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Showing posts with label PeaceLoveandFirstGrade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PeaceLoveandFirstGrade. Show all posts

Meet the Teacher-What You Should Know

Hi, friends! It's Laura from Peace, Love, and First Grade!
We've been back in school for two weeks, and I must tell you, I'm spent!

The beginning of the school year brings with it SO MUCH TO DO! 

I thought I'd try to help save you some time and stress by offering up what I've learned from 25 years of Meet the Teacher!
Let's get started!
PREP
1) Get your room in some kind of order so you aren't stressed about its appearance.

2) Prepare and print parent forms and info, whatever you plan to give to parents.

3) If you give your students B2S bags, prepare those, too.

4) Prepare and set up easy to use stations for parents to work through. There's no need to give directions 20+ times.

5) Give yourself a break and get a mani/pedi or do something else that makes you feel great!

6) Choose an outfit that makes you feel good, too!


DURING
7) Greet parents and students at the door. Offer a handshake to parents AND if your students are shorter than you, bend or squat to greet them. Tell the students how excited you are to spend the year with them. Tell parents you are looking forward to working with their children and with them.

8) Direct parents to the parent stations and suggest students explore their room. 



9) Now, this is super important! 
Make sure you find out the following (especially for the first day):

 *Tranportation: am and pm
Get specific bus numbers or day care names.  You need to know this info before parents leave your room. Most schools have a street list of buses.

One of my students rides the bus home every day except Friday. 
On Friday, his grandparents fetch him. This is something I need to know.

*Meals: How will the child eat? Will he bring a box or purchase a tray from the cafeteria? It is imperative to find out this info before Day 1.

Some students may bring their lunches most days, but get a tray on pizza day or soup and sandwich day. I suggest a check in system in your classroom for children to use each day indicating their lunch preferences. 

*Allergies: Does the child have an allergy? If so, is there a plan in place? EpiPen, etc.
Now, I have a student whose younger brother has a peanut allergy, so Mom doesn't allow my student to eat peanuts. This is not life threatening to my student. It is not HIS allergy. If someone has a peanut near him, I won't panic. However, a few years ago, one of my students had a red ant allergy with an EpiPen in the office. THAT was an allergy to watch. 

*Medical Issues: Asthma, Epilepsy, Diabetes, etc. What's the plan and what are your responsibilities? Does the child take medication at school?

I've had students with all of these diseases. You have to know the plan here. 
Does the diabetic have an insulin pump? Can she check herself? What are you required to do? 
A few years ago, I had a diabetic in my class. She was able to check herself and wore an insulin pump. I texted Mom after she checked, and Mom let me know what numbers to punch into the pump (how much insulin to deliver). She also had an emergency kit on hand if her count was off. 

**If you have a student with a life threatening disease, it is imperative you meet with the parents or a medical professional to learn as much as you can about the disease, including your responsibilities.**

*Behavior Disorders: ADHD, ODD, OCD, etc. What's the plan? Does the child take medication? If so, at home or at school?

Oh, behavior! Some students will come to you with a behavior plan in place. Others will require a behavior plan. Beginning a behavior plan is tedious on educators, but in some cases, absolutely necessary. Learn the laws in your state. DO NOT tell a parent you think his child has ADHD. Find out how your school district handles these issues and move forward from there.

I keep a fidget bag for ADHD students who need something in their hands during whole group lessons-Wikki Stix, connecting cubes, pipe cleaners (I still call them that), etc. Fidget bags really work to help students focus and remain calm.


*Check-Out:
Are there any adults who ARE NOT allowed access to your student? This one can be tricky, but today there are many divorced families with court orders, and we must know and honor those orders. Find out if you have a case like this. Usually, parents will let you know, but not always. Check those cumulative folders.

*Siblings at School: Does your student have siblings at your school? 
Sometimes you may need to send home info/homework/etc with siblings, or if your student checks out early one day, you may want to let the siblings know. Especially younger siblings who may panic if they don't see their older brothers/sisters.

