Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week in Review and Word Work Winners

Happy Sunday, friends! It is absolutely gorgeous here in Alabama! Fall has finally arrived! :) 

Let's take a peek at our week in review! I kind of wish I could write my lesson plans when the week was over! As Type A and OCD as I am, I always add ideas throughout the week from YOU! I have started making sticky notes on my plans to remember ideas for next year!  

Week in review - September 23 - 27

PHONICS: beginning r and s blends
I have to be honest, I have never explicitly taught these blends before! I have always taught them within other focused skills. I struggled to find stuff for this week! 

I created a word work unit: Traffic Jam {beginning r and s blends}
LOVE these graphics from Goodness&Fun! 

I used these Electric Company video clips from School Tube - always a fave! 

THE DAILY FIVE: Word Work Launch
We launched Word Work this week! The kiddos did a great job and were super excited to have a new choice!! 

I started my Word Work tubs with one activity:

I like this because the kids write the whole word in one color, versus every letter in a different color. I feel that they spend so much time changing markers that way! Ha! 
Go grab this freebie from Teri! :) 

MATH: Understanding Addition
I snagged this freebie from Khrys Bosland - perfect to add to Math Work Stations this week! 

We also learned a new card game - Addition War! Why do kiddos just eat card games up? 

WRITING WORKSHOP : Fix It Up! editing
After learning all about sentence structure and what makes a good sentence, we are looking for errors and using editing marks! 
Check out Christie's super cute Sentence Fix Up unit! LOVE it!!! It is just perfect for my firsties! Love the editing marks poster and the practical practice pages - and of course, the cutie construction theme! 


We had a fun apple week!!! We tasted apples, described apples using our five senses, made a torn paper apple, and ended the week with homemade {or schoolmade as one of my cuties pointed out!} applesauce! So delish over vanilla ice cream! 
I used this recipe from Find Time for Fun. com - turned out perfectly! 

And that is our week in review! 

Congratulations to Lisa and Robinann17! Check your email for the Crap Trap {short vowel a}, Fishy Fishy {short vowel i}, and Play Date {beginning l blends} Word Work units! Thanks to everyone for their sweet comments! 

Have a fun fall week!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Word Work units

Hey friends!
Happy fall y'all!! I have to wait until the first day of fall to get my Pumpkin Spice latte! I swung by Starbucks on my way to school this morning to pick one up! Made my morning so happy!

This year, one of main goals is creating word work units to go along with our new Wonders series. 
Many of the skills are skills I have previously taught with other series, but some are new! I am updating older units and creating a streamlined look!

All of the word work units will have:
Phonics display card - I put this on my focus board!

Word list - so you have a handy list to use throughout the week

Blending Boxes - these are new! I am going to use these to start each small group!

Stretch the Sounds - this a new explicit teaching activity that I do every Tuesday during our phonics time!

Word Sort - I put this in Word Work tubs some weeks ... sometimes it is another game or activity that I have!

Card game - I love to play this during small groups!

Scrambled SentencesI put this in Word Work tubs some weeks ... sometimes it is another game or activity that I have!

Write the Room - Half of the class writes the room while I work with a group on the carpet and then we switch! We write the room every Wednesday!

Word Search - This is our Fun Friday morning work before our spelling test

I DO NOT do all of the activities in one week! I just like to have several activities to choose from! :) 

I realized I have posted some units but did not give away any for free! Shame on me!!! 

Comment below with your EMAIL ADDRESS for a chance to win  ALL 3 new units:
Crab Trap {short vowel a}, 
Fishy Fishy {short vowel i}, AND Play Date {beginning blends}! 

I will email all 3 units to 2 people on Wednesday!
 Happy Monday to you! Hope your week is off to a great start!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Math Work Stations - the First Month!

Hey friends!
This is my second year doing Math Work Stations and I love them just as much as I did last year!
This year, I have 15 kiddos in my class and I have 6 groups of 2 and one group of 3. I have 7 work stations this year.
The first week of school, to launch math work stations we made an anchor chart on the Promethean board of what math work stations should look like and sound like. I had students model the right way and the wrong way  {CRINGE!} to do math work stations.

