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,
The kids decided on her story. And then…
They were so cute! Best editors ever!
After we finished…
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
Stop on by!
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!
But, I am teaching first-graders in OCTOBER!
I need academic “FUN”!
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,
I have created a Baseball MATH Game for OCTOBER!
WHAT? A MATH GAME? YES!
A fast-paced math game for K-3 students!
Directions for MATH GAME are included!
Easy Prep… lots of giggles!
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!
5 games in a BUNDLE! WOW!
Check it out!
Can First Graders become BETTER WRITERS?
My name is Wendy McCarty.
I am the creator behind…
I create classroom and homeschool materials
that engage young minds and help the teacher to support instruction.
You can see my products in my TPT Store:
Writing in First Grade
Now… I wish I was PERFECT.
I wish my kiddos were PERFECT.
There are NO Perfect PEOPLE!
NO Perfect KIDDOS.
Now that we have gone there…how do we get close?
We get BETTER!
( My Mantra )
We write EVERY DAY.
Usually..more than once.
We write about our day in school
…things we like
…stories we have read
…new words we have learned
…new thoughts we have had
I try to do a mini-lesson on a strategy.
I add new vocabulary. In CONTEXT.
We make connections.
We expand our thinking.
And it can be noisy.
Sometimes LEARNING is messy.
And loud. And busy.
We do writer’s workshop.
My kids write.
AND they LOVE IT!
Give them paper, pencils, markers, colored pencils, etc…
And … LET THEM TALK!
My classroom is NEVER quiet!
and after writing.
TALK, Write, Create!
Are they perfect?
Is that OK?
I have added new
( HOW DO YOU SPELL…..??? )
(LOTS of VISUALS )
See how I use the
For WRITER’S WORKSHOP
If you need a starting point...
Monthly Writing Pages
bottom of EVERY PAGE!
I LOVE TEACHING!
I am currently headed into my 27th year teaching…ALL of them in first grade!
My kiddos ask me “WHY don’t YOU ever GRADUATE to Second Grade?”
I tell them
“First Grade is IN my HEART!”
You can follow me at:
Follow me: TPT FB IG Pinterest
How to add games for independent centers!
We have been in school for 4 weeks. I know…we began JULY 31! I spend 3-4 weeks working on whole class routines & schedules. Then we spend a week or two working on centers ( without me actually taking reading groups) so I can monitor HOW they are doing during independent centers. AND THEN????
We begin INDEPENDENT CENTERS without the teacher!!! WHAT??? Yes!!
Release the KRACKEN!
And yes..we begin small group reading.
I used to call it GUIDED READING.
But I have added Guided Reading Skills & Strategies.
Sometimes, we work on words. Sometimes we work on skills.
Sometimes we read. Sometimes we write.
I use my assessments to guide my instruction.
I know WHO needs WHAT.
So what are the other kids doing?
And this week..enter their FAVORITE CENTER SO FAR!
( Yes…in their WHOLE LIFE…as they say!)
Here is the FUN game for centers!
And they are LEARNING! WIN! WIN!
294 CARDS! WOWZA!
294 domino cards for short vowel practice. Domino games can be differentiated by vowel sounds, picture cards, or word cards. Fun activities for student learning. Games help students stay engaged while practicing short vowel CVC word families.
They LOVE THIS! They beg for more time! Get your WORK done so you can PLAY!
YES! I love it when a plan works!
And so here we go!
Small groups for me..independent centers for them.
WIN! WIN! All around. Check out the video!
For the WHOLE YEAR???
I Mean NO! NO LAMINATING!
First…Print the cards on paper or cardstock.
New card…same skill!
Work Smarter….NOT HARDER!
Consider this my DISCLAIMER…
I read. I read a LOT!
I am NOT A College Professor.
I do NOT have a MASTERS ( or above )
Just a READING CERTIFICATE!
I teach reading!
I am just a teacher.
A first-grade teacher.
A Veteran (27yrs ), first-grade teacher, in a TITLE 1 SCHOOL!
I read!They read!
I have seen a LOT!
Done a LOT!
Hear me ROAR!!!!!
Ok. So again.
(Aren’t they cute????)
I have been through:
Leveled Readers ( DRA, GSP, AR, Lexile)
Words Their Way
High-Interest Reading Books
A MULTITUDE OF PUBLISHER’S CURRICULUM!
New sets every 7 years!
Having said this…1 thing most curriculum’s have in common :
READ A LOT!
And then…READ SOME MORE!
My little sisters…
YES…both of my LITTLE SISTER’S are
We were discussing school.
( I know..we are NOT supposed to discuss SCHOOL during SUMMER VACATION!)
But…um…we were discussing school…
and we are trying to WRAP our minds around the
and they will
(way of thinking.)
I LOVE reading with kiddos!
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 it ALL come TOGETHER?
At a recent PD, my little sis said she understood the
READ, READ, READ philosophy.
Integrate science, social studies, math, technology
You can’t have one without the other!
THEY NEED EACH OTHER!
There needs to be a BALANCE of:
Skills & Strategies
in conjunction with independent reading & writing!
