Contract for Grade #1 and #2 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

My Contract for Grade Accomplishments Requirement 1 and Requirement 2 (Combined)

Best Practices: In First Grade

No Good Very Bad Sight Words

f Pocket Chart: Mrs. J. places sight words in the pockets in the front Students also suggest words they encounter to put in the pocket


1. Post it note given to students as ask for assistance with words they can't spell.

2. Each child gets five words

3. Story starter words are on the blackboard

4. Sentences are given for some students on the post it note

5. Sloppy copy = first draft

6. Music plays quietly

7. Parent Volunteer (myself) floats with Mrs, J. during many of the writing experiences.

Mailboxes for Independent Critical Thinking:

Students are encouraged to solve these different problems at home with the help of his or her family that evening!!

1. What Am I?

-A series of questions (3-4 usually) about an object is written on colorful writing paper and placed in the activity center for children to determine what Mrs. J. is Writing about

-Students place answers on color coded answer papers with name into appropriate box

-Mrs. J. reads all answers, students who are correct & have included their name get name in the BIG box for a drawing!

Ex: You keep me with you everywhere you go.

You need to eat nutritious food to keep me healthy.

My name symbolizes love.

What am I?

2. Scrambled Word

-Students write down the scrambled word of the day and solve it at home.

-Letters are on color coded paper in activity center.

-Students place answers on color coded answer papers with name into appropriate box

-Mrs. J. reads all answers, students who are correct & have included their name get name in the BIG box for a drawing!

Ex: crocodile = eloocdic

3. Solve the Mystery

-Students need to determine a solution for a question related to numbers or math.

Ex: How many days are in the month of April?


I volunteered in Mrs. J's First grade Classroom from the middle of November until the middle of May on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 - to 11:25. Initially Mrs. J planned to have me work with reading groups to compliment her reading program. We flip-flopped groups for the first month. She would teach the new skills and read with her group. I would read with my group, practice new words, practice Dolch words and discuss the stories. This situation was revised as she found it difficult to manage the computer in her classroom effectively. Initially she was trying to allow students to use the computer as she worked with individuals and small groups. Unfortunately the children needed so much help with the computer that it just did not work out. The students were continually asking Mrs. J for help on the computer.

Mrs. J then asked me if I would work with 3- 4 pairs of students each day on the computer, read with one student on a regular basis and then, on some days, assist with the writing process.


I introduced most of the students in her class to the following software:

1. Math Blaster

2. Science Blaster

3. The Amazing Human Body

4. Jumpstart First Grade

5. Kid Pix

6. Dinosaurs

7. Thinking Things

8. I Spy

9. Franklin Learns Math

I also helped each child in the class write a story on the computer for a class book on Ramona. We concentrated on the following skills:

1. Capital letter at the beginning of a sentence (shift and the letter)

2. Period at the end of a sentence

3. Exclamation marks and question marks in some cases

4. Space Bar between words

5. Two spaces after a period

6. Back spacing

7. Arrow keys

8. Some learned the home row position

9. "Enter key" to advance a line at a time

10. Saving their work

11. Entering Microsoft works

The children worked very hard on this project. They were all very serious and determined to write their story. They were quite pleased with their printed story!!


I read exclusively with one little Native American girl every day. She went to Chapter 1 for her Reading and then would read with me for 15 minutes each day. We would partner read or shadow read her class assignment and then she would decide which other stories she would like me to read to her. Sometimes she would choose to read me a story that she had picked out!

I really enjoyed the chance to work with this little girl. She was very quiet but did periodically tell me a little about what was going on in her life. She preferred to work in a quiet, hidden area of the classroom. She didn't like to read if kids were walking by in the hall, or if kids from class would meander into the area. She did prefer to stay in her own classroom. She didn't read as well if Mrs. J was within earshot, generally she would quit reading if anyone was in close proximity.. This student often utilized the delay tactic of carefully slipping her shoes off just when our time together was about to end! It took me a while to catch on to this little trick! It gave us a chance to walk together behind the class to library or music!

I believe this little girl has really done remarkably well in reading considering that she has little family support educationally. Mrs. J. did state that the student did start bringing her homework in more regularly after she started working with me. This wasn't consistent, but there was an increase in the amount of work returned for brief spells. Prior to reading with me she had turned nothing in, ever.


Mrs. J had a wonderful plan for writing! I can't wait to utilize this in a regular classroom of my own some day! As I outline briefly above!!


