Sunday, April 27, 2014

Learning Target Organization! & Freebie!

I've worked hard over the past 2 years creating unit learning targets for all subject areas. I print them off, laminate them, and post them on my learning targets board during each unit of study. When a unit ends, I find the next unit's learning targets to post. This has definitely been a work in progress project of mine over the past 2 years. It feels good to be able to have a strong handle on the curriculum and what I'm teaching in each subject area. These unit target sheets have really focused my teaching and make my first graders completely aware of the expectations.

This year I had one folder labeled "learning targets" on the front. I just stored all of the subject areas in this one folder. The problem was, when I went to get a particular unit, I could never find it! So I decided to organize the unit target pages by subject area. I bought 4 folders from Walmart and made labels to go on the front. These folders have really made locating a particular unit's targets a breeze! Click here to download the labels for free!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebration of Learning!

In the spring, my school does a celebration of learning instead of traditional parent/teacher conferences. This celebration varies from grade to grade, but this post is about how it works in first! The block of time is in the evening and I started this year at 4:30 and went until 7:00. I sent home 30 minute blocks of time for parents to choose from. Parents were asked to list their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice. Once I got the choices back, I created a schedule. I don't like to have more than 4 families in the classroom at a time. The children bring their parents into the classroom during their assigned block of time and just share their work. I created a page to guide the children's "sharing" of their work, see picture below:
I forgot to mention that we did a baseball theme for our celebration because it was opening day for the Detroit Tigers! So of course I did all things baseball! So the children began by sharing their leadership notebooks with their parents. Their leadership notebooks include reading, writing, math, and goals. Most of the information in their leadership notebooks is data on their individual growth in the classroom (no work samples). Then I made a cover page (baseball of course) for their published writing and the children shared their stories with mom and dad. Next, I had students grab their poetry notebooks from their book baskets and share some of their favorite poems. They absolutely loved that part! Finally, I gave them a choice to share their wise owl words (big vocabulary words), CAFE strategies and how they work, our classroom leadership jobs, or the contents of their Reader's Notebook.  It was so amazing to see my first graders taking full responsibility of their learning. My students know what's in their leadership notebooks and where they are at in their learning. I use individual tracking progress pages for every unit of study and these are also kept in the leadership notebooks.  I set up the tables with a big paper baseball in the center, a helium balloon, leadership notebooks, published writing, and the "You Just Hit a Homerun" page on top. I found baseball easter eggs and filled them with goodies for the kids when they came in. I can confidently say that this year's celebration of learning was a "hit!"

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fraction Fun!

I just finished a new product and posted it on my TPT store. First graders can really relate to food, so I found some fun pizza fraction clipart from Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs and got busy creating! I started out just making a "scoot" fraction game and couldn't help but add more. It's called Pizza Party Fraction Scoot and MORE! Click on the link to check it out!