I don't have pets.
Friday, August 27, 2010
I don't have pets.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
In many ways, this time of year is the most wonderful to me.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
I also plan on using it for movement breaks and as a reward.
It is Bop It!
It's a bit addictive. My son received one for his birthday. I'm proud to say I am the high score holder in our house.
When you start it it plays a funky little rhythm and instructs you to bop it (hit the center button), pull it (pull a handle on one end) or twist it (turn a knob at the other end).
You can play as an individual or as a group. When playing as a group you need to "pass it."
They sell them at Target and Walmart and the like. They are under $20.00.
Good times people, good times!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
This Kindergarten thing is hitting me really hard. I think it's because I've seen kids come into Kindergarten and then one blink later they are off to middle school.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
And because we are shifting around rooms in the house, I am currently displaced from my little studio and working in the kitchen.
There is nothing wrong with child labor. I'm a big fan of it at home and at school.
- their initials
- their favorite animal
- their favorite food
- something to represent their favorite subject in school
2. All About Me
This is a 2 page set. It includes a lined paper titled, “All About Me” and a drawing page titled, “This is Me.” Students use these pages to write about themselves and/or illustrate a self-portrait. These activities are great to do at the beginning, middle and end of each school year as they really show the progress the child has made as a writer and artist. They also make a quick and easy bulletin board display.
3. Bio Poem
The students complete the cloze activity to create a bio poem about themselves. The pages can be kept as is or they can be used as a rough draft. These are beautiful keepsakes when they are typed and illustrated by the children.
4. Classmate Bingo
Each student begins by completing the sentences at the bottom to tell about themself. The student then cuts that part of the page off and gives it to the teacher. The teacher provides the class with a list of student names (either reproduced individually or written on the board to be copied) and the children write one name in each box. If there are more boxes than names you may consider asking specialists, the nurse, the custodian, or the principal to fill out a paper as well. To play: pick one info page from the collection and read the sentences out loud. See if anyone can guess who it is before reading the name at the end. Students then mark that space on their bingo board (pasta makes a cheap and easy marker if you do not have bingo markers).
5. Getting to Know Me Gazette
Students use words and/or pictures to complete this personal newspaper about themselves. You can use the completed pages to make a bulletin board display or bind them into a class book that is sure to be a favorite throughout the year.
6. How I Spent My Summer Vacation
This is a 2 page set. It includes a lined paper and a drawing page that are both titled, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” Students use these pages to write about and/or illustrate the highlights of their summer. ou can use the completed pages to make a bulletin board display or bind them into a class book that is sure to be a favorite throughout the year.
7. I Am Poem
This is a 2 page set. It includes a graphic organizer for branstorming ideas and a cloze activity to create the poem. The cloze activity can be the finished product or it can be edited for spelling and then published as a final draft. These look beautiful when you add a photo of the child and create a display. They are also cherished keepsakes and make wonderful holiday gifts for the families.
8. K-W-L About My New Grade
This is a 2 page set. It includes two KWL charts. The first is formatted in narrow columns and the second has been created with wider columns. This is a great way to introduce or review what a K-W-L chart is. Start by having the students brainstorm a list of things they already know about their new grade level (or classroom or teachers). Then have them generate a list of questions about their new grade level. Bring the class together to share their lists. You may want to compile them into a master list on poster paper or using an overhead projector. At the end of the 1st week of school have the sudents complete the last column by recording some things they have learned about their new grade.
9. Math About Me
The students begin by completing the sentences using the numbers that apply to them personally. Next, they create a collage of those numbers. To create the collage you can either have them write the numbers using markers, crayons or colored pencils or you could have them cut those numbers out of magazines and newspapers and glue them to the page.
10 My Picture is Worth Many Words
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. To complete this activity attach a photo of each child to the center of the page (or have each student draw a
self-portrait). Next, have each child brainstorm a list of words that tell about themself. This is a nice opportunity to discuss nouns and adjectives or even introduce a thesaurus. Have the children count the number of words they wrote and write that number on the line in the title. Cut out the box, mount onto colored paper and either display the finished products individually or create a class book.