*Religious Preferences:
Now, I'm going to say this, and it may not be PC, but... it's truly up to the parents to let you know if they have religious objections. Most parents will make you aware. I've taught many students whose families were Jehovah's Witnesses. They were all very up front with me, and I appreciate that so much! I don't want to offend any family, but I also need to be aware of religious preferences so I don't offend. 

*Parent Objections:
Do you plan any activities in your classroom of which parents may object? Here are a few examples.

One of my students is not allowed to have temporary tattoos. So, when cheerleaders start selling promo items, this child doesn't need to purchase paw print tattoos. I need to know this. Get my point? 

I've taught students whose parents didn't want them to go sock-footed. 
Just be proactive. Let parents know your intentions before beginning an activity that may cause objections.



Whew! That's a lot of info, and I'm sure I left off something!
But... if you're still around, here's a freebie for you to use at MTT.

-AND-
If you need resources to help you with Meet the Teacher, 
I offer 33 different themed Meet the Teacher packs in my TpT store. 
Click the pic to take you there.







6 Ways to Re-Energize Your Class This Spring

Hi, friends! Laura here from Peace, Love, and First Grade!

Are you as excited as I am about SPRING?
My azaleas are blooming, the sun is shining, and recess could last all day!
Spring is here at last!

Hmm...the weather is absolutely beautiful, so what is it then (testing, worry about the fence sitters, I could go on...) that causes teachers to feel out of sorts in spring??



If you feel the spring time exhaustion, you are not alone. I'm with you, along with thousands of your closest teacher friends!
What's a teacher to do?

Well, there's always the adage, "This, too, shall pass." 
But, let's be honest, when you're in the thick of things, that's not very helpful.

I can't calm the winds or take away the full moon days, but I can share with you a few things I do when the days seem to draw out forever.




1) Try a New Activity
Dig out an activity you love and you KNOW the kiddos will love! 
We have an Author's Craft unit we do each spring, and not only do I love it, the kids love it, too.
You can feel the energy in the room during these lessons.
Dig deep if you have to, but find a lesson or activity to re-energize the class!


2) Read Your Favorite Children's Book
Apply the same tip from #1 to your favorite read-aloud. My firsties eat up chapter books during spring. They love Mercy Watson and Judith Viorst's LuLu, and I know breaking out a book from one of those series will make ALL of us smile! 


This is also a great time to break out a favorite from YOUR childhood to share with the class. I have always loved The Boxcar Children and adore sharing it with my kiddos. I mean, quite honestly, the original Boxcar is about as good as it gets!  

Pull out your favorite picture books, too. I love sharing Russell Hoban's Frances series during spring.







3) Do Something Different
I know. I know. That takes energy! 
But spring is the perfect time to try something new. 
Plan and plant a garden. 
Go outside and have class. 
The clouds are beautiful right now. Take advantage of that and learn about them. Send everyone out to sketch those babies!
http://www.movetolearnms.org/

http://www.movetolearnms.org/If you've never tried online Brain Breaks before, 
give them a shot.
My kidlets would GoNoodle or Move to Learn all day if I would let them.
Brain Breaks are seriously good for refreshing students AND teachers! 




**Let me preface #4 by saying I don't mean do this every day, and I am not advocating all day recess, just a ONE TIME BREAK.
4) Give Your Kids (and Yourself) a Break
Skip the spelling test this week...or homework...or an incredibly boring lesson in the math program that causes you to breathe deeply for 30 minutes afterward. You know what I mean.
We've all been working hard and we all deserve an unexpected break



5) Get Student Input
Ask your kiddos what they are interested in learning about and plug their ideas into your lesson, even if you just find books about their favorite topics. 
Create a class chart where children can add their suggestions or interests. Children love knowing their opinions matter and feel valued when you take the time to include their interests in your lessons.

6) Spring Clean
Take some time each day to clean out! Spend 20 minutes cleaning out a bin or a drawer. We all know the feeling of accomplishment that comes with a tidy workspace. 

