Primary Chalkboard: February 2016

Quiet Day

Aloha friends! Corinna here from Surfin' Through Second.  Just a quick post today on a fun activity I plan to do this week.

The calendar at the Teacher's Corner says that February 25th is Quiet Day.  What is Quiet Day? According to Webster it is a special day (religious) set aside for devotions, meditations and instructions.

Well I just love the sound of Quiet Day.  If you were to meet me in person one thing you would notice right away is that I am an extremely quiet person.  I am soft-spoken and rarely speak up in a group.  I've always tried to be more social, but it's just not in me.  After years of thinking I was just an odd duck, I have discovered I am a true introvert.

A colleague recommended that I read the book Quiet.  So far I am loving it and feeling not so odd anymore. Did you know that 1/3 of Americans are introverts?  This book has tons of info and I will share a bit more about it when I am done.

We also have students that are introverts.  They don't necessarily love working in large groups, but like working alone or with a preferred partner.  Introverts are also sensitive to loud noises. They enjoy quiet and comfortable surroundings.  

So I have decided that we will use February 25th as a Quiet Day in my classroom.  I plan to speak in my usual soft voice, but I will be the only one who can speak all morning!  I am going to see if we can make it through with total silence in our classroom until recess.

To ensure that students are a bit quieter I plan to give them 5 Quiet points each.(5 tally marks on their desk with dry erase marker).  If they speak above a whisper or disrupt our time they will lose a point. If they can make it through the morning and still have tally marks on their desk, then they will receive a Quiet Award (a bookmark and a pencil). Click on pic to download.

Activities I have planned include a read aloud, silent sustained reading, a review sheet, writing activity and a guided direction activity.  Basically I will be reviewing our weekly skills and teaching as usual, without the students talking.

I already know which students will have 5 tally marks and which ones will have difficulty keeping even one.  My poor extroverts! It will be tough for them, but it will be fun to see if they can do it. I'm sure they will be up for the challenge.

What do you think? Could you make it through a Quiet Day?

Tips, Tools and Routines that Encourage Independence During Writing Workshop

Happy Monday & Presidents' Day! Mondays at home are the best, right?!!

Today, I am talking about Writing Workshop and how to avoid teacher burnout (as well as, retain your sanity). Nothing can make a teacher more crazy than a room full of second graders demanding help, feedback, praise, and encouragement during each step of the writing process.  Am I right?

Click on the image below to find out how to encourage independence, and problem-solving routines and practices that will lead your students to becoming self-managing, confident writers.


Vocabulary Instruction, Character Traits & Presidents' Day

Back again, and talking about vocabulary instruction! With both Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day looming, I can't think of a better time to expand students' vocabularies with some carefully chosen Tier 2 words.

What are Tier 2 Words? 

Tier 2 just means that the word is high-utility, and is worth taking the time to explicitly teach! These are words that are not in our students' normal-day vocabularies, but are also not so highly specialized, that they would hardly ever need to be used. In other words, they are words that our students will be seeing in their reading, and should be using in their writing!

Some great choices for this time of year might be:

Valentine's Day: compassion, courtesy, crimson, elegant, fragrant, generous, grateful, gracious, lavender, humorous, precious, courtesy

Presidents' Day: ambition, announce, compromise, collaborate, declare, innovative, honorable, creative, decisive, communicative

To read about what we did, with some of these words, in our classroom, head over to my blog. Link below.

Thanks for popping by,

President's Day Activities

Hi everyone! Sarah here from Sarah's Snippets. Today I'm here to show you one of my favorite social studies units. Years ago I create this unit for President's Day. I wanted to give my students some real "meat" during social studies. I was guilty of teaching social studies in a very shallow way. I wanted to help my students really understand what the president does. I wanted to up the rigor a bit too and make it cross-curricular. I spent about a week on this unit. Students were "presidents" for a week.

I'm going to share a little "snippet" from this unit. If you want to read more, check out the post on my blog.  The purpose of this unit was to help kids understand the main jobs of the president. 

This is a favorite from the unit. There are two different versions of this: a country version and a classroom version. In both, students are given money and must decide how much to give to each group. Then you can follow up with a writing activity where the students need to articulate why they chose certain groups over others. Opinion writing- Boom!

Next, students discuss what makes a good leader. Students will write about a person who they believe would make a good leader for their "cabinet" or for another leadership position in the country. 

Here, students learn that a president doesn't make the laws in our country. This is always eye-opening for kids because they see the president as the person who can do anything they want. With this activity, they learn that a president has a role to play in creating laws but cannot do it alone. 

This next activity serves two purposes: to show the president as a diplomat and to exercise their problem solving skills. :)

To see everything that students get to do during this unit, visit my blog! :)

Behavior Tips for ANY time of the YEAR

I don't know about you all but sometimes around this time I need a 'pick me up' as far as behavior incentives in the classroom go.  Hi guys,  It's Vicky from Teaching and Much Moore and I'm happy to share some ( tried and true ) ideas for you to use in your classroom this month.

Pick up a chair cover from the Dollar Tree that is seasonal.  Walk around the room and when you see a student engaged, working on task and quiet ~ sneak up and place the chair cover on the back of their chair.  I also pick up a necklace ~ so this month it has hearts on month it has clovers etc.  I place it around their neck as well. ( even the boys dig this in third grade ).  As the day goes on I move it around to other children.  At the end of the day whoever has it gets a trip to my treasure chest.

Here's a picture from the other day ~ I picked up a cute felt envelope from the Target Dollar Spot and cut the bottom of it so it opened from the bottom and it fit on the top of our chairs.

Another idea is to bring in a stuffed animal ~ it's a similar idea.  You can place the stuffed animal on a desk and use the same incentive above - prize of some sort at the end of the day....OR you can place it a set of desks and it can be used as extra table points.  Either way the kids love having it. { my favorite animal is a giraffe but you could bring in anything } If you have an owl theme in your classroom bring in a stuffed owl.  Or if it's March bring in a stuffed leprechaun.

My last behavior idea to use is a also great seasonal one for the classroom.  I just started them in November and it's been a big hit for my students.  I call them Behavior Bites and sell them in my store.  Here's a peek ~~~

Thanks for stopping in and visiting with me!  I hope these ideas are helpful and bring more sanity into your life and joy into your students lives. If you are interested in the behavior bites you can grab them { here }

Grammar Instruction in the Primary Grades

Happy first day of February, 2016! 

Today, I am tackling a hot topic... grammar instruction.  Ahh yes, the age old grammar, or not to grammar? What is a teacher supposed to do?

Click on the image below to go to Mrs. Rios Teaches and 1) read about what my 20 years of experience in the classroom has taught me about grammar instruction in the primary grades, and 2) pick up your copy of my most popular freebie (305,000+ downloads and counting!) that you can incorporate into your grammar lessons today!

Thanks for stopping by,