Category Archives: Reading | Writing

Reading, Phonics, Comprehension, Word Work, and Writing

Writing BUNDLE for the Elementary Classroom

It’s time to focus on WRITING! Here we go!

It’s that time of the year.

No. Not Easter Eggs.

Not Spring flowers.

Not even putting up the Christmas tree…YET!

In our classroom, it is time to FOCUS ON WRITING!

To each skill there is a time to learn, a time to practice, and a time to MASTER.

In our classroom, it’s time for WRITING. 

It’s probably the hardest for primary ( TK- 2 ) students to MASTER. 

There is SO MUCH to learn!

Phonics, Grammar, Sentences, Spelling, Procedures…etc., etc. 

And what if English is your SECOND language?  Oh my!

And so, we start early. 

We focus on writing.

Work hard. Practice A LOT.

And MASTER it, in time.

We need HELP. We can’t do it alone. 

And we shouldn’t! We need help, support,

practice, and time. 

We teach NONFICTION writing also!

WHAT? Help is here. 

Check out my post on Interactive and Shared Writing

To help support my EL’s and my Emergent Writers, I have a NEW BUNDLE for Writing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Writing BUNDLE for the Elementary Classroom

This is a combination of my top 3 writing products!

WHY? It is time to Focus on Writing!

 

 

 

Good Luck!

Give them time, support, and

LOTS of practice. 

Remember…

It’s time to focus on Writing! 

Here are some MORE ideas to help with writing:

Informational Writing

Balanced Literacy

Literacy “Do-Over”

 

If you want to see MORE goodies from 1stgradefireworks  FOLLOW ME:

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 TPT     Blog 

 

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!

Wendy

 

 

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!
Wendy
Phonics and Math Morning Work BUNDLE

Happy Fall, ‘Yall. Surviving September and October. And a FREEBIE!

Happy FALL, ‘Yall 

This has been a CRAZY Fall month!

We started in August.

We are SO LUCKY to get 2 weeks FALL VACATION

the first two weeks of OCTOBER.

IF you can survive SEPTEMBER!

We just finished Fall multiple

( and I mean MULTIPLE ) assessments.

Some whole class, some one-on-one.   

AND  then TEACH!

Don’t forget… report cards for ALL.

(Make multiple copies and then some!)

Fall Parent Conferences.

I had 100% attendance this year! 

This has NEVER happened to me before!

I can get close… but 100%???   

( Pat on the back ). 

 

Finish 1st quarter lessons & skills.

Introduce 2nd quarter skills.

And… a new student on Thursday

before Fall Break! 

Of course!

 

And so this Fall Break was WELL DESERVED! #tiredteacher

multi task teacher

We have no “BIG” plans.

Family is local ( we are catching up with family).

 

So,  I thought this Fall break,

I would work on my TPT store,

           1stgradefireworks

a “little bit”.

Thank you, Misty Miller and Shelly Rees.

You helped MOTIVATE ME!

1stgradefireworks logo

1stgradefireworks logo

And so the Fall creative juices started flowing.

I kept asking myself, “What do I need this year?”

I asked friends, “What do YOU need this year?”

And here is what WE came up with.

TADA!

Phonics Morning Work BLENDS, Short/Long Vowels, & Digraphs

Math Morning Work Activity Pages 

Phonics and Math Practice Pages

FOR THE WHOLE YEAR!

Happy Teacher

Preview skills. Review skills. Assess. Interventions. Homework. Centers.

Whole Group. Small Group. Independent.

ALL DONE!  WAHOO!

And a FREEBIE for YOU!

Click HERE

Enjoy your FALL.

Take care of yourself.

You can’t pour from an empty cup. 🙂 Take care of yourself.

                                                                Wendy

                                                                                                                                                       

Trick or Treat! Happy October!

OCTOBER

It’s 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!
Bring on FAll

Bring on FALL! We are READY!

Have I mentioned…

I  LOVE  FALL!

OK…Many times.

I live in NORCAL.

We don’t have the  TRADITIONAL

4 seasons.

DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE  4   ????

In NORCAL…

we have

Summer ( 90-100 degrees )

Fall   (  80-90 degrees)

Winter   (  foggy…  60-70 degrees…sometimes cooler )

Spring  ( 70-90 degrees )

It’s OK…I LOVE my HOMETOWN.

