Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bright Idea: Make a Copy Binder!

Hi Friends!
   I am so excited to be part of the Bright Ideas Blog Hop this month. I always get the most amazing tips from this hop, and I am thrilled to part of it!

   I don't know about you, but the prep part of every week is always a time sucker. Trying to get everything together, copied, and organized takes me much longer than the planning part.

  One way I have streamlined the process is by making a Copy Binder.
 I have 2 binders - one for the first semester & one for the second.
With the amount of copies, I may end up having to split them up into 9 weeks, but for now, that's what we've got. :)

 I tabbed each week with a laminated piece of cardstock.

Then, I used these fabulous sticky divider tabs to mark each section of the notebook.
I'm a sucker for tabbing & organizing, so these things are a dream come true! 

I also made an index for the front of the notebook, so I have a quick reference to what content is included in each week. 
This helps when I need to go back and reteach something. 
I look up the week & there it is!

Note: Our scope & sequence changed this year, so these are pictures of my new notebook. My old one looks like it's been through a war-zone!

Lastly, I paperclip groups of what kind of copies need to be made:
1 sided, 1-2 sided, 2-2 sides, stapled, stacked, sorted... you get the point. :)

This makes it super easy for any parent or school volunteers, too.
When someone offers to help, I just open the binder, grab a week, and
it's all there & ready to go! 

 Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! :)

So that's it! I hope you can use this idea to make your life easier!

For more bright ideas from over 100 different bloggers, please check out the link-up below and choose a topic and/or grade level that interests you. There are so many amazing ideas to choose from! 


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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Getting in Order with Number Lines & A FREEBIE!


Hey y'all !
  We are really getting down with some numbers in first grade, and this week has been so much fun! This year,I have a group that really needs to be busy, and really needs some hands-on activities to keep them engaged, so we have been getting out of our desks & working with numbers.

   Our focus has been on putting numbers in order from 1-120.  I found these easy-peasy cut-apart 120 numbers from Jennifer on TpT.  They're FREE, which always makes me smile. 

  There are 7 pages of numbers, and once put together, they make a GIANT 120 chart! Fun fun!  I ran each page on a different colored paper to help with organization....or better said...so the kids wouldn't lose or mix up their numbers.
 I divided my class into groups of 6. I have 18, so it worked perfectly for me.  Every child got a different color & they each had to cut apart their page of numbers.
When they finished, it was time for work!
 Each group worked together to put their numbers in order from 1-120.

Folks, I won't lie, this took some time. 
But, it was awesome to see their little brains at work...and a great way for me to assess each child's understanding. 

I loved watching them figure out that if they line the "ones" up, the numbers would create a chart.
Plus, I got to get on the floor with them!

The kids really loved this activity, and have begged to do it again.
Of course, I gave in! What teacher wouldn't jump at the opportunity to have their kids work with numbers?! 

Today, we moved from the 120 chart to a number line..
a BIG GIANT number line!!

I got this idea from Pinterest and Dilly Dabbles.
She used this activity for decimals, but when I saw it, I just knew it would be perfect for our counting unit.

I made the number tents (notecards cut folded in half) to include all numbers to 120.
I color coded each group of ten to provide some assistance in the activity.
Then, I bagged each group (1-20, 21-40, 41-60, 61-80, 81-100, 101-120) to break it down into manageable parts.
I divided my kids into 6 groups & assigned them a baggie.  
This was a great way to differentiate, too.
I knew which kids needed smaller numbers to work with, and which children would thrive with the challenge of higher ones. 

I tied some string from one side of the room to the other & then they got started!
(For the record - you will need 17.5 feet of string if you cut notecards in half for 1-100, and use a whole card for larger numbers.. Just FYI!)




To help with some of my "littles", I put the benchmark numbers, the tens, on the line for them & secured with a clothespin. 

I also allowed each group to come up in order, so we were building the line from 1-120.

The kids LOVED it! 
And they did an AMAZING job! I was so impressed, and so happy! :)

 Thumbs up for math, right?! :)

They have already asked if we can do it again tomorrow, so I call that a win!

When the custodian opened the door (my only choice for a line this long), he thought I had set up some kind of trap! haha!  

So, grab some notecards & tie up some string. I promise you're kids will have a blast!

We also played a game of "Before, Between, After" SCOOT...another great way to get kids moving...and I'm including it here for FREE!  Just click the picture! :)

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Number-Order-Before-After-Between-SCOOT-1441822

 So, that's it for me! As always, thanks for stopping by :)




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Monday, September 8, 2014

Decodable Duty: A Fabulous FREE Resource


Teachers love FREE stuff, and I am definitely one of those teachers.  Don't get me wrong, I have a gazillion things I have bought that I can't imagine teaching without, but sometimes, you come across an amazing resource that is FREE!

The skies open & the birds begin to sing. Am I right? 

We all love free stuff, especially when that stuff is exactly what you need in the classroom.

Today, I wanted to share a fabulous website with you.... Sound City Reading!

This site has so many resources that I can't even begin to tell you about them all, but one of my favorites is the decodable sentences focused on specific letter sounds.

In guided reading, some of my littles are really working on the short vowel a sound. I mean, we are digging in to some serious Decodable Duty!!! 

I decided to do some decoding activities using the sentences I found on Sound City Reading.

First, I gave each child a copy of the sentences.  We worked through the decoding practice together, and then I pulled them individually to have them sound out & read all the sentences using the short a.
They are just simple sentences using CVC & sight words. 
They really set the kids up for success, which I love!

After reading from the sheet, I divided up the sentences so that each child received two that I had written on a sentence strip.  

The children read their sentences and identified short a words, as well as the sight words "a" and "was".
Then, we traded a few times until everyone had the opportunity to read each sentence multiple times.

We've also been working on word order to make a complete sentence, so we cut apart our strips, and put them back together to make the sentences.

 We also mixed them all up to see if we could put them back together to match the sentences on our sheet.

When everyone had their sentences put together on the table, we practiced...yet again.. on our decoding and reading.  Having the kids rearrange the sentences allowed me to check for understanding of word order and if a sentence makes sense (versus just reading words in isolation).

The next step was all about ownership!  
My first graders always love to read the class books we make, so I wanted this little group to make a book showing off their short a skills.

They each took one sentence & glued it to large manila paper.

The next step was illustrating.  This part of the activity reinforced our word order study, and was also a great way to show comprehension.  I wanted to see if the kids were really understanding what they were reading.


This guy really does look sad!  Success! 

I loved how well these turned out & I MOST loved how proud the kids were! 
They couldn't wait to show them off, which just made me so happy.
Tomorrow, we will work with the other four sentences & then put them all together into a book.

The kids can then take turns bringing them home to share and READ with their parents.
They are SO excited about this part.

I then put it in our classroom library, and in years past, these books have been some of the most popular. 
The kids always want to read the books they have made, and I know that it is on their level! :)


Now, this might not be the "cutest" activity you've ever seen, but friends, my sweet babies absolutely LOVED this activity, and they were reading... really reading!

Y'all know me - I absolutely adore the cutesy, but when something really clicks with the kids, and gets them excited about reading, I call that a win!!

If you would like to get these sheets (94 pages of decodable sentences), click {here}.

The sequence is based on the Reading Street series, which works perfect for me since we use that program, but you can browse through all of them to find what you are looking for.  

I should also note that I don't even know this amazing person who put all this together, so this is a completely unbiased plug for the website. I just love sharing amazing things I find with all of you!

I hope you love it as much as I do.
  As always, thanks for stopping by!! :)

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Monday, September 1, 2014

It's time for the CURRENTLY!!!

I can't believe it's already September!! I was so excited when scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw Farley post that this month's Currently was up.  Excited that it was up because I love doing this linky, but so surprised it was already that time!

Allright, let's get to it....

Listening... to St. Paul & the Broken Bones.  He & his band are AH-MAZING!!!  MB and I love Al Green & music of that type, plus I've always said I was born too late and should have lived back in this time period.  And, BONUS, he is from right down the road from where I grew up. Seriously, friends, you won't believe this guy's voice!! 

Loving... this three day weekend. I honestly can't remember a time I needed one more. Thank you Labor Union for this wonderful holiday, and the much needed rest and time with friends & family that I needed.  Oh, and I can't leave out how much I am LOVING that it's finally college football season!!!!  My Vols won tonight, so I'm happy, happy, happy!

Thinking....how crazy this "back to school" has been.  I know everyone is feeling it because I keep reading everyone's Facebook & Instagram posts, but WOW!  Until Friday,I don't think I even stopped to breathe! I'm thinking and definitely praying it will slow down!

  
Wanting....  a mini trampoline!!  Yep, I said it.  I saw this video, and it really looks like fun to me. I know I can't keep up with THIS level of commitment & speed, but I really want one.  Looks like a much more exciting way to get in that cardio!


Needing.... DirecTV to come fix my TV.  I won't go into all the details of how my head almost exploded today, but the short version is DirecTV was supposed to come out and "upgrade" my system.  What ended up happened was this incompetent dude showed up, broke my old dish off the roof, installed a new HD receiver....wrong one....installed another...wrong one...installed another...and then determined it wouldn't work on that end of the house. So,I have 12 new holes in my roof, and instead of working to fix it, he just got in his truck and left.  I've been told that hopefully, someone will be by tomorrow to fix it.  Gee, thanks. 

Allright, vent over.  Thanks for listening. :)

Vacay!
  1 - I've always wanted to just go on a big, long road trip across the country. My heart is set on heading out west, going through all the National Forests and Parks out there...heading north up the California Coast, and across the Dakotas and back home.  That's the first one...and yes, I do have it all mapped out...right down to the mileage, stops, and cost.  Ahh... I need one of Farley's campers for this trip!!

2 - Maui - I went to Hawaii as a kid with my parents. My brother was stationed there in the military and we got to spend 2 glorious weeks in paradise. We flew to the Big Island to see the volcanoes and it was simply amazing. I was 14, and I have been dreaming of going back ever since. This time, I'm going to Maui though. I'm green with envy when I see the pictures.

