Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Some fall bulletin boards around my School

I love the detail on this undecorated board, it has the four colours of the medicine wheel!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Birthday wall with Science Connection

Do you put up a Birthday chart every year?

This year I decided to do it a little different. Our first unit of the year in science "Daily and Seasonal Changes", and part of that has us learning the names of the seasons, months, and ideally which months are in each season (fingers crossed).

So I made four charts, one for each season, and on each month displayed their birthdays as well! This way they may at least learn the Season their own birthday is in.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

We ran for Terry Fox this week

We had a long talk and watched a video about Terry Fox in class on Wednesday. I talked about what might happen if we all brought in a dollar? We also talked about how he ran his Marathon of hope so Cancer can be cured and we wouldn't get it too.

So when it came time to put on our stickers who we were running for, a few decided they were going to run for themselves too, so they don'y get cancer. A few chose to run for Terry, and a couple chose a variety of family members.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Our wonderful Dental Therapist at our School (who the kids are all convinced is a dentist, so we're not correcting them, it's easier to say, lol), Made this cool door decoration.

One of the kids favourite gym games is Pac Man tag, so this got their attention as soon as it went up last week.

I think if you do dental health month later in the year that you may have just found your door decoration! Am I right?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Art portfolio: Primary Colours

I'm trying something a little different this year, I am starting the year off by teaching basic art principals. Last weeks lesson featured what are the 3 Primary colours. I will be keeping all lessons from this unit in a folder and then staple together when we are done.

I got our first concept lesson and printable from Kinderart. We traced our hands, and coloured them and the background in each of the 3 primary colours. Next week we will be doing a lesson on Secondary colours. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Our duotangs

I made these simple labels and used packing tape to ensure longevity so that there would be no long term confusion over which box to return their folder. There will be a few more boxes as our year progresses, so I have to keep up the different colours!

I decided this year that I would keep everything we do leading up to the 100th day of school in one spot so that we can easily review what we've learned each ten days.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Guided Reading Area

Doing Guided Reading is my favourite part of teaching reading.

Behind my table I have this large bulletin board where I put posters I refer to A LOT through out the year. 

The yellow one is one I made to resemble the Shape-Go-Map our district uses to guide students through what they need to be able to remember when retelling a fiction text. What my students last year had the hardest time remembering was stopping to tell me WHO was the story about. They lost some pretty easy points by just starting with "He had a Dog", for example, even though it's the first point of the triangle.

The 8 animal posters I can't remember where I got these from (and would love a link to share with others). These posters are very useful when showing students what skill they need to practice when reading new texts. Right now I'm focusing on "Eagle Eye".

The large and Small Superhero posters are my Superhero versions of Reading Power by Adrienne Gear.  I mostly use reading power doing Guided reading, I feel this skills are mostly relevant here, but I do mini lessons whole class as well.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Early Literacy Centres

I have EVERY intention of starting the Daily 5 with my firsties this year, and have started a few vital parts, such as the three ways to read a book, but too many of us have ants in our pants. Plus, our literacy skills are so low, only 8 of my 22 students are ready to start guided reading. The rest are missing vital phonics and sight word skills. So, I've started further behind, using the ticket system they are familiar with from their Kindergarten teachers. I have mostly Easy activities for now, and will add more and trade them out as we move through the year. My hope is that by January I can start back with the Daily 5.

I took pictures of each current centre activity and glued it to black construction paper along with the name of the centre, as well as glued their SUPER hero pictures to their names on blue paper. Hopefully these will last all year with daily man handling.

Do you know how a ticket system works? 

Here's how it works for us:
Each centre is only allowed a certain number of students, in my case 3.
You can pick any centre you want, but if you change centres you have to tidy up what you were doing.
You can change centres, but only to one with less than 3 students currently.

Does that make sense?

Monday, September 22, 2014

This looks like a (class) job for....

I redid my job chart this year, and included it in my all around Superhero theme.

I made the speech bubble myself in Microsoft Paint.

The job cards are from Miss Lowe. Aren't they cute? Check out her store to see what else she has to offer.

