After teaching first grade for six years, I have decided to switch gears! Starting this year, I will be teaching Elementary Art at the same school, Moseley Elementary in Grand Prairie. I am very excited about this change but know that I have a lot of learning and work ahead of me. With this change, several people have asked me what I am going to do with this blog. I am still undecided at this point for the future of the blog as far as art is concerned. I am wrapping my brain around the logistics of getting permission to display student created art online for a school of over 600 students. But, at this point, I will continue sharing various ideas for Elementary Education as a whole. I will share ideas I've stumbled upon from other sites, creations I have made for Teachers Pay Teachers, and more. You can also follow me on Pinterest here. I will continue to have boards for first grade as well as new boards for various art topics.
We all know that anchor charts are a huge part of a classroom. I believe that they should be separated by content. To add a little bit of color above the bulletin boards, I created these Content Board and Grade Level Banners and added them to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. The banners can be pieced together on ribbon for display. The sets include triangle pieces to assemble the following words: Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, Word Wall Daily Five, CAFE, Art. P.E., Physical Education, Music, Computers, Library, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth. These designs match my Word Wall Headers.
I created a set of handwriting sheets for all of Fry's Instant Word Lists and added them to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. These words are the most frequent words in the English language and this set is great for repeated practice of those words. The more the students see the words, the more likely they are to remember them. The sets can be copied for one time use or laminated for repeated use with Dry Erase markers in centers or as a part of Daily 5.
The sets can be downloaded individually to meet your specific grade level needs:
I created several sets of Bingo games for Fry's Instant Words and uploaded them to my TpT store. There are four sets of Bingo boards in each pack – one for each list in the first set of 100 words and then the second set of 100 words. Each set contains six boards. The games are meant to be utilized during small group lessons such as guided reading and tutoring.
I recently uploaded a few files to my TpT store that I have used the last few years for classroom management.
The first is a set of classroom helper cards to use when assigning classroom jobs. I display mine in a small pocket chart with student names next to each job. I rotate the names each week.
The next is a set of guided reading group signs. These signs are for grouping students for guided reading. I put Velcro tabs next to each sign and each student had a Velcroed name tag. The name tags could be moved from group to group quickly as their levels changed. I also used the grouping signs on the guided reading book baskets. Using colors for the guided reading groups kept the students from knowing which groups were high, medium, or low.
The last set is a set of cards I used for early finishers. These finished assignment cards are suggested tasks for students to complete when they finish work early. They are in card format to go in a pocket chart so that the teacher can use some or all to differentiate.
Our school has a tradition of having a 5th Grade Walk at the end of the last day of school. All of the students line the hallways to cheer for the 5th graders as they leave the school for the last time. Here are some pictures of the first graders as they waited for the 5th graders and for the bell to ring at the end of their first grade year.
First Graders wrote letters to Kindergarten last week to tell them what to expect next year. They wrote about their favorite lessons, activities, and more. They then visited Mrs. Huggin's Kindergarten class to read their letters and answer questions. It was a great opportunity for them to be leaders and role models. It was also a great opportunity for them to work on public speaking.
The students competed in against "houses" in a spelling bee. Mrs. Guzman called out a word to the first person in the line and if they spelled it correctly, they stayed in the competition. If they did not, they become a part of the audience to cheer their house on. The house that had the most members still standing at the end, won! It was awesome to see how seriously they took spelling their words.
First grade decided to make ice cream in a bag as a special treat. Using half and half cream, sugar, and vanilla in one bag, with rock salt and ice in another bag around it, they shook their bags until the ice cream formed. They then enjoyed their homemade snack!
Using various templates, the students traced cartoon heads, faces, bodies, and accessories to create their own cartoon characters. This was just a fun mini lesson to let them draw and work on their fine motor tracing skills when they had completed other work early.
Grand Prairie Public Library's Summer Reading Challenge kicks off this Saturday, June 7th. One of the librarians visited our school a few weeks ago to share information and to encourage the students to keep reading over the summer. The library has many fun events planned throughout the summer. You can check out the details on their website.
We Give Books, a resource we use in class all the time, has a free reading program this summer. According to their site, they will highlight one book per week, based on your child's age group, for you and your child to read from their online book selection. They have partnered with ReadWriteThink to also provide interactive lessons to go along with the books. We Give Books is free to join. I love We Give Books because for every book that is read on their site, they give a real book to a charity that focuses on bringing literacy to those who would not have it otherwise.
As summer approaches, so does the dreaded "summer slide!" Here is a great article from Reading is Fundamental about the "summer slide" and ways to avoid it. They also have an article about what families can do to keep their kids reading during the summer.
The students have made great progress this year in reading. To show of their reading, each first grade class learned one Readers' Theater to perform for their families and peers. Then, the entire first grade performed one Readers' Theater together with their teachers and families joining in.
I just completed my sixth year teaching First Grade at Moseley Elementary in Grand Prairie, TX. This coming year I will begin teaching Elementary Art at the same school. I use Bishop's Blackboard to share ideas from my classroom and other sources.