Happy Five for Friday!
I’m linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching
I’m also linking up with Angela for an awesome linky:
Lately, I’ve become much better at searching and focusing on what is going well vs. all other ridiculousness (which is really clear to see!). The “good” is still few and far between, but there’s tiny glimpses of what’s working.
This week was full of lessons and NWEA testing. My caseload of students weren’t huge fans of the lessons and the disruption to our schedule. We saw a bit of regression in those awesome behavior strides we made in the first few weeks.
The above picture sums up my teaching so far this year!
It’s been a year like no other and I can’t wait to see where we end up in June (that is not sarcasm, I really am excited to see how this all turns out!)!
I’ve been “throwing spaghetti” to see what sticks and what doesn’t.
Here’s what helped my little guys shine this week:
5. Whole Brain Teaching
Do you use the Five Rules? We’ve been reviewing the rules in the morning and afternoon…my students ♥ this! We started “call and response” with gestures and now they do them in unison by themselves 🙂 Going over these 5 rules is one of the main “moments” of the school day that I have 100% attention. These rules have magic powers with my students! I’m digging out my Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids and rereading with a highlighter this weekend!
My students are supposed to be independently applying phonics sounds and spellings through blending, building word families, and reading decodable books. But we are working on sitting in chairs safely and taking “chill breaks” appropriately. So this week, I brought out some old “tired and true” spaghetti:
BLAST! Game Cards
A couple years ago I created Blast-style games for the majority of the phonics skills we teach in first grade. Last year I barely touched them because I was working with a highly motivated group who needed extra experiences putting pencil to paper.
This group is still learning how to use pencils in a safe manner, soooo I brought out the CVC/CCVC Star Wars game . My students LOVED it! I was able to get one little guy (who has produced about 1% work so far this year) to “lead” the game – I found out 1) he CAN blend successfully and 2) take turns (with assistance). My students had so much fun and I was able to get an accurate read on their prior knowledge. This was probably the most successful moment of the week!
I found out that if I sing instructions and any content, my students will try to sing along. It doesn’t seem to matter that I can’t sing at all 😉 If you know of any terrific resources to support this…please pass them along! In the meantime, I’m using the piggyback song approach – adding lyrics to familiar tunes. Sing it with me..”who is sitting safely in their chair, in their chair, in their chair?”
2. Sensory Box
I introduced the weekly sensory box and it was a HUGE hit! The box will change weekly to support our book theme, but I may go purchase an additional box so I can keep this one permanently:
I provided a clipboard for student-pairs to work together to construct words. It’s been wildly successful and one of the few moments I’ve seen a particular little friend actively participating.
1. Write the Room
This is the latest spaghetti I’m going to try throwing – wish me luck! My students have been struggling with walking in the hall (they are getting better!), so this is going to be interesting! Any tips for introducing this lively movement activity? Thanks!
After reflecting on #1-5, it’s clear that my students thrive with sensory stimulation…tactile, kinesthetic, and auditory (music). I will be busy this weekend researching more spaghetti to engage these awesome friends in learning. If you have any recommendations (ideas/products), please leave a comment.