Thursday, December 24, 2015

Global Glitter December Linky...a little late!

I am a little late to the party, so I will get right to the point!

It is time {{ past time }} for Global Glitter's December Linky.

Staple Recipe - - Party Mix
My mom makes the BEST Party Mix. She uses the recipe on the Chex Mix box but doubles the about of goupy stuff. It is sooooo yummy!

Holiday Read Aloud Favorites - - Memoirs of an Elf
I have too many holiday favorites I read aloud to my first graders. I didn't even get to read all of them this year.  A favorite this year was Memoirs of an Elf. There is a great page about an "elfie." An elfie is an elf version of a selfie. Our classroom elf on the shelf took an elfie on his last day with us and left a copy for every student. They LOVED it!

Integrated Technology - - ChatterPix

This is the new favorite app in our classroom. There is a free version!  Here is a preview of an example of a product my kids made last week. I used it as a formative assessment.

New Find - - Snapseed App

This is a FABULOUS picture editing app. It is FREE!

Engaging Books - - Knuffle Bunny
My first graders absolutely adored this story this year! It was great for making text-to-self connections.

Snow Day - - Snow Day
I live in Florida. We have Hurricane Days, not Snow Days! The day before Winter Break we had Snow Day. We wore our pajamas, learned about snow, wrote about snowmen, made snow people, watched Frozen, and had snacks. Here is a picture of our hot chocolate in honor of Frozen!

Hop on over to Global Glitter to see who else has linked up or link up yourself!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

12 Days of Giving

Hey Friends!
I am joining the Global Glitter Tribe for 12 Days of Giving. I actually have TWO Christmas freebies for you!

First up is Addition and Subtraction Strategies to 20.
The pages in this freebie can be used as practice pages, formative assessments or summative assessments. It practices the strategies of counting on, doubles, doubles plus and minus one, and making a ten. It requires the students to EXPLAIN which strategy the used! Click the picture above grab the freebie.

Next up is an ELA Mini Unit for The Littlest Elf by Brandi Dougherty.
This unit covers Story Elements, Central Message, Retell, Summarize, and Compare & Contrast.

Feedback on TPT is greatly appreciated!

Click the picture below to get the book on Amazon!

Be sure to check out the other goodies and giveaway by clicking below!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Goal Setting and Tracking with the Little Ones

Setting and tracking academic goals with six year olds.....

Other than fluency.....

We have all heard that students should set and track their personal academic goals. As a primary teacher I was not a fan and didn't do it. {{SHHH, Don't tell}} 

We all agree that our time is precious. 

Would the time it takes to teach students how to set goals, set the goals, and track the goals REALLY be worth it?

This fall my school attended a John Hattie Visible Learning Professional Development. After this PD, I decided to rethink goal setting and give it a try!

I decided to start out with one area....Reading Levels. We use DRAs to monitor our reading levels, but this could be adapted for any reading assessment or even any subject. 

First off, I did NOT want each student's reading level to be visible to everyone. I KNOW there are many out there who disagree and that is a whole other discussion! I made our tracking area have end check points instead of levels. The end of each grading period is a check point.

We started with our October Reading Levels...

We will check our progress in January, March, and June. Those are the end of each grading period.
Our boats will move as we move!

Here is the hard part...

Setting the goals!

I conferenced with each child individually to have them set their goals. We completed this sheet together.
This is the sheet I used for my on level & below level students. 18 is the end of first grade expectation.  I used one that goes to a level 24 for my above level students.

I showed each student their actual DRA to help them set their goal and choose what to work on...fluency, comprehension, etc. I am not going to sugar coat it, this took a couple of days and a lot of "coaching." I am optimistic that it will be easier each time.

My goal is to conference with each child and revisit their goal sheet at least once before the end of the grading period.

Do your students set goals and track their progress?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Global Glitter Tribe Monthly Link Up

I am linking up with the Global Glitter Tribe this month. This is a new tribe I recently came across.

{{ CONFESSION }}  The name sucked me in. I love GLITTER. I mean come on, what first grade teacher doesn't?!??!?!

