Summer is in sight. 13 days left of school. So it's the time to start thinking about goals, so I am linking up the fantastic Monica from I Heart Third Grade to put my goals into writing (to hopefully keep me accountable) :)

 So first and foremost, my goals are to truly enjoy my kids. This will be the 1st summer that I am not consumed in something else. I just finished my teaching degree 2 years ago, so before that I worked a normal 12 month job. Even after I finished my degree, for the past 2 summers I have taught summer school from the end of June until the beginning of August.

Now this summer I am still teaching summer school, however, it's only for the first 2 weeks of August. So that gives me the 2nd half of June and all of July. I am so excited to enjoy my children and just be able to relax with them, and get some things checked off our summer bucket list :)  The main things they want to do is go to the pool! But I would like to take them on a few days trips as well :)

My second summer goal is to gear up and get ready for next school year. I've taught 1st grade the last two years, and next school year, my school is completely departmentalizing and going to a more 'grouped' grade level than actual grade level. So I will be teaching K-2 Literacy, and I will be the team leader. I'm excited, yet a little anxious for this new journey!

And if I have to make a third summer goal (although I can't make any promises :D) would be to get my closets (including kiddos) organized. That means getting rid of old stuff!  I really need to make this a higher priority because my basement can barely hold any more containers of kiddos clothes!!

Hopefully you have a great ending to your school year!! We have field day this Friday, as well as so fun activities next week!!

Take care!!

Hello and welcome!! My name is Melanie and I am a currently a 1st grade teacher, although next school year I will be a primary reading teaching (primarily 1st and 2nd grade). I am joining in on this blogging fun with Splish Splash It's a Summer Time Blog Bash!!
So we are celebrating with so much awesome stuff! I don't know about you, but it's been an amazing year!! I have learned so much about myself as an educator, as well as I feel as though I have grown as a person. What a fantastic year it has been!!

Ok so, I am super excited about this!! I am offering this item as a freebie, but ONLY for a limited time!! This item will only be free from May 25th - May 29th, so quickly head over and download, because it will be changed back to a paid item on May 30th! It is valued at $2.50, and will change back to that price on May 30th, so hurry, go download!

The item is one I have been working on with my kiddos! Words with 2 syllables, so today the freebie is Syllable Puzzles!! You can find the link here- Syllable Puzzles

While you are at my store, make sure to grab my FOREVER FREEBIES! One of them is Summer No Prep Printables Prepping for 2nd grade

So, who doesn't love a giveaway!! I mean seriously, if it's free, it's for me :) So for my giveaway , up for grabs is my common core task card 1.oa bundle! This is great if you teaching 1st grade, or even beginning of the year review for 2nd, or you could use it for your higher level K students! It's valued at $15.00, Kiddos love task cards. Sometimes I have them work along, and other times with a partner or in groups.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 So what are your plans for this summer? I have taught summer school the past 2 summers, but the district in which I teach is handling summer school differently this year. So I will be off the majority of the summer! I am super excited for this!! I have never been off more than 2 weeks at a time with my 4 babies, so I can not wait for this precious time!! We are going on a vacation to the Outer Banks, I am planning some day trips, as well as crafty things I saw on Pinterest! A lady can be ambious right?!? :) I also have books from Amazon that have arrived, and I can't wait to get the chance to dive in and read them!!

Wish me luck! And good luck to you, hope you have a relaxing, enjoyable summer!

Hop on over to my friend to check out more freebies and giveaways.....

Hello! The countdown is on! In my school we have 17.5 days left!! So today I'm giving you a freebie to help make your time left with your kiddos meaningful!

Help save time with this no prep printable--the kiddos get to pick which items they want to purchase with the money you give them! I actually created this for a day I was going to be out for my substitute to do with the kiddos, and they loved it!!

