Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bunny Time Freebie & Humor :)

Happy Wednesday!

Are you on Spring Break yet? We still have 7 more school days! Both the students and staff are ready for a break :)

I'm linking up with The Primary Chalkboard for the weekly linky:

We went straight from St. Patrick's Day to Easter this week with our new book and sensory bin:

She's back!

Familiarity and repetition seem to be the name of the game with my crew this year. They literally whooped when I showed the cover of our new book!

This story and exploratory activity fit perfectly with this week's (or am I a week behind?) book study chapter:

 Chapter 6 is all about humor! 
A must-have working with first graders :) 

I didn't add too many suggestions in the "Ways I Could Improve" column, not because I don't think it's necessary...I just couldn't think of anymore! I feel there's a lot of joy and laughter in our learning, but it still has the feeling of being teacher-led. I'm interested in my students taking the lead in this area...while staying on track with learning. Any ideas? 
Please share in the comments! Thanks :)

If you're interested in reading my posts for the previous strategies, please click here. Stay tuned for Strategy 7 and beyond! You can also join us! There are so many bloggers sharing their tried & true ideas. Please visit Amanda here for more tips on incorporating humor.

These ideas are from:

This week, I'm also bringing back some festive faves:

Here's the Table of Contents for all the different inserts:

They are available to print in color or black/white! 
Here's a peek at the fraction and time inserts:

Find them all here for $3.00: Math Egg Inserts

I also have a math freebie:

Thank you for reading!
Have a wonderful Wednesday! Jen

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Giveaway Winner & Freebie!

Happy Weekend!

Congratulations to my Giveaway WINNER!

Congrats! Your packet has been emailed to you!

Thank you to everyone who left a blog comment on how they would use my Write Me a Story packet:

If you didn't win, you can pick up the packet here 
and find these FREEBIES here!

Enjoy your day :)  Jen

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Five for Friday!

Happy Five for Friday!

We made it through another week! 
I'm linking up with Kacey to recap our fun:

My camera was a bit quiet this week with a schedule full of testing and meetings. Yesterday, we wrapped up our 3rd round of STEP testing and I'm thrilled with the results!

Last week, I shared our preliminary results (here). The expectation is for every student to grow three levels per school year, however, my personal goal is for my students to EXCEED those growth goals. I'm working with students at the bottom quartile (below grade level). We will have to push ourselves to close the gap and prepare for second grade.

Here's the final results:

WOOHOO! I'm very proud of my students! 

The STEP Assessment measures growth in phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency (at Levels 4 and above), and comprehension. It's a comprehensive test that takes a l-o-n-g time to administer (quality time with each student!), but you cannot beat the data. 

After a quick analysis, I know where we need to focus our efforts, specifically:

Last quarter, we put our heart and soul into phonemic awareness. It's an area my students should be rockstars in because their kindergarten classrooms provide great instruction focused on rhyming, syllabication, segmentation, onset & rime...but I've noticed more and more after these assessments (even with my 3rd grade intervention group), that they still need a bit of support.

The last 6-8 weeks, we've been warming up/cooling down every single session with our phonemic awareness practice cards and I've been tracking with these progress monitoring charts. I'm so pleased with the results! 

Next school year, I'll be using this kit from the very first week:

Phonemic Awareness program - done!

Comprehension: Inferential & Critical Thinking - next project!
(Please leave a comment if you have an awesome
 product or idea to tackle this - thank you!)

We also squeezed in more hands-on fun 
this week with our sensory bins:

We had some rhyming fun with our silly friend. I'm working with a pair of students with autism and rhyming is a TRUE PLEASURE with these firsties! The more rhymes and repetition...the better! 

It doesn't have to be Dr. S's birthday to use these interactive flashcards ():

Here's a blogpost featured on the Ellison Education Blog explaining how easy it was to create these first-grade-friendly materials. You can read more about it here!

(There's several themes of "flashcard" diecuts  designed by Laura Kelly & I have them all...cupcakes, hot chocolate, lollipops, etc.!)

We also had a little prehistoric fun:

Did I ever mention that I   first grade? :)

Thanks for catching up! Please stop back tomorrow for Chapter 6 of our book study & the last chance to enter our iTeachFirst giveaway!

Have a super Friday! Jen

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday Linkies!

I ♥ all the linky parties thrown on Wednesday! 
I appreciate all the bloggers who generously share their ideas, 
and I especially love all the humor thrown in!

I'm working with a group of awesome friends this year who have made HUGE strides in their area of behavior. Wednesday usually marks the "tipping point" as my students fall into our routine.

Now that we're in March, a pattern has developed:

And please NO snow days to break our pattern!

I'm linking up with my faves:

This week is all about Dinosaurs:

The dinosaur "eggs" are baked cotton balls 
(yes, you read that correctly!!)

So. Much. Fun!!

Thanks for reading! Jen

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Exciting Announcement and Giveaway!

I have a very exciting announcement to make! 
I have decided to team up with some of my very best
first grade buddies to write for a collaborative blog! 
That means ONE blog with TONS of great ideas from
several super awesome First Grade teachers!

One thing I L-O-V-E about this blog, is you will know exactly what to expect each day of the week.  For every day, there is a blogging theme.  Check them out! 

I'm SO excited to get started on this new adventure, and am thrilled to invite you along for the ride.

Let's celebrate with a little giveaway!

You can win my Write Me a Story!

Here's a closer look:

I use these story starters two different ways with my first graders:
1) I use the picture/sentence starter strips during Guided Practice with small groups and 2) I use the smaller cards during Independent Writing and in a Guided Reading station. 

How would you use this writing product?

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is follow us over at iTeachFirst, then follow the instructions!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't wait to get started sharing some
great First Grade ideas with you!

Have a fantastic week! Jen
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Double Up! Kitchen Sink Update 4


I'm making a quick stop to share the 4th update for my

There's now 9 resources included and MANY more to be added!

This update is a resource I use every single year with my small math groups:

Please click here to learn more!

Have a super Saturday! Jen

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Five for Lucky Friday!

Happy Five-for-Lucky-Friday!

Thank you Kacey for hosting the weekly link-up!

Today is Friday (!!!) and we are finishing up our first full week since December! 

It's a huge testing month at our school. The upside to all the testing I'm administering? It's providing opportunities to meet with students individually and that goes such a long way with building relationships. I think all of our students benefit from a bit of extra attention, especially as they are adjusting back to our long school day/week.

Another upside is ALL the growth that we are seeing! 

I'm working with the lowest quartile for first grade reading and while the expectations are for every student to grow one reading level per quarter (according to STEP - UChicago Impact),
my little guys really need to grow more.

We're not done yet, but here are the growth results so far:

We still have more work to do! 
My little friend KT arrives to school after Power Hour has ended, so we need to find a solution for her ASAP! Once I finish testing all my friends, the results will be shared with the first grade team and we will regroup. Although my students are turning into reading rockstars, the majority will still be in the bottom quartile and I will be keeping them in my small group.
I might lose JW as he is ready to try out his wings!

We also squeezed in a little bit of fun with our new friend:

Lleyland (aka, the naughty leprechaun) played a trick on us Wednesday! Luckily, we got our act together and received a treat 
(a "gold" coin - I forgot to take a picture!) yesterday. 

I can't wait to see what happens next in our story!

Have a fantastic weekend! Jen

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