving Day

Moving Day!!!

I spent the last two days unpacking in my new first grade classroom.  The number of boxes were a little bit overwhelming.  Thanks to a "crew" of helpers including my husband, two friends, and several former students all the boxes have been moved to my new room.

Now I have a clean slate to start designing a great environment for my firsties coming in the fall. Step one - find my teacher supplies and unpack my desk. Next, start thinking of a theme or color scheme for my new room.  I want something fresh and very primary - perhaps primary colors with an Eric Carle flair would be warm and inviting to the kiddos and to me.

While most of my teaching supplies, manipulatives, etc are very well organized into plastic tubs, my classroom library needs a complete  overhaul.  I counted 12 boxes of books to begin with that need sorting and labeling into primary library style.  In addition, I traded in 12 grocery bags packed with books into our local used book store for credit towards more picture books for my classroom.  I can't wait to start shopping for new titles.

After spending the last seven years in fourth grade, I am looking forward to returning to primary grades and teaching first grade again.  Wish me luck. Pictures coming soon.

Make everyday a great day with sunflowers and ladybugs:)