Five For Friday

I finally finished my Calm Kit and students started to use it this week! Inside is an I Choose board which students have to do first. Then they have a couple options of the squeeze balls, coloring freehand, and coloring pages (plus a ladybug puppet in case they need someone to talk to!). I thought the coloring pages would be the most popular but it was actually the squeeze balls. 


For each class, I had them all sign one contract after we had finished brainstorming class rules last week. I put them all in a binder to make them easily accessible as needed. 

The students have assigned computer numbers to save time each week when they transition to the computers. Last year, I always had a couple students in each class ask me "Ms. K, what's my computer number?". To help make the students become more independent, I created a binder with a class list for each class. This week (week 3) is when I start expecting the students to remember their numbers and it made it so much easier when they asked me, because all I had to say was "I'm not sure. Why don't you check the binder?" The students would check the binder and I could continue helping students. The more small tasks I make independent, the more time I have to talk to students and help them learn. I love it! I also love having the student work baskets and labeled clipboard and pencil containers. When it's time to clean up, I ring my bell, remind students where their supplies go, and the students handle it all themselves so I can focus on helping those last few students finish their work. Complete sanity saver. 

 I desperately need a carpet! I have my runner on the side that I bought from Target and LOVE. I looked to see if they have the same print in a larger size but they don't. I don't want to spend too much money on it, but I'm also willing to view it as an investment. I'm also nervous about buying a color that easily stains or buying a print that I'll dislike in a couple years. I guess I'm looking for a durable, classic print/color, preferably darker or primary colors. Any advice?

And I'll wrap with a quick summary of my lessons for each grade:

In kindergarten this week, we read Louise Loves Art (a great book!) then students drew their own masterpieces on They loved it! And I'm loving them! The kindergarteners are so, so sweet! 

In first grade, the students took a pre-assessment (which I described as "Questions about information I haven't even taught you yet!") for my SLO. My focus this year is on writing great wonders, understanding what makes their wonder great, then having the ability to use a keyword to find information in a book or on a website. This ties in nicely with the first grade focus on text features and the focus on wonders was something I wanted to make sure I did this year. After they finished the students went on Brain Pop Jr and watched the Movie of the Week about Community Helpers.
With second graders, we started by reading On A Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein. Then we discussed what made a great wonder using some silly and some serious examples about insects. Students partnered up to write wonders about a topic of their choosing using the provided sentence starters: "I wonder what...", "I wonder how...", "I wonder where...", etc.
Third week done and a lot of exciting year left ahead!

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