Grateful - Colleagues who are also my BFFs
I teach with some of by Best Friends. Even though we are not all in the same grade level any longer, it is nice to see them every single day. We meet and chat every morning & afternoon!  We chat about school stuff as well as home stuff. Not only do we go out for dinner and drinks at least once a week, we try to plan something big and fun once a month. Last month it was Epcot's Food and Wine. This month it is going to the Night of Lights in St. Augustine. Next month, to Disney to see the Osborn Spectacle of Christmas Lights at MGM! I have ALWAYS wanted to see the famous lights. Since it is the last year for them we decided we HAVE to go. 

Local - Random Acts of Kindness Project 
The month of December I send home a Random Acts of Kindness Project with my First Graders! They get a book to complete and little cards to hand out with their "acts" in an effort to encourage others to pass it on in the community! It is always a favorite and I can't wait to see what they do this year. It is also very rewarding to see the cards out in the community.

Organization - Computer Files
I'm a bit OCD. Okay, ridiculously OCD. To help keep my desktop neat, tidy, and organized, I created a background to organize my files. I created it on pages, took a screen shot and made it the background. Here is what it looks like.

Broad Perspectives - Random Acts of Kindness Project
This isn't easy in First Grade. I try to build a classroom community starting on the first day of school. This year I started Bucket Filling in my classroom. It has been wonderful! The Random Acts of Kindness Project is a good way to follow up and give a reminder half-way into the school year!

Artists - Craftivities
I love doing Craftivities with my class. Next week we will be doing Christmas Tree Math. Sorry about the picture. I will post a better one when the kids have completed theirs!
Let's Chat - Team Planning
How does your grade team plan? Do you plan together, divide up subjects, or all do your own thing?

If you want to link up or check out other great blogs, click the picture below!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

SALE!! What a DEAL!!!

Get over $85 worth of products for only $25 $20 and help a few fellow teachers out!

This weekend I am walking with my teacher (and real life) bestie in a C.O.P.S. walk. We are walking in this 25 mile walk in memory of her husband who was killed in the line of duty. C.O.P.S helps families and coworkers of officers killed in the line of duty. Our team has to raise $4,000. As a way to help us meet our goal, I reached out to some bloggy/TPT buddies to create a Pack of Products to sell. (I have to say teachers are the most generous peeps out there!) If you would like to purchase the pack above please follow the link below and make a donation. Leave a comment on the C.O.P.S page with your email when you make your donation and I will email you the products via Google Drive!

The sale will end Friday evening!

Team Fischer is fundraising for Concerns of Police Survivors

Sharing is GREATLY appreciated!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What A DEAL!!!

Get over $85 worth of products for only $25 and help a few fellow teachers out!

In October I am walking with my teacher (and real life) bestie in a C.O.P.S. walk. We are walking in this 25 mile walk in memory of her husband who was killed in the line of duty. C.O.P.S helps families and coworkers of officers killed in the line of duty. Our team has to raise $4,000. As a way to help us meet our goal, I reached out to some bloggy/TPT buddies to create a Pack of Products to sell. (I have to say teachers are the most generous peeps out there!) If you would like to purchase the pack above please follow the link below and make a donation. Leave a comment on the C.O.P.S page with your email when you make your donation and I will email you the products via Google Drive!

Team Fischer is fundraising for Concerns of Police Survivors

Sharing is GREATLY appreciated!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Nautical Classroom 2015-2016

Monday is the first day of school. I am ready.  {{I think.}}  Other than the last minute trip to Walmart, Target, and the Dollar Store I am getting ready to make.....

I currently only have 15 students on my roster. 14 of them came to Meet the Teacher yesterday. That is a VERY good turnout for my school. Out of the five first grade teachers, I have the largest class. We will see if the numbers stay this way. While I am VERY thankful, I am not holding my breath. Lol!

Here are a few pictures. I have lots of empty wall/cabinet space. (Which all of the former students who came back to visit me yesterday pointed out!) This is where I will hang anchor charts as we make them.

