'/>' April 20161st Grade Fireworks: April 2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation? It might SURPRISE You!

I am a VETERAN teacher.
NO.
 I have NOT fought in a WAR.

I have taught in GRADE 1
 ( exclusively ) 
for over 25 years!

WOW!
( Never "graduated" to second grade..as my students tell me!) :)



But...

I have changed my "VIEW" on teacher appreciation.

We ALL want to be appreciated.
We want to be recognized for 
SOMETHING "GOOD"
 we have done!

But..
things can get a little ...
OUT OF HAND!

I believe..
YES...

I believe there are
those who are
APPRECIATED

and those who
WISH THEY WERE!


I will say this ONE TIME..

IT  IS  NOT  ABOUT  TEST SCORES!
The teacher's with the SUPER highest test scores
are NOT, always,
the teachers who are
APPRECIATED the MOST!

Now...disclaimer...teachers work WAY TOO hard!
I got that!

Some are SOOOOOO  focused on the "data"..
they forget, or can't "document" the traits of the child the "data"came from!

No where is there a box to check that says:

___  Didn't have breakfast ( or dinner the night before ).
___ Couldn't sleep because parents were arguing LOUDLY!
___ No one would help with homework/reading ( for the past two weeks!)

or

___  not in a good "mind set"  today.

BUT...
these are kids!
This is life!

To attach a "number" to a student based on "today's testing module" 
is NOT
 what teaching is all about!

( Ok sorry..OFF my soapbox!)

So ,
Teacher Appreciation.

Where? How? When?


Admin's...
Please ..I don't need a new pen with my school name on it.
If YOU really want to show me your appreciation...

HAVE MY BACK during an IEP 
when 'the team" says 
I NEED TO DO MORE!
By the time I have gotten to his stage..
I HAVE DONE ALL I CAN DO!
Take the stand that I AM DONE!
SEND ME SOME HELP!

Now I have great admin's...
I know they have my back!

THAT's  APPRECIATION!

If you want to "give" me something...

...TAKE MY RECESS DUTY!
...Take my class for an hour at the end of the day, if MY child is home sick!
... Come in and do reading groups once in a while
( an extra adult doing centers is ALWAYS appreciated).

You see...it's NOT about the "things"
it's about WHAT you DO!

How do you know if your "team" appreciates YOU?


Do you "share"?
Do you "follow through?"
Do you "care" about each other?

My "teaching partner"..
( I said "partner" one time..it took on a WHOLE DIFFERENT meaning!)

and I have taught next to each other
( rooms 3 & 4)
for 17 years!
We are going to retire together 
the same year...in 7 years.

( We "pinky sweared"...
..as long as nothing catastrophic happens before then).

Her mom works in her room.
I call her MOM!
Our student's think we are 
SISTERS!

See the family "resemblance"?
In my heart..
SOUL SISTERS!

We run homework for each other.
We share our students.
We laugh, we cry, we CARE about each other!

We are NOT the ONLY grade 1 teachers.
We have 1-2 others who teach with us.
( Depending on the year and student numbers).

We ALWAYS include them!
This is NOT a 
CLOSE YOUR DOOR & DO YOUR THING!
NOPE!

WE DO!
Together.

Feel appreciated? YEP! Daily.
( I could have transfered to another school in MY district..many times!)
NOT LEAVING!
LOVE MY 
CRAZY TITLE 1 school!

and then..
Your students..


When do they make YOU feel appreciated?

Is it when you are passing out report cards?
Is it when they forgot their homework?
Is it when they have interuupted you for the 1000th time that day?

Probably NOT!

It's when that SAME little girl walks in EVERY morning
and says..
"Can I have a HUG?"

or

When the little boy who STUTTERS ( severely )...
asks if he can READ his newest story
TO THE CLASS!
( And EVERYONE cheers  for him!)

or

The "behavior problem" child
who knows ( his MAMA tells him a lot )
that he is a PROBLEM..

and he hands me a heart he made with a picture of me & him!
( Melts my heart..right before he hits another student!)

and last...

the "older students" who come back..
just to say HI!


or..
"I got my driver's license & I promise to be safe..just like you said!"
"I got a full-ride scholarship...to HARVARD!"..yes  it did happen!
"I want to be back in first grade so I can PAINT!"
"Thank you , Mrs. McCarty, for listening to me!"

Giggles, Grins, Hugs, & High Fives to 
ALL of YOU!

YOU make a difference!


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nibits for Newbies 4.24.16 Supporting EL Student's with WRITING!

If it's Sunday..
It must be time for
NIBITS for NEWBIES!

This week's theme..

HOW to help EL student's with WRITING!

