Thinking about Starting Back

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Well, I am beginning to think of going back.  We are at the end of July.  I will be going to first grade.  I was in first grade a year ago and some things have changed.  The team has implemented Daily 5.  I have spent some time today reading up on this online after finding the book is $22!  So I decided to just read to “get the gist” until I can get the book from school.  My main focus was to begin making some new learning stations which I will do also before the day is done.  I have found some great activities.

Please share any Daily 5 activities for the beginning of the year that has worked for you.  My plan is to begin the year with some recursive review from kinder.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

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Summer So Far

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It is summer break. Here is a little snip of our break so far. We have had a little baseball, softball, beach time, 4th of July and a NBA Championship for our San Antonio Spurs! Amazing! It is not over yet! I am hoping you are having a great time with your family. We will be making a trip to the west coast in about a week. The whole family is excited! It will be a first for us. I will be checking in! Thanks for stopping by!

My Class Rocks!

My class rocks
Second project done! I think the kids will get a kick out of this. I found mason jars for a dollar at our local hobby store and rocks at the dollar store. The stickers I had from previous scrapbooking projects which worked great for this.  And…done!  I noted two incentives on the jar, if filled half way, the class gets free centers.  If filled to the top, extra recess.  I’ll find a time of the day to give them their reward.  I think at the end of the day will work best.
My class rocks 2
I am ready to get back to class for the second semester!

“I’m Done” Station

Station pic
I’m done! I have my station ready for when we return from Winter break. I got the idea from http://www.miss-kindergarten.com. I added some of my own activities and adapted it to fit my immediate needs. 🙂 I wanted something quick and easy to manage for me and the kids. I always have those early finishers, “What do I do now?” 😮 Here you go! What I like about this idea is I can also put in those activities that are introduced in lessons and have the kids practice thereafter. Or any station activity for that matter. But for now, I will start off with 6 choices. Two of the six choices will have worksheets that are included in the tubs. These are the six I will start with:

Unfinished work
Free writing in Spelling journal.
Spelling City
Read a book.
Write a letter to a friend.
Creative Coloring

In addition to the above, I went ahead and prepared an additional 8 more choices:

Clean out your desk.
Write a story with a picture.
Make a book.
Write a book review.
Sight words 3 times each.
Riverdeep
Draw and label.
Math games

The two choices I have for worksheets or paper in the tubs are Write a letter to a friend and  Creative Coloring which I also found, http://www.doodle-art-alley.com/word-coloring-pages.html.  They are great for early finishers. I made the choices into popsicle sticks and labels.  I will also switch the labels on the tubs when I change the activities.  I think this will keep the kiddos occupied and working.

My goal is to add more tubs and choices.   However, I want the kids to get used to it and over the initial excitement first.  I’ve included here the labels and station sign I will use.  I hope you and your kids enjoy.  Mine too!

I’m Done labels

I’m Done Station sign

popsicle sticks

These are the activities I am starting with! Can’t wait to try them out with the kids!

A New Year and the Rekenrek

Goodness, the middle of the year has come and we are in 2014. I have been through half of the year in first grade and have much to share. I have made my goal this year to become familiar with the curriculum and expectations. Along the way, I am incorporating some new ideas and systems into my first grade class. I have kept some of the old systems I had in kinder, as I mentioned before, because it works well and “the boss likes them”! 😉 But I am in the process of researching and preparing an “I’m Done!” station for early finishers. I will share that when it’s done!

I have put a lot of energy into my writing and reading lessons. I created some of my own activities and incorporated many anchor charts I found on Pinterest. I posted many of them on my Facebook page, Wild for First Grade. The link is on this blog.

A new and current unit in Math is our Addition and Subtraction unit. I began making rekenreks. I am still in the process.

rekenrek

The rekenrek is to allow students to think more critically about adding, subtracting and problem solving. Problem solving is so key. I used cut poster board, black pipe cleaners and beads from the hobby store. I slit the sides of the poster board about an inch each side then slid the already beaded pipe cleaners through the slits, and taped in the back. The rekenrek calls for red and white beads but I compromised and used different colors as you can see. It’s what I had…so it’ll do I’m sure. The beads need to be 5 of one color, and 5 of another. Our district curriculum has many activities for the rekenreks as does Pinterest. I will share a lesson as I find them.

I will be sure to post more of our exciting lessons in the future. I will be glad to get back into the class, but for now, we are all relaxing still.

I will begin my project for early finishers. Stay tuned!

Being uncomfortable

Rock Paper Glacier!

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I heard someone say yesterday, “If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not learning”.  Only by branching out beyond your normal understanding and comfort level can you grow as a person and expand your mind to the possibilities of this world.  I think back on times that I have been uncomfortable in school.  These moments gave me perspective, put holes in my safe, little bubble, and opened my field of view.  So I say GO FOR IT!!  Learn new things, explore, have new conversations, be OK with being uncomfortable because that is part of growth.

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