Category Archives: Small Groups | Centers

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

Games for ASSESSMENTS???? REALLY???

Can I really play a FUN game to ASSESS?
Oh YEAH!
We have been playing ( YES…PLAYING) 
fun games this month!
And guess what?
I can use them for assessments! 
( Do I hear OH YEAH!)
Sorry …my WBT is going to my head!
My new SEPTEMBER game is both.
It’s a game & assessment.
I use the foldable game cards as a
September PREVIEW & REVIEW.

I start the month with the cards to see what my kiddos know…
DO I HEAR KWL???
Then I can plan for the month depending on what they DON’T KNOW!
At the end of the month..REASSESS!
Use DATA for review in small groups.
(WOW!!! I think I am getting this down…sarcasm)
It’s only taken me 23 years..sarcasm
( Some of us have been teaching this way for years!)
Shhhh…don’t tell anyone
Those “young PHDers in Education” may feel sad. 
They think they have created something new..
The education pendulum has swung again!
Smile, nod your head,…and teach!
Do I hear an “OH YEAH!” ๐Ÿ™‚

Have YOU Heard? REALLY??? AM I the LAST to know???

I feel left out!

HOW did I not know…???
I just found out that

ORIENTAL  TRADING

has a 
WEB SITE 

JUST FOR TEACHERS!

OMG! 

LIFE  CHANGING!

The “go to” website for class sets of

ANYTHING…

pencils, erasers, crafts, party supplies, etc

NOW…has

TEACHER  SUPPLIES!

Bulletin board materials, pencils, book marks,STEM activities, etc..etc..etc…


Learn365  is  AMAZING!

The WONDERFUL people at ORIENTAL TRADING
sent my students  SOME  GOODIES!

*disclaimer…I was compensated in classroom materials for this blogpost.
 BUT…In my opinion,
 I believe this is a wonderful site 
for teachers when purchasing classroom materials.

My students have
 3 new STEM tubs
 for Problem Solving!


Jumbo Lacing Beads

WHO doesn’t LOVE to make PATTERNS, 
practice stringing beads, 
and work on fine motor skills
 of putting a bead in a string?

My kiddos LOVE this!

Yes…primary kids still need patterning!  ๐Ÿ™‚

Foam SHOES for practice TYING SHOE LACES!
WHAT A HIT!

It’s a LIFESKILL..not all students have.
Great practice!
These are sturdy & REAL!
Love them!


And their ABSOLUTE
FAVORITE!

Learning Resourcesยฎ Gears! Gears! Gears! Movin’ Monkeysโ„ข Building Set

STEM  at  it’s  BEST!

They build a rainforest THAT MOVES!
The monkeys MOVE!
The forest MOVES!
They control it through the movement of GEARS!

WOW!


We have only been in school for a week…
but I have already had kids ask
if we can get THIS out again!

WINNER! WINNER!

So..I feel very fortunate to have this wonderful
donation to my class!

GO NOW! Get your STEM ON!


and now YOU know!

I hope I will NOT be the LAST to know again!

Happy Back to School!


The day the BOYS found…DICE!

My boys have found…DICE!

I must THANK the Dollar Store & Target $1 Spot
for making their “dreams come true!”

I Love to have games in my classroom!
We PLAY LOTS of GAMES!
 I once had a parent ask me if ALL we did was play games….
each day her daughter would go home & MOM would ask..
” What did you do at school today?”
Daughter….”Oh, we just played games…”
YES!  BUT…
We play MY games…
games that reinforce concepts I am teaching!
GOOD GAMES! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, today,

MY BOYS  FOUND….DICE!

Their world has changed FOREVER!
I have small dice, large dice, EXTRA LARGE FOAM DICE! LOTS!
We are working on beginning addition…
( YOU know where I am going with this!)
Roll…..ADD….Color!

We got out the dice games & had a ball!
Here is my FALL DICE GAMES
7 games in one packet!
So CHEERS to games 
that make learning FUN!

What games do YOU play
 in your classroom??? ๐Ÿ™‚

Where do I put ALL of this “CENTER”… stuff????

Today my tip is about storing ALL of those center supplies!
Who doesn’t LOVE all of those cute centers!
Holiday centers, reading centers, writing centers, skill centers…
And so on, and so on…
BUT
WHERE DO I PUT ALL OF THEM????
How do I store all of this stuff???
Well…I have a solution.

I LOVE Sterilite drawers!

