Monday, February 1, 2016

Currently February

I'm linking up with Oh Boy...It's Farley for what is going on currently with me, Melissa! 

If you are not in Periscope watching the teachers part of the @iteachtvnetwork, you are missing out! No worries, you can download the app on a smartphone, and maybe even a tablet, and start watching today! I've learned so much from these teachers and it feels like fun PD!

I love how my first grade team is in sync with one another. I feel very fortunate to be part of such a wonderfully collaborative team.

So, it is winter in Ohio but I don't know if Ohio is paying attention. There are many warmer days and that's amazing but I do miss seeing the white, fluffy snow falling. Will we only see mud this winter? Hmmm....

I would totally do the 101st day of school celebration all over again! It was our first year and it was so much fun! We centered it around The 101 Dalmatians and the students had a blast. What a fun day!

My weekends haven't been as productive as I'd like them to be. There is so much I want to do but it feels as if 2 days in a weekend isn't enough for me right now. Anyone else ever feel that way too?

And last but not least, I'm swooning over all the teachers connecting with other teachers on social media: Periscope, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! Those are my jam! Are any of you on any of these social media outlets? If so, let me know below in the comments and I'll come and check it out! If you're interested, find me here...

Happy February!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Currently January 2016

"Hoppy" New Year--it's a leap year, you know. I'm linking up with Oh Boy, Fourth Grade "Currently" Linky.  I'm ready for this brand new year as it gives a sense of renewal and freshness.

Listening...I need and want to blog more though I think my perfectionistic tendencies get in the way. What I mean by that is if I think I can't do it all exactly right to my standards then I don't do it at all. I do this with purchases too. I'm not really an impulse buyer. If I'm in the store and if I don't feel right about something, even though I really want it, then I'll walk away! Wish I could be that way with food.

Loving...I'm so into bullet journaling and making my own planner. I've purchased planners before but at the end of a year, there are so many blank pages. I'm more of a list maker anyway. Bullet journaling is it for me! I use a Leuchtturm1917 and fountain pens, mostly. My favorite pen is my TWSBI mini fountain pen. It's inked up with a nice sepia brown ink.

Thinking...I'm wanting to come up with a positive word to carry me through 2016. Others are sharing their words, but I've just not settled on one yet.

Wanting...I would like a new(er) car. I have a Honda Accord from 2002 and it's running fine mostly but I'm ready for heated seats, auto starter and bluetooth! It's nice that my SO brought up the idea first!

Needing...My time is so unbalanced and probably not healthy. I'm so focused on wanting to help myself and other teachers trying to brainstorm and produce resources that help us teach vocabulary. I'm also excited about all the connections I've made on SM and spend way too much time on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fun, but I need more balance and less distraction. More focus!

One little word...Gains is a word that keeps coming up for me lately as a reflection of 2015. I've had gains in connections, friends online, collaborations, vision. It's been a wonderful year to reflect back upon and makes me excited for this new year!

Make sure to click the image below and click "Like" to follow First Grade Frame of Mind on Facebook! When you do, make sure to say hello! I look forward to engaging with you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Emergent Readers for Critical Academic Tier 2 Vocabulary

Emergent readers for K-2 critical tier 2 vocabulary. See what others have said:
-"An excellent resource for teaching the concepts of vocabulary terms..."
-"Great way to introduce academic vocabulary!"
-"I LOVE YOUR MATERIALS! I have been searching high & low for fun, age-appropriate materials to teach academic vocabulary. You are the winner! You have the BEST resources and I will share with my fellow SLPs..."
-"Great Tier 2 Vocabulary materials for early elementary students."

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October 2015 Currently

I'm linking up with Oh Boy, Fourth Grade again this month to bring you what I'm currently doing. I love linking up because it's fun to answer these questions and it gives you a little peek into my world!

Whenever I'm working on my laptop in my living room, my dogs love to sleep by or on me. They dream and have these cute little whimpers they make.

I decided to take Friday off with my hubby to run errands with him and just see him. He works afternoons and only has Sundays and Mondays off so I don't get to see him much throughout the week. He decided to make it a five-day weekend for him and took some vacation time. It's been nice.

I stay up so late doing this and that on my laptop. I hate to go to bed when I'm on a role working on a new resource! When inspiration hits it is not always the best time.

This weekend it's been so very cold. It makes me dread winter because Ohio has had some rough winters in past years. I just want fall to go very, very slowly. I love fall weather and clothes!

I have the sweetest husband who knows what I need and want sometimes before I know it! I have been needing to upgrade my laptop and was looking at smaller screens. He said, "You know, for your work and what you do, you should probably get the larger screen. You would be happier in the end." I love this man! He knows me so very well! And yes, I did get the larger screen!

If you'd like to see more "currently" posts, go to Oh Boy, Fourth Grade and see who linked up! It's fun to read what everyone else is thinking and doing! It's fun to be a little nosy, especially when it's approved!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Johnny Appleseed: Resource links and a Freebie!

