Wednesday, September 26, 2012

First Grade Common Core

On Monday we had an early release day for professional development.  We spent the afternoon in trainings about the Common Core State Standards for reading and mathematics.  Our training was just an introduction to the CCSS and we were only given copies of the standards for our grade level along with two websites to check out for more information.  As you can see we have a long way to go!  Therefore, we will be spending ALL of our professional development days this year on the Common Core; getting familiar with it and aligning it with our current curriculum.

Last month I found a great resource for teaching the Kindergarten Common Core State Standards and I blogged about that resource.  Well they have a First Grade Common Core workbook too!  The first grade edition has over 550 pages of Common Core Activities and Common Core Worksheets!  There are also assessments and posters (you can download these on the website for free too).  This resource is massive!  If you click on the picture (or on the hyperlink above) it will take you directly to to the book!  Can you believe it's only $39.99 and it is an instant download so there's no waiting for the mail to arrive!  I can't wait to tell my colleagues about this book!
Here are some phenomenal giveaways that you definitely want to check out!  They are giving away MANY units and activities that also correlate directly to the common core state standards!  Just click on the pictures to follow these amazing blogs and enter their giveaways!
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Please Check Out..."Teachers for Lane"

Ashley at The School Supply Addict is currently hosting a charity drive to help Lane Goodwin, a thirteen year old boy from Kentucky who has been diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma stage IV, a rare form of childhood cancer.  Lane is so courageous and inspiring!


You can read more about Lane's amazing story on Ashley's blog.  If you donate a minimum of $30.00 Ashley will send you a link to a "virtual gift bag" of more than $150.00 worth of  products from generous teachers.  This is such a worthy cause and you get so much for your donation....many, many, goodies, but also the knowledge that you are helping this young, courageous boy and his family!  Please click on Ashley's button below to read more about this great cause and consider a donation AND a prayer too.  Thanks so much!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kindergarten Common Core

Our school district has adopted the Common Core and we have started to implement it this year.  As you can imagine we don't have many resources yet and only a handful of us have had any training about the Common Core.  So you can imagine how excited I I was to see this amazing book:

This amazing resource book is filled with worksheets and activities addressing the Kindergarten Common Core in Math and English.  It is 399 pages and only costs $39.99!  If you visit the website (click the picture above or on the words "Kindergarten Common Core") you can download a sample of the book and view for yourself what a great resource this is!  They also have versions for grades 1-5!  I'm hoping my district will buy several copies of each grade level.  Go check out this fantastic resource!  You won't be disappointed!
You will also want to check out Primary Possibilities.
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Stephanie has created an amazing resource of "On The Back" (word work) activities and when she reaches 500 followers she will be offering the whole pack for free AND she will be hosting a 500 follower giveaway!  If you are not a follower yet...head on over (just click the button above)!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Erin Condren Planner and Dolch Sight Word Assessment Freebies

Look what was on my doorstep when I got home last Saturday night!!!
I won this AMAZING planner from Katherine at Yay Third Grade! Thanks so much Katherine!!!!!

Last year I bought the life planner which is awesome but I think this planner is even better!  It has monthly calendar pages, lesson plan pages, a place for seating charts, a folder for loose papers, a small clear pouch that seals for small things like sticky notes and my VERY favorite....labels for just about every kind of meeting that there is!  It is organization at it's best!  And I got FREE COLORED PENS people!  You have no idea how much I LOVE color coding!  This will help to keep me organized for sure!

This week we are administering DIBELS assessments to our Kinders and First Graders and AIMSWEB oral reading fluency and math assessments to all of our students (Kindergarten through Fifth grade).  In addition, most classroom teachers are administering Dolch sight word assessments, curriculum based spelling tests, reading benchmark tests and taking writing samples.  Whew!  The list is exhaustive!  I'm sure all of you can relate!

In our school it is expected that first grade students will master all 220 Dolch words by the end of the year (yes  For several years we have been administering this assessment using single lists of words (there are eleven lists, each containing 20 words).  We assess five times during the school year (once at the beginning, once at the end of each marking term and once at the end of the year).

This year I have several students who have orthographic processing difficulties (i.e., they have difficulty remembering symbols - letters and numbers).  I had these same students last year and I knew that they could identify some of these words but the list format was not working for them so I created a powerpoint presentation to assess their sight word recall.  Each slide is displayed for three seconds (the amount of time we allow a student to identify a word) before moving on to the next word. In addition, every 20th word slides down to signal to the examiner the end of "that particular list."  Clear as mud?  I found that this presentation was much more effective for my students!  It held their attention and they didn't have to manipulate the lists.  If you are interested in trying this out with your students please feel free to click on the pictures to download your own Dolch Word assessment presentation and recording sheet.  If you prefer, I have also included a copy of the lists in print format.  (I copy the lists on cardstock, laminate, cut and bind with a metal book ring).
I'd really LOVE to know what you think!

Monday, September 3, 2012

September Currently

Hi All!  I am SO psyched that September is here!  I think it might be my very favorite month of the year!  I just love everything about it...the weather, the smell, the newness of everything.  It seriously rejuvenates me!  How about you?  I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for September's Currently!

I can't wait to show you all pictures of my new planner and to share some Dolch word assessment freebies that I'll be doing this week with my kiddos so be sure to check back! I hope you all have a great day back to school, whether it's you first day or your fourteenth!
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