Friday, December 30, 2011


I am thankful for my new friends! Even those "closet" friends!  :)

Since there are only 4 people that posted- I was able to use THE HAT program.  :)

Here are the results:

Congratulations Jennifer!  :) 
I will be sending you my 3 files!

I also will be sending my other 3 new friends my newest file too.  :)

Hopefully I can find your email addresses so I can email you this within the next 30 minutes because I am leaving for Canada! If not, just email me at and I will send you your "prize!"  :)

Have a great new years eve blogging world!  ;) 


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Liebster Award! :)

:-p  I am so excited to be awarded the Liebster Award from Claire over at

Thank you Claire for nominating me for this award of up and coming blogs.  You sure can make a gal feel honored!!  I was so excited that I called my hubby and said, "Guess WHAT?!?!?!?"  I think I am far more excited that he was!  :)

This award brings recognition to blogs with under 200 followers. It is a way to support and encourage new bloggers. Once received it needs to be passed on to five up-and-coming blogs.

I am now awarding to:  (I am giving 6 awards because I'm sure at least one of them probably already was awarded.  :))
I LOVE her postings.  I found her while reading on a blog where she is a guest poster.  CHECK her out!  ;)
I found this one when it was on a Wandering Wednesday post at the First Grade Parade.  Check it out if you haven't already!  ;)
I found this little blog TODAY!  It is definitely on my to read list.  She has loads of creative projects!  I can't wait to dive into it more!
This blog belongs to one of my newest followers!  She is very generous with sharing ideas and is super sweet!  (Obviously if she reads my little blog!)  ;)  Please stop by and say, "Hi!"
This blog was a part of First Grade Parade's Wandering Wednesday as well.  There are a lot of terrific ideas- go check it out!  ;)
I also discovered this keeper on First Grade Parade's Wandering Wednesday.  I LOVE this blog full of VERY creative ideas.  Go check it out!  ;)

Thanks again Claire!  ;)


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Writing Workshop


I had a few emails asking about my writing workshop time.  The beginning of the year looks different than right now because I am training the students with writing stamina and teaching them how to use all of the extra writing choice forms.  (These will be discussed below.)

I start with a read aloud on Monday.  I always start with a book that I chose that highlights a specific teaching point.  I inform the students before I start reading to pay attention to ___________ while I read.  This way they can still listen to the entire story without interruption.  After the story is finished we discuss and go back through the book pointing out the specific items.  The mentor texts stay on my brown book shelf all year because we will refer back to them often as needed.

Here is an example of a list of mentor texts:

I purchased a few however I had so many books that I just went through all of my picture books during one summer and determined which books were good for teaching different concepts.  This way I didn't have to spend a lot of money!  Someday I will type up my list.  Right now they have a post-it-note on the book stating what skill I will teach as I use it.  The books with similar skills are stored in the 2 gallon Ziplock bags together. 

I tell my students the genre that I want them to write.  Right now they have to write an entertaining story but they can choose if it is a real, realistic fiction or fantasy story.  They also have the choice if it will be sad, funny or scary.

This is the writing template that I use:

You can get yours here.

On the first 3 Mondays of the month they discuss with partners what story they want to write for the week.  After a few minutes, I ask for students to tell me their topic.  As they tell me their topic I hand the new writing packet to them to fill out.  Students that remain on the carpet- I help them think of a topic before they go back.

I usually NEVER sit down during writing workshop. (Well, unless I am in my wheelie chair sliding from desk to desk!)  On Mondays I typically have my low students dictate their stories.  (Some students need me to write the entire thing- and others just need my support.) I have them first finish pre-writing but when they are ready for drafting- I write their words for them.  This sets them up for success for the remainder of the week and allows me to help the remainder of the class.  if I do not take the time on Monday to assist my needy students- then I will have behavior problems during the rest of the week.

