Let's Start Writing!

We are full into the swing of things here in Mrs. Jones' Class!

Yesterday during writing we talked about the rules and expectations of writing and we practiced some sustained writing time in our journals. Today, I wanted to kick things off with a fun lesson!

I saw the book, Rocket Writes a Story, the other day at Target and I had to grab it! It is so cute and inspired me to create a fun, little lesson for my class.

 To prepare, I cut out the word cards and taped them up around the room. I read the story aloud and we talked about how words can inspire us to write all sorts of different stories. Then, I modeled walking around with my collecting sheet and choosing 4 words that inspired me! Next, I modeled writing my own short story using the four words I chose:

“There once was a queenwho had a pet dog, Max. The queen and Max were going on a boattrip. When they were on the boat, it started to rain and the queen found an umbrellato keep her dry.”

I then prompted students to ask more questions about my story to help me add more (just like the owl and teacher from the story).

Example questions:
Where was the queen going? What did Max look like? Did Max get wet in the rain? Was there a storm or just a little rain?, etc.

When I finished my modeled lesson, I passed out the collecting sheets and let students try it themselves!
We have lots to work on, but what else would you expect during the first full week of first grade?! Overall, I am so proud of their hard work and I am using these as their beginning of the year writing assessments. I already can't wait to see their progress as the year continues :)

Since it was such a hit in my classroom, I decided to make it into a freebie for you! Click on the image below to download the lesson for yourself.

Happy writing!

The First Week!

My goodness, the first week is EXHAUSTING isn't it?!?

This year my new school has an extended day (7:30-3:30) and while I am SO excited to have more time teaching, it is going to take some getting used to - for both me and the kids!

I have 19 little sweeties who show up each and every day with a smile on their face and I am telling you, they are so excited to learn! I love them already.

I didn't take many pictures this week because we spent most of the time learning about rules and procedures, but here are a few activities we did:

So Many Buttons!
 The teacher before me left tonsssss of buttons! All shapes and sizes of buttons and I am excited to use them as a math manipulative this year. I saw the ever-amazing Kristen Smith had done a similar activity with Legos on her first day, so I adapted the idea to use with my buttons!

If you happen to have tons of colorful buttons in your room, I made the little recording sheet into a freebie you can download HERE.

We also practiced one of my favorite math games, BUMP!
Denise Boehm, over at SunnyDays, offers tons of free BUMP games that my kids loveee to play! I used one of her blank back-to-school boards to create a version with adding two dice together. They had a ball and loved BUMP-ing one another off the board while practicing simple addition.

On Friday, we completed our end of the week booklet:
These books are from my First Week Fun pack and they review some class rules, some classroom basics, and they are a great way to end the week! Do you notice the "teacher's name" up there?!? Yeah... I have been going by Mrs. Jones even though it is not official until a few a more weeks. I figured this would be easier for the kids, but it is WAY harder for me! I keep calling myself "Ms. Moran!"

I only had one day to get my classroom setup, so I missed out on the classroom tour posts, but my plan is to take some pictures this upcoming week of my classroom and show you what I'm working with! If you read my post from about a week ago, you know my new classroom is WAY bigger than my room in Vegas. It has been awesome, but I keep losing things because there is so much space!

I am so excited and grateful for my new job and I have had a BLAST this past week. I hope everyone else starting school is having fun meeting and getting to know their new kiddos!

Last, but not least, I recently had a little FlashKids giveaway and the winner is.....
I will be emailing you soon :)

Thanks for stopping by and I will see you soon!

Flash Kids Blog Tour!

 A few weeks ago a representative contacted me about trying out some materials from FlashKids and I was excited to jump at the opportunity! When we left Las Vegas and traveled to Massachusetts, I had to leave most of my teacher materials behind. This was a perfect time to stock up on some new goods for the classroom.

I searched through their website and chose three 1st grade practice books for skills that I always need help supplementing:

I am always on the lookout for some resources to help my students practice the skills we learn throughout the year and these three books are spot on.

