Thursday, August 29, 2013

Poetry Notebook Fun and FREEBIE

Today was our 8th day of school and we fully ran Daily Five today!!!  I was so proud of my first graders!  

I think this may be the earliest I have ever felt like my kiddos could do it.  We used our Smart Board to make our choices and I had kids reading to self, reading to someone, word work-ing, and listening to reading all at the same time.  I've decided to wait on work on writing because I have so many kiddos that just aren't ready to be independent with that yet.  

Then, in the middle of our Daily Five greatness we had a fire drill!  I was working with a kiddo on his DRA when it went off and the sound of the alarm literally made me jump.  I think I totally scared my little kiddo!  Oops!!

Something else I have already implemented in our classroom are our poetry notebooks.  We had our kiddos bring 3 ring binders this year instead of using folders like I have in the past.  I used my *FREE* Poetry Notebook pack for our binder cover, table of contents page, and poetry log.

I gave my kiddos a cover and wrote their name on it which is covered by the crayon in the picture:

This next picture is the inside and I hate that it's upside down.  I changed it when I saved it to my computer, but when I uploaded it here it went upside down.  :(  If anyone knows how to fix this I would love to know how!!

The purple paper in the front pocket is the parent log.  My kiddos take their poetry notebooks home every Friday and read their poems over the weekend.  I don't require this, but I do highly encourage and reward it.  This encourages reading at home over the weekend without officially assigning homework.  Parents can sign the log one time each weekend.  I don't care if my kiddos read 1 poem or 20 poems.  Once the log is filled up my kiddos get Class Dojo points.  The green paper attached to it is just an explanation for parents.  

The yellow paper is their table of contents page.  We give each poem a page number and then we write the title and page number on the table of contents.  It helps keep us organized.  I gave my kiddos 3 copies of this page on the front and back because we fill up our notebooks with so many poems that I don't want to have to add more pages later.  

Each week I give my kiddos 2 poems (front and back).  The first one is usually a phonics or sight word poem.  The one below is for our -at word family.  I have a notebook full of poems, but this year I decided to retype them so that I could make the font bigger, add an illustration, and add a place for my kiddos to write the page numbers.  I'm loving this idea.  :)

The second poem this week was called My First Day since we just started school.  The second poem is usually about a holiday or content area.  I will be using one on tally marks soon as well as apples as we begin our apple unit.  I typed this one up too and added a place for my kiddos to illustrate a picture.  This kiddo drew her at her desk and me in front of the room.  :)

I love our poetry notebooks.  My kiddos read these all the time during Daily Five and when they finish their work early.  They also enjoy showing their families how well they can read on the weekends.  :)

You can download my *FREE* Poetry Notebook pack here to get started.  I didn't include any poems because I use ones I have in books or have found online.  I'm not creative enough to make my own or I would totally share them with you!!  :)

If you have any other suggestions or ideas for a poetry notebook, I would love to hear them!  I'm always looking for new ideas to help my kiddos read.  :)

To read about what causes rain, follow my Facebook Fan Page and see what one of my kiddos told me this week!  LOVE first graders!!  :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Homework FREEBIE and Laminator

Homework is such a tricky thing with first graders. 

I struggle every year on what to do for homework.  Part of me thinks they should do homework every night to help build responsibility and to help them understand the importance of homework and doing well in school.  Then another part of me thinks they're so young and so many of them don't have parents willing or able to help the struggle continues.

Last year I tried something new.  

I had created this Chapter Book and Picture Book Literature Circle Pack a year and a half ago:

There are several jobs for students to do and one of the jobs is Artsy Arnold where my kiddos have to write "My favorite detail is..." and draw a picture of their favorite part of the book or chapter.  I started using this 'job' as homework towards the end of last year since it was something my kiddos could completely do on their own and it meant I didn't have to use a traditional reading log!!  

I loved it!  And my parents did too!  

My kiddos didn't have to just read and get a parent signature anymore.  They had to think about their favorite part of the story, write a sentence about it, and draw a picture.  All on their own!!  :)

This year I decided to start this right at the beginning of the year so I created a reading homework log.  My kiddos will just write the title of the story and draw a picture for now.  I will add more to it as the year goes on.  

