Loading...

Follow Rowdy in First Grade on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
When I was first starting teaching I would hear from older teachers to just spend the first two weeks of school working on procedures and expectations. The assumption was that at the end of those two weeks you had sufficiently drilled your students with those procedures and expectations and that everything would fall into place.

It used to be common knowledge that it took 21 days to form a habit but that was based on a surgeons observations from the 1950s and further research shows that to be incorrect.


New research shows that it actually takes about 66 days to form a new habit. Some people take a little longer and others are able to form those habits a bit sooner but for most the average is 66 days. That comes out to 13 weeks in school before those new habits are formed. All those expectations you were hoping your students would grasp in those first few weeks will take much longer. 


Change your mindset
I put into my mind every year that it would take the first nine weeks of school to really get my students into the groove. I also decided I don't want my kids to just behave. My goal is for them to be able to run the classroom. If my students know the expectations and the schedule for the day then there is less anxiety. If my students know exactly what they should be doing and working on next then I don't have to worry. Even your youngest students will love taking ownership of their day.

I found that after 9 weeks of working hard as a TEAM and using gentle reminders for what activity comes next, what happens later in the day, etc. that my classroom had very few behavioral issues. If a problem arose I would ASK my students what we could do to solve the problem. When they were able to be part of finding the solution it made all the difference!

The rest of the school year we were able to focus on learning and doing fun things because we'd already put in the work to create a well-oiled machine in our classroom. Substitutes loved subbing in my classroom because my students knew exactly what the expectations were regardless of whether I was there or not.

It's just mid-September so you're only a few weeks into your school year! Keep up the great work!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
It's late Wednesday and I'm sitting here a little nervous for tomorrow morning.


My dear friend Lindsay from Primary Polka Dots and I are hosting three Facebook Live Hops to share reading and writing strategies for your upcoming school year! I'm so excited about this collaboration. Lindsay is pretty amazing when it comes to close reading and you'll want to hear what she has to say!

All three sessions will have different information and since they are videos if you aren't able to watch them live you can watch them later in the day!

See you tomorrow!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Rowdy in First Grade by Jennifer - 9M ago
Hello teacher friends!

Many of you know that two years ago my husband got a job in Seattle and we moved from Texas to Washington. I've been staying at home with my daughter since then and while I'm very attached to the Rowdy in First Grade name, it just doesn't accurately describe my current situation.

Years ago when I started my blog I started it because I wanted to share my ideas and things that worked for me in my first grade classroom. First grade is still my absolute favorite grade, but when I go back into the classroom I want my blog to reflect ideas I have for several grades and not just first grade. 


I have gone back and forth about changing my name for months and months. I searched and searched for clever names and anything I came up with just wasn't me or was already taken. I finally settled on Teaching with Jennifer. 

I hope you will continue to follow me. I have many great ideas and I'm ready to share! Over the next couple of weeks I will continue to make some minor changes to my blog design to help you navigate the information I have. Until then...

Enjoy your holiday weekend!


Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Hey, teacher friends!

I've been using skills I've learned from this FABULOUS course and I can't say enough about it!  I'm using to take amazing photos, videos, and graphic designs with just my iPhone. It's one of my goals to increase sales through better marketing and I needed some serious help!



This membership has been a game-changer for my social media presence and my business. It's self-paced, gives you lifetime access, and I take it right from my phone whenever I have a free moment.

If you're interested, make sure you sign up by Nov. 17th and use promo code SPMS20OFF to save $20 -http://bit.ly/2ejvOQy

You'll get instant, lifetime access to easy-to-follow lessons on:
* product photography
* graphic design
* sales graphic creation
* lighting and setup
* script writing
* video production & editing
* iPhone productivity
* & all of it from your iPhone - learn on the go!

You'll also get access to a private Facebook group that yours truly is in, learning all the latest tips on iPhone visual marketing.
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Oh teacher friends, my heart is heavy with worry. I know your is too. Regardless of who you may have voted for you likely have students of different religions, race, or students whose parents may be part of our LGBT community. They fear they may have to leave the country, even though their parents are here legally. They fear too many people hate them because of their skin color. They fear people will attack them or their families because of their religion. They fear their parents legal marriage will somehow be dissolved and they will no longer be a family according to the law. These fears are real. I cannot imagine what they feel like. I cannot understand the hate I have seen either. It makes my heart ache.

