Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Book of Songs and Rhymes Freebie

My kindergartners are really loving the back to school songs and rhymes from our reading series Journeys. I made them each their own song and rhyme book to take home when we are done.

As we learn each rhyme, we work together to find and circle the rhyming words. We circle each pair of rhyming words with a different color crayon. 

If you would like a copy of this book, just click on over to my facebook page. It's one of my facebook freebies!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Monday, August 26, 2013

Kindergarten and First Grade Writing

Today's goal in first grade was to start and finish our very first essay. We succeeded! I do a lot of these types of writing activities throughout the year with my young writers because this graphic organizer really helps my students write solid paragraphs.

First, we brainstormed what first graders
 are, have, and can...
Then, we chose our favorite from each column
 and circled it.
Next, we copied our favorite from each column
 onto our writing web.
Finally, we copied all of our sentences onto the stationary.

They all did a great job! This writing activity is part of my Back to School Language Activities for First Graders.
To help my students strengthen their paragraph writing skills, I also have these graphic organizers in my Writing Through the Fall, Winter, and Spring Packs too!

My kindergartners did a great job completing their page in our Who Am I? class book.

You can find this book for free in my teaching store.
It is newly updated!
I made my cover long before I started creating on Teachers Pay Teachers, so mine looks a little different! Click here to download the templates.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My First Week in Pictures

Like many of you, I am happy to report that I survived my first of school. I'd be lying if I said it was easy! Since I taught my first graders when they were in kindergarten, they came to me already familiar with my procedures and I was actually able to start stations today. Here are some pictures of what they did...

At the Grammar Station, they made sentences with Lakeshore's Sentence Building Learning Center. I had some paper there for them to write some of their favorite sentences.

At the Phonics Station, they played Bingo. My phonics station will be used for spelling, but we didn't start Journeys yet, so I just put out some fun activities for the children to use, so they could get used to our station procedures.

At the Listening Station, they thoroughly enjoyed Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and I Love School, by Philemon Sturges.

This is my library, and we call this station Read to Self. I am doing my own version of the Daily 5. Daily 8 to be exact! We started building our stamina on Wednesday. The children started with 3 minutes, just like the book suggested. Then, they read for 5 minutes. And then 7 minutes! They were supposed to go for 10 minutes today, but we ran out of time and didn't get to it. However, the children who went to Read to Self, followed all of the suggestions from our Read to Self anchor chart. They all read for 15 minutes! It was a beautiful sight! They didn't even realize I took their picture!

At the Word Work Station, they practiced the Journeys back to school words. This is my newest Journeys game, Read it, Make it, Write it. It kept them actively engaged the entire time.

At the Work on Writing Station, the children used my School Supplies Scrambled Sentences activity. They put the sentences in order, and began writing them in their booklet.

Here is my Writer's Notebook Station. They children can write whatever they want. Most of them used the Writing Topics Cards to help generate ideas. They were happy to see them again this year, as they were a huge part of their kindergarten writer's workshop last year.

The only station that was not open today, was Meet With the Teacher. I wanted to keep myself accessible to help answer questions and to make sure our first station experience was a success. At one point, though, I told the children that they were on their own because I was going to pretend to have a small group at my teacher station. They got a kick out of watching me teach my invisible children how to read! All kidding aside, this was very helpful to me, because it made me realize that I would have to rearrange my teacher table to make room for my small groups. 

Once I start Journeys, I will have 2 whole group lessons, Monday through Thursday. My first whole group lesson will be about 30 minutes and will cover HFW, phonics, spelling, and grammar. This will be followed by 4-20 minute station rotations. I will meet with 3 reading groups a day. During the fourth rotation, I will meet with my Tier 2 and/or Tier 3 students. My final whole group lesson will cover the comprehension skills and strategies for the week. This will be followed by a short writer's workshop. Friday's will be reserved for testing and seasonal/thematic activities. Here is an image of what my rotation schedule will look like...
Since I don't have a teacher station yet, today, I replaced all the teacher stations with another round of Read to Self.

Next week, we will continue to build our stamina for Read to Self, and continue stations. We also have the SAT for 4 days, so first grade will be very, very busy!

I'll be back this weekend to let you know who the lucky winner is from my Learning Resources Giveaway! Right now, it's 7:00 PM and I can hardly keep my eyes open!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Create a Classroom Community and Learning Resources Giveaway

Today was my first day of school! It was fun and I am so tired. I see first grade in the morning and kindergarten in the afternoon. Kindergarten wasn't in my room longer than 5 minutes, when one little cutie said, "Can you talk faster? I want to go home now!" So, in true form, I said, "Sure! I can talk super fast!" And I started using my super duper fast voice and they all started laughing. 
Gets them every time! 

Since I'm so tired, I'm just popping in fast to tell you how I am going to start each day so that I can quickly create a positive classroom environment. Once I am done with the morning chores (collecting lunch money and paperwork), which usually takes me about 5 minutes, we will all gather on the carpet, standing in a circle, holding hands. Together, we will recite our classroom promise. Then, like I did as a girl scout, I turn to the child on my left, smile at him/her and gently squeeze his/her hand. That child turns to his/her left, and does the same. I did it today, on my first day, and the children loved it. We decided that starting each day with a smile and a squeeze, makes us feel really good!

Would you like a copy of my classroom promise? 

This is a picture of it last year and the posters have been updated.
This year, my door is yellow, but I didn't have a chance to take a new picture.

Click here to download it for free!

In other news, I recently posted photos of my new classroom and promised you two giveaways. I am so happy to be able to offer a 4-pack of magnetic storage pockets from Learning Resources!

I am using 2 of them to hold my agenda cards and my dry erase markers. These are the markers for just ME to use. Free of little germs! LOL!

I haven't hung these two pockets yet, but will most likely use them to hold whole group activities, like word cards, letter cards, and small activities, so they are always ready for me. The pockets are very sturdy and super magnetic. I love how they are both functional and attractive!

Would you like a set of magnetic storage pockets for your classroom? Of course you would! Just enter my giveaway using the rafflecopter below. There are only 2 mandatory entries, but lots of other ways you can enter to help increase your chances of winning.

The last thing I'd like to tell you, before I go to bed (it's not even 9:00 here!) is that I made a new game for those who use first grade Journeys. 

Students place a HFW card under read it and read it out loud. Then they make it, using alphabet letters. Last, they practice writing the word a few times. I included 3 optional recording sheets. It also includes 6 boards, which should be printed and laminated. Since it contains the first grade Journeys review words, my students will start playing it this week. Can't wait!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back 2 School is No Joking Matter Blog Hop

I am so excited to start off our Freebielicious 
Back 2 School is No Joking Matter Blog Hop!

If you want to start at the beginning of the hop, click the image below.

Monday is my first day back to school. 

Whether or not I actually show up remains to be seen...

Have you seen this video on why we need the common core? 
Click on it and prepare yourself for some serious laughing!

For more laughs, click on Jennifer's button below.

But, before you leave me, I just wanted to let you know that my entire teaching store will be on sale Sunday and Monday. Teacher's Pay Teachers is hosting a HUGE back to school sale. If you use the code BTS13, you can save even more money! Just click on the image below to start shopping!

Thanks Lidia Rb for the cute button!

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard