August 3, 2015

Come Visit my New Blog

I have started a new blog "Second Grade Positivity". I am moving to Second Grade this school year.I wouldlove for you to visit the new blog. Here is a link:

October 29, 2014

Fall 2014: Back to Blogging

After a tough year and a half of dealing with serious medical issues of my own and dealing with the death of my mother, I am finally ready to get back to this blog.

I am still teaching 1st grade and I am excited to focus on educational projects again!

I am in the same classroom I have been in for the past few years. However, this Summer I spent some time going through my classroom and changing out my "Jungle" theme that I kept for 3 years. Instead of going with a certain theme, I went with the colors turquoise, lime green and white. I do have a few "Hawaiian" themed items in the room also. I went crazy with the Hawaiian theme outside my door and in the bathroom, but I wanted to keep the classroom more calming for the children.

Here are some pictures:

This year, my school is doing something new for us. I am paired up with the teacher across the hall. She teaches Reading to both of our classes and I teach Math and Writing to our classes. It is going very well so far. It is so nice not to have to plan everything. I am able to delve deeper into Math and Writing and I feel like I am doing a better job teaching each subject. 

I thought that I may not like teaching the same things twice in one day, but it really has been like two totally different classes. Each class has their own overall "personality" and one of the classes seems to understand the Math Concepts quicker as a whole so that class ends up being a day or two ahead in each Math Unit. One of the classes behaves very well at Centers, so they are able to do them each day while I pull groups. The other class sometimes behaves well at Centers so I do more Whole (or almost Whole) Group activities. I still let the children who are behaving go to their Math Centers and the others all work with me. I have not been bored at all. I am actually loving it!

May 4, 2013

Standardized Testing

We started our Standardized testing this week. My school is trying not to overwhelm the children so we are only testing for an hour a day, 3 days a week. It will take us 8 days total to finish.
Several years ago, I gave this same test to my 1st graders. But, my county decided not to give it anymore due to the cost. Now, it will be a big part of our Evaluation, so they chose this as the test we will be evaluated on.
It is hard during the test since I can only say things they way they are worded in the Direction booklet. I know that if I could reword some of the directions, they would really understand what to do.
Throughout this school year, I have pulled in some test practice that I have found online. There are some wonderful resources for our test (Stanford 10) on Teachers Pay Teachers- although not a lot of them. I also bought a used Scoring High booklet to see what types of questions would be on the test.
So far, I am proud of how hard my students worked on the test. I could tell halfway through the third day, several were already burned out. Hopefully with the days in between, they will do their best next week.

May 1, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week Sale at Teachers!

I wanted to let you know about a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week Sale that will take place at All of my products will be on sale for 60% off- I marked them 50% off and is knocking another 10% off of the prices. The sale will be from May 4th-10th. If you haven't checked out Teachers Notebook yet, I encourage you to have a look. It has a lot of great resources.

Here is a link directly to my Teachers Notebook shop "Celebrate First Grade".

I am busy working on the next Language units to fit all of the Common Core Standards. My school is giving our standardized test this week and I really see how the students can benefit from more practice in the Language Standards.

April 29, 2013

Common Core Language Standards

I have searched for a while to try and find Language Activities to provide my students a spiral review throughout the year. I tend to focus on Math, since I love Math, so I used some of those activities as an inspiration to create some Language Arts reviews to use in my classroom.
     I have started going through the Common Core Language Standards more closely. I made a Language Common Core Activity Packet Set 1 that has card/word sorts and worksheets to help teach the first 4 sections of the Language Arts Standards- through types of Nouns. I have also made 8 (so far) Common Core Language Mini-books for students to do throughout the year as a spiral review which will incorporate all of the Standards throughout the year when I am finished. I plan to use 1 book a week, so 8 books would last me 2 months.
     I did some of the Proper Noun Activities as a review today and my students did half of the first Common Core Mini-book as a review for our standardized test. They did very well and I was able to see quickly who needed a minilesson on a skill.
     If you are interested, you can find these activities posted on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook.
First Grade Common Core Language Arts (L.1.1-a,b,c,d) Unit

First Grade Language Common Core Practice Books 1-4

First Grade Language Common Core Practice Books 5-8

     I will be working on making more of the big units. (It looks like it will take 3 units to cover all of the Language Standards). There will also be about 10 sets of the Language Mini-books. I want to have enough books for my class so that we can spiral review the skills all year long and not forget them. I hope you find these helpful.

April 20, 2013

Earth Day

Earth Day is Monday!
     I always do Earth Day activities with my classes. I have several books I have collected. Last year, I got Fancy Nancy: Everyday is Earth Day. Product Details
The children really enjoyed the book. I made a packet for the kids that go along with this book.
Fancy Nancy Every Day is Earth Day- book activities
It is listed on in my shop "Celebrate First Grade". I also have Earth Day themed Meth games that would be great throughout the Spring.

Back to It

     It has been a long time since I posted here. After many months of dealing with my health issues- mostly from the Lyme Disease- I am back at posting on this blog. I have missed it, but I just couldn't keep up with this and my class.
     Anyway, here I am.
     I wanted to start with some info on the Text Talks I have been doing in my class.
     Since I teach in an area where most of the children struggle with Language skills and vocabulary in school, I have been on a quest to find Text Talk lessons that are easy to use (because I don’t have a lot of extra time to create my own Text Talk lessons) and grade appropriate.       
     A teacher at my school showed me a wonderful resource on Teachers Pay Teachers. This resource was made to go with the online resource of Text Talks from Utah.

     Apparently, teachers from Utah created Text Talks for 101 books and posted them all online FOR FREE. Utah Text Talk Lessons
      The resource on Teachers Pay Teachers has all the same books listed, but she created posters to print with the book cover and Vocabulary words for each book. There are also word cards and 2 reproducible pages for each book.
     I already had many of the books in the Utah Text Talk set, so I started with those in my classroom. I have been doing the Text Talks for 10 weeks now and have really noticed a difference in my students’ spoken language skills. I do have to remind them of the words weekly and sometimes encourage them to let me catch them using a word from our Vocabulary Wall. It hasn’t really transferred to their writing unless I specifically tell them to use words from the wall, but maybe it will before the school year is over.
        Over the Summer, I hope to find, or create, Text talks to go with books that have some of the specific vocabulary words my students need to know throughout the year. Of course, the vocabulary in the Text Talks I have been using really help expand the children’s vocabulary. But, I also want to find books with specific words that help to cover subject-specific vocabulary they need to know.