I also allow students to use, "Try it sheets"  This is a strategy that I learned from my amazing cooperating teacher during student teaching.  If a student does not know how to spell a word- they can grab a scrap of paper and try to spell the word on the scrap.  I have stand up question marks that students will sit on their desk when they have a try it sheet or need me for some other reason.  Once I am free- I will work my way through the students with question marks and write how to actually spell the word that they were trying.  I always point out the good sounds that they used.  They write the correct spelling in their dictionary.

At certain points in the year I expect my students to finish parts of the writing process on their own.  At this point in the year my students are expected to complete pre-writing, drafting, editing and with an attempt at revising.

You can check out our Spider Legs revising technique song here.  :)

Once they finish their story for the week they are allowed to choose writing choices.

Here is an AMAZING FREE website full of writing templates such as newspapers, menu writing, wanted posters, recipes etc.

I use sticker stories that I purchased and cannot find where I got them!!!

I allow comic templates:

The last week of each month- the students get out their finished stories and choose their best story.  I collect the others and grade them only on effort and send them home. 

Their best story is published.  I grade this with a rubric.

We have 2 authors a day share their published stories.  Once they read it to the class- I finally send it home.

I use these for our publishing books:

They come with a title page and an about the author page.  I have my students add a copyright and dedication to the back of the cover page.  We also add a cardstock cover.  My students are really proud of their publishing books.

  Someone asked what I do for teaching editing.  Well, I try to use their own writing as much as possible but I also downloaded this amazing item at TPT.  I use it for morning work Tuesday- Friday each week.

If you have any more questions please let me know! :)

Remember that I have a competition going on until DECEMBER 30TH! Right now you have a pretty good chance of winning!!!!  :) 

Please follow me and leave a comment about your favorite holiday tradition on my competition post!!!  ;)


Monday, December 26, 2011

Common Core Base Ten Newsletters

I FINALLY finished these!  I have been enjoying friends and family so much that I am behind on my Christmas break to do list.  :)  I am JUST FINE with being behind schedule too.  ;)

Here is a sneak peak:

I now have 3 of the 4 math newsletters, exit slips, skill cars and class progress monitoring charts completed! 

As a Christmas gift, I will give the 3 sets that I have completed away!

This is all that you have to do:
1.  Become a follower (I have started being ridiculed by my hubby for only having 10 "friends".  :)  One of which is my wonderful mother-in-law!  :))
2.  Leave a comment and tell me your favorite holiday tradition!  (I LOVE reading about these!)

I will download one of my favorite tools, "The Hat" and generate a winner on December 30th!

You can check out the Common Core items here, here and the newest one here!

You can download The Hat program here for FREE!  ;)  I use this for determining random partners in my class or random orders of students.  This was recommended to be a few years ago and I now use it at least once a week in my classroom.

Happy holidays and safe travels!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Reward Incentive Chart

This is a chart that was recommended by a wonderful first grade teacher.  :)

I just tried this out last week and it seemed to work.  I think that I will pull this out at high stressful times!  I put items dealing with our Polar Express day on the boards. 

This is just another strategy to keep around to use when needed!  ;)  If you would like a copy- just email me!  ( :)

Behavior Incentive Chart
This was introduced to me from a friend.  She attended a behavior conference and this was a strategy that was used. 
The student and teacher fill in the chart together.  They fill in rewards that the child would like to earn.  You work from top left to lower right.  You will write rewards in each of the boxes starting with the least of the desired rewards.  The reward that the student wants to earn the most- will be written in the last box. 
Make a new chart each week.  When a child makes a mistake the first box will be crossed off.  This means that they will NOT receive the reward.  Whatever rewards are not crossed off by the end of the week- the child will receive. 
Reward ideas include:
*Using the teacher chair, extra computer time, being the line leader, blowing the recess whistle, picking their buddy first, being paper passer, being the first to choose recess toys, going to a different class for recess, allowed to visit principal, move desk to sit by a buddy etc. 

