Thursday, July 26, 2018

Growth Mindset and a new Beginning of the Year unit! Oh the Places We'll Go!

Hello Everyone!
I certainly hope your summer has been one of family time, rejuvenation, and maybe a little learning! Mine has been all of those. We were able to take several trips to see family across this country to celebrate birthdays, babies, more birthdays, and just reconnections.  Having time off during the summer is so important to me as we have spread to every corner.
Having time off in the summer is also important to me to rejuvenate as a teacher. I always try to take advantage of the book studies our district offers.  This year I was able to read three great choices. If I were to pick my top fav it would hands down be “ From Striving to Thriving” by Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward. If you teach reading to any age kiddo, or if you are a parent of a school age child, you have to read this book.  I am telling you, I literally almost cried when I finished it. It was almost like the authors were looking in on my teacher heart as they were writing this book. From the very first page where they state that “Voluminous pleasurable reading is key to literacy development,” to tabling the labels we put on our young readers, to learning how to embrace mistakes, to inner conversations and so much more!  Every page is a gem, a jewel of research based instruction! My masters degree is in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in reading and I wish this book had been out when I was studying about reading levels!  It has totally changed my thinking! One golden thread I found throughout this entire book is the mindset of trust, teach, transform.  I will cling to these words this coming school year with my fellow teachers, and my new little students. 
 The book also refers to “growth mindset” which I have done a lot of research on lately. In fact, that is one thing I want to share with you. I put together a little unit to help me work on our growth mindset this year. I know many of you have already been hard at work on this and we have too, just not in an organized way. So it was time to get it done!
Here are just a few pics of the unit.

The unit ended up to be close to 100 pages of posters, journal pages, books to make/read and so much more!
I know I will use just about every page of it!!!  A lot of it during the first week of school!

Ok! Next up! I have gotten so many e-mail asking what our beginning of the year theme is going to be this year! I finally got it done! We are going to venture into the original growth mindset guru- Dr. Seuss and his book, "Oh the Places You'll Go!" Such a great book to read at the beginning of the year.  and don't you know we do all kinds of traveling and growing in first grade!! If you have used any of my other beginning of the year units, this one is very similar in content. Some binder cover templates, some meet the teacher stuff, some quick thematic assessments, some math games, some poetry, and a lot more! Thank you Dr. for such an inspirational book!!!  Here are a few pics of the 100 page unit.

And Click Here for your very own unit!!

Well, I've had a blast this summer, but our break is almost over.  I'm excited to work with some new team members that we added!  And I'm excited to share some other new things with you!  Thank you for stopping by for a quick look at what we've been up to.  Stop again soon! 
If you are still on break- enjoy!!!  If you are heading back to the classroom soon, have the best year yet!! 


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Number Patterns with Tops and Bottoms, Realistic Fiction Writing, and The Empty Pot

Hello Everyone!
We had one of the best number sense weeks we've ever had! We worked very hard on number patterns up to 120. Because we were also in the middle of a plant unit in science, I decided to use "Tops and Bottoms" by Janet Stevens, as a theme for some number pattern activities as well.   I have shared my Tops and Bottoms unit before, but I've added this math component for you to download and print.  Here are a couple of pics.

The unit also includes a huge measurement component!!!

For the past couple of weeks we have also been busy trying our hand at writing realistic fiction pieces.  We are following Lucy Calkins fairly closely.  As inspiration, we are reading a lot of realistic fiction literature, and I think the kids are getting the hang of it. I put together a mini unit with posters, planners, and checklists.
Here are a few pics.

Here's the link to the printable !!!

Finally, this coming week we will be working on author's message in stories.  I chose "The Empty Pot" by Demi.  It is such a lovely story about honesty and bravery. If you have not read this yet to your kids, do it now!!  I put together another little mini unit to accompany this story.  The unit will help kids see the value in such a piece. 

I am so looking forward to using this with my kids this week!!

Well, that's all for now!!!   I hope you have a wonderful week that is filled with the JOYS of watching your kids learn!!!
Thanks for stopping by!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Good Morning Texas Teacher of the Month Surprise!! Writing Poetry and Comparing and Ordering numbers to 120

Hello Everyone!!
I had the most wonderful surprise happen to me last month.  One afternoon we were in the middle of our science lesson, and all of a sudden, a whole group of people came into the room with cameras, microphones, and packages!  The Good Morning Texas and Care Now crew surprised me with the "Teacher of the Month" honor!  One of my sweet parents (I have had all three of her sweet children!) nominated me and I was selected for March!! I was almost speechless!!!  The honor came with a wonderful prize package and lots and lots of hugs!!! A little overwhelming for someone who doesn't like surprises!! HAHA!!  But so incredibly honored, humbled, and thankful!!!
The segment aired on Good Morning Texas on March 31. Here's a link to the broadcast if you want to see the surprised look on my face!!!
WFAA Teacher of the Month Video

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all involved!!!!

Now on to our poetry writing unit!  We finally finished our unit last week!!  I wanted to share some pics of some of the fun ways we published our poetry!

We also published all of our hard work in our very own anthology!!!   So proud of these kids!!!

I did add a few poetry ideas to my unit.  I know I already shared it, but if you want the jelly bean and egg
ideas, go ahead and download the file again using the following link.

And finally, in math we are working on comparing and ordering numbers to 120.  I worked on a little unit to add some fun to this objective. 
Here are a few pics of the 70 page unit!

I hope you're having a good week!!! I am looking forward to next week!!!  Got some fun things planned!!!  We are starting a new writing unit on realistic fiction, so I've been gearing up for that.  I'll share that in a bit!!!  Till then, have a good one!!!  Thanks for stopping by our little Window on Wonder!  See you soon!!!