Category Archives: Learning something new

Oprah

Tag Parents, YOU’RE IT! Teachers want to SHOP on TPT!

I know. It’s SUMMER!

Our Brains won’t STOP!

Relax. Thinking about desk arrangement.

Poolside. Reading a book about Classroom Management.

Computer. Should I redo my lesson plans?

Keep swimming for teachers

Keep Swimming!

We don’t STOP!  It’s a LIFESTYLE!

Want some help? Want to WIN a $100 TPT Giftcard to Shop on TPT?

I would LOVE it for Back to School stuff!

Entry for $100 TPT GIftcard to shop on TPT

Want to WIN a $100 TPT Giftcard? ENTER HERE! SHop on TPT!

Some bloggy friends of mine & I have put together a $100 TPT Giftcard to giveaway to ONE SPECIAL WINNER, so YOU can shop on TPT!

YOU can’t WIN…If you don’t ENTER!

Let your friends know.

YOU want a TPT Giftcard! And YOU want a giftcard! And YOU want a giftcard!

Oprah

Oprah …You want a giftcard!


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  


 
Prize: $100 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
 
 
Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
 
 
 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 6/13/18 and is open worldwide.
 
Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!
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Enter on Rafflecopter HERE!

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Don’t forget to shop on TPT at

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1stgradefireworks

 Here are some posts to help your TEACHER BRAIN ( We never stop.)

What are YOU reading this summer?

Leave me a comment… I’m adding to my professional library! 🙂

 

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!

 

 Have YOU tried CLOSE READING? Leave me a comment and let me know how it went! 🙂
Wendy   1stgradefireworks
Happy Mother's Day Giveaway

Happy Mother’s Day

I want to say a HUGE Thank You…to my MOM!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I LOVE YOU!

Mom at her birthday party.

Mom with her birthday cake.

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Myself and a team of amazing teachers have grouped together to gift an awesome teacher with a TPT gift card to show them how appreciative we are!

Mother's Day Giveaway

Mother’s Day Giveaway


PRIZES INCLUDE 
1 x $75 TPT Gift card

The giveaway begins         Friday 11th May 2018 12am
It ends             Saturday 19th May 2018 12am
If YOU are VERY, VERY  good…MOM might share her winning TPT Gift card
with YOU! 🙂
Enter the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck to ALL!

Happy  Mother’s Day!

Mommy, I love you.

Check out these fun posts from 1stgradefireworks:

Skinny Food for Skinny Jeans? Lifestyle changes.

I must admit…

I am NOT a fan of SKINNY JEANS!

skinny jeans require skinny food

Well…just NOT on me!

I am a 54-year-old Grandma.

I couldn’t wear those when I was 12…

more or less today!

Yes. I am BIG BONED…always have been!

So I am determined to make the lifestyle changes

to “decrease” my density.

So..Weight Watchers and I have been in a

RELATIONSHIP,

for the past 40 years…on and off!

I have been through MANY, MANY 

programs.

Yes, I ate LIVER, counted FIBER grams, and 

Worked out for MORE POINTS!

MORE POINTS  =   MORE  FOOD

I can honestly say..the last 18 months

I have made MORE Lifestyle changes

than I EVER had.

My blood pressure is down, my knees don’t hurt,

 I work out 4-5 days a week, 

and I eat fruit! 

A LOT OF FRUIT!

And I have lost & KEPT OFF 30+ pounds!

More to go..but on my way!

CLAP…CLAP…CLAP

So HOW?

What made the difference this time?

I am determined to never, ever DIET again!

If I want chocolate cake..eat chocolate cake.

 

 To make a LIFESTYLE change, you have to have a PLAN!

There is a BALANCE SYSTEM.

Kind of like my checking account.

I can make deposits (save points & workout more)

So that when I make a withdrawal (chocolate cake).

I NEVER EVER GET OVERDRAWN!

Zero means zero!

When you use ALL of your points for the day…

YOU ARE DONE!

I am NOT a weight watcher leader.

I am NOT getting paid…just good info!

Just trying to keep my hubby & me healthy!

We have 4 children & 5 grandchildren.

I plan on being there to be a GREAT GRANDMA!

I want to see graduations, weddings, births, etc, etc.

I will do everything I CAN.

I will make lifestyle changes to ensure I will be there.

I have a very active PINTEREST BOARD.

Weight Watchers chocolate cupackes

Weight Watchers Chocolate cupcakes from Pinterest

Here are a few pins so you can choose 

what works for YOU!

TRY SOMETHING NEW!

Make a lifestyle change!

Do Your BEST!

LOVE WHAT YOU DO!

Believe in YOURSELF!

WE GOT THIS! 🙂

Guess What? Pigs DO Fly!

PIGS DO FLY!

Pig flying

OK…I admit it…I HATE to CLEAN!

Spring Cleaning Purging is NOT FUN!

It is a chore!

But, the Christmas dust bunnies 

are MULTIPLYING!

 Just in time for EASTER!

After my 3rd cup of coffee, this AM,

I decided to get to work!

Hubby at work for the day..so

I made a deal with myself …

NO SHOWER until DONE CLEANING!

(I LOVE MY SHOWERS!)

So, what’s a girl to do?

GET CLEANING!

I CRANKED UP THE COUNTRY MUSIC…

LOUD…

REALLY LOUD!

Tim McGraw

Luke Bryant

Kenny Chesney

I WAS LISTENING, SINGING,

 & DANCING to the music!

Thank GOD, no one could SEE me!

Anyways…

I CLEANED…AND Cleaned…

and cleaned….and cleaned.

More SPRING CLEANING

I even cleaned out my earring tree!

Didn’t know I had SO many that

only had 1 earring! GOODBYE!

Closets, bookshelves, drawers, 

took BLANKETS to the LAUNDROMAT…

SPRING Clean” THEM TOO!

My house smells like PINE-SOL!

If I didn’t know any better…

I’d swear I was NESTING!

NO WAY LADIES…

This GMA is TOO OLD for that! 

Then…shower..AAAHHHHH!

SPRING CLEANING & BAKING?

No…I am NOT ill.

So then I decided that because of the EB…

Easter Bunny

EASTER BUNNY

is on HIS way …I could help him!

My family LOVES

Reeses EGGS!

Reeses peanutbutter chocolate eggs

(WHO doesn’t?)

But…I AM CHEAP! 

I know…really cheap!

So today I decided to MAKE them!

You heard that right! MAKE THEM…ME!???

For the girl who doesn’t cook, 

they turned out pretty good!

 homemade chocolate eggs

 homemade chocolate eggs

 homemade chocolate eggs

Here are MY Reese’s  Eggs!

They are ready for Easter Baskets!

So, my friends…

Guess what?  

Pigs DO Fly!

pig flying

Happy  Weekend!

If YOU need more Easter Goodies…

1stgradefireworks logo picture

CLICK HERE!

I have TAMED the TRANSITION Monster!

Transitions…

You know…

The moment when you say, 

“Please put ______ away & get out your_______”

& it begins to sound 

OUT OF CONTROL!

Kids out of their seats,

loud voices,

crayons & pencils dropping to the floor!

STOP!

What happened?

Where did ALL of my management go?

Did it fly out the window?

Fall on the carpet? 

NO…it is called…

A “TRANSITION”!

When kiddos go

from one body motion

to another,

it’s a transition!

No amount of 5,4,3,2,1…

1,2,3 eyes on me…

clap, clap, snap, snap

can get them back!



SO… don’t let them go!

I have calmed the

TRANSITION MONSTER!

dragon

When I finish with a lesson or I need them to “Transition”

from one place to another,

I use these WONDERFUL cards

and my doc camera!

game cover

I have printed them 4 to a page…

fold up the bottom 

(So kids can’t see the answer on doc camera!)

I read the clues… 

in a SUPER SOFT VOICE

if they want to hear the clues,

THEY HAVE TO BE QUIET! 🙂

And they read with me,

“WHO AM I?”

I only chose those kids who are in their seats

with “quiet” hands UP!

They ALL think they know..some are tricky!

Remind them to listen to ALL of the clues.

They LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

LOTS of vocabulary, higher level thinking, 

and ……FUN!

Who would have thought…

learning & FUN??!!!

So tame that “transition” monster.. with

a game!

A transition GAME!

game cards

Here is the link if you would like 

to check these out!

Flap Book

ENJOY!

EASTER GIVEAWAY!

Hippity, Hoppity

Easter’s on its way!

Happy Easter!

 Myself and a team of amazing teachers

have grouped together

to gift an awesome teacher

with a $150 TPT gift card

to show them how appreciative we are!

Easter giveaway

The Easter Bunny is having a giveaway! Who wants to win a $150 TPT Giftcard? ME!

Anyone want a

$150

TeachersPayTeachers

GIFTCARD?

HANDS  UP!  I DO!  I DO!

The Giveaway information…

Starts: Sunday 25th March 2018 12am

Ends: Sunday 1st April 2018 12am

How to enter?

HERE….

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also enter on my

INSTAGRAM 

site.

1stgradefireworks logo

1stgradefireworks logo

 Good LUCK!

Wendy    1stgradefireworks

Can reading be the #1 predictor of academic success?

First and Foremost,

Reading is the #1 predictor of academic success.


Consider this my DISCLAIMER…

I am NOT  A  College Professor.

