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Beginning Weeks of January

So, we started back to school last week and it's been a whirlwind every since! ha!!

I've been pretty crazy busy (short week, awards, class pictures - that were running late) and so my pictures have been kind of scarce, but I've managed to get a few here and there....

Let me just start off with this picture...

lol. The power in our school went out for about an hour, if not more and we were brought back to the dark ages. lol. Not really. I have a big wall of windows and a door that opens to the outside, so we were pretty well lit. lol. But one of my lovelies had this flashlight in his backpack, so he helped to shed some light on the situation. haha.

OK - let's get back on track here. lol
The first few days we got back, we talked about our goals for the new year. 

We just wrote them on our "quick writes" paper.

And since we were going to have Monday off for Martin Luther King Day, we talked about how it's okay to be different. I really like to focus on accepting everyone, not just people of other colors.  Todd Parr's book is one of my favorites to talk about this.  

The book class book we wrote comes from Kelley's pack.  My class loves writing class books. Take a look at this post to see more ideas for class books.

Another favorite activity we did comes from Christina, HERE.  We read the book Snow Dream, and we focused on using clues... a lot of inferencing with this activity!

We also used the Snowmen Books to help us with our writing that week. After we read a few of the books, we brainstormed ideas on what they could do with their snowman. Then, we did the planning page and wrote it out as a paragraph. 

I really want them to start focusing on topic, details, and closing, so I had them use a crayon to underline their topic (green), details (highlighting the transition words in yellow), and closing (red). 

After they finished their writing and illustrating, they did the snowman craft to go along with it. It's a non-tracer craft. They are getting so good with those! 

That was the first week. 

Our 2nd week back, we moved on to Penguins... We reviewed prepositions (with my stellar chart anchor chart that I forgot to take a picture of), then they did their Penguin Adventure book

It's a freebie! :) 

Also - every theme we always start with making our folder for it. We make a header for the folder and then they do a directed drawing for the cover. I always love how different they turn out!

They really make it their own!

This week, of course, we focused on Tacky!

We did some summarizing. The kids said that they thought "Then" worked better, the way we were wording the summary, so we changed it on the form. Sure! Why not? Right?

They took the planning page and turned it into a paragraph writing.

We also compared Tacky to his friends and did a cute craft to go with it!

After reading a few of the books, we did a little character analyzing....

Next week, we'll still be doing penguins, but we're moving to nonfiction!

The kids will be doing their own research on PebbleGo and creating their own book!

I always love watching their first research book come together! 

Here's a preview of what's included in the Learning with Penguins unit.

Getting Ready for January


What a whirlwind December is!!

And let's not talk about winter break....I feel like I just got on break by the time I wind down from Christmas and Brooklynn's birthday...

Oh well, it will be here before we know it! Time to get planning!!

The morning they walk in, it'll be time to color their January Journal covers for their {Poetry Journals} and {writing Journals}! These are freebies, click the links to grab them.

We didn't get a chance to do our December memory book page, so we'll do that when we get back. {THESE} are some of my favorite things to do...and the parents LOVE keeping them! You can also read another post on them {HERE}

ahhh... snowmen. I LOVE doing a {snowman week} with my little Florida kiddos. They always love it....probably because they're so fascinated with something they've never felt. haha

I love these writing packs because I don't even have to think.... well, I DO, but everything I need is included in these writing packs!

Oh my gosh. My penguin unit is one of my favorites! I didn't get a chance to do it with my group last year, but that's because I was on maternity leave. But you can read about how I did it with my 2nd graders {HERE}. You can also check out the penguin books I like to use during my Penguin Week {HERE}.

January Centers.... check them out at {THIS} post. There's also some freebies to download in that post too!

I also have the bookmarks ready for January. Download this freebie {HERE}.

And before I left I copied all of the calendar activities in my Ultimate Calendar Bundle.  You can check out {THIS} post to see how I have it all organized for the year!

This is a fun little preposition practice book. I actually have this in a {turkey}, {Gingerbread}, {spider}, and {bee}. It's pretty much how I teach prepositions through the year, instead of just doing a lesson and being done with it.

Speaking of writing books, my students LOVE writing class books. I have the {January} ones out and ready for them to write throughout the month. 

If you want to see more on our class books throughout the year, you can check out {THIS} post. 

Label and Write About It! January pack - great for differentiating!

And one of my favorite activities each month is my Monthly Family Projects. And January is one of my favorites! They usually turn out SO stinkin' cute!

So that's what I have pulled out of my files... now it's time to sit down and write it all out! 

I'll try to come back Monday with more detail ideas for this week...I'm sure I'll be adding in some last minute changes!  Because don't we all?!?

Top 16 Posts of '16

I can't believe it's the end of 2016.

Here's to another "Top Posts" to wrap up the year!

So, the top posts of the year are the ones that have the most pageviews and "shares." Sometimes, I'm not sure why, but I just roll with it. ha!

1) Class books for the year - my kids LOVE doing class books!

2) Organizing your Classroom Library - I LOVE organizing, so I'm glad this is one of your favorites too. lol

3) Hellooo, February - prepping things for the new month!

4) Getting Ready for February - apparently, February is a popular month?? ha! Or... maybe I blogged more that month than others?? haha! That one is probably it.

5) Morning Routines - I absolutely LOVE my mornings. I'm so glad this was a popular post! 

6) All About Plants - the model is pretty cute, don't you think!? ;-)

7) Fun with Frogs - I love little froggies!

8) Getting Ready for Reading Week - I love dressing up for Reading Week! Fun little freebie to download over on that post. 

9) Spelling Journals - A Classroom Lifesaver.... and still true, to this day!

10) Math with Unifix Cubes - my kids LOVE doing math with cubes!

11) Making Phonics Fun! - A weekly routine of our phonics.

12) Learning with Worms - one my kids' most FAVORITE weeks!

13) First few days of First Grade - honestly, I think I post about this every year, but I seem to forget EVERY year the first few days... or even weeks. I feel like it's child birth. The giving birth is not so fun (aka - the first few days of 1st grade) but the outcome of the birth is beyond wonderful (aka - October through May)... haha!

Again, same concept as above - haha!

15) Gold Medal Students - my version of a "Student of the Week."

and finally...

If you want to see previous years' "Top Posts" posts...

Also - just to end the old and start the new with a bang - I'm having a New Year Sale!

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