Sunday, May 27, 2018

Students Feel Like You Don't Listen To Them? Problem Solved!

In March of each year, we give a simple survey to our students.  Questions like, "My teacher makes learning fun" appear on the survey and the kids can choose a happy face (always), neutral face (sometimes) or a sad face for never.  Honestly, first graders are a pretty happy bunch so happy faces plaster the pages most of the time.

But not always.

One question that seems to have garnered mixed reviews in the past was, "My teacher listens to me."

My sweet student who appears by my side 1,000 times a day and asks, "Can I tell you something?" probably gave me one of the five/21 sad faces.  While I feel like I listen to her, she obviously felt otherwise!

I'm a talker who was always shushed for talking too much in school.  But I wanted to be heard.  Who doesn't?

But it's hard to listen to an entire class all the time, isn't it?  To make each child feel heard 100% of the time? Hopefully, this form I whipped up will help your students feel their voice is being heard just like it did with my class.  You can also use it for a "Worry Box" or some sort of "Reporting Box."

Saturday, May 12, 2018

More Georgia O'Keeffe Flowers: Perfect Parent Gift!

I seem to post these each year but I can't resist!  Aren't they beautiful?  I think it's the perfect Mother's Day gift.  Could be a lovely Father's Day gift as well!

I'm going to ask my two college-aged kids to make me one this week!  Seriously!  See the very last one?  He did that in less than two minutes.  Most took between 15-30 minutes.  So easy to do and the kids can really do 100% on own although I did trace the black lines this year to make it easier.

Wish I took step-by-step pics but I can at least tell you what I did.

1. Looked at these on Internet.  Thousands of them!
2. Gave out 10 x 10 white paper. 
3. Asked them to make the circle of flower somewhere on page.  Encourage them NOT to make in center but some did,
4. Showed them how to make petals go off the page...that's what you are supposed to do.  Some kids did, some didn't.
5. Talked about the design of the petals stating "Less is More" and showed them examples of such on ones I did quickly.
6. They got to work!  Took a few minutes to draw.
7. I went over drawings with black marker and erased any pencil marks that were left.  
8. Used water colors to paint.  I had them paint in groups of 3 at my desk area so I could monitor/help.  I gave them extra paper so they could test their colors out.  Some duller than expected.  I had several water color sets to choose from with different colors.  (Borrowed from art teacher.)
9. How did I help?  If child used too much water, I was there with a quick blot of a tissue so it didn't get that washed out spotty look.
10. Kids added a sweet message to back and then I had them laminated.

Honestly!  SO easy!  I did have 3 kids who didn't listen to the "less is more talk" and had so much decoration on them that they didn't resemble flowers.  They asked to redo theirs and I let them. 

NOTE: Each year when I do them, they kind of look like a hot mess after sketching. I'm always thinking, "Maybe I should make something else."  Once outlined and extra markings are erased (they try to erase but don't do a great job so I erase what they erased!) they look awesome!  It's not until the black outline that you can see the petals perfectly.  The kids always ask to draw hearts or smiley faces on them but I don't allow it.  Usually I saw your art work, your choice but for this, I wanted them to really look like flowers.  

If you make them, have fun!  

Sunday, May 6, 2018

How Did I Miss Reading This Gem?

I'm stumped that this wasn't on my radar this year especially during Read Across America Week.  I suppose it's better late than never!  John brought it home for me last week and I immediately brought it to school to read to my Firsties.  It was a hit!  It tells the story that we all know how Dr. Seuss was challenged to write The Cat in the Hat and explains how Green Eggs and Ham was written as well.  I love how it stresses the fact that he could only choose words on THE OFFICIAL LIST.  This just adds to the importance of nailing those sight words down!  I think this is a must for a First Grade classroom.  I'm happy I have my own copy but if I didn't, I'd be sure to check it out of the library mid-February next year so I had it for RAA.  Did you read it this year during RAA?  If so, lucky you!

And finally, I have to leave you with a link (click pic)for such a delicious recipe that is easy to make and bursting with flavor: SKILLET HONEY LIME CHICKEN.  Yum!!!!!  Seriously, it's that good!

Have a lovely Sunday!