Thursday, November 15, 2012

Teaching Tip Linky Party

Back to Back Linky Parties!  WooHoo!  Today I am following Miss Kindergarten's Teaching Tip Linky and have a few suggestions that you might find useful! 



1.  All things WHOLE BRAIN TEACHING!  I have my treasured You Tube videos on an earlier post (click HERE) and I still watch them frequently to refresh my approach and add a little extra Classity Class to my day!  WBT has really made a difference in my students behavior and expectations and I am so grateful for that this year! There is still so much I want to spread throughout my day, but just the Class Rules and 10-finger WOOHOO gestures really motivate my kiddos!  I am inspired by the teaching resources available at Third Grade Thoughts and she had a great post recently about connecting WBT to CAFE strategies!  I completely agree with that and since starting our First Grade Critter CAFE this year, students are making actions & gestures with their hands to connect each beanie critter with strategy learning.  We love it and it really does help build stamina with new concepts!  (I want to post more on this very soon!)  In the meantime, follow this link to join the Whole Brain Teaching website stocked full of freebies to all its members!

2.  Meaningful Morning Meetings are so important and can make or break your day in first grade.   Currently, I start morning meeting very quietly, with CHIMES to signal the gathering.  (I might also add that CHIMES are the favorite transitional signal in my classroom!  My kiddos can't move without them!)  Our Celebrity of the Week then leads the teaching of Class Rules, then we have our morning announcements (message).  I have incorporated our Essential Questions for the day into our message. We gather whole group on the carpet for our meeting.  With 26 students, we are packed on the floor so change is in the air!   I am re-structuring my meeting time beginning mid-December to include a CIRCLE of FRIENDS and more involvement with a quick character-building exercise each day!  I'll be sure to share that with you when it's ready!



3.  PARENT Helpers for EVERYTHING!  Feel less like a secretary and more like a teacher again!  On open house night, I have those parents interested in volunteering stay after a bit and introduce them to their new roles as my Parent Helper.  I walk them through the job and they stick with that one job for the entire year.  Some jobs are weekly, monthly, and as needed.
Currently, I have weekly helpers for copying, checking sight word lists, and one-minute fluency checks.  
I have one helper that comes in every-other week to make books, staple, laminate, and cut the lamination!
I have another helper that visits to dust and sanitize EVERYTHING once a month!  Let me just say that I ADORE my parent volunteers!

These are practical suggestions but extremely important to running a successful and sane classroom!


GOBBLE, GOBBLE!
Julie

12 comments:

  1. Parent helpers are great to have! I miss being at a place where I had them consistently!!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm your newest follower! :)

    ღDeAnne
    First Grade and Fabulous

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    1. DeAnne,
      It is such a pleasure to have you as a follower! THANK YOU! Your blog is adorable and I am so happy to be blogger-stalker friends together!
      Enjoy the holiday break!
      We deserve lots of turkey and pie!
      Then we can sleep.
      Happy Thanksgiving!
      Julie

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  2. Parent volunteers are the BEST! Especially when they are consistent :) I have never thought about having a parent volunteer to come in and clean...smart! So many germs on so many things in the classroom...and of course, there isn't enough time to clean everything. I love that idea!

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm now a follower! Can't wait to take a look around!

    Jackie
    Crazy Daze in First Grade

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jackie!
      Thank you so much for stopping by! It is wonderful to have you join my blog and I look forward to being stalking buddies!
      Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
      Julie

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  3. I just found your blog! Thinking I need to get started on the chants.
    How soon will you have your December ones ready! I need to know more
    about the Phonics Dance also. Love your blog & really enjoy your ideas!
    Thanks so much,
    Jackie jackie@acsnet.com

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    Replies
    1. Jackie,
      Thank you so much for the sweetness! I needed that today!
      I am so delighted that you stopped by and even more excited that you want to start chanting!! YAY! I am almost finished with the December Chant updates and the new post will probably go up next week (over break).

      I just added a video to the Thanksgiving (November) post! It's so fun and so cheesy! But that is first grade and I love it!
      Happy Thanksgiving!
      Julie

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  4. Just found your blog from Mrs. Bartel. I started my year with morning meetings, but now we have interventions first thing. This reminded me that I wanted to try to keep doing that at least a couple times a month. And from a previous post - love your trees with the water colors. They turned out beautiful!
    Sara

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sara!
      Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I am delighted to have you! That must be "interesting" trying to start your day that way. I hope you can find a way to add morning meetings back in. If it helps, I moved Calendar to afternoons with my Math block. That way, it frees up more time for character building in the mornings. Happy Thanksgiving!
      Julie

      PS~ My kids say "THANK YOU" for the lovely compliments on the trees!

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  5. Hi Julie,
    About how long does your typical meeting last? I used to do a morning message everyday, but then cut it because it seemed like I just didn't have enough time even though I liked doing it. But I really like the idea of plugging the essential questions into the message. Looking forward to your post on character building too. I do the bucket filler stuff in my room and that would make another good meeting topic. I just need more time in the day!! Aaahhh!
    Heather :)

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  6. Hi Heather!
    I hear ya when it comes to wanting more time in the day! There NEVER seems to be enough of it!
    I have moved my Calendar portion of the meeting into my afternoon Math flex block. So my morning meeting is roughly 8 minutes, with teaching class rules, and introducing morning agenda (which includes our target GOALS for the day!)
    I want to add the character trait/social skill building activity each day...Hopefully over the break, I can figure out what those activities will include!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!
    Julie

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  7. Okay - thanks. I practice the WBT rules each day with my kids too. I printed off the COmmon Core essential questions and I Can statements from TPT and could incorporate those as well. I'm going to order the Morning Meeting book too, so thanks for the suggestion. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy your trip! :)

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  8. Stephanie inspired me to try some WBT strategies this year, and my class is loving it! Morning Meeting is always requested, too!

    Patti

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