Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: October 21st - Sight Word Organization



Here's an easy organization idea for keeping sight words organized for small groups.  I used a binder clip for our first quarter sight word list. These are now "review" sight words. Our 2nd quarter list gets clipped together as "current" words since this will be the set that the kids are assessed on next. 

We practice both sets but the kids love seeing the "review" pile grow and grow throughout the year as they master new words for the sight word vocabularies. 

Link up your picture for the week with me below or browse the blogs to check out this week's Wordless Wednesday posts! :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

What I'm Teaching This Week & A Birthday Celebration Sale!

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend. I spent my weekend being super lazy around the house and hanging out with this little guy:
We worked on report cards and watched a lot of HGTV in our pajamas. :)
It was an awesome and much needed weekend!

In other news...Today is my birthday!!!
Woo-hoo! It's also a professional development day, so I get to wear jeans to school and drink my coffee all at once, without having to reheat it after small group math time. 
#happybirthdaytome

To celebrate, I put EVERYTHING in my TpT store on SALE!
It's a great day to stock up on fall goodies and intervention bundles!

In non-birthday news, you might be wondering what I am teaching this week!

I linked my plans up with the awesome Mrs. Wills from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten. Link up your visual plans with her by clicking below!

Since we have a PD day today, this week is going to be b-u-s-y.
To some, a 4 day week means easier planning. To me, it's just a matter of squeezing five days of content into four days!

To download my plans with clickable links to the resources I am using, click HERE or on the pictures below.  




 Many of my Halloween resources this week can be found in this easy to grab Spice It Up! October Bundle. You can grab all four of my October resources at a discount:


Thanks for stopping by to see what we are learning and doing this week! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Differentiate Your Math Games: 7 Ways To Play Top It w/ a Freebie!

Do you love playing math games in your classroom as much as I do?!  I teach 90% of my math instruction in small groups, so games are a must! I think math games are one of the easiest ways to differentiate instruction within our math block, while making sure students are having fun, engaged, and working with hands-on manipulatives.  

In my classroom, one of our favorite games to play is Top It from the Everyday Mathematics program. My kids love it! We change the rules throughout the year so that the game becomes increasingly more challenging for my kiddos.

Top It is a two player game.  Essentially, it is the game of "war" that you played as a kid with playing cards! To play, you need at least two copies of single digit number cards.  Players put all cards face down in a pile. They flip over the cards and the player with the greatest value, sum, or difference (depending on the rules) wins all the cards from that hand. (The kids can use a dry erase board if they need a space to show their work.) Players continue until all the cards in the deck have been collected.  The player with the most cards wins the entire game! Then, students repeat and play again!


Today, I'm sharing 7 different ways for your students to play Top It! 

This version is perfect for kindergarten students who are learning how to identify and understand the value of numbers 0-9.  The player with the greatest number wins both cards for his/her pile! :)

This version involves not only comparing numbers but place value understanding, too. Each student flips over two cards. Players make the greatest number possible with their two cards. The player with the greatest two digit number wins all four cards for his/her pile!

Play this version the same way as the previous game, except with three digits! Students will practice placing numbers into the hundreds, tens, and ones place to make the greatest three digit number.  The player with the greatest number wins all six cards for his/her pile!

For this version, each play flips over two cards. Players add their cards together. The player with the highest sum wins all four cards.  Repeat, and play again! 

For subtraction top it, students should subtract the smaller number from the larger number. The player with the greatest difference wins!

Students will flip over three cards and add them together. The greatest sum wins that round and gets all 6 cards to add to his/her pile! Repeat until all the cards are used.

This version is great for the end of first grade and second/third graders. Students flip over four cards and create 2 two-digit numbers that they will add together. The player with the greatest sum wins all eight cards for his or her pile. 

You can click HERE to download the following number cards
 for your Top It games! You can also click on any of the pictures below. 
These cards would also be great to use for small group math work and whole class lessons.



Math games are an easy way to differentiate within your classroom - and they're FUN! :) 
I hope you and your students have fun with all of these variations of Top It! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday October 15th - A Teacher's Prayer


I found this super sweet prayer for teachers on Pinterest and had to share with you this week! You can find the pin HERE. :)

Link up with me below or check out some other pictures of the week! :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday! My Week in Pictures

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday! Here are five random pictures from my week:

In our mini lessons this week, we focused on THINKING while we read! We monitored our comprehension by discussing and sharing our thoughts before, during, and after we read.

We used the book, The Art Lesson, for our anchor chart about thinking. After we finished our book, we practiced making connections to the text.  They did a great job!

We practiced using adjectives while we observed everyday objects in science. In the picture below, we observed lemons. (It was crazy to find out how many of my first graders truly hadn't seen a lemon before!) 
The next day we tried to make invisible ink with the juice. They wrote a word with lemon juice and a Q-tip. Then, you are supposed to put it up to a lamp for heat and the heat makes the words show up by browning the edges....