Here is a closer look at what I bought and the descriptions directly from their website website:

Reading Skills for Grade 1
Interesting reading passages correspond with varied activities, making reading comprehension fun. Matching activities, multiple choices questions, and other comprehension strategies are used to help readers gain essential comprehension skills. 

Spelling Skills for Grade 1
 Spelling Workbooks are designed to help students improve their ability to read and write by strengthening spelling skills.  By learning key spelling techniques, young readers will benefit inside and outside the classroom.  Each of the lessons in these fun, colorful books provide:
  • Activities to teach readers to relate to sounds to spelling patterns
  • Exercises to help children link spelling to meaning
  • Unit reviews to test and reinforce what children have learned
  • Short passages to proofread for misspelled words
  • Rules for capitalization and punctuation
  • Introduction to dictionary use 
     and Flash Forward Math for Grade 1
    Math can be a difficult subject for young learners, but a little extra practice at home can go a long way in the classroom. Flash Forward Math workbooks provide educational activities with a fun, colorful flair that your child will love. And since each book is based on national teaching standards, you’re helping your child get prepared to succeed in school.
    Each Flash Forward Math workbook contains:

    • Cute, eye-catching illustrations that make learning fun
    • Fun, engaging activities to keep kids interested in learning
    • Drill pages to give kids extra practice in key skills
    • Word problems that help young learners think about math in a new way
    • Perforations to make removing pages easy
     I think these books will help me greatly this year as extra practice pages and homework for my kiddos!


    Now, it's your turn to have some fun! All you have to do is leave a comment below saying which subject you need more resources for: Reading, Spelling, or Math! I will pick a winner Wednesday night and you will receive your own, free copy of the book!

    Good luck!

    I GOT A JOB!!!

    I am so excited to announce that I just recently got a teaching job here in Mass....


    it's in FIRST GRADE!!!!

    Thank God! (ha ha ha ha ha...)

    I got to see my classroom for the first time yesterday and it is HA-UGE!

    It is honestly about 3-4 times the size of my old Vegas classroom.

    Here is a look:

    What you can't see is that I have a bathroom IN my classroom... repeat there is a bathroom IN my room - whhhaaaat?! There is also a big cubby area, tons of cabinets with a sink and a ginormous storage closet. I am in teacher heaven.

    The only... slight downside to all this excitement is that school starts for me this coming Monday and I will have a classroom full of smiling little kids on Wednesday! Ahhhh... Oh, and I have my bridal shower and bachelorette party this weekend so I will not be able to come into school!

    There are some crazy times in my world. This will also be the first year I get to go by "Mrs. Jones." I will have to get used to that!

    Since I will be hustling and bustling to get my room and plans ready for the upcoming week, I wanted to share that there is a biggggggg SALE coming soon on TPT!

    My entire store will be 20% off on Sunday and Monday! 
    If you use the code: BTS13 Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing in another 10% off!

     ^^Click above to see my store!^^

    Happy shopping and good luck to all the other teachers that are starting school soon!!

    Teachers On Pinterest!

    I use Pinterest for everyyyyything these days - from recipes, to home design, to styling tips. However, more than anything, I use Pinterest for teaching! I have spent my first 3 years as a classroom teacher scouring Pinterest to find new and fun ways to teach certain standards and skills. I have found so many cute crafts, engaging lessons, and inspiring teacher blogs through Pinterest. I am elated to share that Pinterest has been noticing the overwhelming amount of teachers who use their site and have responded by creating Teachers On Pinterest!

    Take a look:

    These boards are jam-packed with classroom ideas! There are individual boards for grades PreK-6 as well as a classroom management board, classroom decor board, and much more!

    I was lucky enough to be asked to be a contributor to the 1st grade board and I am already excited about the ideas I am seeing!

    Some of my favorite pins:

    From Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits:
    Get your students excited about writing with a class pet writing journal!

