Monday, September 21, 2015

Back to School and Being A Good Citizen (Freebie)

Happy Back to School.. it's Robin from Class of Kinders.
Are you still in back to school mode? For some, we have been in school since August. But for others, school started after Labor Day.  Either way, we are back at it and being reminded of just how EXHAUSTING and CRUCIAL that first month is! This is the time of year where I feel strongly about the need to spend a chunk of time teaching expectations, rules and procedures. But, the timelines and agendas of my school district doesn't really “build in” time for teaching these things or allow for as much time as I would like. I feel the pressure to jump in to the academics....which makes me feel like I have to “skim” over the "how-to's" of our new classroom. Not that I spend the first weeks of school not teaching academics, but I want "wiggle" room to do activities that promote the importance of being a good citizen. Because after all, if we are good citizens we will will have a productive year. We will. It will happen. At least that is what I tell myself and so far it has worked. 

Just the other day I saw this from First Grade Fun Times:

Yes. Exactly. That is our job. That is the challenge we face. That is the miracle teachers hope to make happen each and every year.  So, where is the time to do “this” before we being teaching? It is hard to find. I believe it is just as important as the academics. If we do not take that the time in the beginning, it will take time away from learning. All. Year. Long. At the school where I teach in Florida, it is a teacher expectation that we implement the Lifelong Guidelines in our classroom. It is a non-negotiable. 


I whole heartedly buy-in to this and value each one. For Kinders it can be 
a bit tricky to get them to remember the language, so I use a book to make connection to each one.
We spend a couple of days reading a story and then doing activities to help make it "stick." Once we are finished, I have a poster I hang in the classroom for reference. Each one of the guidelines are there and next to it is the front cover of the book we read.

These are good citizen principles and being a good citizen helps keep us happy, safe ..which makes it possible for all to learn.
I want to share some other things that I use to help foster that sense of good citizenship and community in the classroom. I love!  It is a paid subscription (but there are several free videos available too) and our wonderful PTO provides it to us each year. It features a video on Citizenship just perfect for Kinders and Firsties. 
Also, I love to use Studies Weekly, their Social Studies magazines are so smart and perfect for students ages 5-7. The information on being a good citizen is simple and basic but very engaging. Not to mention just right reading and non fiction text that my kids can take home too! (YAY!)

I find myself buying and hoarding collecting books too. 
(What teacher need doesn’t need just one more book?)
I also find myself always looking for fun and meaningful resources too! There are so many great things out there and so little time. I created this one for my good citizen unit. It is a labeling page. My students enjoyed this one and even said so (which always brings a smile to my face!) I am hoping your students will have as much fun as mine did.

You can download a copy from my TpT store by clicking HERE. It is a freebie!  I hope you have a fabulous week, that your school year is off to a productive start and that MUCH learning takes place this year! 

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