Thursday, September 27, 2012

First Grade Common Core

lol... I need to  have a giveaway just like these people... I should give it away things to anyone who blogs about it on a certain day... genius!  I foresee this idea catching on (particularly by me soon!)

Well I saw this on a blog and thought, "Who doesn't need more?"

They have a HUGE sample that you can download.  I LOVED it!  These will definitely fit between many of my common core items.  I completely recommend that you go check it out! 

The best thing is that if you blog about it before September 30th and follow some rules- they will send a digital copy to  you for FREE!  YAY!  I cannot wait!  So- hurry up and go check out First Grade Common Core for yourself!  It actually has cute graphics from scrappin' doodles.  :)

Now hopefully I followed all of the rules myself.  :)  I can't wait to "borrow" those rules and give away unlimited things to those that blog about it!  :)  You gotta love BLOG LOVE!

Have a great night and sorry for the double blog post.  Please check out my post from just 30 minutes prior about my common core reading response questions- a giveaway for the first person to correctly guess my favorite 90's boy band!  :)  HINT:  ______________ back.... ALRIGHT!  (Also go check out the first grade workbook- you will be in LOVE!)


Common Core Reading Response

This must be the week that I am finishing some items on my extended To-Do list!  (I actually have midterms due tomorrow and only had 5 left to do but accidentally left them at school! :-(  I'll just go in early to finish them.  :)  )

I started this during the summer and finally finished one half of it and decided to post things on TPT in 2 parts. 

My new district is not using common core this year so I have another year to work on things but I know many of you have already started!  I'm hoping to whip things out so those of you that need them- can use them!  :)

Here is a peak:

These questions were inspired from a few websites that I found and I added quite a few of my own as well.  I wanted them to be in a reading response format.  I work a lot with my first grade students on responding to questions with restating the question so I included a starter sentence for each prompt. 

I also am about 1/4 finished with the reading information text prompts as well. 

I also added a math resource page to my common core deskplates due to a request. 
If you have already downloaded it- go re-download!

I LOVE taking requests- please keep them coming but remember I am:
 1.  At a new district and completely learning how to fit their needs with my style. 
2.  I already have a GIANT to-do list! 
I PROMISE if it goes on my list!  I just also have many other requests on there too.  :) 
I work on them as fast as I can!  :)

New product means a giveaway!  To make it more fair for some non-night owls... the first person to correctly guess my favorite... 90's BOY BAND will receive this for FREE!  :)

Happy guessing and I hope that it brings back some stellar memories!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SALE and CC First Grade Writing Rubrics

Due to an email I received asking when I was posting my writing, I put some finishing touches to it and posted it!  I have more that I want to add but I'll update it as I go.  This way I can share what I have so far to those of you that have been looking for CC friendly rubrics to assess writing or teaching posters.

Here is a peak:

I also am having a 20% off sale starting tomorrow off of everything in my TPT store.

The first 3 people to comment with their email will receive this for FREE!  :)

I also THINK that I am caught up with emailing people back.  Please email if I'm not!  I know someone a couple of weeks ago asked me for my accountability chart but I was sick and never got back to them.  If that person was you- please email me again!

Have a great night!


Monday, September 24, 2012

EDM Readiness Homework and Worksheets

We group students into 5 different groups for math.  Each teacher has one group in their class.  My group is one of the groups that needs a little more help with math.  After one lesson today it was very apparent that EDM is WAY too difficult for my students.

I spent my evening taking unit 2 and attempting to create simplified versions of the daily objective.  I will have students complete these independently as I am working in a small group.

I also wrote parent homework skill letters for students to complete in addition to the chosen EDM homework links that I will have them complete.  The homework items do not correspond to EDM but they are skills that my kiddos need like counting and skip counting.

I posted this on TPT if anyone else is required to teach EDM and needs something for your readiness kiddos to complete!  :)


Friday, September 21, 2012

Student disagreements

I had my first student disagreement today. (Between students not with me!)

I always call them over and serve as mediator. I always have them shake hands in the end and say something like, "Let's be friends" or something. Then I always shock them by saying, "now look them in the eyes and say... OOGA BOOGA.". Up until that point one of them is usually still upset. Then I jump out and make them say it. They always smile and walk off laughing together. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! :-). I don't even know what made me start doing it. Perhaps I read it somewhere??? Or perhaps it was just a funny mistake that worked out well???

Regardless I've been doing this for years and it makes kids make up quickly! :-).

Do you have any tricks up your sleeves?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sight Word and Nonsense Word RTI (binder part 2!)

This is what I complete with my 2 RTI groups based off of AIMSWEB Data:

Nonsense Word Fluency:
I made an alphabet chart so it could "paint a picture" of what we use at my school.

Sight Word Fluency:
I am keeping the second page in a heavy duty page protector.  (They are expensive but are SUPER durable!)

I am super tired but am going to email those that I owe before I go to bed!  Yes- it is only 7:00 P.M.  :)  I only received an hour of sleep last night so I am going to bed before 1 A.M. for once!

