Saturday, September 14, 2013

Whew!!! We’ve been busy!

How about you? How are ya? It’s been a long couple of weeks since I’ve updated the little bloggity blog so let’s jump right into it!

I can hardly believe that we have already completed a whole 3 weeks of school! Man! Time has certainly flown by! With each passing day, we’ve learned a little more and are working a little harder to build habits for our routines and procedures. We’ve even managed to squeeze in some science!

It’s actually integrated into our time for writer’s workshop. Hey! There’s only so many hours in a day and a firstie has gotta do what a firstie has gotta do! It’s been working for us so far.


Creating anchor charts is always a fun way to document our learning. BUT, who says they have to be on paper?! My neighbor across the hall uses these awesome window markers to preserve her kiddos thoughts. How cool is that?! I bet her kids had a ball with this. It was my first time seeing these so I thought they were a perfect thing to share! Aren’t they just the cutest? She has lots of cool ideas tucked away in her room. I’ll have to introduce ya to her soon…


We’ve begun to jump into the “good stuff”. I’m always excited about that first week, but just practicing routines makes me a little wonky {because I get tired of hearing my own voice} and I look forward to beginning working with our curriculum. There’s so much packed into 1st grade! We don’t have a minute to waste!

We started our adventures in Reading Land by working with words containing short a. The pictures above show two different ways that we chose to brainstorm and read words. The kids had a ball working in groups with their friends to create their own word webs! I’ll admit, my head was hurting just a bit after this activity from running back and forth between the 4 groups, but they were pretty proud of the end result so it was worth it. Can you tell which group included a couple of future teachers?


Now, while I get pretty darn tired of hearing my own voice during the first few weeks of school, I do KNOW how important routines are. We absolutely take our time to learn routines because knowing them {or not} determines the course for the rest of the year. Knowing routines and following them makes all the difference in being able to actually learn or NOT….and in our room, we’re ready to rock! The day we got to 10 minutes of building our stamina for stations, I almost cried. FOR REAL! I was so proud of my new crew. They thought it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen, but I was just so darn proud of them!

Some might say…what’s so impressive about working for 10 minutes? I’d invite them to have a 6 year old do ANYTHING for 10 minutes straight, ha! LOL!!! We rocked and rolled all the way into week 3 when we began listening to reading!


With listening to reading, students were also given the opportunity to practice choice. I know its not formally introduced until later in the Daily Five, but what else would I have the rest of the class do while 4 friends learn how to use the listening station? We went over the expectations for checking in, practiced and guess what? They did it! You can find the link for the check in board included HERE  in a previous post about how literacy stations will run when all have been introduced. We'll also review check in procedures at that time.

I whole heartedly believe in teaching my students every little, teeny, tiny thing I want them to do, how to do it, and when to do it…..then…..well, I trust them to do it. I get out of their way and I let them meet the expectations that have been set for them. Most of them time, it works well. Of course, these are real-life little human beings, so sometimes we have to go over things again and there’s always that ONE. You know the one, lol!

One thing I find that helps is having students repeat the directions back to me and asking them if they understand what is expected of them? By doing that we both come to a common understanding of the expectation.

Overall, things have gone well and I am excited about this school year!


After our literacy mini-lessons and building of stamina for station routines, we’ve had a little time to practice what we’ve learned. In week 2, we moved on to another vowel sound and ended the week with a little sorting activity. It’s from one of my favorite books, All Sorts of Sorts.

See the little drawings in blue?

Anytime, students have independent work to complete, I provide them with visual directions to help them remember each step to complete the task. It helps to keep us on track. If a student should forget, they can look up at the board and use the visual cues as little reminders.

Thanks for hanging in there with my ramblings about our last couple of weeks! Below is a little freebie that you’re welcomed to click and grab. You can also check out my actual lesson plans by clicking HERE to download them. We’ll begin working in small groups in about two weeks. The form will expand to include them at that time. If I get my plans completed before midnight tomorrow, I’ll come back and add next week’s too. =)


Leave a comment to share a little of what you've been up to! Laters, gators!


  1. Can you come create my anchor charts for me? Yours are seriously the most adorable things ever! Daily five has never looked so cute!


    1. Ha! Thank you! I've got a lot of inspiring cuteness around me to draw from! =)

  2. I just found your blog and I love it!! I am new to teaching first (taught 3rd for 9 years) so I am loving your ideas and pictures!! I have pinned some things from your sight and I am off to read more daily 5 posts! Thanks for sharing...

    Kickin' It With Class

    1. Thanks, Heather! I am working on doing better to keep everything updated! Pin away, my friend! Welcome to first grade! I hope you have a great year! =)

  3. I am not sure if I am the only one having trouble or not. When I click on your noun paper it is not bringing it up to copy and I would love to use this with my class!

    1. Thanks for letting me know! I just deleted and added the link again. It should be working now. Thanks, again! Sending it your way...=)

  4. Love, the directions...I'll be doing that, because repeated directions a hundred times don't work, lol

  5. Thank you for sharing your experience and creativity!

  6. The link for your Daily 5 Check-in board isn't working and I just Love, Love, LOVE it! Hoping to use it in my brand new Chinese Dual Immersion 1st grade classroom <3


  7. Love Love LOVE the smartboard check-in but the link isn't working :-/



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