Saturday, September 10, 2011

Making Changes....and Sharing Ideas!

My room....a view from the door!

Group Work Tubs & Math Manipulative Tubs 
I hope to label this week!

I've been working on my classroom library, organizing and labeling, I still have many things left to do and label! Many thanks to & for the labels!

 A poster rack (used in stores) makes a great "big book" holder! I purchased this at a yard sale for $7.00!

Word Wall to the Rescue! About 10 years ago I decided I was tired of picking up word wall words off of the floor! This is a quick and easy fix! Simply take the alphabet header cards and staple or hot glue a ribbon to each, then place stick on Velcro every 3-4 inches along the ribbon, next place a piece of Velcro on the back side of each word wall word, last take a hole punch and punch a hole in the top of the alphabet header card, then use a large paper clip to serve as the hanger, place the paper clip hanger in the track of your ceiling tiles of your classroom and you are done!
 Word Wall!

More leveled readers to organize and label!
I have several other areas in my library that I will be working on this week! I feel inspired by so many of you to make my library an organized and fun place to spend time! It feels so awesome to be able find the book I need, right when I need it, and direct my students to books I know they will be able to read and enjoy with ease!

Word families! Just another pipe cleaner, alphabet bead and index card idea!

Spin and read! Color spinner, color word tiles, one bowl per child and one bowl labeled "I don't know!" Students must choose a word tile that matches the color they have spun on the spinner and read the word.  If the student reads the word correctly, they may place the word tile in their bowl.  If the student reads the word incorrectly he/she must place it in the “I don’t know!” bowl.  As word tiles start to accumulate in the “I don’t know!” bowl, they become extra point words! If a student should read the word they have chosen correctly, they may also choose a word tile from the “I don’t know!” bowl that matches the color they have spun. If they read this word correctly, they may keep it as well! The student, who has the most word tiles, wins the game! Once the winner has been determined, students try to make sentences using only the words in their bowls! I also choose a winner for the best sentence made from the word tiles!

Word Families....foam sheets and card stock strips!
 I had problems with a couple of pictures not wanting to rotate! I apologize....very annoying! :)

I have created 37 poetry power points for our first grade Poetry for Breakfast. Every grade participates in Poetry for Breakfast and each grade level has implemented the program in their own way! Each week I introduce a new poem. I have created a slide for each day of the school week. Each slide focuses on a language arts skill.  I had a lot of fun creating these power points. Someday I hope to attach a link so that I can share all of them with those of you who are interested!

Slide 2.... for Tuesday, highlighted rhyming words.
Below...students compare their answers to slide 2 of the poetry power point.  Tip: Having a presentation pointer allows you to be anywhere in the room and change the slides! I love mine! I can sit with a small group in the back of the room and change the slides when students are ready to move on to the next skill!  

Something you may not know...clear page protector sleeves make great dry erase boards for things you want to reuse! Each week a classroom helper changes the poems in the sleeves!

We use this pocket chart to display the things we've learned from the poem of the week! By the end of the week the pocket chart is full of (rhyming words, nouns, pronouns, verbs, contractions, adjectives, word parts/chunks etc.) You get the idea!

Butterfly labeling and following directions! once again I realize this picture needs to be rotated, but it would not cooperate! LOL!
Entomologists in training!
Measuring the wingspan of a butterfly!
Well that's all for now.....have a wonderful weekend! 
Stephanie McVey

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Begin with the End in Mind!

Begin with the End in Mind! I have decided to share pictures from last year! For the past 4 years I have held a Family Day Luau at the end of the school year! The Family Day Luau is held in honor of Mother's Day and Father's Day! It is truly a fun time for everyone!

                            Fishing for Contractions!!!

 First Grade Fishing for Contractions! Supplies needed: Blue bulletin board paper, dowel rods, drill, fishing line, small round magnets, baskets, foam sheets, a permanent marker and large paper clips! Drill small holes at the end of each dowel rod, drill one small hole through the center of the magnet, slip the fishing line through the hole in the dowel rod and tie it off, next slip the fishing line through the magnet and tie it off with a knot at the bottom, cut fish patterns out of colored foam, write a contraction on each fish, be sure to write the matching word pair on the same color fish as its matching contraction, last, attach a paper clip to the mouth of each fish! As students find matches they should place them in their baskets or buckets! 
 Ocean in a bottle! Tub of white sand, funnel, bottled water (labels removed, names printed on each), blue food coloring (2 drops! Adults only!), small seashells, glitter, glass beads and small rubber fish!

Personalized visors! Preparations: find each students' Hawaiian translated name, name cards with name and Hawaiian name printed on each,  permanent markers, and beach theme foam stickers!

The Tikki Snack Shack in the background of the picture above served as our snack station! We had cupcakes, fruit kabobs,  and Island Ice drinks! Our fifth grade Poetry Pals pictured below, came to work at the Tikki Shack and helped to serve our guests!

Family Day Banners/Flags! Scrap booking paper, hole punchers, ribbon, paint and paint brushes! Each family member placed their hand print on the banner and then signed their name below their hand prints! Students and family members decorated the banners when they were finished!

Photo frame centers! We made and decorated family day photo frames to display the pictures taken in our photo booth!

We also attempted to learn how to hula, by watching the DVD Hula for Children! It was awesome to see the parents join in and dance! It was especially funny to watch the dads trying to hula!

  The year before last I took my class outside and we played "Surviving the Hawaiian Islands!", a spoof off of the show Survivor! Students and parents had five minutes to study a map of the Hawaiian Islands and were then given five minutes to put the Hawaiian Islands in order! (I made the islands out of card board and used an overhead projector to trace and make my patterns.) The teams that came the closest to getting the islands in order, earned immunity!(The immunity idols were wooden apples!) Those who did not do as well had water balloons thrown at them! On such a hot day, a water fun game was certainly welcomed! We also did the limbo, and had a hula hoop contest! Unfortunately, I haven't taken pictures of the outdoor events, so I'll be sure to do so this year, weather permitting!

     This is one of my absolute favorite and fun-ta-bulous first grade events! I look forward to it each year and get excited when I find new ideas to incorporate into this special day! I have found so many awesome ideas on Pinterest for my Family Day Luau and well, just about everything!  I'm eager to learn from and share with each of you! Have a wonderful school year!  Stephanie McVey

P.S. As I mentioned in my first post, this is my first took me an entire day to get my Pinterest button to work, 2 days to make and attach my slide show,  and as of this evening I have now figured out how to display the blogs I have been following and add pictures to my posts! WOO! HOO for ME! LOL! I thought I knew quite a bit about computers, but I guess I was wrong!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Just Getting Started and Clueless About Creating a Blog!!! :)

   Hello! My name is Stephanie McVey.  I am a first grade teacher at Terre Town Elementary School in Terre Haute, Indiana.  I have been teaching for 13 years. I attended Indiana State University where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1997 and the degree of Master of Education in 2002.
    When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband Kenny and my 2 year old son Keanan! I enjoy being outdoors, singing, refinishing old furniture, landscaping, and spending time with family and friends.
   As an educator, I believe that teachers should create a positive classroom environment, centering the classroom and their teaching style around their students so that they may fit different types of learners. I believe teachers should create an environment that promotes enthusiasm, values individual interests, and creativity. I feel it is essential that teachers be aware of the interests of their students, never ceasing to learn and try new ideas!      
    I am very excited about getting started with this blog! It is my first! I feel inspired to try many new things! What an awesome way to better ourselves as teachers and it is FUNTABULOUS!!!