Thursday, July 24, 2014

Let's Learn About the World!

One of my favorite parts of teaching first grade is 

I am SO excited how it all came together, and that I can finally share it with you! 
Here's a sneak peak at what's included: 

** If you make it to the end of this long post, I promise there's a reward! 

General Continent Information 
Posters, Facts, Resources, Word Search
anda Hemisphere Project

Interactive, Informational-Text Book
Students fill in the correct answers {teacher key & student key included!}

Included For Each Continent: 
* Poster
* Resource Page
* Word Search
* 2 Crafts or Art Projects
* 2 traditional Games


The game of Ampe from Ghana & how to make an African Djembe (drum)

Snow Globes, Blubber Experiment & Postcards from Antarctica


Koala Puppets & Boomerangs! 
The Danish game of Nimbi, Monet's Water Lillies & the Italian game of Cencio Mollo

North America
Almohoditas, Totem Poles, & Stick Dice   


South America
Rainsticks, Maracas & Hit the Penny Game! 
This unit has SO much more - I simply couldn't include it all in one post! Everything can be made with super simple supplies you probably already have in your classroom! 

You can snag your own copy of It's a Small World on TpT.

Now, since you've patiently read through this entire post, here's a freebie from It's a Small World! 
I hope you come over and visit me at Lucky to Be in First! I have a fancy schmancy new blog design! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Proud As A Peacock

Good morning, it's Renee from Fantastic First Grade Froggies.  I am always on the lookout for a quick and easy way to let the parents of my students know that they did a great job.  Years ago, I had these cute little proud as a peacock forms that my kids loved to get.  The master copy has since been lost, so I decided to make a new one.

It's simple, you fill out why you are proud of that child and send it home.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Here is a cute peacock I found to place in my room with copies of the proud as a peacock form.

Would you like one?  Click below to grab yours (I made a color and blackline version), click the picture below.  Make those kiddos feel proud!

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll be back month.

Friday, July 18, 2014

CVC Word Practice

Hey everyone, it's Nicki from Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten. I love working with my students on word families and other CVC words. There are so many activities that you can do to teach CVC words----magnet boards, building words, missing letter activities, etc.

One thing that I always do with my students BEFORE they even see the letters in the word is tap out the sounds. I'll say a word like bat and we have to "tap" out the sounds with our fingers.

This helps those students begin to understand that these words are made up of more than 2 sounds. I do all of this DAILY all year, but especially before I start blending those letters together visually.

After we've practiced this concept and majority of the students know their letters and sounds, we practice putting those tapping/blending skills together to "sound" out a particular CVC word.

We build those words in the pocket with letter cards and once it's built, we tap out the sounds again by pointing to the cards, then running our hand underneath to blend. So cat would be /c/ /a/ /t/ then we would all say cat.

We continue practicing these skills throughout the year and I begin introducing CVC Hide and Find cards. The students LOVE these.

We put the CVC words in the pocket chart and "hide" whatever we are looking behind a word. Students must be able to read the word BEFORE checking to see if the item is hiding behind it. Many of my students can read these words after doing all of the above, but for those that still struggle---they know they can "tap" out the sounds and then blend.

I hope all of that was clear----it's hard to describe it in words when you can't visually see what I'm talking about! Maybe I'll do a video soon (of course---school has to start back first! :)

What are some ways that you practice CVC words in your classroom?
Here's a freebie for you to practice CVC words with your students!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Planning for Stations/Centers/Tubs + FREEBIE

Hi everybody! Erin, here, from {Little Miss Primary}.

How is your summer going?! 

If you're like me, you are already thinking about the upcoming school year and may be a bit overwhelmed. I'm setting up my first classroom and, Y'ALL, there is so much to think about. 
{Any helpful hints+tips would be greatly appreciated!} 

In an effort to prepare well for the school year, I have been thinking about stations/centers/tubs quite a bit. My class will be diving into the Daily 5 for literacy and, possibly, the Daily 3 for mathematics. I am still reading through the sisters' {new book}.  

When planning for math+literacy stations, I like to see the bigger picture and plan 6 weeks at a time. This helps me prepare for holidays, themes and time to "catch-up" if we need to do so. 

Many teachers do quite a bit of planning and record keeping online, and while I can appreciate technology as much as the next person, I'm still a paper+pencil kind of gal. 

To keep myself organized (and sane), I use a simple spreadsheet! This spreadsheet allows me to see six weeks of planning at a time, and offers me the flexibility to change things up. On certain occasions, I use small sticky notes so that I can physically move something between weeks.

In the picture above, my math stations were organized by NCTM content strand. I loved this way of doing things because my kiddos were interacting with all kinds of mathematics each week! 