I tell you, teacher friends, NOW is the most important time to be a teacher. Our job is already incredibly difficult, I know. It's especially hard when we hear politicians and legislators, who know nothing about what we ACTUALLY do,  belittle our hardwork and efforts. This stings more when already we are making up for extreme budget cuts with our small salaries by spending big parts of our paychecks on our kids. But, I feel, in this uncertain time one of the best things we can do is model kindness and understanding. That happens to be a skill that teachers specialize in! It comes easily to us! It's part of why we followed the calling to become a teacher (because that's what it is- a calling!). We LOVE our kids. We invest in our students success with our whole heart. We want them to succeed and we want them to be leaders. We want them to treat others well and with kindness. We want them to be team players and we want them to include those students who may be different from them in some way.

On Monday, if you don't already do it, greet every student at your door. Every single one. Smile, "I'm SO glad you are here today!" Give hugs freely. Hug your former students as they make their way to class. When you see a colleague do something you know was outside their comfort zone give them praise in front of their class and yours! Smile at your staff members as you pass them in the hallway. At the end of the day hug or high five your students as they leave your classroom and head for the bus. Tell them they are IMPORTANT. Find more activities that require your students to work as a team. Thank them for their hard work. Tell them on Monday how much you missed them. Because not only are they our future...but among them are future leaders of this country.



We have the opportunity and privilege to be a person that makes a profound impact on how they feel about others and especially how they feel about themselves! XO
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using my links.
Making lists seems like such a simple task doesn't it?  I'm at a point in my life where 1) I can't remember stuff and 2) I get great satisfaction from crossing off something on my to-do list. When I started creating my writing journals I wanted my students to be a part of the process of creating examples to refer back to. One of the first items we work on is creating lists. Why work on something that is seemingly so simple? Lists are the basis of all of our planning and pre-writing!

Making lists piece in interactive portion of writing journal. 

Young writers need lots of practice writing lists and thinking of ideas quickly. It's hard when you're a first grader to get your ideas onto your paper and to do it quickly. The first example students put into their writing journals is a list. (I also created a few other lists for them to add into their journal. These could be placed into their journals behind my original list or be placed in your writing center as a quick option for them.) I want them to be able to think of simple ideas like farm animals and be able to write a list for them. Then we can practice how to make sentences from our list.

One fun way to practice making lists is with this list making SCOOT activity. Of course you could laminate these lists and allow students to write on them with dry erase markers so that you get several years of use out of them. I copied mine onto Astrobrights Card Stock. Astrobrights also has a double color cardstock, but it's very hard for me to find. I did find this brand. I like that with double color I can make my cardstock go a bit further so all of my activities have different colors.




Split your class into groups of four or five students. Each student gets their own list. It may help to print them on different colors. Students write one item on their list. Then SCOOT to the next list in the group and try to list something not already written. You only have four or five students in each group so the SCOOT game goes pretty quickly. Come back together as a whole class to begin comparing lists. If you have space in your room post all your lists up. This is a great tool for your ESL, ELL, and low readers. It's ok for them to copy the lists into their journals. They are still practicing writing!

Lists Freebie. Click on the picture above to download.


This would also be a great small group activity! Many students do better verbalizing what they want on their list before they write it down. Pair up students and have them orally lists items for their list before writing it down. Two heads are better than one, right? So even your shy kiddos will feel successful.

*If you teach an older group of students you could do the same activity but ask students to make lists on medium sized Post It Super Sticky 4x6 Notes. The Miami color combo is so pretty! Your students can stick their notes right into their journals!


When I first start literacy station rotations and journal writing is a station I may tell me students to write a list this time. They have an example to refer back to and this helps them practice using their journal as a tool. We want our students to know exactly where to get the information they need!


Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Several years ago I decided that I wanted to incorporate and element of poetry to help my students.  I knew that the rhythm and rhyme of poetry was especially helpful to young readers when it came to improving fluency. But I struggled to find something that fit into our day as well as our nine week plans. I sat down to create something that would be useful for me and my whole team and fell in love with the results.

I wanted to create short poems that could be funny. Something that students would want to come back to read again. I also wanted a product that I could incorporate into small group instruction as well as reading stations/centers. The end result is three sets of activities for each poem. One poem for every week. 

