Friday, March 1, 2013

Five for Friday 3.1.13

Happy Friday and Welcome March!
We hope all of you had a great week! In North Carolina we are definitely ready for Spring!

This week we're linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching (it's our favorite Friday thing to do :) and Teaching Maddeness

1.     This week we added a new item to our TpT and TN store!  It is a Family Message Journal.  Family Message Journals are a way to create a home-school connection with your kiddos!  They are very kid, family, and teacher friendly!  Each week students write a letter to their family based on a prompt given to them.  Over the weekend, a member of their family writes them back.  They are quite fun to read year after year!  If you are looking for a quick way to practice writing, and involve families in the process…this is just what you need!

2.  How do you display learning objectives and student work in your classroom?   Sarah has found a really neat and organized way to do so…I think I’ll try this next year!  With each new unit, Sarah changes the objective cards  and vocabulary cards (purchased from Anna Brantley and Deanna Jump), as well as, adds examples of work the kiddos are doing and pictures of them learning about the concepts!  They use the board to reference vocabulary words and strategies as needed.  Such an organized way to show student learning! 

3.    We have been busy reading “across the genres!”  The kiddos have really enjoyed hearing and reading a variety of books.  We decided to have a “book club” in our classrooms.  When students want to make book suggestions to friends in their classroom, they write the title of the book, who would like it, and why.  We keep the books on a special shelf in each of our classrooms.  The books are labeled with the student’s names so that other kiddos know who is suggesting the book.   It has been a fun way to encourage students to read books that they may not have necessarily picked out themselves.

4.    At the beginning of the year, we were looking for a way to do Literature Circles with some of our high readers.  We found a great Literature Circle packet for primary age students.  Each time we meet with this group of kiddos, we assign them to a book or portion of a book to read.  They also are assigned a task to complete independently based on what they read.  It’s been great to have students be able to read books appropriate for their reading level…and work on comprehension skills that they are ready for!  If you are looking for a way to add enrichment to a reading group in your classroom, we recommend this packet highly. Below you’ll see a picture of a book we recently read and 2 examples of a Literature Circle job completed by students.

5.    “First Grade Buddies” is on Pinterest now!  We are excited to pin all the neat ideas that we find! There are so many talented teachers out there!

Have a great weekend!


  1. I'm totally stealing your book club idea! LOVE IT! I love the pics of the kids too! :) adorable.

  2. Oh boy! ;) I believe I may have found a kindred spirit! :) My name is almost like yours, Tamra...only I've got an extra A! ;) Lots of people call me Tamra...but it's Ta-MA-ra. ;) I just got my National Boards two years ago! :) I've taught first grade for six years! ;) Glad I found your blog through the linky! :) I loved your literature circles idea! :) When I was in third, I did them all the that I'm back in first...I'm trying to adjust them...but...with all the common core stuff I'm having to time is too tight to set it up correctly. I am encouraged to really think about it over the summer now that I've read your post! ;) So fun to hear about the 'randomness' of your week! :) I am one of your newest followers! :)


    Mrs. Russell's Room First Grade

    1. I get called many things....with my name! I don't meet many Tamra's, that's for sure! You would like the literature circles in first grad for sure; the lady that made the packet did a great job! Our kiddos love it! Thanks or stopping by!

  3. Found your blog through Mrs. Russell's rooms. Thanks for the great ideas.

  4. Welcome to the teacher blogging world friends...I just started my blog back in January and getting ready to do my 100 (will 101 really) follower giveaway. I know it's kinda hard to start getting followers. Keep doing linky parties and giveaways if you have any yet. Let me know if you want to be a part of my giveaway to get your blog out in blog land a little more :)
    Kickin’ it in Kindergarten

  5. Love all of those ideas, girls! I pinned the way you post objectives and samples of student work. I am definitely going to set a bulletin board aside to do that next year! Thanks for sharing :)
    The Teacher’s Chair
    Find me on Facebook!
    Happy Pinning!

    1. Thanks for "pinning!" Let us know if you have questions about the objective wall!

  6. I am your newest follower! LOVE The objectives board! Stop on by & leave some LOVE!

    1. Just stopped by your site! Thanks for the nice comment!

  7. Hi Girls! So nice to meet you!
    Loved seeing your objectives board!
    I literally just rearranged mine this week because I noticed it wasn't as effective (for the kids) as I had hoped. Too much text, not enough kid-friendly language! I am working on a new post for today, so be sure to stop by later on and have a visit! Happy to be a new follower!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

  8. We are happy to have you! We just became a follower on your blog too. Kid friendly language is key! Good luck with your new objectives board!

  9. You're going to LOVE Pinterest! Just be careful... it's addicting!!
    Karen :o)
    Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten