Diving into Daily 5 {Read to Self}

It was the fifth day of school today! πŸ™‚

That means we’ve had five days of smiles, five days of reading, five days of working hard! Every year, I’m always amazed at how quickly we fall into classroom routines and how it feels like we’ve been together for so much longer than just a week.

Firsties!

Firsties!

We took our annual first week of school picture on the front steps this morning. It’s been so rainy, but today the sun was bright!

Daily 5

One of the things I’m passionate about is Daily 5 and the positive effects it has on a classroom. Compared to a traditional “centers” classroom, I’ve found Daily 5 to be a management system that promotes independence, is differentiated, and helps develop successful readers!

I’ve written a lot about Daily 5 and Read to Self already { LIKE HERE!Β } but here’s the update on what we’ve done so far…

Modeling

Modeling

On the left in that picture, on the white board, you’ll see the I-Chart we made together. The students come up with rules for Read to Self time, noting how they should be acting during this special time. They also come up with rules about what I should be doing during this time- which is pretty cool. It gives them a sense that they are in charge and responsible for this reading time.

After deciding how we will sound and act, we start the modeling process. This is one of the essential steps to building independence!

A student comes up to the front of the room and shows the class the correct way to Read to Self, making sure to follow the rules we just created together.

Then, the student models the WRONG way to do Read to Self. This always brings lots of giggles and laughs. (The best “wrong” model was when one student stood up at said “Hey friends! Let’s rock and roll!”) Ha!

Wrong way

Wrong way

The student shows the class what they should never do during Read to Self, they walk around, they make silly noises, they stare at the ceiling. πŸ™‚

But, you always end the student modeling by having that student show the correct way one more time. By having the student model this behavior, you are giving them ownership over this time and process. It helps them learn from each other and visually see examples of what they should be doing.

After this- it’s time to jump right in!

Read to Self

Read to Self

The first day you help the students find good spots to read, places that are spread out around the room.

Read to Self

Read to Self

You can see all the students have a book bin with them, with five books placed inside {one of the mini lessons you teach before this is the 3 ways to read a book. So even if students aren’t reading, they know they can be “reading” the pictures}

Read to Self

Read to Self

At first, we only read for 3 minutes. Then, I ring the bell to signal clean up. We gather on the carpet and reflect on how we did. We go over each of the rules we created and give ourselves a thumbs up if we think we did well or Β a thumbs to the side if we think we need to do better next time.

Then, we repeat the process! Review rules, student models, practice and stamina building!

Read to Self

Read to Self

Read to Self

Read to Self

We have now done this 3 days and we are reading to ourselves for five minutes! Yay! πŸ˜€

This is an amazing process and helps the students build the stamina that’s needed to read independently! We are off to a great start!

Keep checking back in to see how we are moving forward in our Daily 5 journey and all the other things we’re up to on our first grade adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day of School- 2014!

First Day!

First Day!

We did it! We made it through our first day of school– rain and all! πŸ™‚

Despite our drizzly entrance, the new first graders came into the classroom with big smiles.

The firs activity we tackled was play-doh sculptures. I asked them to make something they loved- pizza, soccer, horses, etc.

Play-doh

Play-doh

There were so many adorable designs- hot dogs, birds, and apple trees among the many.

Play-doh

Play-doh

After we talked about what we made, the students did their first writing of the year- ah! Amazing! They sounded out and wrote about what they made from their play-doh.

Play-doh

Play-doh

Next, we read one of the best first day of school stories- First Day Jitters.

Book

Book

I love the look on kids faces when we get to the last page of this story. I won’t ruin it if you haven’t read it before, but it’s such a fun way to show how everyone has jitters on the first day!

We used a fun worksheet to write and draw what we had jitters about on the first day.

