Sunday, October 7, 2012

Check This Out!

Here is a great website with tons of free printables and great resources. Last year I used their "Flash Fluency" program with my students and saw remarkable growth in my student's ability to read and retain the sight words. My students also loved the "Card" games that continually built their skills. Believe me, it's worth taking a look at. Click on the image to take a look.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Daily 5 Word Work

We've been in school for a month now. I have a great group of first graders. I started Daily 5 for the first time and am loving it. The students are in the routine and are doing a great job of building stamina. It's a lot to grasp at the beginning. Probably the biggest challenge is having the students learn to use the different CD players for "Listen to Reading." We're slowly working the bugs out.

This week we are going to begin "Word Work." I've got my bins ready to go with about 5 choices. I'm setting it up so that students work independently and not with a partner at this time. The baskets are labeled with tags which include pictures so that everything gets put away in the correct place. I tried to think of several different choices for word work so that I can rotate them maybe once a month. I'll just have to wait and see how things go. It's all new to me. The tags show what I've come up with so far. Let me know if you have any other ideas.

Click on the picture to download the tags.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Few Snapshots

My classroom is getting closer to being ready for the munchkins to arrive in a couple weeks. Here are a few of the things I've done. I've tried to make as much of my classroom coordinate as possible (a recommendation I found on Pinterest).
 I love this easy way to put up student writing.
 "Student of the Week" ~ This is a painted oil pan. Then I hot glued border around it.
 Had to redo my "Rate Your Writing" poster so that it matched. =)
 Love my new number cards with the tens frame visual.
 I added a matching border to my word wall posters.
 The number line and coin reference match.
 I'm excited about my new word wall and its location. It is under my Smartboard and whiteboard. I think it will stay organized and will be easy for the students to use. The background is felt and there is velcro on the back of all the words.
 "Crate Seats" another Pinterest challenge. I used vinyl so that they can be cleaned. The thought of 1st graders with "accidents" kind of grossed me out with regular fabric.
I'm in love with my table signs. I made the flowers to match my border, and the lanterns are so stinking cute.
The caddies on the table match the table color. 
 I'm starting Daily 5 for the first time this year. I'm hoping this system works out for me.
 I made these magnets with the student's names for them to mark their Daily 5 choice. I got the directions from Pinterest. Here's where you can find the directions.
 I tried to label everything with signs and tags.
It's been a lot of work, but I'm loving the results.

Something I Love

I know this has nothing to do with my classroom, but this is what was roaming around our house this morning.

My students love to listen to the stories about the bear and it does make for a good writing lesson, so I guess it it appropriate here. =)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Behavior Chart

After being inspired by Pinterest, and finding this at playground duty, I made this version to match my room and to try something new this year.
I've had several people ask for a copy of the behavior chart. Click on the picture above to download it.

I needed a note to use when students make it to the top as well as one to go home if they move to the bottom. This is what I came up with.
 Click on the image to download a copy

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Name Tags

I don't know about you, but I'm a bit tired of the store bought name tags after so many years. I decided to simplify my name tags, make them smaller and just include a number line, shapes and colors. I also wanted to make them match my classroom. =) Here's what I came up with.
Download it if you'd like.

Book Box Labels

My books are organized and ready for Daily 5. Here are the labels I made to help the books get returned to their correct place.
Click to Download a Copy

I've had several people ask for a blank copy of the Book Bin Labels, so I've made a download.
Click on the picture.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Coins and Number Line

I've been working on decorating and organizing my classroom. Here are the coin charts I made to put up as a reference.
Click on the image to download.

