So I found out this past week that I'll be teaching first grade come August! I was a T.A. this past year but taught first grade the year before that. It's a long story but instead of last year being a step back it really wasn't since it's at this school that I was hired! I look at last year as a chance to regroup and be able to watch some great educators as they teach. God works things out - even if we can't see how at the time. So I'm in the midst of starting to make a to do list, preparing to move my stuff to my classroom and getting everything ready! I'm going through my boards on Pinterest, getting lots of inspiration :)
Friday, March 28, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
A group of third graders I tutor is going to be reading What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You? I flipped through the book and think they'll enjoy it. There aren't a lot of words on the pages but I feel like we can do a lot with it. I'm thinking we'll do a writing piece afterwards where they have to tell what their defense would be if they were an animal. But then I thought about taking this a bit deeper. I went to the library and stumbled upon this great series of books, Animal Attack and Defense. I grabbed all the ones I could find! I was getting a little discouraged because I found random books on different animals but I really wanted...a series...and this is perfect! I'm adding it to my Amazon wish list for my classroom so I can buy them later :) So I think I'll give each kiddo a book and let them pick one animal to focus on. I found a cute graphic organizer on Teachers Pay Teachers they can fill out as they go, telling us about the animal's habitat, what it eats and its defense. If we have time, I may get some butcher paper and let them all share some of their findings with the others!
Monday, February 10, 2014
Popsicle sticks are awesome. They can be used for so many things! I used them last year for a sight word game called Boom! This year I found a similar version called Bump! to use for spelling the words instead of just being able to read them. The fifth graders I use the game with really like it and ask the next day if we'll be playing it :) I bought some colored sticks to use with some rereading practice. I found this great idea on Teachers Pay Teachers and instead of printing and laminating cards, I'm going to use popsicle sticks instead. There are some great ideas on Pinterest too - including this one!
Monday, February 3, 2014
I needed erasers for a small group I'm working with. We had the white boards and markers...but not the erasers. Last year I gave each kiddo a sock. They put it on their hand and bam, instant eraser! But I wanted to try something different. I wasn't sure these fifth graders would find it as cute as my first graders did. So I thought about felt. Not only was it easy to cut it apart, I made a set of twelve erasers for less than fifty cents! I bought two pieces of felt and measured six squares on each. Cut them out and there you go!
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Yesterday we dismissed early for...snow! Students were calling parents to let them know but some didn't know their phone number. I'm constantly thinking about my future classroom and this is something I want to not be an issue. I'm thinking I'll have a ring of emergency cards hanging by my phone. Last year, we had an emergency packet by the door with each student's info but I want this to be so simple that someone walking into my room would know what to do (this actually happened to me last year. I left for a training and while I was gone, school dismissed early!). Maybe something like this. The second part of this process is making sure to keep the information up-to-date. So maybe I'll send home a form right after Christmas break just to make sure phone numbers haven't changed...
Monday, January 20, 2014
I've been racking my brain about ways to help my kiddos build fluency. And the other day I had an "ah ha" moment! For fifth graders, they should be reading around 120 words a minute. I thought if they could hear how fast they should be reading, it might help them increase fluency. And it's not just about reading fast. I think there's a balance between speed and comprehension - I don't want them to lose their understanding of the passage while striving to read x number of words. But I found a free app called Tempo Lite. I set it for 120 and my kiddos were able to hear what that would sound like. It's a different approach to fluency but I plan on maybe playing it while we're reading aloud so they can practice keeping pace.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
I've always liked post-its. They're just so handy and they come in all kinds of colors. But once I found out you can print on them, I knew I had to try! You can click on this link to grab the free template. Just be sure to print out a copy first for you to put your post-its on so you can then run them back through the printer. It's a little time consuming but wow, super cool! The picture I took is for three different groups I work with. Each group is a different color and I've found a list of websites they can go to on the computer. This way, I can hand them a post-it (I'm going to laminate them on sentence strips first), they can choose a computer and decide which website they want to use. I only have three websites listed so they don't feel overwhelmed but have made two different sets for each group so I can give them a different card later on.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Pinterest has become my source of inspiration. Instead of googling an idea, I now first go to Pinterest! It's such a great concept and you can find so many amazing ideas! So, I wanted to share my school boards...in case you're needing some inspiration. I try to avoid having a huge number of boards so right now, I have three: "super cute school stuff," "classroom to do," and "super cute christmas stuff." The first is a board with really cute ideas but not necessarily things I'll use in my own classroom. The second is pins of things I want to incorporate in my room and the third is full of activities to fill December and even January. It's really more wintery ideas than just Christmas. Happy pinning! Follow Amber French's board super cute school stuff :) on Pinterest. Follow Amber French's board classroom to do on Pinterest. Follow Amber French's board super cute christmas school stuff on Pinterest.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
In case you'll soon be starting the whole resume writing process, I wanted to share a sample I found a while back. Writing a teacher resume is different than a standard resume - you include different things. I don't know - in the grand scheme of the hiring process - how much weight a resume actually carries but I really strive to make mine the best it can be. Your resume brags on you before you arrive to the interview and speaks for you after you've left. I also include cover letter, where I'm able to share my heart for teaching. But if you're not sure how to begin writing that one sheet piece of paper, maybe this will help:
Saturday, January 4, 2014
I wanted to find some reading strategy posters to use with some of my small groups. I also wanted them to be free :) I'm super excited to find some cute free posters and I wanted to pass them along! I liked these for the fifth graders I'm working with...but I also found some for younger kiddos too.