The Superheroes are from Early Learning HQ. This free British Site has a lot to offer that you wouldn't stumble upon in TPT.

My kids are slowly getting a handle on doing the jobs, and I am slowly getting used to having so many jobs! I've never had this many before.

Do you have a few or many jobs?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Reddit Teacher Gifts 2014

I had heard about the Reddit Gifts for teachers before, and this year I signed up for the exchange.
I was going to be happy with just a box of markers from my secret Santa, but my Secret Santa outdid herself with these gifts pictured below! 

I already have the pocket chart up holding my class jobs. Much better than my trusty disappearing sticky tack.

Don't forget to sign up next summer to receive much needed help, or to help out a needy class!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fall Bulletin Board

I just want to share the beautiful bulletin board put up last week by our multi-talented school secretary!

I love how the letters of FALL are the colours of falling Autumn leaves, and that they are falling! How freaking cute!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Basic Visual Noise Meter

I know some of you have really awesome 4 or 5 level visual sound level posters in your classroom, and I have one up that we will graduate to, but my VERY energetic class needs a more basic visual for them. My administrator suggested a two colour visual and we've been using this for about a week now. 

Time will tell if it has long term effects. This poster board CAN'T be missed. We've talked at length about how red is the colour of STOP, and green is the colour of GO. I also, as you can see, included a single superhero working alone quietly for stop, and several heroes together for TALK.

Do you use visuals to remind your students when they are allowed to speak and when they need to listen?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Weekly Sight word review

My kiddos are REALLY low, so we have a LOT of work to do this year to make sure we're ready for Second grade.

So to learn our Sight Words, we're learning them as we review (and in some case learn)  our Jolly phonics sounds. The first Six letters you learn the basic sounds for when you're using Jolly are SATIPN.

I painstakingly went through ALL the Dolch list and reorganized all 220 words so that the words were in an order that coordinate with the sounds in Jolly. We'll be long finished with Jolly before we get through all the words though. However, no word will be learned unless we've learned the sound, then we'll get to the tricky words. I'm not really sure EXACTLY how I'll do it as we go along, but for now we are on pace.

One thing we'll do each week with our Five sight words is the below. I was inspired by THIS PIN for this activity. I put all the necessary letters on post it notes and had students come up and help me read and spell/sound out the words. If necessary I will review as we go along.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We are all Treaty People

I grew up in Nova Scotia, and I don't really remember learning much about the native culture there growing up, other than a basic study of traditional MicMac in grade school. I never learned about modern repercussions to them due to European exposure, etc.

However, now that I'm living and working in Saskatchewan, the long lasting effects of treaty are becoming more clear to me.

Saskatchewan is the ONLY province in Canada to mandate that students in all grades K-12 have treaty knowledge, and native education included.

The focus of First grade treaty inclusion is that  "WE ARE ALL TREATY PEOPLE".

To me at first I didn't get it. I had always thought that treaties had nothing to do with me because they happened LONG before I was born and I am not native Canadian.

However, I've since learned that I AM a treaty person because the treaty is a promise between the people of Canada (Me), and the first nations people (my students- Cree, Dene, Metis).

Below is a poster we made with treaty promise at the bottom and a poem at the top about how long a treaty is for. We'll be referring to this through out the year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coat closet Management: Superhero

Honestly, I'm not even sure my kiddos have noticed this, and even if they have, they can't read it yet, they are all still very low readers.

However, that won't stop me from thinking it's cute, and pointing it out later in the year when snow-pants, mittens and hats find their way to the floor, and I need a reminder for them to hang them up.

I will be constantly reminding SOMEONE to Hang their cape in their cubby, lol.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bathroom Management Tool: Superhero (Batman)

I knew that when I moved classrooms this year I would say goodbye to the bathroom disappearing act issues of last year, but would be saying hello to a host of new issues.

Case in point, my kiddos want to be in the Bathroom ALL THE TIME!
I have one student who I am not kidding was in there at least five times one day this week.

