Because I love mustaches, every year, I do an ice breaker called "I mustache..." The students get to pick out their own mustache to wear, and they take a card with 'getting to know you' questions on them. Some examples of the questions are "what did you do this summer? If you could fly, where would you go? what kind of animal would you be?" etc... They play the game called "Quiz, quiz, trade". They trade cards and find someone else to talk with. This is a great way to get kids talking, getting to know each other, and to familiarize them with the quiz, quiz trade strategy. Plus, it is FUN! :)
Instead of ME telling the students what makes a good student, I wanted to hold them accountable and give them ownership as to what makes a good student. I had them brainstorm ideas using "stand up, hand up, pair up" to find different partners around the room to talk about and share ideas about what makes a good student. Then they partnered up and created a bubble map to get their ideas down on paper. Then they presented their ideas to the class and we made a big anchor chart to hang up in the room to remind us. I also flipped this role and the the same process to and had them come up with (really great!) ideas about what makes a good teacher. They did so awesome working together and coming up with amazing ideas.
I love getting kids to work together, and cooperative learning is a huge part of my philosophy of education. To start this off, I do a "getting to know you" jigsaw. I take the kids name and write 4 per page and cut them out like a puzzle piece. The kids then need to work together and find out who fits in their group. Once they have their puzzle put together, they glue it to the middle of the paper and come up with all the things they have in common. They then draw a circle map of all those things and then present their poster to the class. It is a powerful lesson that teaches students to cooperate, share and to make connections with a new friend they may have no known anything about. I always make time in the beginning of the year to do this activity! The kids were really engaged and enjoyed it too!
With the new age 21st century way of teaching and learning, I had to get out of my comfort zone, and become tech savvy. I had always thought I was pretty good with technology, but then I came to the West Fargo School District!!! I had a 7 hour ipad training and was super impressed by the apps kids can use. I was a bit intimidated but couldn't wait to get my feet wet, so I dove right in. This just shows how I am able to slowly integrate technology into our instructional day. I have the students make their lunch and snack choices using our Activboard. I had students come up with a table name using ipads and the app called "Scoodle Jam", and I also had students get additional practice with a numberline in math, using an app called "Monster Squeeze". I can't wait to get the kids more involved in the technology! It will be a learning experience not only for them, but for me as well!!
Today was our first day of 1st grade! We did lots of things from making a graph about our feelings, to getting to know procedures, as well as each other, and our favorite thing we did today was make "jitter juice"! We read the story "first day jitters" then we read a poem about magic jitter juice that got rid of the "jitters" and butterflies in our tummies! We then made a bubble map of adjectives to describe how it tasted, and we made a graph after we tried it to see how many friends did or did not like it. Majority??? Most everyone like it, but all got the jitters out! :)
Our classroom for the 2015-16 school year is ready!! This year we will have a superhero theme because we are all superheros everyday in what we do and achieve! We are going to go places in this world, you can be anything you want to be, all you have to do is be your own superhero and believe in yourself! This is going to be a fun, exciting year and we will learn so much!
Hi Families! Welcome back to the 2015-16 school year! This year will be filled with many exciting things. You can keep track of all the learning we are doing through my blog.
You will be receiving a packet of information at open house to review and some items you will need to return and fill out. If you have questions, please email me at:
I am so excited to be your student's first grade teacher!!
One of the things we will be using this year is Class Dojo. This is a behavior management system that reinforces positives behaviors, responsibility, and life skills. Students receive positive and negative points throughout the day. They will be tracking their points on a 100's chart. They get reward coupons when they reach 50 points, then again at 100 points. (To start the year we will be going to 20 points, then again to 50 points). Students will pick out coupons on Fridays and they can be redeemed at any time.
Coupon rewards are as follows:
50 points- wear a hat, chew gum in class, positive note home, homework pass, bring a stuffed animal or show and tell item, use a pen, 5 extra dojo points, no shoes in class, snack in class.
100 points- popsicle at lunch, pick a seat or sit with a buddy, use teacher chair, lunch with the teacher, or lunch with friends in the classroom.
To get an overview of how class dojo works, follow the link:
More information will be forthcoming as to how to sign up for email and/or text alerts.
This is going to be a great year!
A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.