Top Right...Math Corner
Baskets are for Manipulatives and Math Stations
Bottom Right...Reading Corner
I love my new colorful Book Bins!

Day One's Morning Work.....We go to Special Area at 8:05 this year. I am NOT sure how this is going to work for my little guys! After Day One, we will come in, drop our bags and head to Specials. There will be no morning work!

Area behind my Teacher Table. The baskets at the bottom will be for small groups. 

Anyone else do a nautical theme?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

My Classroom Theme

I finally started working on school stuff today. (You know, since I am going to set up my classroom this week.)  Here is a sneak peek at my theme....Nautical!

Assess Me - A Get to Know You Linky - Week 2

The Tattooed Teacher is hosting a fun Get to Know You Linky. Week 2 is an entertaining one....This or That.
**Jeans- Jeans are my favorite but I have spent most of the last year in long maxi skirts. I live in Florida. It is hot!  

**Earrings- A few months ago I would have said necklaces, but I have been branching out to chunky, bright, colorful earrings and bracelets. 

**Big Pimpin'- JZ's. I don't know Conan's!

**Silver- I am branching out though!

**City- I would love to live in a big city. (As long as I still got to see the ocean every single day!)

**In Store- Except the grocery store. I do NOT like going to the grocery store and will avoid it at all costs!

**Showers- I do not have a tub in my master bathroom. 

**Story Keeper- It is well known that I keep stories of my own and others very well.  

**Homebody- I like being a busy bee but I cherish my quiet days at home!

**Dinner- I am not a fan of eating in the morning or breakfast food. One morning during my first year of teaching a parent came in my room and saw me eating cheese and Chicken-in-a-Biscuit crackers. She included a box of them with my end of the year gift!

**Coffee- I am on cup two right now!

**Early Bird- Which also means early to bed!

**Done Up- My hair is almost ALWAYS up. Lice scares me! (And it is humid in Florida most of the year!)

**Lightning- I do not like storms but last week when our cruise was docked in Nassau the cruise ship next to us was struck by lightning. I saw it. It was crazy! We also saw a water spout on our day at sea. (Don't worry, neither caused damage and it was sunny almost every other second of the cruise!)

**Flats- I cannot and do not wear heels! I wear flip-flops almost every day. Since I teach at a beachside school it is acceptable.

**Airplane- I am terrified to fly and actually require medicine to get me on the plane. However, I am not a fan of long car rides so I prefer to fly!

**Girls or New Girl?- I have never watched either. I am not much of a TV watcher.

**Central Park- I have only been to NYC once but would love to go back and spend time in Central Park! Here in FL, I prefer Central Air.

Click the picture below to meet other bloggers!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Name Plates

I found a new classroom helper I am so excited to share with you! Did you know you could design your own Name Plates at Really Good Stuff???? I could be really late to this party and the last one to know, but indulge me. I have only been home from my cruise for 24 hours and am already trying to rationalize planning another one! Coming back to reality has been difficult. Not only has no one offered to get me another mango daiquiri, I feel like I might already be losing my tan!  Oh the stress.

Okay, back to the Name Plates. I put the student's name tags on the back of their chairs for many reasons.....
I cannot stand them coming off.
It bothers me when they are picked at and get yucky.
They cause bumpy writing....

Please tell me I am not the only one! (Once again, please just indulge me, I am losing my tan here!)

I have always wanted to use the name plates that had "helpers" on them. I just didn't use them because they wouldn't be useful on backs of chairs. {{I am envisioning children trying to turn around to use them and falling out of their chairs. First graders fall out of their chairs when they are just sitting there. If they need to turn around several times a day I am certain I would run out of clinic passes before Halloween!}}

As I was shopping around on Really Good Stuff I came across a build your own option. I ended up buliding my own without putting a place for a name!
I used one side for Math helpers and the other for ELA helpers. I only ordered one for every table and the cost was around $16. I am going to laminate them so I should be able to use them for several years.

If you are interested in making your own, click HERE !

