Category Archives: Learning something new

Close Reading 101

CLOSE READING

What exactly is CLOSE READING??

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

Veteran teacher with 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…

Close Reading strategy

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!

Balanced Literacy

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! And YOU?

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!

Elf on the Shelf- FAIL!

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!”  

Change..inevitable
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 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!

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?   🙂  

Elf on the Shelf taped to classroom clock.
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!

 

How to get ready for Christmas without the STRESS!

I know…BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!

Folks..LIFE IS BUSY! Christmas time is BUSY!

Sorry to be the one to tell you that.

BUT…

30 days …from TODAY  (11.25.21)   4  SUNDAYS!   YES,  4 SUNDAYS…

Christmas will be here!

I  LOVE CHRISTMAS!

So??  

 How  to  get  ready??

PACE YOURSELF!

Think 

MARATHON…NOT  SPRINT!

 Where to start?

#1…..Make LISTS!

(I  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE   LISTS! )

List ALL ( YES ALL ) of the people you 

WOULD LIKE to give gifts to.

Now…

PUT A STAR next to the people you MUST give a gift to.

(I know that sounds weird..but..I would LOVE to give gifts to

EVERYONE…but…my bank account says I must prioritize).

It doesn’t mean I won’t give a gift…

just might be a “thoughtful”… not-as-costly gift.

Reality people!

If money grew on trees…

#2…..DO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN DEBT FOR THE NEW YEAR!

 So…there is officially  1 more PAYCHECK until Christmas.

( Or figure out HOW many PAYCHECKS YOU have until DEC. 24 )

Take the number of gifts YOU MUST purchase 

and divide by EXTRA $$.

***If you have been SAVING for Christmas,  which you WILL DO for NEXT year,  add that too!

That tells you HOW many GIFTS you MUST purchase and the amount you have to spend.

That’s important because

 now you can begin looking for a gift

for the PERSON…not just a checkoff on a list.

SLOW DOWN! Not ready to buy yet!

Now….start talking, texting, asking others…

#3…..DO YOUR RESEARCH PEOPLE!

ASK!!!!  

 What items do the people on your list WANT…NEED…LOVE?????

Add this to your LIST!

( If for kids…ASK THEIR PARENTS…sizes, likes, ages,etc )

Now…start looking…

online? Look for FREE shipping! 

(AMAZON PRIME ..I am speed dial!)

Friends & Family …FAR AWAY???  ( Sorry )

SHIP TO THEM!

Don’t ship to YOU & then pay to ship to them!

SHIP  DIRECTLY! FREE!

STOP!

YOU HAVE NOT MADE A BUDGET YET!

#4…..Figure out what you can spend..

AFTER PAYING YOUR BILLS & feeding your family.

They always come first…don’t forget to add them to your MUST list!

Your kids COME FIRST!

And NOT going into SEVERE debt!

Only charge what YOU can pay off the next month!

NO DEBT AFTER JANUARY!

OK..then..start listing whom you will purchase for.

After you purchase…keep the receipt! 

I write the name of the person I purchased it for on the back..

RETURNS?  Easy Peasy!

After you purchase…

or  it arrives from SANTA’S HELPER

 IN THE BROWN UPS TRUCK… 🙂

WRAP IT  AND   ATTACH  A  NAME  TAG!

( This from a Santa’s Helper…who has forgotten and was wrapping WAY TOO LATE INTO CHRISTMAS EVE! )

After Thanksgiving..

#5…..I begin to look at my 

LIST of ” WANT to purchase for”

but NOT necessarily, 

 “Must Purchase For”

on my list!

 ( Yes I keep it in a little book in my purse! )

Now I have a better idea of “extras”…

Do I need to do “homemade”….giftcards…..”I thought of you- but have no $$ left” card? 

What kinds of gifts can you give for NO MONEY?

How about a picnic at the park?   A  TEA PARTY for kids?  A trip to the library to read books?  Take a young child to the ZOO???

Gifts of “ONE TO ONE” time…ARE THE BEST!  

And you can schedule them AFTER the holidays. 

The gift that keeps on giving!

