Primary Chalkboard: Freebie
Showing posts with label Freebie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Freebie. Show all posts

On the Second Day of School FREEBIE

The first day of school is important. But the second day of school is important also, and it can be incredibly overwhelming. In fact, I am usually at least TWICE as stressed on the second day.

All of the forms you sent home on the first day will start coming back to you. Also many of your students will bring in their school and classroom supplies, if they didn't bring them the first day. There will also be a few parents who will insist on walking their kiddos down for the second day in a row. They will want to ask you questions about the previous day. Then, students who were excited about the first day of school may start acting out on the second day because they have come to the realization that summer REALLY is over. They may have to be coaxed into your room and out of the hallway. Along with getting to know and taking care of 24 +/- new little people, this can make the second day of school particularly challenging.

That is why I always make sure that I have a morning work activity that is SUPER engaging, so that I have a little extra time to take care of "business."

Click here to download a free "Second Day of School Book" that you can use with your own class! (Recommended for grades 1-3).

Back to School Planning: Teaching with Themes Throughout the Year

Hi everyone! It's Leslie from First Grade and Flip Flops! Hard to believe that back to school is in full swing for some of our teacher friends! I still have a few weeks left but it doesn't mean that I am not in school mode! I have been busy planning and getting ready for the year by prepping beginning of the year homework, information packets, making a new decor set, and the list goes on and on! 

This meme is the story of my life! 

One of the things I want to share with you is how I plan during the year. Of course I teach to our curriculum maps. That is a must! They are always in my plan book and I refer (and agonize and sometimes have an adult beverage just to sift through some of those tough standards I have to teach!!) to them constantly as I am planning weekly. It takes me at least 2 hours or more just to plan some weeks because our curriculum (like yours) is so. packed

One aspect of planning that I do is that I love to teach with a weekly theme in mind. It's not all the time (sometimes, I go with the theme of our weekly story) but it really helps to give me direction as far as gathering materials for my instruction. I tie in the standard to the theme (if I have one) to help make my planning and instruction go more smoothly-- plus, the kids love knowing what we're learning about. 

For example, we had an Olivia week where we learned all about Olivia. It happened to be that that was our story in our reading series. So I placed books about Olivia, books about pigs, all their literacy centers were pig or Olivia based (and skill targeted), and they had an activity where they had an art gallery walk just like Olivia in the story. 

I usually plan by seasons and if you were to take a look at my file cabinets (well, I rather you wouldn't as they are a HOT MESS! ha!) and my teaching tubs, I have them set up and prepared by what I teach by season. Here are just some examples:

Sometimes we get to it and sometimes not; you know how that goes! Our days are so packed with standards, curriculum, and pacing-- that sometimes we can't always fit it in! I do want to note that although I did list some holidays, our district has gotten very strict with mentioning anything of the sort. Who knew that Santa was another bad "S" word? LOL!! In all seriousness,  just to be on the safe side, check with your district to see what their policy is. For example, this year we weren't allowed to do anything Grinch related even though I could have tied it in with all the standards we were teaching that week (in ELA). I was very sad

This is just a sample of what I've taught throughout the years and if you have other ideas that you'd like to add to the list, we'd love to hear them!! 

And I've got a little {FREEBIE} for you to download, print, and keep in your plan book! It might come in handy when you are planning. 

I hope that this helps you with your planning as your school year begins! I know that it really helps me! Don't forget to check back with us for more fantastic ideas to help you with back to school! 

Take care!! :-)

Lots of love,

Parent Input Freebie

Hello, Hello!!!

It's Lisa from Growing Firsties dropping by today to talk a bit about getting Parent Input.

Over the last few years I've been pretty jazzed about Growth Mindset. You may have already seen this recent Primary Chalkboard post or this Growing Firsties post.

Smile if you like getting input from your students' parents at the beginning of the year about their child's learning style and personality. (Did ya smile? Hope so!)

Back in April, when I started thinking about my new crop of students, I started thinking about how I could get different input from parents...mindset-based input.

'Cuz, at the very beginning of the year, before I reallllly know my students, it's helpful to know which students may...

need extra organizational help

be reluctant to try something new

are reading at the beginning of the year benchmark, but it was lots of hard work to get there

benefit from close support to learn routines

For some students, the above characteristics are pretty easy to see...but in others, the ones who stay under the radar a bit, not so much.