We started each week with gluing our poems into our poetry notebooks. I asked students to circle the title. My students would pick a crayon and I would ask them to find words with _____. This depended 1) on the poem and words in it and 2) what skills my kids needed extra practice on. Sometimes we would highlight or underline short vowel words, long vowel words, single syllable, two syllable words. It's easy to differentiate here. For example, some students could be looking for the sight words the and for. Super simple.

I read the poem to the whole class. As the year goes on many students join in and read with me. Once the reading is finished students draw a picture to match the poem on the other side of the journal like you see below. I am really happy with this fine motor skill practice. It's another reference to use if you have concerns about fine motor skills as well.



During the week I have our poem written on large butcher paper and hanging up on a tall pocket chart....er, clothing rack because it's cheaper. Students read the poem together with a partner during station rotations and fill in the missing words. The extra practice with sight words and sounding out words that aren't familiar is much easier with a partner. My kids always felt so proud.

(Truth: I DO actually have pictures of this station in action....WHERE ARE THEY?! I've searched in Dropbox and my old computer. No clue. Maybe they'll appear after I publish this post! HA)

The last activity asks students to search for sight words and answer comprehension questions about the poem. I did this activity in small group. It was a great way to gauge where each student was at and it was another opportunity to hear them read. This was also a very simple way to get students to go back to look for information in what they have read. 

Fast forward to December and January. You know those reluctant readers you have? In December and January they suddenly "get" reading and become very excited about what they read. Many of my students would bring their poetry journals to their read to self stations to practice their reading. I also have the You Read to Me, I'll Read to You books and my students would sometime pair up to share reading the poem in that same style. 

I saw incredible progress throughout the year, but mostly I saw that my kiddos loved reading. Poetry is short so it helps those struggling and reluctant readers feel successful!

I have my entire poetry bundle on sale today during the TPT bonus day sale!





Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Hello fellow teachers! This summer I had the opportunity to attend a day of iPadpalooza and I cannot wait to share some of what I learned! If you aren't familiar with iPadpalooza it's an absolutely incredible conference bringing technology, innovative ideas, and teachers together. Everything is so well done and so organized--it's a teachers dream. Every year there are amazing keynote speakers, classes, challenges, etc. You are literally buzzing with excitement thinking about how you can use all these great ideas in your classroom!



Some of the most exciting information for me this year was on using Twitter in the classroom!
Why use Twitter?

500 Million Tweets are sent every day- that's 6,000 tweets per second!


There are 66 Million Twitter users in the United States!

Twitter is EVERYWHERE. It's easy to access on any device and takes very little time to set up an account. Many of our older students already have Twitter accounts, so why not get them interested in what we are teaching by using Twitter? Creating and sending a tweet takes less than thirty seconds and the benefits can be amazing!

1. IMPROVE YOUR CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT
One speaker, George Curous (@gcouros), talked a bit about how Twitter could change the culture of your school. He asked: What if each teacher on your campus tweeted about something they did in their classroom every day and we all took the time to read and respond to the their tweets? I would love to know about the projects and new ideas other teachers on my campus had. Can you imagine how great it would be to be able to encourage and high five other teachers in grades far above or below you. Wouldn't we all be willing to take more risks in our classroom if we knew we had encouragement from others?

2. INTRODUCE YOURSELF
 I listened to Don Goble speak as well (@dgoble2001). He asked us to record a quick 30 seconds about ourselves to post to Twitter. When we tried this I immediately began to imagine parents looking up their teacher's intro on Twitter under their school hashtag. What an instant anxiety reliever for some of our kids!

3. USE AS A FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT TOOL
 Older students with their own Twitter account could post to your hashtag. Of course most younger students don't have their own Twitter account, but that's ok. I've thought a bit about this. In my classroom my students had a number order. We lined up by odd or even numbers, found even number partners, or odd number partners, etc. To post to Twitter students could hold up a self portrait with their number, or simply their number, and record keeping their identity private. Your district may already have a permission form for the use of Twitter and other social media. Be sure to speak with your administration to make sure you have all your bases covered!

4. TWITTER CHATS
 How great would it be to have a Twitter chat with parents to gauge their comfort level with a new type of technology? Or have a chat about a book chapter or new app you introduced in your classroom? Parents could help tweet their child's answers to questions about a science experiment. I can't help but think a Twitter chat could be a great tool to connect with students on bad weather days too. Hold a chat with the fellow teachers in your district. It's a great way to collaborate and find out what other teachers are working on and new tools they have discovered.