Jitters

Jitters

Jitters

Jitters

Jitters

Jitters

After lunch, recess (big smiles that we made it before the rain started again!), and yoga (we always do yoga after recess as a way to calm down and focus), it was AN ALL GOOD afternoon, as our friend Pete would say πŸ˜‰

We started by reading Pete the Cat, Rocking in my School Shoes.Β 

Pete

Pete

I just love Pete! He’s such a groovy cat and my kiddlets fall in love with him instantly. After we read the story, we noticed that our Pete the Cat doll had disappeared from our classroom! Oh no!

But did we worry? Goodness, no! πŸ™‚

Pete left us a clue…

Clue

Clue

… so we went on a tour of the school trying to find Pete.

Our first stop took us to the library.

Library

Library

Ms. Peterson, our AMAZING librarian, had just seen Pete! But, he ran off just before we got there. Lucky for us, he left some of his shoes behind.

Shoes

Shoes

We were so happy to get to pick one out!

We moved throughout the school, exploring the office…

Office

Office

nurse’s room, art room, music room, and even the gym…

Gym

Gym

But that tricky Pete, he was always one step ahead of us!

Our last clue told us that Pete might be back in our room. So we ran walked back, and what did we find!?

Pete of course!

The only thing we could do was smile and laugh! Oh Pete!

We ended our day by making an adorable Pete the Cat project.

Pete

Pete

Pete

Pete

We cut out and glued our Pete’s together.

Pete

Pete

Pete

Pete

Pete

Pete

We’ll hang them up outside in the hallway as our first official project!

It was a very fun day and a great introduction to first grade life. I can’t wait to see what this school year brings πŸ™‚

Thanks for checking in. I’m off to do the million of things a few things for tomorrow! Good night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn Old Magnetic Letters into a Beautiful Project!

Tomorrow is our first official day back at school. Kids don’t start until Thursday, but for us teachers, we’re back in the swing of things in less than 24 hours!

That leaves me with enough time for one last project to share before the whirlwind of the school year starts and trust me, it’s a good one.

Here’s how I took these and turned them into this!

Magnetic letters project!

Magnetic letters project!

FIrst- a question. Do you have a lot of these laying around?

Magnetic letters

Magnetic letters

If you’re a teacher, than the answer is most likely yes. (I actually bought a few tubs of these from Amazon just to make sure I had enough) πŸ™‚

Then, I got some spray paint.

Gold

Gold

I used gold because if you’ve seen my last blog post, you know my obsession with the gold glitter tape I’ve been using. But really, any color could work. It’s a great way to tie in any accent color in your room.

Letters

Letters

I took all the supplies outside and spread out the letters on a big piece of cardboard. I didn’t really care if they were all facing up or down, just that they were all flat. (SIDE NOTE: Learn from my mistakes and spread them out better than I did, it’ll all work out better for you) πŸ™‚

Spray

Spray

Then, get to spraying!

I sprayed 2-3 layers on one side and then let them dry for about an hour. Then, I turned them all over and repeated the process. Again, make sure you spread them out well before you spray the first time, it’ll make sure you get all the sides better.

Gold

Gold

Gold

Gold

By the way, I used two cans of spray paint and that was the perfect amount. One was definitely not enough. I still a little left over in the second can, but needed it for sure.

Gold

Gold

They turn out so pretty! Honestly the hardest thing about this project is your hand cramping up from holding the spray paint can for so long. I must have weak hands! πŸ˜‰

I did have a helper in the process though…

Hi Molly!

Hi Molly!

Molly joined me outside and sat right there, soaking up the sun shine.

Anyways, once they all dried, I piled them up in glass jars.

I got two smaller round jars and one tall cylinder.

Jars

Jars

 

Jars

Jars

I did go back and try to arrange the letters along the sides so that you could see them, rather than just laying flat. They will do that naturally if you just throw them all in there, and personally, I think it’s cuter if you make the letters pressed up against the glass.

Flowers

Flowers

The last thing I did was add flowers to the top. I got a big bunch of white flowers from Hobby Lobby and just cut them off to fit the vases.

Tall vase

Tall vase

They are such a fun touch to the classroom!

