Monday, June 27, 2016

Teacher Tribe Directory now has a home!

You can now find me at! I also have the Teacher Tribe Directory hosted there as well. Come and check it all out! Make sure to leave a comment and say hello. I look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It's Teacher Appreciation Week, and the Party Starts Now!

We all deserve this for making it through our school year, right?!?!
(Trust me on this. You want to keep reading!)

My dear teacher friend, Amber, from First Grade Diva Creations and I are planning some fun for you teachers this week! Teachers work so hard every day, all year...we know it's just not during the school year. You deserve some refreshments and we are here to serve! You've taken those students and pushed them toward their best potential in academics, behavior and social relationships.

Welcome to our virtual lemonade stand! A place to refresh and make the end of this year easier and make you feel like you are getting a head start on next year. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! You are so going to be prepared and you being here right now is proof! 

You need a way to end the year on a good note with your sweeties and Amber from First Grade Diva Creations is here to help! This limited edition bundle is only $5.00 and it's only available until this Friday! 

This "End of School" resource contains the following items:

  • Printable Positive Behavior Postcards to help focus on the positive with your students all year long! 
  • I Mustache You About Your Year Glyph to make a hilarious memory with your students.
  • Before We Say Goodbye to help your little sweeties get closure on your amazing time together!

Click here to get more details about this bundle!

We all like to feel like we are prepared, ready and organized. I like to print and laminate a few things before school ends because not everyone is thinking about that and they are all leaving early because they just want to get home after school now. If I can take advantage of the copier and laminator while everyone else is gone then I'm doing it! This next limited edition bundle is also only $5.00 and only available until this Friday! 

This "Beginning of School" resource contains the following items:

  • Social Studies History Interactive Notebook will have your students compare and contrast the seasonal changes and history through these interactive pages they can revisit over and over again!
  • Tier 2 Vocabulary Posters with critical Tier 2 vocabulary and a brief definition will help remind you and your primary students to use these words daily. 
  • Get your students to write daily with Write Daily resources, and watch your students improve their writing from simple sentences to more complex sentences with daily practice. No prep! Just print and go!

Click here to get more details about this bundle!

And that's not all! You can have the change for that adorable Alex and Ani "Apple of Abundance" bracelet, as well as some other free resources from Amber and me, annnnndddd.....a Teachers Pay Teachers gift card!

Remember when I told you to keep reading? We are so excited that you did!

Here's all the fine print of what is included!

Click on the image above to go enter to win or enter directly below! This giveaway closes by this Friday at midnight EDT and the winners will be announced the following day on Saturday. Please share with your teacher friends!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 3, 2016

7 Alliteration Lessons That are Beyond Peter Piper and his Peppers!

When I think of teaching alliteration to K-2 students, I think of silly sentences like Peter Piper and Sally by the Seashore. I found out that alliteration can be so much more than that! Here are just a few ideas.

1. Search your favorite video site for "alliteration" and many videos that introduce or review alliteration come up and are great for primary students. I saw one from Have Fun Teaching and also a WBT (Whole Brain Teaching) video where the teacher uses the tune from Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling".

2. many books! Dr. Seuss' famous The Butter Battle is a favorite, but there are others that are awesome too, like Some Smug Slug and Bedhead to name a few.

3. Phonemic awareness pictures with same initial sounds are a great way to get kinders and special education students to orally write their own silly sentences!

4. Name craftivity with the student creating a sentence with the following frame and making a cut-out version of themselves to put up on the display wall or bulletin board: My name is J_____ and I like j_______.

5. Have 1st and 2nd grade students write their own tongue twisters and illustrate them.

6. Review phonics digraphs and blends by creating sentences with them. The blends would be quite challenging and terrific for enrichment!

7. Assign everyone a letter to draw as a large bubble letter on colored paper. Students then write an alliteration sentence and illustrate inside of the bubble letter.

I've curated another board for you! If you like these lessons and you would love to see more, click the image to follow my Alliteration K-2 board. 

What ways will you teach alliteration? Let us know in the comments below!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Leap Year Freebies!

Leap year is coming up very the couple of days! I've been looking for some resources to use in my classroom and I've got many pinned on my Pinterest board. Some fun ones are a coloring page, maze, origami folding frogs and many more! Here's a pin board that I've saved many of these and more! Click the pic below to go to the board.

I've also made a Leap Year printable paper bracelet for students to wear and share with parents when they get home from school. It's fun to see how seriously they take these bracelets and will try to keep them for wearing the following day. Click the pic above to get this free download.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Critical Vocabulary: How I Teach Compare and Contrast

Hello, sweet teacher!

Have you taught compare and contrast this year to your students? I'm sure that you have at least one lesson in your reading and math series where you are teaching students to compare and contrast. In our series, it comes up as a lesson quite often, but I'm always looking for other ways to extend the learning beyond the manual. Plus, I want to make the learning of this vocabulary more meaningful to my students so that it sticks in their long-term memory.

Then and Now...

Teaching the past is a great way to teach compare and contrast. I usually teach about comparing and contrasting the past to the present during Thanksgiving and when reading a short biography on Ben Franklin. We also put together an interactive notebook page comparing and contrasting "then and now" living. Here is an example of how in the past people needed to work to make their own foods and now people have the convenience of buying their foods at a grocery store. Later on, the students really enjoy looking through their notebooks and reading under the cut and glued flaps.

Multiple Meaning Words...

Teaching multiple meaning words (homonyms) is a great way to teach contrast. It's a fun way to look at words in a different way! Here you can see we had an emergent reader that specifically contrasted the word "pop" with visual aids. We talked about not only the verb describing popping a balloon and the noun to describe a soda pop, but we even talked about how some people might call a dad "pop" and that it is also a sound word (onomatopoeia).

Click any of the pics above to see these resources or here to see these and many more related to compare and contrast!

Other great ways to teach compare and contrast:

Prefixes/suffixes--happy and unhappy; careful and careless.

Onomatopoeia (words that represent sound)--snap is a multiple meaning word; a sound and a noun, as in a snap on a jacket.

Adjectives (comparative/superlative)--big, bigger, biggest; small, smaller, smallest.

Greater/less than--43 is greater than 34 because we need to look at the tens and not the ones.

How do you teach compare and contrast? Leave a comment below!

If you'd like more ideas, I've curated a Pinterest board with more ideas. Click the pic below to follow the board!

Click here for more Vocabulary Pin Boards posts.

~Melissa Williams

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!