Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And 10 Years Later...My Next Post!

Oh.  My.  I'll never ever understand why I always think I'll be able to do everything in the summer!?!  No doubt it's a common teacher prob-lem-o!

There are several reasons for me not blogging, and I've spent many a sleepless night in bed thinking of all the topics I'd {like} to blog about.  But on those nights I was too tired to actually get out of bed and walk to the computer.  Sound familiar?  I thought it might for some you, too!

Reasons 1-3:
My 4-year-old, Bella, and her service dog, Dana.  They are always up to something!!

My almost-6-years-old, Ainslee, and softball All-Stars

And here he is...my beautiful nephew born on July 5th, reason #3.  My little sister's first baby!  I just can't get enough of baby Max!!!  

 A couple of weeks ago I blogged about Read for Writing time in my first grade classroom, which I adapted from Ann Marie Corgill. 

BTW, Ann Marie wrote Of Primary Importance and spoke in my district last summer about writing workshop.  And guess what?!?!  I attended her workshop again...today!!  And even better?? There's one more day to go!!  Woo hoo!

Tonight I'd like to blog about the rest of the early morning routine my Firsties followed last year and will hopefully follow this year as well. 

1. Good Morning!!!
Greeting each child at the door is a must for beginning every school day.  I treasure this time with my students.  They give me lots of sweet hugs and keep me informed of what's happening in their lives outside of school.   I can ask them about that doctor's appointment I knew they had or if their team won the football game.  I know immediately which students may have had a rough morning and try to make them feel better so their day can begin to improve.  I want my students to know that I care about them as indivduals, and greeting them at the door every morning is just one way to give them that one-on-one time.  By listening, remembering, and following-up.  And all with a heart-felt smile on my face.  Wouldn't we all like to be greeted like this every day?  :)

2. Word of the Day
After Christmas last year, I put up a "word of the day" board just inside the door. 

Your eyes do not deceive you!  This isn't a real word!  Every once in a while I invented a word using phoics rules we'd learned and parts of other words they should already know.  Made it a little fun!  :)

Students would read the word each time he/she passed it and at some point during the day we'd discuss it's meaning(s) and how/when this word could be used in reading and/or writing.

Up Next: Book Returns
The book lending system I used this year was a last minute idea and turned out to be super-duper easy.  After packing in the afternoons, Firsties recorded their name, date, and titles of books they were borrowing on sticky notes.  Sticky notes were placed in this basket by the word of the day.  Since I stand at the door every morning for 10-15 minutes greeting students, I could easily pull out the sticky notes for returned books and throw them away.  Sticky notes for books not returned remained in the basket until the child brought it back.  Easy peasy.  I'll take it!

Wish I could say that awful lookin' thumb wasn't mine! Geez!

Question of the Day
Next on the morning To Do list was Question of the Day. 

Sometimes the question would be completely random, but often times the questions were related to previous class discussions, current studies, or were seasonal.  I also have answer cards for "possible" and "impossible."  I tried to incorporate sight words, too.  Usually my Firsties would cluster around the charts and read questions together.  Definitely a fun part of our mornings!

Whew!  That seems like a lot when writing about it, but by September the little ones know this routine perfectly.  So after greeting me at the door, word of the day, unpacking, book check-in, and question of the day the students get busy with Read for Writing.  (That's all in a previous post.)

I think I'll save Morning Meeting for next time.  I'll leave with a picture of our Listening and Speaking Anchor Chart (CCSS) we created the first week of school. 
This anchor chart set the tone for establishing a respectful learning environment for all students. 

Laters Friends! 


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