Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Parent Conferences

Happy Tuesday!

This week is Parent-Teacher conferences and ATTP meetings for our families.

As a special educator, I will be sitting in on any conferences by request (teacher or family). I'm already communicating often with students receiving special education services, so the meetings I'm usually called in for are where there may be growing concerns. Many times these conversations lead to suggestions for extra practice at home or beginning the SET/RTI process at Tier 1.

Our grade-level team prepared a packet for families to take home. This packet includes a list of sight words, a "Make and Take" set of number bond flashcards, and additional checklists to support learning at home.

We also receive A LOT of questions about apps!

I JUMP on these questions because there are some apps that are definitely better than others :)

For literacy, I have used and highly recommend Rhyme to Read. There's real "books" students can access immediately and support all throughout (color-coding, sight words, word families). You can definitely tell this app was designed by educators!

I wrote an more in-depth post last year (with screen shots!).
Please click here to read.

Rhyme to Read is also having a holiday SALE!

Please click here for more details!

Today I am also celebrating!

I'm so thankful for the friendships I've made and professional growth I've experienced over the past four years. I truly don't know where I'd be without the TPT community! To celebrate, everything in my store is 20% today!

Have a wonderful week :)

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Holiday Linky FUN!

Happy Sunday!

I hope you've had a fantastic weekend so far! I'm still working on this portfolio (only 115 more days to go!) , but I've treated myself to a few breaks to go blog hopping today.

During my first break, I stumbled upon a fun holiday blog hop & giveaway going on from some talented teacher-authors:

So much fun & freebies we'll be able to enjoy through the season. 

Then I went back to work (boo!), but earned another break and I found the BEST linky idea! The bloggers at The Primary Pack are hosting a party where everyone shares what's on the classroom wishlist. I stalked browsed through their lists and discovered so many new sellers and gems. 

I'm also joining in on the fun!

I know all of these would be a fabulous addition to my resources! 
You can take a closer look by clicking on the links below:

First Grade Morning Work - Education to the Core
Reading Comprehension Bundle by The Teachable Teacher
Short Vowel Chants by Creativity to the Core

I'm sharing some of my tried & true resources I use all year long!
NWEA MAP Primary Reading Quick Question Cards
NWEA MAP Primary Math Quick Question Cards
STEP Phonemic Awareness Progress Monitoring Kit

 Be sure to hop back to The Primary Pack and join in the party!
They are also hosting a giveaway:

Thank you for reading!

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Five for Freebie FriYAY!

Happy Fri-YAY!!

Today we will say "Happy Holidays" to our students who will be enjoying an entire week off! Teachers will still be reporting Monday through Wednesday :)

I'm linking up with Kacey to share about our busy week!

This week was FULL! Lots of important IEP meetings, formal observation, assessments, and learning. I had to videotape my observation for my portfolio...my students acted slightly funky due to all the extra adults, but they hung in there!

We also had our 5th annual Playdough Party!

My students were so excited to "play," I was okay with it because they were actually my Sculpt It! Literacy Centers :)

The last thing I wanted to share is something I'm SUPER excited about! We have been BLESSED with the most amazing speech-language pathologist! This is her second year with our school and I cannot say enough wonderful things about her! She's creative and innovative, plus a huge fan of TPT (her room ♥). I've almost convinced her to become a seller to share all her talent with you!

We work together once per week with my Lunch Buddies Social Skills Club. This was Week 6 and our little group of six friends seem to be bought-in to it! We have a 20 minute mini-lesson that focuses on one social skill (i.e.: how to introduce yourself). There's always a literature tie-in and a  task with VERY explicit directions. Three of the students receive services for language and the other three are "on my radar." 

I'll share more as we progress through the year!

Back to our SLP...this week I received this invitation:

Today I get to see my former 1st graders perform their original poetry! They are now 4th grade and are on a different floor - so I hardly ever see them. I'm so excited ♥  Our SLP is simply the best!

There's so much more to share, I'll try to post more soon!
Have a fantastic Friday!

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Gobble Gobble Deals and Freebies!

Happy Sunday!

This is our last "teaching" week before the holiday! 

Next week, staff reports for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for parent-teacher conferences, ATTP meetings, and team/content lead meetings. 

Does your school follow a similar schedule?

My formal evaluation is on Tuesday. No matter how long I teach, I don't think I'll ever stop being nervous! It's during my reading intervention block - my favorite time of day!

Here's our "agenda"

Aack, I have butterflies already just posting this! 

