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About Me

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I am a first grade teacher who has rediscovered a love for firsties this year. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and even second over the past 16 years. I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 very active boys.

Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K Back to School
Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Phonics Games

Phonics Games
Phonics Games
   
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Graphics by: MareeTrueLove.
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

Orange 'ya glad it's a Blog Hop?


Happy Saturday!  I have joined my sweet Florida blogging buddies in a Florida blog hop! It was a beautiful day here in Florida and I took my boys to our first beach trip of the season:)


 There are 11 stops on this blog stop and I am the...

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I love to use activities and games with my students that are simple to follow and target the skill we are working on.  I have been working on several games to use during intervention groups, small reading groups and independently at the word work station during Daily 5.   The games incorporate spelling patterns and decoding words in real and nonsense games, pattern sorts and "Bang!" with theme.

I have bundles a few of these games together in Reading and Spelling Patterns Part 2.  You can check out this TPT pack HERE or click on the picture below.  It is even on sale this weekend for 20% off!  These games are also available individually in my TpT store.



In celebration of reaching 300 followers, I have also posted a FREE unit to TpT this week.  It is called Bow Wow and is a game that practices the  /ou/ sound  spelled ou and ow.  You can download it from TpT for free HERE or on the picture below.   I have included a few larger pictures so you can see an up close and personal view of the pages!



You can also check out my 300 follower giveaway HERE or by clicking on the picture below to win Reading and Spelling Patterns Part One and Part 2 in addition to another 6 units by some wonderful bloggers!


Thanks for stopping by!  Your next stop is





If you'd like to start at the  beginning of the hop, you can head over to Tamara's blog, Mrs. Russell's Room.  I had the privlidge to meet Tamara at one of our county's trainings.  She is an amazing blogger with so much to share.  She has become a dear friend.  Thanks Tamara for organizing our Orange 'ya glad it's a Blog Hop.

 

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300 Follower Giveaway


I am beyond excited to celebrate 300 followers and 100+ blog posts is less than a year.  This little blog of mine has made me a better teacher because of all of you!  I find myself searching for more for my students and myself.

There are so many wonderful bloggers out there who inspire me.  I have reached out to a few of them and asked them to help me celebrate! Please click on the pictures to see the TpT unit in their store.  You can follow them while you are there:)  Their blog is linked to the Rafflecopter at the end so head on over and take a look!









a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Intervention Groups-Be a Fly on My Wall Linky



Our entire school participates in intervention groups from 8:45-9:15 four days a week.  Our first grade team piloted this practice last year and saw HUGE growth when compared to the growth from the year prior.

So I am linking up with Jodi over at Fun in First with her Fly on My Wall Linky. Head on over and check out what others are doing for Intervention Groups.

 

After assessments are done in September and then again in January, we group out children by focus skills.  This is a great way to service the children in RTI, the kids who fall through the cracks and even the children who need enrichment.  Its a win-win for all the kids.  Our team is also lucky enough to have our literacy coach and speech therapist take a group to help reduce the size of the groups.  The children love going to intervention groups because it is something just a little different in their day.

In first grade, our groups consist of phonemic awareness, phonics, high frequency words, fluency  and comprehension.  I have an enrichment group for comprehension.  We are working with complex texts and using a few different resources.

After regrouping in February, I began with non-fiction reading.  This was the perfect month to jump into presidents and other historical figures. I used 13 American Heroes by Teacher to the Core.  We read informational texts and the children followed up by reading the fluency passages and answering comprehension questions. 

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I am now using Jen Jones' Vocabulary Word Sets along with her Common Core Reading: .  Both resources are AMAZING!  The first references Utah's Text Talk Lessons.  Discussions are based on actual text which aligns with common core standards. We then follow up the stories with written responses. The discussion about the stories has been taken to a higher level.

    

My students come back to the classroom at 9:15 ready to start out Daily 5 time.  I love seeing the connections the kids make in my room to what they learned in their intervention class.  It takes a bit more planning, but the results are well worth it!



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Five For Friday {April 19th}


Finally back for a little weekly recap with Five For Friday.  All I have to say is where did this week go?  I can't believe there are only 33 days of school left here in central Florida!



Weekly Happenings

 1- FCAT Mania (Florida Testing) Although I teach 1st grade and the test doesn't start until 3rd, our classroom neighbors were taking the test so we had to be REALLY quiet!  On top of that, our schedules changed, so our little firsties were all out of sorts...  We did send daily treats to our reading buddies (5th graders) to encourage them and love on them:)You can check them all out at Technology Rocks Seriously!



