Spider Updates and a Giveaway!!

Update!!! I just updated my Spider units (both the literacy and the math) AND I made a bundle unit. If you've bought these units, make sure you go back to redownload them. I'm getting ready to use them next week, so I wanted to freshen them up a little bit ;-)



To celebrate a week of spiders, my friend Kristen (A Day in First Grade) and I are both giving away our spider packs! You have two chances to win both packs.

It's super simple to enter. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog! I will pick a winner on Tuesday after school! (please make sure you leave your email address so I can send you the pack!) Kristen will also pick a winner! Click on her button to go comment on her blog for another chance to win!

A Day in First Grade


Visual Plans - Fall ideas

Whew!! Man, these plans took FOREVER. I don't know why this week was harder than other weeks, especially since it was only 4 days of plans! BUT, here they are!! Click on the pictures (or HERE) to download them to get to the PDF so you can click on the links for the freebies and product links. There are TONS of freebies in these plans, because I this week is a hodgepodge week, because next week starts my spider unit! yay! (Stay tuned this week for a special announcement on that!)

Each day, when I  meet with all 3 of my small groups, we do something called Peer to Peer Fluency. I am going to show you what that is this week!

My centers this week, I am mixing in a lot of "Fall" activities. Unfortunately, my kids, living in FL, don't really know too much about Fall since we don't really experience fall and winter here. Lots of freebies in the centers, make sure you download the PDF to get to the links!

For my math centers this week, I did my FIRST attempt at QR code centers! I used Nicole's Addition Strategy QR Codes and my kids loved them, so I am trying these out!

There are some activities in the plans that I will have to show you what I mean with pictures as we do them. So, hopefully I will get to them! I still have apple pictures to show you and a surprise!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

I think I will be enjoying more time with my Super Readers!

 Reading is a super power!!


Habitat for Sale!

This week, we've been working on a LOT of different things...we've been doing a lot of apple activities (those pictures to come this weekend), and we've also been working on our Habitat activities. Most of them are finished, but you know you always have those stragglers...right!?

We've been using my Habitat for Sale pack, which I love because it really make them learn about the actual HABITAT, what the animals need there to be (or not to be).

What I do is set out all my animal books, and let them do a window shopping spree around the room, so they can get to know which animals they can choose. Once they've all made their rounds, I have them go to seats and get out their science notebooks. They make a circle map, and write animals in the  middle. Then, they list all the animals they saw on their window shopping spree.

Then, we play a matching activity using the cards in my pack. The word cards give CLUES as to who would want to live there. They have to use their CONTEXT clues to figure it out.

 Then, they use the examples from those cards to plan out THEIR habitat that's for sale.   They write about what their animal needs to survive. (They get to do the research first in the books that I have for them.)

This is where we then talk about predators. We discuss predators, give examples of predators, and then we write it in our vocabulary journals.  I try to have them use the animal they chose in the sentence in their journals, so that it matches. (You can see that the plan above is about a bat, then his picture/sentence in his vocabulary journal is about a bat.) 

After they plan it out in their bubble map, then they write their sloppy copy, which I then conference with them on. After I conference with them, and they fix what I asked them to, then they get their neat copy. To draw and write on. 

This is also a great way to get in our informational writing! That's a big one for common core!

Here is my example I did for them....lol...PLEASE don't laugh at my elephant...

As their "reading test" (our skill this week was using context clues) they are going to do the individual page that I have in the pack to see if they can use their inferencing skills to figure which animal goes to which habitat.
Check out my Habitat for Sale pack!

Also, I wanted to share with you, because our Career Day is coming up on Friday and I always have my kids do my Community Helpers pack on our down time for career day.

I just updated it, too! So if you already bought it, go download it again.

This pack is great for learning about community workers, but I also use it during our career week!

Jobs included in this pack are:teacherrescue medicfirefighterpolice officersanitation workermail carrierlibrarianfarmerbuildernurse
For each worker, there are:-color picture cards with headers for teachers to use for whole group-bubble map describing each character-Tree map to describe what each worker has, does, and is-Picture scenes that students need to label, complete the scene, and write a caption for the scene
Also included:What I want to be when I grow up writing activityCompare and Contrast with writing extensionA book for the students to create about each of the workers.


Fall Book Link-Up!

Leaf Man is one of my favorite books to read in the first week of fall. Since we live in Florida, my students (generally) only know of fall via books and pictures (which is a shame because Fall is one of the best, most beautiful seasons of all!). So, I actually wait until more of October to do this activity. These are pictures from a previous year, because I haven't done it yet my class.

We read the book, then discussed repetitive lines (common core!), and cause and effect (why did Leaf Man keep traveling?)

Then we do our art project that goes along with it. I have done this project every year for the last few years. When my friend (who taught Kindergarten) and I were book buddies, we created the activity. I actually had some of my former students tearing the paper for the activity and they were talking about how they remember doing it - and how much they liked it....see?? It's the little things like that, that make me excited to be a teacher; when students remember things that you have done for them, no matter how big or small.