I also made a hundred number line to match my classroom.
It can be printed on legal size cardstock, laminated and cut in half.
Click on the image to grab your copy.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Numbers 0 ~ 30

I've been making lots of new things for my classroom. I'll post them as I get them done.
Here is a set of numbers I made to post on the wall. 
Click on the image to download

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Word Wall Words

After being inspired by My School Girl on  pinterest I've decided to redo my classroom and make it so everything coodinates. One of the things I'm working on is my word wall. I've been following the "Words of the Week" dolch list plan from Carl's Corner for years and have found it to be successful.
 click on the here to download your copy of the words.
click here to download your copy of the alphabet.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A to Z Community Helpers

As a culminating activity to our study of community helpers my class made the cutest A to Z community helper class book. We brainstormed a community helper for each letter of the alphabet. Then the students told me what that helper does and I typed up their information. Each student had a page to illustrate. Here are a couple pages from the book.

Click HERE for the list my students came up with.

Parent Helper Gift

I have ten parent helpers this year and needed to come up with an end of the year gift that was affordable. I found these cute little pots at the dollar store and wrote with paint pens on each one "Thanks for helping us grow!" I got the flowers at Trader Joe's. Each morning for the last 10 school days the students have written a thank you note to each parent thanking them for their contribution to our class. I've stapled the letters into a book. It's not much but I did want to show each parent how much they have been appreciated.

I have truly been blessed to have all the help this year.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Community Helper Book

We've been learning about "Our Community" and have been working on a "Community Helper" book. After I've read a story we make a circle map of the information we've learned about that particular helper. Then the students write about that helper. Finally we do a directed drawing lesson that shows the community helper doing their job. The students love seeing their own little face in the picture.
These words get written on the left side of the page an a thin sheet of paper that can be glued in below the hole for the face.

Here are a couple of the other pages we did.

 We finished the book with: When I grow up......

Daily 5 Library

I'm gearing up to begin "Daily 5" next year so I've been working on organizing my library. I found these wire baskets at Target for $2.50. They are perfect for organizing the books and attaching a label on the front with little clips. The beautiful bookshelf was custom made to fit along that wall by my youngest brother (a cabinet maker by trade). I'm so spoiled to have him. Thanks Tom! So far the library has stayed in perfect order due to the labels and students are quick to discover if a book is out of place and find it's correct home. My students have been highly motivated to read now that they can easily find books of interest.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thank You

I find that I often need to write a quick thank you note to one of my students or parents. I made these little cards to keep handy in the cupboard so that I can jot a thank you before I forget and weeks have gone by. I printed these on cardstock and have a stack ready to go.
Click on the image to download

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mother's Day Book

I have my students write this book for their moms each year. I'm never disappointed. They can melt the heart or make you die laughing. Their little perceptions are so cute.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day will be here before we know it. So here's my favorite Mother's Day idea. I dress the girls up in a big floppy hat, a scarf draped over their shoulders and some pearls. They hold some flowers and I snap the picture. For the boys I dress them in a man's coat and a hat. They hold flowers too. The kids think it's fun and the pictures are usually great. I turn the pictures to sepia tone and print them. Jo-Ann's has little $1 frames that I stain a light brown to put the picture in. 

I have a book that the students make about their mom as well. They're sweet and pretty funny. I'll share them with you in another post.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Short Vowel Sort

This sorting page was designed to help the first graders pay attention to the vowels. I printed them on card stock, laminated them, then cut the words apart. In partners the students had to place the words on top of the correct picture. The activity was quick, easy to assess and the students loved it.

Click on the picture to download


I found this on Pinterest (via,  and immediately loved it for teaching my first graders time.
I didn't see a blackline so I made one. I left the numbers blank for the students to fill in.

Click on image to download

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I've used this form for many years to communicate with my parents. It's just a quick indication to the parents as to how their child is doing in my classroom. I realize that there could be a lot more information included, but quite frankly I don't have time to average their grades every week. I use the "comments" section to either praise, let the parents know areas to work on, or give specific concerns. What I also like about it is that it's "Documentation." One sheet of paper covers a trimester and at the end of the trimester I keep the sheet which has the parent's signatures. The parents of my students really seem to appreciate it.