2- Wrapping up Farm Fun Here in the country:)  I love the Fun On the Farm For First Grade by Amanda Rich.  It had perfect math and literacy ideas for my firsties.  If you haven't been by her TpT store, you should check it out.


3- We started our geometry chapter in math learning about three dimensional shapes.  Today, we built 3 dimensional shapes using marshmallows as vertices and toothpicks as edges.  Such a fun way to end the week!


4- My younger son, Zach finished his FCAT testing this week.  I spoke to his teacher about bringing a snack on Friday and decided to coordinate her "Cowboy/Cowgirl" theme  with a little trail mix.  The kids loved the snack and the bag label:)  Dear hubby was amazed I had the graphics...shhh, I won't tell if you don't!


5-We haven't been on Starfall in quite a while because quite honestly my class got burnt out on it last year.  I pulled it up for a math center this week and was pleasantly surprised with the updates including lots of math activities.  I would love suggestions for FREE math websites if you have any!


I am off to watch the news.  So thankful that the second bomber was caught.  Prayers for the the families who have suffered loss and/or injury.  So thankful for the diligence of the law enforcement agencies and first responders..  May Boston start to heal and find peace in the days ahead.


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Groups or Rows?


Groups or rows?  How are your kids seated? I would LOVE to hear!  I have this internal struggle every year.  I LOVE the idea of groups.  I spend most of the year in groups and like the set up. The downfall comes in the afternoon during math.  Rows work for me.  (This is my son doing homework after school.)

 

Our county uses Go Math! and it is set up with an I Do, We Do, You Do model.  When the kids are in groups, they struggle to focus on the lesson and get easily distracted.  Not to mention, math in the afternoon is HARD.  They are so tired.  Using food as manipulatives can be a huge motivator:) (Please forgive the sideways picture.  Grrrrr!)  Next year my focus is to work more in math groups, and I have tried... But can't get the timing down  to get it all in.


So, since spring break I have my kids in rows and LOVE the focus! (Please don't throw rotten tomatoes at me!!)  They still have the opportunity to work in partners and when I need groups they move around the room.  Another plus and we have started playing BUMP and it works so much better in rows.  The kids want to turn EVERYTHING into a BUMP game:) Shhhh, don't tell them they are still learning:)


And yes, I see the mistake above, do you? I actually took another picture, but it is posting upside down.  It is just one of those nights!  The good news it tomorrow is FRIDAY!
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Down on the Farm


Can I just say, YEEHAW. Last week we worked with non-fiction farm books and researched farm animals.  The kids LOVED it.  Our county has  "blue prints" that we must follow for reading, language arts, math, science and social studies.  Last week, there was a "free" week of sorts in that there was not a reading story assigned in the reading series.

So, to prepare the kids for this week's Amazing Animals story, I had us focus on farm animals.  I put one of four farm animal books in each corner of the room and the kids went and kids self selected the animal he/she wanted to learn about.  Amazingly enough, each group ended up with 3-4 kids.  I couldn't have planned it better if I made the groups!

 

Each group had to read the book together and then create a tree map (one of our Thinking Maps) to classify the information into 3 groups.  Our subtitles were characteristics, food and jobs on the farm.  Each child was assigned a number (1-4) and each number had a job.  1- Create the tree map, 2- write the characteristics... It was a total group project and all the kids were engaged and working cooperatively.






The next part of the project was to draw a diagram and label their animal.  Again, each number was assigned a job.  1- Draw the head, 2- draw the body...  I only had one group where one child tried to take over and draw the majority of the animal.  It was truly wonderful to observe as they worked together to match the proportions of the body to the animals.


Later in the day, they had to share their finding with their classmates.  This was the magical part (insert angels singing!) as they shared and discussed the similarities and differences of the animals. I was waiting to see if my ELL and quieter children would shy away from this, but they jumped right in and did their part.




The paints FINALLY came out and each group member painted the part they drew.  We traced the diagrams with black sharpies before we painted to help them pop, and then dove right in. 

The following day, we worked independently during Daily 5 to write our informational pieces on our farm animals.  They were able to use the group's tree map, the diagram and the book for information about their animal.  I requested a minimum of 5 sentences and encouraged them to use a question to grab the reader.


The final art projects were inspired by Deanna Jump's Down on the Farm Unit.  Deanna gives dimensions for the farm animals, but I decided to show the kids her picture and have them create their own.  I love the final results!

One last thing...if you have hung on this long, head on over to Keepin' It Kool in KinderLand for an enormous giveaway. I am giving away one of my units there too:) 

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