Reading

Writing

Math

Shamrock and Easter Sound Boxes

Just a quick post to offer my newest Shamrock Sound Boxes!  These are the last of many.  They are all freebies in my store if you are interested in other seasonal ones.  I am also putting the link to the Easter ones as well.  Happy March (I can't believe it's almost here...)




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FREE way to merge two PDF files, Dr. Seuss Nails, and great FREE educational apps!

Just wanted to pop in share a few things today:
First off, look at my nails!  I found something similar to this on Pinterest and just couldn't resist.  I took a picture to my nail girl Shannon and she took on the challenge.  What fun for Dr. Seuss's birthday coming up.

These pictures didn't turn out as great as I had hoped- but I have Thing 1 on one hand and Thing 2 on the other.  Then, on my ring finger is the "hat".

On a totally different note- I am not the most technologically advanced person but I did figure out how to do something yesterday.  I was working on my March Activities and I ended up wanting to just add my Easter Activities into the same unit that I had created last year.  BUT, I had a problem... when I made my March Activities, I made them landscape and when I made my Easter Activities I made them vertical.  In Powerpoint (which is what I use to create my items) you cannot have both vertical and landscape pages.  I knew that I could merge the files using Acrobat Reader so I wasn't too worried and I knew I would eventually figure it out.  Well, when I was finished making and updating everything I opened Acrobat Reader and there was no merging available!  Guess what, it costs $89 per year to have this upgrade.  I was in a panic, because after spending three days and many many hours working on it, I really wasn't sure what to do.  So of course the next step is Google.   Here is what I found, for free, and VERY easy.  


At the top, there is a download button.  I downloaded it and then was able to attach my two files.  They were merged together as a new PDF.  Yay!  It was easy!

Here are the March Activities if you want to check them out!



One more thing to share... I ran across this blog post that has some really great free educational apps.  I'm going to have to check out a lot of these!

SAFKTOPFEB2

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Guided Reading for Primary Grades {with a FREEBIE}


Guided reading. Many teachers hear those words and instantly start to sweat. How do I do it? How long should my lessons last? How do I group students? Do I need to meet with them individually? These and many other questions go through the minds of teachers everyone. But guided reading does not have to be difficult. Read on to see the tips, strategies, and ideas that I've successfully used in my classroom and small groups to run guided reading successfully. 

So let me tell you a little background about myself... when I first got out of college, I started subbing immediately.  I was mainly in one school (this is where I did my student teaching).  After subbing for half a year, I was blessed to be offered an interview.  Funny thing is, I didn't really know it was an interview.  I was teaching summer school and the principal asked if I was interested in a part time third grade reading position.  I told her that I absolutely was and she said "Great, I'll come in and talk to you about it tomorrow."  I had absolutely no idea that it was going to be an actual interview.  At least I didn't have a chance to get super nervous!

Teaching guided reading for primary grades can be a challenge, but not with the tips and freebies included at this blog post! See the tips, tricks, ideas, and FREE downloads you can get to use with your Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students - all shared by a veteran teacher! Great ideas for your elementary classroom OR homeschool are included here. Whether you do guided reading as part of your literacy block or as separate centers, you can make these ideas work for you!{Lesson plan template}

So, it went something like this...
Principal:  What is your favorite subject?
Me:  Math, I have always loved math growing up and love solving problems.
Principal:  How do you feel about teaching reading?
Me:  Reading has always been one of my weaknesses.  I don't really enjoy reading myself.
Principal:  How would you use core books to help teach reading?
Me:  (this is what I was thinking)  What in the world are core books? (I have no idea how I actually responded to this question.)
Oh my... after this conversation- she actually hired me!  She assured me that she too always loved math in school and now teaching reading was fascinating to her and she felt that I would feel the same after some time.  
WOW- she hit it right on the nose!

Thanks to her and our school district, I feel lucky to have had some fabulous training by first 5 years of teaching.  I was trained in Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative.  Through Literacy Collaborative, I had the luxury of having a literacy coach by my side whenever I needed her.  I have learned a lot about teaching young children how to learn to read and she was absolutely right- I LOVE IT and I can't imagine doing anything else.

Now, I know this post is supposed to be about Guided Reading (sorry I've been babbling so much).  Currently, I teach Title I Reading and Math for first grade students.  I essentially teach 6 guided reading groups everyday.

