TpT Sale {Morning Work Repost}

We’re still in the midst of summer… or more accurately less than four weeks from the beginning of the school year. But, it sounds MUCH better to say it’s “summer” and not, “it’s almost time for school”. Are you cringing at every back to school commercial on TV? It just can’t be that time yet!

740 × 400But seeing as how the start of the school year is creeping up on us, I wanted to point out that starting tomorrow, August 1st, Teachers Pay Teachers is having an amazing sale. My whole store- First Grade Adventures- is on a 20% sale. This is the perfect time to stock up on everything you need for the start of the school year.

Looking for how to run successful guided reading groups? Click on the picture below to link to my best selling, 5 star rated Guided Reading Basics pack.

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Need new ideas for your writing center? Need to spice up your Daily 5 writing station? Click on the picture below to link to my Ultimate Writing Pack.

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Stuck on science? My Light Pack and Sound Pack are two of my BEST SELLING products. They are completely inclusive science units that are ready to go, with hands-on experiments, NGSS aligned, and wonderfully engaging!

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Another great product is my Reading Comprehension pack. I use them weekly in my student’s homework packets and they are differentiated so you can meet the needs of all the kids in your room!

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Lastly, if you’re just in the frame of mind to think about the first few days of school, check out my First Day of School Pack. There are lots of fun activities included, like Play-Doh sculpting, All About Me activities, and even interest inventories to get to know your new kiddos.

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There are TONS more products, so be sure to check out my store. Click on any of the pictures above or CLICK RIGHT HERE TO LINK TO MY TPT STORE- FIRST GRADE ADVENTURES

1200 × 628Don’t forget, my whole store is already on sale. But you can also add the code “BestYear” and get an additional 8% off. That works out to a 28% discount! This is really the time to stock up on what you need. Get a jump start on the school year!

Speaking of getting ready for the school year, are you still doing traditional morning work? If you are, you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need to click on this link to read my blog post about why traditional morning work just doesn’t cut it.

I’ve moved away from the traditional “one page a day” method and you can read all about why at the link above. You should check out all of my month packets at my TpT store to replace your traditional morning work needs. At only $4.00 for the whole month, it’s SO worth it! {Side note- I’m still working on getting a couple of the months done, but this is the time to buy as many as you can of them while they are on sale!}

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Just click on the picture above for the September packet. Then, look at my store to find the rest of the months! I really recommend it, it’s something my kids use every single day.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, check out my store, and consider some of these products. I really appreciate all of your support and reviews. Thank you!

iPad Updates AND QR Codes!

Doceri

Doceri

Welcome back to our adventure!

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about us starting our 1:1 iPad adventure this year! {If you missed that post, CHECK IT OUT HERE!}

This post will show a glimpse into us using our iPads during phonics time, as well as how I’ve been using QR codes!

Writing

Writing

Sometimes we use iPads as a basic white board substitution. For those of you who are all things “SAMR“, I’m talking about the “substitution” level of the continuum. Those of you who need a refresher, check out my post about SAMR here 😉

Doceri

Doceri

One of our most used/loved app is Doceri. I’ve posted about it TONS (just search Doceri along the right hand side of this blog, and you’ll find so many posts!)

dOCERI

Doceri

I love that the kids are already exploring all the inner-workings of the app, including changing the colors by using the color palette.

Doceri

Doceri

Doceri can be applied in MANY different ways, taking it anywhere along the SAMR continuum, but for the first few weeks of school, we are reviewing the letters and sounds of the alphabet. On this day, we were practicing “Q”. You can see in the first few pictures the students using the iPad to write the letter. It’s simple, quick, and motivating 🙂

QR stands for quick response. QR codes are on anything and everything  They can link to websites, QR voice, videos, pictures, words, etc. QR codes are really one of the easiest things to make yourself or use in the classroom with kids.

You really only need: a QR code reader (there are a variety of free apps) and some type of device to use the app on!