Thursday, August 6, 2015

First Day Tried and True Linky

**Repost from Monday**
It is time for a Back to School Linky....even though I am setting sail on a cruise at this very second! I just finished Summer School last week and have 2 weeks before PrePlanning starts. I know one of those weeks will be spent in my classroom so I thought I should spend the other one in the middle of the ocean where I could NOT work on school stuff! (No matter how much I need and want to.)

But, since I will be THINKING about Back to School I decided to link up with Undercover Classroom and Education Electrification for First Day Tried and True Activities!

Even though this will be my 12th year teaching, I still get a little anxious over the first day of school. I don't think a teacher can ever be TOO prepared or have TOO many ideas the first week of school.
I am going to share a few of my First Day Tried and True Activities with you!

1. Play a Game
This can be a fun and easy game but make sure it is an educational game. It keeps them busy while you are sitting and sipping your coffee sorting though mounds of supplies, finding out how everyone gets home, helping a little one who had an accident, drying tears, reminding friends to share, encouraging parents to leave...... Most importantly it shows your students that learning can (and WILL) be fun this year!

I always play a Roll and Color game on the first day of school. Not only will this give them a chance to use those new sharp crayons they are just dying to open, it also introduces an activity that stays in my Math Stations the entire school year!
I have a sample pack of Apple Math Games for free. It is 31 pages of differentiated games! Grab it for FREE by clicking on the picture below.
If you LOVED the freebie and would like more, check out my Apples Everywhere Math Unit by clicking the picture below. It contains 162 pages of activities for only $5.

2. Team Building Activity
Last year my goal was to do a lot of STEM  activities with my class. We started on the first day of school! I got the idea from Ivy Taul. She has a STEM Starter Kit freebie! (Click the picture to check it out!)

I tweaked her idea a bit to fit my class's needs. When our students go through the lunch line they have to say their name and lunch number. In the past I always made super cute little name & number tags for each student to wear. Of course they matched our classroom theme. Last year I challenged the students to make their own name & number tags! Not all turned out great, but the students enjoyed it and they really helped each other out. (Which was my building to start building our classroom community!) And yes I had back up name tags already made for each student! We only needed 2!!!

3. Have Fun
This is the most important. Enjoy the day. Share the kid's excitement. Relax! If you don't get to all of your activities, don't worry and do NOT rush through them. Do them tomorrow! The students will not mind if you do a Day One activity on Day Two. Trust me they will simply remember the activity. You are setting the expectations and tone for the next 180 days. Make them count!

Check out other First Day Tried and True Activities at the Linky below!

Good luck on your first day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Back To School Blog Hop and a GIVEAWAY!

Since I will return from my cruise in 24 hours and Back To School Reality will set in, I joined a Back to School Blog Hop to make coming back to reality a little more fun.  I just love Blog Hops and this Blog Hop has LOTS of giveaways so keep hopping by clicking the picture when you get to the end!

A few days ago I blogged about First Day Tried and True Activities. One of my favorite First Day Activities is to play an educational game. It is fun, helps build your classroom community and is an easy way to teach classroom rules and procedures.

We play a LOT of games in my classroom. Especially in Math! My students do Math Stations every day of the week. I keep the most of the stations the exact same all year. I just change out the manipulatives and increase the skill. This means I am not spending hours each week changing out my stations! {{{insert angels singing here}}} It also means I am not teaching the rules and directions to new games every week.

Two favorites are BUMP and Roll & Color.

And let me tell you...simply changing out the dice and markers/crayons is a BIG deal. You hear "Awesome" and "Oh, cool" and "You are the best teacher EVER!" Who knew big foam dice could make you so popular.

If you would like a sample of these games, click the picture below. (It has 31 pages of Math Games and is free!) There are versions that will work for kindergarteners, first graders, second graders, and even some third graders. Talk about differentiation at your fingertips!
 If you liked it and want to purchase 162 pages worth of Math Games grab it here...
 Want to win it and all of these goodies????
Enter the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now you need to keep hopping for more ideas and PRIZES....... There are four different prize packs!