I work in a Title 1 school.
I have 24 first graders with  99%  free  lunches.
This year I have 12  English Language Learners in 4 different langauges!
( I have had 18-20 EL's in the same class!)
12???     
A BREEZE!



My kiddos come with a SMALL  amount of ENGLISH print.
MOST..not all..but MOST have enough English to communicate 
everyday NEEDS to me.
BATHROOM, Recess, and When is LUNCH?
We are OK.

BUT...
English PRINT?

WOWZA! Another WORLD!

FIRST...

 We begin...BEGIN...with  Phonemic Awareness.
Sounds...
ORAL...
NO PRINT!
Letter Sounds, Vocabulary Words, Rhymes, Alliterations,,
SOUNDS
and LOTS OF THEM!

Next...
We ADD 
PHONICS!
A symbol (letter/word) to the sounds.

Alphabet, HFW, Word Families, emergent readers, etc.

For those who make READING a priority...
they excell!

For those who don't have a LOT of support at home..
It can take LONGER...

But..

THEN...
We WRITE!
We write well and we write A LOT!

Lists, poems, booklets, stories, and they LOVE IT!

The problem occurs when they don't have an ENGLISH word to attach to the "word" in their head!

Vocabulary MUST be a HUGE paaart of the daily writing minilessons.
And RESOURCES!

We use Step Up to Writing...


and

I "supplement"...Ummm
SUPPLANT
with
LUCY CAULKINS!
YESSSS!!!

http://www.heinemann.com/products/E07729.aspx
Click HERE to see it...

FINALLY..

We  use  my
WRITE ON!
 papers because they have 
VOCABULARY
built in!






Available HERE...

My kids are doing GREAT!
(Most could only write their names at first!)

Daily PROGRESS! :)




And so..
we 
PRACTICE, we TALK, WE SING,
WE CHANT,
AND ..we
  WRITE ON!
:)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Do YOU Know the SECRET to LIFE? I DO! Nibits for Newbies 4.17.16

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

Sorry I was MIA  last week..
I have a great excuse..

 Gma & Gpa ( & Daddy )
took little one
to see...
MICKEY   MOUSE!
So fun!

OK...So 
 I KNOW the
SECRET TO LIFE!

No...I have NOT climbed the highest mountain..
or whatever...

I just "FIGURED" it out!

I do my BEST  "THINKING"
when I am GARDENING!

No...the SECRET to LIFE is NOT GARDENING!
It's great...but I don't think it's the SECRET!

Here it goes...

There are 3 things 
you need to KNOW
 to be SUCCESSFUL
in ANYTHING!


Have a PLAN!
DUH!
Heard this before.
BUT, it makes sense.

I am gardening.
If I don't have a plan for my garden, some things will grow.
Not EVERYTHING in this world needs MY touch!

BUT...If  I really think about the VARIABLES ( Sunlight, water, plants next door..)
I can ENHANCE the outcomes with just a little THOUGHT!

If I have a "PLAN" I know where to put all of my HARD work!

In my classroom...
If I know where we want to go..
I can "PLAN" HOW to get there.

"Winging it" only works for a short time.
You gotta know where you want to go!

I am NOT saying you can not DEVIATE from the plan ( it may enhance it)!
BUT,
having a goal 
is the #1 SECRET to Success!


OK..I have a PLAN!
Now what?

The #2 SECRET TO LIFE is....(drumroll)
Have the RIGHT TOOLS!

I am working in my garden.
I have lots of energy...I know where I want things to go.
I have a MASTER plan..

GO!

So I did!


I wore my good athletic shoes!
UGH! Silly!
Now I have to clean them.
REALLY GOOD!

I started with a shovel!
Farmer's tools!
DUMMY!
Forgot the GLOVES!
OUCH!
Many blisters & very SORE HANDS!


Finally...got out the ROTOTILLER!
To the RESCUE!

I should have gotten ALL of the RIGHT TOOLS 
BEFORE I started!
Would have saved aches & pains!

In my classroom,
Have the CORRECT tools READY TO GO!

If I am teaching GUIDED READING,
Get my whiteboards, HFW word cards, books, 
EVERYTHING I will need
CLOSE AT HAND!

I don't need my SCIENCE TE on my reading table when I teach small group reading!
Have the RIGHT  TOOLS for the JOB at HAND!

SOunds like good classroom ORGANIZATION!

So..the #2  SECRET to LIFE is....
Have the RIGHT TOOLS for the JOB AT HAND!

and last...


The # 3 SECRET to LIFE is....

BE FLEXIBLE!
I know how I wanted my garden to be...PLAN
I used the correct tools....TOOLS

BUT....

The SPRINKLER PIPES ARE IN MY WAY!

So...



With the best of intentions...
AND
FLEXIBILITY...




