Category Archives: Small Groups | Centers

Small group ( 6 or less) and independent centers for students to practice skills and strategies.

Fall, Apples, & Johnny Appleseed



It’s ALMOST HERE!

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 product!
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!!!

3 Steps to Sight Word Fluency

3 steps to sight word fluency.

Not exactly steps..a hop..a skip..and a JUMP!

When teaching my kiddos to read,

I use MANY tools!

Books, whiteboards, markers, pocket charts, flashcards, etc..

But… when teaching sight words

or

high-frequency words

or

FRY words, Dolch Words etc, etc, etc.

It ALL comes down to this…

IF YOU CANNOT READ  SIGHT WORDS

You WILL NOT read at grade level!

Scary??    YES!

 HOW  DO  WE HELP???

We research.  We try. And we try AGAIN!

There are MANY resources on Pinterest

to help you find lists, and lists, and lists of words!

27-awesome-sight-word-activities-for-kids-pin

Awesome Sight Word Activities

27 Awesome Sight Word Activities

sight-words-pin-700x1000

Sight Word Activities

Learn Sight Words Through Play

And LOTS of OTHERS!

HFW Dots from 1stgradefireworks

Awesome Sight Word Activities

HFW Dots

NOW I know what to teach…

 HOW  do  I Do  IT?

Here are your

3 steps to Sight Word FLUENCY!

steps

Step 1

Matching  Game

Each student makes their OWN word cards on colored paper.

(Practice sounding out, spelling, & writing EACH word)

I use 8 – 10  words.

Then they cut them apart.

Find a friend who has a different colored paper.

Both friends turn their word cards face down.

Rock, paper, scissors…winner goes first.

Choose one of YOUR word cards and one of your friends.

READ BOTH CARDS…friends help if needed.

If they match…keep BOTH cards. If not, turn them over and partner’s turn!

Winner has the most matches at the end of time

( or when ALL cards are  turned over)

PLAY  AGAIN!

Kids playing Sight Word Matching Game

Awesome Sight Word Activities

Great PARTNER work!

steps

STEP  2

Pocket Chart

MAKING WORDS

and

MATCHING WORDS

I use

MAKING WORDS

 GRADE  1

Making Words for Sight Words

Awesome Sight Word Activities

for my word study WORD WORK.

I make the letter cards and the word cards.

We pocket chart them ( my kiddos like to play SCHOOL during MAY DO time).

One of the Activities is

MAKING  WORDS!

Pocket Chart for Sight Words

Awesome Sight Word Activities

After MAKING WORDS

we play

MATCH IT!

Pocket Chart Match Sight Words

Awesome Sight Word Activities

Turn them over & MATCH IT!

We also invented

SPEED READER

(NOT SPEED RACER!)

I turn them over & as a class,

we read as FAST AS WE CAN!

Step 3

steps

Word Wall for Sight Word Fluency

We play

I SPY

They use their whiteboards

and I call OUT…

I SPY A WORD ON THE WORD WALL that

starts with a “_____”  and RHYMES with “____”.

They find it on the all…and write it on their boards.

Sometimes I will change it up with

“A verb that starts with a “__”, etc. etc.

 The main theme here is PRACTICE…PRACTICE PRACTICE!

No matter how many “steps” it takes…

they need practice activities & time

to HOP, SKIP, & JUMP  into FLUENCY!

Balanced Literacy for the Primary Classroom

ALL Classrooms should be a BALANCED LITERACY Classroom!

ALWAYS  begin with BALANCED  LITERACY!

And so we begin.

Matching Words

Making Words

I Spy

To help with Sight Word Mastery
CLICK on the links for help!

Small Groups

Those Crazy Word Walls

Hi Ho Hi Ho..It’s Off to High-Frequency Work we GO

Ready to TRANSFORM your Classroom 

into a 

BALANCED LITERACY Classroom?

Here you are! 

Balanced Literacy 

If you need more help, check out my TPT Store. LOTS of goodies in there!

Wendy

Book Clubs for Book Study

Book Clubs Reading Groups

Reading Groups? 

 LOVE THEM!

BUT….
My High Kiddos 
don’t want to meet with me
 as often as my others…
so, enter

BOOK CLUBS

 

 



We have grouped our BOOK CLUB kids into groups of six.

 Each has the same book.
They have worked with the packet with me first during guided reading.
Model, model, model. 
Then …
RELEASE THE KRACKEN!



 I mean …release the firsties!

 

Book Clubs work as a team 
to help each other read the story,

 have a “LITERATURE” discussion ( the hard part),
 and then they complete the packet TOGETHER.

 

 



 Do they copy…yeah ( get over it) .
They ARE Learning from each other.
 I have heard the BEST discussions ever 
( and I wasn’t involved in it!).