You can click on the picture below to download the freebie if you would like to use it:

It's nothing fancy, but it helps my kiddos be more independent and I love that!  

Before I go, I have to share this wonderful laminator I received from MyBinding.  It works wonderfully and I love it!  

It was so easy to use.  I plugged it in, waited a few minutes until the light turned on, placed my papers in the pouches that came with the laminator and sent them through!  So easy!  

I was lucky to try this laminator out and I highly recommend it.  It has done a fabulous job on everything I have sent through it.  You can click *HERE* to go purchase it now!  You won't be sorry!  :)  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Week Fun with Crayon (FREEBIE) and Guitars

Whew!  This was our first week and I'm still exhausted after sleeping in this morning!  

We had so much fun this week though.  We learned our Whole Brain Teaching rules, practiced for a fire drill, started Daily Five, and made some cute craftivities!  

We read The Crayon Box That Talked during our first class meeting.  I have an autistic student again this year so we had a class discussion on how we are all 'different colors' in our classroom's crayon box and we are all an important color.  

It's a cute story if you've never read it before.  The crayons in the box realize that it takes all the different colors to make a pretty picture.  

I told my kiddos it would be really boring for me if there were 20 Mrs. Seymour's in my class!  It's such a cute story and great to use to show that every kiddo is important.  

After reading this story we made these cute crayon craftivities from Cara Carroll! Click *HERE* to go visit her blog and see all of her crayon color cuteness! My kiddos had so much fun curling their arms and legs.  It's always interesting to see who can follow directions the first week of school with a craft.  :)

 Here's a close up!  Sorry it's sideways!!

We also made guitars this week to go with our Rock Star theme.  I took pictures of my kiddos on the first day and I will hang those up next week between their guitars. 

Click *HERE* to go purchase your own guitar! It's actually an end of the year craft, but I use it at the beginning and at the end of the year.  They say First Grade Rocks right now and at the end of the year they will say First Grade Rocked!  :)  She has included signs up to fifth grade.  
This is my display in the hallway:
 The banner on top says Mrs. Seymour's Rock Stars.  

Here is a close up:
It says First Grade Rocks on the top and I love first grade on the white part.  

Well I'm off to a late breakfast with my dad....his treat!  :)  Then I need to relax after such a long week.  Have a great weekend friends!  

Don't forget you can now follow me on my Facebook Fan Page and Twitter!  I feel so grown up and techy!!  :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Teacher Tired and Back to School Freebies

Teacher tired

All I can say about this quote is AMEN!  

We had a fabulous first day of school today, but I am exhausted!  My little kiddos did great.  Not one asked to go home early or say I miss my mom.  Woohoo!  That's a successful first day right there!  :)

If you don't follow me on facebook, check out my fan page to see my personalized computer backgrounds!  

I have four student computers in my room and I created personalized backgrounds for Open House yesterday.  I number my computers so now I just have it right on the computer and each with a different color.  They are so cute!!  :)

I want to share a couple back to school freebies with you.  This first one isn't mine, but my kiddos loved it!  Kathy over at First Grade a la Carte shared a couple of these puzzles a few weeks ago.  Click the link *here* to go to her blog to download it.  She also came out with a whole pack of puzzles if you want to purchase more!  The kiddos cut out the capital letters and then matched them to the lower case letters....really tells you a lot about what they know on the first day of school.  

We also read The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing and used my Night Before First Grade- Back to School Pack.  

One of the activities we did was First Grade Worries.  We discussed what we were nervous about and how/why we weren't nervous anymore.  This little girl was nervous about getting her clip moved down, but realized that if she followed the rules she wouldn't get her clip moved!  :)  

I love her drawing of my curly hair...looks just like me!  And my color 'wheel' is actually a guitar so her picture is very accurate!!  Sorry it's sideways, but it was so cute I had to share!  If you click *here* you can download this page for free.  

It is going to take me awhile to get used to getting up so early again.  I am so tired I hope this post makes sense!!  :)  

Night!  Have a great week!  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I'm on Facebook and B2S Sale!!

