Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Don't Blink..YOU Just Might Miss IT

IS IT SPRING BREAK YET? 

DON'T BLINK..


FREEBIE..



I LOVE the Song by Kenny Chesney
"Don't Blink"

Don't blink
Just like that you're six years old
 and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you're twenty-five and 
your high school sweetheart
 becomes your wife

Don't blink
You just might miss your babies growing 

like mine did
Turning into moms and dads 

next thing you know your "better half"
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you're praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend

 a hundred years 
goes faster than you think
So don't blink...


Well.....  I  BLINKED!

I am still taking down Christmas Decor
and it's almost MARCH!
Wait! Slow down! I AM NOT READY!

So...I am slowing things down in my classroom.
We are almost done with the third quarter
of first grade.
We have "phonemic awarenessed" 
ourselves daily.
We practice word families.
We have learned more grammar rules
 than I ever dreamed.
We write 1,2,3,4,5 times a day.
We read every half hour.
We know more math than our parents.
We know about Presidents, animals, 
weather conditions, 
We know HOW TO, Who, What,
When, Where, & Why

(Well...some most of us do)

We have TESTED & RETESTED...

And now...we are SSSlowing things down!

Time to take a breath & practice
 using ALL of this new first grade information!

My kiddos have come a LONG way.
Very proud of them!
As we finish the next 3 months..

DON'T BLINK!

It will be gone before you know it!

 PS...Is it SPRING BREAK yet?

Thanks for hanging in there 
all the way to HERE!!!
FREEBIE FOR YOU!


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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Flexible Seating: Stools, rockers, rugs, and seats...For READING??

Why flexible seating?
When I was in elementary school
( Way back in the DINOSAUR days )  
1970's

flexible seating in the classroom

We sat in rows.
Many rows.
All of us looking straight ahead.
At the teacher, at all times!
No flexible seating, here.


flexible seating in the classroom

We kept our hands & feet to ourselves.
We kept our books in our desks.
And we read QUIETLY to ourselves.
Shhh...whisper!

We read.
Some people enjoyed it.
Some people just pretended.
Most did what we were told.
We didn't ask...WHY?

or

Is there ANOTHER WAY?
How to bring flexible seating options into my classroom?

Because at home...

I would lay on my bed and read for HOURS!
flexible seating
(picture by Dreamstime.com)

And that is how I  LOVE TO READ!

I want my students to LOVE to read!

So I have "changed it up!"
I have added flexible seating options in my classroom for kids to 
read in a comfortable, relaxed, enjoyable experience.

Every day after lunch my first graders do

READ  TO  SELF.

If you have not read the book
The Daily 5

from "The 2  SISTERS"      YOU  NEED  TO!

My first graders read to themselves.

Not to me,
Not to a partner,
JUST TO THEMSELVES!

Therefore...READ  TO  SELF!

I set the BIG TIMER!

online reading timer


I use THIS one.

We start the year at 6 minutes.  Read.
We work on increasing our reading STAMINA.
 Read longer.
Today, we are at 18 minutes!

18 minutes of uninterrupted reading 
of books THEY choose!

BUT there is MORE!

They don't sit in rows.
They don't sit at their desk.

We have flexible seating choices for reading.

flexible seating reading rockers
READING  ROCKERS

flexible seating stools
TALL STOOLS

flexible seating short stools
SHORT  STOOLS

flexible seating chairs

SHORT  STOOLS  at  SHORT  TABLES


flexible seating

CHAIRS  by themselves

flexible seating rugs
READING  RUGS

flexible seating

CORNER  NOOKS

flexible seating floor

FLAT  OUT  ON  THE  FLOOR

And when we are done?
Stools under the tables.
Rockers stacked in baskets.
Rugs in the tub.
And chairs stacked.


flexible seating stools

flexible seating stools

flexible seating guided reading stools

flexible seating reading rockers

flexible seating chairs

They MOAN when the timer goes off. 

They ask during other times of the day
to Read in the Rockers.

THEY  WANT  TO  READ!

I have taught them to LOVE to READ..  

ANY HOW...ANY WHERE!
Flexible seating choices have made a HUGE difference
in the reading choices my students make.

They want harder books.
They want to read MORE!

It's hard to walk into a first grade classroom

and hear...SILENCE.

But the "whispers" of reading are heard, daily!

UPDATE
More flexible seating CHOICES!

I won ..yes...won  these
4 AMAZING Stools at our recent
NorCAL Teachers Meet UP
in Pleasanton,CA!

Check out the fun at:
Instagram

flexible seating storage ottomans
I was the BIG..WINNER  WINNER! :)
Yes...I won ALL  4
WHOOP!  WHOOP!

flexible seating wooden rocking chairs
And these Bad boys...
They are wooden rocking chairs,, and they SQUEAK!
I love to hear the squeak, squeak as they rock & READ!
Thank You Donor's Choose!

My "flexible seating" is complete!
Now to "arrange" it into 
WORKSTATIONS!



I absolutely LOVE IT!
( SO DO THE KIDDOS!)

Some of my "bloggy friends"
have also posted about
their experiences
with flexible seating.

