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Come Be a Fly on My Wall

Haven’t you always wanted to be a Fly on the Wall in certain classrooms?  As I have read teaching blogs over the years, I have wanted to be a fly on the wall in so many classrooms.  Could you imagine everything you would learn if you could take a year and go to a different classroom each day to observe and take notes?!?!
Well, I am inviting you on a virtual day trip to my classroom.  Then I will be hosting this as a Linky Party so others can link up with a day in their classrooms. 
Welcome to a day in Mrs. Southard’s 1st Grade Classroom!
My students begin coming into my classroom at 8:00.  The tardy bell does not ring until 8:15, so my students do not all come in at once.  They turn in their SPACE books with their homework and begin working on their morning work.  When they finish their morning work, they may read a book quietly while everyone else finishes.  Our principal comes over the intercom around 8:20 for the Pledge, a moment of silence, and morning announcements.
 Once most of the students have finished their morning work, we go over it using our Elmo visual presenter.
At 8:30, students go to Reading Interventions.  The entire school has Interventions at the same time.  This allows us to use every available adult (classroom teachers, teaching assistants, special area teachers, etc.).  It also allows for students to cross grade levels for Interventions if needed. 
I have a group of benchmark 1st graders.  We decided that these at and above grade level students would benefit from more Science and nonfiction reading activities.  Interventions in my classroom look different each day of the week.  On Monday, we complete a science experiment and fill in part of our Science Journals.  Since we are learning about plants this week, the students planted seeds in sand, clay, potting soil and rocks.
At 9:00, students return to their regular classrooms.  During this time, we review our skills and objectives for the day and week. 
Now it’s time for our Reading Block.  We begin with phonics.  We were learning about er, ir, and ur this week.  My students love using their own dry erase boards!
We use Treasures from McGraw-Hill to guide our reading instruction, but I like to add some extra learning opportunities as well.  We used my Meet the Bossy R Triplets unit this week to help them learn those tricky spellings.
As we move on into spelling, the students are introduced to the words and practice the words.  We also move while we are spelling the words.  Today, the students were doing pushups as they spelled their words.
We are learning about synonyms this week.  I wanted to get the students up and moving, so I gave them each a card.  Each card had a synonym match.  Students had to find their partner without talking.  I tried to include some challenging “Fancy Nancy Words” to keep increasing their vocabulary skills.
After squeezing in a restroom break, the students were ready for their healthy snack.  We have an AWESOME grant from Dole this year.  Three days a week, our school is provided with a fruit or a vegetable snack for the entire school.  Then, once a month, the students are invited to a Tasting Buffet where everyone can try a variety of fruits and vegetables while learning all about each of them.  {These pictures are from a couple weeks ago, but you can see them eating pears and spinach.  I mean…seriously, who would have thought 6 year olds would love spinach!  It is amazing how many fruits and vegetables my students are trying now!}
For our writing today, we made a list of some different types of flowers.  Then we began filling out our graphic organizer about our favorite flower.
To continue to integrate science into our reading, our fluency passages were about flowers this week.  We discussed our Power Words and read it together a couple of times.  Then the students practiced in groups of 3.  After practicing, we completed the rest together.
During stations and small group time, the students are in groups of three.  They do a variety of independent activities while I pull small groups of individuals to work with.  I pull my station activities from a variety of places.  {I will be discussing this in another “Be a Fly on My Wall Linky.}
We use Everyday Math, which I have a like-dislike relationship with.  I like that it spirals back to things, but I dislike that the students don’t master something before we move to something new.  I like the variety of skills my students learn, but I dislike that I have to supplement math facts.  I like the games, but I dislike that the workbook is soooooo boring! 
12:05 – 12:45 – RECESS and LUNCH
After lunch, we have our Calendar time.  We count money, write addition and subtraction facts, skip count, etc.  Then we read a chapter from our chapter book.
Next, the students get their Math Notebooks.  We use portions of Cara’s Calendar Companion first.  Then students get out their Math Journals and we complete a word problem.  We use our school wide strategies (on the blue cards) to solve our word problems.
As much as I love teaching science, I always feel like I run out of time.  This is why I try to integrate it elsewhere into our day as much as possible.  Today, we read “Oh Say Can You Seed?” and completed a “Plant Needs” booklet that I had from an old Teacher’s Helper magazine.
At the end of the day, it’s time to clean up and fill out our behavior charts.  These are sent home in their folders each week.  We walk students outside for dismissal at 2:40.  There you have it…a day as a fly on the wall in my classroom.
Here is where your part comes in.  Take pictures of a day in your classroom.  Post it on your blog, grab the button below and link up. I would love to be a fly on the wall in your classroom.
 Clipart and Fonts from this post are from the following: Kimberly Geiswin, Ashley Hughes, Cara Carroll, A Cupcake for the Teacher, Teaching in a Small Town, and Scrappin Doodles.
As I started taking pictures, I realized it was very hard to show you how I teach certain subjects by just showcasing one day. {Each day may look a little different.} So, each week I will be choosing a different portion of my day to highlight! For example, one week I will focus the entire week on teaching reading in my classroom then the next week I may do only math.  Then, I will have a different “Be a Fly on My Wall” Linky Party for each area!
For this week’s Linky Party, just post about a “normal” day in your classroom, grab the picture above, and link up below.


