Thursday, February 18, 2016

From The Mouths of Babes!

This week at school we are celebrating presidents! We enjoyed a day off on Monday, Tuesday we focused on Abraham Lincoln, yesterday we focused on George Washington, and today we read If I Ran For President

This book is FANTASTIC!!!! My firsties just LOVED it!! It walks the reader through the process of running for president from start to finish in a easy to read and understand manner.  After we read this, we discussed the qualities of a good leader. WOW! They BLEW. ME. AWAY.  Here is the anchor chart that we created listing the traits:

What a list!!!! I am so impressed!!! Hey world! First graders believe that a good leader is HONEST! Do you hear that world?!?!?!? Also, a good leader is brave because sometimes they have to say or do things that may not be popular! Wait! What? Yep these were the conversations that were had today!!!
After we created our list of traits we did a little writing about if we were president.  Get this, they were ENGAGED! Oh yeah! That's right! It's February, single digits out, no snow day in sight and they were ENGAGED IN WRITING!!!! I used Michelle Tomaszewski's President's Day Free Printables for the template (check out here TPT store: ) here are a few examples of our writing:

Sunday, February 7, 2016

January Revisit

So January brings all sorts of fun into the classroom.  Sometimes, we return from winter break ready to go like we never missed a beat and other times it is like the first time we have stepped foot into a classroom.  My K buddy D came back from winter break with a class of the latter.  Now, remember she was on maternity leave from the start of the school year until the beginning of December so her kiddos were still adjusting so she wasn't too surprised that her students were struggling when we returned to school.  She came to me and told me that her kiddos were struggling with Daily 5, this was the week that both K and 1 were completing their MAP testing.  I gave her the following advice:

Sometimes you have to walk away from the plan.
Your students have a crazy week this week because of testing,
scrap the plans and reteach procedures.  Oh and hey
my kiddos are awesome (in my humble opinion) with Daily 5,
how about you bring your kiddos down to my room and we 
can pair them up to learn the ropes!

Please note that the MOST IMPORTANT piece of information in that is "sometimes you have to walk away from the plan"!!!  Also, we had a 4 day week that week and I told D that it will be way easier to make up 4 days of material than to struggle the rest of the year.  Here is what happened in pictures:
Working on Writing

Work on Writng

Work on Writing

Listening to Reading

Work with Teacher

Word Work

Read to Someone

Work on Writing
We have now paired our students up twice! It was a great January refresher for my kiddos.  D is noticing that her students have a more concrete idea of what is expected of them! Believe me it was not perfect - students were being pulled for various services, students had to use the bathroom, students forgot what they had to do, I mean how perfect could it be?  We had over 30 students in there!!! But it was a positive experience and one that I think not only benefited the K kiddos but also the firsties!

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Friday, January 1, 2016

Pinterest PD

Over my winter break I....
Spent time on Pinterest pinning ideas for a project that my K friend D and I are working on.  Okay so back this story up a little.
A Month Ago
D was on maternity leave and of course I was missing her like crazy! She called me one day and said "So what would you think about doing themes?" Ummmmm OK! So D created a calendar and a Pinterest board (that we share)  to pin any ideas.  She shared everything via Google Docs (so awesome) and we were set.
3 Weeks Ago
D was back at work!!!  Hooray!!! AND we had common prep! So we sat down and got to work!! Again LOVE Google Docs!!! Before we left for winter break we had the first week of January ELA planned for Kindergarten and First Grade - go us!
2 Days Ago
I needed to get the 2nd week of January done for my firsties. I totally rocked it out, but then...
Image result for pinterest memes teacher
I started looking for ideas for the last two weeks in January and the next thing I knew it was 1:30 in the morning. Oh my goodness, who does that? Oh me apparently!  It's too bad I can't earn credits because as my little ecard states I would have a Ph.D!