October 19, 2014

Where Have I Been?

It's October.
And I feel like I've been doing everything but blogging!

Spending time with this guy.


And this one too.

Bonding with my teammates.

But I'm ready to get back to sharing my ideas and what's been going on at school with me and my firsties!

September 24, 2014

Wrapping up Writer's Workshop

Today's post is short. 
Just like how our end to Writer's Workshop happens.
Short and sweet!

I came across this turn-in accountability system a few years ago from my friend Susan at TGIF.

In previous years I had used a desk folder with a red and green dot on the inside.
Red=finished, green=in progress.
HATED it!
I rarely saw my student's writing and didn't feel it had any importance.

Then I fell in love.

My students now turn in their writing at the end of WW each day depending on what they completed.
If they are working on their picture or words (in pencil) they turn it into the red tray.
If they are going back and adding to their picture or words they turn it into the  yellow tray.
If they have completed their piece and are ready to conference with me they turn it into the green tray.

Simplicity at its best!
I collect writing pieces from the green tray daily and add them to my conference stack.
The next morning, I pass out the pieces from each day and we start the process over again.

My students also get to see and feel responsible for how much they completed during WW time, almost like a self-monitoring tool.

September 22, 2014

Phonics, Phreebies and Phun with The Little Red Hen

Recently we have been practicing our sequencing skills.
What better book to do that with than The Little Red Hen!?

Besides sequencing, we also had a little phonics fun! 
We've been working on reading and spelling short vowel words so we took a short e word family and made some words!

Making words with -en


Pick up your FREEBIE by clicking the picture below.


September 17, 2014

Beginning Steps of Writer's Workshop

Because of last year's success and growth of my firsties in writing, Writer's Workshop has become the favorite part of my day.

We have WW first thing to kick start our day. 
It's a calming way to get our brains started thinking.

Here is the WW schedule we typically follow:
1) Mini-Lesson
2) Lights off, music on, silent writing time
3) Turn in time
4) Share time

Here's some examples of introductory mini-lessons we have had.

Completing a heart map:
We use this to house all of our ideas.
Each time students are stuck on what to write about, I have them pull this out for reference.



Click on the picture above for your FREE heart map!

Choosing a Topic and Starting:
Using my heart map, I model how to choose a topic.
We follow Lucy Caulkins writing curriculum so the steps I teach for writing follow her advice.
1) Draw your pictures
2) Write your words
3) Go back and add details to pictures and words
4) Color


The posters are a reminder of what steps to take when completing a writing piece.
Starting next week, I am introducing how to have a "writer's eye" and will refer to these posters also. 

Our first week of WW was very successful.
I had every student engaged in their writing and each turned in at least one piece or more.

Here's a look at where some of my students are at in their writing.
The top picture is one of my low babies and the bottom one of my high babies.
Looks like some of us (and this teacher) have a lot of work to do!

September 15, 2014

Fun with Number Bonds

Hands-on learning is so much more fun than workbook practice.
Can I get an amen?
Our new math curriculum has plenty way too many of those.
So, to break up the monotony we made our own number bonds this week. 


All you need to do is prep 2 blue parts, 1 red whole and 2 black linking strips.
Glue together and ta-da!

We practiced using them for several days.
At first I would call out 2 numbers for them to put in the parts, slide to the whole and count the total.

Then we moved to "ways to make" numbers as I called out a number to put in the whole and they would figure out different ways to make that number.

The last day we practiced writing number sentences with them.

The good thing is I collected them and can break them out again for subtraction!

September 7, 2014

Sharing a Milestone Giveaway

Not only do I love sharing my ideas, crafts, freebies, and classroom stories with you, blogging has also helped me meet some amazing people!

One of my blogging besties,Ashley, is having an AmAzInG giveaway at her blog Flying High in First Grade.

Check out the giveaway in all of its awesomeness below!

Click each picture to be taken to the page where the item is sold.










this prize is open to U.S. only

this prize is open to U.S. only

DISCLAIMER: has to be somwhere that is where I live or can be purchased online! :) Be creative! (TpT, Lakeshore, Target, Starbucks, you choose!!)

Are you just DYING to enter the giveaway now? I bet you are! So head on over to my blogging buddy's blog 

The giveaway is only open for a week, so get to moving!

September 5, 2014

Five for {B2S} Friday!

I've officially been back to school for 2 weeks now.
Procedures are in place, routines being established...we are ready to rock!
Here's a peek at how busy we have been.



After learning about the school and classroom rules, we take the ones that mean the most to us and turn them into a classroom promise. Each child signs their name at the bottom signifying they "promise" to do all the things listed in the promise.

 During the first week we spend time talking about our names. It just so happens we were reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (and watching the video numerous times) so we found the letters of our names in magazines and made our own rip art chicka tree!


I introduced writers workshop the second week of school. We always start off brainstorming and recording some of our favorite things and memories in a heart map. They will keep this all year long to refer to when they need help thinking of an idea to write about. 


In science we began talking about matter and how to classify it based on different properties.
Students completed an activity where they had to classify a bag of objects by using the properties we discussed and recorded on our class anchor chart. 


One of the first steps of Daily 5 is to teach the 3 ways to read a book. 
We practiced the 3rd way, retelling, using bag puppets we made to go along with Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
#itwasatotalhit

This year is off to a great start! 
Can't wait to see their little minds grow as the months pass by.