One thing you must know about first graders is that they have busy hands, like really, really, REALLY busy hands! Here are some smart ways to keep their hands busy and their minds focused! You can pin any of the tip images so you don't forget to try them!
Have you heard of fluency ears?! I LOVE them and so do firsties. They are perfect for guided reading or for reading as a whole class! Just place your hands over your ears like earmuffs and whisper read. The sound is amplified for you, but it does not distract anyone else. You can read at your own speed, and it gives your hands an important job too!
I always monitor my firsties as they read with their fluency ears. If you ever see me crawling around the carpet between kids and they have their hands over their ears- do not be alarmed, we're just doing fluency ears!
When you want kids to listen, ask them to use their hands! Here is my favorite attention getter, especially if it's really loud or we're really involved in something crazy! I start off loudly and then say each command in a smaller voice until I am whispering. You can add lots of other actions in the middle too (put your hands on your shoulders, put your hands on knees, etc) but I always start with clap once, clap twice...and end with ready hands.
If you want to grab these posters for your classroom, just click on either version to download for FREE! (Thanks to Creative Clips for the graphics-she's the best!)
If you really want your firsties learning, try keeping their hands busy. I love using manipulatives, but you know when kids see blocks, they want to build a tower. When they see dry erase boards, they want to spin them around and around (WHY?!) Here is a tip to keep their hands busy and keep you sane. Try doing "Busy Minutes!"