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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Word Family Workstation--A Sample Freebie!! :)

Happy Saturday!  I am so glad that I got to enjoy my bed just a little longer this morning.  I'm still a fairly early riser, but just lounging around without having to get everyone up, beds made, etc---was just a nice feeling!  There's something about that first week back (or two weeks)--I have a hard time getting into the swing of things until about mid September.  Then reality hits and I have to realize summer is officially over. 

That reminds me, one of my friends and I were talking about the life of a teacher.  People often give us a hard time because we get our summers off, but we start a new job every year!  It may still be the same grade level, or subject area, but the experiences aren't always the same.  Then we often forget what our classes really are like at the beginning of the year as we are still in that end of year brain mode.  It's difficult to get back to the swing of things.  

But, I'm here today in hopes of bringing you a couple activities that will help you get to it with ease!  Easy prep for you, fun for kids! :)

First, one of my favorite packs is this:
Back to School Stations-First Grade
This pack includes rhyming, counting/number recognition, base ten (11-19), beginning sounds bingo, making ten game, and uppercase/lowercase recognition.  It was a favorite of my firsties in the beginning of the year as well as using it with some Kinders at the end of the following year! :)  
You can click the image above to see it on TpT!

This summer, I made a set of non-fiction reads. 
Rainforest Reads--Fluency Reads
 I was hoping to use them with my Title kiddos to help boost their non-fiction reading scores.  
I notice that non-fiction is always an area that we are lacking. They were created as a fluency read, but they do have a comprehension piece to each read.  There is a sample freebie on TpT if you want to try it with your class...just click the image above to check it out. 

One more---and it is a 20+ page freebie! :)
Word Family Building-First Grade and Fabulous
 With this pack, I have included a game for up to 4 kiddos that you could use at guided groups
or in workstations.  It is for the -ap, -at, -an and -am families.  The game is a colored version.  
Then, I included an activity that could be used independently.  Think Daily 5--I think/hope---
I'm still new to the Daily 5 routine.  
The independent activity will have students building their own word family house, then reading, writing and stamping the words they built.  This activity is a black/white version.  It would look great on bright colored paper/cardstock!  I am excited to use it with my kiddos this year! :)
You can click on the image above to download---please be kind and leave feedback! :)
**If I know that other people can/will use them too---
there's always a chance for a short e version that could be next! :) So leave that feedback! :)
I hope you enjoy what's left of our weekend and have a GREAT week to follow! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dollar Tree Station-Phonics Time!

 Yesterday I talked about my love for the Dollar Tree!  I shared a super easy sight word station that would be fun and also help with fine motors.  You can check it out HERE!
I have another quick and easy station to share with you today. 

  Using these two items, I was able to create what I hope to be a fun hands-on activity.

 The pool noodles came from Dollar Tree, and the dowel rod was purchased at Walmart.
Here's the size we purchased.

How to Create the Station:
1) The dowel rod was cut into 6 pieces.  
2) Using a kitchen knife (long straight edge), I sliced the pool noodles into slices.
I felt like I was making cookies!  Makes this activity even more fun to assemble for me! :)

3) I wrote 3-4 letters on each slice.  
I made some slices for word families as you can see in the picture above.
I did alternate the colors though--vowels/word families in green.  Consonants in orange. 

4)  Then, depending on the skill, students will create words by sliding the pool noodle slices 
onto the dowel rod.

 You could also use this for blending and segmenting.

 Students can twist the letters and try new sounds for anyone of these skills. 

What Dollar Tree resources do you like to use?


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

EASY Dollar Tree Sight Word Center

Is it just me, or does everyone else get excited when they drive past one of these stores?
Even on vacation, I want to stop at these wonderful places...but hubby says that I want to stop at EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.   Well, yeah!  They have different stuff at each one! True Story!

 I LOVE the Dollar Tree.  I have mentioned before that I would truly enjoy having a PD in the Dollar Tree, everyone grabbing a few odds and ends, and sharing ideas on how to use those at a workstation for kiddos.  I mean, I can't even go in there without having School Brain...
and it is SOOOO affordable for this teacher's budget! 
Today I'm going to share a few stations that crossed my mind this summer.  

Station Number 1) 
A Buggy Sight Word Center
 The above activity was made with these Dollar Tree products:
sand, magnifying glass, insects, plastic container

 How I made this center:

1) In a plastic tub, I placed the dirt/sand.  I used enough to cover the bottom.
I saw other tubs I liked better that were flatter, but they had holes in them...
that clearly wouldn't work with this activity! :)

2)  I wrote sight words on the bugs.  Several of the critters have a couple of sight words on each.

 3) Place the critter bugs in the tub.  Cover partially, or even completely so that students can dig for them.

 4) The tweezers came with the bug magnifying glass as seen above.  Students can work in their fine motors to pull bugs from the dirt.  **These tweezers may be difficult for some to use for the critter bugs.

5)Use the magnifying glass to find the sight words.
Students can practice writing the words on dry erase boards or paper.
Challenge higher students to use the words in a sentence as well.

If you liked this activity, check back tomorrow as I have a phonics activity using dowel rods (Walmart)
and pool noodles (Dollar Tree)!!  FUN FUN!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Teacher Shirts ROCKS!

Hey everyone!  I know I've been missing from the blogging world for a few months.  Part of it was due to time restraints...my kids are involved in a lot of things...soccer, softball, baseball, 4H--and I wouldn't have it any other way.  But part of me needed to take a break.  Don't get me wrong. I love blogging.  I love connecting.  This school year was a tad difficult as I was trying to figure out a new position. I even wondered what I was doing!  Then, this summer, I received this great shirt....Just something simple.  It had a picture of my blog button and said Teachers pay Teachers on the back.  

I stared at that blog button icon.  First Grade and Fabulous?  What's Fabulous?  I googled the definition just for the sake of argument.  Fabulous is wonderful...extraordinary...amazingly good.  The word fabulous describes teaching as a whole doesn't it?  It describes those little kiddos that do wonderful things...how those little minds just stretch and grow in a year's time!  Yes--it is AMAZINGLY GOOD. 

This one shirt brought me back to realizing that I have a GREAT job!  Thank you TEACHER SHIRTS for this perfect shirt. 

Now I'm trying to decide which shirt I want next.  What do you think?
(Click the link to visit each image)


 These images all link back to Teacher Shirts.  
You can also find custom shirts here:

You can find teacher shirts on social media as well!  Here are their links!

By the way---here's me--in my new shirt!
 (I usually like to hide BEHIND the blog icon, but I'm proud of this little blogging journey!)

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