Monday, March 27, 2017

We had a "Tree'mendous" week!

Hey friends!

Last week we had fun learning about trees.  We follow Journeys and our weekly story was a chapter from "Poppleton Forever" called "The Tree". 🌲 It was the perfect opportunity to combine Reading with Science, so we learned all about trees! Our comprehension strategy that we were focusing on this week was Story Structure - Characters, Setting and Plot.  I decided a great way to really learn about story structure would be through a more "hands on" approach, so we created Poppleton's tree using a "paper bag twisted tree".  Are these adorable or what???

The firsties started out by making their tree, using a paper lunch bag.  I stapled their trees to green construction paper "grass" - this represented the SETTING.  Then they colored and cut out the characters that were in the story and glued them around the tree - this represented the CHARACTERS.  The main idea of the story is that Poppleton's tree is sick and he tries many different things to make it get better.  The firsties used construction paper to add things to the tree that Poppleton tried in the story to make his tree get better (cheese, a bone, a bird feeder, etc) - this represented the PLOT.  Finally, the kiddos arranged pictures in order and wrote about the plot of the story.  How cute is this???


We also read several non fiction books about trees and watched a cute video on "Epic Books" (have you used this FREE website?? It has hundreds of books on every topic imaginable and it is.....let me say it again....FREE).  You can set up your own account here. We learned all about the parts of a tree, different types of trees and some of the things we get from trees. We worked together in Interactive Writing to create some anchor charts that the firsties used for reference.  Then they took all of this information and wrote reports about trees using our Informational Writing Template.

Well that's what we've been working on in our about you?  How do you teach story elements in your classroom?  Please share your ideas in the comments.  I'd love to hear from you!  I'm always on the lookout for fresh, new ideas! Be sure to check back soon...I'll be sharing how I use my newest product in my classroom, The Bossy R Sisters! I'm super excited to use this in my classroom this week! I'll let you know how it goes! If you'd like to see a full preview you can check it out here

Take care and have a great week.....see you soon! Cause there's always something fun happening in...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Five For Friday! (March 24th)

Hello Friends!
It's time for me to jump on the bandwagon and join the Five for Friday Linky here's the reason why.  I'm a big believer in  Gratitude and I decided a really great way for me to show all the things I'm grateful for in my life is to just say it every week! I actually had a couple of crummy things happen this week.....(hey we all have that sometimes) but then I got to thinking about all the blessings in my life and thought, have it pretty good! So here's my Five for Friday gratitude list:

We had a SUPER COOL visitor yesterday!  Miss Ohio, Alice Magoto, was our Celebrity Reader for this month.  She came by for a visit and read us the story "Elmer", spoke about her platform, sang us the song "True Colors" and really inspired our little firsties!  My little girls couldn't take their eyes off her dazzling crown!! 👑 Thanks to Alice and my friend Jenna over at "From September to Mrs. May"for introducing this great program at our school.  If you would like to find out more about how to have celebrity readers at your school you can check it out on her blog here.


My wonderful son, Casey, had a birthday this week!  He turned baby isn't a baby any more.  We had a great dinner at Outback and are so blessed to have my mom - who is a rockin' 94 years old and FABULOUS - still able to celebrate with us! Here's my favorite picture of Casey... don't you just want to kiss that face??

And here he is with my mom.....all grown up!

I had a fun girls night this week, celebrating the "soon to be marriage" of one of my teammates! We did a Paint n Sip and I am grateful that my painting actually turned out ok......can you tell it's a pond at sunset??? LOL  Ok whatever....., I'm not a painter, but it was great fun! 


I've been working hard this week, and I'm super grateful to have two new products to share with you! For those of you who are Journeys users, my new Journeys First Grade Word Study for Unit 5 is here!! We use our word study every day in my classroom and it has been such a game changer for me.  I used to spend so much time each morning writing this stuff on my whiteboard and now I just turn on my screen and it's there! If you'd like to see the product in action, check it out here. And if you'd like to check out a full preview you can see it here. 

I'm also excited to use this adorable new unit "The Story of The Bossy R Sisters" next week in class.  We've been working on the r-controlled vowels "ar" and "or" this past week.  Next week we tackle "ir, er and ur" and you know those can be tricky because they all sound alike! So I created this super cute unit to help the kids remember which words have which sounds.  It comes with the story of the Bossy R sisters, posters, picture and word cards to accompany the story, a bingo game, 3 versions of a differentiated board game and differentiated assessments.  I'll tell you more about it next week, but if you'd like to check it out sooner you can see a full preview here. Friday many times did your copier jam this week???? Yea, enough said.  But hey, I'm grateful that I have a copying machine instead of the ancient ditto machine that we used to have years ago that smeared blue ink all over your hands and had nasty fumes.  (anybody reading this old enough to remember ditto machines???) 

If you'd like to link up to more Five For Friday posts from other fabulous bloggers you can check them out over at Doodlebugs Teaching.  That's it for now.....but check back over the weekend.  I want to tell you all about a really cute project we did this week with the story of "Poppleton and The Tree"'s a little sneak peak.

  See you soon 'cause there's always something fun happening in....


Friday, March 10, 2017

Lucky Little Writers in Firstieland!

Hey Friends!  I just had to stop by and share this super cute lesson that I just finished with my fab firsties......take a look at this bulletin's "tote's adorb" (my new favorite descriptive word that one of the firsties taught me this week.....apparently it means "totally adorable"...LOL)  Seriously though, we loved this lesson ❤️

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner so I decided to take a minute with my kids to learn about this fun holiday and hit a couple of those Social Studies standards while I was at it...(Heritage is reflected through the arts, customs, traditions, family celebrations and language.....) We read a non-fiction text about the holiday that is included in my "Integrated Social Studies and Writing Mini Unit "Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick's Day?"and also a couple of my favorite story books: 

After the firsties had a nice background on why we celebrate this holiday, we worked together to create a web.  

