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I am a first grade teacher who has rediscovered a love for firsties this year. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and even second over the past 16 years. I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 very active boys.

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Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

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Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

Rally Coach

This year I went to a cooperative learning workshop which focused on Kagan strategies.  I have implemented several of them, but have to say, I am not as consistent about using them as I would like to be.  As with anything else, I have a few strategies that I like and use more often.

Today was different.  I introduced a strategy called Rally Coach during Reading.  We were working on identifying who is telling the story at various points in the text.  So my spur of the moment lesson was to introduce Rally Coach, give four page numbers and have the partners dive into the text to find out who was telling the story. 

Rally coach is set up with partners.  The "Rally" is the partners taking turns going back and forth like a rally in tennis.  The "Coach" come is when a partner needs to encourage his/her partner with a "Good Job!" or a helpful hint (without giving the answer).  The kids did a beautiful job with this.  I went from the same handful of kids answering to a class where 50% were answering at one time and then the other 50% on the next question giving me 100% engagement!

The funny part is there were no cute engaging graphics or fonts.There were 4 page numbers handwritten on a paper with lines next to it for the answer.  Imagine that!

Ironically, later this afternoon I had a fabulous lesson planned using the same Kagan strategy with a fun, engaging fact family lesson for my FORMAL evaluation.  Did I say FORMAL???  Yes, and the kids were engaged...and trying...but so many did not get it:(  Well, I am off to plan my reteach for the lesson.  

Tonight is the last night for my giveaway It's Your Lucky Day 12-12-12.   Thank you to all who donated, entered and shared this giveaway. I am so blessed by this blogging community!

On a final not, my friend Deanna has a FREE unit called Dozen Day- A Day of Literacy and Math Activities for 12-12-12. Stop by, check out her TpT store and she even started a blog this week. It is called A Primary Owl.   Remember that first post when you feel so funny writing because you think nobody is reading it!  Please stop on over and show her some love! 

Mrs. Wathen
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  2. I've never heard of the Rally Coach method, but it sounds like it would be a great way to keep the kids engaged! Thanks for sharing...OH, and THANK YOU SO MUCH for giving me something to do tomorrow in class with Deanna's Dozen Day freebie! :) What a good find!
    The Hands-On Teacher in First!


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