Tuesday, August 8, 2017

"I'm just reading a story."

Hello Everyone!
Have you ever said it? "I'm just reading a story." I think I have, and I've probably written that on sub plans, or told a parent volunteer to just read.  Do you ever feel guilty when you sit down to "just read" to your kids? If you are a parent reading this, do you ever put off reading to your kiddo because you're too busy or tired?  I  am so guilty of that!! For me, Read-Alouds were always saved for the end of the day if we have time.  Of course I did read during reading, social studies, science, and even math time. One of my favorite things is helping kids make those important connections between literature and content area. 
I think I always knew that read-alouds were important, but one of my book studies this summer was "In Defense of Read-Aloud" by Steven Layne.
 In his book (got mine on Amazon) he puts the focus back on the value of read-alouds. The time spent on embracing and celebrating a good book, is priceless.  He supports this idea with research, revelations from his experiences, and blurbs from renowned authors and professors. He tells his readers that for some students, that good read-aloud might be his/her only exposure to various authors' craft, genre, style, information, and/or meaning. I loved this book so much!  It was so validating!

I made a list of some of the many "defenses" Mr. Layne includes in his book.

I know there are more "defenses," but this will get you started! No more feeling guilty when you turn in your lesson plans, or when the principal or a parent drops in and you are "just reading." 
If you want this little mini poster,

Hope this helps to clarify your thoughts on read-aloud time. I have been reading the Magic Tree House series to my kids for YEEEEEEARS!  This year, at the suggestion of a few other teachers, I picked up the Goonie Bird Greene series.

This little gem is three books in one and written by acclaimed author Lois Lowry.  It's about a very confident, joy-filled second grade girl, but I think my firsties will still love it!!! Got my copy on Amazon, but I recently saw a couple copies at Half Price Books as well. Wish I would have looked there first!! :)  I am so looking forward to our new read-aloud!!!

Have you scheduled your read-aloud time?? 
Do you have a favorite book? Let me know!!!
Till then, have a wonderful week! Don't forget to choose joy!!! :)  
Thanks for stopping by!
Joyfully!
Nancy
firstgradewow@gmail.com








Saturday, July 29, 2017

On Your Mark! Get Set!

Hello Everyone!!
Well, about a week and a half before teachers report for the new year!  I got to meet with my sweet team this past week, and I just know it's going to be a good year!!!  It makes a huge difference when the people you work with are not just your co-workers, they are some of your best friends!  I love that we can trust each other for support and encouragement.  We trust that each will do the right thing for kids. We celebrate life events and hold each other up when it gets tough.  I feel so blessed to have all of them in my life!! Thank you, girls, for being so awesome!!!
I also feel blessed to be able to share so much with you all via this little blog.  I get so many e-mails from teachers from all over the world with thoughts about all that I share. I truly feel as though this blog is a bit like the food blogs where cooks, bakers, and chefs share their favorite recipes with anyone who wants to try them.  They share recipes that have been successful for them.  I share ideas that have worked for me in my classroom. I love hearing that they have worked for you and your students as well! Thank for letting me know!
As I gear up, I always like to clean up some of my printables. I did redo my lesson plan template because we have a bit of a different schedule for this coming year.  
Here's a pic of what it looks like now.  It is completely editable.  I copy and punch holes so that the two pages can lay open and side by side in a binder.  Some people like to type in plans, but I just handwrite  on this template.  

If you need an editable lesson plan template


Another thing I worked a little on were my beginning of the year quick forms.  I like to have out a couple of notes and questionnaires at meet the teacher night for parents to fill out.  these are handy ways to get to know your kids and their families and have info at your fingertips. 
Here are a couple of pics from the mini pack.



The pack also includes a schedule, a wish list, and a couple of other things.
If you are interested:

The next thing I want to share is a little packet of fun for the kids to work on a bit at a time during the first week of school.
The first couple of days are filled with calming fears, gathering information, sorting supplies, talking to hovering parents, and so many teacher attention grabbing issues, sometimes you just need something for the kids to work on independently.  The only supplies the kids need for this packet are crayons and pencils! You will learn a ton about your new kids as they make their way through!  Win Win!!
Here are a few pics.








