Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Glue Cups, Welcome Notes, and Brag Tags... Oh My!!!

Wow! So it's been way too long since I have posted on my blog. School got a little hectic (two years worth of hectic), but I'm back and ready to kick off a new school year.
I have a couple weeks until we get back to school and I've been prepping a little here and there.
Every year I run out of glue sticks. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. They aren't the cheapest, so buying new ones can add up. Especially since so many dry up from not putting the caps on. Ahhhh! A couple years ago, I started using the glue sponges and it has been AMAZING! One, it sticks better than glue sticks. Two, in the end I end up saving money because I use the containers over again each year. Three, they are kept at their desks so time is not wasted passing out glue sticks from the bucket. I have made large sponges for a team to use and I have made smaller containers for individual students. This year I made individual containers and put their number on it so they can be responsible for their own. I used my Cricut to cut the numbers and the sponges are for makeup and I found them on Amazon.
The font used was KG Second Chances.

I went to Michaels and found these adorable pencils. 24 pencils for $5 and you know I had to use a 40% off coupon. I ended up paying $3. 12 of the pencils are colored, so I replaced them with some pencils I found at the Dollar Spot at Target. I'll use the colored pencils in my writing center. I attached the pencils to little welcome cards. "Welcome...Your First Grade Story Starts Today". I'm actually thinking I've should have sharpened the pencils for them because I'm sure they'll want to use them on the first day. I've included the little note if you would like to use the idea in your classroom. The free download has a version for kinder - 4th.
If you want to use this note with your kids...Grab it here.

Last year I started using Brag Tags in my class. My kids loved collecting them. I've spent quite a bit of time laminating and cutting them out. The good thing is once it's done, you're set for the year. I keep them in a labeled container. I made a little booklet that allows me to see all the tags in a quick look.
This Brag Tag-Starter Kit can be found HERE.

I have a "I Think You're First Grade Fantastic" tag that you can download that you can make personalized. I use this tag if you're just particularly happy with their behavior as a group or as an individual. Open up the tag in Preview and you should be able to enter your name where it says "Your Name".
If you want to use this note with your kids...Grab it here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Alphabet Book and Reading Passages

I've been wanting to post some of my projects that I've been doing with my alphabet books this year and I just haven't seemed to find the time. We've been putting together an alphabet book, but since it's first grade...we've written a super sentence to go with each one. The kindergarten version just has A is for apple, B is for bunny... I'm putting a freebie at the end of the pics. Try the apple by itself with your apple unit or get the entire book to do each week.

Grab this freebie in my TpT store.

Find this A to Z book HERE
Find this Super Sentence book HERE
Another project I just released are my first grade fluency passages. These booklets are great for reading groups, but I've also been using them with my whole class. We choose the booklet that works on the same phonics skill that we're working on that week. We read the passage several times, then answer the comprehension questions. The questions vary from explicit to implicit and they must find text evidence to support their answers. Their opinions are also asked and there they must draw from background knowledge. On the back of each booklet it a word work opportunity. I usually have the kids rainbow write the words on the back, but if you have extra time, they love stamping the words. I hope you like them. I'm working on my kinder booklets now. If you are working on Bossy R, I am offering "ir" as a freebie. Check it out and see if you like it. I have a few more days of spring break and then back to a very busy week. Open House is the Wednesday when we return. I'll do a post of my room...Dr. Seuss theme this year. Love, love, love.

Reading Passages - First Grade
Bossy R - Freebie

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Read Across America

We're getting ready for Read Across America in another week and I'm starting to line up my activities some will be a repeat and others will be new to us. My team wants to do a Dr. Seuss theme for Open House this year, so we'll be starting to plan out our projects so that we're ready in a month.
We have a schedule that we're sending home to have a theme for each day. Monday, we will be having parent readers come in and read with the children. Thursday we're doing a Readers' Theater with both first and second grade. The rest of the days is pretty much up to each teacher.
I just love this hat. I posted this before and you can grab the "Thing 1" button on last year's post.
Check this blog post from last year for some ideas and a freebie.
I'm also going to be doing this It's a Math Thing powerpoint slide show. We did a few of these before and it's so awesome to see the progress they have made when locating the numbers from 1 - 120.