I do NOT have a MASTERS ( or above ) 

in ANYTHING!

I am just a teacher.

A first-grade teacher.

A first-grade reading teacher.

A Veteran (27yrs ), a first-grade teacher,

in a TITLE 1 SCHOOL!

I have seen a LOT! Done a LOT!

Hear me ROAR!!!!!

 So, I repeat.

I am a teacher. I teach reading.

circle of students looking at books

(Aren’t they cute????)

I have been through:

Whole Language

Environmental Print

Interactive Writing

Phonemic Awareness

Leveled Readers ( DRA, GSP, AR, Lexile)

Phonics

Words Their Way

HFW

Sight Words

High-Interest Reading Books

SIPPS

Read Naturally

Daily 5

And 

A MULTITUDE OF PUBLISHER’S CURRICULUM!

New sets every 7 years!

Next, having said this…

1 thing most curriculum’s have in common :

READ!

READ A LOT!

And then…READ SOME MORE!

Young girl reading a book

So …

My little sisters…

YES…both of my LITTLE SISTER’S are 

PRIMARY TEACHERS!

We were discussing school.

Yes… we do that!

 We are trying to WRAP our minds around the

“READ…READ…READ more”

and they will 

“GET IT!”  (way of thinking.)

happy baby

Well, maybe

I  LOVE reading with kiddos!

See my post here about the

 GUIDED READING TABLE!

But then my concern is…

When I “release” them to read,

When I want them to become INDEPENDENT readers,

Where do they “learn” the skills to use when they “get stuck”?

Will they use strategies, when they don’t know what’s happening?

When a story isn’t making sense…do they keep reading?

If they keep reading…

Will all the skills and strategies come TOGETHER?

At a recent PD, my little sis said she understood the 

READ, READ, READ philosophy.

Integrate science, social studies, math, technology

INTO  literacy!

YES!

Writing and Reading

COMPLIMENT  and Coexist

WITH  each other!

You can’t have one without the other!

THEY NEED EACH OTHER!

BUT…

-Me  SPEAKING-

on my soapbox

There needs to be a BALANCE of:

Skills & Strategies

in conjunction with independent reading & writing!

THERE!

I said IT!

Reading & Writing SKILLS:

Letter Sounds

Blends

Vowels

Word Families

Chunks

Grammar

Punctuation

High-Frequency Words

Capitalization

Handwriting

and MORE!

Comprehension

Questioning

Summarizing

etc, etc, etc…

(I sound like my Education College Professors!)

I was listening!

ALL of these “lessons” MUST be taught

IN CONJUNCTION with 

Reading & Writing!

Yes…To be a better reader…

YOU  MUST  READ!

BUT…to be a better reader who UNDERSTANDS…

You must have skills and strategies  to use

WHEN  you read and write!

NOW…CAUTION!!!

baby with glasses

Unless you are teaching ADULTS in a COLLEGE CLASS…

A 40-minute LECTURE on diagramming sentences

IS NOT…I REPEAT…

NOT

the way to do it!

If you WANT to spend 40 minutes discussing grammar…

CHUNK IT!

Read a little.

Discuss it.

Let it soak in.

And do it again. And again. and again!

READ!

Do 2-3 MINILESSONS over a few days…

Let it SINK IN!

Show  kiddos:

  What it looks like.

Where to find it.

How to use it.

Why we use it.

When to ask for help.

Kinder-Grade 1-Grade 2 teachers…

UNITE!

Mini-Lessons with a WORKSHOP!

Use SMALL Groups for STRATEGY & Skill Groups!

Let kiddos have a chance to PRACTICE

what YOU have taught them!

Let it SINK IN!

And Then…

LET  THEM  READ!

and 

READ!

and

READ!

and then

WRITE…and write, some more!

2 kids reading books

readl to self

independent reading

small group reading

Skills, Strategies, Reading, Writing

They will become “BETTER”…

and isn’t that what we ALL want to be?

BETTER!

Need some HELP?

My friend, Alison, at 

Learning at The Primary Pond

 

Button from Learning at The Primary Pond

learningattheprimarypond.com

has a great post about

What Does Reading Workshop Look Like In The Primary Grades?

what does reading workshop loolk like in the primary grades?

Here are some “HELPERS” for YOU!

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

Click HERE for more reading & writing products!

   

  

Flexible Seating in First Grade

Why flexible seating?

When I was in elementary school

( Way back in the DINOSAUR days )  

1970’s

flexible seating in the classroom

We sat in rows.

Many rows.

All of us looking straight ahead.

At the teacher, at all times!

No flexible seating, here.

flexible seating in the classroom

We kept our hands & feet to ourselves.

We kept our books in our desks.

And we read QUIETLY to ourselves.

Shhh…whisper!

We read.

Some people enjoyed it.

Some people just pretended.

Most did what we were told.

We didn’t ask…WHY?

or

Is there ANOTHER WAY?

How to bring flexible seating options into my classroom?

Because at home…

I would lay on my bed and read for HOURS!

flexible seating

(picture by Dreamstime.com)

And that is how I  LOVE TO READ!

I want my students to LOVE to read!

So I have “changed it up!”

I have added flexible seating options in my classroom for kids to 

read in a comfortable, relaxed, enjoyable experience.

Every day after lunch my first graders do

READ  TO  SELF.

If you have not read the book

The Daily 5

DAILY 5

from “The 2  SISTERS”      YOU  NEED  TO!

My first graders read to themselves.

Not to me,

Not to a partner,

JUST TO THEMSELVES!

Therefore…READ  TO  SELF!

I set the BIG TIMER!

online reading timer

I use THIS one.

We start the year at 6 minutes.  Read.

We work on increasing our reading STAMINA.

 Read longer.

Today, we are at 18 minutes!

18 minutes of uninterrupted reading of books

THEY choose!

BUT there is MORE!

They don’t sit in rows.

They don’t sit at their desk.

We have flexible seating choices for reading.

flexible seating reading rockers

READING  ROCKERS

flexible seating stools

TALL STOOLS

flexible seating short stools

SHORT  STOOLS

flexible seating chairs

SHORT  STOOLS  at  SHORT  TABLES

flexible seating

CHAIRS  by themselves

flexible seating rugs

READING  RUGS

flexible seating

CORNER  NOOKS

flexible seating floor

FLAT  OUT  ON  THE  FLOOR

And when we are done?

Stools under the tables.

Rockers stacked in baskets.

Rugs in the tub.

And chairs stacked.

flexible seating stools

flexible seating stools

flexible seating guided reading stools

flexible seating reading rockers

flexible seating chairs

They MOAN when the timer goes off. 

They ask during other times of the day

to Read in the Rockers.

THEY  WANT  TO  READ!

I have taught them to LOVE to READ..  

ANY HOW…ANY WHERE!

Flexible seating choices have made a HUGE difference

in the reading choices my students make.

They want harder books.

They want to read MORE!

It’s hard to walk into a first grade classroom

and hear…SILENCE.

But the “whispers” of reading are heard, daily!

UPDATE

More flexible seating CHOICES!

I won ..yes…won  these

4 AMAZING Stools at our recent

NorCAL Teachers Meet UP

in Pleasanton, CA!

Check out the fun at:

Instagram

#teacherstakepleasanton

flexible seating storage ottomans

I was the BIG..WINNER  WINNER! 🙂

Yes…I won ALL  4

WHOOP!  WHOOP!

flexible seating wooden rocking chairs

And these Bad boys…

They are wooden rocking chairs,, and they SQUEAK!

I love to hear the squeak, squeak as they rock & READ!

Thank You Donor’s Choose!

My “flexible seating” is complete!

Now to “arrange” it into 

WORKSTATIONS!

I absolutely LOVE IT!

( SO DO THE KIDDOS!)

Some of my “bloggy friends”

have also posted about

their experiences

with flexible seating.

Check them out.

How to fund and implement flexible seating

Teach2Love

10 things to know about flexible seating

Two Sharp Pencils

flexible seating

SassySavvySimpleteaching

If you want to learn MORE about reading

check out these blog posts:

Balanced Literacy

Read  At  Home

Guided Reading in 20 Minutes

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Don’t Blink..YOU Just Might Miss IT

IS IT SPRING BREAK YET? 

DON’T BLINK..

FREEBIE..

I LOVE the Song by Kenny Chesney
“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…

Well…..  I  BLINKED!

I am still taking down Christmas Decor
and it’s almost MARCH!
Wait! Slow down! I AM NOT READY!

So…I am slowing things down in my classroom.
We are almost done with the third quarter
of first grade.
We have “phonemic awarenessed” 
ourselves daily.
We practice word families.
We have learned more grammar rules
 than I ever dreamed.
We write 1,2,3,4,5 times a day.
We read every half hour.
We know more math than our parents.
We know about Presidents, animals, 
weather conditions, 
We know HOW TO, Who, What,
When, Where, & Why

(Well…some most of us do)

We have TESTED & RETESTED…

And now…we are SSSlowing things down!

Time to take a breath & practice
 using ALL of this new first grade information!

My kiddos have come a LONG way.
Very proud of them!
As we finish the next 3 months..

DON’T BLINK!

It will be gone before you know it!

 PS…Is it SPRING BREAK yet?

Thanks for hanging in there 
all the way to HERE!!!
FREEBIE FOR YOU!