Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Question for you

I am on a K-2 Enrichment committee and we are asked to share ideas of how we enrich students in our classroom. We have a screening and testing process and those students are to be enriched in their domain. (Reading, Math, Both)

How do you do this?

What materials do you use? (links would be awesome)

Do you do this during a school determined RTI time?

Do you have Title I or aides to assist?

Do you do this during center time?

I have a few ideas that I'll be sharing in an upcoming blog but I wanted to get a fresh perspective. I'd also like some ideas to share with the K-2 teachers in my classroom.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Read and Recall Update

Hey everyone! I hope you had a great holiday and if you're like me you're definitely enjoying your time off school. Yes I love and miss the kiddos and have seen some updates about them on FB but I've really enjoyed no alarms, comfy clothes, Netflix, organizing my home, and staying up late. The joys of winter break. :)

I've also decided to use this time to update some products and classroom activities I've updated my Read and Recall homework assignment from a few months ago. I've increased the complexity of the questions and I've covered different reading skill to better reflect what I'll be teaching in the second semester. The original is still there if you didn't get a chance to snag it. Oh and it's still FREE. I also plan on adding/updating some Journeys products so keep an eye out if you are also using the Journeys reading series.

Please leave feedback (what you like and what you'd like to see when I create more pages)


click here to download from TpT

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Currently

I have not done one of these in forever! I missed them but I have just forgotten at the beginning of each month and then I didn't remember until it was far too late.

1. Listening-->Okay so not very Christmasy BUT I'm Netflix hooked.
2. Loving-->I put up my tree on Friday at home and my classroom tree on Saturday. I love driving around and seeing houses decorated and ready for the season. (Now that it's actually past Thanksgiving that is)
3. Thinking-->Cyber Monday! So I will say all the cyber deals I took advantage of were for again maybe not the spirit but I got protein bars and workout stuff.
4. Wanting-->$$$ I wish I had enough money to spoil my loved ones. However, I do truly believe that it's the thought behind the present.
5. Needing-->Okay, I'm in Indiana. I CANNOT deal with cold and sunset at 5pm. I just can't. I'm ready for my jammies and bedtime by seven!
6. Giving--> Here is a link to my Santa Letter Writing freebie packet. I'm using it this week to teach the 5 parts of a friendly letter and to being writing our letters to Santa.

Each December I teach the kiddos how to write a friendly letter. I really make it a big deal because we are going to send these to someone special. SANTA. I swear saying that word to first graders is like yelling "Look, Justin Beiber!" in a crowded mall, lol.

I have them remember the five parts by incorporating touch. 
Heading--Point to our our head
Greeting--Point to our mouth
Body--Point to our bellies
Closing--Snap our legs together like a soldier
Signature--Stick a foot out like you're pointing with your toe

After a few repetitions they start to pick it up.

You'll see in my Santa template page that it's not all about "I want". I encourage them to tell Santa about themselves, whether they've been naughty or nice, and to ask questions. Then, after that they can ask for three (or so) things that they'd like to have.

During morning meeting (calendar time) we add a question to Santa to our chart paper so they get an idea of what to write in their letter. (And it sneaks in teaching/reviewing asking sentences!)

The neatest thing is that once all the letters are 'mailed' I really bring them to the fifth grade teachers. The fifth grade teachers hype up the fifth graders and the fifth graders pretend to be elves and they write my kiddos back. So, about a week passes and I get a beautifully ornate envelope back from...SANTA!! The principal brings it in my classroom like it's urgent business. I read every letter to the firsties. (The fifth graders explain that Santa was busy so an elf wrote them back. They think of the cutest elf names)

Click here to get your freebie

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Reading Comprehension

I'm starting to really teach and practice comprehension skills. Based on our reading assessments (TRCs) at the beginning of the year I came up with this worksheet to aide in recalling details. I had many firsties that couldn't tell me complete sentences about what happened in the story and struggled (hard) with sequencing a story when they could recall events.

I've been sending this home on Wednesdays when I send our reading books home. It is to be completed with help from an adult but the ideas should be from the kids. I do plan on making versions of this that will grow and develop as first graders do throughout the school year.

Best of all--->IT'S FREE!

click here to get your freebie

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Suncatcher

This week we're learning about pumpkins. Thanks to fellow bloggers I'll be all over some great read alouds, anchor charts, and maybe some taste testing!!

We'll end our pumpkinpalooza by making those pumpkin tissue paper window decorations I made last year. 

Short fat pumpkin
long skinny pumpkin

I still didn't do contact paper. We just went slower and I had them cut the templates out in small groups with me.  We also cut our squares out together step-by-step (took longer but so much handier than some kids ending up with tiny squares)
Then we did the edges and filled the inside together. 

Fall is so pretty here. I'm not looking forward to what could be another awful winter but this view makes me enjoy the right now:
the view from our playground

Friday, August 8, 2014

Celebrity Crush

My first week is over. Well, okay it was only 3 days with students but I set an alarm for 5 days in a row so that counts for something.

I'm reflecting on my week, thinking about next week, and trying to stay awake so I don't wake up too early. I want to share pictures and stories from my first week but I'm tired.

This is 3 years old but I don't get tired of watching his segments from the DC march in 2011. I didn't need another reason to crush on Matt Damon but here it is ladies.

And with that, goodnight.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Number Sense Throwback

Hey everyone! Tonight is my Open House where I get to meet my kiddos and their families. I will take tons of before/after pictures for you. :) I grew up in 'the city' and attended public schools in an urban environment. I had great teachers, friends, and opportunities. I teach in a rural setting though. In some ways it's such a different world to me. I will say that I really enjoy the community in which I teach. They're tight knit, involved (sometimes to a fault ;) ) and now that I've been teaching at my schools for a while I've had the chance to get to know some families very well and teach several siblings. To see a kid grow from first grade and graduate 5th is wonderful but to see a toddler at Open House, then teach them, then watch them progress through elementary school is something I never considered. Just wow.

Okay, random almost mushy moment over.

I've been back-to-school busy so I thought I'd share one of my most popular beginning of the year freebies with you. It's all about Number Sense. Something every first grader needs to improve upon. I didn't make this last year until a few weeks into the year so I'm excited to start this on Day 1 this year!!

Something that we work on in first grade is number sense. We need to know what numbers are, how to build numbers, how to break apart numbers, how to spell numbers, different representations of numbers, and well...the whole shabang.

Here's a Pinterest inspired freebie that I made up to use with my firsties. Check out how we practice some of these skills daily:

click here to download your freebie