Friday, January 3, 2014

Five for Friday~Happy New Year!

Hi, Friends! Happy New Year! Have you taken some time to rest? Actually enjoyed the time off?  As I wake to enjoy this final Friday of vacation, I’m linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for the very first Five for Friday of the year…

I’ve actually forced myself to rest throughout this break, so this’ll be a great way to kick start my teacher brain and begin to prepare for the new semester. I don’t know what it is about the spring semester of 1st grade, but I absolutely LOVE it! I suppose it may have a little to do with how much the kiddos have matured over the first semester. It’s truly an amazing time of reflection AND planning to finish the year as strong as possible.

Anywho…..let’s get on with it, shall we! {Sigh……smile.} Alrighty, well….we’ve been out of school for two weeks, soooo I pulled a few random moments of awesomeness to share with you from before the break.


If you’ve followed my little blog for even a minute, you know how much we love to doodle in Room 159. We use anchor charts a lot, but there’s not always room to create and keep them all, so some we put together on our handy dandy whiteboard. We used this super sneaky guy to introduce long vowel patterns.


This is another example of our ‘smart art’. This little cutie glued his flap book down backwards, BUT his examples of cause and effect are all matched correctly….looks like a winner to me! Causes are on the outside….effects, glued underneath on the inside.


Smart art + kiddo discussions in small groups = comprehension made fun! (Please forgive the naughty camera strap that made it into that photo!)


The ONE thing that I did work on over the break is our morning work. Every morning, my kiddos walk into a calm atmosphere of low lights, soft music, and instructions prepared on the whiteboard. The structure of our routine is consistent, but the tasks change each morning. I like finding little sneaky ways to get them reading all day long….without them knowing it! After all, we are learning to read for a purpose, right?

Unpack. Put your things away. Read a good fit book. Follow the directions on the board. When the long hand on the clock touches the 11, everyone should be at their desks completing the task of the day. That’s our morning routine. Every.Single.Day. Students have a journal in their book box that is just for morning work…and if they should need extra time to complete it, they know they can continue working on it the next morning. Quick…spiral review and no time wasted. Learning begins the minute we walk in the door.


This is an example of a reflection being completed. I love our morning work routine because students are also learning responsibility. They must read the directions, manage their time, and organize their journal. The tasks increase in difficulty as we move through the year. Most are reflections on “good fit” books, others….like this one are math applications. Cross curricular connections are made through writing about science and social studies topics too. And the best {teacher} part? I don’t have to make one single copy for morning work! Nada. Zilch. Zero….I come in, cue the computer and we’re off on our journey for the day! *LOVE*!!!

Interested in giving it a try? Click any of the pictures below to grab a sample.  These would also be great to print and use as task cards for early finishers! Now, that January’s set is all wrapped up, I’m looking ahead to February. Any suggestions for skills? Leave a comment below…

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Grades and lesson plans are calling! Laters Gators! =)


  1. I love your morning routine ~ it sounds so nice and calming. I just received a projector to use in my class a few months ago, this sounds like a good use and a way to avoid making so many copies. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you! Enjoy your new projector! =)

  2. Reading your blog opens your classroom for me to visit. I wish I could have you for my mentor so I can build my teaching skills while learning from the best.

    1. Thanks! You know you're always welcome! Good luck as you grow closer to starting your teaching journey! =)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. I love your "just project" units! I have the January one in my cart. Thanks for a great product.


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