First Grade Common Core

You all know that the latest buzzwords in education HAVE to include something about the Common Core Standards :) I'm sure your district is offering lots of PD these days of how to incorporate the new standards, you're probably learning a new report card system reporting grades in the next couple of weeks, and, if you're like me, you're constantly looking for ways to stretch your kids' minds and really engage them in the new rigorous learning expectations!

Look no further, here is a wonderful resource for any classroom teacher, especially those of us lucky enough to teach First Grade!

This book holds many many ideas to teach the First Grade Common Core Standards that are easy to implement in your classroom tomorrow! Click the link or the picture to snag a copy of your own! :)

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday... looking forward to some good football this afternoon!



Help me with... Math Journals!

We had our bi-weekly Common Core First Grade training-meeting-thingy this afternoon, and I came away feeling like I need to be doing SO. MUCH. MORE. with my class in order for them to really succeed with these new standards! Luckily for me, I have an unusually bright group this go 'round, but that just puts even more pressure on me to stretch them even further! :/

So... I'm doing a Math Workshop rotation in my room now (going on week 3) and it's going fine and dandy. I need to do a better job at planning more differentiated lessons for my Teacher Time, but I'll get there :) My gut is telling me I also need to add in a Math Journal time to my day. And that means I need some good daily Math Journal Prompts.

Here lies my problem. WHOSE DO I BUY?!? I surely don't want to make my own when someone else wonderful out there has an incredible product up on Tpt or TN. :-) So who do you recommend? Are you using someone's math journal prompts in your room? Do the kids love them? Are they getting smarter by the day?? Let me know! Leave me a link! Plug your own product shamelessly!! I wanna know what I can do that's the BEST for my firsties.

Thanks! You're the best! Okiloveyoubuhbye!



All 5 I-Charts!

Hello, friends!!

I hope your week has been a wonderful one - mine was pretty darn good! We are now rockin' and rollin' with all 5 parts to the Daily 5 in our room, and the kids are loving it! I am trying to get better at my small group instruction during this time {it is SO HARD for me not to micro-manage the kids working in their stations, even though they're not really bothering anyone and they're doing their jobs!}, so that's my goal for this upcoming week :) I want to focus on my little kiddos who need me at the table with them, not the kids who are on their own around the room!

Anywho, by popular demand, here are the pics of all of my I-charts, as well as the PDF versions of them for you. However, I got pretty specific with the "where we can do this" part of my charts... you can either cut that part off if you like the rest of it, or you can click the link underneath the pics for the Publisher versions so you can tweak them to fit your needs. :) Be sure to thank the 3am Teacher for the great frame graphics in the PDF! Due to her TOU, I cannot leave the frames in the editable version, but you can grab them from her site if you choose!

Please let me know if you download and enjoy this product :)

Download the PDFs here.
Download the editable Publisher files here.



Walk Now for Autism Speaks!

Hey all! I have just registered for the Kansas City Walk Now for Autism Speaks event, and wanted to share with you why :-)

Not only do I have 2 adorable boys with autism in my classroom this year, I also have the sweetest little nephew who was diagnosed with Autism a few years ago.
Tyler's mom set up a team to Walk in Tyler's name, and, of course I had to join! As educators, we know the deep impact that autism can have on a child's life, but watching it impact a family member just makes it so much more "real"... ya know?

Anywho, we are raising funds for the Walk, and if you'd like to donate in support of Autism awareness, please click HERE to visit my donation page. I'll also add a link to the right side of my blog page if you'd like to think about it and come back later!

Thank you so much for any support you're able to offer :)



Coaching Sheet Freebie!

Happy Sunday, everybody!! I hope you are experiencing the same kind of wonderful weather that we have been in KC this weekend... it was SO nice to be able to finally take the baby outside for a while yesterday without worrying if he would swelter in his travel system! :-)

While the hubby is watching his beloved Chiefs get slaughtered play on TV, I've been working on lesson plans and such for next week. I am a bit behind in my Daily 5 intro lessons b/c of being gone for 1 1/2 days last week with a sick boy. BUT, we are going to hit it hard this week and hopefully be up and running with a full 4 rotations by the end of the week!! On Monday, I'll be teaching the kiddos how to decide if their reading partner needs some coaching or some time when they come to a tricky word. Here's the sheet that they'll put in their book box folder (along with their Check for Understanding check mark and other important papers that need to travel with them and not get squished by books!)

Graphics from Just So Scrappy Too. Fonts from Kevin & Amanda.

If you think you can use this file with your kids, please feel free to click the pic and download from Google Docs. It'll print 2 per page.

Have a wonderful Monday!! :-)



Phonics Word Searches!

Here's my latest little "labor" of love :)

I am always looking for something meaningful for my kiddos to do when they've finished their work early... so here are some word searches the correlate with our basal (StoryTown)! Included are 30 searches, one for each lesson. The searches include the week's spelling and high frequency words. Click the pic to visit my store for a free preview!

Don't teach StoryTown?? Don't worry! These are simple Word documents, and can be easily edited to fit your style! Simply delete the graphic I included (they coordinate with the stories we read each week) and rename the search to indicate the phonics chunk it reinforces! There are searches for short vowels, digraphs, etc. You name it, it's probably there (if you teach first grade, that is...!).

I hope you enjoy! Let me know if your kiddos enjoy them, too!



Lesson Plan Switcheroo

Happy Thursday!! :-) I am home with a sick little baby boy, but during his mid-day nap, I thought I'd share my new lesson plan format with you all instead of doing housework... ha!!

I started out the year with plans that looked like this:

 I have used a layout like this for years now, and I love it! It's customized every year to my schedule... and I can make the boxes larger or smaller depending on how much detail will need to be written for the lesson.

Buuuuut, this year, it just wasn't working for me! :( Our team is diving into the Daily 5 for the first year {and L.O.V.I.N.G. it, by the way!}, and I needed more space to write out what parts of our basal series {Storytown} needed to be taught before each Daily 5 breakout, along with which kids I would pull each session and what I was going to teach them! Plus, to add to that, we don't have reading support on Tuesdays, so we have an extra hour and a half to fill with engaging activities.

Soooo... the new version of my lesson plans was born. I have one page PER DAY now, instead of being able to see the whole week at a glance, but it is going to keep me more accountable and on track, and, most importantly, it will make my small group time much more intentional and focused every day!

{Ummm... SO SORRY for the poor quality :( I don't know what's going on, and baby just woke up, so I can't investigate right now!}

If you think you can use something like this in your room, please click on the pics to download the entire week in an editable format from Google docs! Leave me some love if you like 'em!

Ohmygoodness! Technology and I ARE NOT seeing eye-to-eye today! :( I clicked the link to make sure it worked, but the pages show up all sorts of caddywhompus {is that even how you spell that? My brain gives up!}. If you are interested, please shoot me an email and I'll send a Word doc your way!