Moving to 1st Grade

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by MissFroggy, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 6, 2008

    I am moving to first grade now... I have taught 3rd and 4th mostly.

    Anyway, I have lots of QUESTIONS!!

    1- Do you do reading logs with 1st graders?? I mean, I am guessing they don't all read- so what goes on the logs? Maybe just a checklist for the number of books they read or some sort of graph??? I need a way to track what they "read" during readers workshop.

    2- During guided reading, do they read a new book every day? The books are super short! How can they read only one during the week? Do they read one for 2 days?

    3- Do you do themes?? Weekly or monthly?

    4- Do you do Author studies?

    5- Do you do spelling words, or just word wall words??

    6- Do you do free time in the classroom for blocks and things like that?

    7- Is telling time an expectation? I usually have the kids "clock in" in the morning when they arrive. I am guessing this is out!!

    Um, that's all for now! I'd love to hear your responses!
     
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  3. Teachingin08

    Teachingin08 Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2008

    A short book can last a while because rereading many times is recommended. The first time is for enjoyment. Next, focus on some lesson or skill (comprehension, grammar, whatever). Read even more to develop fluency.

    Author studies - Yes

    I do not think spelling word in addition to word wall words is necessary, but many parents expect them.

    I do not have free time for blocks and things like that.

    I expect them to be able to tell time on a digital clock and I have them "clock out and in" for restroom breaks using a digital clock. After the lesson on using a clock with hands, I will expect that. That is one of the things we cover in 1st grade.

    Themes weekly or monthly - can be done either way

    I track reading during reader's workshop by conferencing with individuals while the others read. I have a binder with a section for each kid. There are sheets that I fill in as I conference. I ask them what they are reading, why they chose the book, if it is too easy, too hard, or just right, I ask them to read a page or 2 to me, I ask them about what they read, we talk about strengths and weaknesses and set goals. I have another sheet where I record who I meet with on each day so that I can try to spread it out and get to everyone equally, however, sometimes I conference more often with those who need more help.

    Even though I don't use reading logs in 1st grade, it can be done. I have heard of teachers doing it. You could have them write/copy the title and draw the characters or their favorite part, etc. and try to write about it. They can use inventive spelling and try to label their pictures. Their writing will also improve dramatically throughout the year. Second semester they should be able to write at least 2 sentences, if not more, in response to reading.

    Most importantly though, with any method, 1st graders have to be taught everything! If you choose to use reading logs, you will have to teach a lesson on using reading logs. If you conference, you will have to teach them how to conference, etc. You will have to teach how reader's workshop works and practice it. Maybe you have to do these things in the upper grades as well, but I think you have to more so and in more detail with 1st graders because they have had very little experience with these things.
     
  4. LUV2TEACH!

    LUV2TEACH! Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2008

    I taught a 1/2 combo class last year, and will have a 1/2 again this year. Here is what I expected from the first graders:

    1- Yes, they had a reading log! I would assign 15 minutes of reading a night (can be reading with a parent if they are not reading indpendently). They would record the book or pages read, along with the amount of time they spent.

    2 - I use a mix of short books and our basal reader. As the previous poster mentioned, they are supposed to read the book over several times, each time focusing on a new skill.

    3 - I do monthly themes. Check out enchantedlearning.com for a great list of K-3 themes!

    4 - Yes, we did author studies.

    5 - Each student has a spelling & vocabulary book which we went through unit by unit. Each unit had 10 spelling words, and those are the words they are tested on Friday.

    6 - I have a Free Friday period on Friday afternoons. I set up different stations in the classroom (blocks, art, puzzles, games). Students who had completed all their work and had good behavior all week get to participate in Free Friday ( I never take away the whole period, but they may lose time off their Free Friday). It is a privilege that they must earn...it makes a great incentive!

    7 - They are introduced to time telling. Many will "get it" right away, while some may struggle with this concept. Make sure you have Judy Clocks or some type of hands-on clock that students can use...they help out tremendously!

    Hope this helps! :)
     
  5. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Hope those helped some.
     
  6. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Hi Miss Froggy!!!:D

    :D
     
  7. kinder4me

    kinder4me Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2008

    This is helpful!!!:) I am moving from Kindergarten to 1st and I just found out (school starts Aug 18). I am going to a new school - we can't even get in yet :eek: (not quite finished with the building - hopefully Monday). I am a little nervous about the change but have good support. Any suggestions for 1st would be greatly appreciated!!!!:thanks:
     
  8. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2008

    A lot of it depends on your district and the curriculum they provide for you.
    1. Reading logs--Yes, I do these with my first graders, but a little bit differently. After our reading mini-lesson I will have them respond by a graphic organizer, worksheet, or many times at the beginning of the year a simple picture and word about their favorite part or character. As the year progresses you can get more "sophisticated". You just have to read your class and decide what they are ready for.
    2. During guided reading, do they read a new book every day? The books are super short! How can they read only one during the week? Do they read one for 2 days?
    All of my groups will read 2 books a week. For example, on Monday red group will intro and read a book. We will also do some word work and/or vocabulary with it. They take that book and put it in their book bag and practice it the rest of the day when there is time. The next day we meet again and we review the book with comprehension questions and I try to answer any difficult words they have with it. Then they do a written response in the form of guided writing. The next day they get a new book and the cycle goes on again.

    3- Do you do themes?? Weekly or monthly?
    I love themes, but unfortunately we just have too much to cover. I generally stick my social studies and science goals into parts of the year where they seem to "fit" and base my themes around those. For example, I will do plants in the spring.

    4- Do you do Author studies?
    I did not do any author studies last year because I was trying to get used to the curriculum...it had been a few years since I taught first grade and many things were new. This year I may look into doing some author studies.

    5- Do you do spelling words, or just word wall words??
    I do both. We have 6 weekly spelling words and I add 4 high frequency words for the word wall. Around 2nd quarter I will add some "challenge" words for higher children.

    6- Do you do free time in the classroom for blocks and things like that?
    I do in my room. Our school day begins at 8:45 and ends at 3:30. So I usually have a "game time" at 3:00-3:15 where they may play games, work puzzles, or do the computer. I only do blocks and toys during indoor recess, but if you have time in your schedule and your principal does not mind I would go for it! First graders still love to play and learn a lot of social skills.

    7- Is telling time an expectation? I usually have the kids "clock in" in the morning when they arrive. I am guessing this is out!!
    We begin telling time by the hour, then half hour, and finally quarter hour although quarter hour is not tested.

    Um, that's all for now! I'd love to hear your responses!
    I hope I was helpful! Let me know if you need anything else. I love first grade! :) Good luck!
     
  9. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 8, 2008

    Thanks everyone for your responses. It really clears up a lot for me!
     
  10. jaszmyn

    jaszmyn Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2008

    Miss Froggy,

    I basically have the same thing to say so I wont be redundant. But you will come to find that first graders are not as babyish as they may seem. They have amazing personalities! and even if you do have to do something on whim...they usually wont notice!! Only you will. So good luck!

    Also I love your quote at the bottom of your signiture. Can I steal it? :)
     
  11. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 8, 2008

    Sure, you can steal the quote!(Just quote me!)
     
  12. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 8, 2008

    I did create a very simple reading log, because I think it's important to document what we read at school. I made a "favorite book of the week" log. It can be any book; read aloud, guided reading, self-selected or whatever. They will fill it out on Friday. I just didn't want to do something that would take half their reading time just to fill out!
     

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