Grade Time

Phew! 7 days done... only 187 to go... ;) I've had a great week and a half. It is incredibly busy compared to what I'm used to in the fifth grade, but I'm pretty happy with everything so far!

We have been working very hard in grade 2/3 to establish routines and expectations for behavior. We've had the "Bucket Filler" talk several times...
and have spent much time discussing our "Attention Signals". I have several this year... If you've read The Daily Five you will understand why. I am determined to not let my noise rise above theirs!
The kids are keen on all of these signals, but I think they are especially proud of themselves when they catch the hand signal. ;) You can see that they gave these suggestions for what the class looks and sounds like, which gives them ownership over the behaviors.

We also spent some time first "playing" with the math manipulatives, then exploring how we will be using them in the classroom...

And finally, as many of you know, being in a split-grade in the primary division has challenges. I've been lucky as a junior teacher for so many years, to have had few split classes. I teach at a school that has historically had a large enough enrollment that we've had very few splits in the building (until recent years, of course). A split in the primary grades requires a great deal of "training" to be able to work with one group of students while the other works independently on a meaningful task. Together, we spent a good chunk of our morning preparing this anchor chart:
Again, the students gave most of these responses. Notice how nicely these expectations align with The Daily Five?! That didn't escape the kids unnoticed! Yay!! Today was our first day really putting this to the test, and it was a huge success!
See?? One of my second-graders even reached the coveted "Top of the Chart" position by the end of the day, and earned himself a brand-new Brag Tag!! I'd love to hear what set-up strategies and techniques you're using in your own classroom!


  1. Hello, I love reading your blog and seeing all your fabulous ideas, however I'm totally stumped on what brag tags are and what you use them for. Maybe I missed a post earlier when you explained it. I'm curious to know though.

    Sydney, Australia

    1. Hi Belinda! Brag Tags are a product I purchase from They are a celebration tag that can be awarded to students for any number of reasons. You can see all of my Brag Tag posts by clicking HERE!



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