Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We're Rockin' in our School Shoes!

Every year I perseverate over my room decor, especially my bulletin board and door.  Since EVERYONE sees it, I feel like it has to be a message, adorable, kid-friendly, adult-pleasing, etc., etc., etc...Anyway, this year I decided to use the groovy cat that firsties love. And, this year we'll be rockin' in our school shoes right from the start!  Check out my newest creation.  ☺

The phrase: "We're Rockin' in our School Shoes" comes in 3 different choices of colors/glows.  Also included are editable sneakers so you can add student's names.  And, you can't forget the cool cat himself, a few images of him are also included to jazz up your display.  ☺

Leave me a comment if you'd like to win a copy.  I'll pick one winner Thursday night (8/14/14) after 11:00 PM EST. ☺

FREEBIES and Back 2 School Giveaway

Hello Dear Friends,

So, I know many of you have already taken the plunge into your first week or weeks of back to school.  Not me, I've still got some time to angst over classroom setup and worry about this year's crew!  Whether you're back in it full time, or enjoying your final days of summer vacay like me, you have to take a few minutes to check out this super cool blog hop giveaway.  It's sponsored by the Fabulous Sarah at The Fabulous First Grade.  You'll definitely want to stop by each of the blogs and check out their tips and freebies.  Make sure to visit Sarah's blog to enter the giveaway on the rafflecopter.  

My tip for back-to-school craziness time is to "over plan".  Especially in the primary classroom, plan for more than you think you'll need.  Mini activities are ideal for helping the kiddos to recover from the "summer slide".  I like to have several short activities planned that get the kiddos engaged right from the start.  Most of the activities I do are based on a picture book.  In my first grade classroom, the students sit at desks.  I do the majority of my whole group lessons and read alouds at the rug.  So in the first days I like to give students many opportunities to practice moving from their desk to the rug.  Giving them practice at pushing in their chair, walking to the rug, finding their spot on the rug (which I assign, since I'm very anal structured!), sitting criss-cross applesauce...etc., etc., etc...All of those rituals and routines that you want to become second nature.  

An example of a mini activity on the first day: I like to read Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes.  After reading Chrysanthemum, we discuss the story.  Again, giving students the opportunity to learn to raise their hand and WAIT to be called on. ☺ Then, I give students a strip of paper with boxes on it.  I instruct them to write their name on the paper, writing just one letter in each box (I model this with a name).  I send students back to their desk to write, and instruct them to return to their spot on the rug as soon as they finish.  (Of course this whole time I reinforce the routines of walking, retrieving a pencil from their desk, returning said pencil to their desk, pushing their chair back in, walking, finding their spot on the rug, sitting criss-cross applesauce, etc., etc., etc...☺ When all students have returned to the rug, I collect the papers one at a time and create a bar graph on chart paper, number of letters across the bottom and number of students along the side.  Ultimately excitement always grows as one number has more boxes shaded in (seems simple, I know, but they always wind up cheering for a certain number ?).  Of course there are about a million other activities you can use the book Chrysanthemum for as well.  But this is a good starting point.  You get to learn a lot about your kiddos on the first day with this activity.  ☺  Here's the sheet I use, one year I had a student with 14 letters in their name, I just had them squeeze add the last letter after the last box. (Of course there are 13 boxes for 13 letters, since Chrysanthemum has 13 letters, which is exactly as many letters as half the alphabet!)

A couple more back-to-school freebies for you before you start your blog hop ☺

Some star letters and numbers which you could use for MANY different things in your classroom: 

An easy back-to-school busy work page: 

A fun back-to-school glyph: 

A lining up rhyme:

An editable/printable helper/job chart:

Thank you for taking the time to check out my little back-to-school tips and freebies!  Be sure to check out this blog hop and enter the giveaway!






       grab button for First Grade is Fantabulous