Friday, April 29, 2016

Five for Friday April 29, 2016

 Thanks again, Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday!

Can I just say it's been a rough week? 
One of my teammates thinks so too. This was not posed by the way...
We laughed so hard and that's just what we needed!



I've posted this before, but I can't say enough how much our team swears by these sight word drills. Check out my blog about it from March:

Other drills I have created work on Mixed Long and Short Vowels as well as drills for 

Speed Drills for Mixed Long and Short Vowels

Speed Drills for Blends, Digraphs and Word Families


We could get a foot of snow this weekend. Springtime in the Rockies - Gotta love it!
(No wonder the kids have been acting so crazy...)


The report planner for our endangered animal reports was perfect. They used the information from the endangered animal trading cards to create their report planner and then wrote their reports. Silly me, I didn't take pictures of their completed reports! Like I said, it's been a CRAZY week!



Does this happen at your school? We all work together for so long, we start dressing alike on a regular basis. Here are 2 more of my awesome teammates!


Have a wonderful weekend!

Let me know what your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you!
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Five for Friday April 22, 2016


 Thanks again, Doodle Bugs Teaching for sponsoring another Five for Friday!


Bear with me...
I have 2 boys in college. (So we're basically broke...) Bryce on the left is the oldest and he is a senior and just about done. He's going to the university here in town, so at least I get to see him!

Tyler is a sophomore at a university 2,000 miles away in NYC. I miss him so much it hurts. Can anyone else relate to this?? 
♥♥ Only one more month and I'll have BOTH of my boys home! ♥♥



A little morning Tabata over the P.A. to get those juices flowing for learning! One of their favorite times of the day!



For years, our district didn't have a formal writing curriculum in place. Teachers of course did an amazing job with the bits and pieces we had, but overall, writing in our district suffered. Since our school is a Title I school, we really needed a structured program.

Last year, our district fully adopted Every Child A Writer and I am a HUGE fan. So I had to share.

Every child gets 15 minutes of small group writing instruction based on their writing level each and every day. After their small group instruction, they go to their seats and write independently, with no help from me or other students. I rotate through 4 small writing groups during an hour to an hour and 15 minutes daily. When they are not with small group or working on their independent writing, they are following a MUST DO list on the board.

I am very proud of their progress from my struggling writers to my more advanced writers. They are all working at their own levels and succeeding! 

Here is an example of independent writing from one of my struggling 1st grade writers. His group is working on writing an opinion piece. A big part of the program is the planning stage (on the top of the page). He has come so far with his writing!


Here is an example of independent writing from one of my more advanced 1st grade writers. His group is working on factual writing. He chose to write about termites when told to describe an insect. They need to select an insect (or whatever the topic is for the day) that they know facts about.


I think the program is wonderful! I would love to hear what you think! Check the website out below:

 Just like you I'm sure, our first graders are less than a week away from the dreaded End of the Year DIBELS Reading Testing!  Yikes! 

So we have been busy revising and setting individual goals for reading (whole words read, fluency, accuracy, retell) They have been working on ever changing individual reading goals throughout the year, but this is their final individual goal for the year based on their reading progress so far. As they are called out to be tested, I have them grab their goal on the sticky note and share with the tester, for just one last goal reminder.
We wish them all luck!

We have been studying endangered animals with our I L♥VE the Earth Unit. 
I passed out 30 (3" x 4") endangered animal trading cards and had the students read, share, trade and learn as much as they can about the animals. 

Next they will select an endangered animal trading card to help them write a report. The report planner below is super helpful for organizing their ideas before they write. I'm excited to see how their reports turn out! I'll share next week :)
Let me know what your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you!
Thanks for visiting and don't forget to follow my blog or follow me on Bloglovin' (See icon above on the right.) and "SAVE" this post on Bloglovin'!

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Five for Friday, April 15, 2016


HAPPY FRIDAY!

Thanks, Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday! 


I'm always amazed at new technology that is probably no big deal to others...

Have you ever wondered how people get the background of pictures to be blurry without using a fancy camera lens?

My new favorite app discovery is the Big Lens App.

