Sunday, January 13, 2013

Visual Plans and Highlights

Before I show you what we are tackling this week, I want to highlight some items that are fantastic and useful in the classroom!

I kept coming back to this all week last week!  It was a great buy!

 Here we are doing a couple activities out of this packet
 I really liked the applications for my reader's workshop time.  I just grabbed a snowman book and we were on our way!  I also tied in her Friendly Letter Frosty to my Mailbox Station.  PERFECTION!!!!

Another lifesaver is having morning work.

 We have breakfast in the classroom.  I loathe it.  Starting the day off with food in the room feels chaotic and backwards for school to me.  Sadly, our students need to have it because we are in an area where many people are struggling.  So this was an obstacle that as a teacher, I needed to overcome and embrace.  I tried the tantrum approach but here we are 5 years later still eating breakfast in my classroom...So I did what any good teacher would do, I laid down the do not carry your coco puffs and chocolate milk over my cute gray rug lesson and other such lessons just like this one.

I read that the very first thing you choose to do in the morning is what sets the structure and behavior for the day for kids.  Wish I could tell you where I read that but it was over 2 years ago.  Although we are eating breakfast, my kids know they have to get this done by the time the announcements end.  It's fun for them because I change the theme every month.  I run the language and math pictured below back to back and have it on my student's desk in the morning.

Finally, these really launched us into the second half of the year!   Coming back from vacation is always a little difficult for teacher more so than student.  (Or is that just me?) These centers kept my students learning the skills that they need to be learning at this time of the year.  Bring on the maturity of the second half of the year! Right?!
 Because we do the daily 5,  I put one of these out in my word work choices tub each day or couple of days.  Before I do, we always do them whole group.   If the skill is something I am confident they have all mastered,  I won't do the entire thing, but rather just show them the concept.  If the skill is more elevated I sometimes take it through small group time before I put it out in word work.  It just depends on the class you have.
 I use the math centers as independent review during our math block.  We learn the concepts whole group.  We play and practice in small group if needed and then they go out into tubs for everyone to practice. 
whew...that was last week...Thankfully this week is similar!  I didn't have too much extra to prep! 

One addition is learning about MLK JR.  I am using Glady's unit Peace and Dreams (it's in the plans below) to teach about MLK Jr. and then at the end of the week we will write and make a treasured bulletin board of MLK using my winter art and writing pack

Here's last year's MLK fun!

 You can find this art project in my Winter Art and Writing Pack...This one will get all kinds of feedback from your school friends.  It's so darn cute.

To see it all together this week just click my visual plans below. They have clickable links for you to shop easily or just to see where things are coming from!

Have a Fantastic Week!


  1. Lots of good stuff there!

    We have to provide breakfast for students too, as we're in a low income area, but they eat it in the cafeteria. Is that an option for your school?

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  2. I totally love your visual plan for the next week. How did you create it? It is such a good idea, especially for blogging purposes so others can find the products you have created and/or using from other teachers' stores.

    Mindful Rambles

  3. This is our first year to eat breakfast in the classroom. I'm not a big fan of it. My kids sit at desks, but I have a couple of tables so I make the ones eating sit at the tables. One thing that bugs me is they don't give us anything to use to clean our tables. I buy baby wipes (they're cheaper than cloroxwipes) to clean the tables after breakfast each day.
    I love all of your fantastic activities, I wish my district let us have more freedom with our curriculum, I don't mean the standards, but rather the theme. Everything looks great!
    Kelly @ I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  4. Love your visual plans. So organized! I totally understand students need breakfast...but in the classroom???? The smell of breakfast pizza would haunt me all day - ha!

    The Brown-Bag Teacher

  5. Looks great! Love your plans and the MLKs are too cute!
    First Grade Blue SKies

  6. I love your morning work packet. I use it every morning. I also have been using the January packet it is fabulous. Thanks for all your hard work.

  7. Wow, breakfast in the classroom. You are brave to be able to handle that. Our school did breakfast in the classroom the year before I started working there. I always thought it would be a good thing, but I guess it's not. You are right, it's always harder for the teachers to go back. The students are all excited because they haven't seen their friends in two weeks. Teachers know how much work is involved, especially in the last stretch of the year.

    Darling Little Learners

  8. Incredibly & beautifully organized!! Really great pieces here!

    Amy Howbert
    Little Miss Organized

  9. Your Martins are AWESOME!! Absolutely fabulous!
    Kerri B
    Teacher Bits and Bobs

  10. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful ideas! We offer breakfast at our school but the kids eat in the cafeteria. It would be hard to have them eating in the room each day. Sad that they are not eating at home! Keep up the great work!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  11. We do Breakfast in the Classroom too! It's the first year for it. I mostly like it, but there are a few things. I definitely had to have the "don't walk over our brand new classroom rug with your milk" talk too. And my sink is terrible and I have to really watch the milk going down it or it starts to smell. Even when we run water as we're pouring. That bothers me. But it's going pretty smoothly now. This is our first year for it. I don't know if your school is part of the Breakfast in the Classroom program, or if that's just our district or state thing, but all our kids get breakfast regardless of their economic status, which is nice because nobody is left out.

  12. Thankfully for breakfast in our classrooms. No food, period in our rooms. We used to have a 'critter' problem in the building, so the principal squelched all eating outside of the cafeteria. I absolutely loved your online plans as well...did they take long? They looked so pretty that I can't imagine you just whipped them up! Do you think it might be possible in the future to post just a bit on how you get that together for us to see every week? I'd love to try it...but...wouldn't know how to start! :0) Thanks for the great ideas! Your bulletin board was absolutely adorable! :)

  13. What amazing visual plans! They are so visually pleasing to the eye and you have motivated me to consider this option for next school year. I agree with Tamara about wanting to learn more about how you put the plans together! Thank you for always sharing such great tips and ideas.

    Confessions of a Teachanista

  14. I am totally in agreement about the morning work aspect! We do math and language arts morning work by Kelley Dolling and it is just amazing! Great review and great start to the atmosphere each day! I am loving the station pack you featured! Must go look and get :) Thanks for the post!

    Fabulous Firsties: A Whole Brain Blog

  15. We have breakfast in the rooms too but I did throw a tantrum at first too! They were serving kids such junk food and whole oranges! Do you have any idea how long it takes a first grader to peel and eat an orange? They finally shaped up their menu and offer healthy cereals only twice a week now. I don't let them move from their tables/seats until they're all done eating. Love the MLK's. We did them last year and got all sorts of compliments! Thanks Reagan!
    Two Night Owl Teachers

  16. The Jam-packed January unit looks amazing. Breakfast is a bummer in the classroom. We only do it occasionally but it always seems to be french toast sticks and syrup every time. Sooo sticky.
    Primary Paradise

  17. My kids and I love your Daily Language packets. They beg to do them.

    The First Grade Princess