Category Archives: Learning something new

Valentine Activity BUNDLE

February Fun for your CLASSROOM

How to keep the kiddos engaged, focused, and still learning during February?

Is it POSSIBLE?  And… easy teacher prep?

I’m IN!  Tell me HOW! 

Centers

Easy prep, differentiated, February-themed, and easy to do.

Here is some February center help.

Valentine Reading, Writing, Grammar, & math.

In a BUNDLE!

( Bundles Save $$$) 

How about MORE February Centers?

Check out ALL of my February resources in my TPT store.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These posts may help:

625 Valentine Cards? Where do we put them?

Long Vowel Picture Puzzles

Love & Kindness for Valentine’s Day

 

Addition and Subtraction Task Cards
428 CARDS
107 pages … 4 to a page
Addition and Subtraction to 20
Missing Addends

First Grade Writing – NONFICTION

First Grade Writing

So…we have taken the step  jump  LEAP into writing

NON-FICTION.

As a Title 1 teacher

with half of my class CELDT Levels 1&2 ( low English),

I am ALWAYS trying to give my kids more vocabulary, visual clues, and

FRONTLOAD information

…before we WRITE!

So this week…was

REINDEER  WEEK!

I was going for REAL REINDEER.

We read books, watched VIDEOS, did real research ( yes, ONLINE!)

We even attempted to watch the

REINDEER.CAM

Can’t show kiddos in my district…

TOO MUCH SANTA!

I know…don’t go there!

So …I kept it real!

ONLY REAL REINDEER!

I was going for NON-FICTION!

They did great!

As an adult, I felt they had mastered

 a LOT

of information!

What do reindeer LOOK like?

Where do they LIVE?

What do they EAT?

( One of our movies mentioned MUSHROOMS…

BOY did they pick up on that!)

And then…

what makes them different

 (special )

from

other ANIMALS?

Here are some of our writings…

(Don’t judge….we have NOT edited for CONVENTIONS..

Just  CONTENT!!  🙂

Sorry pics are turned…

Can’t get them to TURN! UGH!

No where…no how…

did I   MENTION

SANTA  or   RUDOLPH!

99%  of my students wrote

that the important thing about REINDEER is…

THEY PULL SANTA’S  SLEIGH

AND

THE LEADER IS…RUDOLPH!

And THAT is NON FICTION!

HAHAHAHA

But that is their

 PRIOR  KNOWLEDGE!

SO CUTE!

They brought it into their writing!

Let their VOICES be heard!

And so…

ADULTS  BE  AWARE!

The little ones WILL be HEARD!

I LOVE TEACHING FIRST GRADE!

They make me GIGGLE!

If you need some writing help…

WRITE  ON!

ENJOY!

Write On! Journal Pages with Support!

 

YOU want to…P.P.Paint ????

Just hearing the 

“P A I N T”

word.

Sends shivers down my back!

I have nightmares of 

spilled water, ruined paintings,

our janitor YELLING ,

“NO!  STOP! NOT ON THE NEW CARPET!”

 Ok…NOT yelling…but  you know…”NO!”

So, I guess

24 …   6-year-olds

sitting at desks, 

painting beautiful pictures

was NOT was I thinking about!

AND

I SHOULD HAVE BEEN!

I admit…it was ALL about ME!

WHAT WILL  I  HAVE  TO “Deal With”?

And you know what?

NOTHING.

Every time we paint

(and I try to do it once a month)

THEY AMAZE  ME!

Clean, quiet, detailed, HAPPY!

They worked for about 45 minutes…

TOTALLY  ENGAGED!

(I wish some of MY lessons were SO ENGAGING!)

I start with my BFF…

PINTEREST!

I have some GREAT pins on my boards.

Check them out!

This months “painting inspiration”came from

Elyse 

@

PROUD to BE PRIMARY

And now we are…
ALL ready for JANUARY!

Here’s a few of ours!

They are sooooo cute!

AND

NO   SPILLS!

I think they are getting the HANG OF IT!

Duh…   you mean with

PRACTICE

we get BETTER!?

I wonder what wonderful teacher gave them that ADVICE???

Anyways…

we will PAINT!

And we will PAINT..a  LOT!

Next month… 

I’m thinking SNOW, and Penguins, and Nature Scenes.

Maybe some “still life”…    Hmmmm.

MONET!     DEGAS! 

Watch out WORLD OF ART…

HERE  WE  COME!

Check out pinterest for more ideas!

We get a “Literacy” DO-OVER : Shared Reading

And a FREE Balanced Literacy resource to help you get STARTED

2022 is the Year of LITERACY!

