Category Archives: Uncategorized

No More “HOW DO YOU SPELL???”

Spelling.

( I know..I cringe at that word.)
Kids want to SPELL perfectly…every time!

My fear is…students who STOP writing a wonderful story, because they can’t remember HOW to spell a word.

Just one word. And then..they stop writing! UGH! They ask themselves, “What does it start with?” Oh..I dunno…so where do they look? What do they do? Ask a friend…look on your word list…check the word wall…ASK THE TEACHER! NO!!!   I want INDEPENDENT readers & writers! Those DREADED words…

“HOW DO YOU SPELL…????”

Ugh! What to do FIRST? We have gone over letter sounds, word families, vocabulary, picture prompts, word walls, word lists, dictionaries, pictionaries, and so on..and so on. And still they ask. “How do you SPELL???” So what is a teacher to do?? Then what?
PINTEREST! ( The place where ALL questions CAN be answered!) And so I search…
Spelling Practice
Spelling Practice from Samantha Almaguer  FREE!

SO MANY SPELLING CHOICES!

So many Spelling WORD LISTS! ( And don’t EVEN get me started on WORD WORK!) Balanced Literacy Word Work And so…what’s a teacher to do? Head to YOUTUBE! Here is a great video from Angie @ Center Station
Still, no answers! AND SO?  What to do? What to do? Create MY OWN! My district has adopted a curriculum. I have 18 boxes waiting for me to unpack! My PD for this new curriculum is 5 days before I have students! I probably won’t have time to REALLY dig into the program. Surface teaching for a few weeks! BUT… My kiddos are ready… BEFORE I AM! And so.. I create! Bookmarks for Sight Word PRACTICE

Here are a few of my newest

SPELLING   creations!

The spelling word lists in this program can be used anywhere, anytime, with ANY program!

Homeschools, interventions, homework, practice pages! Here is KINDERGARTEN
Here is  FIRST  GRADE
And  Grade  2
All of the lists are printed in black and white. SAVES  ON  COLORED  INK! ( I print mine on colored paper!) I print one copy of SPELLING word list for the student’s desk. A little tape on top..and voila! Instant word wall for writing! (NO MORE …HOW DO YOU SPELL…) The other word list I send home for homework each MONDAY! They have to read & practice each night. Spelling tests on FRIDAY! I give “rewards” for 80% correct or higher! I don’t expect perfection…just effort in their work. I add these word lists to SPELLING CITY on our computers. (If  you don’t have SPELLING CITY….GET IT!) 🙂
They practice EVERY DAY!

They also must use the week’s spelling words in their journals.

They read their journals to a partner. WOW! Spelling, reading, writing, word lists, &  homework! I think we’ve got this! I have also added BLENDING LINES for READING FLUENCY PRACTICE!
Blending Lines for Reading Fluency
BLENDING  LINES….View Preview VIDEO Here

I hope you can use my new SPELLING Packets!

This may help, too!    For more thoughts and talk for November, please visit these great posts. Like what you see, and want to join us? Before posting your link, please email RETTA at retta.london@gmail.com.
Leave me a comment !!! Good Luck!

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

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!

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Getting Ready to READ in SMALL Groups

AKA… After I assess them, NOW what?

SMALL GROUPS!

small group table for reading

We are back in school. I spent the first few days going over schedules, routines, set up, clean up, etc. As the week went on, we got better.


Now, it’s time to introduce content. I need them to start working so I can ASSESS.
ASSESS for WHAT?

Assess for READING!

First grade is ALL ABOUT READING!

Small groups are leveled so I can reach each student at their level and help them become

BETTER, INDEPENDENT READERS!

HOW? How do I know?

ASSESSMENTS!

Assessments drive your instruction.

DATA. What DO they know? What DON’T they know?

All of this data becomes the source of my instruction.

If I have a concept that a LOT of them don’t know…. whole class lesson!
RETEACH THE WHOLE CLASS!

BUT, if only a FEW are missing a skill or strategy…SMALL GROUPS!
Reteach it during small groups.

OK. HOW?

How to Group students for SMALL GROUP reading. 1stgradefireworks

Assessments drive your instruction for small groups!

