My First "Back to School" Purchases for My New First Graders!

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Welcome! I hope to use this blog to share some of the amazing things my class and school does to make learning fun! I have been teaching for 15 years already! I started teaching 3rd grade in a Parochial School, then I was hired to teach 1st grade for three years, was moved to 5th grade for 2 years, and then came back to 1st grade in the district where I attended school. I love that I'm able to give back the the school district that guided me to become the teacher I am today! I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, certified 1-8; a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction; and my Administrator License Pre-K-12.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone in blog-land and beyond are having a wonderful break from school and enjoying time with their family and friends.  I kind of left my classroom on our last day of school in a bit of mess and also hauled a bunch of things home to work on.  I've been pretty good about working on a little bit of school work each day and I spent last night in my classroom organizing and getting ready to welcome my kiddos back to a "new" year.  I'm thinking I should probably go back one more full day to make sure everything is ready for a fresh start.

One of the stacks of books I brought home is from my Ginny Dowd collection.  She is the creator of "The Phonics Dance" and guru of phonics instruction and just all around awesome teacher.  My partner in crime and I discovered her at SDE's Conference for Ohio First Grade Teachers a few years ago.  We did a little healthy stalking...and were invited to see her in action in her own classroom...totally amazing teacher and great person!  If you haven't seen her in action, you really should take a peek.  She totally changed the way I teach my children and run my classroom.  I wish she had an interactive blog for all of us, but I don't think she's made that step yet.  I don't know her totally as a person, but from what I saw...she's one busy lady!  Here's the link to her website:
One of the millions of ideas I received from Ginny Dowd was from her "Language Arts and the Creative Arts Connection" book that offers the children the opportunity to write their own New Year's Resolutions.  I just jazzed it up a little to make it work for one of my most favorite Happy New Year activities we do when we return to school.  I start off by initiating a conversation about what resolutions are and I then model how I think and decide on my resolutions for 2012.  We'll use the following worksheet to draft our resolutions together.
We'll edit them with a peer and then I'll look through them too.
Then comes the fun part!  We'll use a 12"x18" piece of construction paper to make a 4 Fold Foldable.  I let the children choose from any color of construction paper they want.  I always pre-fold the paper and then depending on my group, I either show them where to cut or I do it myself for them.
Ignore the property labels...we'll put one digit on each section so that it shows 2012.
I then provide the children with cut-out patterns of 2012 so that they can trace and cut out the numbers on the colors they choose.  We then glue the numbers onto the foldable (in the correct order) and embellish each digit with sequins so that it looks like a party on a paper!  :)  (While the children are working on the embellishing, I quickly look through their resolutions and pull them back for some one-on-one editing.)
As they complete their embellishing, I'll provide them with their resolutions and the following paper so that they can rewrite their resolutions.
2012 Resolutions
We then cut out the boxes and lift each 2012 flap so that we can glue our resolutions onto our project.  It's pretty simple and the kiddos have fun with it every year!  I'm sorry I don't have a final example to show you but I will in less that a week as we go back to school on Tuesday, January 3.
Have a great day!

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