First Grade Read Aloud Timeline–UPDATE

I am SUPER excited about how the Read Aloud Timeline has taken off with this class!  I have written about how I’ve brought many “big kid” things with me to first grade, and how my firstie friends have taken them and run!  So as I was putting yet another timeline image on our wall, I realized it was way past time for an update.

I believe that when I first wrote about our 1st grade version of the timeline we had finished around 9 or 10 books.  As of late last week, we filled up the whole wall!  We have (at least as of today–and the number changes very quickly around Rm. 202) 20 books completed!

CAM01884This chunk has been completed just since January:

CAM01885I know you can’t tell the titles because the writing is too small in the picture, but we’ve become big fans of both Baby Mouse and the Lunch Lady, as well as enjoying amazing “big kid” titles like The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.  Oh, and then there are the 5 Mercy Watson books we’ve roared through in the last month or so, too!  Yep, obviously we’ve come to trust Kate DiCamillo as an author and are now sure that we can read ANYTHING by her and it will be great. 🙂

Because we are such speedy readers in Rm. 202, sometimes we end up with class books and wall pictures that are not yet put together or hung in the right place.  This is just such the case right now: the last two Mercy books are waiting to be laminated and bound.

CAM01886Well, since this is the case, and I’ve got a couple of days til they’ll be ready to hang anyway, I’m asking for your help in solving a little bit of a problem.  And yes, I stress the little part of that problem–it’s really just a decision we have to make.

The trouble is that we’ve filled up the whole wall (and actually all of the space on the 3 walls I have the timeline attached to!), but since the year is not yet over, we’re not finished creating timeline images that need a home.  So we have a couple of options and need some help deciding what to do with our next images.

One option we have is to go down the wall (or sliver of wall) next to the closet, like this:

CAM01887Now, this is a totally viable option, giving us plenty of room to finish out the year filling up that vertical space.  You know what bothers me, though?  The pictures don’t line up with the ones on the wall, and as long as they continue to be horizontal (which the next two are), there is that big piece that isn’t attached to the wall.  Somehow I’m sure someone’s arm will run into it accidentally (or dare I say it, on purpose!) and crinkle it or pull it off the wall.  But–it would totally give us the space we need.

The second option (at least that we can see) is to turn the corner and keep the timeline going along the wall by that bulletin board, like this:

CAM01890Look at all that wall space!  But….it’s practically the ONLY wall in the room that can’t be seen unless you’re standing right there in that very spot by the sink.  And that only happens if you’re washing your hands or getting something from the art center (and you know what’s funny?  See how I didn’t hang self portraits in that spot?  It’s because no one would be able to see them!).  So, again–lots of space, but a downfall.

I know, I know….this is really a small deal in the scheme of the world and not really a big problem (#firstworldproblems for sure!).  But, to a teacher who both appreciates the aesthetic of things and who wants to create the best environment for the learners I spend my days with, it’s teeny things like this that I agonize over.  Silly, I know, but hey–it’s me. 🙂

So will you help me?  In the end it would probably be just as effective to flip a coin or just vote with my class, but I thought I’d ask other (perhaps like-minded) professionals who could help me make the decision based on how they’d solve the same dilemma in their own spaces.  Please?  Pretty please?  🙂  Thanks in advance!

In Rm. 202, Everyone’s in the Geek Squad!

One thing I love about learning how to use iPads–or anything that is new to most kids in the room– is that we figure things out together!  Sometimes this happens when I teach a new skill, and sometimes it happens when even I don’t know what to do and I simply say, “Let’s figure out how to do….”  Either way, someone becomes the expert and then shares that knowledge with a friend.  Then we all become experts!

It goes right along with the saying we have in Rm. 202–that we are all teachers and we are all learners–and it makes my teacher-heart happy!

IMG_4314 IMG_4315 IMG_4316 CAM01818 CAM01819

I think my favorite story yet came the other day when I had to step back, get out of teh way and let my firsties do what they know how to do.  Here’s what happened:  we were learning to use Popplet and Diego wanted to put a picture into one of the popples (the circle parts of the web) he was making, but every time he tried, the screen on his camera came up black.  As I walked by and he was trying to figure out what ot do about it, I saw him get into the settings on his iPad and start to tinker.  Now, mostly because I’ve been working with 10-11 YOs for so many years and I know the havoc that can be wreaked when kids are in the settings on their devices, I had red flags coming up when I saw this.  I asked him what he was doing, he said, “Well I remember one time this happened with another app and it was because the app didn’t have permission to use the camera.  I wonder if that’s the problem this time.”  Then he proceeded to find the settings for Popplet and indeed, the app did not have the right settings to use the camera!


WOW–talk about transferring knowledge!!  I had to apologize for my jumping to conclusions, and congratulate him for knowing what to do.  And of course, when 4 more people had that same problem during our work time, he was the expert I sent them to!  WAY TO GO, DIEGO!!  And the best part of this all?  The stories I could tell like this one keep happening every day!  We’re learning many things that we will use for many, many years to come. 🙂