Friday, April 21, 2017

Four Square Fridays // Vol. 3


Welcome to Four Square Fridays...Volume 3!  
Each Friday we will post 4 quick things -- basically anything we want to share with you at the moment about teaching, TpT, family life, and more!



Friday, April 14, 2017

Four Square Fridays // Vol. 2

Welcome to Four Square Fridays...Volume 2!  
Each Friday we will post 4 quick things -- basically anything we want to share with you at the moment about teaching, TpT, family life, and more!
 
 
This week's 4 squares...
1 //   Boomerang App
So I'm a little late joining in the fun with this app, but it is hysterical to use with my little guys!  Can't wait to find the perfect project for using this app in the classroom!
 
It isn't Easter without a chocolate bunny!  This year my husband got us some from Maverick Chocolate out of Cincinnati, OH.  It's his hometown and he discovered Maverick when he was back up visiting.  We love trying out bean to bar chocolate and Maverick is so good!
 
  3 //   Spring Math Bags
Our Spring Math Bags are pulled out and ready for kiddos when we return from Spring Break!  They will be a great review of math skills to get the kiddos back into the school routine after their week off.
 
  4 //   Instant Pot
Any other Instant Pot fanatics?!  I am loving mine and trying to discover lots of great recipes!  Right now, it is perfect for making soft, easy to chew finger food for my 1 year old guys. 
 
 


Friday, April 7, 2017

Four Square Fridays // Vol. 1

Welcome to Four Square Fridays...Volume 1!  
Each Friday we will post 4 quick things -- basically anything we want to share with you at the moment about teaching, TpT, family life, and more!



Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year: New Product!


Happy New Year!  We hope you are enjoying the start to 2017!

Last year, we tossed around the idea of adding Spanish versions of our products to our store.  We decided to give it a try; and are starting off with a Spanish version of one of our most popular primary grade products:  Emergent Reading Passages Using Text Based Evidence Responses.  This product contains almost 30 passages (emergent reading level) that require students to go back into the text to find answers and then write their responses.  The passages are easy enough to read, but still ask questions that require thought.  Each passage has a "real life" image instead of clip art; we have always liked this feature in our own classrooms.  We now have a Spanish version of this product in our store. 




Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year! {Ring in 2017 with a jam packed FREEBIE}

Can't believe it's going to be 2017!  

We have a BIG freebie to help your kiddos ring in the New Year!  This pack contains over 8 activities  (including math, reading, and goal setting).   Plenty of New Year cheer to practice skills and have fun at the same time!





Click HERE to download the freebie from Google Drive!

Make sure to stop by First Grade Buddies to start your year off right!


Enjoy your remaining days of Winter Break!!




Thursday, December 1, 2016

Reader Ready: Standard by Standard {RL 1.9: Compare and Contrast Characters in Stories}

Happy December, everyone!

Thanks for joining us for our last Reader Ready post for RL!  


Today we will look at RL 1.9; comparing and contrasting characters in stories.


The "Reader Ready" anchor chart we use for this standard is Capture the Character.   We explain that good readers think about the characters in the story.  We talk about how "capturing" a character is like taking a picture of them - to signify looking at the details about the character - their traits, adventures, and experiences.  Once students can get a clear picture of each character, they are able to compare and contrast the characters in the story / stories.  

{Capture the Character: a reader is always thinking about the characters in the story...we think about their adventures, experiences, and traits}


This is an anchor chart we leave hanging once we have introduced the idea of capturing the characters.  We put the headings, "same" and "different" for students to add post it notes 
so they can compare and contrast two characters.  As with most of our Reader Ready anchor charts, the post it notes are written and added by the students so they can take ownership of it.  This anchor chart can be used for 1 book or multiple books (which is how we use it).  We generally add post it's for read alouds, but also during Guided Reading as needed.


During Guided Reading, we provide practice with capturing the character.  We do this orally, using the anchor chart above, and the graphic organizers seen below.  

