Thursday, September 29, 2011

MAP Test Resources

At my school we have all our students take the Measures of Academic Progress at the beginning, middle, and end of the year in reading and math.  As I was browsing through Pinterest today, I found two wonderful sites from South Washington County Schools in Minnesota:  MAP Reading and MAP Math.  Each site has resources divided into RIT score categories.  LOVE IT!  We are still taking our beginning of the year tests (technical difficulties with the server, ugh!).  When we finish, I am taking the teachers to this site as a resource for differentiation.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fabulous Fall Giveaway

Crazy for First Grade is having a Fabulous Fall Giveaway (Office Max gift card and items from her Teachers Pay Teachers store).  Click on her button, enter her giveaway, and check out her super fabulous blog.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Change...From Middle to Elementary School

My position in my school this year has taken me from working with 4th-7th graders to working with PK-3rd graders.  For me, it is a drastic change!  However, I am loving working with my first group of students - first graders.  They are so excited about everything we do.  Hands raise to answer questions I haven't even finished asking.  Hands raise to answer questions even if the lovely student doesn't know the answer.  I get hugs and waves hello when they see me in the hallway.

I have been working with the first graders for two weeks (off and on) now.  We began the year with learning the expectations and rituals/routines for my class.  I found this wonderful set of activities at Growing Kinders: The Day a Monster Came to School. 

I used the story provided to help my students discuss what makes a successful classroom.  We talked about Above the Line, Below the Line, and Bottom Line behavior.  Above the Line behavior helps you learn while Below the Line behavior interprets the learning process.  Bottom Line behavior gets a student sent to the principal (or in my case, Dean of Students) instantly.  Kathleen provided an excellent sorting activity, which we completed every day for the first week.

After the sorting activity, we drew pictures about what making good choices looks like in school.  I grouped the pictures by the choices:  helping others, raising our hands, cleaning up, playing nice, etc.  I hung up the pictures, so we could reference them as needed.

Then we created a list of Classroom Expectations together.  Here is what my class decided:

The next activity from the packet helped students discuss what makes a good listener.  We read a story by Kathleen Pederson (Growing Kinders) about how you can listen with different body parts.  The first line I read said:  "A monster can listen with eyes.  Can you?"  The whole immediately responded with, "NO!"  Then I read, "Yes! I look at the speaker when I am listening."  The students loved it!  They listened intently each time I read about listening with a different body part to see how it was done.  Then we drew pictures about how you can be a good listener, which I displayed also.

The next day, we created an Active Listening chart to review how good listeners act.  I created the base and then with the students we filled it in.

To make sure that tattling did not become a problem, I created a Tattle Monster.  I found the idea on Pinterest, which lead me to Giggles Galore.  She found the idea at A Day with Lil Mama Stuart.  Giggles Galore painted her tissue box with spray paint.  I didn't have spray paint at school, so I used pink duck tape.  I talked about introducing the Tattle Monster all week, and Friday they were so excited to finally meet the Tattle Monster.  He has a special corner in the room where the directions of how to use the tattle monster are posted along with strips of paper to write the tattle on so he can be fed.

It was a very successful first week with the first grade and I couldn't have done it without the help of my blogging community!

Note:  All pictures taken with my iPhone so sorry about the quality!


Sunday, September 11, 2011