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Elementary Teacher Resources, Issue #020 -- Welcome Back!
August 23, 2008

Welcome to
Elementary Teacher Resources

Well, by now most of us are back into the swing of things at school.

12 years of teaching materials...
in 3 car loads!

After switching schools and grades this summer, which is an adventure in itself, I’ve just completed my first week with kids in First Grade.

I’m beginning to feel like a First Grade teacher, again...

After all the moving, setting up and meetings it was nice to finally have a room full of kids!

This week was quite an adventure because of Tropical Storm Fay, but all in all, we had a great week. If you want to know more about my first week, check out my classroom updates.

Word Wall

This year I wanted to make my word wall easier to maintain. I was tired of words falling off, tape marks on cabinets, and all of that jazz.

Cute and tidy word wall

I came up with the idea of a pocket chart word wall.

I used to mini charts from Target and some ABC tags from a dollar store and came up with something I really like.

With the pocket charts the words can be more fluid. Take them down, put them up, change the order, easy as pie.

The whole project cost me about $15, but will last a lifetime.

Free Stuff

If you’re looking for free handouts for parents for Meet the Teacher or Open House, you may want to check out edpubs.

This year I ordered several books for my parents.

They included:

  • A Child Becomes A Reader: Kindergarten Through Grade 3
  • Dad's Playbook: Coaching Kids To Read
  • Big Dreams: A Family Book About Reading: Preschool Through Grade Three
  • Helping Your Child Become A Responsible Citizen
  • Put Reading First: Helping Your Child Learn To Read: A Parent Guide: Preschool Through Grade 3

After you register, they will ship the books to your school for free! They are great resources; I have used them for many years now.

I also told my guidance counselor, AP and resources teachers about this site. There’s a lot more than just reading ideas on there. Get some “brownie points” and share it with your staff!

Writing Craft – Vivid Verbs

We are starting writing crafts this week. Yeah! We are starting with Vivid Verbs. Vivid Verbs are words that carry the story with action and excitement.

Some examples are:

  • leap instead of jump
  • soar instead of fly
  • creep instead of walk

The first day we are going to look at a book cover that has a lot of action on it. We will discuss some words to describe the actions and expand on the vocabulary.

Each child will get a post-it note to write some action words on and place it on the book cover.

On this day we will also begin a Vivid Verbs chart of amazing words to use in our stories.

The second day we are going to focus on the word “jump” from the book Jump, Frog, Jump!. We will talk about other words that can mean ‘jump’, and build a word list to work from.

On the third day we are going to find all the verbs from the book “Jump, Frog, Jump!” and try to find substitute Vivid Verbs to add into the story. This will be done with post-it notes and added to the story so the children can revisit the words in the reading center.

The fourth day we will look into the book “The Roller Coaster” to find even more examples of Vivid Verbs. We will continue to add words to our Vivid Verbs chart.

On the last day, the children will revisit parts of “The Roller Coaster” and make some finishing edits to their stories. This day we will also have an extra long sharing session so we can all read each other's stories.

I can’t wait to start this mini-unit. It will be fun. No, it will be thrilling.

If you’re on Facebook and want to chat with other elementary teachers, join the Elementary Teacher Resources group! It’s fun and free!

I hope that you have enjoyed this newsletter. Please feel free to email it to friends and family who are teachers or homeschool moms!

Also, don't forget to get your copy of my free new teacher handbook! It's full of great tips and tricks to make your year go great.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

See you next month!

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