Sometimes.

OH…well…  🙂

And so on.

SO now that it’s 80 degrees & FALL..

What’s UP in ROOM 3??

Fall Brings…

BRAG  TAGS!

We use Brag Tags on rings during the month.

They earn BRAG TAGS

for

 following classroom / school rules

AND

Lifeskills

At the end of each month…

They transfer their earned BRAG TAGS  from RINGS…

To string necklaces.

They get to wear their necklaces ALL DAY AT SCHOOL

and then

HOME!

( Parents are told at BTS night to

 REWARD their kids for necklaces

 at the end of the month!)  🙂

Fall Brings…

English   Language   Arts

Word Work

Word  Sorts…NO GLUE!

Pick 3 crayons.

Color the words according to the KEY!

Write!

Back from 2 week vacation.

TEACHER…..CLEAN   YOUR   TABLE!

 I don’t have a teacher desk.           #bestdecisionever

Reading  ROCKERS!    #alternativeseating

Birthday  Books.

On each student’s birthday  ( or close  to ),

We make a class BIRTHDAY  BOOK!

We do these during  MUST DO TIME!

Independent work.

We have a “FRAME” style we use.

Everyone makes a page.

We STAPLE together and VOILA!

CLASS   BIRTHDAY  PRESENT!

We sing and dance as we PRESENT ( haha )  it to the birthday  student!

LAST..( whew..what a  week !)

Fall Brings…

GUIDED MATH

My  newest  &  favorite time of the day!

 We are doing

MATH  MUST  DO’s  &  MAY  Do’s

( Same format as ELA centers in the AM )

KEEP  YOUR  ROUTINES  THE  SAME!

We go the the MATH  Calendar  (  next to ELA  Calendar  )

after  lunch.

Math  Calendar

After  we go through the “math board”…

We NOW ( Quarter 2)  do MATH MUST DO’S.

(  Approx.  45   minutes  )

Must DO’s

#1    MATH    JOURNAL

Story  Problem  with  illustrations &  number  sentence.

#2    Math  Paper

A  Workbook Page FROM  YESTERDAY ( review )

#3    MATH   TUB  (center)  with a PARTNER

I do the whole class MATH lesson  BEFORE  centers.

SOMETIMES we do the workbook page together…sometimes they do.

Depends on the Lesson.  We  have a district curriculum to follow.

( Approx.  time    45  minutes  )

What  am I doing?

GUIDED   MATH   GROUPS!

I meet with 2-3  kids at a time.

We work on a STRATEGY.

NO  worksheets!

They need  to have independent  strategies to do ON THEIR OWN!

I  can’t  take the assessments  FOR THEM!

So…

Here is what’s UP  in room 3 in the FALL?

Need  supplements for ELA  or MATH?

Brag Tags

Balanced Literacy

Check out my store for GOODIES!

1stgradefireworks

Fall, Apples, & Johnny Appleseed



It’s ALMOST HERE!

FALL

FALL
The leaves will be changing, sweaters & boots come out of the closet, & PUMPKIN SPICED LATTE!

The world will be “balanced” again!

To celebrate the 
COMING OF THE NEW SEASON

I have a new apple activity for fall!
I LOVE APPLES!
Apple pie, apple cake, applesauce…apple everything!

September is the MONTH of celebrations!
We celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday too.
We make… APPLESAUCE!

 

 


To add to this year’s celebration..
I have a NEW product.

Apples are the BEST!

 

 

 

 

 

September Literacy Booklets for Apples and Johnny Appleseed.

Booklet style..2 on a page..B/W

21 PAGES of Reading, Graphic organizers, Word Work, Grammar, labeling, & Writing!
All in ONE BOOKLET!
Great for Whole Class, Small groups, Partner Work, Independent practice.

Early Finishers WILL LOVE THIS!

Fall themed. 

If you need more Literacy Products… follow 1stgradefireworks

 
I hope you can enjoy 
APPLES ARE THE BEST!
 
Follow my PINTEREST boards for
MORE
FALL  FUN

GAME CHANGER!!!

VOCABULARY BANNERS

I love it when SOMETHING WORKS!

YESSSS!!!!

I have

discovered, learned, found a BETTER WAY!

I LOVE  BANNERS

Obviously..

So  Does  PINTEREST!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/211317407494866485/

and so…

I needed some vocabulary words for MY classroom.

Different ones for EACH MONTH.

FAST & EASY for me.

High Interest for Kiddos.

TADA!

Vocabulary Banners

I have a

GAME  CHANGER

for YOU!

Tie a triple KNOT!

Yes, a TRIPLE KNOT…and staple it to one side of your board ( or window ).

Measure side to side. Add 3-4 inches!

Tie another triple knot and staple to the other side.

( I measured to make sure both sides were LEVEL.)

I know…those of you who know me… I NEVER MEASURE!

EYEBALL  IT!

But…I want to do this ONE TIME…not taking down the yarn until the END OF THE YEAR!

Staple BOTH sides of the KNOT!

The Knot will HOLD the yarn. NO SLIDING!

 

HERE IS THE 

GAME  CHANGER…

After you have laminated the banner ( OR TAPE THE TOP EDGE BEFORE

you HOLE PUNCH!)

Use a hole punch to make two holes at the top.

I went down about ( No measuring there ) a 1/2″.

THEN…

SLIT THE HOLE TO THE TOP!

( SEE  the  PICTURE )

WHAT??????

“NO! Then it will fall off!”

NOT!

No one is pulling on these. They are for

LOOKING…NOT  TOUCHING!

What this does is allows you to change the BANNER page

without having to

remove & put up a new string!

JUST CHANGE THE BANNERS!

YESSS!!!

Alternate sides when you add the vocab. cards.

I wanted an ODD number…

so I could have 1 in the middle.

Add another layer.

Same  directions.

I cheated in the middle layer.

Stapled the middle card ( so the arch would be close to the others).

TADA!

WONDERFUL Vocabulary words at my writing center for kiddos to use!

BIG pictures…spelling…variety

for EL’s, independent work, & everyday  writing!

And i can change them each month…

IN A FLASH!

Just change the cards…not the string!

Here are  my

  vocabulary banners

And so..

A GAME CHANGER

for me!

 

Happy Back to School!

Are YOU  ready?

Flexible Seating: Stools, rockers, rugs, and seats…For READING??

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
 
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
 
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
 
10 things to know about flexible seating
 
flexible seating
 

 

If you want to learn MORE about reading
check out these blog posts:
 

Can reading be the #1 predictor of academic success?

First and Foremost,

Reading is the #1 predictor of academic success.

Students NEED to READ!

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!

Students NEED to READ!

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 curricula have in common :

Students NEED to READ!

READ A LOT!

And then…READ SOME MORE!

Young girl reading a book

So …

My little sisters…

YES…both of my LITTLE SISTERS  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?

Students NEED to READ!

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!

Students NEED to READ!

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…

Students NEED to 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…

Students NEED to 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!

   

  

Partner Reading. A HUGE component of Balanced Literacy.

Partner Reading for Reading Comprehension

Partner Reading?  

How to enhance their Reading Comprehension?

TALK!   WHAT?  TALK?    HOW?

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.

It’s MAGIC!

And then..we ask them to 

SHARE!

My students did NOT want to partner read.

We had partners read together for reading comprehension.

Add flexible seating and VOILA! Readers!

Share the excitement of reading with ANOTHER!

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!

STOP!

I didn’t ask you to give it away…just spread the LOVE!

As a result…we share.

We PARTNER read!

My students did NOT want to partner read. We had partners read together for reading

comprehension.

Add flexible seating and VOILA! Readers!

We partner read to help increase reading comprehension through partner discussion.

 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!

SO FUN!

My kiddos LOVE it!

I told them it was a “WORK PLACE” and only students who are

“WORKING” can be there!

IT WORKED!

They worked, and worked, and worked!

Here they are:

Later in the day…there were 10 students on ipads with headphones

ALL engaged! 

HAPPY TEACHER!

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?

3 ways:

Sticks,

My choice,

Their choice.

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.

And…they choose!

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.

Usually the “paper” center is a PARTNER CENTER.

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.

I am looking into more alternative seatings for groups in my classroom.

So more partners can work together.

How do YOU group students for working in YOUR classroom?