Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Name Dropping and Ah-mazing Teachers

I have to say that this year I really began to explore other teacher's blogs more and I'm so grateful!  I remember a few years ago when it all started and I stumbled upon Beth Newingham's website.  I was so amazed by her dedication to creating such a robust site that contained a ton of goodies.  I loved using her library labels since we do a HUGE genre study in 2nd grade.  You can still go there and download these beautiful labels.  It fit perfectly.  She really inspired me to continue to beef up my library and I have found that my students get completely lost in our (I have to say) awesome library.'s getting there.  ;)

Then I found out that Beth was blogging for Scholastic and stumbled upon a few other great bloggers.  This past summer I found Life in First Grade and then that led me on a wild goose chase to a million other awesome blogs.

I love Babblin' Abby from The Inspired Apple!
AND I am now so enamored with
Cara Carroll from 
and have used a bunch of her ideas already.  Recently I adapted one of the ideas she got from Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten on using the No David series by David Shannon to talk about Peacebreakers and Peacemakers.  This conversation tied in sooo nicely with our school's connection to The Responsive Classroom (gosh I feel like I'm name dropping).

Read this awesome article from them that talks about establishing hopes and dreams with your students at the beginning of the year.  This will be the first year that I am going to create my own hope and dream as well.  For some reason I have left that part out of the process, but I think it's important to share your own thoughts in the same way you ask your students to.  The results of our discussion after doing the Peacemaker/Peacebreaker conversation led to pretty fruitful rule brainstorming for our classroom.

I realize that it's the messy whiteboard version, but its interesting to see what they came up.  We already discussed rules we could combine into one.  They generally cover all the basics that a teacher would create and if they forget something (like safety) for instance you can help guide that convo.  Notice that I made sure that we talked about not using the word DON'T so that our statements stayed in the positive (this is guidance that Responsive Classroom suggests and it really helps!)  My favorite statements students made were that they want our classroom to be COZY, WARM, and HOMEY!  LOVE IT!!! to sure I'll make sure to share the class contract when it's all done.
On another note, thank you to Mrs. Carroll (The First Grade Parade) for the amazing ideas.  As you can see I have stolen (but of course given credit) for your beautiful ideas!!!  My kids have loved it!!  I've sent my colleagues your way as well.  

SO Thank you, Thank YOU to all you amazing teachers out there for inspiring me and making me a better teacher!  I'm hoping it inspires me to create my own ideas and share them with you more often.


Momma Mac said...

and you, my dear, are an EXPERT at blogging and finding the gold. Thank you for doing so much leg-work!! I love being able to link from your suggestions.

Jason Whitaker said...

Really enjoying all the wonderful teacher blogs I've found. Having these as resources is great.

Tammy said...

My daughter's third grade teacher showed me Beth Newingham. I was amazed. We spent the next year seeing how much we could incorporate in our classrooms. There are some inspiring ideas out there.

Heather's Heart said...

You have a very inspirational blog!

Teaching is already full of stress...I love how blogging helps us ALL become better teachers through sharing activities, ideas, and encouragement.

I love the Peacemakers. We tied that in with Bucket Filling. We have a bucket we fill with helpful hearts (beads). At the end of the year, each child gets to make a bracelet to remind themselves that filling a bucket fills someone's heart.

I recently shared a poem called "A Heart of Patience". I would love for you to come read it.

Heather's Heart

Ms.Lee @ Calling Plays in 2nd Grade said...

Great poster. I’m your newest follower. Please check out my blog if you get a chance. Calling Plays in 2nd Grade.