Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chrysanthemum…Not Just A “Name” Book

When I taught Kindergarten, we usually used Chrysanthemum to introduce names. Of course, it’s a great book to discuss what it means to be unique and special, too. There are SO many different ways you can use this book! During the first week of school, we used Chrysanthemum to discuss the impact unkind words have on our hearts. I cut out a giant heart using red butcher paper. Before I started reading the story, I handed the heart to one of my kids and gave them instructions to crumple the heart every time they heard something unkind, and then pass it to the next person. By the time I had finished the book, we had quite a sad looking little heart. As I tried to iron out the creases, we talked about how hard it is to make our hearts feel better after hearing such unkind words. I added Band-Aids with each of their names to the heart to show that it’s impossible to take away those unkind words, but we can always try to help and make things better. Then we followed up by talking about how we will always use kind words with others and brainstormed a list of kind things we can say. Now we have the heart hanging in our room to serve as a visual reminder to



Behavior Management

Since I have a “Sassy Hollywood Glam” theme in my classroom this year, I knew I wanted my behavior management to reflect the theme. Of course, I was stumped when it came to ideas, so I hopped online and found lots of different ideas. This is my variation on what I found.



{Our Students Can Act Responsibly}

The kids start out on the Red Carpet every morning. When their behavior becomes disruptive and/or unkind, they have to move their clips to the appropriate clapboard. Each clip is numbered and every student has a number. They keep their clips inside their book baskets in their cubbies.


Move your clip to…

Take 1! ~ Verbal Warning, Remember to make better choices!

Take 2! ~ Owe Mrs. Carroll 2 tickets, 5 minutes out of recess

Take 3! ~ Owe Mrs. Carroll 3 tickets, 10 minutes out of recess, Sign Communication Report

CUT! ~ Owe Mrs. Carroll 5 tickets, 15 minutes out of recess, NO Fun Friday, Visit with the principal, Call home to parents

If a student has to move their clip to Take 1!, they can move back to the Red Carpet if they turn their behavior around. However, if they make another sad choice later in the day, they directly go to Take 2 and no moving back :( If students are going above and beyond, staying off the clapboards all week, they get an Oscar award at the end of the week. I give out Oscars during the week, too!


Students also get “tickets” to spend on coupons redeemable at my “Concession Stand” on Fridays. They can earn tickets, and tickets can be taken away. Here are some of my incentives. Would LOVE to hear more ideas!!!

They get to take their pick between the two options listed next to each ticket amount…they don’t get BOTH!!!

5 tickets ~ Wear a hat or silly socks to school

Candy from my penny candy jar

10 tickets ~ Choose a prize from the treasure box

Bring a pillow or stuffed animal to school

15 tickets ~ Wear your slippers to school day

Sit by a friend all day

20 tickets ~ No shoes day

Wear your pajamas to school

25 tickets ~ Write with markers all day

Free art pass

30 tickets ~ Sit at Mrs. Carroll’s desk for the day

Pencil sharpener pass

35 tickets ~ Extra time in the library

Assistant Director: Mrs. Carroll’s special assistant

40 tickets ~ Read to a Kindergarten class

Take home a class game for the night

45 tickets ~ Extra recess

Free choice time

50 tickets ~ Sonic slush

Lunch date with Mrs. Carroll and a friend

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Schedule Cards

I love, love, LOVE our First Grade schedule! There are just the perfect amount of breaks in between subjects that seem to make the days just FLY by! Sometimes that’s not such a great thing…especially when I’m trying to fit too much into one day! But after 9 years of teaching, this is, by far, my favorite schedule I’ve had yet! I created these little schedule cards as a visual for my kids. That way they aren’t coming up to me every 5 minutes saying, “Is it time for recess yet?”, or “When can we eat lunch!?”, or {my favorite}, “Is it almost time to go home?!”. Feel free to download a set for yourself, too! Just click on the link below the pic.


click to download


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Decorating The Walls

Have I mentioned how much I love my school?! Because I really, REALLY do! I just can’t imagine being anywhere else! I love our staff, our sweet kids, and our AMAZING parents! Before the start of the school year, each grade level commissions a group of moms to come up and decorate the hallways. The parents are pretty much amazing because they take a theme and just run with it!!! The theme for First Grade this year is “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon”. I LOVE that book!

molly lou

A few of the teachers on my team already had an idea set in mind and our new moms came up and put the plan into action!