 Because 2021 was so BAD….we get  DO-OVER!

We get a “LITERACY ” do-Over”!

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR’s PLAN!

*DISCLAIMER…  I know the Science of Reading is the NEW “go-to” for teaching Reading.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I am learning. I have been teaching reading to FIRST GRADERS for 30+ Years. AND I AM ALWAYS  LEARNING. SO… I hope YOU are open to new ideas & “reusing” OLD ideas to help our “littles” learn. If this helps YOU – Yeah! ( Jan. 2022). 

The Why? The What? and The How?

Balanced literacy has been defined as  “an approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001)

Fountas & Pinnell have been the guiding resource for Balanced Literacy. Today we listen.

It is an approach to teaching. NOT a curriculum. It is HOW we teach our students to be independent readers and writers. It is NOT what books we use to teach them.

Balanced Literacy has been defined in “components” or  “pieces” of literacy instruction.

This series will focus on the components of a complete BALANCED LITERACY program. We will focus on clear and concise definitions. Definitions that educators can discuss in collaboration.

A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.

The 8 components we will focus on are:

  1. Read Alouds
  2. Shared Reading
  3. Guided Reading
  4. Independent Reading
  5. Modeled / Interactive Writing
  6. Shared Writing
  7. Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
  8. Word Work

Each week we will focus on one area of Balanced Literacy and share experiences,  teacher tips, and resources to support and expand our Balanced Literacy repertoire. Start 2022 with the plans to implement BALANCED LITERACY!

This week:   Shared  Reading.

Last week we discussed Read Alouds. This week is about  Shared Reading.

How is shared reading different from a read-aloud?

Shared reading, involves quite a bit of pausing to teach or engage kids in practicing a skill. When doing a read-aloud,  go through the book a bit more quickly, stopping less frequently.

The other most important difference between shared reading and a read-aloud is that during shared reading, kids have their eyes on the print. During a read-aloud, you may show the pictures to students, but they are not usually able to see the words clearly. Since students can see the text during shared reading, you are able to teach things like decoding more easily.

Learning At the Primary Pond  

Shared reading is a part of the balanced reading model (read aloud, shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading).

It is a 15ish minute block of time within that model that should be practiced daily.  Simply stated it’s the “We do.” part of the gradual release model.  This element is crucial.  It’s time for the teacher and students to practice together.

Mrs. Richardson’s Class

The READ ALOUD is done BY the teacher FOR the students.

Shared Reading is done WITH the students.

A Poem, a Big Book, A chart. Any text where the teacher and the students can see the text, and read it together.

Shared Reading vs Read Aloud

Education.com

It is important to teach what “really matters” connected to a shared text. “We always want students to leave each reading experience enriched by the language and the text because of the shared approach, so we shouldn’t find hundreds of vocabulary words and instructional opportunities in a single text.

Some of  the many benefits of shared reading

  • building vocabulary
  • developing understandings of story structure
  • demonstrating reading strategies
  • entire-class reads a common text
  • all read the large text
  • high engagement

There are many types of print for Shared Reading.  Big books, charts, and poetry are some resources for teachers to read WITH students.

Here some great educators share their resources.

What is Shared Reading?

Learning at the Primary Pond

Shared Reading

The Teaching Texan

Shared Reading

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

The main goal of shared reading is to engage students with the text. It is to share a reading experience. Everyone can read together and then participate in a rich discussion, writing, or response to the text.

In summary, Shared Reading is a reading experience where both teacher and students read a large text, together. A chart, a poem on a smartboard, or any other BIG text, where the teacher reads WITH the students using self-question and think aloud reading strategies. The goal is to model fluent and expressive reading. The students  INTERACT with the text while reading WITH the teacher and then through discussions, writing, and/or thinking for themselves.

These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

Read Alouds

These resource books for TEACHERS may be helpful for YOUR reading.

Shared Reading with Big Books

Shared Reading with Big Books

Shared Reading

Shared Reading

Kids with Capes

HamerayPublishing

I hope YOU are prepared to practice DAILY  Shared Reading in YOUR classroom!

Stay tuned for next week… Week 2 Guided Reading.

Please share with friends.

Leave me a comment…How do YOU use Shared Reading in YOUR classroom?

FREEBIE  ALERT! 

Close Reading for LITTLE ONES!

FREE

FREEBIE ALERT! CLICK HERE!

 

Who NEEDS a Self-Checking Long Vowel Phonics CENTER? ME! (Hands UP)

 Long Vowel Picture Puzzles for Phonics Centers.

Most centers are my nemesis.

My nemesis.  Setting them up. Making sure they are running CORRECTLY. And then storing them for another year! UGH!

But. What if you had a PHONICS center that was SELF CHECKING, kids enjoyed so they did it OFTEN, and it could stay out for a longer time because KIDS WANT TO PLAY WITH IT!

Yes, please!

How about a LONG VOWEL picture PUZZLES for Phonics centers!

WINNER! WINNER!

Long Vowel Picture Puzzles

The Puzzles are of one picture.

Long Vowel Picture Puzzles long a

The kids have to build a word  AND make a picture.

It is self-checking because if the picture is not put together correctly,

they are not done. The kids can use the completed words in

journal writing, word lists, or word family word walls.

The possibilities are ENDLESS!

The best part…they LOVE IT!

Long Vowel Picture Puzzles long I & o

Kids LOVE putting together puzzles!

How about picture puzzles with 4 letter LONG VOWEL words?

Most have SILENT E, but a few ( ee/ea/oa ) are included.

All of the WINTER-themed picture puzzles are ready to be

printed, laminated, and cut for easy center prep!

Great for Guided Reading, Early Finishers, and/or independent center activities!

Extension product included:

FREE Valentine Long Vowel Picture Puzzle ($2.00 value)

Long Vowel Picture Puzzles

Click HERE to see this GREAT center.

YOU WILL WANT THIS! 🙂

WENDY 

 

WHAT TIME IS IT?

WHAT TIME IS IT???

How many “times” today have you been asked…

WHAT TIME  IS  IT???

 
For me…
WAY  TOO  MANY!
 
And so…
WE  TEACH!
 
Hour hand.
Minute hand.
O’clock.
Thirty.
 
And OVER…And OVER…And OVER!
 
Big ones for WHOLE Group. 
Little Ones for Small / Independent Practice.
 
(Practice  MAKES   Perfect!)
 

To help out…

 

                                        I have created a much-NEEDED Packet…

 for ME AND  For YOU!

 

Snowmen TIME

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT  TIME  IS  IT  SNOWMAN?

 

These games will help my kiddos practice

Hour & Half-Hour

in 

MULTIPLE GAME  Formats!

 
 
Those who like SORTING…SORT!
Those who like a MATCHING GAME…MATCH!
Those who like to write…WRITE!
 
And so we work..we play…we practice!
 
And then…
 
WHAT  TIME  IS  IT??
 
RECESS!  LUNCH!  TIME TO GO HOME!
 

I also have a MARCH goodie to practice telling TIME!

 
 
  
Check out my WINTER Pinterest board!
LOTS  of Winter GOODIES!

Happy New Year 2022

Short, sweet, and to the point…

Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year Sale 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022 SALE

I so appreciate YOU!

Just a “Gift” from the heart.

My entire TPT store is on SALE

December 28 and 29.

20% OFF EVERYTHING

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/1stgradefireworks

( Stock up for January… check out the WINTER category!)

These posts may HELP YOU:

Clean Up

How Calendar Starts my Day

Games for Assessments? Are they CRAZY?

Enjoy!

Happy New Year 2022

1stgradefireworks

Close Reading 101

CLOSE READING

What exactly is CLOSE READING??

You mean I need to “scoot forward” and put my glasses ON?

You mean I should put my glasses ON?

NO, silly!  It’s a reading strategy for gaining information from a reading source.

Here are some helpful resources:

Some blogger friends have great information, also.

We Are Teachers has a great blog post

 “What Exactly Do We Mean By CLOSE READING Anyway?

My friend, Susan Jones, explains how to do

Close Reading on First Grade

And, 1stgradefireworks can help with

Reading is the 1 Predictor of Academic Success

When doing research…

when I  need more reading information,

just ask  PINTEREST!

From HANNAH @ The Classroom Key

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/430164201886627298/

https://www.theclassroomkey.com/2014/12/taking-the-rocket-science-out-of-close-reading.html

From Jen @ Teacher Karma

http://www.teacherkarma.com/2015/01/close-reading-free-resources.html

and from

Kristine @  Young Teacher Love

She has a GREAT blog post about

CLOSE READING!

Gotta know YOUR standards!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/275212227205716679/

Susan Jones SAYS…

What is Close Reading? by Susan Jones

It’s a chance for students to ask/answer questions by returning to the text for answers.

We want them to INTERACT with the text.

Reread, highlight, use sticky notes, etc.

and then use the text for answers.