One reason I'm extra nervous is because we are FILMING this for training and my model portfolio. By 9:30 on Tuesday, I will be hopefully breathing a HUGE sigh of relief.

Last week, I shared some Thanksgiving freebies for math. I also wanted to offer a freebie and special deal for writing.

Special Educators on TPT have gathered together to offer everyone a special savings. Please search #SPEDGivesThanks to pick up 100+ deals for only $1.00!

I'm offering my Thankful Sentence Builders for $1.00 - today only!! 

Here's a closer look:

There are several ways to use this packet...

 Students practice writing mechanics using a dry erase marker to trace (or copy) festive sentences based on sight words and holiday vocabulary (picture-supported). Also included: individual text cards to build sentences and five sets of "scrambled sentences." Themed paper is included to turn these activities into a center. I used them with a mini-pocket chart, but they also can be placed in a poly envelope or plastic bag for an independent center.

Thank you for reading!
Have a wonderful week!

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Five for Freebie Friday!

Happy Friday the 13th!

I hope you had a fabulous week! Did you have parent conferences or a regular schedule? At our school, we teach through next Friday November 20th. Students are off throughout the week of Thanksgiving and teachers have parent conferences/ATTP meetings Monday-Wednesday. We also take the time to squeeze in some "teams-giving" treats and staff potluck luncheon (epic!). 

I'm linking up with Kacey to share all about the past week:

First, I've been looking forward to sharing this simple, 
yet engaging literacy center:

Please hop over to Ellison Education Blog (♥) to read more about this hands-on center to reinforce phonemic awareness. I used it for beginning sounds, but it could easily be differentiated for medial/final sounds, rhyming, segmenting, syllables, and more!

We also had a blast learning in Guided Math:

BTW, those activities were the rewards my students chose for rocking out their end-of-unit assessment! ♥ these students :)

We have also been fitting in math fact fluency in a festive way:

Please hop back to this blogpost from last year to pick up these Gobble Gobble Number Bonds (freebie!). If you read through the whole post, whew! This year is going MUCH better than last!

I have more freebies for Thanksgiving coming on Monday. 
Please stop back!

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Literacy Intervention Snapshots!

Happy Tuesday!

Did I ever mention that I have the BEST group this year? I know I probably say that every year, but this year has just been a true gift. Not only our we making exciting progress, but we are also gaining social skills and having FUN learning together.

So far this year, I've shared many pictures of our Guided Math activities, so this post is providing a glimpse of all the fun we have with literacy. Here's the scoop:

If you can read sideways, you'll see our Reading Bucket List class binder! I'm using resources from Hope King's new packet
I highly recommend it.

I made a "recommendation" page that's just right for my littles. 
You can download it for free here.

I just introduced it Monday and we already have our first recommendation! It is filled out for Fire, Fire by Gail Gibbons (which we read 2 weeks ago). I placed a basket out of all the books we have "read closely" as a small group so far...Chrysanthemum, A Tree for All Seasons, Apples for Everyone, Stellaluna, and more gems. My students ♥ going back to reread again (and again and again). I love it, too!

Here's a glimpse of my 13 firsties rotation board for "Daily Four." I've revised this so many times... you know the first grade love triangles! Cute, but DISTRACTING, especially when we're still reading below grade level!

This little basket was an extension for our rhyming sort. These books are in the fabulous Tara West's Rhyming ENDLESS Mega Bundle. I have a little friend who just flips for snakes. 
He loved it (I knew he would)!

I also bought this to add to my millions hundreds of cheesy books:


My students seem obsessed with Minions and they are dying to read it. That's good enough for me! I just try to fill in the rest of the environment with high quality literature :)

Thanks for sticking with me while I gab on and on...

I'll be back Friday for a fun Thanksgiving freebie!

Have a fantastic week :)

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

RAK: Throwback Freebie!

Happy Almost-Friday!
I'll be posting my Five for Friday tomorrow, but I wanted to stop in and share this awesome webinar (free!) I just watched...

Every year, I have my first grade intervention group (we meet daily for Guided Reading) participate in spreading Random Acts of Kindness. I made a freebie packet that I have used the past two school years:

This year, I'm increasing my efforts with a Lunch Buddies Social Skills group. We have only met for 4 weeks so far, but I'm very hopeful with all the positive language and interactions I've seen so far :)

Please click here to read my throwback post about involving your students in RAK. The holidays present the perfect opportunity to introduce these ideas. Stay tuned for our progress!

Thanks for reading! Jen
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