You will just pick out the pages you want, copy and staple in a packet form, and have them ready!! 

The last thing I'm sharing today is a math notebook unit.  This unit is almost 80 pages of printables for you to pick and choose from to put together an interactive math experience for your kids.  We have our kids work in their math notebooks every day. The notebook includes calendar pages, progressive number of the day pages, day tracking pages, weather, math talk, problem solving, vocabulary, and manipulatives. We guide our kids through the pages at first, but after a few weeks, they are able to do it all on their own. It takes about 15 minutes. This process has proven to be something that has helped kids gain confidence and comfort in discovering the beauty in math!
Here are a few pics!




17 different progressive number of the day pages from which to choose. This one is for the beginning of the year. The next one is for the end of the year!





There is another page with the rest of the 180 on it.






We print off all the pages we need to start the year, and put them in a 3 ring binder.  We add a new number of the day page every day. The different sections of the notebook are separated with paper dividers.  Sometimes the binder gets so full, I have to take out some of the number of the day pages, but in general they stay in there so kids can refer back to see patterns.
If you think you might want to try this

IF YOU HAVE USED THIS MATH NOTEBOOK BEFORE,  GO AHEAD AND DOWNLOAD AGAIN AS I HAVE ADDED SOME NEW STUFF!

WOW!!! This turned out to be a long post!!  Thanks for hanging with me!  I hope you gained some things you might want to try! By posting all of this, I am getting excited to put it all into play! Bring on the new firsties!!!

I do have a few more things to re-organize and clean up, so I'll be back soon to show you! If you have any questions about anything, please don't hesitate to holler at me! Have a great last few days of your Summerbration!!  I know I will!!
Thanks for stopping by!
Joyfully!
Nancy
firstgradewow@gmail.com









Tuesday, July 25, 2017

AARGH you ready for a new school year? Pirate Unit and Updated Writer's Workshop,

 Hello Everyone!!!
How's summer going for you? Mine has been busy with cleaning closets, writing, reading, and ... wait for it...Family time!!!! Finally!!! Hooray for having the opportunity to see both my boys this summer! And at the beach!!! What???? All my favorite things are in this picture! I am one happy and blessed momma! 
Being their first teacher, I am so happy to see them growing in positive influence and grace. They are truly my greatest treasure! 
Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people sitting, ocean, child, sky, outdoor, nature and water

And speaking of treasures, I have some to share with you today.  Our team is going to enjoy a pirate theme this year in first grade. By theme, I mean we will have pirate stuff in the hallways, decorating our binders, our incentives, our class shirts, brag tags, etc. I don't change up my whole "western" themed classroom, rather add some fun whimsy to go along with our theme.  We will make connections wherever we can. I created a little unit which will help guide our theme and give us some fun interactive "get to know you" activities for the beginning of the year. Here are a few pics from the unit!














I am very excited about this unit and I think the kids are going to love it!!!
If you are struggling with how you want to open your year with your littles, simply click the link below! AAAARGH! It's over 110 pages! 


I also had some time this summer to enjoy some book studies.  One of my new favorite books for teaching writing is The Writing Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo.  She includes a very comprehensive guide to working on writing with elementary kids.  She embraces Lucy Calkins and adds her own spin on some of Lucy's lessons.  I have gleaned so much from her book, I had to
update my writer's workshop unit.   Here are some quick pics.










It's over 100 pages now!!  Free for you! :)

I can't wait to set up Workshop with my new firsties!!! Thank you Jennifer Serravallo! You are a treasure!

I'll be back soon to share some more treasures! Thank you for your continued support of this little blog.  I consider it and you another treasure in my life. Please stop by again as you continue on your  journey. 
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to leave a comment or email.
firstgradewow@gmail.com
Now, off to get ready for our team meeting tomorrow!! Can't wait to get together!!!
Joyfully!
Nancy