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Sight Words

Every primary teacher knows how important sight words are to beginning readers.  When many of these words show up in our reading material, all phonics instruction gets thrown out the window because the majority of these words do not follow phonics rules.  You just have to know these words by sight.
Did you know that the first 25 Dolch words make up approximately a third of all written material? The first 100 and 300 words make up about 50% and 65% of all printed material!
Hands on practice with sight words is key.

kndergarten, first grade

Apple Day

Apple Day is so exciting!  I had TONS of fun things planned and I am excited to share them with you, too!  Apples are such a great topic to teach because we can integrate all subject areas and even do some taste testing.  

apple day, apple week

STEM in the First Grade Classroom

A few years ago I began Genius Hour on Fridays to incorporate STEM into our classroom.  STEM (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is an engaging, hands on way to get students to communicate, collaborate, be creative, think critically, and exercise compassion.  These are all important skills for life and even your littlest students can do it.

teaching STEM; STEM materials

Back to School Tips

It's Labor Day weekend and you know what that means...time for Back to School!
While it's sad that summer is ending (and our freedom to go to the bathroom whenever we like), back to school is a time for renewal and fresh starts and ...excitement.
I thought I would share some Back to School tips with you to help you make this the best year ever!
first grade

Activities for the New Year PLUS a Freebie!

I love the new year!  It is a time to wipe the slates clean and start anew.

Who doesn't love a fresh start?

Surviving the End of the Year

I wrapped up my 22nd year of teaching on Friday!  YIPPEE!!!!!!!
The children are the #1 reason I teach and summer break is the #2 reason.  Although I have ten weeks off, I changed classrooms, and will be spending a lot of time in my new room this summer. 

We did a really unique project this week that I wanted to share with you ... First Grade Superheroes!!
First, we read this book (these are just a few of the pages):

first grade superheroes; end of year activities

Celebrating the New Year in Your Classroom

Happy 2017!  It's out with the old and in with the new.  While I don't make resolutions, I do look at ways to improve.  We can always be better {well, at least I know I can}.

I came up with some new ways to celebrate the New Year in your classroom.

The Kindness Elf - A Freebie

My teammate found this adorable elf at Target.  We decided to have a Kindness Elf instead of the Elf on a Shelf this year as our district mandates not to celebrate specific holidays unless we celebrate them all.

It's November

One of the reasons I love teaching first grade is how they are constantly changing.  When they begin the year, most are babies.  They need help with everything.  But, by November, they are on their way to independence.  First graders aren't kindies anymore.  They are more confident, knowledgeable and proud. 

By November, most first graders have developed automaticity with letters, sounds, numbers and sight words.  They are ready to apply what they know.  It is so exciting!