Here are some quick little pointers from me to make sure that you keep in mind when you are doing your Guided Reading groups.  (Please know that these are my opinions and I'm sure others may feel differently on some of the items).

Guided Reading Tips


  1. When setting up your guided reading groups, you want to find the instructional reading level of your students.  This would be reading accuracy of 90-94% with acceptable comprehension and fluency.  It's great if you can use a benchmark system.  We use Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark System.  
  2. Your guided reading groups should last about 20 minutes.  If you teach kindergarten and are working at lower levels, it may not be as long.  If you are teaching first or second, it might be a little longer depending on the reading level.
  3. I always start out with a reading of the book that we read the previous lesson (their second read of that book).  Sometimes I will take an informal running record or I will just listen in to each student as they are reading.
  4. I have, for the past 12 years, religiously done the new book last.  This year, I have not.  I have done the new book first.  I LOVE this change.  Many times, I would run out of time and not get to the comprehension part of reading the book.  I really wanted to make sure that I have been hitting the comprehension (mainly inferencing) hard this year.  This is definitely the change I needed.  I introduce the new book.  Then, each student reads the book, with whisper voices, independently.  I feel it is extremely important that every child is reading every word in the book (no round robin reading etc.).  I then listen in.  Doing the new book before any word work has allowed me to dive much deeper with comprehension this year.
  5. Then I get to the word work.  I have the luxury of having 30 minutes with the kids so I can spend more time on word work (which my kiddos desperately need).  I try to make it fun and we play a lot of word games and do a lot of fun activities.

My message here to you is to do what works for you and your kiddos - it may change from year to year depending on the needs of your students.  Don't be afraid of guided reading or that you are doing it wrong- the more books (at the students instructional level) that you can get into their hands- the better:)

I have a freebie guided reading lesson plan sheet for you.  I also included a chart that you can use with your students before the start of your guided reading group.  This allows the teacher to know what the focus of the lesson is going to be as well as the expectations for the students.  I simply laminate it and use a dry erase marker so that it can be used over and over again.  Here are some pictures of what is included:

Teaching guided reading for primary grades can be a challenge, but not with the tips and freebies included at this blog post! See the tips, tricks, ideas, and FREE downloads you can get to use with your Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students - all shared by a veteran teacher! Great ideas for your elementary classroom OR homeschool are included here. Whether you do guided reading as part of your literacy block or as separate centers, you can make these ideas work for you!{Lesson plan template}

Teaching guided reading for primary grades can be a challenge, but not with the tips and freebies included at this blog post! See the tips, tricks, ideas, and FREE downloads you can get to use with your Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students - all shared by a veteran teacher! Great ideas for your elementary classroom OR homeschool are included here. Whether you do guided reading as part of your literacy block or as separate centers, you can make these ideas work for you!{Lesson plan template}

Teaching guided reading for primary grades can be a challenge, but not with the tips and freebies included at this blog post! See the tips, tricks, ideas, and FREE downloads you can get to use with your Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students - all shared by a veteran teacher! Great ideas for your elementary classroom OR homeschool are included here. Whether you do guided reading as part of your literacy block or as separate centers, you can make these ideas work for you!{Lesson plan template}

Teaching guided reading for primary grades can be a challenge, but not with the tips and freebies included at this blog post! See the tips, tricks, ideas, and FREE downloads you can get to use with your Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students - all shared by a veteran teacher! Great ideas for your elementary classroom OR homeschool are included here. Whether you do guided reading as part of your literacy block or as separate centers, you can make these ideas work for you!{Lesson plan template}


I have also made some very detailed Guided Reading Lesson Plans.  These plans are for levels A-N (Fountas and Pinnell leveling system).  I have included word work ideas, before reading, during reading (strategies to teach), and after reading (comprehension) ideas to help you plan for your groups.  This has been an amazing help to me.  You can click on the pictures to check it out.