 They really CAN do it.
They enjoy the new packet.
 I give them a “reward certificate” 

LUNCH with the teacher 
when the TEAM completes their packets
 AND 
 give a 
GROUP ORAL REPORT 
on their book!

They want MORE!
 ( I try to switch the Book CLub groups , depending on the book level).
It takes them about 1-2 weeks to complete it.

 We have a “core” reading series 
we HAVE TO DO are highly, most decidedly will, are

encouraged to do, first.

 SO… Book Club is their UA (small group) time.

So here it is!  Check it out! Good for ANY story or book.

BOOK  CLUB

 

 

 

Tips & Tricks

 

  • When students are independent readers, begin BOOK CLUBS
  • Hold students accountable
  • “Chunk” their work time ( I have them work for 15-20 minutes)
  • If needed…choose a LEADER to begin the discussions.
  • All club members need the same book.
  • Have booklets ready ahead of time. When they finish one…start another!

 

Check out these resources to help with reading & writing in YOUR classroom! 🙂

If you like it..PIN IT! 🙂

Book Clubs for Book Study

Book Clubs for Reading Comprehension!

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:
 

Using Math Data for Guided Math Groups

I teach MATH.

I “think”

I teach math well.

BUT…

HOW  DO  I  KNOW  IF  THEY  “GET  IT”???

How do I know if they have mastered ( or internalized )

the concept,

BEFORE  THE  TESTING  BEGINS???

I mean…it’s NOT…

I REPEAT…NOT

always about 

THE  TEST!

But.. my kiddos WANT to do well!

Even in First Grade, they KNOW!

They KNOW TESTS COUNT!

Whether or not we like tests or don’t,

TESTS  COUNT!

And so…

I have a district purchased math curriculum 

I am required to teach.

We use  Expressions.

I have a pacing guide from my district to use as a “tool”

to
Keep ME on track.

Mostly to ensure I have taught the required concepts for 

THE TEST!

I am NOT a fan of WASTED WORKSHEETS!

SOME…I LIKE!

SOME…I DON’T!

So …now what?

I NEED DATA!

SHOW ME WHAT YOU KNOW!

And so…

THEY DO!

Here is my Lesson on

ADDITION using 3 digits:

So..  NOW  WHAT?

Now I have LOTS of DATA 

(Student information)

 to put students into

I have noted students who need scaffolding in:

number sense

subitizing

numbers beyond 10

addition

grouping numbers

writing numbers

expanding numbers

place value

shape recognition

AND ALL OF THIS…

with 2 pieces of white paper & some crayons!

But…  

in the next few weeks

when we

“TEST”

My kiddos will “GET IT”!

I know they will!

If YOU need any help with 

Check out …

for  GRADE  1

See how I use it  HERE  and  HERE

AND

BUGGY  MATH

For  GRADE  2

See how I use it HERE

I also have MORE MATH Products…

Math Talk for Math Discussions

Sticks  and  Stones

Thanks for following!

Here’s a FREEBIE for YOUR TIME! 🙂

ks  and  Stones

ENJOY!

Wendy

It’s National PUZZLE Day! Do YOU play GAMES??

GAMES!
 
Today is NATIONAL PUZZLE DAY!
Wahoo!
Fun times with friends.
 
Do  YOU play games in YOUR classroom?
I  HOPE  SO!
 
What a better way to practice academic skills & strategies.
The BEST way to learn social skills of sharing, taking turns, winning and losing.
AND..most importantly….
IT BUILDS YOUR CLASSROOM COMMUNITY!
Checker

Checkers

Board Games for kids

Boars Games for kids

Chutes & Ladders Board Game

Chutes & Ladders Board Game

Candy Land Board Game

Candy Land Board Game

 

I also have the children make their OWN games..
We play the “matching” game..A LOT!
 
Use spelling words, vocabulary words, math facts…whatever!
I give 1/2 the class 1 sheet of colored paper.
I give the other half  
1 sheet of colored paper, too 
BUT a different color!
 
We fold it into 8 rectangles.
EVERYONE writes the same words on their paper.
THEN…cut the cards apart!
 
When we are ready…find a partner
 WITH   DIFFERENT COLORED PAPER!
 
Turn over all of the cards. 
Pick one of YOURS,
 then choose one of your partners!
 
With different colored papers
…no mistaking whose is whose.
 
When game “time” ( set a timer ) is done
..pick up YOUR cards!
No mixing them up!
Take the cards HOME & PRACTICE!
Here WE ARE at WORK:
Kids in classroom playing learning games

Kids in classroom playing learning games

Partner students in classroom playing learning games

Partner students in classroom playing learning games

Kids in classroom playing learning games

Kids in classroom playing learning games

I hope you play games!
Have FUN!
 
