Saturday, September 13, 2014

We Will Never Forget...

Week #2 is in the books!  I am finally starting to get back into this school schedule with extended days... slowly but surely!  (I work at a Priority School and we go for 8.5 hours a day with students).  I wanted to share some of the things we did this week!

Here is my 1st bulletin board of the year!  The students did self portraits.  We did a name bunting & then I took pictures of the students and did mini-interviews.  I edited their pictures on PicMonkey to add their name, age, favorite color, most looking forward to in 1st Grade, and what they want to be when they grow up.  I put those pictures up next to their self portraits.

After the students finished these self portraits, I had them do mini ones in pencil to make a class border.  I scanned this to my computer and will use it for our class newsletters.

Last week, we did this back to school activity.  Each student decorated a puzzle piece and then cut it out.  I had them all work together to put the puzzle together.  It was a good lesson in teamwork!

 I am SO excited about this product I got from TpT!!!  These Student Data Graphs are exactly what I was looking for this year!  Students keep track of their own progress & set their own goals!

While students are practicing centers, I have been calling students over to start assessing and recording their current levels.  I am so blessed this year to have only 18 students right now!  It is amazing what I can get done compared to the 36 students I started with last year!

I bought the poly folders for $0.50 at walmart so they will last all year!  Behind their data, I have Super Speed 100 and Super Speed Math for practice during centers.  I have not started this with the students quite yet but they are having a blast playing Electronic SuperSpeed!  It is also and easy way to assess sight word knowledge!

Get your FREE Whole Brain Teaching resources HERE!


The most fun part of last week was.... remembering September 11th!  I LOVE teaching about this day!  Especially since most of my firsties do not know about it yet.  

I start out by showing pictures of the Twin Towers before anything happened.  I ask students if they know what these buildings are.  Then I show a picture of the buildings after they have been hit.  I have students partner up and talk about what they think happened. I have heard everything from zombies invading the city to 100 bombs being thrown into the buildings!  

Then I show the 1st part of the BrainPop video on 9/11.  The students are usually VERY intrigued!  I stop for questions often!  This year I found another video on Discovery Education by Reading Rainbow called the Tin Forest.  

After this, I have students draw on a blank piece of paper how they feel.  

Then we come back together and talk about the heroes of that day.  I just LOVE this amazing American Heroes packet!  Students wrote thank you letters to the heroes and drew pictures to go with it!  There are some fantastic coloring pages & writing pages in this pack!

Then we read the book "September 12th" written by First Graders.  I love using this book to show my students they can do ANYTHING!  I use it later in the year when we talk more about authors and illustrators too!

Okay so now to my most favorite part of this year!  My fiance just got out of the military last week after 5 years... so I asked him to come to school on Sept 11th and do a mini bootcamp for the students and answer questions.

Our firsties were SO AWESOME!  They LOVED seeing what they do in the military and had a million questions for him!

Since many of my students last year met him, he did another bootcamp presentation for the 2nd Graders afterwards. All of our students think they want to join the military now!

When we were done with the bootcamp, we came back in and made "We Will Never Forget 9/11" badges and we made American Flags (that I am going to keep and put up for Veterans Day/Memorial Day!  Some of my students even wore their badges back to school the next day!  

Get a FREE copy of the 9/11 badges HERE!

I am SO excited about this group of Firsties!!!  Fingers crossed that after 3rd Friday count, they won't fill my classroom to the limit.  I wish more school districts understood the power of smaller class sizes!

In just 9 days, my students are using oral writing amazingly & already beginning to teach calendar time on their own using WBT!  I cannot tell you how proud of them I already am!

I will be posting more pics of what we are doing in Whole Brain Teaching very soon so check back often!

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Happy (Whole Brain) Teaching!
~ Heidi

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