So head over to our Facebook hop and check out all things fun and free!!! Happy Summer!! :D

Image Map

Happy May!! I have to apologize for my MIA here lately! At school, we are completely changing up instruction for next year, and I am on like 4 different committees. I feel like all my time and energy has been spent on all that! Those of you that have read previous blog posts know that I teach in a departmentalized first grade. There are 5 of us teaching on this team, and each of us is responsible for all 97 kiddos. We have switched what we teach each marking period to keep things fresh (for us and the kiddos). These are the subjects we rotate-- math, writing, science/social studies/intervention, FUNdations (our phonics program from Wilson) and 2 small reading groups, and WHOLE group reading and 2 small reading groups.

The first marking period I taught all the guided reading, which our students lovingly called rotations. They loved it! However, for one person to teach all the guided reading (which included doing all the F&Ps for all the students) it was a little bit overwhelming. So, after the first marking period we decided to have the person doing the FUNdations pull 2 small guided reading groups, and the person teaching the WHOLE group reading also pull 2 small guided reading groups.

The 2nd marking period I taught writing, and the 3rd marking period I taught math.

After seeing the success of our students progress, our administration decided to switch things up for next year. We are going to operate as primary and intermediate. As far as teachers go, we are either a primary math or a primary reading or a intermediate math or an intermediate reading teacher. This means you could have multi-age classrooms, but hopefully we will be reaching the kiddos at their level.

So, we have been given our assignments, and I am a primary reading teacher. I am super excited about this new role. My only anxiety is that I won't be with my team! Which I'm sure you all can understand and relate to if you've ever switched grade levels or positions! My two closest teammates are both going to be Primary Math teachers. A part of me wanted to go to my principal and say "Hey, can you just switch me?" BUT.... I knew that she placed me in the Primary Reading position for a reason, so I will do it :)

So these last few weeks of school, I have really though about my guided reading instruction and really hitting the kiddos at their levels. This is what I have done for different kiddos with different groups.

 The kiddos that are reading right where they need to be (f&p level H, I or J), I have been having them picture walk through the text before reading. We discuss our predictions. I also write any words I think they may have trouble with on index cards, and we decode them and talk about their meaning before we read. As we are reading, I have the kiddos 'whisper read', that way I can hear each kiddo and see if they are having an trouble with certain words or fluency. I also add the light pointers to make it fun :)

The kiddos that are struggling, that are reading on a (D, E, F or just below level), we do a lot of work on a whiteboard. I have them practice spelling words first. Then we will practice decoding words, and reading them fluently in sentences. We don't do as much work with vocab as I do with the kiddos on level and above level, just because I feel that I really need to hit being able to read first. Although, I do still expose them to new vocabulary (just not as much).

My kiddos that are reading above where they need to be (levels L and above), they have no trouble decoding words. They read beautifully. The trouble they have is really comprehending what they have read. I use the strategies from C.A.F.E. to help with their comprehension, as well as a lot of time spent on vocabulary. I am currently reading "Frindle" with the one group of kiddos, which is a level R. They can read the book, but they have trouble understanding it. So before each chapter, I pull out the vocabulary words that I think they don't know or may be challenging, or may have multiple meanings. As they read, they put sticky notes where they words are, that way they are reading with a purpose. When they are done the chapter, we will go back where those sticky notes are, and we figure out from the context of the sentences what those vocabulary words mean. They love doing this, they say it's detective word :)

I also pull groups based off exit tickets to re-teach. But the groups above are groups I pull daily for their guided reading instruction. These groups generally have 4-6 kiddos in them.

What do you do in your guided reading or small group reading instruction? I would love to hear from you!

Wishing you all a fantastic remainder of the school year!

I had to add this for some comic relief :)

Seriously, teachers have the best job in the world, and at times the most stressful and time consuming!! Teacher appreciation week is a time to say THANK YOU for each and every day, hour, minute, and second you spend with your kiddos, planning for your kiddos, or thinking about your kiddos. You are EVERYTHING to each one of them!