Each of us on the team has a Molly Lou Melon cut-out right outside our classroom doors, and each Molly Lou Melon as a speech bubble that contains a quote from the book…they’re all different! We also hung long mirrors inside our doors with the words “Smile big and the world will smile right alongside you” right above it!! Darling theme and a PERFECT way to start the year!

Here are a few more pics of the hallways in our buildings. If you think these are darling, just wait ‘til Open House. I swear I’ve never seen anything like it!!!

2nd Grade ~ Theme: A Royal Welcome



Kindergarten ~ Theme: Western, Cowboys & Cowgirls


3rd Grade ~ Welcome to the Jungle


4th Grade ~ Texas Our Texas

walls9 walls7 walls8

6th Grade ~ Ride The Wave of Learning



Our amazing and BEYOND talented 6th grade science teacher was totally responsible for the cuteness in their hallways. She might be the most creative decorator I’ve ever seen!!!!

Now, is that cute or what?!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reader’s Response

Every kid in our classroom has a Reading Response Journal. Depending on the entry, we’ll usually work our Reader’s Response into the writing station OR we’ll etch out a little time during Writer’s Workshop to add to our journals. I usually complete an entry under my ELMO so that they can watch the process. I talk my way through it as well. This is a great opportunity to reinforce various writing/reading skills…neat handwriting, use of capital letters at the beginning of every word in the title, underlining the title, author/illustrator, two-finger spaces, punctuation, etc. This is an awesome way to document their growth throughout the year and it makes the most PRECIOUS keepsake!

Here’s a little peek into our journals…


This was our first journal entry. We read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. The kids copied the title and the author and we discussed underlining the title, starting each word in the title with a capital letter, capitalizing the author’s first and last name, etc. Then they traced their hands and glued a paper heart in the middle. Just a quick little reflection based on what we read!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Little Tour

One of the best things about my school is the ability we have to go "ALL OUT" on our classrooms. I've had the same "theme" in my room for several years now...jungle. Now, while I think that's a precious theme, a new year in a new grade level SCREAMED new theme....so that's just what I did! I walked into my brand new classroom with a pretty blank canvas. After LOTS and LOTS of thought and planning, I finally came up with something I truly LOVE. A "Sassy Hollywood Glam" theme! Sure...it's a little girly...but my kids LOVE it!! It's so bright and cheerful! At least, I think so :) I know there's a lot going on, but it works! I'm sure there will be A LOT more on the walls to look at in the weeks to come, but for now here's how it stands...

My little “Celebrity of the Week” Corner.

classroom1 classroom2

The “BRAVO” Wall. I’ll hang student work here :)


My “Red Carpet Reading” nook, right next to the “Award Winning” Word Wall and the “Spotlight on Daily 5” area.

classroom4 classroom6

Here’s our little Math wall & shelf…filled with manipulatives, games, etc. The door leads to my bathroom {which I really use as a storage closet}. I’ve got my behavior management on the bathroom door {O.S.C.A.R…Our Students Can Act Responsibly}, and the Estimation Station jar and prediction chart are right below that.

You can also see my little Investigation Station {science center} and my sink & cupboards. I have all my artsy supplies in those cabinets. On the wall is a little poster for the “Lost Tooth Club” kids, and on the opposite wall that you can’t see is an area where I keep their “brag tags”.


Here’s a little peek at my whiteboard/calendar/morning meeting area. Be expecting LOTS of changes in this area in the next few weeks!!! I like it alright, but I know there’s SO much I’m missing!!!


Hope you enjoyed the tour! It’s like my little home away from home :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Welcome to Emilyk Cole!

Welcome to Emilyk Cole! This is my 9th year teaching and my first year in First Grade...and so far, I'm in LOVE! Join me on my journey as a "first year" First Grade teacher. I hope to share lots of exciting activities, lessons, and printables with you! I'm constantly on the search for fun and exciting things to do with my kids and I love sharing what I learn! And I know I have LOTS to learn!! Here's to a fantastic FIRST year in FIRST GRADE!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Reader’s Response Journal ~ If You Take A Mouse To School

Today we read, If You Take A Mouse To School by Laura Numeroff. We used this story to talk about “if”…”then” statements and then we added an entry to our Reader’s Response Journals.

Here’s a little peek…


I gave them a reading prompt that they had to complete.

If you take me to school, I will ask you for a _________________________________________________.

This would be a pretty cute little prompt to use in a class book!

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