Have a great Thursday!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Common Core Comprehension Practice

My school orders the Scholastic News for the entire first grade.  The magazines are interactive but I thought that it might be nice to incorporate common core standards to these magazines.

I created two worksheets with common core questions (which also match the questions that I included on my reading common core assessment.)

I also created the same version with the heading, "Weekly Reader."
You can get at my TPT store.

The first 3 people to leave a comment with their email- will receive it for free!

I still owe a few of you for my birthday giveaway.  If you don't mind- please email me at with your request if I still owe you!  My emails for all of the things I sign up for (Living Social, Bath and Body Works etc.) fill up my inbox daily!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Binders Galore (part 1) and Constitution Day

Just a reminder that constitution day is next week!  I keep it simple with my kiddos because it is tough for them to understand it all.  Here is the link of what I did last year:

I also watched this:
WAY over their head- but at least they saw the cartoon and start singing, "we the people.." by the end and... I enjoyed it because it brings back childhood memories!  :)

I may watch this as well:

I found this poster at Office Max for less than $3.  I am going to write "We the Kids in Mrs. LaSota's Class promise to..."  Then we will complete it together.  I need to laminate it before school tomorrow so I can reuse it each year.  :)


In order to organize all of the new things that I am implementing this year- I have gone binder crazy and have started a clan of binders!

First up are my guided reading binders based off of The Next Step in Guided Reading book.

First I label students with post it notes so that I can easily peel them off and stick them into another group if needed.

I keep the book lesson plans in the binder to make my lesson plans MUCH easier!  If you look closely on my actual lesson plans below- most of them say "see book lesson plans!"  :)

I just fill in a few things each week for the plans.  I am following the plans from, "The Next Step in Guided Reading."

I record notes about the students here. 

As a part of the lesson plans, there is 1 sight word focus.  I made all of the sight words and a sentence dictation sentence on the computer, printed them out and then cut them apart into the baseball sleeve.  Each of the mini manila envelopes holds the letters to make each word.  I have a book made of all of the sight words.  I just simply pull out the sleeve that I need for the week and put it into my guided reading binder.
I use to use magnetic letters but they were always getting jumbled.  Finally I alphabetized each set of letters on cookie sheets but then these got jumbled.  So now- I'm going with the notebook version!  :)
Finally are the sentence dictation books that I keep in the binder each week.


Now are my homework binders. I LOVE this idea. The teachers at my school staple a "mastered" and "not mastered" snack sized baggie into the student homework folder.

Parents are to cut apart the list (that are differentiated in the 2 binders) and practice it at home with their child. When the homework folder returns back to school on Friday- parents should have sorted the cards into the correct bags.

In this binder- I keep the master copies and copied items to go home.

I also have a homework binder that has the Journeys Family Links that we send home weekly, as well as reading log masters and copies of the comprehension worksheets that we send home with students as soon as they master the first and kindergarten sight words.

I have to say that I have spent a fortune on new binders but I am happy to feel organized! :-).


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lakeshore take it to your seat geometry center!

I'm always looking for new hands on math items to add to my math goal tubs. I just received this Lakeshore center in the mail!
I cannot even explain how excited that I was to open it up and get started! Even though I'm not ready for it yet- I definitely busted it open and started playing away!

Here is what is included:
Of course I have to use things in as many ways as possible... I think only a teacher can think of 100 ways to use a baby food jar or paper plates.... So of course having this new shape baby got my reels moving. :-)

Included in the pack are rods of different lengths. :-).
How perfect are those for emphasizing one of our cc standards of lining items up in order of size? :-).

*They can also graph what shapes that they rolled, add the sides and angles (doubles facts) or add the sides/ angles of their first and second shape that they make or roll.  They can just use the die to go on a shape hunt for the shape that they rolled... endless possibilities!  :)

Then there is the main purpose- building the shapes themselves. What better way is there for a kiddo that learns hands on than to make a shape? This item reminds me of the marshmallow and toothpick center activity that has been out for ages. I have always skipped doing it because quite frankly- sharp objects (toothpicks) and 6 year olds often don't go well together!
However the rods are dull and not the least bit sharp! I can finally have my kiddos make shapes without having a million bandages close by!

This is going into my shape goal tub also with laminated making shape worksheets, geoboards, shape flash cards and shape templates.
Here is also a link to some awesome free shape printables! This is from Loryevans blogger page.  I downloaded all of these last year.  I love the little shape people!

I really want my kiddos to do well- but I also really want to see how much they love the new center!  :)  Perhaps we can have an exploration day for just shape things.  :)


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Journeys Reading Curriculum and Raz-Kids

My school adopted the new Journeys Reading Curriculum this year.

Boy oh Boy is there A LOT of information to go through!  We are using the balanced literacy approach so we have three different manuals that we need to filter through each day!  In order to make it a bit more manageable I did a few things:

In the Comprehensive (Comprehension Guide) they have Mini-Lesson principles that it wants you to write on a chart.  Honestly- I love my chart paper (my teammates ordered me the thick colored chart paper and it ROCKS!) and I don't want to "waste" it.  So- I just typed up those ML principles and printed them out.
I'll keep them in a notebook and pull them out each year.

