Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Twin Tuesday

We are back and excited to share with you a look at Classroom Management at the beginning of the year!  I will share my First Grade perspective and my twin (aka Molly) will share the Kinder perspective over at Miss K's Little Rays.

The beginning of First Grade is COMPLETELY different then the end.  And I am sure I am not the only First Grade teacher who will tell you, that it is hard to remember until you are smack dab in the midst of it!  I mean they leave you little learners who read and are gaining their independent wings.  Then Fall rolls around, and the new firsties arrive and you are like WHAT!!!  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE every aspect of new firsties, as much as I love every aspect of the soon to be second graders...it is just a whole different world!

Classroom Management is always a work in progress!  However, at the beginning of First Grade I try to take the approach of being a little tougher, yet with a soft side.  For 80% of my students they know our school expectations, which is FANTASTIC!  However, it is necessary for a great review of them, as well as my personal expectations!!!

Our school's expectations are Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible (Yes, we are a PBIS school!) So we start off the year, with what these look like and sound like!!! We always start with RESPECT!  It is our Core Value for the months of August and September and so VERY important!!!

We use our school PBIS matrix to discuss all the areas of the school, and what these expectations look like.  This year, I tried to be more thoughtful in my planning and repeated teaching of these expectations and so far that has paid off!!!  One thing with firsties, expectations can be boring!  I mean "they are big kids now" and they know the expectations, but knowing and showing are TWO completely different things.  **REFLECTION MOMENT...this is an area that I want to tackle this summer!  Making re-teaching of the expectations more fun and exciting!!!  A themed activity of course!!!  

I also roll out the Dojo's!!!  Most of our kiddos used them for a portion of Kinder, so it isn't new! However, teaching them ownership of their Dojo's is a First Grade skill!  We talk about what we should receive Dojo's for and choose their pictures together.  We also discuss what behaviors might require myself or another teacher to take away a Dojo!  As the year progresses, we will start giving ourselves our own Dojo's, both positive and negative.

This year we are off to a great start!  However, as we all know CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT is an on-going issue.  We are always tweaking and spicing it up.  As teachers we all know we have to do this because there is always a holiday around the corner, a drastic change in the weather, or a FULL moon that is out their messing with our kiddos and getting them all sorts of CRAZY!!!

This is a little bit of how we do it in FIRST GRADE!!! What do you do in First Grade to manage your firsties?  Leave me a comment and let me know!!! And if you are a KINDER teacher (or not, because really she is so fabulous everyone will want to read her post) head over to Miss K's Little Ray's and check out her take!!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Twin Tuesday

Everyone has that someone in their life to make them better!!!  I am blessed to have more then one of those people, lucky...I know:)  One of those people is my pal Molly!  Molly is a kinder teacher, in her second year of teaching, and though the number of years that separate us by age is LARGE (don't ask, how large...just trust me!!!) we couldn't be more alike!

Somewhere in the last year since we met,
we have discovered more then a few things that we have in common.

Here are just a few..
the same high school
 the same college
a love of polar pops
our Catholic faith
a love of teaching
a love of work nights on the couch, instead of going out
a love of shopping
and a love of

Each day, we are there for one another to lift each other up, to bounce ideas off of each other, to laugh at the crazy of the day, and to even shed a tear if necessary.  On a recent work night, we talked about the need to blog more.  Then came the idea of Twin Tuesday!  We teach in the same school, just a different grade.  So why not blog about how one topic or theme can be done differently in two different grades!!!

We will give you a glimpse into our rooms, our lessons, and our ideas!!!  Then hopefully you will grab your "Teaching Twin" and do the same!!  Who knows, maybe this will end up being a linky!?!?!

Be sure to head over to Molly's blog to check out her take!

If you have any suggestions or would like to hear about something in particular, leave one of us a comment!  We would LOVE feedback!!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Motivational Monday

Who else happens to think that Monday comes around awfully quick??

I would totally agree, but today I tried to wake up with a fresh mindset!!  Like I mentioned yesterday, the start of this school year has kinda been rough...but when I think about it...there are many things that could be MUCH worse.  So it is time to put on my big girl pants, remember why I wanted to be a teacher, and get back on track to "Shoot for my Goals".

We are all good at making excuses, why not...it's easy!  But excuses do not get us closer to the things that will make us better.  So if you are struggling or feeling low,  pick one thing to focus on tomorrow!  One thing, take it on, and DO IT!!!  Shoot for those goals because if you don't who will?

Have a great week!!!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Peek Into My Week..

Before I get into a Peek into My Week, I will give you a little peek into my life!!! We have now been in school for one full month!  Progress Reports went home on Friday and we are half way through Quarter 1!  WHAT??!!??!!??  I know all you teachers out there will understand when I say, where the heck did the month go?  I mean, I love FALL and all....but October is 11 days away, how did that happen??  Well as always, I had a plan and it has been a rough start to the school year!  Not rough in a bad way, just rough on my side...trying to learn to juggle life, school, and my amazing little three year old!  To add to the fun, we of course experienced the hottest temperatures of the whole year...once we started back to school in our non-air conditioned building!  No one knows hot, til they are hanging out with 22 first graders in a room with temps WELL over 90!  We survived and the smell of crisp air is on the horizon.  The amazing three year old is adjusting to our new schedule (thank God for her amazing babysitter). And I, am beginning to keep my head above the water! I have a new plan and I think it is attainable!  So be sure to stop by more frequently, as there are amazing things happening in Room 105 and you won't want to miss it!!!!

Now on to our week...

Events for the Week:
Back to School Showcase
Core Value Assembly
DIBELS testing

Our current focuses:
ELA- Pete the Cat Unit: Story Elements, Punctuation, Nouns, & CVC Blending
Math: Ways to Make 6,7,8,& 9 & Number Sense to 120 
Science: Objects in the Sky

Daily 5 looks a little bare on purpose!  We will be using that time to tweak our skills, as well as work on some projects for our Back to School Showcase!  

A few of the resources we will be using are:
The Groovy Cat Pack from Teacher by the Beach
100 Chart Puzzles from First Grader at Last

So there is your peek!  Now be sure to check back and see how it goes!!!!