Thursday, August 15, 2013

Teacher Week '13 & What I'm Loving Wedne...THURSDAY!

So I'm getting all kinds of crazy today and knockin' out TWO linkies!

Let's start with #teacherweek13 
(remember to use this hashtag when sharing your post on Instagram, too! I did! @funwithfirsties)

So today on the Teacher Week '13 menu is 
Taming the Wild: Classroom Management.

It goes without saying that a strong establishment of routine right at the beginning of the year makes all the difference. But it's also all those little things that help get you and your kiddies smoothly through the day. I'll be sharing a couple of "the little things" with you today.

First thing in the morning, my kiddies walk in and see this:
(This question was originally from our Spiders Unit)

It is a "question of the day" chalkboard where, every day, I write a different question for the kiddies to answer and discuss. I started this because, during that Morning Madness time where I'm trying to take attendance, get milk/hot lunch orders, etc., the kiddies are usually still chompin' at the bit to So I figured this chalkboard was not only a great way to focus the chit-chat, but also to set the tone for the rest of the morning (and quench my personal obsession with chalkboards in a chalkboard-free school). I'm always so pleasantly surprised with how engaged my kiddies are in their on-topic talk. It becomes a daily surprise for them to see what the Question of the Day is going to be.
How It's Made: I made it by simply painting over a 2-dollar-garage-sale-find-old-as-heck oil painting with chalkboard paint. And then I made it nice and pretty by painting the frame in a blue ombre style (with acrylic paints).

Note: Most days I will write an education-related question; whether it be reviewing something learned the day before, activating prior knowledge about a topic we will discuss that day, etc. But some days (typically Fridays and holidays) I will write a "just-for-fun" question.

Now, like many of you, I need to frequently change things up in my classroom...keep my kiddies on their toes! So, some weeks, I'll scrap the chalkboard talk and replace it with "Brain Break" videos on my SmartBoard. The kiddies can.not.get.enough of these. Their favourite videos are from Just Dance Kids, Just Dance Kids 2, and Just Dance Disney Party. Here are a few examples I found on YouTube for you to see:
I just pop these DVDs into my computer at school and we're good to go! The deal is, the first kid ready and in the class gets to press play on the ready-to-go video (touching the SmartBoard never gets old!). It's amazing how quickly kids can take off their layers of winter clothes when they know their friends are having a dance party in the classroom without them.
We usually do 2-3 Brain Breaks after the bell and then we are ready to learn! I also throw these on throughout the day when I see my kiddies fading works wonders with their focus and energy levels!

1. David's Tea is always an obsession of mine. But I am LOVING my Bodum Stainless Travel Press...filled with *any* of their looseleaf teas. mmmmmm. Bring on the crisp autumn breeze.

2. My new Word Families Booklet! I struggled with teaching word families last year simple because I felt there were SO many of them and we were all.over the place. So I came up with this little booklet to not only help me organize my own instruction, but also give my kiddies a resource they can refer to throughout the year!

3. I am in desperate need of new PJs. I've been eying Victoria's Secret Cotton Mayfair Pajamas and Sleepover Cotton Pajama (one in every colour please).

Now it's your turn! Click either pic below to link up your post or just check out all the great things going on:


Thanks so much for your comment! It's great hearing from you and I hope you will visit again :)

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