Thursday, October 31, 2013

When I'm Done, I've Just Begun

It's a common mantra in writer's workshop, "When I'm done, I've Just begun!" This chart is my most 'pinned' item on Pinterest (and a very popular chart in our classroom!):

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Keeping Track of Writing Partners

Maybe this sounds like your have writing partners, you make one partner "partner one" and the other partner "partner two," you ask them to turn and talk with "partner one" going first, and NO ONE has any idea who is "partner one" (including the teacher)! To solve this dilemma in my classroom, I hung a small chart below my teaching easel listing partner 1 and partner 2. Now there is no confusion at all!

PS...I also assign the more "proficient partner" as #1 so if I know it's something a little more challenging I'll have partner 1 go first to make it easier for partner 2. The kids don't know's my little teaching secret!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Start the Day with Morning Meeting!

Morning meeting is such a special time in our class. It helps to build a strong and positive community of friends and learners.  I seem to play around with the format each year, but here's a look at what we're doing this year in our meeting time:
Morning Message 
Schedule of the Day
Counting the Days of School
Class Jobs (Change weekly)
Lunch Menu
Pledge of Allegiance
This is our meeting board:
Here's a closer look at some of the elements:
Top left: Calendar. Children add a shape with the number of the day to practice patterns.
Top right: Our class leader selects of our greeting and activities from buckets with labeled craft sticks. We add new one (and remove tired ones!) as the year goes on. These little metal buckets are from the $1 section of Target!
Bottom left: We use the practice clock with moveable hands and a format for practicing writing digital time. This is introduced mid-year when we begin practicing telling time in our math curriculum.
Bottom right: Some of our team activities have records that we keep and try to break. We post these in our meeting area using dry erase markers on laminated shapes (a hot dog for the game "Hot Dog," a ball shape for "Silent ball").
Here's a close up of our JOBS Chart:
The class helps come up with the ideas for class jobs at the beginning of the year. Each student has a job and they jobs change on a weekly basis. We keep track of that using this mini-pocket chart (another find in the $1 section of Target!)
Enjoy your morning meetings!