Close Reading is not about the PHYSICAL PROXIMITY to the text!
It’s about diving INTO the text for answers to prominent questions ABOUT the text!

WOW!  Finding out their own answers to questions AND being able to “PROVE IT?”

NOVEL IDEA!

Just imagine the writing that can be created from a CLOSE READING lesson?

Writer’s Workshop in…FIRST GRADE???? Breathe…YES, YOU CAN!

What a prominent strategy to use in a BALANCED LITERACY CLASSROOM!

What is a BALANCED LITERACY Classroom? This resource will show YOU!

BALANCED  LITERACY

Balanced Literacy in First Grade! Let’s start with READ ALOUDS!

Here is a little FREEBIE

from ME  to  YOU!

Enjoy!

FREEBIE

 Have YOU tried CLOSE READING? Leave me a comment and let me know how it went! 🙂
Wendy   1stgradefireworks

I am a COOKIE Exchange CHEATER!

Bake Cookies? ME?

OK. I admit it. I am a Cookie Exchange CHEATER!

Have you been to a “Cookie Exchange”? 

You bring 1-2 dozen cookies.

You take home a variety of cookies…

as many cookies as you brought.

Here are some of the cookies made from years past:

and these

And so…

those of you who know me…

I don’t bake

well, I have..

I just don’t ENJOY it!

* I made a batch of persimmon cookies last weekend.

I felt I had to before the persimmons rotted.

YUCK!

Bad BAKER!

I gave them to the chickens!

And so…  What to take to the family cookie exchange?

Make it…..don’t BAKE it!

TA DA!

Enter..

NUTTER  BUTTER  REINDEER!

Check out my COOKIE Pinterest board for MORE ideas!

And so…

Will it be a Pinterest SUCCESS?

or

A Pinterest FAIL?

Here we go!

Supplies.

Lay out the Nutter Butters.

Break the pretzels into antlers.

Mix powdered sugar into

ROYAL  FROSTING.

(It dries like CEMENT…it holds everything!)

I think ..Pinterest SUCCESS!

The grandkids LOVE them!

So was I a COOKIE EXCHANGE cheater?

Maybe. But you know what?

The smiles & hugs made it ALL worthwhile!

Merry Christmas!

I Failed at ELF ON THE SHELF!

I admit it…I failed..

I tried the ELF thing…FAILED!

I forgot to move it.

I didn’t want to spend the time moving it to who knows where.

My kiddos didn’t find it!

OH…exhausting!

I went to PINTEREST and saw ALL of these AMAZING ELF activities.

I GIVE UP! 

And so…I QUIT!  I am NOT  “ELFABLE!”  

THINK POSITIVE!

Change my mindset.  Change is good. Change is necessary!

So maybe I don’t ELF this year. Maybe I will “ELF” a different way. 

Maybe I focus on a DIFFERENT type of KINDNESS. I think I might look at…

Sharing ORNAMENTS!  Or presents, or smiles!  Or handshakes, or time. 

 
Maybe my “LESSON” to my students isn’t about THINGS…    

So I think I will focus on content.

I will share the GOODWILL of the ELF ideals,  through lesson content.

I hope my students’ families will give them the “warm fuzzies” they deserve. I do EVERY DAY. 

But for now, we will focus on learning.

Are YOU a HELPER ELF?

( BORING I KNOW…BUT NECESSARY!)

So…next in my list…MATH!

UGH! I know. HOW CAN THE ELF HELP US IN MATH?

THIS ELF IS NOT ON THE SHELF

1 more..1 less…10 more..10 less

So…to help with my “ELF FAILURE”

AND

to maximize my math time…

This Elf is NOT on the SHELF

This can be made into a booklet, used as math centers, individual practice, assessments…

ENDLESS possibilities!

It may NOT be as EXCITING as finding the ELF each day.

The ELVES are WORKING OVERTIME!

The Elves are Working OVERTIME!

BUT…my students won’t be confused or saddened because they think the ELF doesn’t care.

They know I care. And that’s better than ANY ELF!

And so my friends, I admit it. I am an ELF on the Shelf failure. 

But…my student’s did REALLY WELL on their math assessments and we 

giggled, grinned, hugged, & gave high-fives all through the year.

Now…where did I leave that ELF?   🙂  

HELP ME!

Holiday HELPERS for YOU! 🙂

Classroom Literacy

Data Collecting

Guided Reading

Leave me a comment…help me be an “ELF” convert. How do YOU use the “ELF”???   There must be a support group SOMEWHERE! 🙂  Happy Holidays!