Saturday, April 30, 2011

Doodle Poster

I am a huge fan of first grade doodling.  So good for their little hands and brains.  A friend shared the idea of a doodling poster and I knew we needed one of our own.  I collected my kids' doodles and a parent scanned them and created this class poster for us.  Isn't it gorgeous?  And so easy!  It is my newest treasure.
Pretty sure I will be making a doodle poster with a new quote each year.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Classroom Management Linky Party

Kelley Randall at Mrs. Randall's Learning Library is having a Classroom Management Linky Party!
I keep things as simple as possible.  One of the greatest management tips I learned from a colleague is to have the kids line up in "number order."  Each child is assigned a number at the beginning of the year (which I use for all sorts of things.)  On the first day of school they are lined up #1-23.  One the second day 1 moves to the end of the line so they are lined up 2-23 and then #1 is at the back.  And so it continues to rotate throughout the year.  At the start of the year I call a few numbers at a time, or use greater than/less than statements, but at this point I can simply say "When you are ready to line up perfectly and silently you may do so."  And they do!    Number Order is slick, quick, and IDEAL for fire drills.

Establishing rules and guidelines Daily 5 style in August is the perfect way to begin the year.  I use their tips and tricks in every subject area so expectations are very clear.  Daily 5 is MAGIC.  It has eliminated the need for any behavior systems.  Once in a while a child needs a one-on-one chat, but that is as complicated as it gets.

I do reward my class as a whole for compliments they receive from teachers or other adults in the building.   We keep a savings bank on the white board and each compliment is worth a "penny in the pot."   I just stuck some magnets on the back of large paper coins.  At the beginning of the year they can cash in 10 cents.  Then we bump it to 15, then to 20, and so on.  They can use their $ as a group to buy extra recess time, an ice cream party, game time, etc.

Me One the Map Unit Final Product

Here is a great example of a Me On the Map unit final product.  LOVE this Jessica Meacham designed unit.  The kids tied their mini me to a string which they can move through the pockets of the book as they read their story.  What kind of treat greets a finished product?  Milky Way candy bars, of course! 


Monochromatic Self Portraits

Each student at our school created a monochromatic self portrait.  
Our hallways are gorgeous!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

May Day Baskets

May Day was a favorite day in my little Wisconsin town.    Every year my Mom would help my siblings and I create small paper baskets filled with sweet treats and tiny flowers.  On May 1st we would wake early, gather our baskets, and run around the neighborhood leaving baskets on doorsteps, ringing doorbells, and running to hide before getting caught.  Of course all of our friends were delivering their May Day baskets at the same time and we would catch glimpses of one another hiding behind garages and diving behind shrubs.  Such a thrill !  Kids, running, laughing, candy, surprises. . .does it get any better?  At school Mrs. Schmidt would get out the giant May Pole with all of its' glorious ribbons so we could dance.  

The first time I mentioned May Day here in Idaho I was shocked to learn they had no idea what I was talking about!   I knew something needed to be done about that.  I don't have a May Pole, nor do I remember what we are supposed to do with all of those ribbons streaming from it, but I am all over the basket making/basket sharing piece.  I make one for each of my students and at some point we hear a knock at our door only to find an enormous basket filled with a small May Day basket for each student.  I share my own childhood stories and then we get out our supplies and make May Day baskets to share with a friend.  If you google images for May Day baskets you will find ideas galore.
This year we will make these cute cones from :

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Ravenous Readers Club

With a classroom full of kids fired up about reading it is time to introduce the Ravenous Readers Club.  It is all about getting these kids hooked on books and putting miles on the page.  Ever since our Dr. Seuss celebration in March my kids have been reciting Debra Angstead's "My Oath of Reading."  You can find the oath in bookmark form on this  Read Across America page.  Each child gets a bookmark and reading log to add to their Book Bin.  As soon as all of my kids log their 100 books it is party time. Let the reading begin!