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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Writing Samples

I found this great idea on Clutter Free Classroom. I'm excited to give the students lots of writing choices. I've found that if 1st graders are given good samples the quality of their work is so much better. Here's what my finished poster looks like.
You can download the headings here if you'd like.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Writing Posters

Sometimes you take the time to make something that looks good, but when it's all said and done you don't use it. Well, that's not the case with these posters. The "writing goals" poster is a great reminder for me and helps me coach children on the specific areas that they need to work on. When we're reading their story together I can see if they are meeting their goal. The students are using it as well reminding themselves of their focus. If I notice there is another area they need to work on I ask the student to move their name to that area.

My students have improved the quality of their writing with this poster. Before they begin to write we talk about what "rating" they want to get. Sometimes their picture is a "4" but their writing is a "2." I think I've seen some of the best quality in the last couple weeks.

Download the Stars here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Classroom Management from Pinterest that I Love

Here are a few things that I found on Pinterest that I have implemented in my classroom.....

Quiet Critters: They're magical!

The Quiet Critters will only come out of their "sound proof" container if it's completely quiet.
They have no mouths so they don't talk and like quiet.
They want to sit on your desk and see what you're doing and get smarter.
They don't really like to be held or played with.
They don't like their eyes touched for fear of an eye infection.

To be honest the story grows as necessary.
They even escaped from their jar one day and were missing because the class had been so noisy.

These behavior cards work great for my class.
Sometimes I walk around and place an appropriate card on their desk.
When the student has read the card they flip it over and I come back and pick it up. 
Other times I place it up on the elmo for the whole class to see, or hold the card up directing it toward a particular student. It's great to have a couple sets located in different places in the classroom.

Some of my messiest students are cleaning up their desk in hopes of the "Desk Fairy" visiting their desk with a note and a little treat.
Whatever works, right?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Magic e

I combined two ideas on the "magic e" from Pinterest. I thought I'd put the poster in sheet protectors and have the students find words with the "magic e" as a center activity and write them with dry erase markers. I made little wands with the "magic e" as well for them to use. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Topical Word Wall Posters

I have these posted near my writing center for the students to refer to. They can use the words to give them ideas of what to write about or simply to spell these words correctly. I've used them two different ways, I've cut them into strips and put them on a ring and I've mounted them like posters. I prefer the poster method because the students are able to see the words from their desks.

Word Wheels

This idea came from Carl's Corner They have the alphabet but I made some additional wheels. Print out the word wheel on card stock, laminate and cut out. On the back side draw a yellow dot to determine the correct answer. The students clip a clothespin by the words that begin with the indicated sound, then self check for the correct answer. Then I have the students record their answers on a circle map.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Anchor Charts

Here are some other Pinterest ideas that I have made into small anchor charts.
I don't know about you, but my classroom is limited on space to display all the charts that I would like to.

I made this alphabet because I'm tired of the one in my classroom that takes up so much space. I hope this will be a better fit and give me room to display my sound cards as well.

I got this idea from Pinterest a couple weeks ago. I give 1 student a copy each day instead of their regular morning work. I tell them our "Number of the Day." They write out the number in as many ways as they can. Then he/she gets to come up and share their "Wanted" poster with the class. They love it and have been doing a really good job on it.

I just finished reading Daily 5 and I'm gearing up to start it at the beginning of next school year. Here's another anchor chart I'll be using.
Good Fit Book

Sound Cards

Here are some sound cards that I made after being frustrated that I couldn't get the ones I found on Pinterest to print. I made them fit 2 to a page and added several that I felt were valuable.

What Gets a Capital Letter?