Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fluency Fun for Everyone

One of the best things about teaching 1st grade is experiencing those little 6 and 7 year olds becoming fluent readers.  It is just amazing how they go from stretching out one sound at a time to reading sentences and stories. 
I used to think fluency practice was only for "readers," but now I know that fluency work starts right from the beginning.  Children need to be fluent in knowing their letters and letter sounds as well.
Since I have a huge variety of levels in my classroom, I wanted to create a packet that would allow me to differentiate my fluency instruction and practice.
I created Fluency Fun for Everyone, which includes fluency practice for learning the names of letters, letter sounds, sight words, simple sentences and fluency phrases.

I also included a Comprehension Check for my students that are ready to practice fluency with longer passages.  I have found that many times, students become very fluent readers and then they forget what they are reading about.  This gets them to think about they're reading.

You can find this packet by clicking on the picture below.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We are Pumpkin Detectives

Today my students became Pumpkin Detectives.  I enlisted some parent volunteers to help with our pumpkin rotations. 
I split the students into 4 groups. Two of the groups became Pumpkin Detectives.

 We weighed our pumpkins, measured the circumference, measured how tall our pumpkins were with cubes, and predicted the number of seeds.  

We kept track of our information and the students wrote down their findings on their own recording sheets.

The students came up with words to describe the outside of their pumpkins.  Then, it was time to cut the pumpkins open.  The students felt the insides and came up with adjectives to describe the inside of the pumpkin.
Finally, we began counting the seeds.
*I HIGHLY recommend laying down cheap plastic table cloths over your desks or tables and do everything right on top.  Clean up was SUPER easy!  We just rolled it all up and threw it away.
I found that the best way to do this was to scoop some out for each student and have them start putting the seeds into groups of 10.  The group I was working with had 663 seeds!!!

The other two groups rotated between making a Pumpkin Book and completing a pumpkin craft.  Then, we switched and the other two groups were able to become Pumpkin Detectives.

The students had a lot of fun and even though it still smells like pumpkins in my classroom, it was well worth it.
You can download the Pumpkin Detective recording sheet for FREE by clicking on the picture below.

Hopefully, I get a chance tomorrow evening to blog about my new Fluency Fun for Everyone packet.  I am LOVING this differentiated fluency packet and have been using it in small groups!  You can click on the picture below to head on over to my TpT store to check it out.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trick and Treat Hop

Fall is upon us and that means it's time for some Teaching Tricks & Treating!

That's right - I have teamed up with my Freebielicious friends again to share some 
teaching tricks and special free treats for you!  
This is a trick that I have shared before, but it's been a couple of years so I thought I would share it again.  I photocopy the front cover of all of our textbooks and keep the copies together with a magnetic clip on my whiteboard.
When I want the students to get out a particular textbook, I pull that page to the front and write the page number under the picture.  It's the perfect visual for students to make sure they have the correct book as well as page number.  It also works well for students that come into the classroom from speech or Reading Recovery and need to know what we are working on.
Now for a treat!  This Pumpkin Freebie is perfect for describing real pumpkins or pumpkins that you have created from construction paper.
Just click on the picture above to head on over to my TpT store to download this freebie.
Hop along to the next Freebielicious friend to see what their Trick & Treat is!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

November Games Galore

Isn't it crazy that we are over halfway through October?  It has gone by so fast and November is baby due date month!  Oh my goodness!  We still have SO much to do!
Anyways, I did get a chance to finish my November Games Galore NO PREP Math & Literacy Games packet.
This packet contains 5 Math and 5 Literacy Games intended for partner play as well as 2 whole group games (November Bingo &  Football Next Number Scoot).
All of the games come in a black and white version, but some also come in full color if you would prefer to print them off and laminate them for future use.

You can check these out by clicking HERE!
Don't forget that if you have already purchased the Games Galore Bundle, you can go and redownload it to get the November packet for no additional charge.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our Columbus Day Voyage

For quite a few years now, we have been doing a Columbus Voyage with our first graders.  I blogged about it 2 years ago HERE.
This year I'm at a different school and fortunately I work with some amazing 1st grade teachers that jumped right in and wanted to do this voyage as well.  We did have to adjust some things due to the fact that we have more than double the 1st graders than we did in my other school.  It just didn't seem like a good idea to have 115 1st graders going into 7 different classrooms to trade items.  Instead, we put all of our trading items in a large conference room and our recess aides helped to trade with our students.
First, each student was given a snack bag to represent our food on our long journey and we decorated our Columbus Day hats.
Each student was also given a bag of 7 trinkets (bells, beads, jewels, and mirrors) to use as trading items.  Then, we began our voyage as explorers and we walked around the outside of the school for our 2 month voyage across the ocean.
When we reached "land," we met the Native Americans and traded our trinkets for items from the New World.

We took all of our new items back across the ocean and to our classroom to begin working in our Columbus Day Voyage booklets.

It was a lot of fun and the students loved it!  You can download this packet for free by clicking HERE.
We also completed this short Columbus Day booklet if you want to check it out.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Long Vowel Word Work

Can I just tell you how much I LOVE Fall Break?!  Unfortunately, the weather has been rainy and cold and I have only left the house once so far...but I have been able to accomplish a lot at home.
First up, I finished up my Long Vowel Word Work packets.
With my Short Vowel packets, I posted them as I finished them because we were in the midst of teaching short vowels at school and then I bundled them at the end.  This time around, since we aren't ready for long vowels yet, I finished them all and posted them at the same time as the bundle! 
These are very similar to my Short Vowel Word Work packets, which is great for easy planning each week!  My students know EXACTLY what to do and we barely even have to review the directions.  I use many parts of these every single week for independent work stations while I meet with small groups!
My Long a, Long i, and Long o packets are larger because they include a section dedicated to silent e as well as the vowel teams that make the long sound as well.
So, my Long A Word Work packet includes a full section of activities for a_e that I will use for our week that I introduce that phonics skills.  Then it includes another section that introduces ai & ay, which I will be using during a different week.
The Long i packet includes i_e as well as ie, igh, and -y and the Long o packet includes o_e, oa, and ow.
The Long e and Long u packets only contain the one section because the vowel patterns are introduced together.  E includes ee, ea, ey, and -y and U includes u_e, ew, ue, and ui.
You can find each individual packet by clicking on the picture below.
Or, you can save money and purchase the ENTIRE bundle.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Parent Teacher Conference Time and Must Have FREEBIES

Parent Teacher Conferences are right around the corner.  The beginning of the school year has gone by SO fast!
I am wanting to try something new this year and have my students complete some Self Evaluation prior to conferences.  I came up with these forms for us to complete next week.

I compiled all of these forms, made them EDITABLE, and put them into a FREEBIE for you.  You will also find the following forms:

Click on the picture below to download this FREEBIE from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
I also wanted to remind you of some Fan Freebies that I have had over on my Facebook page since last year that are perfect for Parent Teacher Conferences.

You can get these by "Liking" my FB page and then clicking on the Fan Freebies tab.
Are you gearing up for Parent Teacher Conferences?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...