Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Writing Center!

With a brand new year comes new ideas and improvements. This is my first year to be in the same grade level and classroom as the year before. I am SO EXCITED! I feel like for the first time in I can actually improve on what I did last year!

Last year I started incorporating centers into my daily ELA routine. One of my centers is a writing center. I knew it needed an overhaul this year, but once again I wasn't completely sure what I wanted to do. I knew the kids needed some privacy, so I bought some trifold boards and cut them in half. I found this great download from TPT (A Cupcake for the Teacher) to give the students important info to remember when writing. Our district is using Saxon Phonics this year, so my kids also have a great spelling dictionary with them at the writing center. LOVE IT!

On Friday we did a sentence scramble with our journals in the writing center. Here is a view of one of the writing boards.

I found this great find a Books-a-Million last weekend! I used the words to make a sentence scramble for each writing center. Inside the "I Can Write a" folder, I put a Ziploc bag with the sentence scramble, as well as the date for their journal. They had to unscramble the sentence, record the sentence in their journal, and illustrate it!

For now we are primarily writing in our journals, but as the year goes on we will create books. Each day the kids will file their work in the "author box" using our number system. At the end of the week there work from each day will be stapled together as a book! They love some filing!

I would love to hear your ideas!! I'm always looking for new things to try! :)


Everyone loves a good review game. My students love to play Poof! We use this game with various language skills throughout the year. I just introduced the game to my new group this week. We played in a small group and whole group (boys vs. girls).

I use an old Pringles can to make my Poof! game.

This particular Poof! is for sentence types. The students pull a strip from the can. They read the sentence and identify the sentence type. If they get the answer right they keep the strip. If the student pulls a Poof! strip, all their strips go back in the can.

To download the "Poof! Complete Sentences" click here.

Pictured below is a sample for Poof! Adjectives. We will get to this one later in the year! :)

For more Poof! games click here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm Done Jar

I think it is safe to say that most of my teacher friends spent the summer on Pinterest. I LOVE IT! This summer I found the "I'm Done" jar, and I immediately knew I had to make one for my early finishers. I just needed some time to process HOW to use it effectively. Here is the result of my efforts! :)

My "I'm Done" jar comes with its own cart full of activities based on skills we are currently covering. I bought this cart for $15.00 at Walmart. The top drawer contain various writing paper for rainbow writing, story writing, letter writing, iPad writing, etc.

The second drawer has math practice. For now we have a 100's chart here.

The third drawer has flash cards and journal cards.

The fourth drawer has games!

Today was our first day to implement this new system and the kids LOVED IT!

Other activities they may pull include: computer center, read a book, and clean pouch. :)

If you would like the labels for the jar or organizer click HERE!

Birthday Balloons

Pinterest strikes again! Don't you just love it! I see things and think "Why didn't I think of that!" This was one of those projects! Such a cute idea. I always find myself struggling on the morning of a student's birthday to fill out their certificate and make sure I have some kind of happy in the treasure box and check folders and take attendance and check morning work and parents bringing cupcakes and the list goes on and on!!! The life a a first grade teacher can be tiresome but always rewarding!

I started with a box of giant Pixy Stix from Sam's Club.

I took the top of of the box as directed and used wrapping paper to cover the bottom half and top half of the box. I used the small top half to hold my birthday certificates and birthday stickers, and I used the large bottom piece of the box to hold by birthday balloons. I ran off and taped the balloons to the pixy stix, tied some string, and SHAAZAM! We have a cute birthday corner! Yay! No more crazy birthday mornings!!

If you would like this FREEBIE click HERE!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Back to School

It's official! School starts Monday..... Ready or not here they come! We had a great turn out at our open house last night, and I'm already in love with my new babies. I have such high expectations for this group! I have slaved away in my room for the past two weeks getting things organized for that start of school. Last year was my first year teaching first grade in a new school, so this year I'm ready to rock and roll!

Here is a view of my room from the doorway.

We use this board for bus and car notes each day.

I found this great idea on Pinterest! (I'm obsessed!) Each table is marked by the number and color. The number marks their "Home Table" and the color marks their "Reading Table."

I made these labels to organize the student supply table.

Here is the view of the front of the classroom. We LOVE our Mimio time!

I HAD to make some ordinal Owls for math this year! :)

I made a new behavior chart. I haven't put the clothespin on yet. (Add that to the list for Monday morning!) If you would like this chart click here.

I also have a Behavior Log to go with the chart. Click here.

I found this great genre posters on TPT. I have them on a magnetic strip so I can transfer to the book nook when I need them. We are going to put book titles under the genres as we read new books throughout the year.

So excited about our new "Book Nook!" This board is magnetic and will be used to discuss books each week.

DRUMROLL PLEASE...............

My new reading corner!! SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS! I organized our tiny classroom library over the summer by topic. I'm hoping for some great Scholastic orders this year to help build up our library. I had this old yellow chair from ages ago and saw a cute canopy on Pinterest and the wheels started to turn.... Our leader for the day will get some special time in the reading corner! :)

This is also a new addition to my room. A neighbor was cleaning out, and I got LUCKY! The back piece was missing so I added my pocket chart and writing paper. I WILL LOVE THIS FOR SMALL GROUP!

This was a great idea for open house. Another teacher suggested making supply boxes so the kids could help sort their supplies while the parents filled out paper work. It was great! We will be thankful we did this come Monday morning! I am looking forward to a great year!

If you would like more organizational labels click here!