BTS Blog Hop

I am linking up with some wonderful educators, thanks to The Owl Teacher for hosting this, to bring you some fantastic tools to head back to school for the 2015-2016 school year!

I am starting my 3rd year as a teacher. I absolutely love my job! I teach 1st grade, and this year I will only be teaching literacy (including reading & writing with social studies integrated).

I will have 2 groups of kids. Our kids are being grouped homogeneously, so my homeroom has 14 in it (at the moment).  These kids in my homeroom need more assistance (they are all below grade level), so that's why they have a lower number of students in their class. The 2nd class I will be teaching literacy to, doesn't need AS much assistance (they are functioning a little lower or on grade level). There is currently 20 students in that class.

This type of arrangement will not be that different than what we did last school year. We were completely departmentalized between 5 first grade teachers. And I absolutely loved it!! You can read a blog post about it on a blog I am apart of Who's Who and Who's New Why I Love being Departmentalized . Another blog post I wrote about What does a departmentalized classroom look like? Then I did a guest post on Rachel Lynette's blog Minds in Bloom about Trying a New Classroom Approach.

One tip I could offer you, if your school doesn't have good PD sessions or offer good resources---I HIGHLY suggest investing in some great resources! I teach in Maryland -- we are a common core state. And this book, The Common Core Companion: The Standards Decoded K-2 by Sharon Taberski and Jim Burke is a FANTASTIC resource! This one pictured is for Literacy. I can look the standard up and it gives great ideas how to teach it (or scaffold it, or push the students to the next grade level!) LIFESAVER!! So invest in some good resources, or if your school offers them---take a peek and read them!

Now for some freebies!! Who doesn't love freebies!! I heard somewhere "If it's free, it's for me!" :) This first freebie is a BACK TO SCOOT Task Cards that include 20 task cards for question asking, along with a recording sheet. If working with younger kiddos, (like with my 1st graders) I verbally ask them the questions and we move around the room depending on their answer (if you like sledding go to the back of the room, if you like swimming come to the front). It's a great icebreaker activity that gets the kids moving and helps you get to know them the first week or so of school. Click on the image and it will take you to my TPT store to download it!
 Another freebie that I LOVED when teaching my kiddos contractions, was this freebie, you can also find in my store by clicking on the picture!

I recently wrote a blog post about utilizing your volunteers. I know some teachers struggle with confidently setting boundaries with parents when they come in to volunteer, and it turns into a parent-watching-the-teacher-visiting-with-the-kid-session. This blog post also has some freebies you could use to get your parents lined up to volunteer with their interests and strengths. Click on the picture below to read all about it!

The last thing I want to leave you with is a little reminder! Remember this year, to take time for yourself! Do what you love and you'll love what you do :)

Wishing you a great year and lots of love!

ALSO Make sure you enter to win this K-2 prize pack!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love the look of that book for common core standards! I'll definitely have to look into that! I'm always wanting to find out more about the standards.

    Teaching Autism

    1. Thanks! It really is an awesome book! Especially if you need to bump the kids up to the next level, or if they aren't there yet bump them back :) Take care!

  2. Thanks for joining my blog hop! I have that common core companion book for grades 3-5. You are right- it's very helpful! How do 1st graders handle being departmentalized? That's great that you can do that so young! Great post!

  3. Thanks for the recommendation of the common core companion book. I always love checking out books that other teachers recommend. It sounds really useful. I've got it on my wish list....gotta wait til I get paid again before I purchase. :)

  4. You have some great ideas! Thanks for sharing.
    Sandra's Savvy Teaching Tips

  5. Very, very interested in the common core book! Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas. Have a spectacular school year!


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