Copyright by Susan Jones, 2015 . Powered by Blogger.


Our Teacher Meet-Up is moving to....

Sunny Orlando, Florida! July 13th at 6pm. #2016orlandomeetup

This will be our 5th annual teacher blogger meet up. If you've ever joined us before, you know there will be lots of fun, lots of laughing, and lots of prizes to give away! Thanks to our main sponsor TeachersPayTeachers

Here's a shot of some of the fabulous teachers who came out last year!
{Check out more pictures from our 2012 and 2013 and 2014 meet ups!}

At last year's meet up we gave away hundreds of prizes and this year will be no exception! We have lots of surprises in store for this meet up, so PLEASE join us!

(A peek at last year's prizes. All donated by our awesome sponsors!)
We had so many other sponsors that helped donate over $55,000 worth of swag, prizes, and goodies!  Can you believe that?!  I don't know about you, but to us... that's a whole lotta love for teachers!  

What you need to know:

*All teachers are invited to this meet-up! You do not need to have a blog to attend this special event!

*You can RSVP on our official Facebook event page: HERE! If you do not have a Facebook account, you can RSVP by commenting on this post.

*Please don't be shy! Every year we have people who are worried about not knowing anyone. This is a great opportunity to say hi to some of your favorite teacher-bloggers, as well as meet new friends and connect with teachers from all over!

*Please download the nametag template HERE.

*The meet up will be held at The Swan and Dolphin Resort, but the actual conference room number will be posted closer to the meet up. Follow our Facebook event page to get updates on the exact location.

We are super excited for our trip this year and know that this Teacher Meet Up will be the best one yet!!
Here are the meet-up organizers from last year!

Can't wait to see y'all in sunny Orlando!

Story Problems in First Grade

Story problems in first grade can be a wonderful teaching tool - and I'm talking beyond the simple "2 ducks were in pond and one flew away..." type problems. I'm talking the COMPLEX story problems! I really think students need to be able to read and decode a story problem so they can figure out how to solve it! 

I was noticing that in our standardized tests the word problems given weren't "simple" and I don't think they should be. Of course we start there, but students need to push beyond that and solve more challenging problems.

Last year, I created little story problem booklets for each month that get more difficult from August to June. The include the following topics:

Place Value
Missing Addend

I generally begin these booklets in small, guided groups we can go through them together and I can guide discussion. Towards the end of the year, I have my higher group sit and complete them together. They mark questions that they could not figure out and we discuss later - but for the most part they are able to explain and discuss their solutions!

These booklets also let me see where my students are getting stuck so we can use those question types as discussion starters before a math lesson.

You can see some example problems by clicking the image above!

Free St. Patrick's Day Comprehension Passage!

Just dropping by this morning to share a new, free product I uploaded in my store:

Included in this mini-pack is a nonfiction passage about the holiday with a vocabulary sheet and a comprehension sheet for students to answer using text evidence. They questions are set up in the same way as my Close Reading unit.

I also included a silly, fiction poem and response sheet for that as well!

Click on any of the pages above to download your free copy!

This is an example of a growing bundle I am currently working on that  includes comprehension passages, questions, and poems for each of your students' favorite holidays. You can see some of the holidays included below:

Book Clubs in First Grade

Book clubs in first grade?!

It may seem like a stretch, but the Spring is such a great time to get your students ready and used to reading, thinking about, and discussing books with their peers instead of me, the teacher!

When done right, it can be such a fun learning experience for both the students and the teacher. I find that I learn SO much about my students when I sit back and observe their conversations and arguments about a topic without intervening. I can see the growth socially as well as academically that my students make in a year and I can see what my students still need to work on.

I needed a lot of guidance when starting my book clubs with my little learners, so I created a unit to share some of the resources and tricks that worked in my room!

After a week or two of running book clubs in my room, it was something that my students loved and really looked forward to. I didn't change up my reading block, but instead just carved out 10-15 minutes of book club time towards the end!

The biggest thing we needed guidance with in 1st grade, was "what do we talk about?" It was wildly unrealistic of me to have my students - even my higher ones - just get in a group and chat about their books! 

And yes... I learned that the hard way... I was way too optimistic ;)

In order to solve that problem, I made our book club rings. These cards have all sorts of discussion points and questions to help my students review what they've learned throughout the year and KEEP TALKING while in their groups!

Another thing I realized was that my students weren't always prepared when they would get to their book club group. To help that situation, I created our independent reading bookmarks. I showed students how to use them to get their brains activated and ready before they went to their groups.

Once my students did get the hang of our book clubs, I would switch it up every once in a while and run book clubs more like literature circles where everyone has their own job and added responsibility. I did this with these fun little job cards:
Students would read their books and prepare their thoughts before they would meet - I also created half page recording sheets for students to complete as an added step when I saw fit.

Naturally my "high-flyers" tend to loooooove book clubs since they are reading independently very well and they like to showcase their skills. I thought a fun extension for them would be to have their own book club binders!

This was something extra that they could grab every time they got a new book and students could choose between a bunch of different recording sheets to add to their binder showcasing what they had learned. It is a fun way to track their work and all the books they have read together!

Also included in this unit are some anchor charts, lesson ideas, a teacher evaluation sheet, and more tips and tricks that have worked in my room!

To see if you could use this unit in your room, click on the image below and download the preview!

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