Changing the Strategy
In my class they can choose one of the following:
·        They don’t have any of the rewards.  Each time that I catch them doing something positive, I make a smiley face on the chart.   This means that they have earned the reward.
o   If they choose this- I often make the chart larger.  I add 2 blank spaces between the reward spaces.  This way I can find as many positives as I need.
·        They have earned all of the rewards but I can take them away.  (This is just like the incentive chart mentioned above.)
Just one more day for us until break!  For those of you already on break- I am SO jealous!  :)


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Time Saving Tidbits!

I had a sweet email from a teacher you shared my same philosophy of "Work smarter not harder!"

I thought it would be nice to share some of the time saving tidbits that you have discovered over the years for school.  (Perhaps we can do a home one for later!) 

1.  I number my students.  That way each year I can just keep the same number on mailboxes, whiteboards, clipboards etc.  I can even buy the cheap folders and spiral notebooks during the summer and number them before I even know who will be in my class.

2.  I don't know about all of you but I HATE grading.  I don't know why but it is my least favorite part of teaching.  I actually do not mind it anymore because I use a system that I discovered (who knows where?) about 3 years ago.
You just need:
File folders labeled with class numbers.  (So you don't have to change them each year!)
A file storage crate.

I teach my students to file their completed work in their file.  I take this home during the week and grade the papers.  This also makes it easy to hand back papers.  :)  I have students turn assessments right into me. 

3.  My students use to just hand me all of their notes and lunch money in the morning.  I have two baskets on my desk labeled, "office notes" and "lunch money".  I have copied lunch count and attendance slips with my name on them and stuck them into the bottom of the basket.  This way my students have to put their belongings into the baskets so that I don't misplace them!

4.  I utilize my parent helpers and send simple things home like my weekly effort sheet.  I have parents label each page with all of the dates that I need for the year.  Then I copy them.  That saves some time.

5.  I created file folders for each week of the year.  (December 1, December 2, December 3 etc.)  I copy things like my behavior chart and stuff them into the correct monthly folders.  I also pre-copy all of my curriculum newsletters so that I have them handy for when they are needed.  I file all of my mystery reader reminders and celebrity of the week reminders and signs all in the appropriate folders as well.  I typically do all of this during the first couple weeks of school.

6.  I created easy to fill in forms for missing school supplies, missing homework etc.  That way I just quickly fill in the blanks and send it home.

7.  DAILY 5!  Need I say more?  ;)

8.  Some of my read aloud books are bagged up by comprehension/ writing strategy.  (Connection bag, inference bag etc.)  This way I can just grab a book when I am teaching a lesson.

What are your time saving tips?????


Monday, December 12, 2011

It is been a while!!!

The hussle and bussle of Christmas is getting to me!  I'd have to say I am loving EVERY minute of it!

I just wanted to share a simple Winter Break homework sheet that I am going to send home.  I haven't uploaded it to TPT- so if you would like a copy- just send me an email and I will attach it.  ;)


Monday, December 5, 2011

math rotations

Due to time constraints and an odd schedule- I have decided to move from 3 math rotations to 2 math rotations.  My lessons won't be as differentiated but it will fit into my day easier.  :)

If you would like a copy- just email me and I'll send you a copy.  :)


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekend News

One of my co-workers has her kids do weekend news.  I decided to try it out this year.  I just revamped it so that my students will practice some non-fiction components.  They will have to write the headline, draw a picture, write a caption and finally write a short story. 

Click the photo of it below to take you to TPT where you can down it for FREE!  :)

Have a wonderful week!  :)


Saturday, December 3, 2011


This is non teaching related but I'm too excited not to share!

My sister recommended this website to me:

It is free to create a username. Have you ever heard about It seems like a similar concept. I believe all items are on the site for only one-two days. It has home goods, shoes, clothing, assessories etc. As I was shopping it even took items out of my cart because it will only save them for 10 minutes. It was easy to click, "add back to my cart." It is the type of website that once it sells out- it is out!

If and T.J. Maxx were to have a child- ideeli would be it!
For example:

This Paula Dean 4 QT stainless steel pot is on sale for $59.99 at Kohls.

The same pot at Ideeli is $39.99.

This Paula Dean item is on sale for $34.99.

At ideeli it is $14.99.