11. New Classroom Scavenger Hunt
This activity can be done individually or in pairs. The students explore their new classroom and record something that fits into each category onto the chart. They can either use words, pictures or labeled illustrations to document their findings.
12. Squiggle Art
This activity shows that everyone is unique and that people often see things differently. The black squiggle is the start of a picture. Encourage the children to use their imaginations and incorporate that black squiggle into their own drawing. There are lines below the drawing box to write about what they drew. This makes a fun display or a class book. It is also a nice activity to do at the start and end of a school year to show personal growth in each student.
13. Time Capsule
This is a 5 page set. You may elect to do any or all of the activities. The idea is for the students to complete the activities at the start of the year and then revisit them at the end of the year. This set includes:
-a handprint (either painted and stamped or simply t
-a handwriting sample (perhaps the alphabet or a
-a list of things the student hopes to learn about that
-a collection of favorite things
After the students complete the pages you may want to seal them all into one box or else create individual time capsules using Pringles can. If you keep portfolios for your students then you could also use these as the first pages.
14. Who Am I?
Have the students complete each sentence starter to tell about themselves. Staple the top of the finished paper to construction paper so that the page can be lifted from the bottom. Attach a photo of the student underneath so that people can guess who it is and lift the page to check. These are especially fun for open house nights as parents love “finding” their litle darling.
Monday, August 16, 2010
I know a lot of you are starting back to school today. I hope you all have a great first day and a fabulous school year.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Who wants some freebies?
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
If you are just joining us, we’ve been working on planning for a substitute teacher.
And check out my emergency sub plans here.
Today we are going to add the CLASSROOM INFO section to the binder. This part may be a bit trickier because a good portion of the information needed won’t come into play until school starts.
But, it’s a catch 22 because when school initially starts you’ll be so crazy busy that it’ll be hard to find the time to do this. So we are going to get as much as we can into it. And for those items you don’t have access to right now, simply add a page protector and include a Post-it Note marked with a reminder of what you need to add.
Here’s what I include:
- a photo directory: head shots with their names
- a seating chart
- class schedule
- pull-out / in-class support schedule
- classroom rules and behavior management plan
- signals you use to get their attention
- procedures for: attendance, lunch, recess, lining up, bathroom, dismissal and what to do when they finish their work
- a list of 2-3 reliable students
- a list of any medical issues that they would need to know about
- any additional student info that would be helpful (who will require extra help, who may try to act silly and how to deal with it, etc)
I also a include a brief list of things that I know kids will try to get away with (using the electric pencil sharpener, asking to go to the nurse 80 million times).
Create a tab that reads, "CLASS INFO," add it to the binder, put these items in that section and call it a day.
Is there anything else you include?
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Sub Binder Day 2
Let’s start with a true story.
Because I swear I could not make this up.
This past school year we had a very nice man who would occasionally sub at our school. One of the first grade teachers was absent and he filled in for her. She had quickly written down sub plans for the day and next to 11:45 wrote, “Eat my lunch.”
You know, because 11:45 was her scheduled time to go to the teacher’s room and eat her lunch.
Well, this gentleman (who was apparently channeling his inner Amelia Bedelia) took it literally. He went to the classroom fridge, opened the door and found a lunch inside (which incidentally belonged to the classroom aide who was out of the room at the time covering lunch duty and scheduled to eat her delicious home-cooked meal a bit later).
He ate the lunch and wrote a note thanking the teacher for making him a lunch.
Today we are going to work on the “SCHOOL INFO” section of your substitute teacher binder. You want your binder to be thorough and complete, yet simple to use so that a busy sub can find things easily.
Check with your school to see if there are any specific requirements.
Some schools actually put together this information for you so that it can be passed out to any sub that comes in. If that’s the case, your job today is quite simple.
If not, then here is what I suggest you include:
- a map of the school (mark: your classroom, the office, the bathroom that they may use, and the teacher’s room). The kids can show the sub where music, gym, etc is. You just want to mark off anything that she may need to find on her own. I also mark where the sub will need to meet the class in the morning.
