Things are about to change, I'm moving from 5th grade to 1st grade this fall! There are so many differences between the way a 5th grader and a 1st grader works and thinks, am I prepared? I'm moving into a (gorgeous and huge) new classroom, which means the cabinets are empty (a blessing and a curse).
During this past school year we celebrated Read Across America Week. The first day had a theme of "Bring a Book Buddy" for D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read). I was surprised of the amount of 5th grade friends that brought a stuffed animal or baby doll from home to read with during D.E.A.R time. Sometimes teachers forget that, as big as our 5th graders are, they are still children. I want to bring play and fun into my new classroom as much as I can, Book Buddies are an easy way to incorporate reading and fun at the same time! Here are some Book Buddies that I found at Kohl's this week. The proceeds raised benefit children across all of our communities (which is a great reason to explain why I needed ALL of the Mo Willem book characters). I also lucked out by finding some of the old Dr. Seuss Kohl's care line at a clearance price!
All humans can be readers, if they find the right book! Harry Potter opened up the world of reading, magic, and possibilities for me. Being a classroom teacher, spending 30+ hours with young minds, it is my job to expose students to their type of book.
With testing and curriculum, how do you find time to do a read-aloud? Easy, reading aloud is learning and curriculum! Reading together allows GREAT class discussions on important topics in addition to exposure to vocabulary, quality writing, fluent reading, new text structure, genre books, author studies and more. As we read we monitor comprehension, make predictions, and connections! So I ask you, with testing and curriculum, how can you NOT do a read aloud?
Certain days allow more time to invest into a novel as a class, but when we are doing a class novel we take some time every day to read together. Sometimes this is as they are unpacking in the morning, as transition from recess, at dismissal, or taking the time to read as we relax to soak up reading.
Turn off the lights, close the curtains, shut the door, and READ! This is the first year I have tried flashlight reading! The students LOVE it! We usually work to earn this as a reward over the course of a week in our reading blocks. Students can earn minutes towards flashlight reading by meeting our small group expectations (6inch voices, on task, keep teacher time special...). It's so catchy to say flashlight Friday, but our schedule makes it easier to work into on Wednesdays when we don't have RTI reading (Response to Intervention).
It is no secret that teachers spend their own money on the little things to improve their classroom and student learning. For me, if I have an organized classroom I am better able to adapt to the various surprises in any given day. These are just a few ways The Dollar Tree helped me prepare for the school year.
Snack Pack Containers
These great two pack snack containers can be used for anything! In early August I was given a surprise when I went to pick up just a couple more, that they ended up being a three pack for $1!
You'd think these boxes were designed for our leveled readers! I scored these book bins in our three leveled colors. Before the books were in a wash basin, bound in rubber bands. The rubber bands kept snapping, the boxes squeezed the books in awkwardly, it just wasn't a fit. The only downfall of these bins is that we have a fourth reader series for building background and vocabulary support, but they didn't have a fourth color bin! If you have seen bins like this please let me know! They are the perfect fit for the books and my classroom, and at $1 each who can beat that?!
Small Group Instruction
Back to School or End of Year gift giving can be expensive. I love using the water bottles and my Cicut to personalize a quick and affordable gift. These water bottles were used as birthday gifts to my team members. I have also bought the tumblers to personalize at the end of the year for students in my classroom.
Target Dollar spot had some great teacher finds this summer, however by the time most teachers are looking the best treasures are gone. I will certainly keep my eyes peeled next summer since the early bird gets the worm.
I was able to get my hands on this great pencil banner, for just $3!
My 5th grade team has three teachers that are new to our team, I thought it would be a great way to surprise and welcome them to the team. I used my Cricut Explore Air to cut their names out on brown vinyl (I used the Cricut Font Chloe). Then, instead of using the pencils along the intended banner, I used ribbon to make each pencil a door hanger.
Current 5th grade teacher and former middle school educator trying to be techy, Reading Specialist, Science Coordinator, Student Government Coordinator, life long learner, and avid reader