Guided reading table

Guided reading table

I think the gold color ties in the accents I have around the room and I also think the kids will love seeing these. Plus, I love the flowers and think it just makes the room look great!

I got the idea for this from PINTEREST (of course!) but they just used plain colored letters. I think spray painting them all one color really made a difference and takes it to a “fancier” level.

I hope this inspires you to try a similar (or the same) project for your room! I really am trying to add touches to my room this year that make me smile- after all, I’m in that room more than any other place during the school year! πŸ™‚

Have fun decorating and crafting!

P.S. Here’s another side project I did…

Read!

Read!

See those black and white ugly boxes? Those are old science kits we’re required to house in our rooms. Normally I have them shoved in the corner up there. Then, I spend the whole year thinking “Agh those ugly boxes! I hate them!” Yes, I spend a lot of time glaring up at those ugly things πŸ™‚

Then, I spent some time in another teacher’s room and saw that she spruced them up in a way similar to what you see in the picture. She used blue paper plates across the boxes and wrote the word “READ”. I loved it- told her I very much intended to steal the idea- and ran back to my room!

I stood the boxes up and pushed them together. Then, I cut out triangles from brown paper lunch bags and glued them in a banner shape…. or a half circle shape, as “banner shape” probably isn’t a real thing, although I think you know what I mean. πŸ™‚

I had an extra piece of cork board laying around so I cut that into four pieces. I Β hot glued that to the boxes. Last, I pinned on those letters to finish the look. (In all honesty, I’ve run out of black cut-out letters and only have blue left. And in further honestly, I’m over running back to the teacher store for the millionth time- no exaggeration- so I’ve decided I can just color over the blue with a permanent marker and no one is the wiser!)

It looked great just like that, but when I was at Hobby Lobby for the white flowers, I also grabbed some green leaves to put up there. I think it finishes it off and really makes the top of the shelves pop. Now, I am happy to say I don’t look up there with hate, but with a smile πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW Domain Name {and classroom tour}

Hi party people! What’s your countdown number at for school? Right now we are T-minus 8 days until students will be smiling in their seats!

There’s a lot to get done between then and now, but FIRST…..

Did you notice the name domain name? I changed from mtasch.edublogs to firstgradeadventure.com! I made the jump and purchased this domain to go along with the name of the blog. I’m really excited about it and think it will be easier for people/families to search when they are looking for the blog. I hope you all love it! I know I do πŸ™‚

Bulletin boards

Bulletin boards

On to school things… I decided I wanted to spruce up my room this year. I was walking around the dollar store and found the best gold glitter tape. I loved and it immediately began thinking of ways to use it in my class. I had seen on Pinterest where teachers use two different borders next to each other and it makes a really cool look. I thought I’d use this gold tape in the same type of way.

At the next store- Target (agh, where you go in for a card and leave with $50+ of school things), I found rolls of brown wrapping paper on clearance marked down to $0.45. Really? Sign me up! You know I walked out of there with every single one, getting an armful for only four dollars. Which, totally matched my gold tape AND could be used for all of my bulletin boards.

The above picture is how I did all of my boards. I started with the brown paper, then taped on the gold glitter tape, and finally put the border on last. I think it gives the board a little something extra, a fun pop that makes the room fun.

Calendar wall

Calendar wall

Here is a picture of that same board. The above is my writing wall, where students are reminded of our 5 writing goals. (Remember those WRITE letters from the last blog post? They turned out cute, right?)

Below that is my calendar wall… well most of it anyways. Those are the basic things we review each morning- the calendar, how many days we’re been in school, the idiom of the week, and our city, state, and country. Along the wall to the right is more that just doesn’t fit, which includes our weekly sight words, our days of the week songs, and month poem.

Room

Room

Here is a more full out room view. You can see the writing and calendar wall, along with our gathering rug. The cabinets on the right show my new word wall. Before, I used the white board along the whole wall (behind the picture), but I kept thinking it was such a waste of that board. And since every inch of wall space is like treasure, I decided to move my word wall.