I just ordered a few things. My sister has already been ordering for a month and she said the quality is amazing.

Just wanted to share such a great website!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Math Fact Practice

This is something that I have been using for a while but just revamped. 

You can get your copy here!  It is still on sale until December 1st!  ;)


Monday, November 28, 2011

My To Do List

I was lying in bed last night and couldn't stop thinking about school.  I managed to NOT think about school since Friday of last week due to the holidays, food, family and friends. 

I made a giant To Do List: (Things that I need to make for my classroom)
*Finish my common core newsletters/exit slips
*Add sticker charts to the common core
*Start reading common core newsletters (to supplement the Daily Cafe newsletters)
*Work on Focus board signs and labels to go with common core
*Work on my editing/peer editing resource pack
*Create more writing forms but with a space to add a detail.
*Make more sailboat fluency phrases
*Create a plus0, 1, 2 and minus itself, 0, 1, 2 math worksheet and poster pack
*Create a plus and minus ten pack (Also finding ten)
*Create a missing addends pack
*Create adding 3 digits pack
*Create mid-term math evaluations for math skills
*ATTEMPT to make poems to go with fact strategies!!!
*Create a winter break and spring break homework to do list.  (I hope to create "real life" things to practice or things that can be completed in the car.)
*Create new/ supplement my math goal I Can charts with common core
*Create new blooms questions to go with math common core.

AHHH!  This is what I do late at night!  At least I am chipping away at it now!  Once these are finished- I'm sure that I will find something else to do as well!  ;)  The good thing is that all of the common core things won't be needed until next year!

It is also Cyber Monday!  To celebrate- my TPT store will be 20% off from today through December 1st!  In addition use the TPT code for an extra deal today only!  Cyber-Monday


Sunday, November 27, 2011

My New Blog Design!

I am so grateful to Jenn over at finally in first and dream team designs for designing my blog!  I LOVE what they did!  You will probably learn quickly from reading my blog and my TPT items that I am not a creative little being.  Almost my entire family is artistic and all of my wonderful k-1 teaching friends but I do not have an artistic bone in my body!

I am so happy to see my paint shop created header go!

Thanks again to the wonderful Jenn!  If you need a new look, stop by dream team designs!   She has a great questionnaire that you answer and her blog is super easy to navigate!  She emailed me right away to confirm that she received my request and let me know that I was on the waiting list.  I always jumped for joy when I saw that she emailed me.  ;)

Big hugs for Jenn.  :)


Monday, November 21, 2011

What I'm Thankful For Linky Party!

Yay!  I am going to attempt to participate in my first Linky Party!  I sure am attempting this blogging thing slowly! 

1.  What are you thankful for in your classroom?
Oh gosh there are so many things- I'm a very lucky gal!  I want to say my projector!  It definitely saves me and is a terrific teaching tool!

2. What person are you most thankful for?

First off- my readers of my blog!  It makes me feel super important!  You all ROCK!  :)

Don't tell him- but I'm definitely VERY thankful for my hubby!  He deals with all teacher stress and "attempts" to even listen!  He cooks, he cleans, fixes my forever dying car, builds mirrors and bars and is sometimes known to help grade papers.

3. What 3 blogs are you most thankful for?
Sooo... many!  Here are just SOME.. :) and
These two blogs are full of FREE ideas!  They are even bookmarked on my phone!  I can't get enough!!!
Their mini-units are terrific!  I have purchased so many on TPT!  I just can't keep up with their super creative ideas!  I just love them!

4. What guilty pleasure are you most thankful for?
Made for T.V. movies!  Talk about lounging around!  I can stay in my P.J.'s and just watch these ALL day long!

5. What are you most thankful for?
My little family and my AMAZING friends!  ;)  Mushy- I know!!!! :-D  Look at this bunch... who couldn't be thankful for this many people willing to shove themselves into one of those tiny photo booths?  :)  My eye is in the lower left!  :)


Saturday, November 19, 2011

donors choose

My students have been very motivated with our publishing books from Lakeshore.

