Thursday, June 18, 2015

Inside August

Do you remember my bin?

Well, I said earlier that I'd show you what I keep in there.  Here goes...

The stuff in the August bin is mostly the stuff that goes up on the walls before school begins and the stuff that gets used within the first three days of school. The rest of my "start the school year" stuff is in the September bin. 

There are some notes from professional developments that I wanted to remember.  The pieces to the tree that my students use to check in when they come into the classroom each morning... In looking at those birds, I am reminded that I need to pick up some acetone next time I go to Lowe's.  A folder containing the extra copies from all of the "First Day" work... Random folders containing random things - file folder games that I never made, reading challenge prize certificates that I need to make copies of before school begins, straws for my birthday bouquet, pencils that say "First Graders are #1," postcards to send home before school begins, and random posters that probably won't get put up, word wall word cards, CAFE bulletin board set, VOICES bulletin board set, and GNOMe bulletin board set.  I'll post links to things of interest.  I will also eventually upload my CAFE, VOICES, and GNOMe stuff to my TPT store.  (Disclaimer:  My TPT store isn't nearly as amazing as most others.  I only post things as I create them, and I really only create things when I can't find exactly what I'm looking for... which honestly isn't often.)  Oh, and let's not forget the books!  There are books in this bin!!

This is a set of books that my school purchased for my classroom before I got there.  It's the "Learn to Write" series by Creative Teaching Press.  There are various sets based on grade bands, it looks like.  I have the Grades K-1 set and an incomplete Grades 1-2 set.  You can find the whole series on the Creative Teaching Press website [here].  I will probably go through these books a little more in depth before school begins because obviously I won't use them all on the first day.  Honestly, I probably won't use more than three or four in September even.  They are designed to be a sort of mentor text for writing in various forms.  I'll have to see how they might fit into my writer's workshop.

The First Grade Words of Wisdom pages were written by my students on the last day of school last year.  They came from the Lucky Little Learners TpT store.  When I go back to set up my classroom, I'll make copies and bind a class book for the new Firsties.  Maybe I'll find some serious motivation and bind a copy for each of them to take home.  We'll see. 

These are some titles that I like to read aloud in the first few days of school.  We may or may not get to all of them, but they will all eventually end up in the classroom library in a special "First Days of School" book bin.  (I put them in a specific bin in the library because that helps me to know where they are when it's time to replace them with Fall themed books.)  The kids love to borrow books that I've read to the class previously for Read-to-Self or Read-to-Someone.  The books in this collection include:

Five Little Sharks Swimming in the Sea by Steve Metzger
A cute take on the monkeys jumping on the bed.  Speaking of which...

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow is also here.

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman
I use this book to help emphasize the importance of rules and expectations.  In fact, I use a couple of books for this purpose...
No, David by David Shannon
David Goes to School by David Shannon
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

Bootsie Barker Bites by Barbara Bottner is also included in this set of books because I start a mini-author study with Officer Buckle and Gloria.  The kids enjoy the book, but they find humor in the fact that Peggy Rathman drew Bootsie to look like herself because she didn't want anyone to think she was calling them mean!  We also read a few of Peggy Rathman's other books, but I have to borrow them from the library.

First Grade Stinks! by Mary Ann Rodman is one of my favorites.  It's all about how Kindergarten is better than First Grade because the teacher is better, the recesses are better, the art is better, the stories are better... There's a nice twist at the end.  It's definitely worth having!

Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill by Jamie Harper is one that I will read in the first couple of days and then put in the October bin.  We have to practice fire and earthquake drills, lock down drills, and stay put drills all in the first day or two of school.  This read-aloud helps introduce the importance of the fire drill.  Pull it out again in October during Fire Safety Week!  (By the way, I just learned that Miss Mingo has a first day of school book.  Maybe worth checking out..?)

And just for fun, I will read There was an Old Lady who Swallowed Some Books! by Lucille Colandro and Charlie Goes to School by Ree Drummond.

We begin reading chapter books right away in my classroom.  I like to start with something fun, something that I can get really animated with because there aren't a whole lot of pictures in chapter books.  I start with Junie B., First Grader (at last!) by Barbara Park.  Chances are good that their Kindgergarten teachers have read them a Junie B. book or two, so I find this to be a good starting place.  We usually take anywhere from five to ten days to read this chapter book.  I'll choose the next one based on what I've learned about my students' interests and attention spans.  (We may need another one with as much opportunity for animation, or we might be able to read Tale of Despereaux at this point.  I've had classes on both ends of that spectrum.)

You can see the books that I read on the first day of school (not included in this post) by [clicking here].

Oh!!! And then there is this gem:

Have you heard of CHAMPS?  There are so many things going around on Pinterest, Google search, TPT, etc.  Well, my school (maybe my district.. I don't know) adopted CHAMPS as a school-wide approach to classroom management.  We're CHAMPSing it up all over the place in my building!  Well, in an effort to make one of the positive behavior strategies work for us, my friend across the hall and I thought long and hard about how to make the 100s board happen.  Well, what do you know?  We are some CHAMPS Champions!! We each took two regular hundreds boards, cut up one, put velcro on both, and now we've got the positive behavior board on lock down!  Well, sort of.  We both need to be better about actually using it.  But we took the first step... We put those suckers up in our classroom! Haha!  (If you're curious, I can explain it later.  It's a strategy from Randy Sprick's book.)

Well, there you have it.  Aside from the birthday crowns and star student crowns, the stickers, and calendar pieces, I think that covers what's inside the box.  Thanks for stopping by!

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