    From TeachJunkie:
    Adorable and free supply labels!

    and from First Grade Blue Skies:
    A little word work fun with ice trays!

    So if you're looking for new teacher boards to follow, click either of those Pinterest pictures above and as always...



    Meet The Teacher!

    Well, hello there!

    This past year, my fiance and I have done a A LOT. 

    We both started side "blogging" projects:
    I finally made a personal blog where I share about marriage, babies, home design, and recipes. It is something I've wanted to do for awhile and helps me stay in touch with my friends and family that are scattered all over the country:

    Parks also started his blog design website as a side job and I have loved watching him spend his weekends flexing his "creative muscles":

    We both quit our jobs and surprised my parents by telling them we are moving back to New England. We also recorded the surprise so we could see that special moment:

    We traveled cross-country on a 9 day road trip from Las Vegas to Massachusetts and loved every second of it! There were longggg drives and some unexpected bumps along the road, but we made it in one piece and we were blessed enough to be able to so much of the country.

    We have been home in MA for just over a month and Parks has secured a new job, we got a beautiful new apartment, and I have been on the hunt for a teaching job!

    All of this while we are PLANNING FOR A WEDDING in 40 short days!!

    They say you are only supposed to one major thing per year for you own mental health... but that's just not how Parks and I do things!

    Thanks for "meeting" me!

    Make sure you head over to Blog Hoppin' to meet some other amazing teacher-bloggers!


    Kinder Pups! - Kindergarten Math Games & a freebie

    Last Spring, a co-worker asked me if I had any kinder-specific math games, which I didn't.
     Lucky for her, I was then home sick for the next two days and was inspired by her request!

    Bring in kinder-pups:

    As I was looking through this pack again, I noticed these centers are a great review the beginning of the year in 1st grade. They would allow me to see just where my firsties are in terms of basic math skills. 

    This pack includes 8 different Common Core aligned math centers, perfect for your little kindergartners!

    Here a few of the puppy themed games inside:

    A good, ole-fashioned color by number! Students will get in pairs and each have a coloring sheet. Students will roll a die, find that number word, and color in that part of the picture. The first student to have their whole picture colored in, wins!

    These puppy ten frames can be used in many different ways: 
    -mix and match

    Spin and subtract is a 2 person game with spinners and dice that students can play over and over at a center.

    This one is a quick, little addition game that I decided to offer it up as a freebie! We play cover up ALL the time in my first grade classroom with all sorts of skills. This one was meant for kinders, so of course it is just basic addition up to 12. You just have to click the picture above to grab it as a free download.

    If you would like to see the whole KinderPups pack, you can download a preview HERE in my TPT store and check it out!

    I'm off to get some bagels and coffee with the hubs!

    Happy Sunday!

    PS- I am hoping to share some exciting news this upcoming week.... fingers crossed folks! ;)

    Throwback Thursday!

    Don't get me wrong, I know poetry month isn't until April, but let's be real... I love teaching poetry ALL YEAR! For this lovely Throwback post, I thought I would get excited about poems again! Plus, reading these poems make me miss my little first graders back in Vegas :(

    Don't forget to head over to Cara's blog after to see some other posts!

    Poetry month is here and my students are letting their creativity fly!

    After teaching all the different types of poems with a structured lesson, I just let them go and have fun! They have been loving the freedom of poetry and they amaze me with their poems. During our Daily 5 my students are often found writing allllllll sorts of poems and reading their poems to others. They also love getting to *snap* their applause at the end of a poetry reading instead of clapping. I went through my students' poetry bins and pulled a few for out bulletin board. It is not finished yet... but this is how it looked when I left school today!

    The beginnings of our bulletin board:

    Here are a few of the poems up close:
    Sleepover - Acrostic

    Spring - Acrostic


    Burning Popcorn! - Sensory poem

    Shape Poems:

    ^The flower one is meant to be read from the bottom up^

    SO cute! I love looking at students' writing and these poems have made me so proud! They have really expressed themselves and even my struggling writers had fun with this.

