cutest blog

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Run Run as Fast as You Can!

There is nothing better than the few weeks before Christmas!  Sure, my kiddos are wild as can be and wound up for sure!  I have found it’s much easier to give in and have as much fun as they do!  Coming in from Thanksgiving, we hit the door running and don’t stop! 
I’m planning on staying late on Monday to create our Reindeer door that I found on Pinterest.  (If you haven’t discovered Pinterest, that’s a whole other post!  It’s amazing!)  Here is a picture of what I HOPE to recreate. 
  reindeer stable
While playing around on my computer, I ran across a previous year’s door.  It was fun to create, didn’t take much time, and might provide some inspiration!  IMG_4627 
The kids absolutely loved it and it fit right in with our Gingerbread Unit.  I’m working on a 2nd grade gingerbread unit.  I’ll post it when I’m done.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Free Games!!! First Grade a la Carte: I Am So Thankful for...

If you LOVE giveaways - check Kathy's page out! She has some FANTABULOUS ideas!

First Grade a la Carte: I Am So Thankful for...: , , and this year that I am having a SUPER GIVEAWAY to say I am giving away the store, literally...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Daily Five Update!


As you can see, my students are really loving it!  We are completely and totally in LOVE with the Daily Five.  Besides the normal distractions of a typical classroom, it’s going great!  It’s really fun to watch the kids get into it.  We have a graph that I found on First Grade Brain to document our stamina. We started out slowly like the book recommends and are working our way up.   My students LOVE watching the graph grow.   I even had one child come in one morning and tell me she had practiced her stamina the night before.  Pretty amazing!

Like everyone else, we have had budget restrictions.  This has demanded that I be resourceful with our activities.  Instead of the awesome book boxes from Really Good Stuff (that I REALLY wanted), we are using recyclable grocery bags.  I simply emailed parents and asked for donations.  My AP is also very supportive and donated a lot of bags.  I use a number system in my classroom, so each child has a numbered bag and a numbered hook.  (IF I remember my camera tomorrow, I’ll post pictures!)  It was like Christmas the first day.  My students were thrilled to have their OWN bags of books!

Our school system has several “have-to’s” in our instruction.  Once we are completely up and running, I’m sure these will be much easier to implement.  I’m including my plans so that you can see how I managed our time and “have-to’s”. 

I’m learning how to create all of the cute plans and activities!  Be patient with me!  Smile

Daily 5 - Week 1

If you are going to try Daily Five, read the book!  It’s impossible to fully understand and implement without reading The Daily Five!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Daily 5, here we come!

daily 5If you haven’t read the Daily 5, get the book now!!   I read it a few weeks ago and have been kicking it around in my head ever since.  I’m finally ready to start.  I can’t wait until Monday. Unfortunately I still have my “have-to’s” in our reading block but I believe that’s the great part about the Daily 5.  We will be able to fill in the have-to’s.

Since reading the book I’ve been watching my kids during literacy stations.  They are going through the actions but are not truly engaged!  They are all participating in wonderful, exciting activities but honestly, while watching them I am thinking…this could be so much more meaningful!  Stamina?  What stamina?!?  I’m so ready to get it going.  I’ll fill you in on the first day!

Check out the sister’s page: Daily Five

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spooky Halloween Reading Anyone?

At my school we are encouraged to participate in a number of service projects.  One of our classroom projects is to donate books to children who do not have them.  My students were shocked to find out that not everyone has an endless supply of books!  I think it was a wake-up call to them.  Since then we have diligently been working on providing books for others.  One of the EASIEST ways we found to do this is to simply read.  That’s right, READ!  If you have not discovered the website We Give Books , you are missing out!  It is especially fun if you have a Promethean board or SMART board.  It’s very easy to use.  We use it as a fluency station and my students love it.

My favorite part, aside from helping others become readers, is I can create my own library!!  We are focusing on non-fiction this nine weeks.  I went to We Give Books  and built a nonfiction library for my students to read.  It’s that easy!

My students are going to be THRILLED tomorrow.  The site is now featuring Halloween reads.  I’m sure I’ll hear lots of “Eeewwwws”!

Happy Reading!

Halloween Books

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Starting off with a FREEBIE!

I have bounced back and forth between weekly reading logs and monthly reading logs.  I've finally decided that in order to make it more effective, I'm going with weekly logs!  My kids seem to do much better with weekly accountability rather than monthly.  We're also able to have more "book talks" since I see the logs more often.  We have also been focusing on building vocabulary in our room.  To help with this, I copy the wonderful words onto the back.  That way they have their reading logs and their vocab logs all together!  It's a win-win!
I'm still learning and would LOVE advice on how to "cutie pie" everything!  Please leave me a comment with any suggestions!

Reading Log
Wonderful Words