Whatever fits YOU! 

RELAX!   

NO  GUILT!  

Christmas is NOT about who can GUILT YOU the MOST!

It’s about telling the people you care about..

THEY ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU!

Enjoy the season.

Spend time with friends & family!

TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES!

Make Memories!

And when JANUARY comes around..

SMILE!

(And maybe  a mani / pedi  for  yourself?)

But…remember…

Christmas is from the HEART..not the WALLET!

Have FUN!  

Elf on the Shelf… FAILURE!

Do OVER!

What do YOU do to get ready for CHRISTMAS????

Don't Blink. Thank You Kenny Chesney.

NOVEMBER already? Don’t BLINK!

I just LOVE

Kenny Chesney…

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney

I think he is speaking to ME!

As I  am singing…no…  BELTING OUT.. his song

( in my car of course…windows up..no one wants to hear this voice) 🙂

“DON’T BLINK”

Don’t blink!

Just like that, you’re six years old and you take a nap and you

Wake up and you’re twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife

Don’t blink

You just might miss your babies growing like mine did

Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your better half

Of fifty years is there in bed

And you’re praying God takes you instead

Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think

So don’t blink

I can TOTALLY RELATE!

I swear..I just looked at the calendar & it was OCTOBER!

Early OCTOBER!

THEN…WHAM!

Halloween is here..NO..GONE!

and now it is NOVEMBER! 

WHERE DID OCTOBER GO??

As I turn the calendar, I realize 

I need to slow down

and appreciate ALL that I have in the HERE & NOW!

So, my friends..

BEFORE the Holidays come…55 days to be exact!

Christmas Carols EVERYWHERE!

and then BAM! Christmas Carols EVERYWHERE!

Take a few moments to 

STOP! Look around! Remember this MOMENT!

It will be gone in a BLINK!

Enjoy the..

LULL

( Before the RUSH!)

Take a minute, relish in the moment, and ENJOY!

BECAUSE…tomorrow will be here soon enough..

I wonder where I can get a 2019 CALENDAR?

(I better hurry…it will be here SOON!)

HAHAHA

Here are a few 

“helpers” to get you through the

 Nov./Dec.  rush!

DON’T  BLINK!

Let's Talk TURKEY ( TpT 1stgradefireworks)

Let’s Talk TURKEY ( TpT 1stgradefireworks)

Let’s Talk Turkey

November Fact Family Booklets from TpT 1stgradefireworks

November Fact Family Booklets from TpT 1stgradefireworks

Fact  Family

November Adding 3 numbers MATH Booklets from TpT 1stgradefireworks

November Adding 3 numbers MATH Booklets from TpT 1stgradefireworks

Adding 3 numbers

November Vocabulary BANNERS from TpT 1stgradefireworks

November Vocabulary BANNERS from TpT 1stgradefireworks

November Vocabulary Banners

The Elves are Working OVERTIME from TpT 1stgradefireworks

The Elves are Working OVERTIME from TpT 1stgradefireworks

The Elves are Working OVERTIME!

WINTER Vocabulary BANNERS from TpT 1stgradefireworks

WINTER Vocabulary BANNERS from TpT 1stgradefireworks

Winter Vocabulary Banners

So remember:

1. Don’t BLINK!

2. Enjoy each and every moment

3. Tell those you care about, what they mean to YOU!         Kind WORDS COUNT!

4. Take care of yourself. 

5. Live, Laugh, Love!

Primary Teachers are Quirky!

Close Reading

How important is READING?

Enjoy!

ME? Dress up for Halloween?

Do YOU Dress Up for Halloween?

I hate to wear hats when I dress up.

I don’t like things on my head.

I do enjoy a great laugh.

I want to participate with the group.

I am a TEAM PLAYER.

 

BUT… I don’t dress up for Halloween!

Screaming child

Sreaming Child

There!  I said it!

I am the “old teacher” who does NOT dress up for Halloween.

Old Granny

Old Granny

WHY?  I dunno.

Just never got “into it”.

The whole “make-up, costume, prop thing” just doesn’t appeal to me.

