Thursday, September 01, 2011

My First Grade Classroom

I stuck with the B.U.G.S. (Bright, Unique, Generous Students) theme again this year. I think it will work as well for first graders as it did for third. I currently have 26 students. That's been brought down from 29 by the hiring of an additional first grade teacher (actually a recall of a pink-slipped teacher). I expect to still add a couple and lose a couple as the year goes along.

I'm really going to miss my Elmo projector and Smart Board from last year. I'm back to an overhead projector, which will take some getting used to again.

I met most of my class at the Open House this week. They are so remarkably little to me, but I'm hoping it's a quick adjustment. They were all so excited to see their classroom and to meet me, it was hard not to get a little excited myself.

I spent a lot of time this summer creating things for my classroom. I finally finished all the vowel representations for the cabinet doors. I had most of them done last year, but finished the last few up last week. Our curriculum (and the new Common Core Standards) teaches the vowel sounds (19) and we then work on teaching kids all the ways to write those sounds (there are 61 ways to write all the vowel sounds). First graders won't learn them all, but they will get the idea that we can spell the /ee/ sound in many different ways, which will help them read and spell words like, 'please', 'piece', 'ski', 'agree', 'happy', etc. There's a place for students to practice parts of speech during station time as well. They might not master modals and adverbial phrases like my third graders, but we'll get many mastered before the year is through!

We start the year with the "Crazy Color Creatures". Birdy was a fantastic help in getting them all colored for me! George spent several days with me at school as well. He's great at getting velcro on things, sorting books, putting library pockets in books and sticking names on desks, cubbies and the wall!

I'll have to get used to doing the calendar and all that goes with it each day. Practicing counting, graphing lost teeth, recognizing money and its values, reviewing days of the week, months of the year, seasons and weather. We'll also work on pattern recognition, our vowel sounds and days of the school year.

My homework book check-out system was helped tremendously by Dad's clever title. I have to re-do the names as they are smearing (lesson learned: overhead markers will smear on laminate, dry erase will not.)

We hope to catch a few compliments this year. We'll add a butterfly each time we receive one and celebrate after 30 or so.

I painted up two of these on poster board and posted them under the front board so students can practice the vowel sounds (and a few of the ways to write them) during station time.

I was too cheap to buy the $20 poster I saw like this, so I created my own on poster board. George put all the velcro on the bees and hives for me. Let's hope the students stay on green most of the time!

We start off with a half day next Tuesday. I'm mostly ready, although I'm sure I'll be back a couple times yet before then just to be sure. Flash is already keeping tallies of how many times I proclaim, "They are so little!" I miss my third graders already, but I'm hoping to have another amazing year like last year!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Wow! I love the theme, and your classroom looks fantastic! You are going to be a wonderful 1st grade teacher, and the students you have will be very blessed indeed :) Blessings to you on the upcoming school year Eliza!!!