On this graphic organizer, the students (or teacher) selects two characters.  The students draw a picture of them, write their name, and then give a character trait that describes them.  They provide evidence as to why that character trait fits the character.  


On this graphic organizer, the students (or teacher) selects two characters.  The students give two examples of how they are the same and two examples of how they are different. We discuss how important it is to select similarities and differences that make an impact on the book - specific actions, experiences, or adventures.


**As a side note, for this standard we mostly choose one book / passage with two characters to compare and contrast, however, this standard can also apply to two books / passages.  Our favorite set of books to read if we use two books are both by Leo Lionni - The Alphabet Tree and Swimmy.  In these books, the character experiences are very similar (in both books the characters join together to become stronger / bigger), but there is also enough different that there can be great conversations.


For this standard, we use our RL 1.9 Print a Standard pack. Our Print a Standard packs each include over 10 activities. The activities can be done whole group, small group, or independently.  They are also great for assessments and homework.  With all of our Print a Standard packs, we use formats that are easy to use but engaging to the students. 


Some of our favorite RL 1.9 read aloud books: 


Frog and Toad // Beatrice Doesn't Want To
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon // Stellaluna
Town Mouse Country Mouse // Recess Queen


Since this was our last Reader Ready post, we'd love to know from you - were they helpful?  Would you like to see more posts like this from other Common Core strands?

Have a great Holiday season!



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Reader Ready: Standard by Standard {RL 1.7 and 2.7: Using the Illustrations to Describe the Story}


Hello there, thanks for joining us for another Reader Ready post.  



Today we will look at RL 1.7 / 2.7; using illustrations in a story to describe its characters, setting, and events.


The "Reader Ready" anchor chart we use for this standard is Look Closely.   We explain that good readers look closely at the illustrations to gain understanding about the book.  We use the magnifying glass to signify looking at the details in the illustrations, such as, the feelings the characters are exhibiting, the location of the story, and problems that take place.  We stress the importance of using both illustrations and text while reading.

{Look Closely at the Illustrations: a reader is always looking at the illustrations...we think about what we see}


This is an anchor chart we leave hanging once we have introduced the idea of paying attention to illustrations in a book.  We divide the anchor chart into 3 parts; character(s), setting(s), and event(s).  Students write about something they noticed or learned about the book based on the illustrations.  They decide what the illustration helped it teach them about and they put the post it note in that section of the anchor chart.  Students write things like, 
--"On page 9, I saw the teacher had an angry face.  I think she is mad." 
 --"On page 16, I saw a tractor and a barn.  I think this story takes place on a farm." 
--"On page 3, I saw the boy next to his bike on the ground.  I think he fell off his bike."  
We should note here, that we use this during picture walks (so they infer), but also during reading as well (where they actually know what is happening in the text).  As with most of our Reader Ready anchor charts, the post it notes are written and added by the students so they can take ownership of it.  This anchor chart can be used for 1 book or multiple books (which is how we use it).  We generally add post it's for read alouds, but also during Guided Reading as needed.


During Guided Reading, we provide practice with looking closely at the illustrations.  We do this orally, using the anchor chart above, and the graphic organizer seen here.   On this page, students pick one illustration to draw from the story.  They write something they know based on the illustration they picked.



For this standard, we use our RL 1.7 and RL 2.7 Print a Standard packs. Our Print a Standard packs each include over 10 activities. The activities can be done whole group, small group, or independently.  They are also great for assessments and homework.  With all of our Print a Standard packs, we use formats that are easy to use but engaging to the students. 



For this standard, you can select books with very few or no words; we generally do a mix of wordless books and regular read alouds that have interesting illustrations.  Below are some of our favorite books with very few or no words:


Draw // The Snowman
Good Night, Gorilla // Lost. Found.
Pancakes for Breakfast // Tuesday


Our next Reader Ready post will be RL.9 (RL.8 does not pertain to primary grades); we will publish that post a bit late due to scheduling...better late than never! 

Have a great week!