Thursday, November 29, 2012

We Even Read in the Bathroom!

Each week, my class brainstorms words that belong in a word family.  They write them in a word work notebook.  I write them on a cut-out and hang them in the bathroom.  As the year progresses, our bathroom becomes wallpapered with word families.  They might as well be reading while they take care of business!  I write on the shapes with a vis-a-vis marker and hang them up high.  I have had a couple years where some little naughty splashed them with water (I REALLY hope it was water!) and the markers ran.  Most years, the kids just leave them alone.  Sometimes I can hear them reading while they are in there.  I have also used this as a reading station.  I give the kids flashlights and tell them to go read the words in the dark.  They love it and it's great reading practice!

Friday, November 23, 2012

"I have, Who has?"

 Just got "I have, Who has?" cards up for the first two books of the reading series. I am aiming to get the rest up before Monday. These cards are great because the words spiral. If kids don't master the words by Friday, they will still be exposed to them with this game. There are cards for 24 and "Reading Helper" cards if you have more students than that. These cards are easy for first graders to use. The first card always has a green go. The last card always has a red stop sign. All the sight words are in bold print. There is a set of cards for the introductory unit free at my TpT store!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


This week's question - What grade to you teach and what are you thankful for about that grade?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Spelling Sign Language

So excited that I just got this up on TpT.  Spelling for kinesthetic learners!  Kids love learning to sign.  This teaches them to sign using their spelling words.  That's a DOUBLE WINNER!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Can I (or should I) try to start this mid-year?

ABSOLUTELY!  You already know this group of kids and they know you.  Introduce pieces of the program.  Make it part of your current centers program as you get stations prepped.  Offer the choice to just early finishers (although the ones that finish early are not the ones that need the hands-on practice).  Even if you do not launch the program until next year, you can utilize components of it now.  Test the stations out.  See what rules you want to put in place for your future classes.  When school starts next fall, you will be ready to go!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Usual Spot!

I get so sick of kids asking where to turn thier work in.  Put it in the usual spot!  We always put it in the same spot!  Put it where it goes - in the usual spot! 
All the products of literacy stations go in the usual spot!

Name Jail

Do you have students committing the crime of NO NAME ON THEIR PAPERS?  Maybe you even have repeat offenders?  Send them to Name Jail!  This poster hangs next to my classroom door.  If you are in Name Jail, you are not going to recess.  Bail is set at 10 names in the beginning of the year and goes up to 50 by the end.  I had this laminated at Office Max so that it would be really nice quality lamination.  I velcroed a Vis-a-vis on the door jam so it would always be where I needed it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Organizing It All!

I believe that I am an "organized hoarder".  I want to collect everything that exists, but realize that it must all have a home.  I bought these plastic drawers at Wal-Mart and put border in the front of them.  I printed labels with the names of all the stories (these are listed as a freebie in my TpT store).  I keep all materials for each week together.  I also try to write the name of the story on every piece of of every station.  That way if we find a card in someone's desk, it is easy to "take it back to its home". 
I have containers for each of the five reading books.  I sort other books that correlate with the theme into these tubs.  This has made it very easy for me to quickly find the books I need.
I have binders for all five of the reading books.  I use them to organize copy masters.  I made the labels by cutting the covers of old workbooks.

Alphabetizing Sight Words Literacy Stations

Hands-on Practice! I print sight words for each story. There are two sets per page. I make enough cards for four sets (that way 4 kids can do this station at a time). I put stickers on each set so that the cards don't get mixed-up. I write the name of the story on the back of all the cards (in case we find one on the floor or in a desk next month!) I laminate the cards and put the scratchy side of velcro on the back. It only takes a little piece. I got FREE paint sticks from Wal-Mart. Other stores had shorter sticks. I like the size of the ones at Wal-Mart. I put the soft side of velcro on the entire length of the stick. Now the center is ready! Students grab a stick and a set of word cards. They arrange the words in alphabetical order. There is a worksheet that goes with the station. It has the alphabet printed on the bottom. Students can use this as an aide if they are still working on how to alphabetize. After all the words are on the stick, they write them on their worksheets. These cards are available at my store.

Browsing Books

Ever wonder how to use those little books that are in the workbook? I have made a great use of them and would like to offer it to you for FREE! I give each student in my class a number (we use this for MANY THINGS). At the beginning of the year, I print this chart for each student, hole punch them, and put them in folders. I also put pouches in the folder. These hold the books. Each week, we make a new book that correlates with our story. We highlight the title of the book on the chart. That makes it easier to see which books kids already have. When you read the book to someone, they sign next to their number. After you have read to everyone in the class, you take the book home and get a prize. (I let my students pick from the treasure box.) There are 24 spots on the chart and a spot labeled A - for an aide or other adult (this is a great activity when parents want to help). There is also a spot with a T - for teacher. This keeps the kids accountable and motivates them to read. Students sign by their number when they read to themselves. Before I made the chart, I had shy kids who would roam around and not find kids to read to. With the chart, everyone must read to everyone in the class. Kids hunt out the shy kids and ask "Can I read to you?" Browsing Books is one of my literacy station choices each week. It is also a great time filler. If we finish a task early and have 10 minutes until lunch, I can tell them to do browsing books. If you like this freebie, please follow me. I have lots of Harcourt Trophies activities online and many more to come!

What is "The Reading Ticket"?

The reading ticket is a combination of several methods of running reading groups.  It has components of Daily 5 and CAFE as well as several other practices.  This is the best way I have found to run reading groups in first grade.  Centers do not change - words and skills change!  The kids learn to be responsible for their own learning.  I am working on uploading all my resources onto TpT.  I have many items up already and there are many more to come!  I have several freebies, so follow me!