Get the kids in on the act, too. All my littles have class jobs, and those jobs change every 9 weeks. Let your students apply for the jobs that interest them and start assigning tasks. Set aside a time each day when everyone does his job. Your kiddos will love it!



Let's face it! Teaching is an exhausting profession. 
It's a wonderful "wouldn't want to do anything else" adventure, but it's exhausting. 
I hope one of the ideas above inspires you this spring.  
And, remember, if all else fails, "This, too, shall pass."

Have a fabulous week!! 

Advent Calendar Fun-Day 14

Happy Sunday, friends! 


I'm here for Advent Calendar Day 14-bringing you an idea, a deal, and a freebie!

Let's get started!

The Idea

Last week, a sweet grandmother made ornaments with my kiddos.


Materials:
1) Clear, plastic Christmas balls
2) "Snow"-comes in a bag at craft stores
3) Holiday confetti
4) Holiday ribbon (2 per child-cut in 2-3 inch strips)
5) Jingle bells (1 per child)

Steps:
1) Squeeze the wire and take the top off the ball.

2) Fill the ball with "snow."

3) Fill the ball with holiday confetti.


4) Take the wire out of the top and string the bell on the wire. 
Then "poke" the ribbon through the wire, one piece on each side of the bell.


5) Attach the wire back to the top and place the top back on the ball.

6) Tie a ribbon through the top to hang on the tree.
 You are finished! Look how sweet!

The Deal

My kiddos are enjoying this pack so much!
 
They keep asking for the next one!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Sight-Words-Winter-Color-by-Code-1589134


You get Winter and Holiday pictures straight through Valentine's Day.

Today only, it's HALF OFF!!

Click the pic above to see it!

The Freebie
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ordinal-Numbers-and-Postional-Words-1606820

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ordinal-Numbers-and-Postional-Words-1606820

I just uploaded this freebie to TpT!

If you teach ordinal numbers or positional words, here's a winter freebie to help you out!

3 different activities to help your kiddos practice these life skills!

Click the pic above to download!

I hope you found something you love here!

Hang in there! The holidays are coming!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, friends!



Prepping Early with a Freebie!

Hi, friends! It's Laura from Peace, Love, and First Grade!

When I read Katie's post yesterday, I thought about the hustle and bustle of the holidays and how we, as teachers, can find ways to lessen the stress. 

One thing I like to do is prep ahead.

Years ago, I learned I removed some unnecessary stress if I prepped weeks in advance. 

Don't get me wrong, things always come up, but I want to be prepared if they do. 

Being prepared includes making sure all my classroom resources are printed and ready to use before they are needed. 

In first grade, we use a lot of printable math resources-
number cards, number grids...tons of number references, including number lines. 

Well, I'm all about seasonal and holiday fun, and my kiddos enjoy using them, too.

If you like changing out references with the seasons, then here are a few freebies for you-

number lines 0-10. 

Even though, we are adding through 20, the Singapore Math program we use is based on ten, 
so we'll use these number lines all year. 

And honestly, many of my sweet friends still need visuals to help with equations,
 especially with those tricky MISSING ADDENDS! Grrr!


Here are three different winter number lines from 0-10, color and b/w.
Click on the pic to download!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B00-mQVGz6uqTmo2Um1TNjVrZlE/view?usp=sharing



And, if you still need fall resources,
 here are three different fall number lines from 0-10, color and b/w, as well. 
Click the pic to download!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B00-mQVGz6uqajhzam5vM3hQYVk/view?usp=sharing


I hope you can use these! 
Happy Sunday, friends!







19 Books for Halloween Fun!

Hi, friends! 
It's Laura from Peace, Love, and First Grade!
Hope your weekend is going well!

If you read my blog, you know I'm obsessed with children's literature!
I. LOVE. IT!!

I spend a great deal of time checking out titles to use in the classroom! 
 Old and New!

This week on my blog, I shared 19 titles perfect for Halloween!
http://www.peaceloveandfirstgrade.com/2014/10/19-halloween-books-for-kids.html
 Click the pic to read about my favorite Halloween stories!
Hope your Halloween is spooky!!