Try this fun activity at my TpT store.
I'm also passing out these cute bookmarks to the kids. They are always asking for the bookmarks in the library and there never seems like there's enough, so I always have to tell them "no". Now they'll each have one to use during their Daily 5, Read to Self time. If you want to use them with your class, please feel free to grab yourself a copy. Enjoy!
These fun bookmarks you can download HERE.
Below is an example of the week's schedule. We'll be sending this home as an easy reminder to the parents. I chose a book for each day of the week.
I've also just released a new, fun product that is super easy for the teacher. Just print and GO! It's called "Build a Puzzle and Write". Choose a puzzle to fit the holiday, the season, or a puzzle just because. All the puzzles are nine pieces. They came in two options. One has a small picture of the puzzle for the kids to refer to. The other has smaller lines to write and no picture. 
You can really use these in so many ways. I've been doing them as a whole class activity, but you can easily use it in a small group. It's also a great way to get them writing a "Super Sentence" with lots of detail.

The picture above shows the freebie available in my store. I thought the topic would be a great activity for Read Across America Week. I hope you enjoy!
Check out these fun activities at my TpT store.
This freebie is available HERE for you to use with your students.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Writing Station and Touch Points

Where has the time gone? We are already well into the second half of the year and it is flying by. This past week we were busy, busy, busy.
I read this adorable book by Maureen Wright, "Grumpy Groundhog". It was perfect to talk at about lots of different shadow shapes, because we were about to go outside and trace each others' shadows. We turned it into a science lesson that worked well with us wrapping up our unit on shadow. We made a hypothesis (a very smart guess), then we traced our shadows at three different times of the day. They loved seeing how their shadow moved each time they went out. If your were to do this easy experiment, make sure they first trace each others' shoes then stand in them each time they go out to trace their shadow. I had a few making all new shadows in another area, then they weren't able to compare the first to the second. All you need is some sidewalk chalk. Easy and fun!

 Many of my student still depend on their touch points to help them with their addition facts. It's wonderful to see many though are using them less and less as they commit the facts to memory. I just introduced touch points to a new student, so I have him starting out just learning the points and their placement. I tell him, "Practice makes better." Sure enough he's getting better. I love to see the growth in first grade. It's one of the reasons I love this grade. 

This is one of my touch point options, click HERE

I'm continuing to work on our Writing Station. During our Daily 5 rotations, I make them choose Work on Writing at least once. They have a lot of options to choose from and they are becoming more familiar with each type of writing as time goes on. See my other blog post for pics of the anchor papers for each month. They are always changing up, so it keeps them interested. What I was noticing though is that the kids were choosing the same options time and again...cards and notes. I thought maybe they didn't know how to do the other options. Now at the beginning of the first Daily 5 rotation, I do a sample writing. I've done the book review of Crankenstein, a book we had just finished reading. I've done on interview with Frosty the Snowman and last week I interviewed the Tooth Fairy (this is a great one for practicing writing question). Sure enough each time I introduced a new type, the kids would try it out in their rotation. Jokes is a new favorite. Most don't know any by heart, but that doesn't stop them from making up something silly. I tell them to ask their parent at home and come back so they can write it down the next day.

We also have up the Magnetic Word Wall. I'm in love with this, but I need to bring it into the classroom. I give clues at carpet time to see if they can find the mystery word. They can use them for Word Work. During our structured writing time I let them search for adjectives that fit our writing. In the beginning I was changing the words each month to match the holidays, seasons, and themes. Now I'm having the kids collect the Martin Luther King words, winter words, etc. Then they place the new words up in the appropriate box. It has saved me time and has been a great activity for them. This has made them more familiar with the words and return they are using it much more independently.

If you want to check out this writing option, click HERE

Since my focus has been on writing, I made this poster and used it on my door display. I tell the kids just like reading, the only way to get better at writing is to WRITE. 

You grab this freebie poster HERE