- a directory of the staff members that she may need to contact (nurse, principal, secretary, social worker) along with where they are located and their phone extensions
- a copy of any school-wide rules
- instructions for emergency lock downs, fire and tornado emergencies and crisis evacuation plans
Create the SCHOOL INFO TAB for your binder and add the above info into that section.
You should be able to complete this section before school starts. If at any time you find there is information that you are unable to include until school starts, simply write down what is missing on a post-it note and place it in the spot the info will eventually go in the binder.
If there is anything else that you feel should be included in the SCHOOL INFO section, leave a comment.
Monday, August 9, 2010
There are days when you have conferences, workshops or scheduled doctor appointments planned and you know you will be out of the classroom. There are days when you are feeling under the weather and suspect you will be out the next day. Then there are days when you are unable to attend school with little or no warning at all.
Once upon a time I was sitting in my living room feeling fine. Within minutes I was in the worst pain of my life thinking I was in labor and wanting to die. (In my defense, I was 8.5 months pregnant so labor was a possibility). Turns out it was a kidney stone and I was completely useless for about 7 hours.
In case you were wondering, they do not give epidurals for kidney stones...though I think the should.
Food poisoning, car accidents, family emergencies and toddlers who decide to projectile vomit their breakfast as you are set to drop them off at daycare are just a few other examples of times when you have every intention of being in class and have no notice or ability to prepare for your sudden absence.
This week we are going to put together a sub binder and resource center that will make it easy for you to be out of the classroom without the added stress of worrying about what will happen to your class for that day.
We will be able to put the majority of this project together right now. It will be a work in progress because some of the items that need to be included will come into play once school starts.
We are going to start today by “gathering” activities that can be used on any day of the year for each subject area. Today you need to gather at least 5 activities for reading, writing, word study/spelling and math. I have spent the past few days creating some activities for each of those subjects using the guidelines below. You can purchase the ones I made through my store, gather them from other resources or create your own.
Create a folder on your computer titled SUB PLANS. Be sure to save all of the files to this folder and back it up. If you purchase my emergency sub plans then save them to this folder once I email them to you.
After you gather them, you’ll need to slide them into plastic sheet protectors (back to back) and create a tab for your binder labeled Master Copies. Put them into the binder and you’re all set until tomorrow.
Here are the guidelines:
You do not want these activities to be a complete waste of time or busy work, but in my experiences it has been best to not have a sub introduce a new concept. Review is important and this is a great chance to review key concepts.
The activities should be open-ended whenever possible. By this I mean that the students could continue to work on them for a substantial length of time without a specific completion point. You want to avoid having the students rush through an assignment that is designed to take 30 minutes in 5 and tell the sub, “I’m done.” Open-ended assignments will allow the sub to instruct them to “add to the list” or “find more __.”
Try to minimize the need for additional materials. You want both the children and the sub to have an enjoyable, stress-free day. Asking a sub to have children cut and glue could hinder this objective.
Find activities that can be repeated so that you may use them on multiple days. This is especially beneficial because the students become accustomed to the “sub routine” which makes future absences even easier.
If you are going to do a reading extension activity, be sure that each child has a copy of the text. Having a sub read aloud a book and then asking the class to complete a story map is setting the sub up for chaos. EVERYONE (rather they need it or not) will be asking to get out of their seat to see the book. It is also setting children up for failure and frustration if they are not able to recall details from the read aloud and do not have access to the book. My suggestion is to access reading A to Z and print a copy of the book for each student or use a story that you have already covered from your reading basal that each child will have a copy of. By selecting activities that go with EVERY book as opposed to a specific title, you can also differentiate instruction for the class but providing varied levels of text for each student. If you do not have a basal or class set of books then today would also be a good day to access the free trial membership to reading A to Z and print a copy of a few good fiction books to use.
See you tomorrow...get your homework done!
how to make emergency sub plans, sub plan activities, preparing for a sub, how to prepare for a sub, creating emergency sub plans, sub plan ide
as, substitute teacher activities, activities to do with any book, substitute teacher tips, tips for subs, tips for substitute teachers