Monday, October 10, 2011

The Daily Five = Success!

I have been using the daily five in my classroom now for about 3 weeks, and it has been working wonderfully!  I use the following centers:  leer a tu mismo, leer con un companero, escribir, trabajar con palabras, y escuchar a un cuento.  I also have been using the daily five bookmarks (see earlier post) for students to know which three centers they will be working on that day.  I set the timer for 15 or 20 minutes, and they do their assigned center.  When the timer goes off, they know to clean up and switch centers.  They do all of their responses in their daily five journal, which saves a ton of paper since our campus is going green this year.  During this time, I have been able to pull small groups fairly consistently and we are actually getting a lot accomplished.  SUCCESS!!  Don't you love when something is successful after you have put so much time and effort into it?  I am loving the daily five this year thanks to a few tweeks and modifications.  Let's hope it stays this way!
Saturday, September 24, 2011

Reading Strategies Bookmark

Well... as you can tell by my lack of posts, things have been a little crazy.  But I'm back!  I am finally ready to start pulling my kids in reading groups next week, so I modified an idea I found on pinterest and created this reading strategies bookmark.  I plan on making 5 or 6 for the kids to use when they are in reading groups with me.  I hope you find it helpful as well!

Reading Strategies Bookmark in Spanish
Saturday, September 3, 2011

Read with a partner questions

I'm been working hard this last week to get everything ready for the Daily Five.  I decided that I want the kids to be held accountable for what they are reading, so I created some questions for them to answer with their partner at the "read to someone" station.  You need Avery 8150 labels to print them out on, and I think that they would be great to put on large popsicle sticks.

Read with a partner questions

I did not have popsicle sticks, though, so I decided to be thrifty and use what I already had.  So I put my questions on coffee can lids that I had sitting in my closet at school.

I haven't tried these out with my students yet, but I'm hoping that they will be great for building comprehension!
Monday, August 29, 2011

Daily Five Bookmarks in Spanish

In an earlier post, I mentioned using bookmarks for the daily five.  I finally figured out how to upload the file for them, so here it is!

Daily Five Bookmarks in Spanish
Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm Alive & Daily Five

Whew... I survived the first week back!!  It was a whirlwind of a week that seemed to take an eternity... if that makes any sense?!

Tomorrow, I plan on starting to introduce the daily five to my kids.  I am going to do things somewhat differently this year, which I will get into more later.  For now, I am taking it one day at a time.  Tomorrow, I will be teach the I-PICK lesson where the kids learn how to pick "good fit books".  Since the acronym is in English, it doesn't work in my classroom.  Here is my version of the acronym in Spanish.

Yo Escojo un libro

P- Propósito (porque lo quiero leer)
I- Interes (Me interesa el libro?)
E- Entender (Entiendo lo que estoy leyendo?)
S-Saber (Se la mayoría de las palabras

To teach the lesson, you use shoes to show the students how to pick a book.  Each shoe has a purpose, and the same shoe that fits you might not fit your friend.  We all have different interests, different levels, and different purposes for reading so we need to pick the book that is right for us.  (not necessarily the same one that our friend has!)  This is why I went with the acronym of "PIES"-- it relates to the lesson on choosing a book.

I'm looking forward to teaching this lesson tomorrow & hope that you find this acronym helpful!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

1-2-3 Line

Well, I have been MIA for the last week as I have been crazily trying to get my classroom ready for the first day of school.  Whew!!

As the first day of school is approaching, I am thinking about procedures that I want to teach my kiddos.  One that I do is the 1-2-3 line system.  After all the kids are lined up, we do the following:

1-- Hold up a number one and put it over our mouths saying shhhh to remind us to be quiet in the hall.

2-  Hold up a number two and put the fingers on our eyes to remind us to face the front.

3- Hold up both hands with a number three and then put them at our sides to remind us that our hands go at our sides.

I have found that many of the line-up songs are in English and are difficult to translate, so I use this method.  Do you have a line-up song in Spanish that you use?
Sunday, August 14, 2011

First Day Activity

I love the scavenger hunt/ bingo idea that many teachers use on the first day of school.  Students walk around and get signatures of friends in different boxes (ex:  find a friend with 2 brothers).  I had thought about doing this with my students, but many of my first grade babies would not be able to read all of the boxes on their own.  I envisioned chaos in my mind, and decided to revise the activity for my class.

What I am going to do instead is to have each box be a letter of the alphabet.  Students will have to walk around getting signatures of friends whose names start with that letter.  They must get a row vertically or a row horizontally to win the game.  If you are a visual person like me, here is a sample of how it will look!