Next, the firsties used this web to help them write a report about St. Patrick's Day.  

Finally we made these adorable leprechauns to accompany our reports.....

This is the perfect little mini unit for St. Patrick's Day.  I really love it because not only does it include these great activities, but it's also differentiated and includes pre and post assessments!   If you'd like to check out these activities your classroom you can find this mini unit hereIncluded in Social Studies and Writing Mini Unit - "Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick's Day?":

1. Detailed 2-3 day lesson plan
2. Informational Text on the subject "Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick's Day?"
3. Pre Assessment
4. St. Patrick's Day Web
5. Informational Writing Templates (Differentiated for Below, On Level and Above Level) with RUBRICS
6. St. Patrick's Day Sort - 2 levels to meet the needs of all your students
7. St. Patrick's Day "Fill In The Blank" Assessment
8. Leprechaun Craft with full color directions and all patterns

Well, that's all for tonight.......hope this post finds you all happy, healthy and LUCKY!  Be sure to stop by again next week because there's always something fun happening in......

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Prepositions with Rosie's Walk!

Hello friends.....just stopping by with a mid week check in and wanted to share with you the cutest lesson we did today on PREPOSITIONS!  Now if you've tackled this skill with your firsties, you know it's not the easiest skill for them to grasp!  We've been working in these little rascals for a while now....we made this anchor chart a while ago and have referred to it many times.   Have I told you how much I LOVE anchor charts?  They seriously help my kids soooo much!  I keep them hanging all around the room and my fab firsties refer to them every day.  

We also have a list that we made so the kiddos can use them in their writing or help them remember which words are prepositions:

So this week we decided to do a little lesson on prepositions with the book "Rosie's Walk" by Pat Hutchins.  If you have never read this book it is PERFECT for this skill because it is filled with prepositional phrases! You can check it out here

After reading the story aloud to my firsties, we talked about which words were prepositions in the story.  I prepared ahead of time my version of the story - without the words - and the kiddos helped me write the prepositional phrases to match the pictures.  We highlighted the prepositions with yellow crayon.  

Then it was time for the fab firsties to create their own version of "Rosie's Walk".....I gave them each a large sheet of white butcher paper and showed them how to fold it into eight sections.  They used black crayon to trace over the fold lines to make their sections. 

Next we worked together to retell the story and write the prepositional phrases.  The paper was really big so the kiddos spread out all over the room.

When we were all done they used their little "Rosie" cut out to retell the story with a partner. ( I wish I could tell you where I found this little Rosie pattern but alas I have had it for a while and don't remember 😢)

We had a blast learning about prepositions with Rosie....and now you can too! Don't you just love this kind of easy peasy, no prep lessons?? Have fun and let me know if your kiddos love it as much as mine. Have a great week and remember to stop back soon because there's always something fun happening in....

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Luck 'O The Irish to You!......St. Patrick's Day Ideas!

Top o the morning to everyone! I'm sitting here looking out my window at the sun shining and excited that spring is just around the corner!! And you know what that means....St. Patrick's Day! ☘ I spent Friday getting my classroom ready for my little leprechauns on Monday morning.  They will be excited to see some new centers waiting for them.  Do you use centers in your classroom? I love them!  In fact I wrote a whole blog post about how to get them started in your classroom here.

This month, my centers have a St. Patrick's day theme so I thought I'd share with you some of the things we will be working on. One of the things I love to do is wander the aisle of our local Dollar Tree to find cute holiday items that I can turn into educational materials for my firsties.  Just adding some simple little extras can really excite your kiddos.  

In our Math Center this week we will be working on missing addends.  I found these adorable shamrock spinners and tall cups and I knew I could so SOMETHING  fun with them!  The kids spin the first spinner and write their number in the first shamrock on their "Who Stole The Addends?" work sheet.   Then then spin the second and write that in the answer space on their paper......then they have to find the missing addend.  Too cute!!

In our Word Work Center this week the kids are working on matching words to to contractions.  The theme is cute with the gold coins and matching pots of gold ......and simply adding some cute shamrock plates and a table top pocket chart gives it a little more fun for the kiddos. 

This week in Spelling we are working on bossy "r" words.  I wrote our words on rainbows, added some skinny markers and magnetic letters.  My fab firsties will practice their words on the Rainbow Spelling work sheet with different colored markers and build their words on the cloud.  

Finally, at our Art Station the firsties will be making a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  🌈 This is a super simple craft that they can do independently.  That's so important because I will be busy in guided reading groups while they are at centers.  Simply cut out the pot and glue to paper.  Use bingo daubers to create a rainbow and add glitter for the gold.......what firstie doesn't LOVE glitter and daubers??? So adorable and so easy!!

If you'd like to try some of these centers in your classroom you can pick up all of these and more in my March Math and Literacy Centers here.   This set includes 10 different activities for Math, Spelling, Word Work, Art and Writing.  Check out the full preview of all the centers here

We will also be learning all about St. Patrick's Day this month with my integrated Social Studies and Writing Mini Unit.  My firsties love these units because they are non fiction.  They love learning about REAL things and this unit includes a full color non fiction book all about the holiday of St. Patrick's Day! You can check it out here

What are all of you doing for St. Paddy's in your room?  I'm always looking for new and creative ideas so please share your comments! Hope you all have a lucky month......maybe someone will finally find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!  

I'd also like to invite you to visit another special blog that I am a part of.....Conversations from the Classroom.  This is a great blog with daily posts from various guest bloggers from PreK - 8.  Lots of great ideas and tips to help you out in your classroom! Have a great month everybody and be sure to stop by again. There's always something fun happening in........