It's about that time of the year....for us anyway...to introduce & reinforce 2D & 3D shapes (concepts and ideas). Does that hold true for you, too? Shape identification and geometrical language are always among my favorite concepts/skills to teach. Hands-on and engaging and so many connections to the real world! And for our kids, shapes are tangible. They can feel real world shapes. They can play with them. They can even identify shapes in the environment around them. Shapes are EVERYWHERE! And shapes are among the earliest objects they learn, recognize, and identify (thank you, Mickey … [Read more...] about 2D & 3D Shapes
Happy (ALMOST) New Year, friends! 2017....really?!?! Have you made any resolutions? Me...notsomuch. Of course, I always want to be a better version of who I was the year before, but resolutions never quite "stick" if you know what I mean. Sure...I want to eat healthier. Work out more. Get more organized. Keep the house clean. Do the laundry...regularly ;) Yes...I want all those things. And to eat all the things and still be able to fit into my jeans. But really...I just want to have a great year filled with lots of laughter and more memories than I can count. I'm still … [Read more...] about All About January (and a few freebies!)
It's almost time for our family elf, Elfabet, to visit us from the North Pole. He is one of my favorite family traditions because his silly hijinx always make my boys laugh. There is just no sweeter sound to wake up to in the morning, I swear. Not only are the elves flying back to homes everywhere across the country, but according to my calendar, they're flying back to classrooms everywhere, too. Here's a peek back at our visit from our classroom elf a few years ago. A special delivery straight from the North Pole with a letter, a gift tag, and everything! I read the letter to the kids and they … [Read more...] about Classroom Elf Freebies & Ideas
Hello all! I hope this week's supermoon hasn't throw your babies off at all. Oh, who am I kidding?! I know it has, LOL!!! Here's to you and making it through to the Thanksgiving holidays up ahead! Halleluia, right?! Okay, so let's talk math, shall we?! I just wanted to share a couple of math activities from my Simply Social Studies Thanksgiving Mini Unit (K/1) that you might be able to use in your classroom this week or next. I always try to include ELA & Math extension activities in my social studies lesson plans. I love cross curricular teaching and our kids tend to build a more … [Read more...] about Thanksgiving Math Freebies!
If you're anything like me, you are always looking for more ideas and resources to add to your ever growing collection. I do this for EVERYTHING. Constantly looking for new ideas...more resources...and more time. If anybody can tell me where I can find more time, I'd really appreciate it ;) That to be said, I want to share with you a few ideas to help you with any last minute prep you might be doing for Veteran's Day (tomorrow!!!) I absolutely LOVE teaching my kids about veterans and the sacrifices they make for our freedom. At my old school, veterans related to the students were invited to an … [Read more...] about Celebrating Veteran’s Day (with Freebies!!!)
Sunday I posted all about how I introduce the alphabet in my classroom. I told y'all a little bit about what I do during small group and showed y'all a little sample of what that small group instruction entails.... Now let's go ahead and dive a little deeper. Before I get started, let's quickly talk about some invaluable resources I've used in my classroom to help teach and reinforce letter recognition and letter to sound linking. These are materials I use during small group, tutoring, and I keep these out in literacy tubs as well. This isn't everything I use...it doesn't even really touch the surface...but I've … [Read more...] about Small Group Alphabet Instruction
Hello friends! Happy Monday! I'm heading out for mentoring in just a minute, but before I leave I just wanted to pop in and let y'all know that The Science of September has been posted...just in time for September, HA! It's jam-packed and chock full of 4 weeks worth of science lesson plans, vocabulary, read alouds, anchor chart suggestions, experiments, and cross-curricular activities. Whew! September's resource will cover various science skills and concepts using the themes of Five Senses, Farm, Apples, and Fall. Some of the skills covered included observable changes, organisms & their … [Read more...] about Science of September
When I hosted a little Coffee Talk a few weeks ago, one of the things a few of y'all wanted to know about was how I introduce the alphabet to my Kinder friends. Instead of answering with a little blurb, I felt like this was a concept that deserved a lot more than just a little explanation. So let's get started, shall we?! Before I start, I think it's important for you to know that I wholeheartedly DO NOT believe in "letter of the week" alphabet instruction. Although letter identification and letter to sound relationships should be taught systematically and thoroughly, the sequence and spacing of instruction doesn't need to … [Read more...] about All About the Alphabet
I often get asked how I'm able to fit things into my day and I'm hoping this helps give you an idea of how that looks. Let's go ahead and start with the plans. I'm fortunate enough to be able to help teachers plan for their days while pushing in to assist and mentor. We talk a lot about "fitting it all in" and I hope this helps you to see what that looks like. I tend to OVERplan because I'd rather have more than enough to get through the day(s). You can download them HERE for a closer look. Whew. Now let's break it all down. MORNING WARM-UP Most kids are still filtering in during this time, … [Read more...] about Visual Lesson Plans – How I Fit It All In
Today we're talking about something that's near and dear to my heart as both a teacher AND a parent...parent/teacher relationships!!! But before we get started, let's get some housekeeping out of the way. TODAY ONLY (August 22), Teachers Pay Teachers is having a back-to-school BONUS sitewide sale! You might want to snag some of those items on your wish list before the sale expires at midnight (EST). Just be sure to enter the promo code ONEDAY at checkout to get your discount!!! And here's a quick little shopping tip.... If you're looking to see if I have something you might need, you can always type keywords in … [Read more...] about Building Relationships & a ONE DAY ONLY Sale!
Hey y'all! Is everybody surviving the back to school rush? My boys know who their teachers are and we're meeting them tomorrow night so they're all kinds of excited! (ME TOO!!!!) Lots of things have been happening behind the scenes here that have been keeping me unexpectedly busy (that's life, right?!), but I wanted to pop-in real quick to tell you a little bit about my newest resources for my K & 1st teachers. After we released several months worth of Science plans in the Spring, we received lots of emails asking if we were planning on creating a similar Social Studies resource filled with detailed lesson plans and … [Read more...] about Social Studies & Such
Well...it's about that time. Time to go back to school. Do I hear a resonating sigh?? Or are you ready for routine and structure?! Me personally...I need routine! At any rate, with the approach of a new year also comes the anticipation of Meet the Teacher night. I absolutely LOVE Meet the Teacher! I love meeting my kids and their families. I love seeing my students around their parents. I mean seriously. The kids I'm always nervous about at the end of the night are typically my most well behaved kids! They're just really comfortable around their parents :) And that's … [Read more...] about Meet the Teacher Freebies!
I recently had several requests to blog about my favorite fonts and I thought, "what a GREAT idea!!!!" because I know I'm not alone in my love of beautiful fonts. I'm always on the lookout for new fonts and I'm excited to share those and a few of my tried and true favorites with you today :) So let's get started with my favorite font designers... Let's start with the beyond talented Kimberly Geswein Fonts. She's definitely one of my go-to girls when it comes to font selection. I love that her fonts are crisp and clean and perfect for pretty much any occasion. I love that so many of her fonts are perfect for … [Read more...] about My Favorite Fonts, Font Artists, and Font Pairings
How many of you feel like this when it comes to teaching science? When I visit schools and talk to teachers in between sessions at conferences, I always hear something along the lines of, "there's just note enough time for science & social studies!!!!" Teachers. I feel you. I really do. There's barely enough time in our day to teach the skills we need to teach in the first place! And then every teacher on Earth said... So often, we as teachers look at our curriculum and see everything through compartmentalized lenses. If we're teaching literacy skills, it must be done during our ELA block. If we're … [Read more...] about Science for Beginners…Setting The Stage for a Year of Science FUN!
How many of you have already gone back to school? One question I'm often asked at the beginning of the school year is, "When do you start guided reading?!", so I thought we'd chat about how all that gets started in my classroom today :) The beginning of the year is important not only for establishing rules and routines, but also for assessing our students. We need to know where are babies are so we can determine how and what we need to teach. We're all given grade level objectives and standards to teach, but our kids also need differentiated instruction to meet their individual needs. Where does this fit in?! Most of my … [Read more...] about Launching Guided Reading Small Groups & Independent Centers
Happy Saturday! I know this is going to sound cliche and all, but seriously....where did the summer go?! August is only a couple of days away and most of my teacher friends are starting school either this coming week or the next. Oh summer...we loved you so!!!! Now it's upward and onward and we're getting ready to embark on a new journey with a whole new crop of babies. Exciting and bittersweet all in the same breath!!! There are so many things to anticipate with the start of a new school year. Organization...classroom management...centers....small group...and everything in between! I love … [Read more...] about Making Math Fun!
Hey you guys!! HAPPY SUNDAY! If you've been reading along this week, then you know we're still celebrating my birthday with a little birthday SALE-A-BRATION! Tomorrow's the actual "big day" and I'm so excited to be turning 29....again ;) Now let's get right down to it and talk about what we're really here for...SIGHT WORDS!!! As I was writing this post, I realized I had written a pretty detailed sight word post back on June 24th. At the risk of sounding redundant, I'm going to repost here in case you missed it the first time. I wanted to start with a couple of things I hadn't blogged about in the … [Read more...] about Sight Word Sunday!
This week of celebrating sure has flown by fast! I meant to post on Thursday and Friday, but y'all...I was on VEGAS time. Ha! So I'm sorry that didn't happen! I fully intend on circling back to both Thematic Thursday and Guided Reading Phonics Friday on Monday and Tuesday. Since my actual birthday isn't technically until Monday I figured an extension on celebrating would be perfectly fine :) So here's what the next few days will look like.... Speaking of Vegas, I had the absolute BEST time at the I Teach conference! It's my favorite event of the year and this year's did NOT disappoint. It's … [Read more...] about Integrating Curriculum…Science Saturday!
It's Wednesday and the 3rd day in my weeklong birthday SALE-A-BRATION! Today we're talking all about writing... I know I've blogged about my writing station several times before so I won't go into great detail about it here. However, I do want to take a minute to tell you how much I love it. I've always had a writing center, but I struggled week-to-week with planning writing activities that kept my kids truly engaged. Keep in mind that my writing center is completely separate from Writer's Workshop. While I love for my kids to choose what they're going to write about, when they visit the … [Read more...] about Write On Wednesday
https://www.facebook.com/thefirstgradeparade/videos/1210440965668069/ It's "Time To Go Back" Tuesday! Let's celebrate! Today I'm talking all about my back to school favorites. Tried and true ideas and activities that have helped me start my year off on the right foot. If you're anything like me, you love to mix it up and try new things from year to year. Maybe not everything, but some new things can be fun :) I'm hoping this little list of favorites gives you some new ideas to try out this year or tuck in your pocket for the future! Here's my favorite piece of encouragement for the new school year...... HAHAHAHAH!!!! … [Read more...] about Back To School Ideas & Freebies!!!
Happy Monday! God willing I will be celebrating another year of life next Monday, so this is technically my birthday week. Does anybody else draw out their birthdays and celebrate for a week?!?! If I'm being honest, I don't do that anymore, but when I was younger I sure milked my yearly milestone as long as I could :) This year I'm celebrating in VEGAS, baby!!! We just checked in and got settled and tomorrow I'll be presenting at the I Teach K conference! This year I thought it would be fun to bring back that weeklong tradition I used to covet, only now I want to celebrate with YOU! So each day this … [Read more...] about Math Monday…And a Weeklong Birthday SALE-ABRATION!
Hey y'all! How many of you are already in the midst of back to school preparation? Or have already gone back to school?! We're so often on a one-track mind when it comes to going back to school...meet the teacher, school supplies, classroom decor...and the list goes on. As much as I think about all those things, my mind is also focused on organizing everything I need to have a successful year in guided reading, math, and other subject areas. What can I have at my fingertips to help me make sure I target important skills and strategies I want my kids to master throughout the day?! Yesterday I talked a bit about how I … [Read more...] about Starting the Year With Comprehension
Both the number line and the 120 chart are important tools for our kids to use. They are equally important and make wonderful resources for our kids to use when problem solving, counting, etc. I think it's extremely important to equip our kids with the tools necessary to be successful. I display the number line (0-120) in my classroom and all of my kids have a personal number line they keep in their desks. Their personal number line contains the numerals 0-20. The reason for this is so that we can practice with the numbers we will more often than not work with in our day-to-day math. In Kindergarten we … [Read more...] about Number Sense Prompts
Happy Tuesday!!! (Is it Tuesday already?!) I'm trying to finish up my presentations for next week's I Teach K/I Teach 1st conferences and I'm working hard on empowering our primary writers at the moment. As I was pulling out my resources for this particular presentation, I came across a stack of my writing fast finisher activities that always seem to be a hit with the primary teachers I mentor. Let me break it down for ya. Pick a Pocket *might* be one of my most favorite writing station fast finisher activities ever. You can differentiate and modify as needed. I used this in Kindergarten and 1st grade. … [Read more...] about Writing Fast Finishers