Check them out.
How to fund and implement flexible seating


10 things to know about flexible seating


flexible seating



If you want to learn MORE about reading
check out these blog posts:




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Friday, March 2, 2018

Are YOU Feelin' LUCKY?

Do YOU have the 
LUCK OF THE IRISH?
*** ST. PATRICK'S DAY GIVEAWAY ***



Feeling lucky? Myself and a team of amazing teachers have grouped together to gift an awesome teacher with a TPT gift card to show them how appreciative we are!

PRIZES INCLUDE 
1 x $150 TPT Giftcard





Raffle CLOSES: Saturday 9th March 2018 12am

GOOD LUCK!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Stop by and say HI!

1stgradefireworks


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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I lost my "GODDESS" Title this week. Make your lesson plans!

When my son became a teacher.
He told me...

I had the IMMUNE system
of a GODDESS!

I must admit.
After 26 years teaching 
first grade,
I had the "occasional" sniffles..
but I could 
KNOCK OUT THE GERMS!

This week..

I LOST MY TITLE!

The GODDESS was taken out!
Goddess Immune System
Not only did the GODDESS fall...
BUT SHE FELL HARD!

This blog post is NOT
about how my immune system
"SUCKED" onto the @#$%^ flu bug.
It is NOT about the 5 days 
I spent in bed!
And...it's NOT about the 3 days
of work I had to miss, due to a FEVER!
WHAT?  A  FEVER????

No. It's about something we 
ALL
should be doing monthly.

Substitute Lesson PLANS!

I can not tell you HOW happy I was 
that I had JUST finished
putting together my

SUB  TUB!

As I was lying in bed,
fever, coughing my guts out...
the LAST thing 
I wanted to do
was to make substitute lesson plans.

I am not here to tell you which lesson plans to use.

Binder, Files, baskets, whatever!
JUST DO IT!

Now...
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART.

DO IT TODAY!

I sat down at my trusty laptop,
got out my teacher lesson planbook,
and made daily templates for Mon.- Friday.

I doesn't matter the date.

DO THIS ON MONDAY.
DO THIS ON TUESDAY.
ETC. ETC. ETC.

They do NOT have to be congruent
to what you did yesterday!

Word sorts, book reports, writing prompts, etc.
NOT BUSY WORK!
 Spiraling  concepts month to month.

Start setting up your lesson plan tub today!

Here are a few pictures of mine.


teacher lesson plans
Cute TUB! HAHA 
Put it in a place and NEVER move it!
Mine is in my window sill.
My teaching partner knows where it is.


 substitute lesson plans

substitute teacher lesson plans
Daily Schedules for MON-FRI.
Minute by minute. Right out of my teacher lesson plan book.
Specials all included.
Don't forget a yearly yard duty schedule.
Subs know how to read it.

word sort papers
Run class sets of papers.
File them for  each day.

story maps
BOOK REPORTS!
AWESOME!

substitute teacher plans
I use evergreen Social Studies & Science newsletters
 as mini lessons.
Great for SUBS.
I can expand when I get back!
Add this to your teacher planner.

Math papers
Math review.
THEY ALWAYS NEED REVIEW!

Substitute lesson plans
I use ORANGE papers to separate the days.

substitute teacher lesson plans
LOVE MY TUB!

Now, between my Theraflu,
Tylenol, and Cough syrup

I will break this $%#@ flu bug!

I WANT MY THRONE BACK!

Me and my new BFF...LYSOL!

lysol spray the germs away


Put your SUB TUB together..TODAY!
Get those lesson plans done.
For when you are NOT there!

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to Make CHUNKY CRAYONS for your classroom.

Have YOU ever made

CHUNKY CRAYONS?


ALL kids LOVE to draw.
They LOVE big, chunky crayons!

MAKE THEM!

Use the broken crayons from your classroom...
AND
BEG OTHER TEACHERS FOR THEIRS!

Teachers LOVE to get rid of broken crayons.

Then ...start searching stores ( including thrift stores, Goodwill, etc )
for silicone shaped candy molds!

If not... my BFF...AMAZON PRIME!

You are NOT making food...
They can be "recycled" ...wink , wink!



I found some snowmen, trees, and gingerbreadmen 
at Goodwill for $1.00 !!

Now what?

Have the kids...
YES THE KIDS
...take off ALL the paper wrappers!

DON'T  TELL  THEM  WHY!  :)




Paper wrappers ...I did them MYSELF!

Should have had kids do them...
they would have ENJOYED IT! :)



Gingerbreadman

Christmas Trees


Lots DONE... FAST...EASY


If you don't have a LOT (it takes a LOT) of broken crayons,
ask for donations from other teachers.

Bring the unwrapped, broken crayons home.

Break up the crayons into LITTLE  chucks!

Put them into the molds...press them down a little.

Place molds onto a cookie sheet.

 Bake 60 minutes (1 hour) at 200 degrees.

Take them out & let them cool.
If rushed...PUT THEM IN THE FREEZER!

(Don't POP them out...until they are SOLID.)

POP them out...

and   VOILA!



I also made them in the SUMMER.

Check out this blog post.

More fun making CHUNKY  CRAYONS!

Have fun! 

Let me know if YOURS work or not.


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