Another teacher in my school did this last year- putting the words on fabric strips on the cabinets. Using mini clothespins, she clips them on.

Here’s a more close up look at the idea that I totally stole I borrowed…

Word wall

Word wall

What else would I use except the gold!? But don’t get confused between this gold and the one on the boards. I could have used the gold glitter tape from the dollar store, but that didn’t work for one big reason- I ran out. πŸ™

And, after visiting five, yes FIVE other stores, and not finding ANY more, I knew I needed something else. (Are all the other teachers running out and buying up all of this tape too!?) πŸ™‚

So I went to Michaels- which is convenient with the teacher’s discount!- and got that gold ribbon that you see. I taped it on the inside of each cabinet, top and bottom. Then, I clipped on the letters to the tops of each ribbon. I got the mini clothespins from Michael’s too.

Ribbon

Ribbon

That’s a better look. I love it and think it will be a great way to display the words. Plus, it opened up my entire white board for this…

Board

Board

Using the same materials as before- brown wrapping paper, board, but sadly no gold glitter tape (see the sad truth about running out of it above) – I made this board into 3 distinct areas.

Rules

Rules

Since I will be a 1:1 classroom next year (every student in my room with have an ipad-ah!), I knew I would need expectations posted. I got these posters as part of a pack on TpT and I think they’ll be great visual reminders of how we’ll use them in the room.

Daily 5

Daily 5

The other side of the board has our Daily 5 posters. When I introduce each part, I still make a T-chart with my students, but have found these smaller charts great for the rest of the year. They are small, easy to read, and remind the students of their choices.

Math and science

Math and science

And in the middle of the board are my math and science boards.

About half way through the year last year, I made a smaller version of this in my room. I loved it and knew I wanted it to be more “official” looking this year. Using magnetic boarder, I sectioned it all off and just printed off the headings on fun paper. Even though I posted objectives for both of these on my board, I like the have these expanded versions so the kiddlets really get to see the big idea of the unit, the essential question we’re working on, and the vocabulary that goes along.

Speaking of the objectives…

Objectives

Objectives

Here is my new objectives space. Again using magnetic boarder, I sectioned off my lessons. I write the objectives in before school and it’s so much better than doing it as you switch between lessons. To make sure the kiddos know what we’re on and focus on the objective for that lesson, I move a big pencil magnet down as we go. That allows the kids to see what objective we’re on and also helps us close and reflect on the lesson before we move on. (P.S. HI Pete!)

Writing wall

Writing wall

Remember those writing examples? There they are on the writing wall! Below that is our writing goals poster, where I plan on having the students write their names on post-its and place it by the writing goal they are working on. I love that idea because they can move their post-it as their writing goals change!

Partners

Partners

Another project I made was this partners poster. I just printed out the boxes and glued them onto a poster. I got it laminated so that I can write on it with a dry erase marker. I loved this idea as soon as I saw it on Pinterest. I can pre-plan partners, or even keep partners posted per week, month, or quarter. And as an added bonus, there is no more “forgetting” who your partner was for the project we started yesterday or who you’ve been doing your writing with. Not that my kids would ever do that. πŸ™‚

MAPS

MAPS

Here is my MAPS wall and expectations. MAPS stands for Materials, Attitude, Placement, and Speaking voice. I have laminated cards for each section and it really helps the kids know the expectations. The other side is our classroom rules and behavior policy.

WOOOOOOO!

Is that enough for now? I think so πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoyed seeing how my classroom is coming together. There is still a lot left to do and a lot left to show, so make sure to come back and check it out! I always like seeing other teacher’s room for more ideas of how I can set up my class, so I hope some of these ideas inspire you too! Let me know what you think. How is your classroom coming along?

 

 

 

 

First Round of Summer Project

Now that summer school is over, the wedding has past, grad school class finished (for the summer), and we’re back from our honeymoon, it’s that time….. SUMMER PROJECT TIME FOR SCHOOL!

