Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wild About Writing {Writing Folders}

TGI-almost-F, friends!!! Super excited for a fun fall football weekend! :)

One of my main goals for this year is organizing our writing curriculum {the other being making more math games}! I used to {gasp!} dread teaching writing in Kinder. It was my least favorite time of day! How many times did I hear, “How do you spell {insert ANY word here}. I loved the hilarious phonetic spelling, but even that wasn’t looking pretty until about December-ISH! BUT…since moving to first, writing has become my FAVORITE thing to teach! I ADORE their precious, creative writing! AND all of your fab blogs have been so inspiring! :) Thank you for helping me to LOVE teaching writing again!

Our first unit in August is a review of the Craft of Drawing I used to teach in Kinder. It reminds kiddos to use ovals to draw people and to add details to make their illustrations more interesting.

In September, our unit is The Writer’s Way. A lot of my ideas came from the cutey Cara at The First Grade Parade. Click {here} to read all about her Writing Workshop launch!

I ADORE her idea to use Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type to introduce WHY writer’s write. We focus on this for the first week. The next week, we go into HOW writer’s write…lists, thank you notes. Each day I model writing a different list {grocery list, packing list, school supply list, and a birthday present list}. The third week, we worked on generating topics through writing our own Word Webs. We made Word Webs about fall, the playground, going to the movies, and the beach {AAHH!} The last week I borrowed another idea from Cara! We made our heart maps…PRECIOUS! I just can’t stand it! They turned out beyond cute! I have already said a few times, “Look inside your heart and find something you love to write about!” Could you DIE???? :)

Click below to download some freebies to use with your Writer’s Way unit:

{List writing paper}

{Word Web}

{Heart Map}

Here are some pics of our Writing Folders. LOVE the Author at Work graphic from the Scrappin Doodles Writing Kids set!


Inside the folder, I put an Alphabet Chart {a free download at TpT} and their Heart Map.

alphabet chart photo3

The left pocket is for finished work and the right pocket is for unfinished work.

photo4 photo5

Coming soon…our next writing unit for October ~ Super Sentences! Enjoy your weekend! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Daily Five Page!

Happy Fall Y'all...a few hours early! :) I don't know what I am more excited about...pumpkins, apples, leaves, football, or all my new fave shows premiering this week! I HEART fall!!! To celebrate, I made my teacher friends Apple Pie Pops. Yes, I did...I said Apple Pie Pops! Apple pies on a stick...absolutely presh AND genius! Check out this delish recipe from Dina at Buttercream Bakehouse! :)

Now...let's get back to something that is relevant to my post title! I have added the Word Work and Listen to Reading anchor charts on the Daily Five page...located at the top of my blog! So now all five anchor charts {plus a chart for EEKK} are all located in one spot on this page!

I am posting from my iPad for the first time...I hope it looks okay! :)

I am off to watch Grey's on TiVo! Have a fabulous fall weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Coming Soon…

Happy Hump Day!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA! This is me laughing my booty off at Modern Family tonight! I am not an original fan…after repeated texts EVERY Wednesday from my mom {Are you watching Modern Family? It is REALLY funny!} I finally tuned in last spring. This is hilarious stuff, people! One of my new faves!


Alicia, over at Dreamlike Magic, will be adding pages to my blog in the next few days! I love the blog format, but felt like ideas were getting buried under blog post after blog post. I know you can find it in the sidebar…but still! During my easy breezy summer days, I LOVED scrolling through blog after blog, post after post,  bookmarking and making notes about lots of fun ideas! But now that the school year is in full swing, I am looking for specific ideas and printables for what I am currently teaching or about to teach, ya know??? I will have pages for The Daily Five, Phonics, Math, Writing, and Thematic units! I hope this saves you some time as you search for exactly what you need! Stay tuned! :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Peek at Our Week

Happy Monday, blog buddies! I had a MARVELOUS Monday…my kiddos were so sweet and ready to learn! I seriously ADORE my class! I was *secretly* QUITE nervous about my class this year, since I had the same class for the past two years (I looped from Kindergarten to the love of my life, FIRST GRADE!). But, I have fallen head over HEELS for this awesome group of 21 kiddos! :)

Here is what we’ll be up to this week:

Phonics: short vowel /o/

*If you have already launched Word Work and are feeling crafty, check out this PRESH short vowel /o/ word sort from sweet Sarah at First Grader…at Last!