I teach in a departmentalized 1st grade classroom, so one thing that works for me in the behavior management department is to have a "Wall of Fame". I find it overwhelming to have a clip chart or system for 97 kiddos, so for me my wall of fame is key! 

Organization can make our lives are teachers so much easier. For me, one way I organize what groups I am meeting with and what all the other students are doing--is that put it on a powerpoint. Each class of kiddos, it's easy for me to see which rotations they have been to, or what they haven't done in a while.

Keeping our teacher work space organized also helps us to be our best! As you can see, this is not exactly orangized!! However, for me, I have my pencils, my sight word dominoes, my cd player, stickers, all my guided reading books for my different kiddos, and different necessities. This table is directly behind my kidney-shaped guided reading table and is easily accessible for me while I am in small group.

The rainbow cart I put differentiated word work for my different levels of students. They know to go here and grab their work during their word work rotation.

This is the bookshelf behind my kidney shaped guided reading table. I house my teaching manuals, mentor texts, and any other 'teachery' books here. 

Now here's your chance!!! You have the opportunity to win an incredible bundle of goodies to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week!! REMEMBER-- the more entries on the Rafflecopter, the great the chance of winning!! 
Just take a look at everything you could win...One lucky reader will win this entire prize package!!!
Prize Bundle #1 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
We aren't finished yet....take a look at everything a second lucky winner will win!!!
Prize Bundle #2 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
Be sure to enter both rafflecopters for a better chance at winning one of these amazing prize bundles!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here

You won't want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.

I am linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for May's Currently!! This is such a fun linky, thanks Farley!

Ok, so it's Saturday morning. All 3 of my older children play baseball. So starting in March, I feel like that's all we do is eat, drink, live, breathe baseball. It's not a bad thing, it's just kind overwhelming to have to eat at Sheetz, the ball field or subs 5 nights a week. I mean I don't mind the not cooking part, it's the un-healthy eating that I'm not a fan of! So this morning, my kiddos are fighting over whose baseball pants is whose. REALLY?? I started writing their name on the tag, but my younger of the 3, can not read yet, and he insists that my daughters pants is his!! Even though I'm telling him it says KATIE on her pants. What.a.morning.

Amongst all the fighting, I am enjoying a cup of Starbucks K-cup coffee with Chocolate Mocha Creamer. DE--LICIOUS. I am a coffee freak, I love it! I could drink it all day long, everyday :)

Ok, so next year, my school is going to a non-traditional model of no grades. It's more of a primary (k-2), and intermediate (3-5) mix of kiddos. So I am going to be a Primary ELA teacher. That means I could be teaching kiddos anywhere from age 5 - age 8. Now they won't necessarily be in the same group, liked ability kiddos will be together. ANYWHO, we have been trying to think about the logistics of it all. What time lunches for all, what time specials/encore? And having the Primary kiddos have similiar blocks of time so they are able to switch from classroom/teacher to classroom/teacher. It's just all making my head spin!!

Ok so I started with Blair Turner's very busy box last month (APRIL), and I absolutely loved everything in it. I was so happy that she offered to buy 2 months at a time. So I purchased the VERYBUSYBOX for both May and June. I am super excited to see what's going to be in it!! If you haven't checked it out, go check it out - Blair's Very Busy Box

So with this baseball season, it has been cool, quite windy/rainy weather. Not the best kind of weather to sit through and watch games. So my kiddos have some games today, so I'm hoping for a little more sunshine and warmer weather!!

Ok, so the countdown is on! 27 days left of school! It is so hard to believe, I feel like this school year has just flown by! I have absolutely loved my kiddos this year (all 97 of them--working in a departmentalized 1st grade). Last year I taught summer school July-August. This year my county is not offering that summer school to kiddos. Instead, they are doing a back to school 10 day program, the 10 days prior to school starting in August. So I am going to be off the entire month of July, and I am so stoked!! My own children can't wait for the fun things I have planned :)

Wishing you a fantastically wonderful May!!
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