NO…I mean
 I REALLY LOVE SERILITE DRAWERS!
 I did NOT put the casters on them.
I line them up on my counter…
I TOLD YOU I LOVE My drawers!
I teach 9 months a year ( Approximately )
SO…

9  English Language Arts drawers 
AND
9 Math drawers!

Conveniently they come in stacks of 3! 
These fit nicely on my counter.
9 ELA drawers
I used scrapbook paper to “cover” the front of the drawers.
(Hides the mess  contents  inside…)
9 Math drawers..Math is blue..just for me!
How do I organize it all?
Each drawer has a label on the front:
Each drawer has a month
AND
The skills my MATH PROGRAM teaches each month.
Yes, I have a math program I must follow.
My kids are assessed on these skills.
So I organize them by the skill for each theme taught each month.
 I always, ALWAYS need and ETC drawer!
Who doesn’t have EXTRAS???
I partnered up the first two months of school to get an extra MATH drawer.
Mostly the same concepts for the first two months.
Each ELA drawer has the same.
Each one has a month and the skills taught in my ELA Program!
Yes, we also have an ELA program!
Tested skills… 
So now..my drawers are labeled…NOW WHAT???
As I create or purchase centers,
I laminate, cut apart, and put in GALLON ZIP-LOCK BAGS!
Then…place in the drawer by SKILL!!
What about cutesie ones that are holiday themed, but in the wrong month?
FOR example…
I teach short a & short i in August..
what if I have a cute short a center with SANTA on it?
SO WHAT?
MY KIDS LOVE SEEING SANTA IN AUGUST!
or
Bring it out again in December for review…
It won’t hurt them!
Centers are for independent practice..ALL THE TIME!
When we finish a theme…place them back in the drawer! DONE!
Sometimes drawers get “messy”..
THAT’S WHY WE COVER THEM!
Close the drawer & walk away!
Can you see me SMILE?
So, as you are doing SPRING CLEANING or
this SUMMER when you have “extra” time..
Think about drawers…I LOVE THEM!
( I have another set for Guided Reading…6 drawers for 6 groups!)
Here is a freebie of drawer labels for YOU…

Leave me a comment.
 How  do YOU organize your centers?
PS… Here is a few LINKS to centers in MY store!

WOWZA! I’m on a ROLL!!! OK..Time for a NAP!

I am on a ROLL!!!
Working on updating & revamping some
 FALL GOODIES!

Stop by & give me some LOVE!

(WOW! …I need a nap!)

 HUGS! ๐Ÿ™‚

1stgradefireworks
Fill in the missing number.
Task Cards for Guided Math Centers.

Sweet Rhymes.
Match the cone to the ice cream scoop that rhymes.

September Preview/Review GAME!
Assess for FALL concepts!
Fun AND INFORMATIVE!

Missing addends in FALL task cards!
Guided Math center activities.

Sight Words Flip book!
HFW fluency practice.


Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To
Halloween Edition.

Fall themed packet includes:
-Fall vocabulary : syllables
-Graphic Organizers
-Writing Paper
-HFW Matching Game
-ABC Order
-Poem
-Pocket Chart Cards for Poem

WHEW!
Hot around here.

I hope YOU are taking it easy,
resting and playing…

 Soon enough, 
we will be getting ready for BTS!

It’s FINALLY Finished! And an Earth Day FREEBIE!

You know that project you
STARTED…
LONG AGO ( I mean really long ago)?
The one that sits there…staring at you 1/2 finished?
The one you think ” Yeah..I SHOULD work on that today.”
But…SOOOOO many other things to do…
Well, I finished it!
YIPPEE!!
Here is my newest packet!
SUMMER FUN in the SUN

10 centers!
Yes, you heard me right….10!
Here are some preview pages…
 Nouns, Verbs, Adjective  Sort

Contraction Action!

Punctuation Practice

Three (3) HFW  Games!!!

Writing Prompts
Math
Even/Odd Sort
Using Numerals, Place Value Cubes, & Ten Frames

Double Digit Addition & Subtraction

AND…..
Math Fluency Practice / Assessment Cards!
WOWZA!
( No wonder it took so long to complete! ) ๐Ÿ™‚
Check it out at my TPT store:
Click HERE
Thanks for hanging with the LONG POST!
Here is a Earth Day  FREEBIE for YOU!
Leave a comment with your email…
You never know when I might 
send YOU an EXTRA FREEBIE!

My Firsties are NOT Doing Well With HFW…

        

My firsties are not doing so well on HFW.
Let me refresh…
30% of my 28 did FANTASTIC!
40 % did OK…on level…no worries
BUT  ๐Ÿ™
30% ( that’s 8 students people!)
could NOT master 100 HFW!!!!!
That is NOT acceptable to ME!
( I can give you all of the excuses…
foster homes, no kinder,
students who qualified for SDC, 
etc, etc, etc,)

BUT…the buck stops HERE!
OK…NOT that BUCK!
I am going to spend a 

LOT MORE TIME 

each day on HFW!

So …I got to work.
 Here are a few things I am working on
in progress…
BUGGY HFW!
1-100 FRY WORDS
Click HERE to check these out!

NEXT….