I don’t get the whole “dress up as someone else”, thing.

DON’T GET ME WRONG!

I love HALLOWEEN!

I dressed my kids up in HOMEMADE costumes AND store-bought costumes.

They were SO CUTE!

Teachers EVERYWHERE dress up and they are AMAZING!

I just can’t do it at school!

My kiddos are NOT allowed to wear costumes to school.

I will NOT, if they cannot.

I wouldn’t dress up, even if THEY could. Sorry, Not me!

Maybe I’ll dress up at home!

A cute T-SHIRT! YES!

Maybe.  Maybe not.

Maybe??

So for now… I will live in my “COSTUME”

vicariously through all of YOU on PINTEREST!

This post might help me…

My Fall Dilemma 

WOW! CUTE hat!… Maybe…  Gotta go…I think I found a HAT I LIke.

Stay tuned.  Check out my Instagram.

There may be a HALLOWEEN pic.

Maybe.  🙂

Do YOU “dress up” for Halloween?

Help me out…What do YOU dress up for on HALLOWEEN?

Leave me a comment. 🙂

Wendy

 

Math Baseball in OCTOBER

OCTOBER Baseball! But… MATH BASEBALL?

Yes! It is OCTOBER!

If you don’t follow baseball…

It’s time for the playoffs & CHAMPIONSHIPS!

AND  then… THE WORLD SERIES!

I have 4 kids.

My 3 boys ALL played baseball ( for MANY YEARS).

And my daughter played SOFTBALL for 16 years!  She even played in the Softball World Series! WAHOO!

So, baseball is in our home. A LOT!

Even though MY team, SF Giants are NOT in the playoffs, we still LOVE the game!

SF Giants Logo

My favorite baseball team! Go SF Giants!

 

But, I am teaching first-graders in OCTOBER!

I need academic “FUN”!

And so… we play!  And we play a LOT! 🙂

The expert of anything, was once a beginner!

The expert of anything was once a beginner!

Remember, baseball is about skills, strategies, and hard work.

It is a TEAM sport.

You must work hard, practice, and have the DESIRE to be BETTER!

WOW! It sounds like my classroom MOTTO!

Work Hard, Play hard,

LIFESKILLS!  🙂

Inspire others.

Inspire others.

I have created a Baseball MATH Game for OCTOBER!

WHAT?  A MATH GAME?  YES!

A fast-paced math game for K-3 students!

Math Baseball in OCTOBER

Math Baseball in OCTOBER

Directions for MATH GAME are included!

Easy Prep… lots of giggles!

 

Math Mats for Baseball in OCTOBER

Math Mats for Baseball in OCTOBER

Math Facts Baseballs

Math Facts Baseballs

Math Manipulative BASEBALLS for LITTLE ONES!

Math Manipulative BASEBALLS for LITTLE ONES!

Place the “MITT(s)” in a big circle.

Students take a “baseball” card and QUICKLY, place it in the correct MITT!

HURRY! Then “RUN” to the end of the line. The next “batter” is UP!

They choose the next baseball card & place it in the CORRECT MITT!

Some baseballs have numbers, some have math facts,

some have MANIPULATIVES ( ten frames, dice, dominoes, etc )

to represent the NUMBERS!

The winners are the “players” who get ALL of the baseball cards into the MItts!

Teamwork is REQUIRED!

Can you HEAR the CHEERS??? 🙂

We love to have fun, play games, and practice TEAMWORK!

What more can you ask of First Graders?

Maybe…learn to tie your shoes?   HAHA   HAve fun with this!

Need MORE?

SPORTS BANG! Sight Word GAMES!

5 games in a BUNDLE!  WOW!

Sports BANG! Sight Word GAMES

Sports BANG! Sight Word GAMES

Check it out!

Math Baseball in OCTOBER

Math Baseball in OCTOBER

Math Baseball for OCTOBER

I SEE PUMPKINS! Meet the “little ones”…

I SEE PUMPKINS! Meet the “little ones”…

My hubby, AKA  Farmer Without a Farm, is growing pumpkins!
In our backyard.
On the fence.
Across the lawn.
In EVERY garden we own!
And FINALLY…Yes, I say FINALLY…

WE HAVE PUMPKINS!

