Friday, September 13, 2013

5 for Friday!!


We feared this Friday would never come.
This was our first full week of school.
We made it.
Phewf!

We're excited to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share some of this past week's first grade fun!

We've had an awesomely, exhausting week...
How about you?
 We always begin the school year with the good old How Full is Your Bucket? book. 
You can check it out {here}.
We wanted to take it a step further this year, and have learned when you find something great on TpT do NOT reinvent the wheel...
We absolutely adored this Bucket Filler Cuties Craftivity that we nabbed from Christie over at First Grade Fever. 
You can check it out {here}.
Our class adored making them and their construction paper kids are to die for!
We had to modify it just slightly because, well...See below
We have the cutest, most adorable, sweetest, MOST talkative class in the world ever.
Lessons are running over and having to be modified (see above).
For the past 12 days, there has been only one way to get them to be quiet.
Don't take a teacher breath! 
Ever!

It was making us light headed...
So, we've been putting our tired brains together, and today we started something that we hope will stick!
We use the old popsicle stick trick for tons of activities throughout the year.
Picking partners, cooperative learning groups, Q & A time...just to name a few.

But today, we transformed our dull and boring sticks into
"Super Secret Silent Sticks"
Say that 5 times fast!
HA! 
Sometimes these names just slip out of our mouths 
mid introduction.
Everything has to have a name with us.
They can't just be "Name Sticks". Or, "Popsicle Stick Selectors".
Nope.
Where's the fun in that? 
It must have a snazzy name that's fun to say and catches the kids' attention.
Like rhyming.
It's a first grade teacher curse.
So the "4S Game" is what we tried to shorten it to by the end of the day, but they weren't buying it. 

Here's what we did...
We picked 3 Super Secret Silent Sticks at the beginning of each time period.
For our class, this was an entire 10 minutes.
No, sorry.
That's no typo.
T-e-n. 
It's a magic number. 
We kept our stick picks super secret in an effort to keep them silent.
We told them we were watching. 
If they worked quietly and refrained from chatting with their friends, they would earn 3 stickers to add to their Sticker Boards.
They were listening.
We told them that if they didn't do it, we would secretly return their stick to the can (that needs a name. "Can" doesn't cut it), and secretly select a new player.
They were listening.
At the end of the time period, we revealed the names one letter at a time. We asked them to make predictions as to who it could be based on the letters we revealed.
They added a drum roll on their laps.
It was fun.
They were quiet.
We actually breathed for more than 2 seconds for the first time in 13 days. 
The "winners" got to select 3 stickers from our Sticker Station and add them to their class Sticker Boards or take them home. 
Most of them added it to their sticker boards because they are dying to open our class treasure chest.
As you can see...It's a kid Heaven and a parent...well we'll just leave it at that. 
Here's how we know it worked.
We didn't put a single stick back in the container (still need new name) today!
It was amazing.
They ate it up.
Fingers crossed for Monday...
We believe this may be how we handle stress right now.
We organize.
We used to just throw a big bucket of extra crayons out for the kids who needed a replacement color. The kids would dig and dig and dig and dig and dig...and dig.
So, we are loving this stress induced organization because it alleviates digging issues that we teachers were not digging at all.
Then, we found this.
One of our friends thought it would be a good idea to "organize" our rhyming clips for today's Workshop. 
We sure hope they aren't stressed...
 Last night was Back to School Night. 
It's the night we meet with all our parents.
It's an Adults Only event.
Only, it has nothing really to do with only adults.
It's all about first grade.
And, there aren't even cocktails or cover charges...
We leave blank cards on each of our students' desks and ask their parents to leave them an encouraging note. If they feel like coloring, we let them dig in.
As you can see, they did!
When the kids arrived this morning, they were so excited to find letters from their parents at school!
We put them in our Message Center mailboxes for them, which played double duty as we introduced this area of our classroom.
For those kids whose parents weren't able to attend, they get a card from their teachers.
We write~

Dear Student,
We are very proud of all the hard work you have done so far in first grade.
We know your parents are too.
Keep up the great work!
Love,
Your Teachers 

We spend time helping to read their love notes to them before they take them home,
It's special and helps build a sense of community between teachers, students, and parents. 
We had a great, busy, crazy week, but we made it
thanks to one parent who totally gets it was so kind to leave us a present...
  
Be sure to head back over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to check out more 


Happy Friday!



10 comments:

  1. You ladies had me cracking up all throughout your post! I too, have the most TALKATIVE class in all my years. It gets EXHAUSTING! I'll definitely try the super secret silent stick trick on Monday. Yes...it was super hard to say it fast! ;)

    Aris
    Sailing into Second

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  2. Cute stuff ladies! I just did a lot of pinning. My kids love filling buckets, but I haven't read that story yet. It's on my list!
    Aloha,
    Corinna (✿◠‿◠)
    Surfin' Through Second

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  3. Totally LOVE the Secret Silent Sticks! It will be in place in my room on Monday. I'll need to run to Target to grab a Responsible & Respectful Receptacle to hold those sticks ;P

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  4. How about returning the sticks to the "Can't Cut-It Can". :) You guys are adorable and so inspiring. :)
    Maria

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  5. I have a really chatty class this year! I'm definitely going to try your popsicle stick and sticker system out. Thanks for the tip.

    Heidi
    Secondgradealicious!

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  6. Aren't you glad that Back to School Night is over??? I like seeing the parents but glad when it's under my belt. :o)
    Vicky

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  7. LOVE the stick thing!!! And, the wine even more! Too sweet!
    Hugs - Lisa
    Growing Firsties

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  8. We had an adults only open house this year too. It was very different!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

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  9. I love the mystery box giveaway!

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