THEN….
NOW…
Hang in there with me, I know LONG  POST..
What do you put all of these cards in?
 TA  DA!
Pocket holders…
Now… these are for STUDENT PRACTICE.
I’m thinking …
TAKE THEM HOME 
And  
STUDY YOUR WORDS!
( OK, uhum…breathe…)
I HATE when I send home cards
 & 
they fall out of their HW folders
even before we leave the classroom!!
SO.. 
Pocket holders!
The directions are included
( See YELLOW PAGES…haha)
 DIRECTIONS PAGE 1
 DIRECTIONS PAGE 2
SO…I think I can NOW
GET BUSY MAKING THESE THINGS!
As I Promised… a FREEBIE!
Here’s to an organized classroom!
Yippey!

UPDATE! Math Practice for the WHOLE YEAR!

Really?
Math practice…DONE?
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?
LOTS of Practice…Little teacher WORK!
Work Smarter….NOT HARDER!
Now available at 1stgradefireworks

I LOVE the Guided Reading Table!

What is YOUR favorite time of the day?
Before lunch?
Recess?

Mine is…

GUIDED   READING!


The place where “MAGIC” happens!
The “AHA!”..the lightbulb…whatever you want to call it.

Last year I got rid of my 
TEACHER  DESK.

This is my 
CENTRAL COMMAND.




Then I added stools from IKEA.
My kiddos LOVE IT!


My next favorite “accessory”
from by
BFF….
AMAZON!

Brewster Wall Pops 

WPE99065 Peel & Stick Calypso Dry-Erase Dots

 with Marker



I put  BIG teal dots on my table!



My kids write on them!




After we read… then
we write questions on them
 and then change seats to answer them!
Musical Chairs!



They LOVE it!
Write & WIPE! 

The BEST!

I use my 

to guide my lessons.


I use it
to assess kids reading levels,
 to group them with like skills,
 and to teach them AT THEIR LEVEL.

Now a couple of things I have learned “on the way”…
1.  Guided Reading is NOT independent reading time!
They read to themselves (READ TO SELF) at a different time of the day.. we do it after lunch.

2. Guided Reading is NOT a time for a LONG teacher LESSON!
( I only have them for 15-20 min.  Always give them a skill or strategy they can use NOW!) Your goal is to create INDEPENDENT READERS… do not enable them to wait for YOU to do the reading.

3. You DO NOT have to read a BOOK every day! (This is not the time for HOW MANY BOOKS have you read?)  My lowest reading group needs PHONEMIC AWARENESS. If you don’t know your letter sounds…it’s really HARD to read.

So Guided reading should be called

GUIDED  LITERACY

Meet them at their level.
Give them a “take away” that they can use TODAY.
Repeat. Repeat.Repeat.

I also use FRIDAYS for assessments ONLY.
NO GROUPS!



I do one to one RUNNING RECORDS.
I do fluency assessments.
I do letter & phonics assessments.
BUT…
Don’t  “DAWDLE”…
Make it quick. Not a “story” time.
Try to get the most BANG for your buck.

Suggestion:

Start with your middle groups.
The “BUBBLE” kids.
They will be moving the fastest.

Next. Alternate assessments between your highs & lows.

Your highs probably will make continued growth with “less” support…they came in with strong foundations or they wouldn’t be HIGH!  Don’t forget about them. Keep them connected with BOOK CLUBS, Writing, and LOTS of COMPREHENSION.

My low babies. You can’t practice TOO MUCH.
When they become “done”…distracted, unable to focus, etc.
CHANGE IT UP.
Interactive writing, phonics games, reading with “finger pointers”, etc. etc.   Change the game…not the content.

Here is a Sight Word FREEBIE for YOU to get started !


So I LOVE the guided reading table.
LOTS of learning goes on there.

BUT ALWAYS, ALWAYS, remember…

IT STARTS WITH

Shout out to The Primary Brain!

I need to give a

SHOUT  OUT!

Recently, I purchased a packet from TPT.

I know, I create them.

I got busy! What can I say?

But…it has saved me a  LOT…I mean a LOT of TIME!

I want to give a shout out to

Laurin
at
The Primary Brain!

Click HERE to go to her tpt store!

I purchased her


So..how am I using them you ask?

Glad you asked…

Let me show you!


First… I got out my GUIDED READING “levels” FOLDER.
All students have a velcro name tag and I attach them into groups.
Moveable, fluid, ever changing.
I LOVE IT!


Close up of my “loves”
 that spend 
daily reading time
 with ME!
EVERY DAY!


So, I used her bookmark IN A SLEEVE, as an assessment.
Gotta know WHERE to START!
I took one bookmark & gave it to the student
to take home & practice.
Notice the “CIRCLED” words?
PRACTICE  MORE!


Then I made a TEACHER copy.
 This group has 4 students.
Each student has a different highlighted color.
I highlighted the words THEY need as a group.
During WORD WORK…they will come to ME to practice as a group.
I can see at a glance which words to focus on.

Did the same with other groups. 
I purchased 10 levels…enough for NOW!

I LOVE the 3 bookmarks to a page!
She did a great job!

I appreciate products that make MY LIFE easier!

THANK  YOU!

I also am using my HFW packets for my kiddos to 
PRACTICE…PRACTICE…PRACTICE!!!


How do YOU teach HFW?