Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Story Element Cards

Comprehension is big and it is something students need to continuously need to work on. Here are 12 cards that are kid friendly with picture cues. There are many different ways they could be used. Here are a few we thought about:
1)  During Guided Reading you could fan them out and hold them out face down. Have each student pick a card and then answer the question.
2) Put the cards in a bucket and have students pick at random.
3) Give each student a set to use during literacy centers.
4) Have a few class sets for the students to grab while at buddy reading, independent reading or the library. 
5) Keep a set of the cards at your circle time spot and pull one  or two each time you read a story to the class.

To download your own set click here! 
ALSO: There's still time for the Scrabble Pack Giveaway! Click here to find out how to qualify! It ends Monday July 4th! And thank you as always for your support!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Furniture!

I am so excited because my parents (thanks to a garage sale, the teacher's best friend!) just acquired for me a cool new item for my antique school desk!  I do not have an actual picture of the desk yet but it looks similar to this:
Now I am wondering, what to do with this awesome desk!?!?  A few thoughts ran through my head, I know that I want the students to use it, and I want it to be a positive thing for them (not time out :-).  Then I thought, I would turn to the experts, you guys!  Leave me a comment and let me know how you think I should use it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Daily Oral Language

First of all, thanks to everyone who is participating in our first giveaway!  Starting this blog has been such a great source of support for both of us and we appreciate all of our followers so much.

In my first grade classroom I have been doing Daily Oral Language as part of my morning work for the past four years.  When I spoke with other teachers we all had the same complaint; the kids could correct the sentences on the board, but they did not apply these grammar skills to their writing.  I started thinking about ways that I could improve this practice and make it more meaningful to my students.  I decided on changing things up a bit.

Now instead of correcting an incorrect sentence, my students are shown a pair of sentences, one written correctly, one written incorrectly.  They have to decide which sentence is written correctly and copy down the correct sentence.  For example:

the cat ran down main street
The cat ran down Main Street.

This practices makes the student think critically about the differences in the sentences and helps them apply grammar rules to their own writing.  Also I found that a lot of the grammar concepts were covered in a similar way on standardized tests, students were asked to discriminate between correct and incorrect sentences.

I am including a set of cards that has some example questions, you can project these, copy them onto the board, or use them as a center!

Daily Oral Language

Sunday, June 26, 2011

50 Follower Giveaway!!!!!!!!!

Feeling the love! First of all, we would like give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who is following us and for your continued support. You guys ROCK! So in honor of this milestone we are having a giveaway! Yay! In order to enter you can do the following for one entry a piece:
1) Let us know you follow our blog
2) Add our button to your page
3) Add us to your blog scroll
4) Advertise our Giveaway on your page
5) Follow us on Facebook

Make sure you leave a comment letting us know which entries you have made and we will create a number generator to pick the winner. We will pick a winner next Monday July 4th. I mean what better way to celebrate the 4th than with a giveaway!;)

This Scrabble Giveaway includes all 26 scrabble letters, over 30 work mats for students to create words, and assessment sheets!  Good luck!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I LOVE these sight word videos. I got mine from the Schoolbox but you can order them through scholastic. They are awesome for helping students learn those all important sight words. I usually have my students get white boards and practice writing the words as they appear.  Students can also write a sentence using some of the sight words from the video.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guided Reading "Ticket out the Door"

Both of our schools participate in the Guided Reading program.  I LOVE this program and think it is extremely beneficial for the students.  The struggle that I have is finding an accountability piece for my first graders.  I know that they are working hard on reading when they are in a small group with me, but what about when they are doing their independent centers?  I had this idea tonight during grad school and I couldn't wait to come home and create!  Here is my "Guided Reading Ticket Out the Door"!  My vision for this writing assignment is not a daily assessment, but rather something I pull out sporadically, hopefully at least weekly, to check what my kids are doing.  It is important for me as a teacher to involve my students in meaningful work, and this is a good way to make sure they understand that what they are doing is purposeful.

Hopefully this is something some of you can use as well!

Reader Hard at Work

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Confessions of a Bookaholic

I love books. I might have a scholastic problem;) So because of that I had to figure out a way to manage all those awesome books and make them accessible for my students. I am planning to extend the libary with even more boxes this upcoming year to accomodate my growing collection.  To contain my books I invested in clear shoe boxes and made labels for my categories.

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I printed and taped the labels to the side of the shoe boxes and stacked them on the shelves with the labels facing out. For some boxes I put two labels on them to consolidate.  

To help my students keep the books organized I used paint sticks. I went to Home Depot and told them it was for my class and they gladly gave me some. I wrote each of their names on a stick and kept them in a bucket near the library and had several mini lessons on how to use them. They did so great that half way through the year I took away the sticks and they continued to put the books back in the correct tub. Success!;)
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To download  your own set of book labels click here!

Be sure to check out our friend 3rd Grade Gridiron for her story about the children's book obsession!
Would love to hear your comments!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shapes and Colors Game Giveaway

Here is a great game to reinforce shapes and colors at the beginning of the year. To download just click on the picture!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Letter and Number recognition

Here is a letter and number recognition color sheet that might help students determine the differences. I know in Kindergarten this is BIG;) Click here to download!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!!!

Happy Father's Day to our dads and all the other great dads out there!

Graphic Organizer-Persuasive Writing

Here's a couple graphic organizers to go along with the interactive writing. To download  all three just click here!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Persuasive Writing

 This was an interactive writing activity I did with my Kindergartners during our Writer's Workshop about persuasive writing. It really helped them catch on and expand their writing instead of just saying "I want it". Typical right?;) This way they knew they needed to write at least three REASONS. It also kept them on topic. After doing this activity my students started really embracing the concept and doing some really great persuasive writing. So if you'd like to give it a try hopefully you will have great results too!

Uppercase and Lowercase Letters

To download click on the picture!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Number Match

Here's an activity that I thought would be great for learning numbers and number words. To download click here!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Getting Back to Basics

There's nothing like doing Kindercamp at my school to remind me to get back to the learning the alphabet. It's a helpful reminder of just what they need to learn at the beginning of the school year. They leave knowing so much that it's easy to forget what helped mold them into the great readers and writers they are. Here is an ABC match game that may be helpful in the beginning of year while they learn their ABCs. To download just click here!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

5 Senses

I don't know about everyone else but I am so glad summer is here! But for some reason I can't seem to stop making activities. I guess the classroom is always on our minds. Here's a 5 senses activity that can be used for a pocket chart or as sorting activity. I thought it might be good for my Kindergartners at the beginning of year and serve as a review in first grade with the sentences. I was going to put the reinforcement sheets in sheet protectors to cut down on copies. Hope it's helpful!

To download click here

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Butterfly Booklet

My very adorable and smart niece (I'm not biased I promise :-) started singing this cute song about the life cycle of a butterfly one day when we were hanging out.  She told me I should share it with my kindergarten class, and I agreed!  To teach me the song, she drew me a storyboard of all the different lines (picture coming soon!).  I took the song, (and cute pictures!) and made it into a book.  This is a great science activity that my students had a lot of success with and enjoyed making.

Get your own by clicking here!

Volcanic Verbs

This is a fun leveled activty we made that can be used in K or First to review verbs.  There are different activities to extend a lesson. 

Download your own by clicking here!