'/>' September 20151st Grade Fireworks: September 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Nibits for Newbies 9.26.15

If it's SUNDAY...
It's time for 
NIBITS FOR NEWBIES!


This week's theme...

Helping to Make 
INTRINSIC 
Learners!

I am right in the middle of Teacher-Parent Conferences.
I work at a Title 1 school with 99% FREE LUNCHES.
LOTS of LOW INCOME, struggling families.
WONDERFUL people..

Just that education is NOT one of the top 3 items on their survival list!
AND THEIR KIDS KNOW IT!

So how do I...1 person...help the kids WANT to LEARN?
(Especially because  a lot of them...are FAR FAR BEHIND?)

HOW can you MAKE someone an INTRINSIC LEARNER??

You CAN'T!
 You can't MAKE anyone "want" anything!

BUT, you can give them 3 three things to HELP:

#1


You can give them MOTIVATION!
Find the "carrot". 
Watch, listen, talk!
Find the "thing" that will help add some "DESIRE" to change!

What "thing" will help spark the desire?


#2
Make it FUN!
As we all know....
If it's FUN...exciting...enjoyable
WE WILL WANT TO DO IT AGAIN!

Spark their creativity! 
Do something THEY want...
Add some SPICE to the day!

Laugh!  DANCE!  Giggle!


#3
Make them believe they can do ANYTHING!


A little FAIRY DUST...
A LOT of  "I BELIEVE IN YOU!"

And ...They can FLY!
( You know what I mean...)

Show them how to be better, how to EXCELL..how to do it ALL!


 I think the conferences have made me rethink my day.
If I can keep them IN SCHOOL ( maybe even on time & ALL day!),
 If they know I BELIEVE IN THEM,
 and I give them fun & exciting reasons to be HERE...

We can learn.... from each other!

Help them, help themselves!

You can MAKE intrinsic learners!
Let's start TODAY!

 Giggles, Grins, Hugs & High Fives!



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Nibits for Newbies 9.20.15

If it's SUNDAY....
It's  NIBITS for Newbies!


This week's topic....

Ipad's!

We are a 24:1 classroom.

( I know...BE THANKFUL..I AM!)

I am just getting used to it. 
I , personally , do NOT have an ipad.
So I AM ON A LEARNING CURVE.

I still am NOT an advocate of 24 in the classroom.
BUT I AM LEARNING!


Actually....My kids know MORE than I do!
I started the year with a 3 X 5 cards  with their name & password on it.
They could take it off the counter & use it.
NO more! They don't need it!
They log in faster than I do!

BUT..I have a "CARROT"!
I can dangle it to get work done & done correctly!
LOVE THAT!

We use Scholastic "iread" as our reading intervention.


My kids are on it for 30 minutes daily.
I was skeptical at first...but...I am seeing results!

So...We ( my grade level ) decided to use it first thing in the day.
Ipads on their desks when they enter the classroom.
NO MORE TARDIES!!!
Kids want  on it.

So,,,we start our day with ipads and we GO!

It helps us GET IN THE LEARNING MODE!

I hope your kids have access to technology..sometime in the day.
I admit..I thought it was taking away from "learning" time..
But it's NOT!
JUST ADDING TO IT!

Embrace it! :)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Importance of.....MAKING MEMORIES

What do YOU do to keep your memories?
Do you scrapbook?
Take LOTS of pictures?
Write in a Journal every night?

I have HUGE fears..
Fears of LOSING my memories.


Think "The Notebook".
I don't want to lose my feelings, my fun, my memories!

So?  What to do? What to do?

MAKE THEM LAST!
Make them EVERY DAY!
Never let it be a "ONE TIME" thing.
Relive them over & over!

This has been a hard week for NORCAL.
WE ARE ON FIRE!
Literally...


This fire (BUTTE FIRE) is too close to my family.
(I cringe as I write this..  too  close  to home!)
Think GOLD MINERS!
 MINER 49'ers!
YEP!

This is what is being destroyed by  this fire.
The Foothills. The small  mining towns. California HISTORY.
So sad..

You see...
My family does NOT have a good relationship with FIRE!
I carry many BAD memories of it!

In 1990..right after my sisters' had moved home from college..
My parent's house...
the house I had grown up in..

