Sunday, November 15

Turkey Trot - 1st Grade Freebies & Fun


Welcome to “The Chalkies” Turkey Trot! We hope you enjoy a jog through our blogs gobbling up freebies, ideas, and recipes for some holiday joy!

We have a new blog name!  We switched out the word "Primary" for "Elementary". We want to meet the needs of any teacher K-6. Our blog has been thoughtfully designed to help you find what YOU need for YOUR classroom level!

I love those grade level tabs {seen above} that help me grab what I need. This trot will also take you through the grade level blogs of your choice.

We hope you enjoy this little meal from appetizer to dessert!

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If you love to integrate literacy and math practice, you might enjoy this freebie that uses
Look Alike Sight Words.

Click here to check out the full product bundle. Click the pic below to snag up the freebie!
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You might also like this Vowel Song Freebie...sung to the tune of "Deck the Halls!"

Timely for the holidays is The Vowel Song, sung to the tune of Deck the Halls. It's a little tricky to pace the syllables, so practicing the words to the tune ahead of time is highly recommended. Hee Hee! Thanks, Kim Geswein, for the font! Click the pic to download.

Having students be able to set and articulate their goals is so important to me. One of the ways I've helped them set goals is by using our learning targets. Here's an example...
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You can see that the page I had students highlight mimics our Learning Target board, which is based on our Reading Workshop mini-lessons.

This student is selecting the goal, "I can warm up before reading....bcas I nevr do ti." Which, for him, was true! He'd go straight into reading new texts without that warm up, then get tripped up on tricky words. It was a GREAT goal for him!

You can read more about this kind of goal setting by clicking {right here}.

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Seriously the BEST and EASIEST gravy recipe!!! 

Why scramble at the end when you can make this ahead of time - which is delicious....but then make it even more amazing by adding the turkey drippings to your already re-heated gravy??? 

It is seriously my FAVORITE part of the Thanksgiving meal! Just click the photo above to upload the recipe.

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Have you seen my latest products? They're getting fab reviews!
Click the pictures to check them out...

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This next one is a best seller and SO helpful this time of year while building
important reading habits!
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In case you're looking ahead to are some fun and fab math printables!
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Now, trot on over to this AMAZING Chalkie's post to gobble up some more fun!


Monday, August 3

B2S Parent Input Form Freebie

Hi! I'm posting over on Primary Chalkboard today about this freebie...Hope you hop over and snag it up!
Growing Firsties Primary Chalkboard

Friday, July 24

Growth Mindset - Post #2

I'm blogging over at The Primary Chalkboard today about Growth Mindset.

Hoping you'll hop on over to check it out & download this interactive mini-book freebie...


Wednesday, July 8

SDE I Teach First - Shared Reading Session Handout

I'm thrilled to be here in Vegas, presenting at SDE for I Teach 1st! My session is called: Digging Deeper into Shared Reading and I'm nervous as all get out, but excited, too!

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Here's a link to my YouTube channel, where you can view the videos I shared during the presentation, along with a few more. If you find them helpful, please consider subscribing to my channel so you can easily access videos that I add.

Here are the handouts! You can click below to access them from google drive.

If you'd like the Reading At Home & Word Solving Strategies pages super crisp and clean, you can download just those pages by clicking the picture below:
Growing Firsties Beanie Baby Strategies Word-Solving in Reading

Also, if you were at my session, please leave a comment below telling me where you're from! Thank you for coming!

Monday, June 22

Growth Mindset Resource Round Up

Like many teachers, I've been a bit obsessed particularly the last few years with Growth Mindset, as I've noticed self-regulation and interpersonal skills have diminished in my students. This means I've spent a lot more time learning about and working on it in my classroom - and with great results. Over the years, I've had family after family comment on how much their first grader's confidence, persistence, risk-taking and self-concept grew over the course of the year. This is the work that keeps me going each and every day.

I'm not talking surface level growth mindset...when I believe in something as deeply as I do growth mindset, I go all in. I continually look for opportunities to share my own struggles and challenges with my students (of which there are many, hahaha) and also to reinforce with students how their effort and persistence have paid off. I also feel it's important to deeply convey to all students that you believe in their ability to make their own choices, tackle challenges and learn from their experiences.