Writing: Word Webs

*Click here for a blank Word Web to use for whole group modeling or individual writing!

Math: Addition Strategies – Doubles

*Click here to download a great Power Point presentation of a Doubles Rap! After we “rap” (HAHAHA!!) I have the students fill in the sum on this fill in the blank Doubles Rap.

Social Studies: School and Community Leaders

*Click here to download a book I made, First Grader, First Grader, Who Do You See? It is in a Word document so you can change it to fit your school and classroom as needed. I used Tinker Toy and Doodle Tipsy fonts. There are 7 pages in the book~

{Page 1} Cover page

{Page 2} principal

{Page 3} teacher

{Page 4} school nurse

{Page 5} mayor

{Page 6} fire fighter (the blank is for the name of your city and firefighter…example Birmingham fire fighter)

{Page 7} police officer

*Click here to download a poem, Helping Hands. I found it online many years ago (HA – this is only my seventh year of teaching, so I would venture to say 7 years ago!) and retyped it to look like our poems.

This is my first time using Scribd…I have a love/hate (more hate) relationship with Google Docs. Let me know if it works and there is something you can use in your classroom! :)

Have a FAB week! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dinosaurs Galore!

Hey, hey! We have made it 20 days! GO US! :)
This week, our science unit is Dinosaurs and Extinct Animals...such a FUN unit! I wanted to share a quick craftivity (thank you for that fantastic word,
Cara!!) with you...PLAYDOUGH FOSSILS!

Materials needed:
paper plates
Rotini pasta

Before starting, write the kiddos names around the paper plate. I figured out the HARD way last year that you can't really write their name on the bottom of the paper plate with the greasy Playdough seeping through!!! :)

Give students a baggie filled with rotini pasta. Let them crush it up! They can smash it on the table or stomp on it!!! This MIGHT be their favorite craftivity all year!

Once they have their pasta (bones!!!!) crushed up, they can spread out their playdough in a circle on the center of the paper plate. They can arrange the pasta in whatever shape they want. Some of my super creative kiddos did an intricate dinosaur footprint...others did their initials, some did a handprint...WHATEVS! They turn out super cute! :)

Thank you SO MUCH to Mel, Kristin, Christie, and Jennifer for nominating Castles and Crayons in their Top 10 blogs! What an honor! Go check these fab ladies' blogs out...NOW!

A Teeny Tiny Teacher

Thursday, September 1, 2011

More Daily Five Freebies - Read to Someone

Happy September!!! Can you feel fall in the air?? is a balmy 97 degrees in Bama! CAN'T WAIT for all things fall....apples, pumpkins, and leaves, oh my! I stopped at Bath and Body Works to get some hand soap and left an hour later with a MASSIVE headache because I sniffed all the new fall scents...Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin is still my absolute fave! :)

Let's talk Daily Five! How is it going??? We have built our stamina to 13 minutes for Read to Self (so I am FINALLY able to begin assessing) and 9 minutes for Work on Writing. We introduced Read to Someone this week and it is going great! We are up to 6 minutes!

This is our what our Daily Five time looks like currently ~

10 minutes - review three ways to read a book, I PICK chart, and Read to Self chart
13 minutes - Read to Self
5 minutes - add to stamina chart and review Work on Writing chart
9 minutes - Work on Writing
5 minutes - add to Work on Writing stamina chart and review Read to Someone chart
6 minutes - Read to Someone

Click HERE for the Read to Someone anchor chart

Click HERE for the EEKK poster *I did NOT write this poem! I have seen it floating around the internet...I just made it match my other posters! Please let me know if you know the original author so I can give credit! :)

Click HERE for the Read to Someone activity sheet (fill in the blank anchor chart)

Next week, we will have 2 work sessions and students will be able to choose between Read to Self and Work on Writing. I was really anxious about this last year, but because I know how awesome it is, I can't wait this year!!!

TGI-almost- F!!! :)
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