Monday, August 20, 2012

Gathering Poem

Well, it is getting closer and closer to that first day.  I have spent a few days working on only the layout in my new room!  It is a greatly spacious room with beautiful windows and vaulted ceilings, but very little wall space with only one good usable corner.  (My desk is in one corner - and has to stay as this is a temporary room location for me; one corner connects to the adjoining room and has an outside exit, too; and the other corner is the entrance.)  I finally have a good workable layout with a play area, a reading corner, a place for morning meeting, and a place for me to work with small groups. Yeah.  Stay tuned.

Since it has been a while, I thought I would share a favorite rhyme I use to gather my class for morning meeting, lessons on the rug...  I like it because it gets the class to sit correctly, the rhyme is easy to remember and after a while, the children fill in the blanks...

                                                 1  -  2   You know what to do!
                                                 3  -  4   Sit in the floor.
                                                 5  -  6   Our feet we fix!
                                                 7  -  8   Sit up straight!
                                                 9  - 10  We listen again.

Here's hoping we all have a great start to the year and that you find this little poem helpful!


P.S. Proud to be a 5-Star Blogger.  Thanks for the idea Charity. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Power of a Name

I like to begin the year celebrating each student's name.  We know they all love the sound, the look, and the feeling it gives them.  It is important to me that each student knows each other's name and calls them by that. We play assorted name games, and we love "Who Stole a Cookie."

Here is a great activity to do that first week of school.  What is the first gift we each got?  Can you believe we all got the same thing?  Our names, of course!  It is the first gift we received from our parents.

Use the paper below and bubble print each child's first name.  I write those long names on the diagonal.  Each student then decorates, colors... their name.  It is one of the first things I hang in the room.  Once they are all completed, before I actually hang them each student can say something about the coloring, their name, what they like about it...

Click here to download the document.  I suggest copying it on card stock for durability.

Here's to a great school year!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New "Year's" Resolution Linky Party

There seems to be many of the fellow bloggers celebrating the "New Year" in August!  I am happy to join in on this "party."  One of the things I love about my job (there are really so many) is that we can start fresh each year.  Whatever worked last year, keep!  Whatever did not work - stop it!

I am joining the celebration with "Teaching Maddeness" and you can, too.  Click on the link below.

Here are my resolutions!

1.  Drink more water!  I can have a water bottle that I fill, and hardly drink!  That will just have to stop!  My goal is to fill it (20 oz) twice and drink all of that!  It helps to have a great new bottle!  Thanks, Jaime.

2.  Organize my work on my computer and my hard copy records in a new way.  Have to be "smarter not harder." Touch those papers as few times as possible!  Will have a new personal binder, too.

3. Take and post more pictures in the classroom.  I started this in the last term of the year.  The students loved it.  I put some clear plastic sleeves (the kind you can use in a 3 ring binder -"page protectors.") up on the wall above the spot where the children put their folders each morning...and turn in their work.  You can upload photos in a power point file using "insert photo album."  I like four pictures per page.  It creates a great collage.  They love to look at photos of themselves...and LOVE to comment when new pictures were posted.

4.  Create a visual time-line in the classroom.   Have seen this in "blog world" and on Pinterest. So great in so many ways.

5.  Mail notes to the students twice a year.  We just can't lose the art of written letters.  Maybe if we model it, it will happen more!

I will stop there.  I just love the number 5.

Let's all plan to check in with each other in late January, to see how we are doing!

Good luck to all!