To create Leaf Man, I just traced leaves onto a paper, and then copied that paper off. I tore up fall colored paper into small pieces and have the students glue onto the paper. (I actually "color" the paper with the glue so they don't spend so much time gluing.) Use black beans for the eyes, nose, and mouth. (These days, I use black beads because of our little cockroach problem!).

I then glue the white paper to their choice of fall color paper as a border.

I'm linking up with one of my fabulous friends, Ashley over at the The Teacher's Treasure Chest! Go check out the rest of the link-ups!


Vocabulary Journals in the Works!

We finally started our Vocabulary Journal today!!

I just got our Vocabulary Journals back from the print shop copied, bound, and ready to use!

So today, while working our Habitat For Sale unit, we were planning our writing sheet, and stumbled across a word for our vocabulary journals! They are going to have to use this word in their writing, so it was a word I really wanted to make sure that they knew. What I like about my journals is that since words are really cross-curricular, it's a free-for-all journal, that way they can use the journals in any subject area, just like our phonics dictionaries.

I want them to color the words with their yellow crayon to highlight the words so they stand out. (I don't have them use a real highlighter because I don't want it to bleed through.

And did you see Stephanie's blogpost on how she uses it?? It's great! Go check it out! She shows you how she uses it with her "Word of the Day."

Check out my Vocabulary Journals 

Guided Reading "Toolbox" Linky!

Yay! I'm finally getting around to showing you all my goodies I like to use for my guided reading groups! I really love doing small groups, and I try to see all my groups every day. Some I meet for 5 minutes, and others I meet for 15-20 minutes. Check out my other recent post on it {HERE}. I also did a linky last year on guided reading groups. Check out those posts {HERE}, {HERE}, and {HERE}.

Back to some of my favorite "tools."  I don't use all of these every time I meet with my kids, but they are in my little "bag of tricks" that the kids love to use.

I really like using my Scholastic News magazines for my guided groups. Or I really like using Reading A-Z books. They have SO many books, leveled readers and phonics readers!  Here are some of my other "tools" that I like to use.

A - Witch fingers for pointing! The kids love them, and it's around Halloween right now, so I'm sure you can find them anywhere! I've had mine forever, so I don't remember where I got mine.

B - Chips. Mine are one side red and one side  yellow. I use these for math too, but for reading, we count out our sounds with them.

C - "magnifying rocks" which came from one of the Dollar stores, and are those glass beads you put in vases or whatever??? We use them to magnify words as we read them

D - pencil box of markers, highlighters, and erasers.

A few more....

E - magnifying glasses, to go searching for words - like words that follow a phonics rule, or a grammar skills

F - Helping hands. I have no idea where I got these, and they are so old, but they are reading strategies to remember while reading

G - Wikki Stix! We use these to cut and put under words that we find that follow phonics or grammar rules. The kids love them because they're so sticky.

H - Story cubes - fiction and non-fiction. I think these are from Lakeshore??

I - Whisper Phones, homemade! Check out my post on how I use them {HERE} and my how to make them post, {HERE}

J - reading strategy bookmarks, kind of like the helping hands, but these are bookmarks. I've had these for a few years, and there isn't a name on the file, so I don't remember where I  got these. (if they're yours, let me know and I'll give you credit!)

K - Easy Readers. I have 2 different versions, and these both came from Really Good Stuff. They really do help the kids track as they read.

L. - Sticky note bookmarking. A quick reference for the kids to do as they read.

Then, I have a goody bag of stuff. lol. I know. It's never ending! But I really believe in teaching in small groups, so I keep adding to my "stash" of goodies...lol 

I have my white board, which is also magnetic, and my bag filled with "papers" that I use a lot.

Making Words Folders, which I don't remember where I got them!?! I use them mainly for mini offices when we build words with our foam letters.

I also have the Word Pattern Playlist from Ladybug Teacher Files - find them at {THIS} post. and the Making Words Folder that I found from Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants - find them at {THIS} post. 

I also have my Sound Mapping pages laminated and ready to go. You can find them {HERE}. There is also an alphabet reference sheet for each student to use. I have them in all of my classroom packs, with the alphabet.

Our school used to do 100 Book Challenge. We still do it, just not as rigorously as we used to. But we still have the level cards, which have sight words on the back and comprehension and skills on the front that are like a checklist. I really like using these with my students, and it's also a great way to keep the parents informed of their progress and a great way to keep the parents involved with their reading at home.

And lastly, one of my favorite things I use, are my bumpy foam letters. I like them because i tell them to make sure the bumpy side is up, and they are small enough that I fit them in little 1/2 cup tupperware containers (which I got from the dollar store too!) I keep a whole alphabet in each container, and 6 containers on hand. I also have a like a little toolbox container that has all the other letters sorted out in drawers, that way if I need more e's for that day's lesson, then I can quickly grab some. 

Want to show what your favorite Guided Reading Tools are!?  Write a post and link up!!  I would love to see if there are more things I need to add to my toolbox!

Add my linky picture to your post, and link up! Make sure you link up your actual POST and not just your blog address.  Can't wait to see what everyone likes to use!

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