Burned to the GROUND!
(Well the red brick facade in the front was still standing)
1800 sq ft., 4 bedroom 2 bath, with a swimming pool, on 1/3 acre...


I did NOT live there ( Hubby & I had 3 boys under the age of 5 ),
BUT I was effected, A LOT!

When the roof caught fire...
I watched the ceiling fall in MY BEDROOM!
MY BEDROOM!
Not on TV, not in the movies, MY BEDROOM!

Fire is NOT my friend.

I watched my parents make split-second decisions
 about which items they cherished the most!
What do you want the fire fighters to bring out?  NOW!
PICTURES....PICTURES...PICTURES

Family collections weren't even considered.
Who cares about your clothes, blowdriers, shoes?

Just get out! 
And they did. 
ALL were fine.
 KINDA.

It took a long time to realize what had been taken 
..yes  taken..by the FIRE.

"THINGS" can be replaced.
You can buy a bed, furniture, dishes, clothes, etc.

Think about your CHRISTMAS ornament collection.
The one's your kids made in school, church, preschool.

GONE!

Cannot be remade. 
Baby's first Christmas only happens once.
I can purchase a new ornament..but it's NOT the same.

I remember the Christmas after the fire...
(the fire was in Nov. 1990)
My mom bought a "FAKE" tree
 (we never had a FAKE tree)
AND
we bought a BOX of ornaments.

We decorated the FAKE tree in the rental house..
SO instead of feeling beaten down, saddened to tears, what to do?
What to do?

BUY A CAMERA!

WHAT?

Buy a camera.
 A really GOOD ONE!

Take pictures!  A LOT!  Put them EVERYWHERE!
Look at them daily!
Giggle when you see the silly ones.
Smile when you see your family.
Dream when you see that "far away" twinkle in someone's eyes!

You cannot STOP! You keep moving on!
You  REBUILD!
And that's what my parents did.
We had my sister's engagement party in a "rental house."
Not in the the backyard of the house you had lived your whole life in!
It didn't matter!
WE were ALL there! Together!
Making MEMORIES! New memories!

And so.. I try to forgive FIRE.
It did not CHOOSE  my parents' home.
It happens. Now what?

Make NEW Memories!

And so today.. I DID!

This is my MEMORY wreath.
I  started  it 5 years ago.
Every year I add more grapevines
FROM  MY  GARDEN.
I grew them. I harvested the grapes. I pruned the vines.
It just reminds me of how much we have to
remember in a year. 
I sat there staring at it. 
Remembering ALL the things that have happened this year.
 Smiles & tears.
The giggles, the hard work, the fun we have had...

Never let a minute go by.
Take notes.
Write letters to YOURSELF!
Do whatever YOU need to to hold ON to the memories.

They are YOURS. 
Never let go!

 P.S. Please..if you pray..
add the many people of Northern California 
to your prayer list.

We need it!
And remember....


Nibits for Newbies 9.13.15

If it's SUNDAY...
It's time for

NIBITS FOR NEWBIES!

This week's theme..

ASSESSMENTS!

I am getting ready for quarter 1 report cards. ( UGH!)
(Not my FAVORITE thing to do!)

So..we give an ELA reading & writing assessment from our reading program.

This "benchmark" assessment populates the report card automatically.

The report card itself is designed "around" the assessment.  
The CCSS  standards are "interwoven" into the assessment.
What that means is, I cannot verify FROM THIS ASSESSMENT if a student has mastered a common core standard or not.
When I give my grades, I want to be sure I am accurate 
& I want parents to know what we 
( ALL OF US ) are working on!

So...MY TURN!

I give each of my student's 
INDIVIDUAL assessments to determine if they have mastered Quarter 1 CCSS standards 
OR
if they are in DIRE need of MORE HELP!
(From me, an assistant, intervention teacher, parent, etc)

So here are a few examples of the assessments I GIVE...

Running Record
 As they are reading I record what words they can read ( with a check mark) and missed words           ( looking for what skills did they usse & what are they lacking).


I check their independent reading forms from IN CLASS & AT HOME.
We have BOTH.


I check their past spelling tests. Are they working on words families? 
Do they know their HFW? 
( Usually kids who DO NOT know their HFW are struggling readers.)