Sarah has a GREAT post about her parent input form - you can read it by clicking {right here}.

I like to hit the ground running as much as possible, so this is the Parent Input Form I developed.
Growing Firsties Primary Chalkboard

Here's a bit of a closer look:
Growing Firsties Primary Chalkboard

You can download it by clicking either of the above pictures. It's a zipped (compressed) file because one of the formats is EDITABLE. can make it work for YOU and YOUR context. :) I hope you find it helpful!!!

Establishing Your Morning Routine and Classroom Jobs

Hi everyone! It's that time of year again. Summer is winding down and we are all starting to think about going back to school. Some of you are already there! Am I alone when I say that the first week usually makes me want to pull my hair out? Well today I'm going to talk about setting up your morning routine so your kids know exactly what to do when they walk in the room. Hopefully this will help keep a few more stands on hair on your head. ;)

My first couple years, I really struggled with this. Most kids learned our routines and knew exactly what to do. Others knew what to do, but got side tracked. Still others weren't sure. I realized it wasn't them It was me. When our students are struggling in the classroom, we always need to look at what we are doing that isn't getting through to them. I realized that I taught routines and even modeled them, but some of my students still needed a visual reminder. Most days were the same, but Mondays and Fridays were different because Friday was turn in homework day and Monday they had to check their job chart. Some mornings I had morning work, but other mornings I wanted them to read a book. I wasn't being consistent. So I created these posters for my class:

Each morning, I chose the posters I wanted for that day and put them on my magnetic white board. They took up a lot of space, but I was able to remove them when the bell rang and our day began so it didn't matter. I kept them easily accessible so I could grab them each morning. The following year, I started out my year strong by introducing these posters on day one. I told my students that they could count on these visuals to be there each morning so they knew exactly what to do. I started with just one poster: Hang up your backpack. Then as I introduced more routines, I added that poster up the next morning. Here are some tips on using these posters:

1. Start on Day 1 with just one poster. Introduce the morning routine posters. 
2. Each day, add a poster as you introduce new routines. 
3. Model and practice as you introduce a new poster.
3. After the bell rings and everyone is seated, go over the posters that you have on the board. Check to make sure everyone has completed each routine before taking down that poster. Give them time to do it if they hadn't already. 
4. After all have been introduced, modeled, and practice, spend a few more days or a week (however long it takes) going over each poster to make sure everyone has done them. Do this after everyone is seated. Take down a poster and ask, "Did you hang up your backpack?" If everyone has done it, move on to the next one.
5. Spend time practicing your morning routine at the end of the day so checking these each day becomes a habit. Mix it up so they get used to the fact that sometimes certain posters will not be there. (For example, my homework poster was only there on Fridays.)
6. For those students who need a little extra help, give them a mini-version (pictured below) to keep laminated on their desk. They can check off as they go using a white board marker. If needed, provide a timer to show them how much time they have. 

You can download these by clicking HERE

One of my routines on Mondays is to check the job chart. I change out jobs each week. I don't need to keep a checklist of jobs because I just move the jobs one over each week. 

There are two different ways to set this up:

Jobs on the inside and faces of students on the outside:

OR jobs on the outside and student names inside:

Come by my blog to read and see more about how I use this job chart.

Another clever idea for job charts:
A coworker many year ago used to have two kids doing each job at a time. The first student was the "expert" and the 2nd was "job training." The next week the job trainee would become the expert and teach the next person how to do the job. That means every other week you were learning a new job and every other week you were an expert. I loved that system! 

I hope you all have a great first week back.  I hope this post helps with some of those routines! :)

Growth Mindset

Hi There!
Lisa here, from Growing Firsties & I'm going to share a little bit about Growth Mindset today, which is based on Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck's work.

Heads up that I do have some Amazon Affiliate links in this post. Should you choose to use the links, I'll earn some "circle money" as my daughter calls coins. :-) Half of my affiliate proceeds are for paying it forward - each month I receive earnings I give to my local food pantry/outreach services organization. The other half is spent on books and items for my classroom.
Growing Firsties Primary Chalkboard

With a growth mindset, people believe that through effort and practice, they can develop and improve their talents and abilities. In a fixed mindset, people believe that their talents and abilities are fixed...and that it's talent (not effort) that creates success. Woah.

