Wizard of Oz & Common Core

I've had so much fun reading the Wizard of Oz to my first grade students! According to the CCGPS curriculum map, this week each student will make their own Cast of Characters book featuring the characters in the Wizard of Oz. I found some cute graphic organizers for Dorothy, but not for the other characters we are supposed to cover so I created a packet with a cluster map for Dorothy, Glenda, The Wicked Witch, Lion, Tin Man, and Scarecrow. Each page lists the CCGPA standard:

1.RL.3 I will describe characters, setting, and major events in a story.

I also wanted a way for my lower level students to meet the standard without simply taking the number of boxes down from 5 to 3. I always try to look for ways to differentiate activities without having the low students do less and the high students do more. Lower level students' papers will look the same as the rest of the class after they trace the two pre-written adjectives.

Click here to grab your Cast of Characters Book


Lesson Plans

It's been a busy weekend! My first graders started last Thursday and this upcoming week will be our first full week together! I've been working on a lesson plan template this weekend. I've tried several different ways to write lesson plans. I really like being able to view the entire week at one time. Since my school is using guided reading this year, each group's lesson plans will be on one page for the week and kept in their group's guided reading bucket. I will use the weekly plans below to show my CAFE mini lessons and read aloud books to use each day.

I will be integrating science/ss and language skills into my writing block. For example, we are about to start a weather unit and one of the skill sheets I have pulled is putting weather words in ABC order. We can also make a sentence using of the weather words and discuss capital letters and punctuation.

I am also starting Math Workshop which will include a pre-test and whole group intro on Mondays, centers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and then whole group review and post-test on Fridays. The center rotations will include work with teacher (probably an activity on the Promethean Board), seat work, games, and fact practice. The fact practice will include flash cards and then 2-3 students will each have a day of the week to use computer to practice math facts.

The plans can be edited to meet your scheduling needs. Click for free download.  

Bathroom Passes

So instead of spending my time planning for Open House (which is in two days! ahhhh!) I have been scrolling through cute classroom ideas on Pinterest. I came across these super cute bathroom passes.

The link connected wasn't working, but whoever came up with this idea is a genius! When students go to the bathroom, they must leave the bottle at their desk and then use it when they return to the classroom. I like using this method the best because you know who is at the bathroom since the bottle is at their seat.

The problem was it looked like to me that the letters were made using a Cricut which I am not cool enough to own yet so I made some signs I think copies the look pretty well. I also added some passes of a larger size for anyone who would like to hole-punch and use them to wear around the neck. 


Goal Setting and AR

It's that time of the year again! Its the weekend before school starts and my to do list is really just ridiculousness....I have managed to scratch one thing off though. I created some posters to display in my classroom to show off my students' Accelerated Reader accomplishments.

I print these on card stock and laminate so names can easily be added and removed with a magic eraser. The posters go in 5's from 5-25 and then I have a 50, 100, and 200 poster. I don't think I'll need the 200 poster with my first graders, but I thought someone in older grades might would want higher point values.

I love being able to celebrate students' accomplishments, but I usually have 1 or 2 students who might not ever earn 5 points. I made a poster that says, "I can log in without help and pass a test."

I'm hoping this will encourage my students to at least try and sometimes just getting your name on something once motivates you to keep going and to set higher goals. :)

Click for free download   

More Daily 5 and Guided Reading

I created a rotation chart to help manage students during guided reading/daily 5 centers.

I will probably blow this up to small poster size to make it easier for the kiddos to read. Hopefully it will help them (and me!) understand what station their group will be moving after each rotation.  Each rotation will last about 20-25 minutes.

To read more about Free Choice, check out my posting here

Daily 5 and Guided Reading

So I think I FINALLY decided how I want to go about incorporating Daily 5 into my guided reading groups with my 1st graders. I'm working on a rotation poster which will help explain a little bit and I will post that later.

I will have 4 reading groups that will travel to 4 different 20 minute literacy stations. The stations will include:

1. Meet with Teacher
2. Work with a Buddy (re-read guided reading & and play a reading skill file folder game)
3. Work at Seat (short skill sheet such as Mountain Lang or Daily Language then Read to Self)
4. Free Choice (students can pick Listen to Reading, Work on Words, Work on Writing, Computer-students will have assigned days)

My problem was with the Free Choice station. Even though only 1 of my reading groups will be at Free Choice at a time, I didn't want 6-7 kids at Work on Words for material and classroom management reasons. If you have read the Daily 5 book, then I know what you are thinking! This is where the mini lessons and having students "check in" comes in. However, I really wanted to use the mini lesson time to teach and not be messing with students coming up and down making choices. I saw on another teacher's blog that she has her students make their Daily 5 choice when they come in during morning procedures. I like this idea becomes it doesn't interfere with teaching time.

The problem is I had to come up with a way to show students that just because there were 6-7 students who chose Listen to Reading, as long as they weren't in your SAME reading group the choice was still available. That is where this chart comes in!

I have 4 guided reading groups each with their own space icon (astronauts, stars, plants, rocket ships).  I am going to cut a circle Velcro piece in half and place half above the icon on the rotation chart and the other half on the back of the individual student icon. 

Students check in by placing their icon covering the poster's icon. If all your groups icons are covered, the choice is full for that day. If you would like to use these items in your classroom, look below for FREE downloads!

Back to School Fun With Wordle

I'm really excited about this new back to school idea I found on Mrs. Ripp's blog. The idea is to have parents give you a list of five adjectives they feel best describes their child. You use the five adjectives to create a Wordle. If you have never used Wordle, you should check out   It is a fun way to create "word clouds" using fun text and colors. Here is a sample Wordle about the US Constitution:

Pretty neat, right? Best of all, it's FREE. After you create the Wordle, you can use it to surprise the Star Student of the week by displaying the Wordle all about them on your Smart board. You can also print them for a classroom or hallway display. Students LOVE Smart boards and anything that has to do with themselves so I think this is a win win! This could also be a great way to teach adjectives. I created a FREE letter asking parents to list the adjectives. The TPT site is down so I'll have to upload the printable document as soon as it's up and running. Here is a peek below.

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