What DO they know about about reading?

 And....letters & sounds...

 We assess writing.
Can they write a complete sentence?
Capitals? Punctuation? Topic Sentence?  Handwriting?

 And this one I HAD to do this week!
Do they know the KINDERGARTEN HFW?
Our program moves on....very little kinder review.
So...The HIGHLIGHTED words are the words this student DOES NOT KNOW!
Sent home to practice every day for 20 school days.
Then,  assess again! 


So ...crazy times!
Relax ...remember...it's about helping kids!
IF I can find out what they DON'T KNOW
I can help them learn it 
so they can always 
GET   BETTER!

Just a head's up....
most of my assessments came from my

WHAT IS BALANCED LITERACY?









Saturday, September 12, 2015

I Might WANNA "STAYCATION" 9.12.15

Fall Break in almost here!
I can hardly believe we have almost finished the first quarter ( 8 weeks ) of school!
At the end of the month..I HAVE 2 WEEKS VACATION!  YIPPEE!!

So we have been thinking..

DO WE WANT TO TAKE A FALL VACATION?
OR 
Stay at home 
for a 
'STAYCATION'?
OR BOTH????

Now that we are "empty nesters",  we have choices to make!


Hubby & I are  contemplating BOTH!

We LOVE to travel!
See new things, meet new people, try new things!
We are the ones who DO EVERYTHING and come home to rest!

So???  
What to do? What to do?  

I vote BOTH!

Trip & Home..I think we will.

Trip?  Who knows? Short time...we shall see.
BUT..

STAYCATION...

Lots of things to LOVE in MY home ..

Here are 6 reasons why we should 
STAY AT HOME... ( well, for at least SOME of it ).

We have HUGE Gardens!
We grow EVERYTHING!







Hubby & I Love working in the dirt! :)




My  PUMPKINS would  MISS  me!







Who would watch "Rapunzel & Snow White" dance when they go to bed?



We might need to pick MORE tomatoes!
(Last year we picked a tomato for THANKSGIVING dinner!)





Hubby might want to snooze in his hammock & I might need a dip on the SPA!
After all...it was 104 in NORCAL this week!

And..we always have home repairs we COULD do.
( Not always WANT to do...but we could!)

See...I spoke too soon!

I came home to glass sliding door 
ON MY FLOOR!
OH NO!
It's OK.....Hubby has got this one!


SO...I think I shall enjoy my FALL VACATION..
BOTH  at HOME & AWAY!

I wonder where we shall go?
Hmmm...
Hubby has some ideas...
I think I shall be
SURPRISED!

Enjoy   your  FALL vacation whether  at  home  or  away !


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Please..HURRY UP FALL!

It cannot STILL be SUMMER!

The calendar says..SEPTEMBER!
We should be seeing leaves turning colors, pumpkins & apples, 
We should FEEL a chill in the air...

NOT!

Today in NORCAL it was..




106 degrees! 
 YES..you heard it right..
106  degrees! 
  UGH!!!
WHAT HAPPENED TO FALL???

So..we wait..and wait..and wait.

Our district today said it was 
"TOO HOT for kids to go outside & play in the afternoon"
so....
INSIDE RECESS!

WHAT??? 
 It's the 5th week of school.
We haven't gotten to
INSIDE RECESS...yet..

So???What to do?
 We had inside recess. 
When..IF..it ever rains in NORCAL,
we will have inside recess, again.

I AM READY!

This summer spring.
.whenever...
I purchased building blocks
 & things kids can build with!

And so today..I told them to...

BUILD A CITY!
I didn't care how, or with what MATERIALS,
 but they had to work together to build a city!

AND SO THEY DID!

( What fun to watch collaborations, negotiations, and experimentations at it's best!)

Here is the process..
.NO FINAL PICS...
WE ARE NEVER DONE! :)






So..as I do wish the temp. would lower about 20 degrees or so..

We will be OK.

We can build a "VILLAGE"  of our own!

*  BUT...we REALLY would like FALL to 

HURRY UP  &  GET  HERE!
:)
Here are some goodies from 1stgradefireworks to help us FEEL like FALL...:)
Click on the pics...


Ok..FALL???  We are ready! :)