Years ago, I first began to think about mindset in terms of working with struggling students...those students where the learning is hard. Students, who, if they don't have the mindset to keep trying, will give up. Then what will they learn?

My thinking expanded as I witnessed students labelled as gifted hitting a struggle academically and not knowing how to handle the struggle when they are unfamiliar with the resilience and effort needed.

Then I realized that mindset, resilience & perseverance are critical for all of us. Regardless of age. #helloIhatecardio #gottadoitanyways

You may have seen this Growing Firsties post from a few years ago, containing this freebie download.
Everyone Matters!

Or maybe this post from last summer all about perseverance.
What's Under Your Cape?

I am blessed to work at an amazing school! Some talented colleagues ran a book study on Dweck's Mindset book this year and it was such fun to re-read and discuss mindset with like-minded teachers! I also added Mindsets in the Classroom (by Mary Cay Ricci) to my collection.

We read aloud some great books and I expanded my collection beyond the wonderful texts from Peter H. Reynolds (Ish, The Dot, Going Places...)

One of my teammates asked me if I had a printable for our work on mindset and that gave me the motivation to put my swirling thoughts to work....Here's a little peek at the inside...

Scroll down to download this freebie! :)

You might be interested in reading an article by the always eloquently-thought-provoking Alfie Kohn "The Perils of Growth Mindset" education. You can get to it {right here}.

Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, has written this EXCELLENT'll definitely want to check it out! You can get to it {right here}.

I have a Pinterest board called Mindset and I love pinning to it! You can check it out by clicking here or the screen shot below. You should really check out the Famous Failures video! It's amazing!
Growing Firsties

We'd love to hear what you do to help build a growth mindset with your learners!

Helping students keep track of their pencils!

I don’t know about you, but kids not having the supplies they need to do their work drives me CRAZY! Crazy, I tell you.  The problem is that I GIVE them everything they need. EVERYTHING and they lose it, eat it, leave it on the floor, claim, “It’s not mine!” and let their neighbor take it. So one kid has 6 pencils and another has none.

Enter Vodka.

Actually enter this brilliant idea! I flag my pencils with masking tape, write the child’s name on the pencil flag,  and reward the child for keeping track of their pencils until they are all used up.

No more lost pencils

So what are you waiting for? Grab some masking tape and let’s do this. Simply wrap tape around the pencil and fold the tape back in on itself. Trim the edge for a nice clean finish.  This is a great job for a parent volunteer. I have used many kinds of tape to make the flags. I have found that masking tape works best. It’s easy to work with, write on, and though it can rip, it is pretty durable! I keep about 100 at the ready all the time.

100 pencilsYou can hand out the awards in many ways. I like to give a child an award when they use up a pencil. You can also surprise the class with a pencil check. Anyone who still has their pencil gets a responsibility award.

reward them

Download now new

Summertime Resources

Aloha Chalkboard friends!  It's Corinna from Surfin' Through Second.  I am so happy to be relaxing and enjoying my summer break.  I have about 6 weeks to soak up the sun and recharge before I head back to the classroom.

Some of you may still be in the classroom and looking for some resources  to finish up the year or even send home with your kids over the summer.

Have you heard about Scholastic's Summer Reading Challenge

They have some great incentives for you school, class and individual readers.  There are also great resources for students, parents and teachers.

Here's a freebie reading log you can send home to
help keep track of reading minutes.

Here's a great reminder for parents to help limit screen time from Your Modern Family. If you haven't checked out their site, it has some fantastic resources and articles.

Here are some great ideas for summer read-alouds.

If you are looking for some resources to send home with your 
students over the summer, here are a few options.

This summer review booklet covers 2nd grade language arts and math skills.

This booklet is geared for 1-3rd

Here are some summer reading activities to help keep kids engaged.
Are you still in the classroom and looking for some fun activities to end the year?

presentations to keep kids focused and engaged.

If your looking for something to put you in a tropical mood you could 
always teach a little unit on Hawaii.

If you are already out of the classroom and looking for a good summer read, follow along with this book study on Teaching With Intention  hosted by The Kindergarten Smorgasboard.

Whether you are on vacation, still working or teaching summer school I hope you find some me time and power up!  

Courtesy of Discovery Education