Nearly 15 years ago my then-school's then-reading specialist (who was amazing beyond comprehension) taught our staff about Growth Mindset from her reading of Mindset, rooted in the amazing work of Carol Dweck. I bought into it (heck, I bought into anything this amazing woman taught us!) and purchased the book. Growth Mindset has considerably influenced a lot of my teaching over the years.
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This post is a round up of a variety of Growth Mindset resources and does include Amazon affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you.
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Here are some resources I've purchased and learned from:
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This one is newly released - I haven't gotten my copy yet!

And, oh my gosh, are these Growth Mindset shirts adorable or what???

Another powerful mindset-based resource that is not classroom based, but totally life transformative.

You might be familiar with some of the Growth Mindset Read Alouds that I mentioned over on this growth mindset post, but since so many awesome books have been written since then, I wanted to share a few more that my students and I have loved! Click any of the book covers to check them out!


I've also set up a Mindset board on Pinterest. Click the screen snip below to head over to check it out and give it a follow!
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Want to read another Growth Mindset post and snap up an Interactive Book Freebie? Check it out!


Monday, January 19

Working With Writers Who Struggle to Complete Their Writing

Today I want to share with you a system for keeping track of which writers are writing and which ones need support. It keeps me on track for who I need to be nudging for productivity by checking in on his/her ideas and writing plan.

It also helps me plan mid-workshop interruptions, loud compliments, student goals and mini-lessons.

I'm a bit of an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of girl. Some might call it "visually organized."

That hasn't worked in my favor when I've implemented routines and procedures that have students put their finished work in their writing folders. Some years I tried collecting the folders. #couldntstandthemess

I'm a systems girl.

When I don't have a system for something, I muddle around and around and around.

And feel ineffective.

Drives me nuts.

So, I try to develop systems for the "big" parts of my teaching.

Writing Workshop is one of them.

A little background first...our district follows both the reading and writing curricular calendars from Lucy Calkin's Teachers College Reading & Writing Project. We are a "Workshop" district for both Reading and Writing, which I love!

I started using this system the last two years, and this year have used it consistently with my class and it's worked well!

Here goes...

After determining the amount of student writing time for the week-ish, I set a target for how many completed pieces writers should be able to finish in that amount of time.

Students hand completed pieces in at the end of the writing workshop time each day as they complete it; I have them hand it in at the end so that they have their work right with them for partner or group sharing time (which we have nearly every single day).

I keep a skinny little class list and a big ol' binder clip handy. When the child hands it in, they set it on top of the "done pile." At the end of the day or of writing workshop (or the next morning...or...or...or) I read their piece and jot instructional notes. If it fits what done is supposed to look like, then I mark a tally mark next to their name and clip it in to the pile.

Currently, done is supposed to include completed editing circles on each page...I love having writers build the habit of revision and editing early on!! The editing circles are RIGHT.THERE. and really seem to help.

Once a writer gets to three tally marks, they are able to choose the genre they'd like to write.

For the sake of ease for grading and conferring, I clip the students work in their classroom number order. As the pile grows larger, it takes a titch longer, but there are generally only 4-8 done pieces each day so it's manageable.

My instructional notes could be about individual nudging for students, whole class mini-lesson opportunities, writer "shout outs," mid-workshop interruptions and also strategy group work I could be conducting soon.

For the particular pile in the picture above, we've been working with informational writing and based on the amount of writing time we had for a certain period, I determined that they should have three pieces completed. Once completed, they could choose to write personal narratives, work in their writer's notebook or do more informational writing. Soon, we'll begin opinion writing and that will be a hoot!

One glance at the tallies helps me know quickly who is struggling to complete their work during the work time (or who might be spending so much time on their illustrations). This helps me know which students to confer with about their ideas and plans for writing. I can also see who, after a nice string of work time over a few days who I might have a strategy group with to discuss how I can help support them to finish their work by using their work time well.

Things happen, though, and I am flexible. A systems girl with choice and flexibility within the system. #otherwiseigocrazytown

What are you wondering about? What have you tried in your writing classroom?
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