We've had to have a few class chats about how you MUST use the washroom before coming to school in the morning, even if you think you don't have to, and you MUST go again before coming back after lunch. Seems like common sense, but not so much to a bunch of first graders.

So I redesigned my bathroom system from last year, simplifying and prettifying it. 

I found the "Even BATMAN washes his hands" image through a google search. I glued to blue poster board and laminiated for durability. I then stapled on a piece of wide red velvet  ribbon (courtesy my moms craft supplies this summer).

Here's how my system works:
1. Students find their names on the ribbon when they want to use the washroom.
2. They put their nam ein the basket on the table nearby.
3. You may only use ONCE in the morning and ONCE in the afternoon, other than at recess.

This is slowly cutting down on the excessive trips, hopefully it works all year.

How do you manage the bathroom?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Plasticine Fidgets

One thing my kiddos this year all have in common is attention issues. So this week I introduced small clumps of plasticine that they could squeeze in one hand while working, as long as they follow a few rules:

1. It is not playdough
2. One hand only, the other on your pencil.
3. Do not wrap around other school supplies, cut with scissors, or stuff in glue caps (yes, these rules are evolving as the week passes).
4. If you are playing with it and not working at the same time, I will confiscate it.

It's a work in progress, but I know that as the novelty wears off it will work it's magic on their need to fidget.

DO you provide fidgets?

Saturday, September 13, 2014


I don't think I can say how much I love GoNoodle!

I started using it last year as a good transition when my kiddos needed a break or were just in from recess, and also used quite a bit during indoor recess during our colder months. Previously on cold days I used our favourite just dance videos, and so Iwas so to leave these behind when I discovered GoNoddle, but this summer they introduced an awesome feature!

I can now add links to my favourite YouTube videos! You can bet I now have a minimum of NINE Just dance videos in My favourites on GoNoodle. Here are some of my kiddos dancing earlier this week.

Do you GoNoodle? Do it! 
Brain breaks save my sanity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Super Command board 2014

This is the bulletin board right behind my classroom computer (obviously, since you can see it ).

On it I place: 
My classroom rules (WBT rules, free on my blog), 
My Pow chart (collecting compliments from other community members) and free on TPT
My Super student of the week (we haven't started this yet, but I will have the picture of our student of the week attached and they will have special jobs), From Kawaii Classroom
Our voice level chart (students still need to be introduced to this, I forgot to put it up until yesterday after school) From First Grade A to Z
and Our Calendar. I keep the dates on here for me mostly since we do Calendar, weather and days in school on the Smartboard every morning. Numbers from Elementary AMC Headers unknown, are they yours?

You can also see my crumpled heart from our first bullying lesson. 

What do you keep on your command centre?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

First Super art project of the year

We did it, we finished our first week of school and managed to finish (except for two absent students), our Superheroes for our upper bulletin board. These will likely stay in place until Halloween, since I hate heights and don't want to climb back up to take them down.

I gave each student a basic template for the face and the mask separately, and tried to model how the eyes should be in the middle of the face, but being first graders, they don't quite get proportions yet, lol. We also added, brown, black or yellow hair to look like ourselves. Most students decided they needed two colours, since I used two for my natural highlights (and the greys I'm pretending are also highlights).

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Welcome back Bulletin Boards, 2014

School was back in session this week in Saskatchewan, and one thing every elementary teacher does as part of that is putting up a back o school bulletin board/door. I did both:

But since I already showed you mine, I'll show you the rest of the buildings below. I think we did awesome!

After two years of full day Kindergarten, we are returning to half day Kindergarten, so we now only have one teacher for this grade. I love how she has a different set of stars for each half.

Our new Second grade teacher is giving my old class and students a Minion reasons to smile!

Our 1/2 split teacher is putting our kids off to a good step forward!

The 3/4 teacher teaches a bunch of sparklers!

Our 3rd grade teacher is swimming along happily!

Our fourth grade class is going duck hunting.

Grade 5 has all their supplies ready to learn!

Grade 5/6 has lots to talk about!

How did you welcome your kids back?

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