2 to be exact!
Meet the “little ones”.
Clara the colorful…
She is turning ORANGE the fastest.
Sidewinder SAM.
He is growing SIDEWAYS ON my ladder!
Just like the “STEPS” he can take to grow!
HAHAHA
Pumpkin  HUMOR 🙂 
And this is Junior!
Junior is was growing in our garden at school.
I work at a TITLE 1 school…someone STOLE him!
RIP junior.
You would have made a great  PIE!   🙂

To help my FIRSTIES get into the FALL  SPIRIT…

I have brought out the FALL GOODIES!
 Remember…it’s 95 degrees in NORCAL this week…
hard to feel FALLISH!

Fall BUNDLE

Falling for NOUNS ( Common Core Grade 1 )
and
FALL Fluency
BUNDLED TOGETHER to save $$
FALL  THEMATIC   UNIT
Includes:

Reading-
Reading Passage
Comprehension Printable
Reading Response Printables
Vocabulary Pocket Chart Cards
Poem ( And Cut a part printable )

Writing-
Spelling List Forms
Word Family Charts
HFW Lists
Journal Pages & Covers
Interactive Journal Pages
Flap Book Graphic Organizer

Assessments-
BPST printable
Fluency Assessment
HFW List

Grade 1 / 2

AND…
BRING ON ANYTHING  HALLOWEEN “ish”…
Finally,
MORE TASK CARDS
These are  ADDITION ONLY!
Good starting PACKET
Now…If I could just get the PUMPKINS
to
CARVE THEMSELVES!
( I Hate the SLIME!)
Oh, well.
Stay COOL my FRIENDS!

Trick or Treat! Happy October!

OCTOBER

It’s Almost HERE!

 
I LOVE OCTOBER!
See my other posts about October.
 

Today I am helping YOU get ready for October.

First, It has it ALL!

October Centers for ELA & Math

Includes:
Syllables..Pocket Chart Picture /Words Cards
Printables Color & B/W
Nouns/Verbs… Picture Cards / Sorting Mat
Printables Color & B/W
Let’s Write… Complete sentences / Fragments
Who? Did What?
Interactive Notebook Page
Close Read / Comprehension Questions
October Writing Paper
Graphic Organizers
HFW BOO Bang! game
Math Centers:
Math Mountains…Printables
Number Bonds…Printables / Booklets
Missing Addends… color & B/W
Fact Families..color & B/W
printables

 
 
WOW!
 
Print & GO!
 
 Next, 

56 pages of OCTOBER  GOODIES!

 
 
 
Check it out HERE!
Finally,
 
Happy  OCTOBER!
vowel kids

Welcome the VOWEL KIDS!

I would like you to meet my newest friends!

The vowel kids!

This is KATE. ( long a)

 Her twin sister is Anna. ( Short a )

Anna left us for a short “vacation”

…so I can use her picture for LONG A!

Thank you to Nikki from MELONHEADZ for the cutie pies!

We took each vowel family and did some writing!

We brainstormed words ( see the word box) 

that have our phonics pattern for the week.

 Then we did an interactive writing .

( see my BALANCED LITERACY packet, 

if you haven’t done INTERACTIVE WRITING)

The kids decided on her story. And then…

WE  WROTE!

Meet the vowel kids

Meet the Vowel Kids

They were so cute! Best editors ever! 

 

After we finished…

they critiqued. 

 

They decided yellow was too hard to read.

 

They said that handwriting is very important,

 if you want others to read it.

 

They said spelling is important. It can change the meaning.

 

And lastly, writing large and spacing our words,

makes it easier to read. 

WOW! They were listening! 🙂

And so …each week for the next 4 weeks

I will introduce another friend.

Long e, Long i, Long o, and Long u.

 

We will chat, create, and write!

I Love my JOB!

If you are looking for more

writing ideas..

Stop on by!

Daily Language Practice

Balanced Literacy

Write ON!

1stgradefireworks

Balanced Literacy

Helping kids EDIT their WRITING