QR Codes

QR Codes

One way we use QR codes in our classroom are to review our sight words. Big shout out to the TpT seller Alma Almazan, who makes this product QR Codes (Scan it, Read it, Find it, Write it). I. JUST. LOVE. IT.

It comes in English and Spanish. One page is filled with QR codes, the only gives the kids writing lines. They scan QR code number one.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

And the QR code links them to a page that shows a sight word. They write that word down on line number one.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

It’s so much fun! It’s an awesome review for the kids and so much fun for them to complete!

We’ve been doing this on Fridays as an engaging review. After, the kids have been picking up a QR code story to listen to.

QR Code stories

QR Code stories

This comes right from ANOTHER TpT seller, “TECHing it up”, who makes this product which links kids to the Storyline Online stories. These are stories you can play from a computer or device that are books read by famous actors/actress’.

QR Codes stories

QR Codes stories

QR Codes stories

QR Codes stories

It’s another great way we use QR codes in the room.

It’s also a great thing for your early finishers to do while the other kids are finishing up their work {SIDE NOTE- This is ALSO what my kids use for Listen to Reading during our Daily 5 time}

Thank you for checking out all the ways we we’ve been using QR codes so far. We are having such a fun adventure in first grade 🙂

 

Meet…… SPOT! {Our Class Pet}

 

Spot

Spot

Hi Spot! Look at that fact, those eyes, that nose 🙂

Spot is our first grade pet. He spends all day with us. He reads with us….

Read to self time!

Read to self time!

He works with us…..

Working with Spot

Working with Spot

He sits with us when we listen on the carpet…..

Can you "spot" Spot?

Can you “spot” Spot?

He even stands in line with kids who are ready to walk in the hall!

About to go on a walk!

About to go on a walk!

Walks are Spot’s favorite 🙂

So how does this work? And WHY do we have Spot in the room?

For starters, one day after  recess time, we came back into the room to find a box waiting for us.

What could be inside?

What could be inside?

The kids were so excited. Where did this come from? What could be inside?

The box came with a letter, explaining to the class that since they’d been working so hard on following the rules, there was a special friend inside the box to help us continue to be good characters. The kids guessed all different types of animals, from hamsters and fish to tigers and bunnies.

When we opened the box- we saw our doggy friend!

Ah!

Ah!

He's so cute!

He’s so cute!

We loved him instantly!

We loved him instantly!

Already friends!

Already friends!

The kids loved him instantly. They passed him around, shushing each other because they knew he was just a baby and was probably nervous 🙂

We voted on names, and while Max and Precious were close seconds……. Spot was the name winner!

So why do we have Spot?

Class Pet Pack

Class Pet Pack

Click here to find the above pack at my TpT store

{I created the above pack to help explain and provide all of the things you’d need to have the same class pet experience in your classroom}

The main reason we have Spot in our classroom is to help us learn, remember, and practice being good characters. Spot helps us remember to be responsible, trustworthy, honest, and hard working.

I introduce each one of these traits, as related to Spot. How can we treat Spot responsibly? How can we be trustworthy with Spot? Why do we need to be honest about Spot? How can we show we are hard workers with Spot?

By tying those traits into our interactions with Spot, it gives the kids a real life example. Instead of just talking about it, we model how to be responsible while petting him. We model how to be trustworthy playing with Spot, even if the teacher isn’t looking. We model how to be honest about things we do with Spot. We model how when we work hard, Spot wants to sit with us.

Then the magic happens. Instead of just portraying those traits with Spot, they also portray them with each other.

AND THIS SERIOUSLY WORKS! I’ve never heard my kids same things like, “You need to be a hard worker” to each other before, but now I am. This year it’s common to hear my kids remind each other to be “trustworthy” and “responsible”.

Spot reading!

Spot reading!

