Friday, April 11, 2014

Happy Friday and a Pin it to Win it- Spring Close Reading Pack!

This week has been so wonderful- I love when we actually have spring weather here, and we did, all week!

My little friends have been busy learning to read-- check it out!

1. I am so proud of my little readers-- my 1st graders are FINALLY getting the hang of reading more challenging books without me having to assist them with a bunch of new words. That makes me really happy- and them too. One of my little 1st graders looked up at me after reading 2 pages in her book this week with a giant smile on her face and loudly said, "I did it!" Totally warmed my heart- so proud of those little readers!

2. I've been also trying to regularly add new sight word practice into our weekly routines since those Dolch Primer words are showing up a ton in our books. This week we had fun using the words in silly sentences. I let my little friends choose words from our pile and they come up with sentences using those words...very simple, but cracks them up and gets them to use more sight words!

3. For phonemic awareness this week, we used our bead bracelets. I say a word and then my friends pull beads along as they say each sound in the word. It's another physical/visual reminder to match what they are saying.

4. I also did some Words Their Way assessing this week- I'm using this specifically with just one of my kindergarten groups who really need some more intensive word study practice.

5. Of course I had to break out our spring close reading passages seeing the weather actually felt so springy this week! I just love how engaged my little friends are in these lessons. The passages include a variety of fiction, non fiction and poetry and then different a focus for each passage and each of the 1st/2nd/3rd reads.  If you are looking for more info on how I do close reading with my kindergartners and 1st graders, check out these posts here and here.

Check out more about this pack by clicking the pic below!

Time to give one away! 
Pin it to Win it!
Pin any one of the close reading pics from above- leave a comment with a link to your pin & your email and I'll send the winner a copy of my Spring Close Reading Pack Monday night!

Have a great day!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Clocks, Clocks, and More Clocks!

Friday!  It's officially April and it's Friday...which makes me one happy camper! Let's jump right into what we have been up to in math recently...

Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks.

Clocks, clocks and more clocks!  We have been busy in first grade working on telling time to the hour and half hour!

Once students were able to manipulate their clocks properly as well as write time to the hour and half hour students were ready to practice independently with QR Codes and a few math websites!  

Students went on a scavenger hunt as they found different clock cards and practiced telling time to the hour and half hour.  Then, students completed a "Scan it, Draw it, and Write it!" activity.  My first graders are so motivated by QR Codes!  

Students also continued practicing telling time to the hour and half hour on using these websites both during school and at home.  I love hearing that my students were able to go home and continue working on "games" while in the comfort of their own home-most of the time while on these websites they don't even realize the learning that is taking place because they are so engaged.  Below you can click on the images to go to a few of our classroom favorites for telling time.  

Are you ready to work on time with your first graders?   Here is a quick freebie to help you work on clocks with your friends.  Click on the picture below to grab your copy!  

You can find the activities pictured above with and without QR Codes by clicking on the images below.  Both sets include centers, activities, and anchor charts to help your little ones practice telling time to the hour and half hour!  


Happy Friday!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy Friday!

Oh my- it's already Friday! I've been up to a lot this week...check it out:

1. Spring Break 
Well I have to say that this week has been quite wonderful- I've gotten lots done on my to do list each day, including reading and relaxing! The weather did not feel like spring this week, but I'm not even worried about that because I was at home all week! This might be wishful thinking, but summer doesn't seem too far away knowing that spring break is basically over.

2. Mini ICE Presentation
Amanda and I have been so lucky to be doing lots of presentations in February and March for other teachers at various conferences. This time we hooked up with our favorite blogging buddy, Kristin, over at iTeach1:1 for a small conference held by ICE (Illinois Computing Educators). We presented all about how we use technology to engage our students in small group learning.  It was a blast and we had a very engaged, kind audience who was just as excited as us to implement technology into their classrooms!

Of course we had to bring some of our QR code packs as giveaways during the presentation because we know us teachers sure love anything free! 

3. Phonemic Awareness Fun
This is more from last week, but I didn't share about it yet, so...I like to switch up our daily warm of phonemic awareness activities often because really to keep that kinda stuff exciting, it needs to be changed regularly! Recently I added in mini basketballs and soccer balls as well as our race cars that I pulled out from my phonemic awareness basket.

My little friends were very excited about  using these new materials while saying the sounds in words. All they do is roll the ball or scoot the car along the squares as they are saying the sounds. So fun!

4. Spring Time Centers!
As I said I've been busy checking things off my to do list this week, which included getting going on what I want to cover in the near future with my little friends. We'll be busy reviewing digraphs, rhyming words, sight words, compound words, syllables and more! Hope my little friends will be so excited for the spring themed centers they won't even notice they are practicing all these skills. :)

Whew- we definitely will need to take some time practicing contractions. Lots of our stories now just have them built right in and let's just say it's been a struggle to figure out the long version of each contraction, so we'll be spending some time with this center next week, for sure!  

You can check out all this pack has to offer here!

5. Freebie!
One of my favorite things to do on Sunday mornings is check my email and read through the TPT newsletter- there's just always so much amazing stuff in there! Last Sunday I was thrilled to see my Spring Writing with Blends pack show up in there.  You can grab it here!

There are blend cards with visuals included (perfect for ELLs) and then a writing page where your friends can practice writing sentences using these beginning blends spring words! 

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and Teaching Blog Addict for their awesome Friday linkies!

Freebie Fridays
Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Trade and Grade Blog Hop!

We are so excited to be joining in on the fun Trade and Grade blog hop today with our favorite blogging team, Sarah and Tamra over at First Grade Buddies! We had the pleasure of reviewing a literacy and math product of theirs and are now providing a review of the products and some freebies for you to sample it as well! We absolutely LOVE these girls- they are our pen pals for our students and everything they do is just totally great- if only we actually lived in the same state where we could actually hang out. :) We tried out one literacy pack and one math pack of theirs and absolutely loved both! 

Here's a peek at the literacy pack:

There were so many different options within the literacy pack- all with a focus on writing responses with detailed explanations. I truly loved each version and can't even pick a favorite because all of them had the same results for my students- they wrote more than they normally do! 

I loved that we were able to cut one version out and glue it write into student journals- and look at the great explanations my little friends came up with for each "which is best" question!

Having several different versions allows you to easily differentiate for all your students based on ability- so amazing! Regardless of which version you choose to use with your students, I know you'll be happy with the results.

This last version was a lot of fun for my little friends because they each got a chance to make their choice for what they'd rather do- this is great for a quick check in during morning meeting that will lead to a longer discussion, for taking attendance or simply for a fun quick activity!

And here's a look at the amazing math pack:

I was super lucky to get this awesome goodie for my trade and grade.  This 1st Grade Mighty Math has been a life-savor in so many different ways!  This math pack has been fabulous because it is so easy to use and the skills that kids are practicing are all common core aligned. It is a constant spiral review of all of the different domains and is a predictable format which makes it super easy for my first graders to do independently.  It gets students thinking and practicing common core standards each and every day in a fun and meaningful way! 

As you can see from the examples above, the Mighty Math asks many questions over a wide variety of skills.  I love the my kiddos are seeing questions in each domain in several ways which causes them to really think about the wording of each question!

The Top 3 ways I am using these math sheets in my room: 
1. Early Finishers
2. Center Work to review specific skills with students 
3. Homework

My kiddos are super proud of their Mighty Math work! They especially love the measurement and data questions and get so proud when they answer these questions correctly!  

You can try these super packs out with the freebies by clicking the pics below. We know your little friends will love these as much as ours did!

Click the pics below to check out the entire packs...we highly recommend these packs- they were both outstanding!