Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Grade One

I have been a substitute in first grade the last two days, and am in first grade tomorrow, as well. I found some tidbits I may use when I get my own classroom. Here are a few of them:
  1. To encourage the children to lengthen their stories and use more detail, they had gloves at their desks (the cheap, knit kind) that said "beginning" on the thumb, "middle" on the next three fingers, and "end" on the pinky. Then when they were rereading their stories, to see if they needed more, they could put the glove on to double check. A small thing, really, that just helps them not to get in a hurry to move onto their next work by making a two sentence story. This was a simple reminder to make it five. :)
  2. In the calendar area of the room, where they meet everyday, there was a pocket chart. It had $$ in it. Fake coins, actually. The "helper of the day" had to make the amount of change four different ways for the day of school-example, it was the 39th day of school, so there had to be four different ways to make 39 cents on the pocket chart. :)
  3. The teacher had a 30 sided dice so, when playing a game, reading aloud, etc, where kids all raised their hands and wanted to help, she rolls the dice. The number up is chosen.
  4. On the word wall, the children's names were up under the first letter, and it had a picture of them beside it. :) A simple way to make them feel special.
  5. For the lunch count (in the school system I am teaching in, they have to choose lunch A-today was pizza, lunch B-today was Chef Salad and breadstick, lunch C-is always peanut butter and jelly crustable, or packed a lunch) they had to choose a piece of (again fake) coin/money to tell what they were having. Lunch A is a nickel, B is a dime, C is a quarter and pack is a penny.
  6. There was a very large construction paper pumpkin up in the back of the room covered with fall words, in case they were doing journals or story writing and needed to spell a fall word.
I have enjoyed first grade very much. They are a great age, eager to please and learn. And respond well to all the positive encouragement I like to give out. :)

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