Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back to School Shopping Finds

Back to school shopping for new school supplies is not only a ritual for students but also for teachers.

 New school supply shopping is truly a summer ritual for most teachers.

I ran into Walmart® to pick up a couple of items one morning. As I passed the aisles, I noticed that the school supplies were just being placed on the shelves. Such luck!

I was completely excited!

I immediately went to hunt down a cart. Part of my excitement was the assortment of colors and new items that I saw. Another teacher was already in the aisle {of course} filling her cart. We helped each other find what was new and the "sale" items. Such fun!

Several people walked by and asked if I was a teacher. {It was a bit obvious, as I loaded up the cart.} Another shopper came and started filling up her cart. I asked her if she was a teacher. She said she was purchasing the items as gifts for her children's teachers. How sweet! Lucky teachers.

And then, the counting began. I will most likely have at least 30 students in my class, so I bought at least 35 of whatever I bought. I loved that they had lots of colors of everything from which to choose. {Checking out was a chore. The cashier had to recount everything.}

This is what I purchased:

Composition books. Love the chevron and polka dot cover designs.

Pinks and reds, too. 

I'll use the books mid-year for writing journals. The firsties get so excited to choose a book for their writing. The books are a real motivator. I find that the children want to write more when they get to use the "special" composition books.

Small composition books. Hard-covered.

Bright, shiny covers.

I'll place these at our writing center. These will be class composition books. Ready for stories, poems, lists, jokes, riddles, rhymes, and drawings. 

Notebooks. A bargain. 17¢ each.

I think I'll use these for poetry notebooks.

Two kinds of pocket folders.

The yellow pocket folders will house homework. I'll use the orange folders for guided writing folders. 

Color puzzles. 

Blue color puzzle. 24 pieces. 8 1/2 x 11.

I use floor puzzles and table top puzzles at the beginning of the school year. They are great for spatial relationships and hand-eye coordination. I found these in the dollar bins. Each puzzle has objects of a specific color. I thought I'd use them with color activities. They are the perfect size to put at a thematic center. They are small enough to be put together at a student desk, too. Great partner activity.

Now, I need to "cutesify" everything. Stay tuned for pictures of folder covers and labels and some freebies, too.

I'm linking up with Jayne at Smart Kids for Super School Shopping Saturday. Click on the picture below to see more back to school shopping finds.

Happy school supply shopping. I'd love to hear about some of your favorite finds.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Behavior Charts for Throwback Thursday

I am linking with Cara at the First Grade Parade for Throwback Thursday.

But, with jury duty and an evening class on Thursday, I'm linking a bit late. Early Friday.

Back to school is about a month away. I begin to think about all the classroom management ideas I'll put into place. 

I tried something new last year. Students took home a behavior chart each Friday. It was one way I communicated to parents how their children were doing in class. The parents especially appreciated it.

I wanted to keep it simple and easy. At the end of each day, I would use a colored marker to highlight the color each child had to turn his or her card to on the class behavior chart. It was recorded on my weekly attendance sheet. If a child stayed on green, I would not highlight the box by his or her name. It was an efficient way to keep a record of student behavior.
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I have a behavior chart that I use daily in my classroom.

Lakeshore® Behavior Management Pocket Chart

Each student has his or her name on the chart. Everyone starts out on green each day. 

Green is good behavior.
Yellow is a warning.
Orange is a consequence {usually lose 5 minutes at the beginning of recess}.
Red is action taken {a call home to parents}.

I keep track of the students' behavior on my attendance sheet grid. I highlight {with yellow, orange, or red} any students who have had to turn their cards over to a different color. It's an easy way to quickly mark students' behavior progress at the end of each day.

I also want parents to be informed of their child's progress. I have been using this form to tally student progress.

I tally the number of times students' cards move to a specific color. I comment on any specific behavior I want to inform the parents about on the lines at the bottom of the chart. The box at the top right hand corner is for a student number. All my students have numbers to help with management. I can quickly tell if I have completed a form for each student. These forms go home at the end of the day each Friday.

I'm starting to use a similar chart that students fill out themselves. This idea came from a parent of one of my students who is also a teacher.

The students complete this chart themselves. They keep the charts at their desks and color in the color of their card at the end of each day. I like this form, because the students take responsibility for completing their own charts. 

All the parents of students in my classroom know that the forms go home on Fridays. I don't require parent signatures, unless I set up a special contract with specific students to have the forms signed and returned.

You can download the Weekly Behavior Charts HERE.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday

Today I'm linking with Cara Carroll at the First Grade Parade for Favorite Pins Friday.
I'm thinking "back to school" right now {only a month away}, and I know many of you are, too. So I thought I'd share some of my favorite pins for the beginning of the school year.

Back to School Favorite Pins

Back to school balloons by Monarch Madness is a first day of school activity that I'm going to try. First of all, I'm on the hunt for some polka dot balloons. Love those! If you look closely, each ballon has a name written on it. {A quick way for students to find where they sit on the first day of school.} And attached to each balloon is a first day treat for each child. These are sure to put smiles on anxious faces.
Who doesn't love Pete the Cat? Even Pete the Cat loves reading. A perfect poster for the reading center. Find it at the ALA store.

Isn't this clever? I just had to pin this. Such a cute idea from Eighteen 25.

What a wonderful idea from Once Upon a First Grade Adventure!  The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn, is such an ideal story for talking about first day back to school feelings - use heart in hand visual chart for recording those feelings.

Literature is such an important resource for teaching concepts. Amanda from One Extra Degree uses Prudy's Problem and How She Solved It, by Carey Armstrong-Ellis, to teach story structure - problem and solution. I'm adding it to my "Must Have Books" list.

The "David" books are always favorite reads throughout the year in my classroom. Mrs. Ayala from Mrs. Ayala's Kinderfun includes a directed drawing lesson with the book, David Goes to School, by David Shannon. I'm just fascinated by children's art. Craftivities are fun, but my favorites are the children's own drawings.

I thought I'd share one of my most popular pins. It's the book, Do Not Open This Book! by Joy Cowley. I use it at the beginning of the year to get children excited about reading and to teach making predictions. My original post about it is here.

"Kids come in all shapes and sizes" from Apex Art is a great way for students to depict acceptance of others' differences. I thought it would also make a great way for students to paint family pictures.

Click on Pinterest to follow my boards.

Happy Friday pinning everyone. You can see more favorite pins at First Grade Parade.