Monday, August 22, 2011

1st Week "Goodies"

Well, we're back in full swing and it is definitely an adjustment.  In 13 years of teaching, this is the most students I have ever had- 35 to be precise.  It is a little overwhelming, but the kids seem to be adjusting a little better now that we are getting to our regular routine.  But truthfully, I think the only reason I'm surviving right now is because I have a tutor (this week only) and a student-teacher in my room ALL day.  They are truly life-savers!

We started our reading program this week (Houghton Mifflin).  I created some printables to go along with our first theme.  Each day my students do a page of seatwork and then they can go to their center for the day.  Each page reinforces the phonics skill for that week.
Here is an example of one of the phonics pages...

I hope everyone's school year is off to a great start and I can't wait to see all the fabulous ideas you all come up with this year!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ABC's of First Grade

So, I'm headed to work for the 1st time this school year and now that I'm officially in "school mode" again, I thought I would share something that a colleague shared with me.  I know this has probably been out there for ages and I apologize for not knowing the original source.
It's the ABC's of 1st grade- an alphabetical listing of classroom and school policies and procedures.  Just modify it to suit the needs of your own classroom and school.  My only concern is that I teach at a school with a large population of ESL learners and many families do not speak English in the home.  This is always a challenge when sending home information.  I hope to get this translated into Spanish, but that may take a little time.  I will review this at our Back-to-School night (which is actually the day before school starts.)
I wish all of you a great start of the new school year!

ABC's of First Grade

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Is it that Time Already?

It has been a long time since I have posted anything.  Just to bring you up to speed... the end of the year was a bit crazy.  Our district is changing from 2 K-4 schools to 4 K-6 schools.  This meant a lot of movement and just plain chaos- all while trying to wrap up the school year. 
My oldest just graduated high school and is preparing to go into the service (Air National Guard).
About a week after school ended, I taught a 3 week English Language Summer Academy (I only ended up having 12 kids, but it was still school).  Sooooo... by the time that was wrapped up, I was in desperate need for a break- mentally and physically.  I don't know how some of you gals do it.  It seems that some of you have school on the mind 24/7.  I am that way too sometimes, but this year I needed a little "time-out".
Anywhooo, the time has come and it can't be put off any longer.  I had to get my BTS letters sent out and that meant a trip to school.  It was good to see my room and get a "feel" for what needs to be done.  I will try to remember to take pics as I go. 
One of my favorite things (and worth every penny) is fadeless paper.

It really saves me time because it means I don't have to change every bulletin board at the start of every year.  I know at some schools you are required to take EVERYTHING down, but luckily, we are not.
Lastly, I know that this is not new to most of you, but I am loving Pinterest.  Warning! It is extremely addicting (thank goodness I'm still on vacation).
It is great to be able to browse great ideas and "pin" them without having to search the whole web.  It's *genius* really. 
Hope you're all a lot further along in your back-to-school chores than I am.  If not, stop reading these blogs and get busy. :)