Friday, July 20, 2012

Class Share Time & Back to School Freebie

As Moms, we know how much our own kids l.o.v.e. digging through their piles of crap toys to find the *Perfect* share item for school. Though we secretly hope they will pick that treasured souvenir from summer vacay or the family heirloom Great Grandma Betty gave them, they usually pick the one toy they honestly haven't played with in ages...BUT, they MUST share it because at that very moment it is the BEST thing they have EVER seen in the history of ALL things!

They have a very hard time choosing.
They have a very hard time choosing one item.
They have a very hard time choosing one item that is meaningful (the souvenirs and heirlooms frown). 

There are just SO many things to share Mom! 
As Moms, this is not our most favorite homework activity. 
It usually causes a mess. We're not fans of unnecessary mess-that we don't make.


Calgon...take us away!

Don't get us wrong, it's fun to find treasures at home to share at school, but besides deciding on that one special item, the pressure to come up with an eloquent story about why it is so special is sometimes tough ~ 

So, tell the class why is that so very special to you? 

"Um, I don't know." ~ Really? That's all ya got?
"Um, I don't know. My Mom told me to bring it." ~ This would be our kids. Karma!
"Um, because I got it in a Happy Meal." ~ Hmmm...doesn't really drive home the sentimental feeling we know us teachers are looking for. 

Let's just face it ~
"I found it in a bottle, floating adrift at sea. 
I picked it up and have treasured it ever since." 
Yes, that is what we want. 
Admit it!
A+ + + +
Right?


Frankly as teachers, the idea of managing a bunch of personal garbage treasure each week would send us into early retirement. 

Not to mention, the little 4 letter word we are deathly afraid could accompany some of the plush pals - l.i.c.e. 
It has happened. 
Seriously, just started itching our heads immediately. Why does that always happen?

Okay,we're not that horrible. We do let them share. Every week in fact. Still itching...

We have never done the "traditional" sharing in our class though. Instead, we use our sharing time to practice and develop beginning public speaking skills for our students. We believe practice speaking in front of a large group can never start too early.

Not only does it avoid bringing trinkets from home (yes, we have issues and yes, head is still itchy...get the Nix!), but it satisfies that need to share and also satisfies our Listening, Speaking and Writing Common Core standards that we all know and are learning to love. :)


One of our favorite class activities is our Sharing Pages Program because it gives them weekly opportunities to become comfortable with speaking in front of their peers. In addition to speaking, the pages are also a great way to practice writing components throughout the year. 

We use these pages in our class as a weekly homework writing assignment.  These pages can also simply be used in class as a single writing assignment, center work, small groups, or independent work. 

At the beginning of the school year, each student is assigned a specific sharing day. This will be their day for the entire school year. We fill in our class sharing schedule and leave it posted for parents and ourselves to refer to. 


It's a quick check in for who needs to have their pages each day and who needs to check their backpacks or come up with a quick excuse as to why they don't have it. 
Our top pick to date ~ "My cat peed on it." Thanks.so.much.for.forgetting.that.one.at.home.we.greatly.appreciate.it. 

We  divide the kids evenly by ability amongst the days and tend to put those who may need more time during the week at home to share on Fridays. As busy Moms, we'd appreciate the life ring...

We assign a class sharing page for homework each week. Though our homework goes home weekly as a packet, this is the one exception. It is to be returned on your designated sharing day. It is not stapled to the packet, but included in the folder. To see how we do our homework folders, click here.

Our home expectation ~ Parents listen to their children practice reading their page in front of them until they are comfortable doing so. 
**OK STOP**
Notice ~ NO MESS! YAY!

We take our Sharing Pages very seriously. We want our families to also. There is nothing worse than getting up in front of a group to speak and losing your place, or not knowing what to say. We know they are only first graders, but it is amazing what high expectations can produce. 


If a student clearly wrote their page in the dark and ran for the hills, they will get one of these lil' notes to take home along with their page to practice, and try again tomorrow. 



