Friday, August 12, 2016

Whole Brain Teaching in the first few days!

I have been lucky enough to attend the Whole Brain Teaching National Conference for three years. I LOVE using Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom. One of the first things I teach my firsties is how to talk with a partner. It is so important to me that they know how to properly communicate with one another. They need to be able to speak and listen.

This does not just come innately. Students will need to be taught how to do this. This is very simple.

The teacher says, (clap, clap) Teach! The students responds, (clap, clap) Okay!

 As the student says okay they turn and face their carpet partner. My carpet is purposely setup to allow for carpet partners. I have two rows of purple and two rows of blue. My students are taught which row turns and which row stays put. As the students say okay, my friends who are on the blue rows turn super fast and face their friends on the purple row.

 And then we practice that about a million times. Hah! I like them to do it fast. After all, my favorite rule is Rule #1, Follow Directions Quickly! Once they know how to turn quickly I call each student who is sitting on ( I say a random color, doesn't matter which) purple to come and get a microphone.

Well, they naturally get super pumped! Who doesn't want a shiny microphone! I bought these off of Amazon.



I tell my students if you do not have a microphone your job is to listen. We usually practice with something super easy like rhyming words. Here is an example:

Friends, I want you to teach your partner about rhyming words. When I say teach I want you to list all the words you can think of that rhyme with cat, okay?  *clap, clap* Teach!

My students respond with *clap, clap* Okay!  And they turn to face their partner. If they are holding the microphone they then begin rhyming. I walk around and monitor during this time.

Now, once they have listed a few words I teach them how to switch. This is so fun and easy!

I say SWITCH!  Students respond, UH OH SWITCH and then hand the microphone to a partner and that person then begins listing rhyming words.

It looks something like this.



I'll be sharing more of my Whole Brain Classroom, and maybe even a video!!  Thanks for stopping by. :)

Britney Gillich

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fluency and Singing go hand in hand!

Hi friends, I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and I'm scared to use the words back..to...school all together so I won't say that BUT I will say that I have only 3 weeks left. AGH!! How did that happen?

 Today I want to share with you how I begin my ELA block Every. Single. Day. I have a collection of fun poems and songs that correlate with monthly themes. It is SO simple. Every day we sing for my friends to come to the carpet. We greet each other and do a short few minutes of morning meeting. 

Once, I have their attention and we are ready to begin I turn on my SmartBoard and on the board I have a poem or a song waiting on them. First, I read it to them to model how to read fluently. Then we read it together a few times. After that I usually have students bursting with excitement to read the poem to me, which they can now do because we have read it at least 3 times by now.

My students especially love the days when I have a song pulled up for them to sing. I catch them singing it throughout the day at their seats. :)


 Example: This is from my October Poems and Songs.




I have recently bundled all of my Poems and Songs for the entire year!




To check out my bundle, CLICK HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Hoppin' and Crackin' into Spring

Yall!  Incase you haven't seen on the news, Louisiana is under water. Not me, THANKFULLY!  Most places in our district are flooded and because of that we have been out of school for two days until the water recedes. So, when I heard that today was going to be no school for students and a work day for teachers I sprinted over to the dollar tree. I knew I needed to find something to keep me busy all day today at school. Mission successful.

They had so many different types of eggs!  I found some fun freebies for the carrots and the plain eggs.

For the carrots I used The Kindergarten Connections Spring Math Freebie.

On the plain eggs I wrote a number on the top and bottom of each egg. The kiddos will just need to make a random match, record it, and solve. The freebie is from The Happy Teacher.

I had a special plan for the chicks and rabbits. My students are OBSESSED with learning animal facts. They just die laughing when I tell them silly ones. I KNEW immediately I would have to incorporate facts about rabbits and chickens.

This is what I came up with.



Inside each egg is a sentence scrambled up that has facts about either a chicken or a rabbit. I made them in color BUT our lovely color printer is of course broken (always) so I used a different color highlighter on each set to make sure none of the pieces get mixed up.

There is a recording sheet for each center. My kids are going to love, love, love this when they come back to school (hopefully, fingers crossed, tomorrow).

And if you stayed with me this far, enjoy my Easter egg sentence scramblers as a freebie. :)

Grab it HERE!

Keep Louisiana in your prayers!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tackling Behavior

Hi friends!  Recently I was lucky enough to attend the SDE I Teach First Conference!  Lucky, right?

I was able to hear Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade speak. She taught a class called Interactive Behavior Management: Tools, Tips, and Tricks. I'm going to share three of my favorite tricks!



