Sunday, July 13, 2014

Countdown To Do List

As I count down the days until I can get into my classroom, I am crossing projects off my to do list as just as quickly as I think of new things to add. This is just a SMALL GLIMPSE of what has been going on in my head lately.

1. I have been exploring all kinds of resources: the 1st grade CCGPS, old curriculum maps from the 1st grade team, teacher editions I picked up from the school, Teachers Pay Teachers, and the blog world. I am getting a lot of ideas, but I'm trying not to over-spend and get so wrapped up in my own ideas before I check in with my team. In college they always told us to "work smarter, not harder," and I know my team already has some fantastic ideas in place that have worked well in the past for the children in our community. Based on my discussions with some of the teachers, it seems like they plan the curriculum map together, share ideas, and pull what they want out of each others' lesson plans. Each teacher has support from the team, but the flexibility to do what she feels is best for her students-- and for that I am very thankful!

2. One thing that my new co-workers recommended was to look into the Daily 5. About half of the first grade team already implements this in their classrooms and I have been very intrigued by everything I see on Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest. I started reading the 2nd edition of the book while I was at youth camp this past week. I was already somewhat familiar with the concept, but reading the book has made me even more interested in implementing it with my students. 

3.  I know that once school starts, I will be much more pressed for time, so I am trying to get a head start on a little "prep work." I know that centers and word walls will be a part of my classroom, so I have been printing, laminating, and cutting like crazy

The cute compound word cards are found HERE from Tweet Music. I caught the packet as a flash freebie, but I still think it would be worth the purchase!The word wall cards are from The Printable Princess. I also have her matching alphabet posters.

4. I have searched and searched for the perfect classroom library organization/system that would work well for me, my students, and the books I currently own. After checking out a few of the other 1st grade rooms, I thought I had finally landed on the perfect system and went to work. I began labeling the outside of my books with a guided reading level and my name and using this AR (Accelerated Reader) sticker inside.

I love this simple way to identify an AR book. I included the quiz number to make it easier on little typing fingers because "The Brown Dog" is WAAYYY different from "The Browm   Dog" and it would take 20+ minutes for my little friends to find the right book if they threw in some extra letters or spaces. This also has the AR book level if I ever wanted to use a correlation chart to compare to another leveling system. I included the points too, although most of my primary grade books have the same amount of points.

As for the guided reading labels I had started tackling, the leveling resources I was using started giving me a little trouble. Some books had levels, some didn't, some seemed really far off, and some I tried to guess a level.  So I put that project on pause for a little while. Then I started to read blogs, message boards, and the Daily 5. NOW I think I have found the perfect leveling system for my classroom (More about that in a later post--I'm still waiting on some color coded stickers I ordered.)

Anyway, those are just a few of the things that I have done to prepare for the coming school year. I'd love to hear how you prepared for your first year teaching, first year at a new school, or first year in a new grade level!

No comments :

Post a Comment