Monday, September 29, 2014

Patriotism is Awesome!

I am all about patriotism in my classroom!
I think it is so important for the kids to be proud of the country they live it!
We sing a patriotic song each day in my room to
share the important traditions of our country. 
I have these little numbers in my shop (for free) to provide my students
with a visual reminder of the words.
It has been so helpful!
Click the cover to grab!
I store mine in this little contraption!
They have these nifty things on Amazon here.
Let's all work together to keep the American spirit alive!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm Done...Now What?

Isn't it crazy that we've been in school for over a month already? Where is time going!? I'm excited that my kiddos are finally learning our important routines! {However, we are still mastering where library books GO!} 

I forget every year the varying abilities within the classroom! Some kids finish in a flash and other kids are daydreaming and picking their nose...and NOT getting their work done :) So, to help keep my early finishers on task, I use the B.A.T. Book {available K-2} These books are filled with common core activities that stretch your kids to think a bit more! 

To mix things up a little bit, I started to make monthly B.A.T. Books for 1st grade!
lucky to be in first
Here's a peek at some of the activities in use! 
I even caught one of my nephew's working on the B.A.T. Book on his own during the summer! 
 If you're not familiar with the B.A.T. Book, it' stands for Brain Always Thinking book! You can read more about it {here} To make, you simply photocopy the pages and staple it together.  Whenever the kids have a free minute, they pull out their B.A.T. Book and work on a common core skill in a fun way!
lucky to be in first
I plan to use the original B.A.T. in my classroom and the monthly books, too! Check out the September B.A.T. Book {here
B.A.T. Book
I also worked like a busy bee over the weekend to finish up the October B.A.T. Book so you can prep it before the new month! 
 Here's a peek at a few of my favorite activities! 
Want to check out what the B.A.T. Book is? Click {here} for a FREEBIE to see if it would work in your classroom! As always, I'd love your feedback!
lucky to be in first
Have an awesome month! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall is Here

Happy fall y'all!  It's Renee from Fantastic First Grade Froggies.  I know it's officially fall, but it doesn't feel that way here in northern California.  Oh well, all I have to do is visit a grocery store (or any store for that matter) and see the pumpkins and all of the pumpkin related food.  I love it!

Since fall is upon us, I thought I would share a freebie from my Fall Cut, Do and Glue math pack.  These are great to pull out for subs or morning work.  Click below to grab your freebie.

I hope you are able to use this freebie!  If you are interested in the full pack, click below.

What are some of your favorite fall activities or food?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Writing Workshop FREEBIES!

Hi friends!  It's great to be back here!  I've been super busy (as you all are too) and haven't had much time to blog.  I thought I would share with you today a little about how I run my writing workshop.

I used to HATE teaching writing!  I really felt that I just wasn't any good at it.  Well, many years ago, I had the luxury of having a Literacy Coach in my school and because of her, I learned a lot about teaching writing.  Now- I LOVE it!  I have realized that the biggest part of teaching writing is establishing good routines right from the start and making sure that the kids feel like real Authors and Illustrators.  We have done that- and for the 45 minutes of daily writing workshop we have a nice peaceful classroom.  The best part is- the kids are loving it!

On Friday, we spent some time going through our folders.  I already have folders that are packed full of writing and we are only 16 days into the year.
So, we cleaned out.  I had the students take home all of their writing except for their "best" story.  I plan on doing this every Friday (or maybe every other Friday).

This is my folder from last year.  This year, I made some new ones that I am really liking so far!!

I always worry about sending the students writing home.  I worry that parents are  going to have the students "fix" all of the errors.  I don't want them to do that.  I want them to feel successful as writers, even if they do have a lot to work on.  So, I sent a letter home.  I am sharing it with you.  It is editable so you can change whatever you want.  Also, the font I have used is from Kevin and Amanda.  It is called A Little Pot.  You can download the font for free or change it to whatever font you want.

Now, you may be wondering... How can you send so many writing samples home?  Don't you need them to do grade cards?  The answer to this question is NO- because of a great website/APP that I found.  I couldn't be more excited right now!  Let me share-  it is called Evernote... and it is going to make my Writing Conferences so easy!
In Evernote, you can make different Notebooks.  I made a notebook for each student.  Then, inside their notebook, you can make notes.  I make a new note every time I conference with a student.  I write the date as the Title.  Then, before conferencing (and fixing up their writing) I take a quick picture of it. It shows up immediately in the note and then I can conference and document what we talked about.  My plan, is to then be able to quickly and easily look at their writing when I am doing grade cards.  I won't have to take mounds of paperwork home and if they take a story home because they want it- it's no big deal because I have access to it at any time!  And... the best part is, it's a free app!  (They do have a Premium App also but I haven't checked it out enough to know what the difference is).
Here is a screen shot of one of the writing samples.  Sorry, I had to cut off the picture.  As you can see, I made my notes after the picture.
I think the possibilities are endless with this APP and I am really excited to give it a try and see what all I can do with it.
One other freebie I have to share with you today.  I have a Writing Freebie that helps students to remember some of the mechanics of writing.  I have had this as a D'Nealian Font but have had several requests for a Print (ZB) Font.  So, here it is!

I hope you enjoy these freebies!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Master Your Guided Reading Planning!