    All the poems taught and published were from my Writing Poetry for Primary Grades unit available on TPT. There are still plenty of other poems we are going to get to throughout the month. We also need to finish that bulletin board!

    Click on the image below to get my poetry unit:

    Do you teach poetry in your classroom? Do you LOVE it like I do?!?


    Back to School Must-Haves EMAG!

    I am SO excited that I got to take part in April & Melanie's EMAG this year!

    This magazine is filled with teacher and classroom supplies that teachers all over the country say we NEED in our classrooms.

    Click the image below to see what three items I think you need in your classroom! You may also see a few familiar faces if you flip through ;)

    Here is a the cover image in case you want to pin it:

    As you are looking through the magazine, you can click on any image on the pages and the link will take you to a site in case you'd like to buy that product or see more information. If you see a face or blog you are unfamiliar with, you can also click on that image to head over to their blog.

    Enjoy browsing!

    First Grade Common Core Language Activities and Printables!

    If you follow my facebook fan page, then you know I have been working on this for a while!

    I actually started this product in March, but with all the end of the year hoopla, I could never get around to finishing it - until now, that is!

    I am proudly presenting:
    The last two years, I struggled finding ideas, activities, and printables for ALL the Common Core language standards for 1st grade. There are a lot!

    Piece by piece, I created activities, games, and practice pages for the first batch of language standards. This pack is already 128 pages jam-packed with ideas and it is only Part One of what will be a two part pack. There were just too many standards to put them all in one pack!

    The standards I was able to include in this pack are:
    L.1.1a - print uppercase and lowercase letters
    L.1.1b - common, proper, and possessive nouns
    L.1.1c - singular and plural nouns with matching verbs
    L.1.1d - personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns
    L.1.1e - verb tense
    L.1.1f - adjectives
    L.1.1g - conjunctions
    L.1.1h - determiners
    L.1.1i - prepositions
    L.1.1j - types of sentences (declarative, interrogative, imperative, exclamatory)

    Here is a little peek at what's inside:

    For each of the standards listed above, there are anchor chart, activities/games, printables, and extension activities for your students to learn and reinforce the language standards!
    A closer look:
     A few verb games... 
    **NOTE: the creativity must have been flowing when I came up with "The Verb Game"**
    Picture cards are just a sampling of the charades center cards I use when learning what verbs are. "The Verb Game" is a board game that helps students practice using the correct verb tense.
     Connect Two!
    I use this as a center activity to help students connect sentences using different conjunctions. They cut out the puzzle pieces and try to make as many sentences as they can that make sense!

    Where's My Puppy?
    After learning what prepositions are, students create this little book about a lost puppy! They must write a simple sentence using a prepositional word or phrase to describe where the puppy is!

    Those are just 3 of many, many games & activities included in the pack.
    I am putting this pack on SALE through Tuesday, so feel free to snatch it up in my TPT store:


    Cheez-its for some CVC fun! Throwback Thursday Post!

    I am loving Cara's throwback posts and since I will be moving into my new apartment this weekend, this happens to be a great time to look back and pull out some gems from the past.
    I chose my Cheez-its post because my kids lovedddd it when we did it in class and it was SO simple! There is also a little freebie for you to download if you want to do this in your class :)


    My kids had a GREAT day today!

    So great, that I could fiinnnaalllyyyy reward them with this little treat I have had stored away for a few weeks!

    We spent the end of the day making CVC words with Cheez-It's new Scrabble Jr. snacks!
    I made a little CVC word mat for students to make their words and a recording sheet. The only rule was they had to make a real word and record it before they could eat their Cheez-Its! That being said, my little ones were quiet and focused on making as many words as they could!
    This little lady was so proud to have made her own name!

    I uploaded my CVC mats and recording sheet to Googledocs if you want to download them. The Cheez-Its were like $3 at my local grocery store so this was my favorite kind of activity (cheap!).

    Happy hump day!

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