They know these rules because we review them every day. Plus, spot moves around the room and only wants to sit with kids who are showing these traits. {THIS IS MOTIVATION AT IT’S BEST MY FRINDS!}

Spot

Spot

And maybe the cutest thing is that as the kids move around the room, you’ll see them stop and give Spot a big hug. Sometimes they kiss his little nose. Sometimes they pet his head. But they always do it responsibly. He’s there when a kid needs some motivation. He’s there when someone needs a friend. And he’s a great addition to our room. He’s helping us be better kids, remember our class expectations, and try our best every day.

Check out my pet pack to get all the worksheets, posters, and more we’ve used to learn these traits with our pet. 

Thanks for checking into our adventure! Spot and our class are so glad you did 🙂

 

 

Summer, Sales, Sneak-Peek…. oh my!

It’s August 3rd! Here’s what my summer’s been like so far….

 

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

But since I’m insane excited, I’m always thinking about the next school year. Which means, I’ve already been in my classroom four times. I like to do things little by little when I have lots of time, instead of trying the mad-dash-school-is-starting-in-two-days route 🙂

I know some people who can do that {and their rooms always look amazing!}, but I am just not one of those people.

For starters, I had the husband help me hang a few more brown banners on the ceiling.

Banners

Banners

I’ve had the two along the back windows up for a couple of years, but wanted to add a couple more to really add a special touch. If you get closer to the two banners along the windows, it looks like this…

Windows

Windows

My student library, my teaching books, the iPad charging cart, and computers run along this back wall.

Calendar/Focus wall

Calendar/Focus wall

Herei s my re-done calendar and focus wall. Towards the end of last year I moved my calendar over to this wall {mainly because I wanted my carpet area over here} and really liked it. I also added my main focus walls to this area. It’s great because it’s the perfect amount of room for anchor charts and a great location for kids to see. These three are for math, grammar, and reading. I have one for writing, science, and social studies on the other side of the room.

I’m not really sure what I’ll put along the bottom of the wall yet…. but it’ll stay empty until school starts. Maybe kids work for each of those subject areas? Time will tell 🙂

Along the top, right under the letters, I’ll have student generated art that matches the letter above it. As we begin the year, the kids will review all the letters and as part of this, draw pictures to make a class “art alphabet”.

 

Objectives

Objectives

Do you post daily objectives for subject areas? One of the best decisions I’ve ever made is to have these pre-written on my board. I’ve seen really cute things on Pinterest for objective walls, but they require you to change them/re-write them as you change subjects.

Big deal! How long can it possibly take to write a new objective, 45 seconds? Hmm… well have you been in a first grade classroom when the teacher has their back to the room for 45 seconds? I’m sure you have no idea what I’m talking about because your class would have three kids throwing pencils, someone standing on a chair, five kids asking to go to the bathroom, someone coloring inside their desk, screaming voices, and at least two children crawling somewhere along the floor to deliver a note to a friend  be sitting silently in their seats the whole time 🙂 🙂 🙂

ANYWAYS- that’s my way to say that having all of my objectives written ahead of time IS A LIFE SAVER. I use the blue paw-print magnet to indicate what we are currently working on. So, if we are doing math, the magnet is next to the math objective. It’s great, plus the kids learn the schedule/routine quickly AND learn to read the objectives themselves to see what we’re doing that day.

Rules

Rules

The other side of my board is where I have my MAPS posted and rules. We’ll make an anchor chart with rules/pledges when school starts, but this is where it’ll go.

iPad

iPad

If you’re new to this blog, a HUGE part of my classroom is technology. I’ve fortunate enough to be a 1:1 classroom, meaning all my kids have their own iPad. Here you’ll see the SAMR model shown for the kids, along with the apps we use in my room and where they fit on that continuum {btw- some of these apps fit into more than one level, plus you can use them in different ways to fit multiple places}

Word wall

Word wall

And here’s my word wall. I need to get around to taking down these words from last year, but I LOVED how well this Word Wall worked for me. Last year I did this and won’t be changing it. I just used gold tape strung across my cabinets and attached the letters. Then, I used mini wooden clips to attach the words to the tape. Voila!