5. LEAVE A TEASER
How many times do we hear that our students don't or won't tell their parents anything about the school day? What if we gave them a little tool? For example, if you had been working on a STEM activity you could send a picture like this with the text: "Hmmm...what were we working on today?" You could send a teaser like this out to your students to get them guessing about what they will be learning the next day too.


Of course the ideas for Twitter in the classroom are endless, but those above are just a few simple ways to begin using Twitter. Twitter has a tips page for educators that you can access here.


Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Two years ago in December break I started exploring the Whole Brain Teaching website. I was so excited to try some of the techniques! I also wanted to see how much my kiddos would remember after being on winter break. The first thing I wanted to try was Class Yes.

If you have watched some of the WBT videos you see there are some different styles. I'm a naturally sort of loud speaker, but I've worked really hard to speak more softly in class. Why? I have a teacher friend who has a very soft voice and her entire class of preschoolers always talks softly too! I love it! 4 year olds having control over the volume of their voice without even knowing it. So when I started "Class Yes" I didn't say it super duper loud. Don't get me wrong- sometimes we were in the middle of a really engaging activity and our class noise level was pretty high so I would have to be louder with my class yes. But most of the time I was pretty soft and sometimes I even whispered. 

How did it work? 
SO STINKIN BRILLIANTLY!
I say "Class Class!"
They say "Yes Yes!"
And your kids say it in the very same way you did. So if I whispered "Class Class" I would hear a "Yes Yes!" back in a whisper.

I jazzed it up all the time too with a "Yee-haw Class!" {Yee-haw Yes!}, "Woot woot Class!" {Woot Woot Yes!} The kiddos even came up with a few. 

This is an incredible tool! It works in a fire drill that happens in the middle of recess. For real. The MIDDLE OF RECESS and I shouted "Class class!" The other first grade teacher weren't doing Class Yes or any WBT at this point (at least I don't remember them doing it yet). But just my kids shouting back was enough to get the attention of the whole playground.


Oh I love this one! This looks phenomenal when administration sees it too. I used this when my kids were deep in discussion or thought and I needed to show them an important next step in our work.
Teacher "Hands hands hands and eyes" and then I clasp my hands together.
Kiddos repeat and put their eyes on you and hands together.

Sometimes, especially if we were doing an interactive notebook activity, I would have a few students still engrossed what they were doing. We had to try it again. But you know what, that's OK! Once I had their attention I knew I really had their eyes on me and we were able to move on to the next step. My students quickly learned that me asking for hands and eyes meant they should give me their attention or they would miss out on something important.

I mentioned above that I started WBT before winter break. After winter break my students didn't miss a beat! They remembered everything and honestly I think the familiarity of the routine was a relief to them.

I strongly encourage you to try a little of WBT in your class to see what you think. You'll be amazed!



Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Welcome back to school, teacher friends! The summer sure flew by! Not nearly enough time was spent wearing flip flops in the sunshine and wondering what day of the week it was! 

At the start of the school year those first couple of weeks are packed full of routine practice. We plan out the whole day and some activities take WAAAAY longer than we planned because we had to redirect a few friends and come back to the carpet for a chat. Other activities we find go so smoothly that we are rushing to our pile of back to school books looking for what we would like to read next. Sometimes we just need something for our kids to do that takes 5-10 minutes. 
I have your solution! 
I created a Photo a Day pack for you classroom. Have you participated in one of those on Instagram? They are so fun and easy and it's a great way to connect with new people. 


How can you use this in your classroom?

*students can create a photo album- something to show off at Open House and get your students talking about their classroom and school.
*graphing what students choose to draw- ex: Who drew shoes with laces? Who drew shoes without laces?
*as a writing tool- even your most reluctant writers will be able to create a sentence about their photo.
*Collaboration! Create a class or group poster. If your students sit in groups they may enjoy making a group poster or even big group photo album. 

*Many students are unsure of themselves at the start of the year, but everyone can draw a little something. Drawing helps to improve those fine motor skills. Your ELL sweeties will get extra vocabulary practice as well. My group of students last year loved to talk about what they were writing or drawing and we talked a lot about how we can use what we say in our writing. 

I left several of the prompts very broad, for example, "In PE." This could wind up being a rule, a game, a friend, a teacher, a basketball, etc. Some of your kids might surprise you with what they choose!

You can grab this pack on TPT right now!! Have an amazing week at school!! XO


Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview