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
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!!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!! I think one of my … [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
Let's talk a little bit more about phonics, shall we?! Last week we talked a little about some important Phonics non-negotiables. You can check those out HERE. I also shared a couple of fun games & independent activities I like using in the classroom for phonics instruction. Today's post is dedicated to my Kindergarten teachers. Kindergarten is where it all begins. We set the tone for the rest of our learning experiences in Kindergarten. We wipe noses, zip pants, tie shoes, dry tears, and instill within our kids a love of learning. Bless the Kindergarten teachers of the world. I taught … [Read more...] about Learning the Alphabet – Phonics FUN!
Today we're talking all about fluency and phonics. First we're focusing on phonics and then we'll get into the fluency portion. And if you love practicing reading fluency like I'll do, you'll LOVE today's deal of the day!!! Do you have a specific phonics curriculum you follow in the classroom? Saxon? Horizons?? Or do you just make it up as you go? I'm asking because I'm genuinely curious. I've only taught in one district where we were required to follow a phonics curriculum. If I'm being honest, I didn't think it was effective or appropriate. I feel like it's more important … [Read more...] about Phonics, Fluency, & a Deal of the Day!
It's Friday and you know what that means?!?!? Well, nothing really. Except that it's Friday :) I love Fridays. Since I'll be headed to Dallas for the Get Your Teach on Conference on Sunday, I'll miss spending my 12 year wedding anniversary with Mr. Spouse. SO we'll be celebrating tonight instead. Yes...I think this might be my favorite Friday of the year so far :) Now let's get right down to it and talk about what we're really here for...SIGHT WORDS!!! I've talked about my Spelling Sticks in some of my conference sessions and frequently get asked if I have a copy to share. These little sticks sit … [Read more...] about Sight Words & Freebies
We talked a bit about writing on Monday, so I wanted to follow up with a few short vowel activities today. Teaching our kids how to identify medial vowels, blend, and segment sounds is one of the first steps we take to make them independent readers and writers. One of the first phonics skills I cover at the beginning of the year is vowels. I introduce both short and long, but focus mainly on the short vowel sounds until that concept is mastered. However, I think it's important for our kids to know BOTH sounds since they'll encounter those sounds/vowels in their reading. When I introduce vowels, I tell my kids … [Read more...] about Short Vowels, Deal of the Day, & A Freebie!
One of the topics I'll be presenting in Vegas in July is all about writing. As I'm going through my presentation I thought it would be the perfect time to talk a little bit about it here and show y'all what I do and what I feel helps to make writing in my classroom so successful. First up, let's talk about some writing non-negotiables. If we expect our kids to become fluent writers capable of producing more than just a sentence here and there, we have to give them TIME to write. Not just 5 minutes here and there, but time for sustained writing. Not only do we need to give them the time to write, but we need to give … [Read more...] about Let’s Talk Writing!
Happy Summer!!!! Well...for some of you, anyway. I know that's not the reality for everyone right now (and I'm sorry!!!), but for those of you relaxing poolside reading something other than a staff email or PD book, happy summer to you!!! Our last day was last Thursday and here's how my boys celebrated.... Pretty awesome! What that picture doesn't show you is how I forced my boys to get dressed as quickly as possible ...with their "mud" shoes...and race outside to take a pic before the sky opened up & rained yet again. They were not amused with my desire to capture their last day. I was all, "get … [Read more...] about Summer & Supply Labels