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Archive for the ‘Back to School’ Category

postheadericon Goodbye First Grade….Hello Third Grade!


Educator Station has moved to third grade!  I am so excited to begin a new school year in a new grade level. 

It has been fun picking out my classroom rules posters, my behavior clip chart, and organizing my classroom has been a lot of work, but I have enjoyed every minute of it! Seeing everything nice and clean and organized is a great feeling. 

I thought I would share some of the things I have been working on to get the new year going. 

First, I want to implement character traits into my daily routine. Each month, I would like to choose a trait to model and read about throughout the month. When I see students exhibiting the trait, they will get a "Caught Being Good" ticket. At the end of each week, I will pick from my "Caught Being Good" container and those students will get to go to the prize box. Each child, that is chosen for the prizebox, will be complimented and celebrated each Friday. This is just a little way to acknowledge and celebrate each child in the classroom. 

Below are the Caught Being Good Tickets. Click on the image below to download them. 


caught being good ticket


Mrs. Castro posted about teaching monthly character traits with a literature list to use along with each character trait. Click HERE to see that post. 


I also ordered these red stools from IKEA. I have them around my teacher table and my students love sitting on them. 


The stools are working out so well, I decided to order more of them for my computer center. 


So, I would say we are off to a great start! I have a great classroom filled with wonderful students. Thrid grade is off to a great start! 

Do you start your day off with a morning message each day? I find this is a great way to start the day. 



Educator Station will be posting new things throughout the school year. Hope you are all off to a great start in this new school year! 


postheadericon Beginning of the Year Math Centers

While trying to keep the tears at bay and get everyone home, the first week of school is basic survival.  Teaching expectations, routines and modeling consumes the first six weeks of first grade.  

I have compiled a bunch of easy to make Kindergarten review math centers to take the pressure off while still keeping my firsties busy.  These centers review the kindergarten skills and give students the opportunity to freely explore with the math manipulatives.  

*All of these were found using Pinterest or a simple google search and none are my original ideas.  I have credited the links and directed you to the FREE download if available.


Independent Centers

Counting Towers- number recognition 1-10


2 sheets- 12×18 construction paper (taped together)

1 package shaped decor sheets- Dollar Store (write #s 1-10)

tape/glue stick


unifix cubes

FullSizeRender FullSizeRender 3

*Another way to make this center is to glue the blank shapes on, laminate and use as a write/wipe off mat.  Could easily be used as a math center one day and a word work center another.


Number Puzzles (1-10)

These can be printed for FREE here thanks to The Reading Mama


Snap Cube Number (1-9) and Pattern Cards

FREE download here thanks to One Beautiful Home



Paint Chip Number Line

Count forward beginning from a given number within a known sequence. Use paint chips, a Sharpie and laminate. Credit to A Kentucky Kindergarten

Number Line


Number Talks/Small Group Instruction

Subitizing Dot Plates- number sense 1-10

dot plates

Subitizing Arrangements

YouTube Video with tutorial Subitizing Made Easy


I Have Who Has Subitizing Cards

I found a free download here at TPT, but these can be easily created to add more to your deck.

FullSizeRender 2


For more ideas visit some of my older posts on First Week of School Work Stations,  Operations and Algebraic Thinking and to learn more about how I run my work stations visit my organization and management posts.

postheadericon Teaching Character Traits- Responsibility

I am starting a monthly character education unit with my students this year.  Social skills are such an important part of first grade that it's only fitting to begin right away. Use the beginning of the year to set classroom climate and start to build students' character.  I don't have a curriculum that I'm working off of.  I will be teaching each trait using read-alouds and interactive activities.  At the end of the month 1 student will be selected as a student model.  That student will have proven that he/she has demonstrated the trait qualities all month.  There may be times that more than one student is worthy of the acknowledgement and will also be recognized.  I made a list of 10 character traits and placed one trait into each month September-June.  These can really go in any order this is just my way of setting them up.

September- Responsibility


November- Kindness

December- Respect


February- Fairness

March- Courage

April- Determination

May – Cooperation

June- Sportsmanship

This month I will give you an overview of September- Responsibility.  I've compiled a list of books to use throughout the month.  I will also give you some ideas for activities that can be done to reinforce the trait. 


This is the time to assign classroom jobs/duties.  Students should be taught how to do each job through modeling.  Use circle time to teach each of your classroom responsibilities.  Explain through role play, showing what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.  Pinterest has many different options for setting up your classroom jobs and there are many FREE downloads available at TPT


Books that teach responsibility

The Signmaker's Assistant by Tedd Arnold 
The Messy Room by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Emperor’s Egg: Read and Wonder by Martin Jenkins

The Pigsty by Mark Teague

I Just Forgot by Mercer Mayer

The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Arthur’s Pet Business by Marc Brown

Know and Follow the Rules by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed

The Way I Act by Steve Metzger


Anchor Chart

How To Be Responsible Person 

Be reliable and dependable

Demonstrate Self Control

Take care of your own business

Finish what you start

Take responsibility for your actions

Make smart choices


Praise worthy Focus Traits

Ready to Learn

Rule Follower

Model of Good Behavior

Radical Hand Raiser

Spot on Participation

Hard Worker



Here a prettier sample of a responsibility anchor chart.


Writing Journal:

  • Make a list of your responsibilities at home.
  • Make a list of your responsibilities at school.
  • Write about how it makes you feel when somebody doesn't do what they said they would do.
  • Describe someone you think is very responsible. How does that person act? What do you like about that person?


postheadericon Organizing Your Classroom Library (Part 2)


Hope you enjoyed my post on Organizing Your Classroom Library (Part 1). If you missed it, click on this link. I recently visited another school, which happens to be my sister-in-law's classroom.  She asked me to please help her organize her classroom library. She too teaches first grade and loves books, so this was a great project for the both of us to work on together.  

When I arrived, this is what her classroom library looked like. Her space was designated and the shelving and books were easily accessible to her first grade students. There was a nice spacious rug, where kids can sit to read. The problem was, the books were in bins of various sorts, which you could not easily see in or reach in. We had our work cut out for us. 




 Before we started to even begin to make sense of the library, we had to first go through lots and lots of books. She also had books from Scholastic in boxes that were never opened and a big box of books that were donated to her.  Mrs. E and I quickly got to work opening boxes, sorting books, and writing her name in all the new books. 


Once this was done, we took the books that were in bins and put them in clear plastic (shoe size) boxes. This process went quickly. We took the books out of one box and put them in their forever home (plastic shoe boxes). 

The back shelf, in this picture, was starting to make sense. It's starting to look like a library! 


Look at all the bins on the shelf to the right. They were now empty and ready to be used else where in the classroom. 

See those boxes on the floor filled with books, those books were all labeled with the teacher's name and then sorted into a category. 


When we were done, the library looked like this! 


Here is a close up of some of the categories we decided to use in the library. 



Some books, we couldn't categorize, so we decided to put them on a shelf without a bin. 



Before and After: An Amazing Transformation









Some of the categories we chose to use in the library were:

There was an Old Lady….


Dr. Seuss

David Shannon

Chester (The Kissing Hand)

Pete the Cat 

Black Lagoon

Magic School Bus

Junie B. Jones

Chapter Books (Various titles)

Charlie the Ranch Dog

I Can Read

Animals (2 Bins) 

Award Winners

Eric Carle

Berenstein Bears 

Fly Guy


Amelia Bedelia






Thank You Mrs. E for having me in your classroom! You have a beautiful classroom library! Enjoy! 



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