Monday, September 23, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

Wow, when the school year started I had no idea how busy I'd be this year. I had great plans for posting on the blog at least once a week. You see how that went! Overall, though, school is going great. I have a fantastic class and an amazing TA so I can't complain! We've just started to really get into Houghton Mifflin Reading and this is my favorite time of year with it. We started our reading groups and have begun to focus on high frequency words. I bought this resource pack from Made for 1st Grade and it has been a lifesaver! I've had it for three years now and by far the thing I use most are the Lightning Words. It's a weekly sight word homework sheet and the results are amazing! I love it! You can see it here:

 If you teach Houghton Mifflin this is definitely worth it! New for me this year is Reading A-Z. I put it on my order last year and the resource fairy delivered it! I haven't spent too much time with it yet but now that things are slowing down a little bit I plan to. I had a free trial last year for a couple of weeks and I really liked it. I like the decodable readers but...WOW...I love the reader's theater. I started doing RT a couple of times a week and the difference in fluency was amazing! I only had a limited number of downloads so I made a few of my own scripts using our decodable readers that come with the reading series. By the time we were done "rehearsing" and performing they had read the book at least 6 times and they loved doing it. Definitely not boring!!

Well, beef stir-fry and hungry children are waiting!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Literacy Linky Party!

I just joined up with iHeartLiteracy for a K-2 Literacy Roundup linky party! I linked my Houghton Mifflin Focus Wall for Theme 1. It's getting to be that time and if you've just started school and you're using HM Reading Theme 1 is right around the corner. For me, next week is the last week of the Back to School theme. I know how important Kindergarten review is but I have to admit that I love getting into the routine of the themes, starting reading groups, etc. When I put up my focus walls I feel like we're really back to school! Come join the party!


Speaking of back to school, last week we made our first class book. Every year I start with this one since we're working on letter/sound review. It's an ABC Book made with the children's names. Tomorrow I'll bind it and put it in the class library. I can guarantee that for a few weeks we'll have to pick sticks (popsicle sticks with the student's names on them) to decide who gets to hold/read the book. Even after that, though, it's always a popular book. I have a special book box for all the books we make together along with yearbooks from past years. Always a hit!

Well, we've certainly enjoyed the long weekend! I don't think we really did anything at all but it was nice to not really have any pressure. Now it's off to make lunches and iron shirts (and find out what last minute homework someone accidentally forgot!).