A few times a week you also need to read the Decodable readers-
(Which are those paper books that you have to make-one for each kid!!!!)
On the online site- they have the decodable books and they are in color and projectable!!!  Yes!  One less thing to do!  Seriously- who has the time to make 70 paper books a week??

I was searching more on their online site and saw that they have interactive whiteboard files for all of the phonemic awareness and phonics lessons!!!  I was super excited because I was planning on dedicating my life this year to making them myself.  Their files are way better than what I would have made!

That means I just have to read the questions in the comprehension guide, and a few other items.  Everything else is made or projectable!  :)  What seemed super overwhelming now seems much more manageable!

They also have a section online where you can create a class and assign the leveled readers to your class.  I played around with this for about an hour and couldn't figure out how to insert the class list.  I created my class, and groups but not the actual kiddos names.  Perhaps we didn't pay for this???

I was bummed that I couldn't get it to work. 
Then, I visited my favorite kid website-

I have used them for 2 years.  It is AMAZING!  The kids listen to, read and then take a comprehension quiz on somewhat animated and in color reading a-z leveled books.  They even added the feature that you can print out the corresponding worksheets that go with each book.  I have used this as my "listen to reading" in my class.  I figured that it is the second best thing to working in a small group with me.  I debated and debated whether I should buy the subscription again this year (They raised the price to almost $90 a year!) but remembering that ALL of my students have internet access at home made me look into it further.  Then I discovered until the 14th- they have a $15 off coupon!  So- I am going to bite the bullet- and purchase it again!  It is just such a great tool and I can even assign my students items on there as homework.  I seriously recommend checking it out!  They have some free samples for a few levels that you can check out, videos to watch to learn more and you can sign up for a free 7 day trial. 

One more item to add-
One of the best things about moving to a new district is that each elementary has they very own literacy coach. Mine is AMAZING and super helpful.  She suggested that we might make a chart to display our read aloud books and post them by genre.  So I used the online resources and copied all of the read aloud books for the year.  I printed them, laminated them and glue dotted them to clothespins. 

Finally I backed the definition from Journeys for each genre and glued the signs that I made to paper and laminated them again.  Then I bought the Lakeshore swooping hanging clips.  I clipped each genre sign and will hang this across the back of my room.  Each time that I read a book, I will grab the correct clip and clip it around the genre sign.  I finally have filled up the space above my boards that I didn't know what to put there!  :)

(Photo coming soon!)

Hopefully my husband doesn't read my blog post today!  :) 
If he is- I LOVE YOU and thank you for making the difference in the lives of many kids!  You are so generous with your money!  :-)


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A fantastic find!!!!

I just had to share a fantastic little TPT find!

I was searching for "nonsense words" because I just found out at our data teams that I will have a tier 2 group working on nonsense word fluency.

So- this little baby turned up:

Then, I thought, I LOVE their stuff anyway- so I'll check out if they have any practice items to go with it...

The answer is YEAH!!!!
This is AMAZING and worth EVERY cent!
They even made a second version with the same activities but with different words.  :)

I highly recommend purchasing their 2 short vowel items.  I at first just wanted them for practice items for my tier 2 group.. but instead I am going to use their stuff for my whole class word work.  We have Journey's curriculum and they have weekly spelling words typically following a short vowel pattern.  I'm going to copy their short 'a' practice items for Monday-Thursday next week as my "must-do" word work.  (Our spelling words are all short a words.)

After they finish their "must-do" they will have word work choice to practice their "words to know (sight words)."

I just am super excited!  This is exactly what I didn't know what I wanted.  They even have a game for each vowel.  This works perfectly because word work on Fridays is always word games..... PERFECT!  :)

Ahhh...  I get into so much trouble on TPT... there are so many little treasures out there and I spend a fortune!!!  :-)

What treasures have you found lately on TPT????
(I want to know but my wallet doesn't!)


A great birthday and Grandparents Day!

Thanks for all of those who were able to celebrate my birthday with me!

I have attempted to email everyone their wishes.  Some of you might have received 2 emails because I was trying to make sure that I didn't forget anyone.  If I missed you, please DO NOT be shy and let me know!  :)

I still can take 2 more wishes!!! 

So, the first 2 to comment, leave me your email and what item you would like.  :)

Also- a reminder that Grandparents Day is coming up!!!!  It is too late for me to invite grandparents but I certainly will be doing some activities.
We are going to make a class book out of these.  One of  my lovely teammates told me that she has a friend that has her kiddos put on a wig and shaw/ hat/ cane etc and they take a photo before they write this!  SOOO cute!  I'm going to buy some gear to do this next year so this "after" Halloween season so I can get it cheap!!!

We are going to make these and send it home on Friday.

This is our word work for Thursday and Friday this week!  :)

We are going to read these on Thursday and Friday and complete the story map together afterward.

Questions to answer after one of the books.

Math measurement- using dentures.  :)

Graphing using grandma things and a story problem.

Even though this was the first work day of the week- it sure feels like a Thursday!!!!  Have a great Wednesday tomorrow!  :)