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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

Black Friday Sale and Being Thankful



I love a good bargain as much as the next person, but I have to say I am disappointed with retail opening on Thanksgiving:(  With that said I am holding off until midnight to shop and sell!

What??  You say...  I am joining a group of my blogging buddies and offering my entire TpT at 20% off on Black Friday.  This is for those of you avoiding the stores tomorrow and those who need to prep BEFORE Monday!


I know, I know...Cyber Monday is on MONDAY!  So I am joinging TpT's sale for CYBER MONDAY and TUESDAY and offering 20% off along with their 10% off for a whopping total of 28% off your favorite products!

I am working on my new All About Nouns Unit.  It will include fun games, recording sheets and assessment sheets for common nouns, plural nouns and proper nouns.  I have found that our reading series lacks grammar assessment and feel that this is an important component to language arts.  I will update you with the link when it is available.



For those who need additional practice with sight words, check out the following units.  Just click on the image and it will take you over to TpT so you can see some sample pages.





Finally, a time saving unit for you Wonders users.  This is my newest unit posted, WONDERS Supplemental Unit Grade One-Unit 5.  However Units 1-4 are also available in my store.  I am hoping to have the final unit, Unit 6, available before Monday.



I am thankful to each and everyone of you for following my blog.  I am having a FLASH freebie for Thanksgiving Day only.  Enjoy my Thank You Notes as my thank you to YOU!




Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
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FLEE Map Freebie


I though I would write a little follow up to yesterday's post.  I introduced the FLEE map to my class as a way to organize their thoughts.  A FLEE map is a perfect choice for the retelling of a story as well as an outline for their own story.  In first grade, this can help my students write up to eight sentences on a given topic! In the older grades, it is a frame for a five paragraph essay.


So as you can see a FLEE Map is combination of a Flow Map (great for showing sequence) and a Tree Map (used for categorizing information).  I have to say, the first time around it was challenging for my firsties to create and use the map.  I decided to create the map for them for our second go round.  My goal is to alleviate their frustration so all their effort goes into their planning and writing.


If you are looking for a little more direction, I inserted some helpful hints below:)


If you would like to snap this little freebie, you can click HERE! Hope your kids enjoy it and it makes the writing process go a little smoother for you too:)
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Book Study and Making the Grade



Last week, I introduced my class to The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola.  I used a unit from Reagan over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits.  We explored this complex text as we pulled it apart and discussed main character, setting, and opinion.


The children were given a project grade on this. At our school, we were asked to come up with a grading policy across each grade level.  Our first grade team decided our reading grade would consist of 25% tests, 25% high frequency words/fluency, 25% projects and 25% assignments.

We loved that this unit came with a rubric.  You can check out The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush in Reagan's TpT store by clicking on the picture below.

 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Indian-Paintbrush-Book-Study-392479

As we wrapped up the story last week, the students were asked to retell the story.  They were asked to include an introduction, beginning, middle, end and a conclusion.  We worked together to organize their thoughts in a FLEE map!  There will be more to come on this, but here is a snapshot of a student work sample. A FLEE map is a combination of a flow map and a tree map.  This was our first attempt at is and at took lots of modeling, directions and re-directions, but we made it!


The students then had to use the FLEE map as a guide to write their retelling of The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush.  A writing grade was taken on this.  Our language arts grades now consist of 25% spelling, 25% sentence dictation, 25% grammar and 25% writing.
 
I would love to hear your thought on grading.  Do you give numerical grades, letter grades or more general grades such as S's and N's?

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Common Core Ramblings


Jumping into Common Core last year has made me think more about our standards and how to integrate them into our reading curriculum.  As with most Florida educators, a reading series has been adopted and we are expected to use it.

Last year was our final year before the adoption of a new series.  Teachers scrambled to integrate Common Core. Many teachers turned to TpT and other places to help fill the gap.  Then came out new series this year and many teachers believed (and maybe even prayed) that everything would be included.

As we progress through the year, we are finding that this isn't necessarily the case.  The publishers jumped into common core like the rest of us and did what they thought was right...or what "common core" wanted.

There have been hills and valleys along the way.  I believe our new series lacks in several areas.  Many are disheartened by this, but I am excited.  This is where the challenge comes in.  We, as teachers, have the responsibility to teach.  That does not come in a box or a series. I believe it is my job to find the best  possible way to teach the standards with the rigor that was intended.

Our reading series is just one tool in out teaching belt.  I believe there are many valuable components to it.  We also have additional tools that will work well to enhance learning.  Dig into your trade books, stop by your teammates rooms, follow bloggers on Facebook or Pinterest, but most importantly collaborate and share.

All of that takes time (which we are all short on) I do love when I can find something to make my life easier.  The Wonders Supplemental Units that I have been working on help me to prepare for the week. Each unit is prepped and ready to go. Wonders Supplemental Unit {Grade 1-Unit 5} is now available and on sale on TpT.


Do you have a reading series?  I would love to hear how it is working for you:)

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I'm Loving Daily 5 and a Birthday Sale



I have to say I am REALLY loving Daily 5 this year.  I am joining First Grade in Foxwell Forest for her I'm Loving the Daily 5 on the fifth. My implementation is not perfect, but this is my fourth year using it and works really well.  I thought the kids would get tired of the same five activities on a daily basis, but this year's class has really embraced our Daily 5 time. (Yes, happy dance!)


This year I have also been consistent in following the Sister's suggestions of a short mini-lesson then a rotation.  I use our Wonders Reading series to pull my mini-lessons from and concentrate on reading strategies during small groups. This works well for this class, this year.

I have to fess up now and admit that I am a bit of a control freak!  I do have my kids rotate through 4 centers with the same group and the fifth center is where they start the next day.  The groups are mixed ability and I love that.  I then pull my small groups from centers and work with them.  My goal is to move to the children picking their own Daily Five Center so they have a choice and a buy in to what they are doing.

I would love to hear thoughts and feedback about choice during the Daily 5.  The best resource is truly The Daily 5 book.  I am going to go back and reread the section about choice.  As a side note, the second edition is being released in early February. Click on the picture to check it out!

The Daily 5 (Second Edition)

Well, being that the linky is I'm Loving Daily 5 on the fifth and today is the sixth (and my son's 10th birthday), I have put my TpT store on sale through Saturday. Happy Birthday Zach:)


 I have also uploaded my newest Fry word unit called Treasured Readers {Fry Words 301-400}. 


I put the flash cards onto rings and the students can use them during read to self or read to partner.  This set has adorable pirate graphics to go with it.

I will giveaway this unit to one lucky follower who pins this unit and leaves feedback before Saturday.  Don't forget your email address too:)
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November Currently


I am jumping into November with both feet and right into Farley's Currently!  Last weekend at this time I was on a scrapbooking cruise with sweet friends Cathy and Diane:) I then went back to school for 2 days of parent conferences, Halloween and our pumpkin exploration day!  So, I crashed this weekend!

But alas, I have made it to the land of the living.


 My very favorite fall recipe is called Pumpkin Crunch Cake.  It is delicious, but don't even look at it if you are even mildly trying to watch what you are eating!  It makes a Paula Dean recipe look like Weight Watchers!  You can check it out on Pinterest HERE.
Pumpkin Crunch 
My blogging buddies are having a great fall freebie hop on Facebook.  You can check out the link on my Facebook page.  I have so many FREE fall resources now!  Head on over to MY FACEBOOK PAGE to get in on the fun.

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