September 26th is Johnny Appleseed's birthday and in first grade we celebrate him and apples during this week! I wanted to share with you some of my favorite resources I like to use.
This is a lovely reading of a picture book about Johnny Appleseed. Click the picture above to go to the link.

I created this free resource that is great to use at this time of the year. This is an interactive notebook page that after it is put together it is then used over and over to make math stories about the different ways to see apples inside and outside of a basket! It's like a built-in math center for addition and subtraction math stories! This activity lends itself to critical and creative thinking and builds problem solving skills. Your students will love not only the continued interaction but creating their own manipulatives with ownership over coloring and pasting it altogether! Click the pictures to go to the free download. 
"Ten apples outside and none inside makes 10+0=0."
"There are ten apples all together. Some are inside and 8 are outside the basket. 10-8=2 inside."

Follow my Johnny Appleseed Pinterest board for more fun activities! Click below.

Do you have any fun activities you do to celebrate apples and/or Johnny Appleseed? I'd love to hear about them and so would others so leave your comments below.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Close Reading's Universal Vocabulary

The current education shift is all about close readings and having students digging deeply into a text. One important piece related directly to close reads is the explicit teaching of close reading's universal vocabulary. "What? I've not heard about this universal vocabulary!!" Well, in some circles this universal vocabulary is called the "high frequency words of close reading" or "Common Core critical vocabulary". Check my pin board on the subject, Common Core Critical Vocabulary.

Teacher's are already teaching this vocabulary but not necessarily in a systematic way. There are lists, yes lists, on which words should be taught in what grades. No worries, I'm here to point you toward those lists. Check out my first post on this topic with the list for kindergarten and first grade. Did you notice that there are more than a dozen words that need to be explicitly taught to first graders?

When I first realized I needed to explicitly teach all these words to my first graders, I did what any other teacher may have done...I went searching on Teachers Pay Teachers. I couldn't believe it! All I found was ONE product that only had anchor charts for some, not all, of the first grade words. That. Was. It. There were tumbleweeds whistling by me in the wind when it came to finding direct critical vocabulary resources for K-2.

I got to work on creating resources to help us primary teachers teach these close reading universal vocabulary words.

Click below to check out a freebie emergent reader download!

Were you aware that there was universal vocabulary linked directly to the success of close reads? Tell me about your journey to these words in the comments. I'd love to hear about it!

Come and join the conversation on my Facebook page by clicking the picture below!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Are You Hesitant to Teach Interactive Notebooking to Your Primary Students? Don't be!

Have you ever wonder if K-2 students would really be able to coordinate their cutting, folding and gluing skills well enough to make interactive notebook pages? I'm here to tell you that it is possible! I first followed some advice and pinned helpful resources on my K-2 Interactive Notebook board.

Firstly, purchase an interactive notebook designated for your grade-level. In the primary grades, there is usually less cutting, folding, gluing and few but larger pieces.

Next, make sure to make your own samples ahead of time. You will learn so much about the easiest way to teach it to your own class. Only you know how independent or needy each class is and they are oh so different every year, aren't they?

 "Six kids in the water and 1 on the beach: 6+1=7."

Also, if you are able, try to get helpers the first few times you do them. Are there aides or parent helper available during your math time? Great! Have them also make a sample beforehand and ask you any questions before helping little hands do the same activity. If there isn't time for them to make a sample, you've at least got yours that you made to show them!

If you have some students you know need extra help cutting and gluing then go ahead and help them do it. Yes, cut it and glue it for them! Trust me! Doing this helps them learn through modeling, gives you less stress and makes everyone a happy, cute interactive notebook!

Have students color during morning work time or during your chapter book read-alouds, if that doesn't bother you. You may even want to have a class set of colored pencils for the details in the clip art. Ask the art teacher if s/he has extra colored pencils to donate to your room. The art teacher usually has lots of extra, gently used supplies from the previous year.

Encourage your students to use their interactive notebooks during silent reading time. I have an addition/subtraction story interactive notebook my students may write their own story problems during writing time too!

 "Two bears is 2 outside and none inside: 2=2+0."

 "Three squirrels outside their burrow and none inside: 3+0=3."

Students can see all the ways that make each number by telling more of their own stories!
Find easy interactive notebook addition and subtractions story makers by clicking the picture above!

Do you use interactive notebooks with your K-2 students? Share with us below in the comments and make sure to tell us what grades you teach. I'd love to hear about your stories and I'm sure they will help others reading this post as well! Share this post with someone you think is hesitant to use interactive notebooks with their primary students too! #2getherwearebetter!

If you'd like to find other ways to help your students improve their number sense, check out the link below! Thank you to K's Classroom Kreations and Theresa's Teaching Tidbits for hosting this helpful linky!