Saturday, October 25, 2014

Guided Reading and Daily Five

We just finished the first trimester of first grade and I am so excited about the growth my class has made in 9 short weeks.  I attribute that to our Daily 5 block where guided reading takes place.

Take a peek into how guided reading and Daily Five are in our classroom:

Here are the students book boxes.  In them are their Daily Five Folder, five just right books, and two just for fun books.  We book shop every Friday for the following week.  The Daily Five Folder holds their word work, listening response, and writing for the week.  I tell each student what level their just right books are and they shop for books in that basket.  When they move up a level, I have them shop for books at the new level.  Every single student has changed levels, some multiple levels, and that makes me SO excited! 

Here is another view of our book boxes. 
Here are my guided reading buckets.  I store everything I need for each guided reading group in them.  I have a stack of notes telling parents their student forgot their guided reading book bag, just in case.  And, of course, my chimes, to signal the end of each Daily.

Each child has a baggie that their guided reading book goes in.  There is a sheet of paper for parents to sign off that their student read and retold the story.  Above,  shows the opposite side of the paper.  Since all of our books are leveled, parents can see if their child is reading at the correct level for the time of year.
This is the side the parent signs.
Here are my guided reading cards.  These easily fit in each box and monitor what I've taught (if I take notes) and running record information.  I have tried a variety of ways to keep track of my groups and this is the most effective and least cumbersome way I have used.  I love it so much I've been doing it for 6 years. You can find them here.
This is how I keep track of individual students running records.  This is also in my guided reading cards pack.

This is the back of the book.

This is what the inside looks like.  I love that it collects data for a student in one place.  I can easily track growth and it is great evidence to share with parents or colleagues.  If I have a child that is struggling and need to begin the RTI process, all the data is in one spot.  Love it!!
Here is a reading group, working on retelling the story.  You can see my group notes with running record books underneath.  See how compact it is? 

I leave sight word cards and phrases on a ring on the teacher table for kids to read when they are called to the back table and I am recording which Daily the rest of the class is going to.

The first graders are always engaged --even when I'm not there.
As for the rest of the class, they are busy working on Daily Five.
These friends are writing a response to the listening center.


Here is a child working on words.  This is from my new product Ready to Work on Words.  I am making them for each month.  They are available with words and there is also an editable product.  I've made them for 1st and 2nd grade.  Some of my higher students are working on the 2nd grade pack.
This is a different page from Ready to Work on Words.

This firstie is working on writing.  This particular piece is from my new monthly series - Let's Work on Writing.

I've made all of these products to make life easier for me -- and you.  I love how easy it makes planning and preparing for my literacy block.  And, the best part is, it works! 


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Classroom Reveal

I survived the first two weeks of school.  I really think it takes me longer than the children to adjust from summer.
The second week was harder than the first.  
I was so.tired. 
 I went to bed by 8:00 pm and hit snooze every day {more than once}.
And don't even talk about training my bladder to 3 hours without a bathroom break.

I thought I'd check in and show you all my classroom and some photos of what went on the first weeks.

These are our first day photos.  They turned out adorable.

Here are my firsties doing read to self.  It was a bumpy start but we are at 15 minutes stamina.

I love the new fabric I put on my bench.  The bench is a great seating area and also holds my leveled book library. My students love to sit on it and read.  So comfy
To match the bench I changed the rug.  Only $20.00 - gotta love Ikea.

Here you can see the book shelf under my whiteboard.  It is a gutter I covered with black and white duct tape.  I change the books out every month to match what we're studying or for the season/month.

Here is my easel and rocking chair.  This is where most instruction happens. The walls behind use to have fabric on it and was much nicer looking.  But the fire marshal came in and made me take down most of my walls.  Only 20% of my class can have background paper.  I kept the fabric up on the other side of the SMARTBoard which is centered on this large wall. You can see the SMARTBoard's stand on the bottom right hand corner.

This is on the opposite side of my SMARTBoard. It is the side of the wall I kept fabric on and where our CAFE board is. The storage in the small colorful rolly carts is for my teaching supplies.  The other two storage areas hold our Work on Words supplies.

Here are my leveled books stored in the bench.  I was going to repaint it this summer but I ran out of time.  Hopefully it will be black next year.

I revamped our BEE Book labels and love the new look. I revised my plan book, too.

Here is our classroom from another angle.

The couch is another great area to chill out and read.  The crate seats are fabulous for the computers, store my stuffed animals and puppets but also serve as a great little seat that can move around the classroom.
Our science area holds science supplies and is where our class pet lives.  My new kiddos LOVE our tree frog.  I adore watching their little faces when they touch his slimy body.

This is our writing area.  It is directly below the word wall.  Students love to sit there and write.
Below the writing area is the rest of our library.  It is on either side of the writing area. The picture on the left is the fiction side of the library.  The photo on the right is the nonfiction side of the library.

We are working on becoming writing experts, with the help of Lydsey Kuster.  I love this unit!!

I made new rekenreks for math.  These are so great to see groups of 5 and ten, add and subitize.  I use Eureka math from Engage NY and needed these for the second week of school.

We made our Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom, Look Who is Climbing Up the Coconut Tree from my Brillant Beginnings Unit.  This picture matches this little guys personality {{I love him}}.

