Saturday, July 30, 2011

My "Golden" Class and Starting from Scratch

     My former principal, Dr. Flanagan, used to say that teachers will get a "golden" class once every 7 years.  The kind of class with kids that are all super responsible, really good to each other, eager to learn and think your jokes are the funniest thing they've ever heard.  You know the kind?  Well, I just had a golden class.  By June they were editing each other's writing, playing peacemaker for their friends, happily chirping, "That's OK, maybe next time!" when they didn't get a turn and giving each other advice like, "Maybe you should clean up those legos before you go play with the cars."  Truly golden!
     Now, I understand that according to Dr. Flanagan's odds, the chances are not in my favor of having another "golden class" this year.  But heck if I'm not going to try!  I'm going to keep my expectations high, arm them with the social and academic tools they need and hope for the best.  It's a little overwhelming to think about the difference between my golden "ready for first-grade" bunch that left me in June and the "we just came from preschool" crew hopping into my classroom in a couple of weeks.  So, I'm gearing up to start from scratch.
     You know the drill for setting up rules, procedures and expectations in the beginning of the year - teach, reteach, teach again - over-teach 'til you're sick of hearing your own voice. With that in mind, I've been working on tweaking my "Good Choices" posters that I made to hang in my room.  I turned them into a book for shared reading, pocket chart cards for a class activity and a cut & paste student sort (teach, reteach, teach again...)  I thought I would share in case you think they might be helpful for your back to school plans.  Wishing you all a "Golden Class!"

37 comments:

  1. You are so clever.
    THis is a wonderful unit.
    I am going to use it for sure.
    I would also love to post this post on my facebook page for all my friends to use and to see your blog and the wonderful ideas you have.
    Would that be OK??
    Fondly, Barbara

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  2. Barbara,
    I'm so glad that you like it! I would love for you to spread the word on Facebook. Have a great night!
    Donna

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  3. Love this....Thanks so much for sharing!

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  4. Thanks for sharing, I love it, it will be especially good for my special education students, we practice making good choices all the time!

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  5. this is AMAZING!!! thank you so much! i will be using this on the first day....my first day teaching kinder ever! :)

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  6. This is wonderful. :) I definitely plan on using it the first week of school. I'm really hoping for my "golden" class this year!

    http://thesilverlininginteaching.blogspot.com/

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  7. I loop so my kids last year were first graders ready for second grade. I was thinking just last night about how independent they were and in 3 weeks I'm going to have a group of 4-5 year olds who aren't so independent. Thanks for sharing. It's always hard for me to get back in the kinder mode at first.

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  8. Thank you so much for the wonderful book!! I hope you have a fantastic "golden" year!!
    Diane

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  9. This is just what I needed. Teach, reteach and love that you make it for pocket charts so can use as a center.
    Thanks for sharing it's a cutie that will get lots of use!!

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  10. I LOVE THIS!!! I've been on the hunt for something new to introduce classroom behaviors and this is great! :) I can already hear my kinder kids reading with me! Thanks for this!

    Katy
    Kindergarten Katy

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  11. What a great resource! I'm currently printing the book and pocket chart cards now! :) Thanks! Please come check out my new blog sometime. http://buggyaboutlearninginkindergarten.blogspot.com/

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  12. I had one of those golden classes last year as well and enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks for sharing your good choices book.

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  13. I will definitely being using this with my new kindergarten students!! Thank you so much for sharing, this is a great idea!

    Kari :)

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  14. What a great book ! Love the follow-up activities. I will be using it soon with my upcoming K students. Thank you for sharing this wonderful resource. Amy

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  15. Love this! its so good for pocket charts and with your permission I would love to put it on a Smartboard file so that it can be reviewed daily for the first couple weeks at school. Will gladly email you a copy of the file. My email is ewilli2954@gmail.com and my blog is mswswonders.blogspot.com

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  16. LOVE your blog and your good choices book!
    Thanks!

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  17. I'm still waiting for my golden class! I've definitely had some great classes, but none, as a whole that fit under the term "golden". I love your free unit! It is wonderful...I will definitely be using it with my rules lesson using David Goes to School by David Shannon!! Thanks soooo much. I love your blog.

    Krissy
    Mrs.Miner’s Monkey Business

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  18. I am excited to use this in my Kindergarten class this year. I have been teaching second grade the past two years and I'm getting to go back to where my heart belongs. I hope that I get a "golden" class. Thanks for the freebie!

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  19. Thanks so much!! This is AWESOME!!

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  20. This activity is great. I already know how I am going to use in my class.

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  21. Thank you so much! This is great! I plan on making a book out of the posters.

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  22. Absolutely love it! Going to download and copy now. Thanks for sharing!

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  23. Thank you for sharing such a valuable resource! I just printed it and will laminate for use during the first week of school.
    Patti

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  24. This will be my third year teaching and I certainly haven't had "the golden class" yet. Haha! I'll keep my fingers crossed! :)

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  25. Wonderful! So glad I found you! I want to be as creative as you are when I grow up!

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  26. I'm still waiting for my golden class...maybe this year! Wonderful resource, thank you!

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  27. This is so stinkin' cute!!! Can't wait to use it!

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  28. I have used this every day this week with my new class and it has been great!!!! They keep asking each other if things they do are good or poor choices :)

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  29. Love these! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  30. I love this booklet!! The graphics and design are adorable!! Did you design the graphics yourself? If so, that's amazing! Would it be possible to have a first grade version available for download? It looks like the only difference would be the grade level over the classroom door. Thank you and thank you for considering a first grade version!!

    Alicia
    First Grade Factory

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  31. Love this!!! Thank you so much for sharing! I know what you mean when you have to get your mind reset from having that golden class. Fortunately, I have had golden classes the last 2 years. I am a little nervous about this year, but so far they aren't that bad.

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  32. I can't wait to do this activity and then revisit throughout the year. I also like the idea of sending home this activity for families to review with specific students, perhaps even at different times of the year. Also, I really like your wording of "poor" choices. Thank you so much for sharing your hard work!

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  33. Omg!! Just what I need. Thank you very much!!

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