I am almost always late to every party.  I try to keep up, but being on time just isn't in my genes.  

I should have done this forever ago, but I am finally on FACEBOOK!!  :)  You can click here to go my Fan Page

I have mentioned before that I send out postcards each year to my kiddos and I posted a picture of them yesterday on my Facebook page.  Of course my picture is lopsided, but you can still see them.  I have a Rock Star theme again this year so I thought my postcards were so cute!  

This is one party I will not be late for: Teachers Pay Teachers is having their huge B2S sale on Sunday and Monday!!

My store along with many others will be 20% off and then don't forget to type in the code: BTS13 for another 8% off for a total of 28% off!  

I will be stocking up on a few back to school goodies and some fall goodies to get through the next few months!  

Some of my best sellers that I will be using are:

My kiddos love mailing their Flat First Graders to family and friends across the country!! 

We also have a lot of fun with this pack learning about trade with a book trade and having a Career Day.

This pack will help me get through the first few weeks of school for sure!!  

This pack was a huge hit with my kiddos last year!  You can use these free rewards however you want.  I used them with Class Dojo and my kiddos were so into them all year long!  

I'm off to do a few more things in my classroom before my new little friends come next week.  I will also be doing some serious shopping tonight and emptying my cart tomorrow!!   

Have a great weekend!  :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Meet and Greet Gift Tag Freebie

Our school has a Parent/Teacher Meet and Greet the day before school begins so that our kiddos get a chance to see their classrooms, meet their teachers, and bring in their school supplies if they want to.  

It's really nice being able to meet parents and family members before the kiddos come on their own.  Sometimes first graders 'think' they know how they are getting home until 3:00 rolls around and they suddenly don't remember if they are going to ride the bus, walk, or get picked up in mom's car!  :)

I try to spend at least a few minutes with each family to answer any questions, reassure my new kiddos that first grade is really going to be awesome, and ask a few questions myself.  

I also like to give my kiddos a little treat so that they feel more comfortable in their new classroom and look forward to coming back!  I have a Rock Star theme (and polka dots too) so I created these little tags below:

These tags can definitely be used with any theme though!!  

You can download them for free in my TpT store or my TN shop by clicking on the links!

I put a hole punch in the corner and then attach a glow stick.  I did this last year and my kiddos LOVED it!  

I have one for the girls and one for the boys.  I have these tags all ready to go.  I wait and attach the glow sticks right before the kiddos come in so they last longer.  

And you can get the glow sticks at the Dollar Store!!  I bought packages of 7 for $1 which I thought was a great deal.  

I love using these for Meet and Greet, but they could easily be used anytime throughout the year.  

Hope you enjoy them!  :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

August Currently...Late to the Party!

As usual, I'm late to the party!  I'm linking up with Farley for her August Currently.  If you have never linked up, I suggest you click here and go link up!!  

We LOVE our new 3-D TV!  It is soooo cool!  I also love our new furniture!  We have done some remodeling on our new house this summer.  We still have lots to do, but I need a break!!  I love what we have done so far including a cute and fun chalkboard wall.  :)

With school starting in just a couple weeks, I really NEED/WANT/HAVE to get my classroom ready!  I'm totally starting to stress about it!  

I do have to get my annual back to school pedicure though!  

I need to get some new ink cartridges too.  I have soooo many things to print, laminate, and cut out!  

My Back to School must haves are highlighters, postcards, and treats: 

Highlighters- I use them for just about everything.  I grade with them, help kiddos with writing and math, and I use them to write on papers that I put under my document camera.  It shows up so much better than pencil for my kiddos in the back of the room.  

Postcards- I always send postcards to my kiddos the weekend before school starts.  I like saying hello to my kiddos and their families so it's become a tradition!

Treats- I also put out treats for my kiddos on the first day of school.  It's just a few back to school things they might need.  I give them a treat on the first day and the last day.  That has also become a tradition.  :)

Well, I'm off to finish laminating and then getting to bed.  I have some errands to run tomorrow and then I'm going to be spending the next two weeks living in my classroom!!  :)