These flip books are a pain to make but turned out so cute.  I handed them out at Back to School Night and used them to guide what we talked about.

I hope you enjoyed getting a peek of my room.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet the Teacher Blogger Linky Party #teacherbloggers

If you're anything like me you probably spend a great deal of time reading up on your favorite blogs and following bloggers across all the social media platforms. It's always fun to find new teacher friends to follow, especially at the start of the school year when everyone is sharing all these big A-HA ideas left and right! But what I really love is getting to know more about the people behind the blog. That's right, I'd love to learn more about YOU!! So I thought we could all put the back to school madness on hold for just a minute and have a FUN little "Meet The Teacher Blogger" linky!!!

Hi! I am Cecelia and tomorrow I am starting my 20th year of teaching. This will be my 11th year teaching 1st grade and I will stay there until I retire {I think}.
  I will be married to my husband, Tom, 20 years on August 13th {this Wednesday!!}.  We are both native New Yorkers but met in Colorado. Our entire family lives in either New York or New Jersey.  Tom and I have two children, Emily, 15, and Nick, 13. Emily will be a sophomore this year and Nick will be an 8th grader.  Neither is ready to go back to school next Monday.  I tell them they are awful at being a teacher's kid because of this but only jokingly because I am not ready to go back to work tomorrow either.  I need at least a month more of summer!

Q:  These are a few of my favorite things:
A:  I love Jesus, that is my #1.  I also love papaya, pineapple and mango smoothies, string beans and steak.  I love going to thrift shops looking for a bargain.  I love all things chevron. I adore the ocean and beaches. Oh, and I have a shoe obsession.

Q: If you weren’t a teacher, what would you want to be?
A: If I wasn't a teacher, I'd love to be marine biologist and a missionary.  

Q: Three little words that describe you. 
A:  Loyal, Childlike, Sarcastic.

Q: Finish this sentence, “___________________, said no teacher EVER!!”
A:  "Summer is too long," said no teacher EVER!

Q:  It’s your birthday and you can invite anyone {dead or alive} to the party. Who are you inviting? 
A: My grandparents, my family, my friend who dies and the children I lost to miscarriage.

Q: If someone wrote a book about your life, what would be the title?
A: Survivor

Q: If you HAD to sing one song on American Idol, what would it be? 
A: Since I cannot sing to save my life, I'd probably whisper Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
A:  Morning person unless I go to bed late.  If I don't, I still wake up and I am just crabby.

Q: What’s your favorite resource that you’ve created in your TPT shop?
A: I have SO many!  I use everything in my shop.  I really am in love with my new Rigor Work for Early Finishers.  It is common core aligned and sure to keep kids engaged when they are all done.  My favorite part is that it can be used in so many different ways.

A: I have lots of "secrets" but the one I like to hide the most is that I am totally unorganized.  I spend most of my life looking for things.  It is most annoying and something I have been working on FOREVER but have yet to achieve.
Now it's your turn! Visit Stephanie's blog, grab the buttons and the questions and link on up!
If you don't want to join but want to learn more about your favorite #teacherbloggers? Check out the rest of the fun at Falling Into First :


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Colorado Teacher Meet Up

This week I had the opportunity to meet up with some amazing Colorado teachers and bloggers. I had a FABULOUS time! We met at Rockbottom Brewery and then had an excursion to Lakeshore Learning.

In the front we have Ashley from Teaching in Bronco Country and Janet from Bloomin' Bees
In the back is Nichole from  The Craft of Teaching, Mary from Teaching With a Mountain View, myself, Brittany from Big Hair and Big Ideas, Pam from Desktop Learning Adventures, Sara from Mrs. P's Special Education Class, and Christa from Learnin' Books.

We talked nonstop and shared ideas.  I laughed so much!  What a great group of ladies.  I cannot wait to do it again soon!

An amazing thing happened this week.  A news story was done on my daughter, Emily.  I am THRILLED she has overcome her big toe amputation to the point that she is actually telling the world about it.  She even allowed Sean, the journalist, to film her foot.  I would have never guessed that my 15 year old would do this.  Girls are so worried about how they look and she is no exception.  She experienced some bullying when it first happened and last year had a boy tell her he couldn't go out with her because she was "imperfect" {Yes, he used those words}. So, for her to do this is a MAJOR step. 
The video follows this post.  It is short, only 2 1/2 minutes and I would love it if you would watch this inspirational story of overcoming an obstacle and being all the better for it. If you are touched, leave a comment for her on Youtube.  Thank you =)

Emily Magro - Strong, From Head to Toe

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Colorado Teacher Meet Up and TPT Back to School Sale

Nichole from Craft of Teaching and I are hosting a Colorado Teacher Meet Up this Wednesday!

We are so excited to meet other Colorado bloggers, IGers, and TPTers!  Since both of us were unable to go to the conference {we already plan on going together next year =)} we are hoping to hear from those who went, too!
Unfortunately, school has ALREADY started for some of our Colorado colleagues and the group may not be as big as last years.  If you live in Colorado and want to sign up, click here.

Tomorrow begins the BIG Blast Off With the Back-to-School Sale on TPT.

Of course, I am all in!  My entire store will be 28% off with code BTS14.  I've added a lot of great items this summer so go check it out!

I will be back after our meet up to share!  Until then, enjoy the last few days of summer and happy shopping!!