Peek at My Week

Sunday, September 7, 2014

It's time to share what we have been up to this past week and our plans for this upcoming week!

Last week was all about dogs and author's purpose.  We made these sweet little dogs to go with our anchor text. I'll let the rest of the pictures do the talking. ;)


The posters and printables below came from this pack.

We went through our author's purpose checklist to determine why the author wrote the anchor text.

We started learning about sneaky e in spelling last week.  We made these sneaky e puppets to get the kids excited about long vowels.  They loved quizzing their sneaky e puppets at the end of the week on the words before the spelling test.  The original sneaky e can be found here.

We are loving these Interactive Journals in math by the fabulous Reagan Tunstall!

Here are our centers from this past week, which are also the same for this upcoming week.  I use the same centers for two weeks so I don't have to change them out so much.  

Here are this week's plans!

Have a great week!

Classroom Management Tools

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Just dropping in with a quick little classroom management tip and freebies.  When students come back to school from summer vacation, it seems staying on task can be a bit of an issue.  This year, I decided to have a reward planned for each day.  

My classroom has an owl theme, so that's what I went with.  I went to the Dollar Tree and got some prizes I thought they would like, along with a basket and some paper filler. 

All day, I remind them about the on task owl basket.  Whoever has done a great job staying on task at the end of the day gets the basket.  And they want that basket so bad!  I try to put about three prizes in the basket.  So far, it has really worked.  But as you know, you have to change the reward pretty often.  

You can download the owl printable for FREE above for your very own basket.
{graphics by Teaching Special Thinkers}

I will also be using the crazy straw labels again this year.  I have updated them, so be sure to download this little freebie again.  Click on the pic below to grab it.

And of course, there's the quiet spray!!!  Always a favorite!  You can read more about it here.  The pack with the Quiet Spray and Quiet Critter labels was updated recently, so please re-download that by clicking on the pic below.  And it's free, of course, too!

  What are your most effective classroom management tools?  I'll be back throughout the year to share more of mine!  

First Grade Journeys Units Posted and a SALE!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Just a quick little post for you first grade peeps!  I have been asked by many to create supplemental units to go along with the First Grade Journeys Reading Series.  The first four units have been posted on TPT.  Each unit contains comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, and grammar components along with weekly learning centers.  The first grade teachers at my school are using them, so I will try to get some pics of the units in action to post for you first grade teachers.

You can click on the previews below for the link to each unit!  And they're 20% off right now!

Thank you to all of my readers and TPT supporters!  These four units will be 20% off for the next three days!

A Peek at my Week!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I am so excited about our theme this week: DOGS!  The kids always love this one because who can't relate to those adorable, sweet dogs!  Our comprehension skill that we will be focusing on is author's purpose-one of my absolute favorites!  We will also be meeting our new friend, sneaky e and making some cute puppets.  

The author's purpose and ELA materials come from these two units.


I found the cute dog craftivity on Pinterest but cannot find the original source.  I just drew up my own template for next week.  The sneaky e puppets came from First Grade Wow.  We will also be practicing handwriting with our Saxon Phonics, which I need to go back in and add.

My teaching partner puts together morning meeting.  She got her template from the Promethium board site.  We will be using our math series along with Learning our Subtraction Strategies to continue practicing simple subtraction.  We also do a problem a day in our math journals from the Singapore Math modeled drawings book.

We use the same centers for two weeks, so I don't have to change them out every week.  I have them working in pairs or groups of three and that works for me.  Centers are always a review of past skills from the previous two weeks.  Getting that extra practice and keeping them consistent and makes all the difference in mastering those skills.

Thanks to Mrs. Wills for hosting the Peek at my Week Linky.  Be sure to stop by her blog to check out everyone else's plans for the week!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I feel like we are finally starting to get into a normal routine.  Those first few weeks of school are all about establishing routines and some groups just take longer than others. ;)  In reading this week, we were talking all about families.  We compared and contrasted our families to the family of Camila in our anchor text My Family from the Journeys reading series.  

We added this little flap book to our new Interactive Reading Notebooks.  

We are all about reading like detectives.  This week, I introduced them to their first Reader's Case File.  They were so excited about it!  They were begging to do another one the next day.  This will be a weekly routine for them.  Each case file has three text dependent questions in which they have to provide text evidence to support their answer.  We did it all together this week, because this skill takes LOTS of modeling.  They were so excited to get their little magnifying glasses, too.  Each week, I will introduce some new detective garb to keep it exciting.  


As you can see, we need some handwriting and proofreading help!  They are using random uppercase letters like crazy!  We will work on breaking that more this week.  

Our amazing intervention team performed their DRA tests this week.  That made it the perfect time to introduce how to choose a book.   I always read the book Those Shoes to them before we choose books.  We then made the little sneakers above.  I let them choose 2 on their level and then one of high interest from my classroom library.  They also get to choose 3 from the school library so they always have 6 books to choose from in their chair pockets.

We also talked about building our reading stamina.  They usually have no idea what that is when I get them, so I like to read the book Dex: The Heart of a Hero to explain what stamina is.  

The first day we practiced, their goal was two minutes but they made it four minutes so we shaded in our graph.  Now I have students asking, "When can we work on our stamina, Mrs. Gannon?" Super cute!

We did a little sentence, not a sentence sort to introduce sentences this past week.  They did really well with this!  We worked a little on run-on sentences, too.  You can see the original idea here.

In math, we have been working on subtraction strategies, and I forgot to take pics!  Math is first thing in the morning, so I don't think I am quite awake yet!  We used lots of activities from this awesome unit.  I don't know what I would do in math without Amy Lemons' units!  

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to take a Peek at my Week!  Have an awesome three-day weekend!

My Classroom Digs

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I haven't made a whole lot of changes to my classroom this year.  I do a total transformation last so I just stuck with it.  I also had finally figured out a classroom arrangement that worked for me.  

The chair pockets were made by a sweet grandparent.  I love them!  I am trying the little drawers at  my tables this year.  So far, it's going well.  I need to add labels to the drawers.  

This next board is where they will pin their exit tickets at the end of a lesson.  

That's their word wall above that they mainly refer to during writer's workshop.  Below is our behavior board.  They can buy things every two weeks with the cub cash they have earned for positive behavior.

This is our math focus wall.  The shapes and colors are from Cara Carroll.  The numbers are {HERE}.

Anchor charts will go on this board.  I divided each section with washi tape and cut the letters with my Cameo.

This is our writing workstation.  You can find the printables {HERE}.  I have put fabric around all my tables.  I am a stuffer, so I can hide plenty underneath the tables now!  Next, I am going to fabric my guided reading table.  But no stuffing there!

I got this pendant banner at Target and added clothespins.

The guided reading area that needs fabric!

Finally, my sad little desk that always feels neglected!  ;(  

That's it!  Time to check out everyone else's digs!  Happy Tuesday!