After Christmas vacation I tied skates for the first graders every Tuesday for six weeks. This was from 11:30 - 12:30. The kids absolutely loved to skate over the lunch hour. My role was to tie skates, help monitor the kids on the ice, untie skates and then help usher the kids back to class for the afternoon. The time flew by! Kids who did not have their own ice skates could borrow from a box at school on a first come, first serve basis. The skates often did not fit well but didn't slow any of them down! This time also gave me the chance to spend more time with the little girl I read with on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She didn't have skates of her own, I spoke with her social worker and she was able to round up some skates for her to use.

Wrap Around Program:

I was asked to run the recreation program for two days during the summer portion of the wrap around program. During the two days I was responsible for five groups of 4 -8 kids during 30 minute intervals. The kids were in mixed groups from kindergarten through grade 3. The weather was partly cloudy and in the middle seventies, perfect for outdoor recreation.

Initially I attempted to play four square with the students at the suggestion of a colleague. It became apparent to me rather quickly that this was not going to be very much fun for anyone, the skills were just not there yet! So we moved on right away to red light green light! The kids loved it. We played this in every group and then concluded each session with tug-o-wars! I divided the kids in half and then had them pull. (I held the center of the rope for their own protection.) I then had them challenge me! This was great fun, and I think I enjoyed myself as much as the kids! We raced back to the classroom at the conclusion. The only other difference in the groups was when I had four kindergartners with several older students we decided to play Duck, Duck, Goose too! Overall the morning was a success! I wish I went to school to teach elementary physical education! What a fun way to work out!

Internet Resources for Elementary Teachers\

Baldwinville Elementary School Support for math and reading - They utilize Responsive Classroom, too!

Virtual Classrooms:

Writing and Visual Thinking:

Reducing Violence in Schools: Internet Links

Many links !!

Books for Reference:

Social - Emotional:

Parenting with Love and Logic, Foster Cline, M.D., & Jim Fay

Hope for High Risk and Rage Filled Children, Foster Cline M.D.

Loving Your Child is Not Enough, A Teacher's Guide to Cooperative Discipline, Linda Albert

The Quality School, William Glasser, M.D.

How to Talk so Kids Can Learn At Home and in School:, Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

The Morning Meeting Book, Roxann Kriete

That's My Buddy: Friendship and Learning Across the Grades,Developmental Studies Center

A Notebook for Teachers: Making Changes in the Curriculum, Northeast Foundation for Children

Teaching Peace, Red Grammer

Classroom Rituals for At-Risk Learners, Dr. Gary L. Phillips

63 Ways of Improving Classroom Instruction, Gary Phillips and Maurice Gibbons

Reading and Writing:

Developing Readers and Writers in the Content Areas, David W. Moore, Sharon Author Moore, Patricia M. Cunningham, James W. Cunningham

Writing Process Activities Kit, Mary Lou Brandvik

If you're trying to teach kids to write, you've gotta have this book!, Marjorie Frank

Readers and Writiers with a Difference,Lynn K. Rhodes & Curt Dudley-Marling

The Art of Teaching Writing, Lucy McCormick Calkins

Experiences in Language, Walter T. Petty, Dorothy C. Petty, & Marjorie E. Becking

Writing and Art Go Hand in Hand, Diane Bonica

Poetry Patterns, Eleanor Orndoff


Teaching Mathematics to Children with Special Needs,Carol A. Thornton, Benny F. Tucker, John S. Dossey, & Edna F. Bazic

Mathematics: A Good Beginning - Strategies for Teaching Children, Andria P. Troutman & Betty K Lichtenberg

Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary School, David J. Fuys & Rosamond Welchman Tischler

Teacher Inventories:

Analytical Reading Inventory, Mary Lynn Woods & Alden J. Moe

Reading Miscue Inventory, Yetta M. Goodman, Dorothy J. Watson, & Carolyn L. Burke

This is only a partial list of resources that I will utilize next year in my classroom.

-- Anonymous, July 10, 1999


Hi Kim, In reviewing your assignments posted on June 26 and July 10, it looks like you have completed the requirements for the year. I will submit a chnge of grade so you will receive credit soon, I hope. Sometimes the change of grade forms get lost in transit, so we will hope for the best. Congratulations and I look forward to working with you in the upcoming year! Sincerely, Mary Ann

-- Anonymous, August 09, 1999

Moderation questions? read the FAQ