Sorry for the AWFUL pic - I just thought that I could have taken a screen shot of the actual flipchart from my computer at school - DUH! Next time, friends! :)

I started with all 7 tubs having the same activity: Number War. Simply use decks of cards with the face cards taken out.
 I modeled this game the first week of school and we started this game in the math work stations the second week of school.
We only did math work stations for about 5 minutes…we are building our stamina just like with Daily Five! After the five minutes were up, we practiced cleaning up during our clean up song {Tidy Up by Dr. Jean} and putting our math work stations away in the right order.
By the way, does anyone have an awesome clean up song?? I am looking for a new one after using Dr. J for about 7 years now!!! 

The second day we did math work stations for about 7 minutes and by the end of the second week we were up to about 10 minutes. 

The third week of school we began our unit on geometry and I added two more activities to math work stations.
I added pattern block and pattern block designs to 4 tubs.
I also added the Shake a Shape {or connect four} game to 3 tubs.
Now, there are at least two activities in each tub. Either pattern block cards OR Shake a Shape game AND all the tubs still have Number War in them.

This week will be the fourth week of school.
 I will add the iPad and the iPad mini to two of the stations... 7 stations total {5 games/activities and 2 technology}.
First semester we focus mostly on addition and subtraction, so all of the math work stations will have addition and subtraction activities.
Second semester, we move on to place value, data, numbers to 100, fractions, and more. Two of the tubs will remain addition and subtraction activities so that the children can maintain their fluency with addition and subtraction facts throughout the year!

Hope your math work stations are going marvelously! :) 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Five for Friday *Freebie*

TGIF,  friends! 
Hope you've had a great week! We just finished our third week and I am oh so glad that my firsties are beginning to get into our routine!

I am linking up with Kacey for another Five for Friday!

1. School Tube

I looove School Tube! We can not access You Tube at school, so School Tube is the next best thing!
One of my favorite channels is Have Fun Teaching
LOVE their Counting by 1's, 2's, 5's and 10's videos! Check it out!

2. New Word Work unit on TpT

My goal is to make phonics units to go along with each week of our new reading series! These word work units will include a display page, word work game, card game, scrambled sentences, write the room, and word search!
Check out Fishy, Fishy, my new short vowel i Word Work unit! 

3. Facebook

Castles and Crayons is finally on FB!!! Come 'Like' us to stay informed of new units, sales, and teaching tips!

4. Quick Lunch Idea
My teammate has been eating these yummy looking salads lately! I asked her where she got the chicken on her salad and she said Chick-Fil-A! What a great idea! Stop by on Monday and grab a 12 piece chicken nugget - perfect for 2 salads for the week! :) How easy is that and WHY haven't I thought of that! 

5. Freebie on TpT

This week, we are studying geometry! Check out this freebie for a Shake a Shape four in a row plane shape game! 

Have a fun football weekend! GO GAMECOCKS!!! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Final Spotlight Series post and Curriculum Map

I am SO SORRY I kind of bailed on the Schedule Spotlight series!!! Well, not kind of. I actually did bail on the series. For real. :(  Note to self - do not have linky party or blog series leading up to the first week of school! Y'all were so sweet to check on me - I am alive and well! :) 

And thank you to the sweet soul who pointed out that I actually have to PUBLISH the scheduled post for it to actually post!! Sheesh - how did I miss that?!?

I had two posts left: one was Social Studies and Science and the last one was packing up procedures! 
The packing up procedure post was just to round up to 10 posts for the I am just going to nix that one, mkay?

Let's call this the Social Studies and Science post!
I also wanted to share the curriculum map that my first grade team is using this school year. 
We use the enVision Math series {aligned with Common Core} and the McGraw Hill Wonders reading series {aligned with Common Core}. 
This is our plan so far! If you have any questions about any of the units of study, please email me at

My favorite resources for teaching Social Studies and Science are:

Brain Pop, Jr. 

Y'all know how much I love Annie and Moby!


LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! This is expensive but worth it!!! 

Teachers Pay Teachers

Duh and duh! Can't get enough of the cute units and crafts! 
LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this All About Me book from Ashley Sanderson - just perfect for our Marvelous Me unit last week! 

Books, books, and more books! :) I  read a book every afternoon to begin our Social Studies and Science lesson! 

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend! 
Stay tuned for the next Phonics word work unit to be posted on TpT and a math freebie! :)
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