Sunday, July 28, 2013

The New "F" Word.....Fluency :)

Where is our summer break going? How in the world is it already August!?!?

This week I want to share some of the exciting things we have found and developed to increase our students' fluency.  Until recent years, fluency has been a major focus in upper grades beginning in Third grade. However, with Common Core and the implementation of the MClass Reading Assessments here in NC....we feel that it is very important for first graders to practice fluency skills daily. No longer is it enough for students just to be able to "read words" but they are pushed to read the words fluently and with appropriate feeling.

This is an example of our Fry Instant Phrase Books.
Click HERE to purchase the Phrase books or Sight word books.
Sight Word Books and
 Fry Instant Phrase Books
To work on sight word fluency, our team developed Fry Sight Word Books. Each Fry Word list is divided into groups of 10
words per page. Students take the books home and study one page at a time. Once the student knows the entire page and the teacher checks the student's progress, he/she may move on to the next page. The book is easier to keep track of rather than 100 flashcards banded  together. The Fry Phrase books work similarly.

One Breath Boxes by Donna Coleman

Our Students LOVE Donna Coleman's One Breath Boxes. The idea is that using one breath, the students try to say each box without running out of air. Although this strategy does not work the expression side of fluency, the students have a great time challenging themselves to move to harder boxes using only one deep breath. Check these out on TPT!

Fluency Building Poems by Alissa Manning-Telisak

Once students have a good grasp on sight word knowledge and are doing well with short phrases, we like to challenge them with poetry. The rhythm and rhyme help develop students' expression and accuracy. Usually we spend about 1 week per poem. We do several repeated reading and encourage the students' to read with expression. Alissa has made several packs for each month and each pack has a wide variety of topics appropriate for that month. We highly suggest using poetry as a means for increasing fluency!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Finally..Summer Work Revealed....

I promised you...we've been working this summer. Some of us (Tammy) have better views than others for our summer break. She has been enjoying the ocean breeze and working hard to bring you our version of the 
How We Go Home Clipchart.

Check out the Clipcharts in our classrooms!

The file includes car riders, bus riders, after school care, daycare, walkers, and tutoring.

One things that sets our file apart from others-Tammy has created Student Labels!! Print and laminate for students to wear home until they learn his/her bus number!

As an added bonus for checking out our blog, I am including the link for the editable version of the Student Labels. We appreciate everyone visiting our blog! So enjoy this little gift from us!

Programmable Student Transportation Labels
(make sure to download the file to be able to edit)

Look for our How We Go Home Clipchart and Student Labels on our TPT!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Next Chapter

First and foremost, sorry that we have been so SLACK!! The new Common Core hit the three of us harder than we the fact that 2 out of 3 of us were finishing up graduate school. So needless to say, we have all been busy.

The theme of this post is CHANGE!! So much has changed for us in such a short period of time. We are no longer fanatical in FIRST....unfortunately sweet Autumn will be teaching SECOND grade next year :(.  We have shed A LOT of tears as a many that you would think we wouldn't need to cry for a year!! Hopefully with the new months comes a new attitude. The inside joke is "we can do anything for a year", but who knows how long we will be split. The positive aspect of this switch is we will have more experience in different grade levels and able to offer better quality items on our TpT account.

Speaking of TpT...thank you to anyone that has purchased any of the items we have placed online. It has definitely been a positive experience so far and we hope to continue to expand our store.

Tammy is currently soaking up the rays at her beach house and working on Back to School type items for TpT. I (Ashley) am working on different fluency activities including Fry phrase books and reading fluency activities. Autumn, well, she is just trying to deal with being in a new grade level. She will be able to provide some higher level things for anyone interested.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we begin this new school year. Change is never easy, but we will persevere!  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Break!

Hope that everyone is enjoying their time off as much as we are!!  We love spending time with our families and being able to rest up from school.  One of the things that we wanted to share that we enjoyed and thought was cute was an idea that one of our 2nd grade teachers got our school started on.  She started it back in October and it's where classes can "Boo" each other.  Around Halloween we would "Boo" other classrooms by leaving a bag of candy at their classroom door.  Once your classroom has been picked, you put up your "We have been Booed!" sign.  So we did this again around Christmas and this time we "Elfed" each other.  The students loved picking which classroom they wanted to send candy to and "prank."  We have included pictures to help explain this whole idea better.  Thanks to our 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Cole for this cute and fun idea to do around the holidays. She sent out an email to all staff to explain how this worked and it was a lot of fun to include the students and have them play amongst each other.  Our students enjoyed getting the older students on the other hallway.  You can change this up and maybe use it for Valentines, any holiday, or really any excuse to prank other classrooms.  Hope that everyone enjoys their break!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pictures from Grinch Day!

Here are our pictures from Grinch Day!  We had so much fun!  It's an exhausting, but fun day for the staff and students!  On Grinch Day, our Ms. Jones dresses up as the Grinch.  She will then come around in the afternoon and visit each class and give a special treat to the students.  It usually is green candy canes.  Students and staff wear green all day on Grinch Day.  All of our activities that day are Grinch related.  We are so grateful that our school allows us to do these fun, silly days for the students.  The students really look forward, and REALLY enjoy meeting the Grinch!  I was unable to take a picture of the Grinch that day, but look under Meet Ms. Jones and you will see our famous Grinch!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Getting Ready for Grinch Day!

We are looking forward to celebrating Grinch Day this Friday!  Our very own Ms. Jones is our Grinch, and the students and staff love for the Grinch to come and visit the classrooms!  Ms. Jones does a fantastic job with dressing up and playing along for the whole day.  Each teachers buys something for their classroom, and the Grinch delivers the items to the students.  Most teachers buy green candy canes and it ends up being such a fun day.  We are so thankful to be able to work at a school that allows us to have all of these fun days especially around Christmas.  We just finished celebrating Polar Express Day last Friday, so it's busy, busy, busy here at the schoolhouse.  Make sure to check back with us for updated Grinch pictures.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

     This blogging stuff has definitely been harder than we expected. It has been super hard trying to find time to work on things for our TPT account and blog, plus do the normal ins and outs of first grade. BUT despite all the adversity, we finally made our first sale in Teachers Pay Teachers. Autumn created a Halloween inspired flipchart to go with Fact and Opinions. It looks fantastic. Go to our store and check out our first item and give us some feedback!

     Oh, all of you professional bloggers out there....does anyone know how I can make a preview for our flipcharts??? It kept coming up that the file was too big and I could not figure it out. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions! We appreciate all of your help and support. Hopefully we will more things up soon. We are working on an awesome Thanksgiving unit!

Our First Sale!
(Here is a preview of a 16 slide flipchart about Fact and Opinion)