It's super easy to use.
All you do is upload a picture, use your finger to trace the inside part of the picture you DON'T want blurred and voila! You have that depth of field look that professional photographers get with their fancy cameras! It's only 99 cents. Can't beat that with a stick.

Here's before:

Here's after:

So super cool that I HAD to share!

My students are super excited to be pen pals with high school students in our district who are learning about early childhood development. We received their letters the other day and you would have thought it was Christmas! 

Here are just a few...

So my students busied themselves writing back, answering their many questions and telling anything and everything they could think of about themselves. 


I attached a picture of each 1st grader too. I just know those high schoolers will love their letters.

Our Classroom Number Line is one of those resources that my students use daily. Our number line stretches from -20 all the way to 200. We use it every day for adding, subtracting, greater than, less than, and for our Number of the Day. Starting on the first day of school, I move the "little red man" each day to the number of the day. Today was day 138! Students use this to complete their Number of the Day packet (one less than 138, one more, 10 more, etc.). Every 20 days, the skills in our Number of the Day Pack get more rigorous. Check it our below!



Number of the Day 
Number Lines and Grids
And to help first graders see how many more days of learning we have until the end of the school year, I have a little orange man on the number of the last day of school. I tell them, "When the little red man meets the little orange man, you are second graders! They love watching the gap close between the two clips!  It's closing fast...



We started our Earth Day Unit this week with how to take care of our Earth and why. Wow, what amazing conversations we had! As we completed this activity sheet below, we discussed why the action was either good or bad. Lots of turning and talking at tables and then an amazing class discussion!


 Get this activity and so much more in my 77 page I L♥VE The Earth Unit!



We are working so hard these last few weeks to be ready for 2nd grade! Building reading fluency has been a major focus for most of my students. Some of them have other goals like accuracy or retell, but the majority of first graders have fluency goals.

We spend 80% of our reading block in text by the end of the year in 1st grade. A lot of that time is with partner reading. They love to use our little minute timers to time their partners as they read and re-read passages to build that fluency! You can get 1 minute sand timers HERE.
Thank you so much for stopping by!

Let me know what your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you!
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Friday, April 8, 2016

Five for Friday, April 8, 2016

Doodle Bugs Teaching

 Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Be sure to scroll down to find an Earth Day FREEBIE! 


I love teaching in the spring! There's so much to learn and do!

Our caterpillars are growing like crazy! In just a week they have gotten huge and are now hanging from the top of the container, ready to make their chrysalises. They have had so much fun studying the creatures up close!  

Aren't these kids adorable?


(Must be the weird angle of the camera... The caterpillar cup looks like it has a weird shape.)


Getting ready to make their chrysalises! We are all worried about the one at the bottom, but he also has since formed a chrysalis, so we'll see.





We love to paint, but if you're like us, we never seem to have time to do it! Sadly, our kids don't have art as a special, so it's up to the classroom teacher to squeeze it in whenever possible. 

So we do, whenever we can! This time we painted butterflies. So much fun!

This is one of my favorite pictures. They all line up to help each other put their aprons on before we paint. So smart!


One of our absolute favorite things that we use EVERYDAY are our privacy folders. These handy folders give students privacy when they need it, but also have tons of resources on them for students to use as they read, write, and do math. They can look for sight words to spell when they write, letter formation, coins, sounds, and so much more! This week was our unit Math test and students were busy using the folders to access the 100's grids and the number lines to solve problems.
So handy! 









Ok. I'm addicted. I love chocolate. Dark chocolate is good for you, right??



My 77 page I L♥VE the Earth Pack is ready to go and here is a FREEBIE sample from the pack:

Endangered Animals Tab Book FREEBIE


Endangered Animals Tab Book

My 77 page I L♥VE the Earth Unit  is all you need for Earth Day. My son, Bryce, whose degree is Evolutionary Biology helped me create this unit! It was so much fun to work with him on this project! I'm such a proud mama. It took us several weeks to make it just right. Right now it is reduced from $7.50 to $4.95!

I L♥VE the Earth Unit
Thank you so much for stopping by!

Let me know what your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you!
Thanks for visiting and don't forget to follow my blog or follow me on Bloglovin' (See icon above on the right.) and "SAVE" this post on Bloglovin'!

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