Teachers know what I mean- there comes a point where you find yourself surfing Pinterest just a little bit more, reading ideas on blogs just a little bit longer, and before you know it, you have the itch. It’s time to start thinking about next school year! Now in the words of one of my sisters- who is also a teacher and, being told that some of us are back in the school year mode already, responded by saying “Go take a nap“- I know a lot of you out there are saying the same thing! (Is that the longest sentence ever? Does it matter that I’m a teacher and made such a run-on sentence? It’s the summer, so I hope you let it pass)

Anyways, I can hear some of you screaming “Nooooooo! We still have weeks of summer left to go!”

But I’m crazy and always looking/reading/finding/thinking about my class for next year and was in the mood so here we go!

Mess

Mess

For starters, please tell me that when you all are doing projects at home, you also have a mess pile going on too.

Please? I can’t be alone in this!

And inevitably, one/both of the dogs decides to run right through it and it becomes even MORE of a mess!

But on this day, the pups were pretty much moving at this speed…

Sleeping

Sleeping

Which was just fine for me because it meant I could get things done without toys being brought to me, barking at squirrels happening, and whining because I wasn’t paying attention to them πŸ™‚

The first project….

Write

Write

I saw on Pinterest a teacher who made these out of burlap (I think ?) and I thought it was so cute! Here is the project in process. Basically, I printed out the black letters on the computer, cut them out, and glued them to pieces of construction paper. I cut the bottom ragged, like a pencil, and glued on brown paper. I cut the brown in a triangle shape to get the point. To the top, I just glued on a slim piece of black construction paper and a slightly larger piece of pink. And voila! An adorable sign!

Signs

Signs

Here it is with the bottoms colored in to make it look more like a pencil. I plan to hang these from a string above our writing goals for the year. I think it’s a cute way to show what we are focusing on in writing!

Check off that project and on to the next….

Writing examples

Writing examples

I’ve seen this idea on Pinterest thousands of times, but I’ve never gotten around to doing it until now. Now in my fifth year teaching, I can’t wait to start off the year with these visuals for my kiddlets. I think it will be SO beneficial for my firsties to actually see what it means to get a one as opposed to a four on their writing!

1 and 2

1 and 2

Here is an unclose view of the 1 and 2 examples. And…

3 and 4

3 and 4

Here is the 3 and 4.

I literally copied these from the example I saw on Pinterest (Source) and then added the numbers to the sides.

Ratings

Ratings

For these, I got a pack of these cut-out shapes at the Dollar Tree, used a permanent marker to make the cute marks on the outside, and wrote the number in the middle.

Four

Four

I just love this idea because even though we model, model, MODEL in first grade, I love having examples posted all of the time so that they can see what it means to just be starting out, how to add more, and what it means to get a high score. Some of the kids really need that visual reminder of what good writing is and having it posted will really help.

So there it is- those are the two projects I started so far and I’m already working on a few others. Slowly I will get closer to getting it all done. In the meantime, here is what else I’ve been doing…

Farmers market

Farmers market

My sister invited me along to her town’s local farmers market. It was great, so much fun and full of people! The one booth we both had to stop at and buy from wasn’t the fresh produce, but instead the dog treats. How cute are those!? My puppies ate them up- all except the cone, which surprisingly was rejected from my dogs who eat garbageΒ  πŸ˜‰

Beach

Beach

Later that day, we meet up with my other sister, mom, and this little man…

Pookie!

Pookie!

at the beach near our home. What a great day! The view was wonderful and the little man had so much fun collecting rocks and walking into the surf. We had a few exciting moments of the umbrella blowing away, but overall it was a very beautiful day πŸ™‚

Rapids

Rapids

Hiking

Hiking

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Here are just a few pics from our honeymoon in Colorado. It was such an unbelievable experience. I’d never been out there and loved seeing the mountains, the scenery, and all of the outdoor things we got to do. Most of all, it was great spending a week together away from all the business of our lives πŸ™‚

That’s it for now. Thank you for checking in! Be sure to check back to see other projects I’m tackling!