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  1. Wow! You guys sure are busy! I love how you do interventions at the same time for every single grade, and that interventions can be across grade levels! I wish we had the staff for that! We only have one basic skills instructor for grades K-4, and she is one of two certified in Wilson. Thanks for letting us take a peek into your room. I can't wait to link up!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  2. WOW! WOW! I know I said that already, but !WOW! This post is so full of meat I must take more time to reread and digest. Thanks for the wake up call. I think I must be in a slump right now. I could give a million reasons why. But bottom line is, you've inspired me to get back to where I once was. Just this week I introduced synonyms. So I'm going to use your idea for the synonym match up. Thanks so much.

  3. I teach in a small preK-12 school and am the only 1st grade teacher. I have been struggling for the past two years, wondering if what I am doing is right…enough…to much…etc. Reading other blogs has helped a little, but what I actually need is to SEE what other teachers are doing! This linky is perfect! I am so excited to check back and read the link ups!! Would you be willing to tell me the time you spend on each subject starting with phonics through math (starting at 9:00 and ending at recess and lunch and also 12:45 calendar time through science? Your post has been so helpful and thank you for starting this linky!!

  4. I love this idea! I don't have my own classroom yet so I can't join in. Pllleeeasseee keep this linky up until next school year when I (hopefully) have a teaching job! 🙂 Loved getting a glimpse into your day!

    Recess and Beyond

  5. I look forward to linking up! We are departmentalized in first grade! So I will have to follow one of our groups around this week. Can't wait to be a "fly" in some other classrooms!


  6. Is your calendar a pocket chart hanging? If so, where did you get it from? I tried doing calendar on the whiteboard this year, but it hasn't worked too well. I wanted my bulletin boards to hang up anchor charts. I would love to know about your calendar. Loved your share! Thanks!

  7. This was a great idea. It was fun going on a field trip to your classroom. It amazes me how different things can be from classroom to classroom, district to district and state to state. Our students start coming in at 7:35, the bell rings at 7:50 and our end of school dismissal is at 2:50.

  8. Wow! I agree with O FISH ally a First Grader! What I great idea! I do wish that I could go and visit different classrooms around the country to watch and live from other teachers but this blogging stuff is pretty awesome too, I can't wait to be a "little fly" in everyone's classrooms. So great!

    Teach Train Triumph!

  9. I love this. It really helps to see how other teachers structure their day. I hope you have lots of bloggers and I look forward to your future posts. Thank you!

  10. Hi Jodi! I loved being a fly on your wall – it's cool to see what another teacher's day is like! The only subject i teach is science so my day is all science experiments/activities. I just posted a typical day, thanks for this fun linky idea, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest!

    Science for Kids Blog

  11. I love that I could peek into your classroom. You learn so much from looking at photos of your children at work and the way your classroom is laid out. I do hope lots of other bloggers link up. I am so glad that I found and follow your blog!


  12. what a great post! I will have to take some pics and get mine up too 🙂 Our school does remediation every morning and I get a small group of kids from the other first grade classrooms. I also like that you have time set aside for phonics. We don't have a phonics program at all and it's really hurting the kids. I might come up with my own phonics time next year…


  13. I love this idea!! I'm hoping to link up after I take pictures this week. It will take me all week to take pictures, as you know, nothing ever goes as planned as a teacher teaching 1st graders! 🙂 Gotta love it though!!

  14. Thank you so much for posting your day. It's great to see what is happening in other classrooms and in another country. I teach grade one and twos in Australia.


  15. Thank you so much for hosting this Linky party! I am so happy I was able to link up. I am interested in how your school manages your intervention block. We may be moving towards something that sounds similar next year and I want to start gathering ideas to share. After reading about your day and some of the other links, I am seriously thinking about moving my calendar routine to the beginning of math time rather than first thing in the morning. Thanks again!
    My First Love

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