Loteria de nombres

Here's to getting the kids up & moving the first day of school!
Saturday, August 13, 2011

First Grade Glyph

I have been looking at lots of amazing first grade blogs all over the internet, and I recently came across this idea on one of the blogs.

First Grader Glyph

It ties in really well with our social studies curriculum, and so I decided I wanted to use it with my students the first week of school.  Which means, of course, that it had to be translated to Spanish.  Here is a link to the translated activity if you are interested.  Again, I am using my home computer and did not add accents/ question marks at the beginning of the sentences.  I plan on doing that when I am able to use my school computer.  But anyway, I hope you find this useful!

Estoy en primer grado
Thursday, August 11, 2011

You can't catch me... I'm the gingerbread man!!!

I am starting to think about the first week with the kiddos back, and want to do some new and fun activities with them.  I know many people do a Gingerbread Man Hunt, so I decided to try it out this year.  It is a good way to do a tour of the school and is a great vocabulary reinforcer for dual language kids.  I know there are many samples out there in English, but I couldn't find ANYTHING in Spanish.  So here is one that I made for you to use and modify.  My only disclaimer is that there aren't accents, because my computer at home is a Mac and it is hard to add accents in.

Gingerbread Man Hunt in Spanish

I'm thinking of having a (store bought) gingerbread man cookie for each kid to eat when we get back to the classroom.  I'm also thinking of having them draw and write about their experience chasing down the gingerbread man using a gingerbread man template with lines.  So... happy hunting!!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Daily Five Bookmarks in Spanish

I started doing the Daily Five (Los Cinco Diario) in my classroom last year.  I like the concept, but I decided to modify for my first graders this year to help them to be more on task and focused.  I saw this idea on pinterest for Daily Five Bookmarks:

Bookmarks in English (Where I got the idea!)

So I decided to use the same concept, but only add three options per bookmark.  I am going to do a 10-15 minute rotation per day, and have the students complete each activity on the bookmark in order.  This will hopefully help them to not continue to do the same activity over and over and will help them to be more productive during the Daily Five time.  If you are interested in getting a copy of the bookmarks in Spanish, email me at and I will be happy to send them!  Google Docs is not letting me upload the file because it is too big =(.   Anyway, I'm looking forward to trying this out this coming year with my chickadees!!
Friday, August 5, 2011

"I'm finished, now what Sra. Humphrey?"

I hear this comment from students MANY times throughout the day.  I've tried making posters with ideas of activities that they can do when they are finished, but the students still have trouble choosing an activity and doing it without interrupting the students who are still working.  So my solution was to have an interactive spot in the room where they can look at choices, and then take a card for the one they want to do.

I used ribbon, clothespins, and laminated choice cards.  I plan on adding new choices throughout the year that relate to the topics we are studying.  I'm looking forward to trying this out when school starts back!!
Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cute Crate Seats

Well... for those of you who know me, you know that I am NOT crafty.  But I saw this really cute idea on pinterest and decided to try it out for my classroom:

Where I got the idea

So in case you are interested in making milk crate seating for kiddos, here is the run down.  To make 5 seats, you will need milk crates (I got mine at Big Lots for $3.30), plywood, 1 yard of fabric, 1 yard of batting, a staple gun, and scissors.

You also need a way of cutting the plywood.  I bought mine at Home Depot, and they cut it some for me but my husband finished off the cutting with his dad's table saw.  Just measure the top of the milk crate to get the exact measurements of the plywood.

From there, cut the batting the exact size of the plywood, and the material a little bit bigger.  Lay the batting on top of the plywood, and then lay the material on top of the batting.  Turn it over and staple the material to the plywood with a staple gun... and VOILA!!!

Here is the finished product:

I am so excited about my crafty creation!!
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Whole Brain Teaching Rules in Spanish

I have recently discovered (thanks to a teacher friend) and absolutely love it.  The only thing is that everything is in English, so I decided to translate the 5 basic classroom rules into Spanish and add some clip art.  I hope that you find this helpful in your own classroom!

Whole Brain Teaching Rules in Spanish
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hello teacher blog world!

I have been teaching first grade for five years, and decided that it's time to put some zing back into my classroom.  The same old same old is not gonna fly for me this year.  I am looking forward to sharing my ideas & getting some great ideas from the blog universe.  With all the difficult aspects of teaching that we are facing, I am ready for a renewed and refreshed perspective so that this year  in my first grade class is FANTASTIC.  Thanks for checking out my blog!  More to come... stay tuned =)