I use MULTIPLE ASSESSMENTS.
Curriculum, DRA, Running Records, BPST, Letter sounds/names, blending, segmenting, sight words, etc.

PLEASE…. DO NOT sit a child down and assess for more than 15 minutes!

Better to assess over DAYS than HOURS!

You want to know what they truely know.

I put ALL of my data on a spreadsheet,

I like to see ALL of it together.

THEN WHAT?

Look for patterns.

Do they know letter names & sounds?

6 kids are “inconsistent”? GROUP THEM FOR practice! Small intervention group with letters, white boards, & pictures,

Your first small group is ready to go!

Missing sight words?
BAM! Small group for sight word practice, reading with the teacher, writing sight words in sentences, and more sight word practice.

Fluency? Do they “robot read”?
Another strategy small group! Fluency practice. I read. You read. We read. I read. YOU read. WE read.
They need to hear YOU for fluency & intonnation practice.

Here are some “helpers” for small groups that I found on PINTEREST!

Effective Grouping for Small Group Instruction – Learning with Mrs. Langley

 

How to Use Small Group WarmUPs with MissDeCarbo.com

 

What is a BALANCED LITERACY CLASSROOM? 1stgradefireworks

Check out BALANCED LITERACY HERE!

So. 

  1. Assessments
  2. Decipher your data. (Look for patterns).
  3. Make your small groups.
  4. RETEACH
  5. Practice
  6. Reassess
  7. Regroup students ( keep groups fluid).
  8. Again. And again, And again!  
  9. Watch them GROW!  
  10.  SMILE. You are great! 🙂

If you need more help…

check out these posts for MORE information: 

Balanced Literacy

Book Clubs- Reading

Writing

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I was taught “Hard Work” by the BEST!

I am such a SLACKER! I think I am a hard worker!

I think I have it all together..

I DO NOT!

 

My Grandmother & MY MOM

raised a family, worked at home & outside the home, 

and we always had stuff when we wanted it.

THEY were hard workers!

 

AND I NEVER ASKED HOW?

 

Gma & Gpa taught me to work hard!

This is my GMA & GPA…

I miss them both.

They lived on a dairy.

 My GPA taught me about cows, HARD work, & what “silage” tasted like! ICK!

My Gma always wore a dress & heels. She was a petite little thing.

She wore toilet paper around her hair at night, so she would look “good” in the morning.

My Gpa didn’t give us candy.

 When we left his house, he would give us a teaspoonful of brown sugar 

, from the jar in Gma’s kitchen.

 Nothing fancy..but it meant EVERYTHING to us!

They owned a peach orchard.

 40 acres of peaches. 

I never really thought about it when I was little.

 It was just a “lot of trees”.

My Mom & Dad who taught me about Hard Work.

This is my MOM & Dad ( I just found this engagement pic.) HAHA

My happy parents who both work hard!

They are hard workers. 

My dad went to work every day.

 Dressed in his suit & white shirt 

( that my mom ironed..I know ..with an iron & ironing board! )

And my mom worked a self-owned business, 

was ALWAYS there when we got home form school,

 and helped us with EVERYTHING we ever did ( sports, clubs, school, etc).

And I never asked HOW?

How do you do it ALL? 

And now this….

Both my GMA & My MOM canned fruits, made pickles, and baked goodies!

Now I don’t bake ( leave that gene to my sister, Susie).

I have NEVER made pickles..& probably won’t..BUT  

I   CAN  FRUIT!   

I CAN FRUIT, A LOT!

I  remember walking into GMA’s garage & seeing shelves FULL of canned goods.

I grabbed bottles of canned fuits from my mom’s shelves in our garage.

Peaches, pears, cherries, etc, etc, etc,,   whenever we wanted!

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

It didn’t matter…it was always there.

HOW????  Hard Work!

I never asked.

So now..I apologize to GMA & MOM.

I should have asked to help you peel, or slice, or wash, or……..or….or……to do the hard work!

But, I cannot take it back.

SO?

I will follow in your steps.

I will teach MY DAUGHTER to can!

And my granddaughters!

