Saturday, February 22

Part Part Whole and March Printables

March is a month for re-assessment, parent-teacher conferences and report cards, which means it's time for students to be doing work they can handle independently and quietly. Enter monthly printables! These March Printables are perfect for my first graders!

Daily Warm Up


Word Work


Sub Tub

Small Group Skills Practice

Independent Work

Across the monthly printable packs for math and ELA, there are similar formats, so once students know the format, they can be independent on all the other pages that are the same format. This is HUGELY helpful and a game changer in my book!

As always - try before you buy - by downloading the Preview file! Each pack includes three freebies when you download the Preview!

Love a discount? Snag a monthly, semester or yearlong bundle! The more you buy, the bigger the savings.


March Madness...St. Patrick's Day...Spring...

Here's a sampling!

Many students need a little extra practice with Part-Part-Whole Relationships - so you might be interested in one of these companion packs (also available in a discounted bundle)...

Growing Firsties

In the Part Part Whole printable pack, there's a variety of practice points for your students with part part whole relationships.
first grade test prep common core math RTI

first grade test prep RTI common core math

You might also like {this post} about Fraction Leprechauns...

Do you struggle with students that don't self monitor their reading? They plow on with their reading even when what they've said doesn't make sense, sound right and/or look right? Or they say a word that is close but not quite the word in the text? Be sure to check out my Self-Monitoring products in my TpT store!

Sunday, February 2

Book Box Organization

Are you like me, in that messy student book boxes drive you nuts? Messy book boxes mean transitions take even longer than they could...cuz kids are looking for whatever tool, book, notebook, etc is needed.

My transitions and visual clutter have improved so much since I started teaching kids to organize their book box a specific way. I change my method just a bit each year and we spend a LOT of time practicing how to organize them. It's even a strategy group for kids that need the extra opportunities to build their "muscle memory"...but it is truly worth every second!

I hope I don't appear too controlling when you read it...

well...I guess I am kind of controlling...but I like to think that I'm choosy when it comes to deciding what I'm going to control...and I  truly do appreciate other folks' ways of doing things.

So maybe that makes me controlling but flexible? Not rigid.

That said...I have my students organize their Book Boxes a VERY.CERTAIN.WAY.

Because it helps me AND because it helps them.

So this is how I have them organize it...from left to right the inside of their Book Box is supposed to be set up like this...

I'll explain why after the pictures...

My Tip

In case you can't read my little poster above, here's more of a close up... 
Book Room (Numbered) Books
These are instructional level books that I have given to them from our Book Room or my classroom cart during Guided Reading. I have them put these on the far left side of their book box so that if we need the title again during a group they can find it efficiently. It also helps me a BOATLOAD when I go to return the books to the Book Room or my cart.

Reading Folder
This serves as a wonderful divider. It contains their Weekly Reading Log and their Comprehension/Shared Reading work.

This is either their Reading Notebook or their Poetry Notebook, contained in a composition notebook. Basically, the notebooks act as the bookends on either side of their largest collection of books.

Reading Notebooks hold mini-versions of our important anchor charts in the front section and students take notes and do their responses in the second section. They refer to their notes during Partner Reading (which occurs after Private Reading each day).

Shopping Books
Each child has a reading partner who reads at a similar(ish) level. Partners are assigned a shopping day (Monday - Thursday) to select 6-10 titles at their independent reading levels. Independent level are determined by me through conferring and running record assessment. The higher their reading level, the fewer the books they select for the week because the books get longer as they go up in level.

It's really easy for them to locate their Shopping Books because they are tucked between the notebooks. Easy to locate, easy to put away.

During Private Reading they read from their shopping books for the bulk of the time, then they can read from their Look Books.

All the leveled books have a small label in the upper right corner of the front cover.

Here's a peek...

The other notebook, described above.

Note: the book boxes tend to fall over when they're too top heavy, so I have students store their composition notebooks sideways, spine facing up.

Look Books
These books are not leveled (typically) and are selected from the author/character/topic tubs in my library. Often, the books are too difficult for students to read independently but they are so engaging and excited about them that they are allowed to have 3 in their book box.

Look Book shopping day is every Friday.

Students can read these during the last part of Private Reading each day...My firsties are doing Private Reading for 33 mn right now...the last 8 mn they can start reading from their Look Books. The visual timer helps them know when that time begins.

Having them off to the other side of their box makes it easier for them to only take them out when they're supposed to...

Here's a peek...

Strategy Bookmark
Students put these at the front of their book boxes and use them while reading. On the back side I use Sharpie to note which levels they should be shopping for on their shopping day. For example, 5G 2H or 3I 1J. When they move levels, I cross off the previous levels and record the new ones underneath. Not too fancy, but it's worked well so far.

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