I am a brand new teacher, and even more brand new to 1st grade as I completed my student teaching in a 3rd grade classroom. Any teacher can tell you how crazy your first year can be, but combining that with getting to know a new age group and new curriculum makes for a very interesting, but exciting, year! Thankfully I teach at an awesome school with the most wonderfully supportive staff and fellow teachers.
My 1st graders are undyingly curious, have endless energy, express filterless creativity, and are constantly generous with kindness and affection.
They also cannot get enough read-alouds. Even my little buddies who struggle to sit still and focus for most of the day become captivated and still when I begin to read to them. In addition to weaving literacy into every subject I teach, I firmly believe in the necessity and efficacy of movement breaks. We stretch, dance, jog in place, and constantly move between time on the rug and time at our desks. This keeps our blood flowing and gets our wiggles out, helping us to concentrate on stuff like becoming better readers, writers, mathematicians, artists, scientists, and all around better humans!
I teach four small groups of targeted literacy instruction every day, which means I am constantly searching for new and fun ways to keep three of the groups engaged and learning while I teach the fourth group.
As I'm generally the only adult in the room with twenty 6 and 7 year olds, these centers not only serve the purpose of teaching literacy skills, they also keep the students quiet and entertained so that I can put my full focus on direct instruction of each small group.
My small group literacy centers practice reading comprehension skills, phonics, handwriting, and sight word recognition/spelling, among other things. The word building tiles can be used for many of these activities, and the reading comprehension games will feel like a reward since my students love to play board games!
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