I will continue the family tradition. Work Hard!

Only…we will use the recipe on my laptop.

( I know GMA & MOM didn’t do that!)

So here was my day TODAY ( from start  to finish ).

Canning fruits & vegetables is Hard Work!

Work Smarter not Harder!

Wash the jars ( hot water & heated dry) in dishwasher.

Pick the fruit from the trees, Hard Work!

Wash them for safety. Hard Work.

Blanch them to peel them easily. Hard Work.

Wash..rinse…BLANCH (  Boil  whole peaches, then put in pan of ICE WATER!)

Their peels  just  slide right off!

Slice, Slice, slice!

Work Smarter not Harder!

Too hot to cook inside!

Set up our campstove OUTSIDE!

Pan on the left is a sugar/water mixture.

Cook the peaches in for a short time, then pour into jars!

Hubby is sooooo  good at this!

Hard Work.

Harder Work.

Hubby does the hard work.

Then…

Boil in a water bath ( 25 minutes ) to seal.

Hard work pays off.

 and…

VOILA!

Canning is hard work, but so worth it!

Hard work pays off for MONTHS to come!

There we go!

11 quarts of fresh canned peaches!

They will be sooo  good  this winter! 

(Daddy gave us more peaches 

…so I am thinking peach cobbler for dinner!)

or maybe…..

I SHOULD MAKE JAM!

Gma made jam……so did MOM….WOW…Hard Work!

I should THANK them.   🙂

JULY already? NO!!! Summer… SLOW DOWN!

Where did my SUMMER go?

July???  Already HERE?  End of JULY is close! NO!!!!

 (Sniff…sniff…deep breath..) I need to get my classroom ready for… The First day of SCHOOL!

OK…student’s are coming to school July 30..

I had better go & see what it looks like..

EEEEEEEKKKKKKK!

WHO LEFT THIS HUGE MESS in my classroom!!!????

Oh, yeah…ME? 🙂

I locked the door …AND  RAN!!!!!

Whew! Time to clean up!

So, I spent today (again) working in my room, this time…

throwing things away!

I purged like I never have before!

My poor janitor…he came in twice to take away PILES.

But it’s getting there. Now to teacher organization.

I have 3 big things I did TODAY:

1. I got rid of my teacher desk. 

No more file cabinets, drawers, or “piling” surface.

I now have a “U” reading table as my area! 

LOVE THIS!

 I now have 2 tall (5ft) bookcases next to my area.

2. I made a “supply” center ( Lowes tool box) 

for all of my desk supplies.

AND…

to keep all of my centers and student stations…

LOOK AT WHAT I DID TODAY!

WMart  3 drawer containers.

I “cutsied” ( is that a word?) them..

LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

My counter has NEVER been this clean! 🙂

I couldn’t decide what I wanted on each label.

So, I chose the month ( so I can add theme materials)

AND

next to it, I put what skill is taught during that month.

My thinking is …

when I create or purchase new materials,

I can file them either by the month OR by the skill.

Math was a little harder…most CCSS cross the entire year.

You can’t just teach number & operations in August…all year long! 

I think I will keep the standard, and separate each one by quarter.

Maybe…or maybe monthly…I dunno yet. 

I need to live with it a while & see how things go!

Busy day!  I love getting organized!

Tomorrow I challenge the dreaded….

PUZZLE CABINET!    UGH!

FREEBIE…You made it to the bottom of this post…

Here’s A FREEBIE FOR YOU! (Click HERE)

Let me know…HOW DO YOU GET READY FOR BACK TO SCHOOL?  

Who wants to win some $$$ ????

HANDS UP!

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THINK END OF THE YEAR, BEGINNING of the Year, & HOLIDAYS!

Baby It’s Cold Outside
Robby Rabbit’s Garden. Complete Plant unit for SPRING!

AND a GIVEAWAY…ACTUALLY 2 (WHAT? 2 GIVEAWAYS????) YES!

Head over to my Instagram for a FAST & EASY way to ENTER to WIN $140 on a TPT Gift card! YES!!!!