EPIC. FAIL.
The lemon juice never turned brown with the lamp's heat like it was supposed to. 
We had to talk about how sometimes, experiments do not go as planned. Sometimes they don't work and we have to try something new. Regardless, they had a lot of fun!!
This week was filled with a lot of fluency intervention.  Our report cards come out in a couple weeks and our first "report card fluency check" was today! They did SO great!  In the picture below, my advanced reading group was using my Text Evidence Passages {Fall Edition} during our intervention and guided reading time.

I got my hair cut!  Confession: Even though I went to the salon knowing I wanted it short, I MIGHT have cried a little when I got home. I was not used to the length and I was still a little shocked.  Now, I love it!

Thanks for catching up on my week with me! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday October 8th - Wear Pink!



This month, I'm teaming up with my sweet friends at Tieks  to spread Breast Cancer Awareness in October with my ballet pink flats.  

Did you know...?
-When breast cancer is detected early in the localized stage, the 5 year survival rate is over 95%.

Please join me in encouraging your fans, friends, and loved ones to get routine check-ups and mammograms!  Because breast cancer runs in my family, I recently had my first mammogram. It was painless and as we teachers say, "easy-cheesy!"
To help us support Breast Cancer Awareness month, join me by wearing something pink this Friday!

Before you link up, I want to invite you to have coffee and chat with me this Saturday morning at 10:00am EST on my Facebook page!

I hope you can join me for a "Teacher Talk!"
 :)

Link up with Wordless Wednesday below! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Visual Lesson Plans & New Fluency Pack!

Happy Sunday! I hope you had a fabulous weekend!  I spent my weekend hanging out with my husband and decorating our house for Halloween! My house is now filled with white pumpkins and purple mums - ahhhh! :)

Tonight I have visual lesson plans for you, some pictures from last week's learning activities, and a new fluency product to share! So let's get started:

Last week, we took a deeper look into what a scientist is and what scientists do. I like to kick-start the school year with little experiments to get them excited about science, but now, it is time to really learn and dig into our curiosity about WHY we study science. 

Getting my students to understand that scientists observe the world around them is the first step in creating curious learners who ask questions. I handed out magnifying glasses and told my kids to closely observe four items in our classroom. 


They had to write one question that they were wondering about the items they observed. This activity leads into our routine that our writing is constantly integrated into our science and social studies content.  Yes, I have a set "writing" time of the day, but it is a mix of science/social studies activities and writing projects. We learned how to write questions as we observed our items in science. This activity will lead into my students researching and writing informational essays soon. 

This weekend I whipped up a little fluency pack to add some FUN into our small group times and our poetry/phonics times this month!  This pack is on sale for the first 48 hours. It contains some adorable poems/songs (If I do say so myself! :), passages with picture cues for your struggling readers, nonsense word spinners, and partner plays.  All of the pages are ink-friendly and ready to use! :)

Find this pack in my TpT store by clicking HERE or clicking any of the pictures below! :)




Now, it's time to share my first visual lesson plans of the 2014-2015 school year with you! When I did this for the first time last year, I was so apprehensive. My plans are not very detailed as I like my small groups to guide themselves based on my students' daily actions. 
In my visual plans this year, you'll be able to see a general focus for my week and hyperlinks to all of the resources I use throughout the week!

(My lesson plan format comes from A Teacher's Plan and can be found HERE.
My template is customized to meet my classroom's needs.)

*You have to download my plans HERE in order to get the hyperlinks for the resources.  The pictures below are just previews.  

My plans are laid out side by side, so I can see the whole week's spread with my binder open. On the second page, you will find the resources I am using during our RTI intervention time, my reading mini lesson, and my integrated writing/science/social studies activities.  

This week's reading mini-lessons come from The Comprehension Toolkit K-2 program. It is a resource I use a lot for my comprehension lessons. I highly recommend it to help engage your students with text. It provides a great model to help students monitor their comprehension, learn how to use text features, and reflect on their reading. 

Below are my guided reading plans. For online purposes, the names of my focus children for each day's lesson and some individualized focuses that I include in my plans have been removed. However, you'll be able to see a general format for how I write my plans. :) Again, click on the pictures or click HERE to download the plans and get clickable links. 
I linked up visual plans up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.  Click below to visit her blog and check out others' visual plans:

Thank you for taking a peek at my week with me! I hope you enjoy the visual plans and get to peek at our daily schedule within our first grade classroom. :)

I'd love to give the first THREE followers to leave a comment below, my new October Just Print Fluency Pack! Just leave your email below and tell me how you'd use this new pack in your classroom. :)  

See you Wednesday for Wordless Wednesday! :)