Teaching guided reading for primary grades can be a challenge, but not with the tips and freebies included at this blog post! See the tips, tricks, ideas, and FREE downloads you can get to use with your Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students - all shared by a veteran teacher! Great ideas for your elementary classroom OR homeschool are included here. Whether you do guided reading as part of your literacy block or as separate centers, you can make these ideas work for you!{Lesson plan template}


Teaching guided reading for primary grades can be a challenge, but not with the tips and freebies included at this blog post! See the tips, tricks, ideas, and FREE downloads you can get to use with your Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students - all shared by a veteran teacher! Great ideas for your elementary classroom OR homeschool are included here. Whether you do guided reading as part of your literacy block or as separate centers, you can make these ideas work for you!{Lesson plan template}

Teaching guided reading for primary grades can be a challenge, but not with the tips and freebies included at this blog post! See the tips, tricks, ideas, and FREE downloads you can get to use with your Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students - all shared by a veteran teacher! Great ideas for your elementary classroom OR homeschool are included here. Whether you do guided reading as part of your literacy block or as separate centers, you can make these ideas work for you!{Lesson plan template}

Teaching guided reading for primary grades can be a challenge, but not with the tips and freebies included at this blog post! See the tips, tricks, ideas, and FREE downloads you can get to use with your Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students - all shared by a veteran teacher! Great ideas for your elementary classroom OR homeschool are included here. Whether you do guided reading as part of your literacy block or as separate centers, you can make these ideas work for you!{Lesson plan template}

You can see all of my guided reading lessons for primary grades by clicking here
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Clutter Free Desk WHAT???

I've been tackling the Clutter Free Classroom Project and we are in week number 5.  I skipped 4 (for now) because I don't think I was quite ready for that challenge yet.  This weeks challenge was to organize my desk/work area.  I was so excited about this challenge this week and there are lots of great tips on the blog post.
So, here it is...
BEFORE


And one of the drawers- oh my!

So I started going through the drawers... just one a day.  I got my "keep" and "donate" baskets ready...


Look what I found... I'm not even really sure what these are or what they are used for.  I found them in a "toolbox" that I inherited from another teacher.  


Ha!  At this point I thought to myself... WOW!  This is apparently WAY overdue. LOL!

Throughout the week I really tried to analyze what I wanted to keep on my desk.  I decided that the least I had, the better off I would be.  So, I found a place for many of the things that were on my desk.  Here are the AFTER pictures:)  I am so excited!





Now I've just got to keep it this way!  If you want to join the Clutter Free Classroom Project, you can check it out by clicking on the picture.
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Beginning Writers Checklist

Next week, we are starting to group our first graders to work on different writing skills.
We have about 100 first grade students, five classroom teachers, and me.  We are grouping them according to ability level- high, medium, and low.
I will be working with one of the other first grade teachers and we are going to be co-teaching together and working with the lowest writers.  I'm not sure how many yet... I'm a little worried... lol.
I absolutely LOVE to teach writing and I don't get to do it very often- so I am very excited!!  Many of the kiddos in that group are ones that I am already working with in reading and/or math.
We are going right back to the basics- handwriting is generally awful not good.  We need to work on writing a basic complete sentence with of course all of the mechanics.
I wanted a visual to help us get started- this is what I came up with...

You can click on the picture to download:)
I am linking up with Friday Freebies over at TBA again:)
Freebie Fridays

Wish me luck, I will keep you posted as to how our writing group is going- maybe I will take some pictures to share!
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Clutter-Free Classroom Challenge #3

I ran across this e-card today!  So fitting for this post...

I've started the Clutter-Free Classroom Project at the beginning of this year.  I am currently working on the Week #3 Challenge.  Make a Clean Sweep of your classroom.  You can check it out and join me and many others at any time.

Actually, my room has been the "most organized" already this year than I think it has ever been.  But, I still have a lot to work on.  This weeks challenge was to look at all four walls of my classroom and to get rid of the clutter that people see when they enter the classroom.  So, that's what I did... here are some pictures...
BEFORE... this is where a lot of my math manipulatives are kept.  The top file folder has some of the math activities I've gathered and a bunch of other miscellaneous "stuff".

AFTER... I went through all of the math files and ended up getting rid of most of it.  I organized the math manipulatives but didn't go through them quite yet to see what I need and what I don't need.
BEFORE... I also went through the papers hanging next to my desk (I asked myself if I could file them away somewhere that was just as convenient... and I did- most of them).

AFTER...WOW!

BEFORE... this is probably the biggest "eyesore" for myself when I come into my room.  This is directly behind my desk.  It's my catch all of my TpT products that I've made and purchased.

AFTER...Yeah!  So much better (everything isn't completely put away the way I want it in the end, but I have to keep remembering BABY STEPS:)  I think George is happy too!