Here are some MORE blog posts about
CLASSROOM  GAMES!
 
PLAY ON
 
 
 
Here are some games 
for YOUR classroom:
 
CVC Scoot Game

CVC Scoot Game

Who Am I Flapbook Game

Who Am I Flapbook Game

What's a SMORT? A SMART Sort!

What’s a SMORT? A SMART Sort!

Shelves  of Board Games

Shelves of Board Games

Check out my 
Pinterest board
for MORE fun GAMES!
 
 
Here is a FREE game..to ENJOY!
 
FREE Game CHICKEN DANCE from 1stgradefireworks

FREE Game CHICKEN DANCE from 1stgradefireworks

Are YOU ready for DECEMBER?

Holiday Literacy\Math Games and Activities and a FREEBIE

Are YOU planning for December?

Are YOU ready for DECEMBER?

Get your first-grade math games & activities ready for DECEMBER!

Are you ready for holiday first-grade math games and activities?

Do you have your holiday reading and writing centers ready for December?

Do you need help finding them?

Easy Prep?  High student Engagement?

I have HELP FOR YOU!

This ROUND-UP is to help YOU get organized,

NOW!!!!

The FREEBIE is at the BOTTOM! 

KEEP  READING!   🙂 

Get your guided math centers ready to go!

Math games and printables prepped, organized, sorted.

 Students can’t wait

for the exciting activities

to help them get through DECEMBER!

Place Value Ture or False Sorting

Do your kids need extra help with place value? How about a sorting activity?

Place Value Sorting Cards True or False?

 

Greater then Less Than Holiday Edition

How to help your students practice greater than and less than with game activity.

Greater Than Less Than Holiday Edition 

 

December Fact Families

Math Fact practice activities for December

December Fact Families

10 more and 10 less for math centers

10 more and 10 less task cards for math games using the hundreds chart! Fun game!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Elf is NOT on the Shelf

Now  it is time for those literacy

( reading, writing, phonics, word) 

centers! 

Are YOU ready? 

The Elves are Working OVERTIME!

Literacy activities and games for reading, writing, and grammar for December.

The Elves are Working Overtime

Reading Word Trees for Fluency

Helping students read using Word Trees. Reading activity for fluency practice.

Sight Word Trees Holiday Edition

And for a FUN combination of Literacy and MATH…

The Winter Wonderland BUNDLE!

More games and fun activities to help your students practice grade-level standards in a highly energizing way! What a fun way to support learning through the HOLIDAY season!
Winter Wonderland Holiday Literacy & Math BUNDLE

Reading, writing, phonics, grammar, sight words, place value, task cards, and student practice pages to support learning through DECEMBER!

Winter Wonderland HOLIDAY BUNDLE

Do not forget to take care of YOURSELF! 

Get planned and prepped for December

and then enjoy the season!

Laugh, giggle, give hugs & high-fives.

The holidays are for making memories.

MAKE YOURS!

Here are some posts that can help YOU, too! 🙂

When do YOU put up YOUR Christmas Tree?

What Does Read At Home Really Look Like?

Don’t Blink!

Balanced Literacy

Happy December!  Take Care of Yourself and ENJOY IT!

THANK YOU for hanging in for this LONG POST!

Here is a FREEBIE for YOU!

Click BELOW

Holiday NOUN, VERB, & ADJECTIVES

Wendy

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

Are your students ready for CENTERS?

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!

Release the Kracken

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?

MUST DO’s & May Do’s.

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!

 

 

SHORT VOWEL DOMINOES 

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!

UPDATE! Math Practice for the WHOLE YEAR!

Really?

For the WHOLE YEAR???

YEP! YEP!
Math Practice …Common Core Aligned
Daily skills for kiddos to practice!
My newest packet requires..
NO   LAMINATING!!!
Really?
I mean REALLY?    YES!

I Mean NO! NO  LAMINATING!

HOW? Tell me HOW?
 

First…Print  the  cards  on paper  or cardstock.

I choose…FLUORESCENT!
Pink, green, blue, orange , & yellow!
BRIGHT    BRIGHT   BRIGHT
I have Black walls  ( Wal Mart  Twin  Sheets!)
LOVE THEM!
Bright cards LOOK GREAT!
So how do I put them on the walls?

Sheet Protectors!

Cut them to size….
( I added tape to the bottom of some to make a “POCKET”)
and
VOILA!
To see the whole wall….
Close your eyes!  READY??
Love Love Love it!
Here is a preview!
And here is the best!
The kiddos use this printable
doing 4 sets a day, for 5 days 
AND THEN…
take the cards out of the pockets…place a new card in front…
AND DO IT AGAIN!

New card…same skill!

Here is the student printable:
YOU SEE?

Work Smarter….NOT HARDER!

Now available at 1stgradefireworks