Saturday, September 21, 2013

Swinging New Year Goals, Bucket Fillers, and more!

Hey there everyone!  We just finished our second full week of school and I. am. tired.  Why is it I always forget how tough the first month of so is?  I've been teaching first grade for 11 years and yet, I'm always shocked at how long it takes to do anything.  I guess I take for granted how far each group comes by June.  I just have to remind myself... it will get easier, they will get faster, and they will get more independent.  

We've busy building up independence for my version of literacy centers.  If you want to read more about how we do our independent reading checklist, click here.  We have established Read to Self, Read to Someone, and introduced the listening center.  They are doing really well and it has allowed me to chug though and finally finish all of my beginning of the year running record benchmarks.  Next week, my plan is to attempt our first checklist.  I'm only planning to do one reading group a day so that I can be available to troubleshoot and help out.  We'll see how it goes... the past two years, I tried to do too much myself on the first week and it ended up being a longer process to get the kids established.  This year, I'm hoping a more relaxed approach where I am more accessible will help the process along and allow students to develop their independence more quickly.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

We had Back to School Night on Tuesday night and it went very well.  We were busy doing special projects to share with parents and these were just a few of the cute things we did!  

Students write about their goals for the new year.  We also used this adorable craftivity from Valerie at All Students Can Shine.  
Goals for a "Swinging" New Year!
In first grade I want to do hard homework. 
In first grade I want to learn hard math and read long books.

They looked so adorable and colorful in the hallway and I got lots of compliments on the display.

Another great project we worked on were Our Bucket Fillers.  Of course, we read How Full is Your Bucket.  This lead to great discussions and lots of brainstorming of what we can do and already do that fill others' buckets.  If you are not familiar with the concept of bucket filling you need to check out the variety of books for children and adults that demonstrate the simple concept.  Students wrote about what they would do to be a bucket filler.  We used a wonderful freebie provided by Bucket Filler guru, Tiffany at One Fab Teacher.  I just modified her lines with white out to make them larger and with dotted midlines.  And I photocopied her beautiful colored clip art because I needed to save color ink.  Students used a gray square as their bucket, added a handle and face.  And then... the best part... glitter heart and star stickers to show their bucket full.  When I pulled out the glitter stickers, you might have thought I had shown them diamond jewelry.  It was hilarious!  I also used another freebie from Christie at First Grade Fever to add to the display.

I am a bucket filler because I raise my hand.
I am a bucket filler because I take care of my brother.
I'm setting a goal for myself to blog at least once a week.  I'm putting it out there for you all to see so that I feel accountable to follow though.  I'm also trying to remember to take more action shots.  I think I'm just so busy managing at this point, taking pictures is the last thing on my mind.   Thanks for stopping by!