Trick 1:  Quiet Spray. I know, I know it is ALL OVER Pinterest BUT hearing Cara (we are on a first name basis now, hah) explain how she uses it had me cracking up. Quiet spray can be used two different ways. First way: if the class is being super quiet you can mist them with quiet spray for having good behavior. Second way: if one student in particular is having a hard time staying quiet you can lightly mist them directly in their face. HAHAHAH  Cara suggested as teachers we might often want to dump the entire spray bottle but refrain from that. Just give them a little spritzer and keep walking.

Trick 2. Behave Your Beans (behavior beans). Keep a small bowl of beans and a small container somewhere in your room. When a student does something great and displays good behavior you tell them to go and get a behavior bean and place it in the container. When the container is full you give them a treat. It does not need to be something you purchased. It can be extra recess, bubble party, dance party, or sidewalk chalk. Make sure you are using a small container or it will never become full.

Trick 3:  Happy Rocks. Saving the best for last because this is quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen. You know those clear rocks they sell at the Dollar Tree. Well, go buy them NOW!  Draw a smiley face on each rock with a sharpie.  When a student does something that makes you so happy tell them to get a happy rock. The rock is theirs to keep. Cara told some heart wrenching stories about students who kept them, cherished them, and loved them. A rock, people. We can make their day better with a rock!

Thanks for hanging around and for that I am giving you some free labels for your cute behavior trick containers!!

Click for freebie!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Gobble Gobble

My kids love making "chickens" aka turkeys!  Seriously kids, why can't you call it a turkey?!  It is NOT a chicken. Anyway, if I can turn a skill in November into a turkey, I'm going to make it happen.

Turkey adddition..check
Turkey subtraction..check
Turkey sentences..check

It makes me happy. And rule #5 is all about keeping me happy. :)





How cute is that turkey?  Right?  They also wrote the sweetest Thanksgiving sentences. We have been practicing punctuation for WEEKS! This was perfect practice for them to write sentences using the correct punctuation mark. First, I gave students a Thanksgiving word list that I projected onto the SmartBoard. Second, I had students get out their journals and write 5 sentences in there. Next, I checked to make sure they were correct and then they began making their turkeys. It was a two day project but I love how they proud they were of them. I hung them up outside and they were SO upset they couldn't bring them home. 

Enjoy a freebie;)


If you love turkey time like I do check out my Turkey subtraction!  Includes task cards for around the room/scoot and a craftivity. Maybe your kids will have fun making "chickens" too.

Gobble Up Subtraction





Have a great Sunday!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Fluency, Fluency, Oh, Fluency

Yes, I know it is terribly important!  ESPECIALLY for my firsties. I know they should be fluent readers BUT what I also know is that fluency tests can sometimes be painful to give. It usually takes me an hour. I am not here to offer a magic trick on giving them but rather tell you what I do and then give you a freebie. :)

I list our sight words at the top of the page and I write each fluency assessment using our current and past sight words. This makes reading them MUCH easier for the student as long as they have studied their words.

This is an example of Week 4 and Week 5 sight word and fluency assessment. My rubric changes with each 9 week.

1st 9 week-15 wpm
2nd 9 weeks-30 wpm
3rd 9 weeks-45 wpm
4th 9 weeks-60 wpm

The first jump from 15 words in a minute to 30 is the most difficult one. I am always so nervous for them on the first test of the 2nd 9 weeks but as always they blow me away!

I hope you can use some of my fluency assessments!  I will continue to update them as I make them.

Click to download.

And just for sticking around I'm giving away a little Halloween freebie fun. You can download it from TeachersPayTeachers.

I hope you are having a great October!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Classroom Reveal 2015!!!

Come swim along with me under the sea in my beautiful classroom!  I didn't change anything in my room from last year, I simply added to it!  It has been so fun creating this theme. I hope I get five a few years use out of it. So Mr. B if you are reading don't go switching my classroom next year, please and thank you!

Alrighty folks, up ahead you will find way too many just enough photos!

Isn't this octopus to DIE for!!!!



Jellyfish hang above every group....I followed a simple tutorial to make these. Would you believe me if I said it's tablecloth?




I reinforce math facts by doing Gumball Math. The students LOVE it and not going to lie so do I. Please notice my third gumball machine at the top....the door had a malfunction and busted something so now gross oil is leaking all the way down my door!  Teacher luck.





I COULD NOT pass up this IKEA cash register.


Writing Center.






Thanks for sticking around!  Hope you loved it!