Tuesday, April 2, 2013

First Grade Excellence: Room Decor + Organization


Have I mentioned recently how much I enjoy making Author-Illustrator school visits? It's true! I do!! Last week I got to have fun with the kindergarten and first graders at Williams Elementary in Parrish, FL. Long-time readers here, know that I recharge my batteries and empty my camera's memory card, in an effort to share the excellence that I get to observe during these adventures. 

My hostess this visit was Mrs. Daniels, a first grade teacher whom I'd met at an Orlando conference where I was presenting workshops last year. So it seemed fitting to start my documentation in her room. I know how you like to look over my shoulder. Here's a peek, beginning at their focus wall, with calendar and schedule right there together. 

Now take a close look at the window treatments that Mrs. D crafted all by herself. Each pennant is made of fabric -- edged in colorful variegated ric-rac. The letters are paper and added atop the fabric: BELIEVE. DREAM. ACHIEVE. Sweet! What an inspiring backdrop for all the learning taking place. 

Every classroom needs a bin full of 'whisper-phones' concocted from the local hardware store. There's never anything better than 'whisper-reading' a new book to yourself only to hear your reading amplified in your ear! What a perfect transition to silent, individual reading. 

Are you implementing the "CAFE" Menu? 
This is a delightful presentation of that system.
Polka-dot and checks: what a great CAFE bulletin board! 

With so many states adopting the Common Core, I know I'm seeing more of an emphasis on the integration of Non-Fiction into the mix. I know that you'll appreciate seeing this anchor chart that delineates specifics in the non-fiction catalog. Please, by all means..... pin your favorite images as inspiration and reminders. I'm so grateful for those who pin from my blog. 
Sending you a hug right now! 

Library Corner in First Grade Classroom 

Spring Donation Board to Replenish the Shelves

We'll conclude today with a bulletin board out in the hallway, just around the corner from Mrs. Daniel's classroom. What a clever idea! This public school has a handful of VPK (Voluntary PreK) housed in the building. These little mirrors are those students -- who are looking forward to kindergarten already. 

I asked my mature first graders for their favorite of my 'Debbie's Ditties' song from our time together in the assembly. It was fun to hear so many different faves! The faction chanting 'rock-and-roll-rock-and-roll' gained the most momentum. By that I knew they had enjoyed, "Glad I'm at School."  (Here's an earlier recording filmed on Long Island. YES!!!! The students created that incredible back-drop in response to my picture book, "You're Wonderful.") 

{Click pic to go to Teachers Pay Teachers to purchase your copy!}
Glad I'm at School: A Shared Reading Song for Literacy Cen

We have officially begun our northern trek to continue our snowbird migration. My next school visits will be sprinkled around Ohio and Illinois. First up are my workshops at MI AEYC this weekend! 

-- Debbie -- 

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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