AND HERE….. THE MAIN EVENT…. IS MY NEW PROJECT/OBSESSION……

Burlap border

Burlap border

Burlap border

Burlap border

I’ve been looking all over Pinterest at classroom pictures and the one I keep pinning over and over is burlap borders. I’m slightly obsessed with burlap {cue wedding picture……}

Wedding!

Wedding!

Ah our wedding! A little over a year ago 🙂

It’s only fitting it should sneak into my classroom too 🙂

Burlap

Burlap

I got a giant roll of burlap from Uline and then cut strips. I just bunched and twisted, then glued. I used hot glue {which peels off clean} This area took me about an hour :/ Which wasn’t so much fun- but I think it turned out great! I’m going to keep doing this around the room in different places.

TpT Back to School Sale!

If anyone else is starting to think about back to school, today and tomorrow are the perfect days to cruise TpT to get extra savings. Take a look at some of the packs I’ve uploaded lately….

Fairy Tale Pack

Fairy Tale Pack

This fairy tale pack has everything you’d need for passages, organizers, and more for Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Goldilocks

First Day Pack

First Day Pack

My first day of school pack is full of games, activities, and worksheets that help you get to know your kids!

Class Pet Pack

Class Pet Pack

Do you have a class “pet”? {ours is a stuffed animal dog!}

This pack takes you through your pets arrival, has journals, behavior help, and much more.

CLICK ON ANY OF THE LINKS ABOVE TO GO RIGHT TO THAT PRODUCT.

These are just three things that are great to help you start off the year right! Click on this link to go right to my TpT store to see it all!

Remember, it’s the big sale only for the next two days. Use the code BTW15 for additional savings. My store is ALL 20% already, the code will give you even more savings 🙂

Thanks for much for reading and I hope your summer adventure is bright, sunny, and fun!

 

I Need Letter

need

 

Way back in March (seems like forever ago doesn’t it!?), one of my students pencil sharpeners broke. Instantly he was up at the front of the room waiting patiently tugging on my sleeve to show me. 😉

I told him to remind me later and I would write a letter home for him telling his parents he needed a new one. Well, the day passed and as they were walking out the door, he shouts, “Ms. Tasch! You said you’d write a note about my sharpener!” Ah! The school day had slipped by so fast and I had completely forgotten! I ran to my desk, tripped over a chair, grabbed a post-it, and scribbled a barely legible note about his broken sharpener, hoping he’d be able to decipher it for his folks.

But, the whole incident got me thinking… I wish I had something easy to grab that let parents know (in a polite way) that their child needed a new supply. Parents send in so much in the beginning of the year and I have a hard time asking for more. So, either I don’t ask and go buy something myself, or the child ends up sharing with others. This had to change! So, I immediately sat down (or more accurately, I sat down the next day while my students were at gym) and typed up a quick letter, which can be found here:

Supply Letter (FREE!)

I tried to keep it simply and to the point, with the cute rhyme: “”I’ve been working hard in school, each and everyday. But I’ve run out of these supplies, would you please send some my way?” Then I added pictures of various supplies and a space to write in a supply that isn’t pictured. I print one off, made some copies, and put them by the students mailboxes. Then, when a student tells me they lost/broke/ran out of something, you just circle what they need and send it home! It works great in my first grade room and by the end of the year, kids were able to fill out the forms themselves.

I posted the letter on Pinterest and TpT and didn’t think much about it. But in just a few weeks, it had been re-pinned on Pinterest a few thousand times. Pretty cool! As the months passed, the repinning continued, and now it’s at over 15,000 repins. I’m so glad other people love it and can use it in their classrooms as well!

Question: Do you keep other forms ready to be passed out daily/weekly/monthly? What forms are they and what do you use them for?

I also keep forms by my mailboxes that tell parents about who is the student of the week. On Fridays, I just grab a form, fill out the students name, and pop it in their mailbox. All the directions are on the form and tell the parents what they need to do for “student of the week”, so it’s handy to have them pre-ready!