AND…

Enter this RAFFLECOPTER for $100

Enter the Rafflecopter HERE

Check out 1stgradefireworks for LOTS of GOODIES!

The New Year is a Great time to “CLEAN UP”!

Can you hear the song?

Here’s a link to help you…

CLEAN UP CLEAN UP!

My NEW YEAR’S Mantra!

CLEAN UP!   CLEAN UP!

I LOVE to start the NEW YEAR with cleanliness!

NO …I AM NOT  OCD ( quite the opposite ).

I like to start the year off with a clean slate…

doesn’t always stay that way!

Helping start out your “Clean up” in the classroom with your literacy block! 🙂

So here I  go!

MY Closet! 

ICK!

Keeping these…pants together..skirts…etc

Hubby even did his shoes! 🙂

Pile to GO!
Cleaned out my closet…found my LOST slippers!YIPPEY!
Pile of unneeded hangers!Gave some of them away with donated clothes.
Kept some…yes..I got rid of the WIRE HANGERS!HAHAHAHAHA

So I am DONATING 2 bags of 

“UNUSED” clothes & shoes

( Doesn’t fit, holes, haven’t worn, aren’t going to wear…)

to Goodwill.

Have you tried this COOL  closet  trick?

Take ALL of your hangers and turn them 

BACKWARDS!

As you wear something…

turn the hanger forwards.

Next year…

ANY hanger still turned backwards…

YOU HAVE NOT WORN IN ONE YEAR!

DONATE  IT to someone who will!

The Christmas Decor!

I LOVE my Christmas tree.

I turn on the lights, sit in the dark, and watch it twinkle!

But…it has been up since November.

( Yes, before THANKSGIVING!)

I didn’t have Thanksgiving at MY house..so..

UP WENT THE CHRISTMAS DECOR!

Makes me happy!

But…Time to “CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP!”

Gma loves help! Such a decorator!

It takes a LONG time to put ornaments away!

You have to touch each one…remember when or where you got it…

the memories are sometimes OVERWHELMING..

Sniff..sniff..giggle..giggle

We started this years ago…

When we travel, or have a special place…

we buy an ornament.

Check out my UPDATED post on 

“In Life…there is NO “Do OVER!”

Newest member of my snowman ornament collection.
Don’t forget the year!
Little sister got married  in HAWAII!We were ALL there!So FUN!

and last…

ME!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions…

I don’t need ANOTHER thing to worry about!

But..

I have changed my eating habits!

( Lost 32  pounds …so far )

YEAH!!!

My new favorite “treat”…

APPLES & Peanut Butter!

But wait!

 Isn’t Peanut Butter FATTENING??????

Here’s my SECRET..

Slice apples ( I buy mine pre packaged & sliced ). 🙂

Put them single layer on a plate.

Put 1 Tablespoon ( Yes I measure ) peanut butter in a small zip-lock bag.

Close bag. Microwave PB ( mine about 20 seconds).

Snip ( tech term) the corner off of the bottom of the PB bag.

DRIZZLE over apples!

It’s like FROSTING the cake!

* UPDATE…  You CAN use PB.

BUT…

My newest LOVE

PB2.

Powdered Peanuts…NO  FAT!

Mix 2 TBL powder with 1 TBL  water!

PRESTO!

PB  with NO  FAT!

I LOVE LOVE  LOVE  the PB2 with CHOCOLATE!

CAN YOU SAY…  REESES???

I have it on my toast in the AM.

So…I am beginning my

CLEAN UP 

mode.

I should start on the kitchen cabinets, or the bathroom…..

I think I hear 

APPLES & PB

calling me!

Check out my ZOODLES, too! 

Happy New Year’s,  my friends!

I am a COOKIE MONSTER!

Yes. I admit it. 

I LOVE COOKIES!

I count points. Weight Watcher, here!

BUT… they are NOT good for my hips & thighs.

SO WHAT IS A COOKIE MONSTER TO DO?

BAKE cookies for OTHERS!

The Giving Plate for COOKIES!

Yes. I will taste a few. And then walk on my treadmill… a LOT! 

But life is about LIVING!  MODERATION in everything! EAT THE COOKIES!

And life goes on.