In class, we spend a lot of time teaching them:

How to stand - knees slightly bent (not locked), feet shoulder width apart, shoulders relaxed, paper at your belly button (they giggle. we're serious.)
How to look - try to look up a few times, smile, make eye contact if you can
How to sound - read in a talking voice, not yelling, not whispering. (We stand in the back of the classroom often and gauge their volume level)

And, don't think the other 22 wiggly worms on the floor aren't being judged observed. They are. Hahaha. Listening skills folks. Can they sit and listen to someone other than themselves for a few? Some can. Others cannot. We practice a lot.

We have a Sharing Pages box in our class that we collect them in throughout the week. Some weeks, we display them on their work walls, but most of the time we print covers and bind all of the sharing pages into books for the class to read throughout the year. They love them! 
Here's our collection from the school year.

On the last day of school, we have a huge class raffle and the kids get to choose 1 or 2 to keep forever and ever. It's our version of the lottery and they feel like they've won the Jackpot!

So, are you ready to try a new kind of sharing in your class? 

We've just added our
Give them a try and please if you decide to download, we'd really appreciate you leaving feedback in our store. Muchas gracias! :)

If you like them, then be sure to check out our complete Sharing Page Programs for 

September

Summer ~ Our own kiddos have actually asked for these at home this summer. Yes, they've been brainwashed. :) 

June

 May

 April
Are you scratching your head now?
September, Summer, June, May, April? 
Well, we all know summer is going way too fast, so let's just rewind! 
Just kidding. We started adding these to our TpT store last Spring and are plugging away at the rest of the year. We'll be adding the rest of the months asap.  :)

Our class share time lasts about 15 minutes each day, gives each student an opportunity to shine and allows us teachers to really hear how their writing, reading, and speaking abilities are coming along.

Grab your Back to School Sharing Pages today and keep those toy boxes closed and tidy!















7 comments:

  1. I am so in love with idea, I cannot express how happy I am that you shared! I, too, used to do the "find something meaningful to bring to school, no toys allowed, I don't know why I brought this" routine. I hated it. HATED.

    That is why I didn't even DO sharing last year. Nope. Nada. Even though the kids kept asking when we would start sharing. My standard answer? "I don't know. Not sure."

    Cop-out.

    I am a new writing as public speaking convert and ready to giving sharing a go once more. Even more than that, I'm excited about it! This is how sharing was meant to be. Thanks for the eye-opener!

    ReplyDelete
  2. i love the sharing idea ...they never have anything to say these kids their so shy lol...im your newest follower...drop by =)

    Just Wild About Teaching

    ReplyDelete
  3. I LOVE this sharing idea. I used to do sharing (All About Me/Star of the Week kind of thing) - but when they raised class-size to 30 I stopped - because I just couldn't fit it in. This is great. Thanks for the idea and the freebie. :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome this idea is!! I've had issues with sharing time in the past where 20 kids seem to bring in something everyday & this is more organized. I like the idea of the sharing pages too. I'm so excited!!
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is wonderful. I do something similar and call it Oral Sharing time. Each month, each student has a special day. On their special day they have to present their Oral Sharing project, which is always linked to the curriculum and includes some kind of page for them to fill out. I bind them into books and add them to our class library. LOVE your idea. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Teach~Play~Smile

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  6. Hi! This is a great idea! I also have a daily Morning Meeting and share schedule where a 4-5 children share each day, and I love getting to hear about things going on in their lives. How do you balance the children sharing their scheduled piece of writing with them also wanting to share about personal things (friends, family, birthdays, vacations, etc.)?? I'm a new follower. Check me out at my blog Simply SWEET TEAching

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a fantastic idea! I love all the writing/sharing ideas because I am teaching writing this year to all our firties and I'm trying to figure out how it will all run. So thank you for an easy peasy way to get started!

    Maria
    http://curiousfirsties.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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