Hi everyone! It's Angie from The First Grade Scoop! We are two weeks into the school year and I am beat! We are in the midst of BAS testing, and I cannot WAIT to get into guided reading groups. It is truly my favorite time of the day. We get to work in smaller groups, and I get to see students really grow in their reading. I used to write plans each time I read a book with students, even though I'd often go back to my same favorite books at each level. It took me wwwwwaaaaayyyyyy too long to realize I could save time by making my plans for each book and tweaking them as needed for each group of kids. I tended to pick the same D book for practicing inferring, for example... So why not save those plans?

I am a HUGE Fountas and Pinnell fan. Love them. Their Continuum of Literacy Learning is fantastic, and I thought, why not pull skills they suggest based on student reading level, combined with strategies and areas for focus I've noticed students need at different levels, and came up with this!

I created leveled lesson plans for each Guided Reading Level A-M. Here's how they work:

I pull the book I want to use for my group. I use the Word Work selections to pick something that's a relevant skill for that book. In this case, it was changing verb endings, since the same word was used in the text with different tenses. I checked (or you could highlight) skills that I thought this book would be helpful for teaching. Here's a look at the whole sheet (one page back-to-back):

Easy-peasy! I file them in a binder that has those lettered tabs (which you can find at OfficeMax or whatever office store), and voila! Turn to the page and the lesson is planned and at your fingertips. (I track observations on a different form or on labels.)

Here's a close-up at a level A (early kinder) and a level K (second grade) to get a feel for how the teaching points change. Note the differences in the types of questions at each level... They're geared to get at skills that are more relevant at each level.

Interested in grabbing a copy for yourself? Click HERE to check it out!

Happy reading! See you next month!

Friday, September 12, 2014

for the clipart lover in all of you...

Hey there! I've had a crazy busy week (who hasn't though?!), so I'm just popping in to remind you of another way to get a few freebies :)  

On Facebook:

On TpT:

Happy clipart hunting!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Fall Y'all!

This year has flown by!  I can't believe that fall is almost here.   Personally, I'm ready for some cooler weather.  I hate cold weather, so I'm sad to see summer go, but these 90+ degrees afternoons are getting to be unbearable. 

Although fall is still a few weeks away, I want to go ahead and share my FREE Fall Packet.  It's always nice to have things in the classroom prepared ahead of time.
Challenging Addition/Subtraction Worksheet
Autumn Acrostic Poem
Fall Fluency Sheet
Fall Book Writing Activity

-Fall Book Writing Activity
-Fall Bubble Map
-Fall Book Writing Activity Bubble Map
-Fall Fluency Sheet
-Fall ABC Order Sheet
-Fall Fill-in-the-Blank Sheet
-Autumn Acrostic Poem Sheet
-Fall Math/Addition and Subtraction Challenge Sheet
-Fall Technology Links and Book Suggestions

Until Next Month,

Friday, September 5, 2014

September Math Games ... and a Freebie, of course!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

I love to find lots of ways to use common classroom items. For instance, I love taking old wall alphabet sets and alphabet flash cards and letting the little guys build "alphabet trains" that wind their way around the classroom floor. If you have lots of old wall sets, they're also fun to use for Great Big Letter Sorts ... and don't your kiddos just love anything that's super-sized? Recycling in action!

Today I'd like to share a few ideas for using plain old number cards to play math games that require no additional materials.

I'll bet you've got lots of them already ... flash cards or even a deck of cards will do for these games.
But just in case, here's a free set of monster cards. There's a full color set and also a blackline set ... let your students color them to save yourself some ink. You'll want to print multiple copies to play these games.  Just click the picture to download!

So, on to the number card games! All of the games will need several sets of the cards.

1) Shuffle and deal the cards equally to two or three players. Each player spreads out his cards face down in front of him. On the count of three, all players turn over all of their cards and race to put them in numerical sequence from least to greatest. Variation: Players sequence their cards from greatest to least.

2)  Shuffle the cards and deal equally to two players. Players each put their cards face down on a pile
in front of them. On the count of "One, two, three, flip!", both players turn over their top two cards and add the numbers. The player with the greater sum takes both cards. Variation: The player with the lesser sum takes both.

3)  Shuffle and deal the cards equally to two players for this place value game. Players each put their cards face down on a pile in front of them. On the count of "One, two, three, go!", both players turn over their top two cards and use them to make a two-digit number. The player who makes the greater number takes all four cards. Variations: The player who makes the lower number takes the cards. Or, try the same game with three-digit numbers or even four (you'll need to make lots of cards for this!)

4)  This one is tricky but makes a fun math challenge that's also good for strategizing and for following directions! Again, shuffle and deal the cards equally to two players. On the count of ... (you get it, make up your own silly count for this one. Sometimes my students would say, "One, two, three, September" or whatever the month happened to be. Have some fun with it! ), players turn over their top three cards, choose two to add, and then arrange the sum and the other number to make the highest possible two-digit number. The player who makes the higher number takes all six cards.  Hint: some of your students will appreciate the support of using a whiteboard or scrap paper when playing this game.

Would you like some more ideas for number card activities? How about another set of free number cards, this time with a pirate theme? Click on the picture to find them at my blog!

Do you have a great idea for using number cards? Please share it in the comments!

Happy Teaching!