Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Polar Animal Shared Research and Writing Project

Many of you are familiar with my Shared Research and Writing Projects:

I finally finished my newest unit - Polar Animals!

Check it out!

I plan on using this in January as an introduction to non-fiction text features.  I want to get my firsties acquainted with all the terminology and resources from this pack before we dive in full force with my Woodland Animals unit at the end of the year.  Click here to see last year's First Grade Writing Open House at our school.

I'd love for you to take a closer look!  Click on either of the pictures above to take you to my store.

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snow Day #4 and The Hands on the Clock ...

Well, today was snow day #4 but we did get a call saying we do have school tomorrow!  Yeah! Finally!  That means we only have 7 more days to finish what we've needed to over the last 2 1/2 weeks.
No pressure! :)

I have seen several ideas about teaching time using "Ana Log" and "Digi Tal".  
(I couldn't really find a source to credit anyone though.)
 I made this anchor chart with students and it REALLY seemed to help them understand!  
We've also been singing our "clock" song.  It's to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus".

(I've been using this song in my classroom for many years now.  I do not know the original source)

(click the pic above to download the song)

Now, every time we talk about clocks or have them on our Saxon Math wkshts, we refer back to "Ana and Digi". 
They LOVE it!

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Narrative Writing

Ughhhhh!  Another snow day!  Now, don't get me wrong, I love staying home in my pjs and lounging with my family but we've still got some serious work to do in the classroom!  We were out Friday and again today.  I sure hope we can make it back in tomorrow.  If I think I can manage the roads, I am going to my classroom this afternoon to get some laminating and cutting done.  I also need to work on getting some center activities ready.

This is something we worked on right before Thanksgiving break.

We've been working on Narrative Writing.  I introduced it by using Jodi's product: What is Narrative Writing?  (She's pretty AMAZING btw!)

I put her posters in our pocket chart as we discussed the different parts.  Then I showed them a Norman Rockwell picture that I found in my writing files.  (It's the picture at the bottom right.)  We then used the picture to discuss each element of Narrative Writing.  After our discussion, we did a shared writing (that I forgot to take a pic of) about the picture focusing on BME and making sure that is was in a sequential order.  
The next day I turned it over to them and they practiced writing the same story in their own words.  Again focusing on BME.  
The next day, I gave them a different picture and let them write a story about it.  They had to tell me all the different elements within the story.
The next week, it was their turn to write their own narrative story.  They had to do this in the writing center for the week.  All in all I was very pleased with their first attempt.  I plan on doing some more narrative writing for Christmas.  

The little "I Can" cards you see on the chart are from one of my newest units:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

It's Gingerbread Week!

We just finished up a week of Gingerbread activities!  We had a blast.
We read several gingerbread man books.  After we read 'The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School' we went back and found all the verbs where he could get from one place to another.   We wrote them all on sticky notes (twice for each word).  Then we went back and read the gingerbread man little saying using all the verbs we found.  They thought this was pretty fun.

Here were some of our center activities this week.

 Writing center:
We make this into a class book and add it to our reading center.

 How many words can you make?:

 Making patterns:

You can also click here to see my similar post from last year's Gingerbread Week.

 I sent home a gingerbread man pattern as a home project for my students to decorate.  Here are about half of them turned back in.  We use foil from our cafeteria for the cookie sheets.  (Sorry the picture isn't that great.  I couldn't get the best pictures because of the glare from the foil.)

The center activities from above are all a part of my 'Gingerbread Week" unit.  Click on the pic below to check it out!

You may also like the following to go along with your themed week.

Stay warm!  We had a snow day yesterday.  (More like an 'ice" day)  It is EXTREMELY cold here for the next several days and we're not so sure anything will melt for a long time.  Ugh!

Have a wonderful weekend my friends!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Get your SHOP on!!!!!

Are you ready to get your shop on?  I don't know about you guys, but my wishlist is OVERFLOWING with great products!  My store, along with many others, will be 20% off Monday and Tuesday.  Well, get your cart ready and don't forget to use the code: CYBER.

Here are a few of my holiday and winter products you might want to check out:

Gingerbread Men



Or - If you'd like all the winter units bundled together:


Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Today's my Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me!
Clip Art - courtesy of Creative Clips

How about a quick giveaway!
Leave me a comment with your email address and I will choose a winner tomorrow morning.
Winner can choose any item from my TpT store!

The winner is #3 - Melissa!  Check your email Melissa!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Long Vowel Practice

I'm so excited - we finally made it to long vowels!  If you teach first grade then you know what I mean!  We open up a whole new world when we introduce long vowels.  There are hundreds of new words that my firsties can add to their repertoire!  They have been loving it too!

My first grade team felt like we needed a little more to go along with our long vowel stories from our reading series.  We have always added "extras" before but we just felt like we needed something different.  I created this unit for us to use this year.  I really do feel that this can be a great supplement to any reading series.

This unit is actually very flexible!  You can use it with your whole class or with small groups.  Here is how we've been using it in our classroom:

We spent 2 weeks on long a which was great, because it allowed me to use everything whole group to introduce before putting all of it in centers.  I loved using the onset/rime cards above every morning for a quick fluency practice.  I would reach in and grab and onset stick and then the class would read the real/nonsense words as quickly as they could.  They loved that half of the words didn't make sense!  We would practice with about 5 different onsets each morning.  It would only take about 2-3 minutes but it was great reading practice!

I used the above worksheets in my guided reading groups.  My firsties seemed to really enjoy all the different activities.

We will work on long i next week and I'm excited that my kiddos already know how to do each activity.  I'm keeping all of their fluency stories together in a folder.  I plan on taking a day or two every few weeks to just go back and practice reading past stories.  I love that can go back and feel successful when reading familiar passages.

I would love for you to check it out!  Just click on any of the above images and it will take you over to TpT so you can see it a little more in-depth.

What are your favorite "long vowel" activities?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Phonics Dance

Our first grade team has been using "The Phonics Dance" for a couple of years now.  We were so excited when we were able to have Ginny Dowd come to our school last Monday for a professional development day.  She has so many great ideas!  She is so full of energy and we really learned a lot from her.  Our first grade team was also able to go to her "Beyond The Phonics Dance" conference last Saturday.  She had a ton of great ideas on Vocabulary and Comprehension.  Here is a picture of Ginny and I.  She had her magic wand and sprinkles on hand for the pic!

I just recently posted my First Grade "I Can" Statements.  Click on the pic below to check them out!

Have a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Finally Uploaded my First Grade "I Can" Statements"!

I finished my "I Can" statements at the beginning of this school year but never got around to getting them uploaded to TpT.  My first grade team and I have been using them.  I absolutely LOVE that they are kid-friendly!  They are written so my higher children can read them and there are pictures to match for my lower readers.  Here's what my unit looks like:

Here are a few examples where I change them out each week in our different centers.

I'd love for you to check it out!  Just click any image above.

Have a great rest of the week!
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