That's all I have to share for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

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Fluency Practice

AWWW.... fluency.  Such a little word that means so much.  We want them to read with expression, phrasing, intonation, and at a good pace.  Most of my beginning readers struggle with fluency.  We read a book the other day and it lent itself to some good expression.  Actually, they needed to read it with good expression and reading the punctuation for the story to make perfect sense to them.  I was having a hard time getting them there... so, this is what I came up with.


There were three characters in this story- Sam, Jesse, and Papa.  I have multiple copies of this book and highlighted each one separately.  I gave one student the book with Sam's speaking parts that were highlighted with highlighter tape.  I gave another the book with Jesse's parts and another with Papa's parts.  Last, I gave a student a book and they acted as the narrator (those parts were also highlighted).  Basically, I turned our guided reading book into a readers theater.
We practiced reading fluently, practicing together along the way.  As I said, there were many parts where the students had to read the punctuation to fully understand this story and this definitely helped get them there (at least somewhat:) 
(Just in case you are curious, this book is a level F and is called The Soccer Game.  It is part of an intervention program called Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) by Fountas and Pinnell.)  These books are amazing!  

Just thought I would share one way of practicing fluency in a guided reading setting.
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RTI Progress Monitoring FREEBIE

There are many different times where a teacher may need to implement or document RTI, but today I want to share the RTI progress monitoring freebie I've created. 

Are you looking for a FREE RTI Progress Monitoring resource? Look no further! If you teach preK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade - you're going to LOVE this resource! It works great for classroom teachers AND those in specialty positions where additional documentation and RTI interventions and documentation are involved. Click through now to grab your freebie and start helping your students immediately!

Recently, I had to fill out all the paperwork involved in having a student get tested for a learning disability. I have done this several times, however- we have to be extremely specific in showing the interventions that we have tried with the student.  The intervention isn't Title I Reading/Math- it's all of the activities/lesson/specific strategies that we have tried with that student - in the classroom and out.  

Are you looking for a FREE RTI Progress Monitoring resource? Look no further! If you teach preK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade - you're going to LOVE this resource! It works great for classroom teachers AND those in specialty positions where additional documentation and RTI interventions and documentation are involved. Click through now to grab your freebie and start helping your students immediately!

Below is the RTI progress monitoring resource I came up with, and it's free! My hope is that many others will be able to use it as well.

Click on any of the pictures below to go and grab your RTI progress monitoring freebie. 


Are you looking for a FREE RTI Progress Monitoring resource? Look no further! If you teach preK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade - you're going to LOVE this resource! It works great for classroom teachers AND those in specialty positions where additional documentation and RTI interventions and documentation are involved. Click through now to grab your freebie and start helping your students immediately!

Here's actual pictures of what you receive with your free RTI progress monitoring download.

Are you looking for a FREE RTI Progress Monitoring resource? Look no further! If you teach preK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade - you're going to LOVE this resource! It works great for classroom teachers AND those in specialty positions where additional documentation and RTI interventions and documentation are involved. Click through now to grab your freebie and start helping your students immediately!

Are you looking for a FREE RTI Progress Monitoring resource? Look no further! If you teach preK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade - you're going to LOVE this resource! It works great for classroom teachers AND those in specialty positions where additional documentation and RTI interventions and documentation are involved. Click through now to grab your freebie and start helping your students immediately!

Are you looking for a FREE RTI Progress Monitoring resource? Look no further! If you teach preK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade - you're going to LOVE this resource! It works great for classroom teachers AND those in specialty positions where additional documentation and RTI interventions and documentation are involved. Click through now to grab your freebie and start helping your students immediately!


I added a blog post that shows one example of how I have used this RTI progress monitoring form.  You can check it out {here}.

Pin for Later:

Are you looking for a FREE RTI Progress Monitoring resource? Look no further! If you teach preK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade - you're going to LOVE this resource! It works great for classroom teachers AND those in specialty positions where additional documentation and RTI interventions and documentation are involved. Click through now to grab your freebie and start helping your students immediately!


I am linking up with Manic Monday over at Classroom Freebies and with Friday Freebies over at TBA!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Freebie Fridays

Feel free to share this RTI progress monitoring freebie with your teacher friends who may be providing some sort of intervention with your students.  They may just LOVE you for it:)
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Valentine Sound Boxes FREEBIE


Here are my newest sound boxes!  You can download them for free by clicking on the picture. 



I am linking up with February Freebies with Laura Candler.
February Freebies

Enjoy!
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