I have had my students complete one drafting story each week.  At the end of the month they have been asked to choose their best story to publish.  They then get to publish in Lakeshore's publishing books.  My students love these and extra motivated to write!  I only purchased 3 packs in August and quickly determined that these won't be enough!

I also found blank hardcover books at Lakeshore as well.  I would love to use these for the last month of school.  When I described theses, many of my students were very excited!  A few of my students said that their parents have a book like that from when they were in elementary school. 

I just submitted my first request for these items on donors choose.  Has anyone ever filled an order from  here before?  I was confused regarding the $30 donors choose donation added to the total.

Feel free to check out my donors choose website!  If you are in a giving mood, please feel free to donate as well!  ;)



Monday, November 14, 2011

Common Core Measurement and Data Newsletters and Exit Slips

I just finished my common core measurement and data newsletters and exit slips!  I'm on a roll now that conferences and grade cards are over!  :)  It is amazing how we feel like we have more "free time" when those extra duties are over!  ;)

Here is a peak:

You can download your own HERE!  ;)

I also created many of these newsletters a few years ago that will no longer be first grade standards.  I have uploaded them on TPT to download for FREE!  ;) 

They also are included in each of the common core newsletter sections when you purchase them on TPT.  It is just a lot easier to upload them to TPT than google docs.  Google docs and I are not friends.  My documents always look funny... :-(

I had a great Monday with my little ones- I hope that all of you did too!

Sweet dreams-
Danielle :)


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fairy tales


Can I tell you that I purchased the most amazing item on TPT today?  It is a unit on fairy tales that covers 10 different fairy tales.  Each day has some sort of comprehension map to go with your read aloud story, a writing prompt with cute paper and usually some sort of math activity. 

For example:  For Cinderella the math activity is a telling time sheet.  :)  So cute!

I am going to copy these to use during the LONG haul between winter break and spring break.  I think that I'll dedicate a day to each fairytale.  I think that it will help the kids and I stay energized! 

Head on over to TPT and check it out here!  It is by far the best item that I have purchased from there!
 (I promise that I DO NOT know her!) I just don't want you to miss out on such a great item!  :)

Have a great week!



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Geometry Common Core Standards

I decided to post my common core standard items in chunks!  This way I can post them as I finish them! 

Here is a peak at a few of the items included:

You can find them here.  I also have included 7 Math Mention Newsletters that I wrote that covered old Ohio First Grade Standards. 

I also ran across something that I added to my wishlist on TPT.  I haven't purchased them well but it looks like they would go well with my assessments, newsletters and exit slips.  :)

Happy Saturday!



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sight Word Games

I ran across this site and thought that I'd share.  :)

I LOVE it because not only are there many easy ideas to implement but Word documents are included so that you can type in your own words and print!

I typed up my yellow and red words in the football tackle game and will be cutting the lamination this weekend!  I can't wait to play with my little friends!



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Common Core

I LOVE receiving mystery gifts in my mailbox at school!  Last week I found 3 Common Core Clinics workbooks in my mailbox.  I asked my secretary if she put them there but she said no.  My guess is that I have them because I am the grade level rep.????

I FINALLY took a few minutes to flip through them.  I absolutely love them.  It is like a tiny textbook/workbook using the new common core standards.  It even has a dictionary with terms in the back.

I can't wait to figure out if these are just samples- and if they go more in depth or if this is the actual workbook.

Here is the link to the workbooks.

I also have been revamping my Math Mentions Newsletters.  I am re-writing them to go with the common core standards and I will also be including an exit slip and skill cards to go with each subject.  Since I already have many written for counting money and "old" standards, I will be including them in the pack as well.  I hope to have these posted on TPT in the next 2 weeks!

Here is what they look like so far:

I hope all with Levy's on the ballot did well today!  I'll be crossing my fingers for you!

Have a great Wednesday tomorrow!

-Danielle :)


Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Boy Who Cried Bathroom

We started our class book, The Boy Who Cried Bathroom, a LONG time ago!  We finally finished it!  We just have to publish!

Here is the non storybook form.  I thought they did a good job!  I coached a bit on using conversation in the beginning. 

I just adore how much my class LOVES to write!  I would get out the drafting of this story as a reward!  :)

You can definitely tell that we had been discussing inferring from their, "Mrs. White crossed her arms and squinted her eyes!" 

This also came at a great time to introduce revising.  I started holding back on introducing revising until the second grading period because most of my kiddos are not ready for it. 

If you haven't read Jennifer Jacobson's, No More, "I'm Done": Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades, I highly recommend it!  I saw her at a conference 5 years ago in Michigan and she completely changed how I teach writing!  When this book first came out you could actually view the entire book for FREE at the publisher.  I read the entire book and STILL purchased it!  It really is that good!

The reason why I brought up Jennifer Jacobson's book is because she uses a revising strategy called "spider legs."  My kids and I made up a spider legs song to the tune of the "spider man" song.  My kids absolutely loved using this strategy with our class book. 

I was so impressed how my students really reflected and said, "Now I think we need to add the words, 'his friend' because I don't know if Raymond is a teacher or a student."  All I did was write and call on students.  They gave all of the ideas and revisions.  Some I was a little skeptical about like the, "I thought that I was going to pee my pants!"  However I said, well you are the authors and you are thinking about your audience and what they would like to read.

The best thing about this class book is that my students keep referencing it when they hear that someone is lying.  "You have fooled Mrs. LaSota too many times!  How will she know when you are REALLY telling the truth?"

My kids also had a great idea to also write this as a play!  I can't wait because that will definitely address ANOTHER standard!  ;)  Who would have thought that this one class book idea would last this long and have so many teaching moments??

Now I am finished posting for today!  Happy Saturday!



Accountability Buddy Part 2!

I had such a crazy week!  I ended up calling in sick Thursday and Friday because I felt horrible and my puppy ate my computer cord.  I know, I sound like one big lame excuse! 

My patient little giveaway winners JUST NOW received their documents!  Sorry for the delay!

I revamped my accountability buddy documents just to break the day into morning and afternoon.  It has been working rather well!  My custodians are AWESOME!  They will even pop into the room during the day, make eye contact with my little one and then leave.  :)  I hear my morning buddy praising my little one for the smiley faces.  I also hear the buddy asking what they will do to get the big face because they is what they expect. 

I am still new to using google docs.  Sometimes it seems easier than other days!  I will attempt to load it here in word format so that you can change the social story and accountability sheet to meet your needs!  You can get it here

We all have to stick together through these tough years!  :)



Monday, October 31, 2011

Request a FREEBIE!

This going to be a LONG week!  We have our first round of conferences this week.  I still am trying to wind down from our Fall party from Friday and our annual tailgate!

I am beat already and don't have the energy to post!

So, the first 3 people to comment on this post with their email and the name of their top wish for one of my TPT items will get it for FREE!

Here is my store link.  Happy shopping- remember the first 3 to post their email and the product that they would like will receive it for free!  ;)  I figured that I'd make it easy!  ;)

-Danielle :)


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Accountability buddy

My principal suggested that I try giving one of my students an accountability buddy.  I asked my wonderful custodians (one during mid-day to check in and one to check in at the end of the day) to check in with my little guy. 

I created this form and social story to try out.

If you would like a copy to tweak and make your own, just email me at and ask!  I will send you a copy!  :)

Have a very happy Wednesday evening!



Monday, October 24, 2011

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Round 1 of our parent-teacher conferences are next week!

Some of my pre-conference forms have been rolling in and I have noticed very similar questions that have been asked.  I created a handout to give my parents at conferences.
I also give each parent a list of quarterly expectations, an apple and my students make an apple shaped parents are teachers too poem.

These are the items that I show parents during conferences:
-Their child's DRA, fluency and sight word graph (quarterly expectation is labeled)  You can download these for FREE here.
-Statistics from my class DRA, fluency and sight words in graph form.  (I do this so I can show parents where their child lies in my class.  When I first started this I was unsure if it was a good idea but I keep doing it because I have many parents that don't realize that I have many students equally as high as they their child etc.)
-I also spend the time creating an action plan to help their child with a skill (either to catch up or enrichment.)


