Beginning of the year assessments

I am lucky enough at the beginning of the year to be able to assess all of my kiddos before they start to come to me for reading/math.  I thought I would share what I do to find out what they know coming in.  I look at four pieces of reading information coming into first grade .

1. Text Level- We use the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark System.  I would highly recommend this system if your school is looking for something current and worthwhile.  I find each students instructional reading level while paying close attention to accuracy rate, self-correction ratio, fluency, and comprehension.

2.  I assess the students on known sight words.  I am looking to see if they know them fairly quickly without having to try to "sound" them out- which won't work most of the time anyway.  I use the Lucy Calkins list from the Teachers College of Reading and Writing Project.  I wrote a post recently about why I use this list rather than Dolch or Fry.  You can check it out here.

You can get this assessment here at Lucy Calkins website.

3.  CVC Reading.  This is another word list but it allows me to see what the students are doing as far as word attack skills.  I can then focus on the students needs.  I have created an assessment for this because I couldn't find anything out there that really helped me to zero in on this strategy.  Here is a sample of one of the students that I assessed.

I use this to find out any patterns that the students may be making.  For example, this child is reading i for e pretty consistently.  I know that this is an area of focus for this child.

If you are interested in these assessments, you can click on the picture.  They cover CVC words, blends, digraphs, short and long vowels for both reading and writing.

4.  CVC Writing:  I also like to get an idea of their word attack writing skills.  They write 15 different CVC words.  This allows me to see if they are missing beginning sounds, ending sounds, or vowel sounds in their basic writing of words.
I know this student really needs to work on vowel sounds- in particular i, o, and u.

 Now that the assessing is done- I can start the teaching!!

I have made up some very generic weekly guided reading plans.  I am going to be using my Guided Reading Plans that allow me to focus in on the strategies needed at each level.  Here is a photo of my lesson plan binder.   I have made copies of the different book levels so that they will be readily available for my guided reading groups.  I am so excited!!  You can check those out by clicking on the picture if you would like.
(I have my guided reading basic plans on the left and my specific skills I am working on for before, during, and after reading on to the left.)
(In the back of my guided reading plans I have A-J tabs that help me keep track of my guided reading plans.  I keep blank copies in the back for easy access.  So, behind the letter B, I have my level B plans.  Here is a picture below.

Now that I'm all set up, I need to start teaching!!  One of the first books I use is a book from a set that I made.  It is a beginning sight word reader.  I made this book so that the pattern changes and students have to self-monitor for sight words right from the start.  You can download it for FREE by clicking on the picture below.
What assessments do you do??

I hope everyone is having a great start to the school year!!


Open House and Classroom Pics!!

We had our Open House for families to come and meet the teacher on Monday night.  Since I teach Title I, I don't typically have very many students come to visit my room.  Last year, for the first time, I put a little note on their desks and asked them to come down and meet me.  I had more families come down when I did that.  This year, I even bribed them a little by telling them that I had a little surprise for them!!  I had all but 4 kids come down to see me!!  I was so excited.  My surprise was a goodie bag that I made.  Here is a picture of mine.

I put some candy and a "safari" pencil in it for them.  Click here to see the post to find out where I got them.

Also, I thought I would post some pics from my classroom.  I love the size of my room- not too small and not too big for only having 5 or less kids at one time:)

First, my little sign I made:)

My door- there is a little monkey and lizard on the glass but they are hard to see.  If you like the WELCOME sign you can get it here for FREE!!

This is when you walk into the room.  I won the console last year at a chinese auction.  I didn't have anywhere at home to put it so I brought it to school.

A view when you walk into the room on the left.

Word wall in the background.  I used the safari theme and got it free from Amy over The Resource(ful) Room.  She has a great blog...  I want to be a student in her class:)

Back wall.  I am going to hang my reading strategies posters as we introduce them.

Rules and Jungle Bowling Math facts board for them to record their progress with their math facts.  (I have two math intervention groups).

Desk area and the curtains are a safari theme as well but you can't tell in the picture... I couldn't get enough light. UGGHH.
Anyway, that's a peek into my classroom.  The kids started today but I will start some assessing tomorrow and then start with my groups sometime next week.
Have a great start to your year!!


Open House favor for the kids!!

Look what I found on Etsy made by Marlene Campos- Going to attempt to make these for Open House to go with my Safari/Jungle theme.  I will post a picture after I'm done.   I'm sure that won't look as beautiful- but I'm gonna try!!  I am getting Welcome Back!! on the tag.
Look what I just ordered to make for Open House!!  I'm getting Welcome Back written on the tag!!

If you have little girls- you should check out her favors for birthday parties etc. like this Tinkerbell.  There are a lot of different ones!  Too cute- makes me want to have a little girl!
PDF Tinkerbell Fairy Dress Printable Box


Welcome Sign for the Classroom FREEBIE

I've decided to do a Safari theme this year- I was going to do Pirates and changed my mind:)  I wanted a welcome sign to put on my door so I made one and thought I would share it with you.  It's a freebie so snag it up!!  I've linked up with Manic Monday!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Just click on the first picture to download!!
Don't forget to stock up on goodies today- last day on the TpT sale!
BTS 12 250x125

These have been my two hottest items:)  They are each $4.80 plus you save an additional 10% using the promo code BTS12 at checkout.


Back to School Sales!!

I think this sale means it's time to get myself into gear and ready for the school year!!
There is a lot going on so hold on tight...
First, I am having a giveaway on Teachers Notebook for my Guided Reading Lesson Plans (Levels A-N).  You can sign up until 11:59 CST August 11th.  Click on the picture below to enter!!
Then, I will be having a 30% off sale running from August 11th-13th!!
You can click here to visit my store!

Also, I will be participating in the the TpT Back to School sale on August 12-13th.  I will be offering 20% off of my products (along with 10% from TpT- enter promo code BTS12 when you checkout) for a total of 28% off!!  Click the button below to check out my store!
BTS 12 250x125

Happy Shopping and welcome back to a new school year!!


What are your goals?? Linky Party

Did you know that if you actually take the time to write out your goals (long term and short term), you are more likely to achieve those goals??  I thought I would start a linky party to what kind of goals we all have for the upcoming school year.  Here are mine!

You can join the linky party by copying the picture below and adding in your own goals.  Write up a short blog post and add it to the linky party.  I will then put it on a pinterest board as well.  If you don't have a blog, you can write your goals in the comments!
(Frame is by The 3am Teacher, Graphics by From the Pond, and Font by Kevin and Amanda)

Also, I have been working on some Guided Reading Lesson Plans since January and just finished them up this week.  I wanted something that I could use with any leveled book and know what the students needed to be learning at that level.  You can check it out by clicking on the picture.

Here is a FREE running record sheet too that you can use with any book!!
I am linking up with Manic Monday!!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday