Skip to main content

Trims are over and I'm safe!

"Trims" is what happens between the 5th and 10th day of school...the district looks at the numbers and decides if each building has too many teachers or needs more.  Well, long story short, I was the last one hired, so there was a lot of nail biting going on for these last 7 days.  After a very intense emergency staff meeting, all is well and I still keep my kiddos!  Hopefully they hire some new teachers next year so I'm not on the chopping block again.  It's wishful thinking, I know.

Knock on wood, my kids are pretty good!  It's all relative, but I haven't had a chair thrown in my room or one hide under furniture (unlike last year).  So I'm really excited!  The majority of them are still scared of the clothespin chart (unlike last year).  It's so funny, because they do slip up, and I correct them, but then laugh at myself because last year I would have been thrilled for someone to "only" do what they just did.

I started reading groups today which was rather interesting.  I have one or two who refuse to even try to sound out words.  Any suggestions?  They know what the letters sound like, but there is no effort given to try sounding it out on their own.  They also don't even attempt to do our motions during our phonics program.  I'm thinking maybe a pack of Smarties might be in order tomorrow as an incentive for trying.  Sound out a word, get a Smartie. :-)

Then, I had one break down in tears when he saw the book because he "can't" read.  Really?  Because I did 7 days of assessments and they told me you can read so let's try anyways.  Sure enough he read two whole pages!

Today was the first day I started meeting with guided math groups as well and I'm loving it!  It felt so good to  meet with the kiddos that need the extra help and know that at least I was trying to help them succeed.  I had the rest of my kiddos work at our three sets of desks and rotate about every 15 minutes.  Two tables worked on concept of number and the other table played a game from our math binders.  I am slowly introducing a game at a time so that eventually we will have covered all of the games and they can take their binder and work around the room.  I feel bad that they are at their desks right now for this hour, but I let them sit or stand while they work and I am just not ready to have beads and pipe cleaners (for concept of number) scattered on my floor.  Eventually I will give up control, but that just seems like too much right now.


  1. So glad those "trims" did not affect you!
    I would love to hear more about your Math Binders and Guided Math!
    Have a happy school year!

    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Engage NY - Devil's Advocate

Engage NY Math is quickly becoming a hot topic across the country. NY Department of Education developed curriculum to support Common Core and published it online for free. Our district has adopted the math portion. I would like to play devil's advocate and see what everyone thinks about Engage. Pros:
~It is free online
~It dives deep into numbers, both composing and decomposing and makes our kiddos think differentlyCons:
~It is only available online which means everything must be printed, no materials can be purchased pre-made
~ Each lesson is an hour long of direct instruction
~ The first grade lessons include a lot of papers, typically three double sided pages each day if you do the homeworkQuestions:
~ Does it say anywhere that it is research based?
~ Why hasn't a publishing company picked it up? Post your thoughts in the comments.

Favorite Board Games For Math

I don't know about you, but I love board games!  I grew up playing cards and board games and building puzzles with my family, and those are some of my favorite memories.  You know that I also love technology, but sometimes, it's nice to unplug.  Here are a few of my favorite games to use in the classroom for math.  This list is constantly growing, so keep your eyes peeled for another post in the future. (Affiliate Links Provided)

Chutes & Ladders This is one of the first games I introduce in my classroom.  Kiddos love the idea of playing "games" at school.  Chutes and Ladders is setup like a hundreds chart and the perfect way to get kiddos familiar with the layout of the chart.  Students learn to take turns and ease into math centers in my room.
Connect Four This is a great game to build your math center routines and procedures.  Students are learning problems solving and creating strategies while cooperating with others.  To add a little more math to it, use a p…

5 Steps To Help You Integrate Art Into Your Classroom

Choose A Time
Choose which subject you would like to integrate art into and what day.  In my classroom, this is Math on Friday.  I am not a "crafty" teacher by nature.  My teaching partners are much better at including art projects into their plans.  I decided on Fridays, after our lesson we would do a math related craft instead of meeting with small groups.  Friday is an easy choice for me because it is jeans day, it's relaxed, and we are wore out from a busy week.

Create A Subject Overview
I created an outline of our math that includes the month and the topic for the week.  This way, I knew that I needed a place value craft for October and a shape craft for December.

Pinterest is your best friend!  I saved ideas that I found to a Pinterest board so that I could reference them later when I was ready to create or download if a template was available.  Think of a variety of terms, to search for and sometimes less specific is better.  Halloween Place Value Crafts m…