Sunday, October 23, 2011

1st Grade Common Core Standards Revised

I revised my recording common core standards to include skill cards.  If you already purchased it you can re-download it to receive the skill cards.  ;)

Here is a peak at the new cards!  ;)

These are yet another option of how you can record your student mastery.  My fantastic kindergarten team at my school use skill cards.  When they introduce a skill, they add a skill card to book rings for each student.  When a student masters the skill, a sticker is added to the back of the card.  I started using skill cards 3 years ago using Ohio Standards. 
These are new skill cards for the 1st grade common core standards.  :)

Have a fantastic Monday!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Need for Change

This year is a more challenging year than ever before.  I have 25 students that are divided by reading either almost a second grade level OR they are under my reading expectation.  I really only have about 1-2 students that are right where I expect them to be at this point in the year.  With that being said, I also have half of my class that is having a hard time being independent.  I love the daily 5 and have used it for 5 years but I have to adapt my teaching this year to meet the very diverse needs of my students.

Here is my plan:

I am planning on having my comprehension group (most of them are very independent workers) monitor their own learning.  I am completing giving them their materials and letting them go!  *Please change the word "their" to 'they' above!  :)

I will be teaching the remaining 14 with the accuracy group.  You will notice that most of it is completed in whole group or just quickly with a partner. 

I created sight word practice sheets that are the words that cannot be sounded out for my accuracy group to complete as I am teaching a quick comprehension lesson to my comprehension group.

I also have a 15 minute read to self time daily that I only introduce and hand out new leveled readers to students.  I have been unable to do groups due to the lack of independence in my room this year.
After I introduce the book, I have students read one on one with me.  This allows me the freedom to walk around and make my presence known.  :)

My students have needed something to hold them more accountable during read to self.  I was inspired by Hilary Lewis' response homework logs and created a reading response notebook using the same idea.  My students read one book, then fill in their reading response and after that just read to self for the rest of the time. 

I have an hour long writing workshop time which is working very well.  Almost all of my students are very engaged during this time.  I am very pleased with their eagerness to write.   

We also have a ten minute long read to someone time.  During this time I am still only walking around and monitoring.  I am hoping to fit some more structured teaching in here soon!

This is all new to me... no small groups!!!  Any suggestions?!?!?



Friday, October 21, 2011

Turkey Unit is Finished!

I finished my turkey unit just in time to make all of the copies!  November is a BUSY month with parent teacher conferences so I always try to copy what I can ahead of time!

Here is a peak:

You can get your copy here.  :)

I will take a photo of my students' turkeys.  They are hilarious!  For the first time ever I had someone disguise the turkey as a chain saw!  I also had princesses, asparagus (they said, "Who eats that stuff anyway?"), rabbits etc.

Happy Friday evening!  To any central Ohio teachers- I hope that you enjoyed your COTA day!  :)  I spent mine napping and watching pay-per-view movies!  :)



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Animal Report Collaboration!

I have been really proud of my kids this week.  I normally teach animals in the Spring when their writing skills are more developed.  The first grade teachers decided to teach it in the Fall and form a shared animal hallway display.  (I will post photos as soon as we finish!)

I had my students write reports together with the simple report form that I created.  As a part of the report they have to create a poster with facts.  They had to discuss and decide together on the background, border and heading for their animals.  I just LOVED listening to their logic and how they decided to compromise.  "Well, I want to make green stripes and you want to make pink polka dots so why don't we make green polka dots?"  I was just gushing with pride!

I took a lot of pictures but this is the ONLY one that you cannot see their little faces. 

They also have been doing well with their animal report publishing.  This photo is still missing the introduction and conclusion pages because those group members are finishing it up.

I can't wait to use and develop more group projects to do this year because they did so well! 

Tomorrow is the last kid day for this week!  Yay!  ;)