3 - Rome and Venice.  I went to Rome right after college, and only got to spend 2 days. I've been obsessed with the Colosseum since I was wee tee tiny, and it was a total dream come true.  I want to go back, actually spend all the time I want in that amazing city, and then head to Venice. Gondola ride, anyone???

So, that's me....and my Currently!!!  Head on over to Farley's blog to link up and read about everyone else's happenings :)

Happy September!!! :)




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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sorting & Classifying Data: First Grade Style!


We are well under way with our school year, and have really been digging into our math curriculum. Since we don't have a set "program" to use for math, we are always looking for creative and fun ways to teach and assess the standards.

The last couple of weeks, it's been all about data!!  We have sorted, organized, classified, represented, and recorded data in so many different ways.  To culminate our unit of study, we did this super fun activity that is so easy to do, and a great way to assess the kids' understanding.

I started with clip art. Ahhhh...clip art!  If you are anything like me, you have a bunch of super cute art saved on your computer just waiting for a project. Well, here ya go!

I chose 6 groups of pictures - bears, bugs, vehicles, people, desserts and monsters.
 I just randomly scattered the clipart on 3 pages per category.  I  made sure to include some of each type of bear...bug...vehicle...etc... on each page, as well as a variety of sizes.
{Thanks to Creative Clips, Melonheadz, Ashley Hughes, and www.mycutegraphics.com for the adorable art!)

 I ran them on colored paper.  One page of each category on one color.... one page on a second color..and the last page on a third color.  Are we with me so far?  For example, with the monsters, one page was run on yellow...one on blue...and one on pink.

 Then, I just laminated and cut them out.  Nothing neat...I just cut out around the shapes to keep it simple.
I divided the kids into 6 groups and gave each group a baggie of objects.
 

Each group then had to sort them...any way they wanted to.
That's the key!  
The kids had to work collaboratively to decide how they wanted to sort the objects. 

 

After some "exploration" time, I stared to guide the activity with some category suggestions: size, color, and type of object.
We went through several rounds of sorting.

Then, the kids had to decide... as a group...how they wanted to sort and categorize their objects to represent them on a graph.

This was a great activity for working together, and making a final group decision!

When they finished sorting, each group was given a data collection sheet.

The students had to identify their categories, create a tally table, count & record tallies,and then create a graph to represent their data.
During this time, I walked around the room & assessed their understanding.

I loved how this activity gave the responsibility and ownership to the kids. Plus, it required them to apply several of our math skills to one activity.


Success!!  
The kids loved it & I was able to collect data of my own!

If you would like a copy of the data sheet, just click {HERE}. You can use it with any clip art, manipulatives, or objects you have in your classroom. It's open ended & a great way to involve your children in collecting and representing data. 

So, that's it for me, friends. I hope you can use this activity in your classroom & I hope you're having a great week! Thanks for stopping by!




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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chugga Chugga Noun Trains & a Freebie, too!

Chugga, Chugga, Choo! Choo!
   We are chugging right along in our school year & approaching the tenth day of school. We are still working on those rules & procedures, but we are also diving right into our curriculum.

   This week, it's all about nouns! I don't know why, but I always love teaching nouns to kids. It's such a great way to kick off ALL the parts of speech and language arts skills that have to be mastered in first grade, and there are so many ways to work with this skill!

   My kids love when we start our lessons off with a fun YouTube video, and for some reason, my firsties go nuts about this noun song.....
 Don't ask me, but it sure does get them moving!!  Of course, we also love anything SchoolHouse Rock!

   Today, after our little sing-along, we talked about trains. More importantly, we talked about how a PERSON can take a THING (the train) to a PLACE.  We made an anchor chart of all the people that might ride a train.... and listed the places we could go!  We also talked about other ways, or things, we could take to get to another place.

   Then, we made our Noun Trains!
 The kids were given the patterns (hand drawn by me, nothing fancy). The "windows" of the trains were cut out, and they glued the whole train car to the top of a long piece of white paper.

Then, they had to write and illustrate an example of a person, a place, and a thing.

You'll also notice the black circles on the engine.

I printed out pictures of the kids, and had them glue them to the engine so they were the engineer of their noun train! They loved it!


I think they turned out pretty cute!  The kids had a blast with them, and when they had to apply their knowledge of nouns in a quick assessment, they did great!

I made this little noun pack for my kids, and wanted to share with you.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Noun-FREEBIE-1402858http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Noun-FREEBIE-1402858http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Noun-FREEBIE-1402858

There is a poster, a practice activity sheet, and an assessment for you to use with your kids. 
It's a FREEBIE, so click on one of the pictures to grab it! :)

Also, don't forget that TpT is throwing a ONE-DAY SALE tomorrow!
Fill up those wish lists, and get ready to save!

Oh, and for those who have been using my monthly homework packs, the second grade August set is now available...and on sale tomorrow!! Just click the picture.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Second-Grade-Common-Core-Homework-August-1396462

So, that's it for me, friends. As always, thanks so much for stopping by!! :)

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