Tuesday, June 28, 2011
My blog has been nominated for the Really Good Stuff Classroom Blog Contest in the K-4 Blogs category. Voting begins on July 1st so if you get the chance, head over to their site and vote for Bishop's Blackboard: A First Grade Blog!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
When I first started teaching I knew I wanted the students to have a comfortable place to relax and read. The problem, as with most new teachers, is there is so much I wanted and needed to buy for my class that I could not afford to buy anything fancy. But, I came up with a solution that has worked just as well. In the former school I worked in, two of the teachers had taken an old gymnastics mat, folded it up, and covered it in a sheet to create a "couch" of sorts. With that idea in mind, I bought a cheap infant crib mattress and covered it in a primary colored polka-dot sheet with the matching pillows from Target. For the back of the "couch" I used a long body pillow also from Target. As an added bonus, the "couch" is super easy to clean - throw the sheets and pillows in the washer and the crib mattress is bleachable. The colors of the "couch" match perfectly to my favorite library boxes that I purchased from Steps to Literacy. I love the boxes because I can sort the library books by theme and into fiction and non-fiction categories. It helps teach the students responsibility and organization skills as they are responsible for ensuring the books go back to the right box. Because the boxes are labeled, they also add to the print-rich environment I mentioned in my post about shoeboxes and labeling everything.
Since one of my favorite hobbies is reading and I consider myself a "book lover," I wanted to share this great article from http://www.parents.com/ about How to Raise a Book Lover. I still remember my parents taking my sister and me to the bookstore on a regular basis when we were kids to buy our favorite book series. For my older sister, it was The Baby-sitters Club. For me, being the little sister, it was The Baby-sitters Little Sister. I am pretty sure I still have those books at my parents' house somewhere.
If you've ever been in my classroom or seen pictures of it, you know I like to keep things organized. One of the easiest ways to keep a classroom organized is by storing things in plastic shoeboxes. Mostly I use the shoeboxes for math manipulatives but I also use them to store indoor recess games, magnetic letters, markers, etc. I have a box for everything - I even have a box of "party supplies." As a teammate of mine said, only I would have a party supply box but it does come in handy when a well-meaning parent brings a birthday cake at the end of the day for their child but forgets to bring something to cut it with or serve it on...we've all been there, right? A key to keeping things organized is labeling. I label everything...no, really...I label everything. I tend to use Avery Full Sheet labels because I can create any size that I need. Although I use clear boxes and the labeling isn't necessary for me to find things, labeling creates a print-rich environment for the students. Not only can the students see the objects, they see the matching word and soon the words become a part of their sight-word memory. It also creates a great word bank for the students to use when they are writing.
This is a little late as I've been enjoying my summer vacation, but here is a slideshow of the students harvesting their potato and onion garden. They worked very hard throughout the school year to plant, water, and measure their plants and it was great to see them dig up the end product of all of their hard work. The goods of their garden were donated to the local food bank.
|This picture slideshow made with Smilebox|
Friday, June 3, 2011
My favorite thing about first grade is.... MY STUDENTS! This year has been an amazing year and the students have been exceptionally good. I am blessed to have been a part of their lives. This is a podcast of the students' favorite things about first grade.
To celebrate all of the accomplishments the students have made in reading over this school year, the students performed various Reader's Theaters for their family and friends. This is a podcast of their performance of "The End."
To celebrate all of the accomplishments the students have made in reading over this school year, the students performed various Reader's Theaters for their family and friends. This is a podcast of their performance of "Jack and Jill."
To celebrate all of the accomplishments the students have made in reading over this school year, the students performed various Reader's Theaters for their family and friends. This is a podcast of their performance of "The Three Little Pigs."