I said IT!
Reading & Writing SKILLS:
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
you read and write!
Unless you are teaching ADULTS in a COLLEGE CLASS…
A 40-minute LECTURE on diagramming sentences
IS NOT…I REPEAT..
the way to do it!
If you WANT to spend 40 minutes discussing grammar…
Do 2-3 MINILESSONS over a few days…
Let it SINK IN!
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…
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!
LET THEM READ!
WRITE…and write some more!
Skills, Strategies, Reading, Writing
They will become “BETTER”
and isn’t that what we ALL want to be?
Need some HELP?
Here are some “HELPERS” for YOU!
Check out ALL my reading & writing products!
I LOVE to watch kids read!
Their faces “light up” when they “GET IT!”
They giggle at illustrations.
They laugh OUT LOUD,
when things are FUNNY!
They squint with their eyebrows touching when they can’t figure something out.
And then..we ask them to
Share the excitement of reading with ANOTHER!
It’s like I have asked them to “give a kidney!”
They don’t want to share.
NO! NO! Don’t make me give away my LOVE of reading!
I didn’t ask you to give it away…just spread the LOVE!
And so..we share.
We PARTNER read!
We share a lot..and we share WELL!
I LOVE Daily 5
( no affiliation or permission from 2sisters…just LOVE their stuff!)
I am sooooo excited!
Today I took the legs OFF of one of my tables!
I have NEVER done ANYTHING like this BEFORE!
My kiddos LOVE it!
I told them it was a “WORK PLACE” and only students who are
“WORKING” can be there!
Here they are:
Later in the day…there were 10 students on ipads with headphones
Now BACK to Partners..
We use chairs facing each other.
We use chairs NEXT to each other.
We sit on the floor and read.
And we lay down and read.
And HOW do I choose PARTNERS?
I use popsicle sticks with their names on it,
if they are rereading text we have read together.
That way, the partners reading level is NOT an issue.
Just a reread.
I choose the PARTNERS if the story is a “LEVELED” read.
That way I can be assured both partners
have the necessary skills to comprehend the text.
We do MUST DO’s and MAY DO’s
for guided reading.
My class has a list of centers they MUST DO
before they MAY DO their choices.
They can choose a partner who can “help” them.
Or they can choose to “work by themselves”.
Last, It’s their CHOICE.
They look for the PARTNER symbol on the MUST DO board.
I like the discussions and the community that comes from a busy classroom.
They learn from me and from each other.
So more partners can work together.
How do YOU group students for working in YOUR classroom?
My kiddos come with a SMALL amount of ENGLISH print.
MOST..not all..but MOST have enough English to communicate
everyday NEEDS to me.
BATHROOM, Recess, and When is LUNCH?
How to help EL’s write, when you don’t speak the same language?
We are OK.
WOWZA! Another WORLD!
We begin…BEGIN…with Phonemic Awareness.
Letter Sounds, Vocabulary Words, Rhymes, Alliterations,,
and LOTS OF THEM!
Alphabet, HFW, Word Families, emergent readers, etc.
For those who make READING a priority…
For those who don’t have a LOT of support at home..
It can take LONGER…
We write well and we write A LOT!
The problem occurs when they don’t have an ENGLISH word to attach to the “word” in their head!
We use Step Up to Writing…
Click HERE to see it…
We use my
papers because they have
My kids are doing GREAT!
(Most could only write their names at first!)
Daily PROGRESS! 🙂
And HERE is a FREEBIE to Help you on your way!
“Creating a Community of Readers”
This is my newest FAVORITE thing!
I LOVE Lucy Caulkin’s
If you get a chance to hear her, see her, and/or youtube her…
During Reading Workshop,, I don’t want my students to stop and ask for help.
I want them to be problem-solvers.
So, I am…
Take a picture walk. Cover the words. Make them use the visual cues in the story. Frontload any vocabulary that may change thinking, distort comprehension, or unfamiliar to them. During Reading Workshop, have them make predictions PRIOR to reading. AFTER reading, check their predictions.
I LOVE this! After reading..then what? DO SOMETHING! Reread it for NEW information. Retell it to yourself or a friend. We use our 3 fingers retell. I love this part…DIGEST IT! Just as a good meal…when you are finished, appreciate it. Think about it. ENJOY IT!
You are NEVER done! When you finish…read more! My kiddos love to stack ALL of their books on the left..as they finish reading a book…place it in a pile on their right. Keep reading! Their goal is to read more every day! STAMINA! Reading MATS are used to make goals. Our goals are to read MORE! Reading
Worshop takes time. Make the time for it!
We want kids to quit using their fingers to read. Good readers use their EYES! “SCOOP” up words (phrases) with your eyes. When reading, put 3-4 words together and read the phrases! GREAT time to teach prepositions & prepositional phrases!
Always,always…reread! You will see more, read more, and understand more when you reread a story. Read it to a partner, a parent, a friend. The same book can sound new when you are reading it the second or third time!
A HUGE THANK YOU to Lucy Caulkins!
So there you are.. Reading Workshop…