I created a similar version for you to use in your own planning! 
Just click the picture below to grab your own copy.

Add or delete columns, change the fonts, color code the subjects--do what you want!
This pptx file is completely editable.
Just for you!

One special request, let me know if you have any first year tips or can use this planning sheet!

HAPPY SUMMER (and happy planning), TEACHERS!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Open House Editable Power Point

Hi everyone!  It's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers!  

So far summer break has been great!  Of course, it is going by way too quickly!!

It's time to begin thinking about the beginning of the school year.  We have our Open House a couple of days before school starts.  This allows us to meet the students and parents prior to the school year starting.  Students can see the classroom, find their seat, and hopefully relieve some anxiety if they are a little nervous about starting the school year.

The time always goes by so quickly and it is hard to make sure that all parents receive all of the information that they need.  I have a Power Point slideshow that I have run the entire time on my Smart Board.  It gives some information that the parents may have a question about but don't want to ask because of the other craziness going on at the time.

You can download this Power Point and change it to fit the needs of your classroom.  One of the fonts used in this product is called Pea Katrina by Kevin and Amanda.  You can change the font to something else on your computer or download their font for free here.  You will need to restart your computer after downloading for it to work.

If you are looking for other Open House Ideas, here are some other blog posts!

What other ideas do you have to make Open House run more smoothly?  I would love to hear about it!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Gearing Up for Back to School... And a FREEBIE!

Hi there! It's Angie from The First Grade Scoop here.

We just got out of school less than a month ago, but when you see school supplies at Target and those back-to-school ads (already?!), it's hard NOT to think about going back to school.

Every year, I pull from my bag o' tricks to help keep the first days running as smoothly as possible.

One thing I do that helps calm students down and gives me time to deal with crying/school supplies/new students/parents is having coloring pages out and available for my students. They are easy, self-explanatory, and a good way to see how your kiddos are coloring for you primary teachers out there!

I've just uploaded a new set to TPT, and they are FREE!

They are available for preschool through sixth grade and I've made a couple different designs.

Just click HERE to download for FREE!

I also try to do the following activities:
  • Make Jitter Juice from Babbling Abby's Fun in First (I had a kid write in his memory book at the end of the year that it was the best part of first grade... Cute!)
  • Do "magic playdoh" (balls of homemade playdoh with a single drop of food coloring tucked inside). When students squeeze the playdoh, the color comes out. I tell them if their playdoh turns colors, that means they'll have a great year in first grade!
  • Send home a paper bag with a note requesting students put three things in the bag that they can share to tell classmates a little about themselves. It's a great way for students to see things they have in common with one another!
  • And of course, we read TONS of books! Over the first few days, we read many, but my favorite is First Day Jitters.

What are your favorite back-to-school activities?

See you next month!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

blog stalking 101

For years, I was an amateur. I can honestly claim ignorance. I didn't know any other method of stalking blogs than bookmarking and checking them once a week (most bloggers seemed to update their blogs that often). For the first couple of years, I had about 10 blogs that I checked in on weekly, and that list continued to grow quickly as I found myself reading blogs that we're popping up on the blogs I had bookmarked. The major downside to all of this, was that I missed out on a lot. Giveaways were happening on days I wasn't checking, and more importantly, I just wished I had some sort of notification that would let me know when a blog had a new post.  Once I started this blog, I found that in Blogger (the free blogging site most teacher bloggers use) I could just add the blogs and it would show me any unread posts of the blogs I was following on something called a "blog roll."  Then, a few months later, I kept hearing about Bloglovin. So, I checked it out.

Bloglovin is a free site that let's you add blogs you follow and then shows you any unread posts. You can easily scroll through and decide which posts you want to read or save for later. I check my Bloglovin account at least once a day to catch up on my blog reading, and usually have about 10-20 posts to read.  To be completely honest, I usually skim a lot of posts. I'm a visual person, so if a post is particularly wordy, I find myself not really reading and instead, focusing on the photos or products being featured. I'm probably missing out on some great information, but I don't have a lot of time, so I use my college reading skills!

So, if you have an old fashioned method of following blogs like I did, and you want something easier, follow these steps:

Step 1:  Sign up for Bloglovin (if you have Facebook, you're pretty much set).

Step 2: Add blogs to your Bloglovin account. Most blogs have a button (small graphic that links somewhere) that looks something like this:

Click the button and it will take you to that blog's Bloglovin page where you can click Follow and then you'll see the posts from that blog from now on.

And voila! You now can simply check your Bloglovin page and scroll through your unread posts from the blogs you follow, as well as easily add any new blogs you come across to your list!