Monday, September 9, 2013

Whole Brain what??

Today was my first day in fifth grade and it was amazing.  My classes are really 
well-behaved and all around great kids.  I know we will have a great year but imagine
my surprise when none of them had ever heard any part of whole brain teaching.  
Actually that may be a little bit of a fabrication,  they knew to say "yes!" when I said
"class" but that was it!!!

They looked at me like I had three heads when I asked them.....
practically had to beg talk.  In a couple classes, I 
had to stop the conversations and tell them that I needed to 
hear more talking.  Some were scared to turn their neighbors and
chat.  Boy, I have NEVER had this problem before!

We were about to cover the five classroom rules, partner share with "teach/ok", 
and "class/yes".  I taught them all about the scoreboard and 
every class beat me.  They really were that good.   We used "mirror words"
for our classroom rules.  I did not use "Hands & Eyes" because they are in 
my opinion a bit old for that one.

I think we really are going to have a great time 
learning our social studies using whole brain.  They really
seemed to like mirror words.  Even the "too cool" boys were doing the
hand motions with me.  

Tomorrow, we start our first real unit with our first real lesson.  I've created my 
flipchart so that the information is sent out in chunks with talking and sharing in 
between the chunks.  That always seems to be my weakness.  Once I start
talking, I have trouble stopping.  Surely you don't have that problem right?!?!  
I knew you didn't!!  

Just as a reminder, if you want my classroom rules (whole brain of course) 
on polka dot papers, you can find them in my store here.

I hope you have a great week.  Check back later in the week for a 
recap of our group project which is on Wednesday! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I think I can, I think I can, I think.....

So after surviving the first three weeks 
of school with my sweet babies, I decided that maybe 
I needed a change in scenery.  A job came open at a
school near my house, at the school my boys go to, at 
a really really great school in our district and I jumped
on the chance to be here with my boys.  

Yes, I will miss my babies.  

Yes, it is hard to leave after just learning about each one.

No, I never wanted to be "that" teacher that switches schools 

But, sometimes you have to do what you have to do!

So tomorrow at lunch I leave my firsties for the very last time
to go work in my FIFTH grade room.  Yes, fifth grade!!  And social studies at that!!

Sadly, I will be packing away my circus stuff.  One day I will come 
back to the little people again but for now, I am with the big kids!
I was totally at a loss as to what to use as my theme for my new classroom until
I walked in and saw that she had put polka dots as a border around the top of the room.

My new theme - Dots and Spots!  

Creative isn't it?  lol.....

I'll have pictures AFTER I can get into my room to clean it out and decorate it tomorrow but for now......

I created a set of classroom Whole Brain Teaching rules.   

You can grab them all in my store here for FREE of course!!!

I hope you have a great weekend!!  I'll be back next week to share pics of 
my new room!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Surviving the first few weeks of school!!

Yes, I have survived!!  Today marks the end of our third full week 
of school (we started on a Wednesday)  and I can honestly say 
that my students are pretty much where I want them to be.  
Yes I still have some friends who need to be constantly reminded
 of the rules but for the most part, by golly, we've got it!  

Most of our first week was spent learning rules and procedures.  My 
students are definitely chatty and some have difficulty remembering 
procedures but most of them are very eager to please and that helped
make our transition to first grade a great one.  

As we were learning about our math tools and how to use them, we worked on 
patterns.  I find this to be an easy start each year because students usually understand 
patterns really well.  Since this is a slightly advanced class, I decided to see if they 
could "name" the pattern with letters.  

They were proud to show off their patterns to me.  Most of them were excited that 
I wanted to take a picture of them.  

They were so cute and worked so hard but I can't tell you how many times we 
had to "catch" our frogs hopping all over the floor.  It was a MESS!!! 

We loved our roll and color sheets from Little Miss Kindergarten!!  You can get them here!

They were lots of fun until one friend would win and the other would throw a fit 
and provided lots of opportunities in learning how to win and how to lose politely.

Here's a pic of my youngest enjoying an ice cream to celebrate the end of
his first week!!

Does your school require that essential questions be posted in your room
for students to view?  Our school does so I have been creating pages to 
hang on the walls with the essential questions from our reading series, Wonders.

Here's a peek at my latest set from Unit 2!!

Click on the picture to be taken to the item in my store!  Want to win it??  Leave a comment telling me when you started school or will start school this year!  I will pick one winner tomorrow evening!