I stalk Pinterest. I know there must be a 12-step program somewhere.

But for now, Pinterest has my heart. I can find ANYTHING there!

I am sharing my BEST cookie pins from my COOKIE board.

Cookies for the COOKIE MONSTER in YOU!

My CHALLENGE to you. 

Make the cookies.  Some for you… some to share.

I take a plate to the neighbors, leave a box at the fire dept., police dept., hospital, for my mail lady, and the garbage collector. 

My school does a cookie exchange & our family has a HUGE one!

Finally… freeze some for later.  The COOKIE MONSTER in you will be VERY happy AFTER the holidays!  

Enjoy my friends!

Merry Christmas, my friends. And HAPPY BAKING!

Don’t BLINK!

Family

Leave me a comment…  what is YOUR FAVORITE COOKIE?

Mine?   ANY!  🙂  

How to Survive WINTER in the Classroom (with KIDS!)

It’s Here. Ready or Not.

WINTER IS HERE!

It’s ALL about SURVIVAL. Think JUNGLE. Think SWAMP! THINK SNOWSTORM!  EEEKKKKK!!!!

Yes you must get out of bed…YOU are the TEACHER!

You can do it. You are the teacher. 

Now, we here in NORCAL have rain, fog, some snow (in the Sierra mountains)…but YOU ALL have

WINTER SNOW DAYS!

And YOU get a Snow day!

NOT EVERYONE.

We get to go to school. No recess ( rain ). Short lunch.  BOUNCY KIDS!

So to help out with the teachers who are INDOORS in WINTER with a class full of students who want to be OUTDOORS…

I have put together a WINTER SURVIVAL Guide for YOU!

First and foremost, GET IT READY NOW!

DON’T WAIT!  ( You won’t have time to prep ALL of it the WINTER Day you NEED it! )

Have it ready to pull out and VOILA!  SUPER TEACHER!

Here are a few samples to help:

Baby It’s COLD OUTSIDE Winter Reading, writing, & word work centers

BABY It’s COLD Outside! Winter Language Arts Centers

Do You WANT to build a SNOWMAN? Place Value FUN! Winter math craftivity for first and second grade!

Do YOU Want to Build a SNOWMAN? Place Value FUN!

Here are a few more Winter Survival Products  to check out!

The ELVES are Working OVERTIME!

Word Tree BUNDLE for Fall, WInter, & Spring. Reading Fluency for ALL!

Need some WINTER “HOW-TO?” 🙂  Here you go!

BALANCED LITERACY

5 Packet Winter BUNDLE!

5 Packet WINTER BUNDLE

Winter PINTEREST BOARDS 

So..Get READY, Get Set, GO!  

Get Ready for the WINTER SURVIVAL in the classroom!  HURRY! 

WINTER Snowman

Breathe. Relax. and Remember…

The sun will come out…EVENTUALLY!  HAHA

January..are YOU ready?

I am a CLIP ART Addict!

I confess…I am a CLIP ART Addict!

I am sure there is a 12 step program somewhere.
A “group”  where  I can
“beat” my obsession.

I AM ADDICTED TO CLIPART!

Others go to sales for the products.
I go for the clipart.
Holidays, kiddos, animals, backgrounds, frames…
I LOVE THEM ALL!
And so..
Here I go again!

DJ INKERS is having a SALE!

 DJ Inkers is so excited to celebrate Back to School with YOU! The fun begins 7-18-18  with fabulous teacher FREEBIES & incredible SALE!  You’ll find adorable classroom clip art, fabulous fonts, educational printables & smiles… ALL ON SALE for the celebration!

{Click here to sign-up for their email list,

 so you won’t miss a thing!}

DJ Inkers is giving away  a

Top Of The Class CD ($39.99 value)

to ONE LUCKY WINNER!
And I am adding
Johnny Appleseed’s APPLES ARE THE BEST
AND
I have a FREEBIE for YOU!
I used
and
in my  FREEBIE!

DJ INKERS ‘Top of the Class’
So now…
Who wants to win CLIP ART???
I DO!  I DO!

Enter the rafflecopter  HERE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter  July 18-22,2018