My straight rows ..
are 
NOW...
ROUNDED!

Same ending RESULTS...
Just a "LITTLE"  different!

Don't be afraid to change your "PLAN"
to get to your goals!

It may make YOUR LIFE
a little EASIER!

And so my friends..
There are the 3 Secrets to LIFE!

Are they REALLY SECRETS?

I dunno.

NOT TO ME!

Happy Spring My FRIENDS!

Enjoy the "FRUITS" of your "LABORS"!
:)    Tee Hee

Saturday, April 16, 2016

CLIPART ADDICTS...Who wants to WIN some DJ INKERS? ME!ME!ME!

HI!
My name is Wendy.
I am a CLIPART ADDICT!

Anyone join me?
(You know you are. The first step is to admit it.)
I don't really feel it's a problem.
Just an OBSESSION! :)

Well..to "enhance" your obsession...
DJ INKERS
is giving me a CLIP ART CD
to give away!
YES!

KIDS  ALL  YEAR


(click HERE to check it out) 

YOU CAN WIN IT! :)


ALSO..

DJ INKERS is HAVING A SALE!  


Hooray!  
It's almost time for DJ Inker's Teacher Appreciation SALE!!!  
This happy celebration begins
 Friday, April 29 - Monday, May 2.  
Don't miss the awesome store-wide SALES, fun NEW products... and exclusive FREEBIES! 
 You can join the fun & enjoy the savings,
 even if you're not a teacher.  :)  
Sign-up for their weekly e-newsletter list to stay in the loop:  http://goo.gl/8OS0D4


Next...

A preview of  what YOU can win by entering the Rafflecopter:

Of course...

DJ INKERS CLIP ART!

And...


60 Pages of EDITABLE  Classroom Newsletters!
YOU can add all of YOUR information!
Great for Parent Communication!
Of course I used
DJ INKERS CLIP ART!  DUH!







Here is a SAMPLE...



ALSO....

You can choose any products from my TPT store ($8 value)..

Get your wishlist ready!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/1stgradefireworks

Giveaway  entry dates: 4/16/16 - 4/23/16

Good LUCK! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Enter to Win Your Dream Classroom – The Educents Teacher Appreciation Giveaway



teacher appreciation educents 2016
To celebrate Teacher Appreciation month, Educents, FreshGradeS&S Worldwide, and the Sellers of Educents have partnered to give educators funding for their dream classrooms. The 7 educators with the most votes will win a combined $10,000! Any educator is eligible to win – teachers, homeschoolers, parents, and school administrators.

How to Win

Educators get pretty creative when it comes to raising money to cover expenses for classroom supplies. Many host bake sales, ask the community for second-hand supplies, or pay out of their own pockets. However, there’s a new way to get money for your classroom… and it doesn’t include raiding the aisles of your local dollar store.
It’s easy to enter to win the Educents Teacher Appreciation Giveaway, and it still requires a little creativity (see Step 3). 
Step 1: Save up to $5,000 in products for your dream classroom in your Educents wishlist.
Step 2: Click “Enter to Win” on your wishlist page and create your voting profile.
Step 3: Share with your friends, family and community and ask them to vote for you every day until May 6.This is your opportunity to get creative – how will you share your wishlist, and how will you involve your community to vote for you??
Any educator is eligible to win – teachers, homeschoolers, and school administrators. Ready to get started?
enter-now

Vote for me

I am trying to change the "seating" in my classroom! I am going to ALTERNATIVE seating! I would love to have a STANDING area where kids could stand at a TALL TABLE to do their work. I am lowering tables for others. My "WISH LIST" includes pillows, benches with soft pillow tops, and a rug for ALL of us to sit on! Stability balls and  Wobble Chairs are next!
I WOULD LOVE TO SHARE THIS WITH MY STUDENTS! 




Sunday, April 3, 2016

Nibits for Newbies 4.3.16 Planting seeds

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


This weeks theme...

Gardening with First Graders!

This week we planted our seeds!
Now in NORCAL it's getting warm enough.

So...

We are trying 
PALLET GARDENS 
this year!




We wrapped our pallett's with shade cloth to
hold the soil in.
Don't want it to "leach" out.
So the seeds will go in next week.

Next...
individual seeds.

We recycle water bottles.
Cut them in half.
Turn the "top" portion UPSIDE DOWN
IN the bottom portion.
The bottom will hold the water.
I screw a string through the top.
The string becomes a WICK to 
suck up the water to the roots of the plant!


Soil in the top, water in the bottom!


VOILA!

A little SUNSHINE, a "mist" of water her & there!
Hopefully...we shall see sprouts SOON!


I made some big ones too!
I will plant MORE seeds next week!

Try it!
The kids will LOVE it!