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First with Franklin

Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Look Freebie

My class does learning centers at least once a week.  This is an easy time for me to get small groups reading while other students are engaged (and quiet).  One center I often have is a listening center.  In my classroom I have 3 iPod touches and 1 iPad, so my students use them for listening center.  I use TumbleBooks, available free through our local library.  You can also find lots of books on YouTube, but I only use those on the SmartBoard so that kids don't click on any not-so-great links.  
In the past, I have instructed my students on one must-watch book and then they could pick others if there was time left.  This was working okay, but I wanted to make sure that my students were getting something out of this center.  So, this weekend I sat down and make a couple of reflection pages.  I think I will let students chose which sheet they want to fill out.  This will teach them to reflect on stories they read, not just rush through them.   If you are interested, you can find them on my Teachers Pay Teachers account, for only $1.  Great, huh?  
Since I'm so new to this and I'm trying to get some followers, I am giving away one of these packets to anyone who leaves a comment!  If you would love to have one, just leave me a comment and tell your favorite book to read to students.  
 Thanks and enjoy!
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I am blessed with a SmartBoard in my classroom.  I use this almost all day, everyday.  My students love it and I love that they are so engaged in our lessons.  
For about a month, we have been completing our Math Meeting (calendar time) on the SmartBoard.  The student of the day goes up and prepares the meeting while the rest of the class works on math facts.  Once the meeting is completed, we all go over to the board and the student of the day leads our meeting.  
I love watching the student of the day lead the meeting.  It is so cute and funny to see how the mimic what I do and how I speak.  I also think it has really made them aware of how student misbehaviors can really be bothersome.  Often, I will watch as the student of the day asks another to "sit on your bottom" or "please get quiet".  You go, teach! 
Another reason I love doing Math Meeting on the SmartBoard is that is saving space!  I took down a lot of what I used to have on my whiteboards (I left a few things up for quick reference).  I now have room to expand my word wall and I will have a bulletin board I can change from time to time.  Here is a look of the first page.  

Click here to get this file for free!
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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lesson planning

At our school, we have the freedom to make our plans in the format we choose.  I like to make almost a fill-in-the-blank schedule for my plans.  (Feel free to open the files below to get an idea of what I use.  My template for this year is always a work in progress, so keep that in mind! :) )

I choose to do this for a couple of reasons:
1.  It gives a substitute extra details.  This means when you wake up at 3:00 in the morning feeling sick you don't have to try to write out details for a substitute.  I also have an emergency substitute folder with extra plans and lesson in case they can't figure out my normal schedule.  

2.  It saves time- lots of time!  By making a template, I don't have to re-write the same details each week- I just fill in story titles, page numbers, etc.

So, how do you plan? Do you use a lesson plan book with the boxes?  Do you make your own template?   Or do you only plan online?  
Click here for the PDF version or here for the .docx version.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Dr. Seuss Inspiration

Most teachers that I know love Dr. Seuss.  He was such a fun author!  I found this quote today and decided that I need it in my classroom. 

"Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if you only try!"  -Dr. Seuss

How true is this?  Sometimes I think we, as teachers, get stuck in the rut of following our pre-made curriculum.  They are the same day, after day, after day.... ugh!  Sometimes we (and our students!) need a break from the ordinary.  Now, I know this feeling won't come for awhile since we'll be begging for a routine to get established in the coming weeks.  However, when that routine is set and boredom is threatening your classroom- remember this quote and break out of the ordinary!  

Click here to download from my TpT store!

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