Read/Write the Room Worksheets

30 September 2011
Read/Write the Room is a staple center utilized in my print rich classroom environment.  Each week, the students take clipboards, a pencil, and a worksheet and look around the room for words with a specific phonic element.  They then record the words on worksheets like the one pictured below, which is included in my 86 Read/Write the Room Center Recording Sheets Packet.
To set up this center, you will need Read/Write the Room Worksheets (click {here} to purchase mine on TpT), a print rich environment (click {here} to buy my classroom labels, click {here} for my word wall words,  click {here} for my A to Z File Folder Word Walls, and {here} for my environmental print pack), and clipboards. 

Click {here} for my post on Word Walls.
Here is a freebie from my 86 Read/Write the Room Center Recording Sheets packet.  Click on the picture to download.

Click {here} for a previous post and freebie on Read/Writing the Room 
for words with y and ie as long i.

Word Wall and Freebie

25 September 2011
I am super to excited to be part of Blog Hoppin' and I just wrote my first post for them on Word Walls.  Click {here} to read my post and snag a Read/Write the Room freebie!
Click {here} to purchase my word wall words.  These complement the word wall headers (click {here})in my TpT store!

Star of the Week

19 September 2011
I start off by being the first Star of the Week.  I have my Star of the Week display up for Meet the Teacher Night.  This is a great way for parents to get to know me better and serves as an exemplar for what is expected from the Star of the Week.  

To create the display, I printed the Star of the Week sign from my TpT Star of the Week Take Home Packet.  I decorated a "Read All About Me!" poster by Scholastic, and I shared some special photos.  I hot glued clothespins and clips to the board to hold the poster and photos.  If you look closely, the photo second from the right is me on my first day of first grade!  

I send the poster home in my Star of the Week Take Home Pack on Friday.  The pack includes a binder, parent directions, a journal page, the "Read All About Me!" poster, Star of the Week goodie bag, and a book, Star of the Week by Barney Saltzberg.

On Monday, we share the journal entry, the poster and the photos.  I let the Star of the Week sit in a bean bag chair in the Book Nook for the whole week (normally, the students are only allowed in the bean bag chairs during Book Nook center).  On Friday, each student creates a page of a class-made book about our Star of the Week, they use a Star of the Week File Folder Word Wall to help guided them with adjectives describing the Star of the Week.  The Star of the Week decorates a cover page.  I complete a page and then compile all the pages into a class-made book.  I send it home with the student on Friday.  *All of these pages are included in my Star of the Week Take Home Pack.  

To purchase my Star of the Week Take Home Pack for only $3, click {here}.


I Think My Teacher Sleeps in School Class-Made Book

15 September 2011
In the beginning of first grade, I like to read a book aloud to the students, discuss the book, and then complete a writing prompt.  Yesterday, I read my students the adorable book, I Think My Teacher Sleeps in School by Leatie Weiss.  Throughout the reading, we made predictions and text to self connections.  After the reading, we discussed the book and where they thought I slept.   I charted their various responses: on the carpet, in the Book Nook, on the bean bag chairs, in the guinea pig cage, in the bathroom, and on top of the shelves.  The students then completed and illustrated a writing prompt which we made into a class book.  In the afternoon, I read them Miss Malarky Doesn't Live in Room 10 by Judy Finchler.  We made predictions and text to text connections.  Click {here} to download the writing prompt for free.

 Here are some more completed writing prompts from the first two weeks of school.  These writing prompts can be found in my Back to School Writing Prompts and Activities Packet from TpT.
The class-made book.

How to Make the Class-Made Books:
First the students complete the writing prompt and illustrate it.  I usually let my students use file folder word walls (click here) and invented spelling.  I write the correct spelling under theirs after they are finished.  As they are working on this, the "Date Stamper" goes around and stamps the date on the bottom or top of the pages.  (See my classroom jobs packet {here}).  Then, I compile the completed writing prompts into a class-made book by placing the pages inside page protectors and then by putting the page protectors in a 1/2 inch view binder.  Each student in my class has a number, so I write their numbers in the bottom right corner of each page.  It makes it easy for me to see who did not finish the prompt.  It also makes it easy for the parents to find their child's page during Spring Exhibit.  At the end of the year, I send the pages in the books home in the students' writing folders.  It is easy to sort because the pages are in number order and their student mailboxes are in number order.  I pile the pages into the mailbox and then have the students come and put the pages into their writing folders. Since the pages are date stamped, the parents are able to see growth.  

Remembering 9/11 for Primary Students

11 September 2011

Today is a day that no one will forget.  Being from NY, I knew many people who died in the Twin Towers.  

Ten years ago today, I was a substitute teacher at my current school in Lindenhurst, NY.  After the attack happened, I ran around covering classes so that teachers could call and check on their loved ones, many of which worked in New York City.  I then helped out in the office as streams of parents came in to pick-up their children.  

When I arrived home to my parents, my mother told me that our neighbor Joe Angelini, a firefighter was in the towers and his wife, Donna,  had not heard from him.  Joe's father Joe Sr. was also a firefighter in the same fire house, he was missing, too.  

My mother and I went over to see if we could help in anyway.  I had watched their three children, who at the time were ages three, five, and seven.  Donna said she was okay and that everything would be fine.  She had not told the children anything, but they were starting to suspect that something was wrong.  A day passed and still no news.  Again we offered help, Donna told my mom the one thing she would love for her to do would be to make a huge welcome home cake for Joe when he came back.  My mother was known for her cake decorating and often helped Donna decorate the cakes for the kids' birthdays.  Donna was positive he was coming home.  A few more days passed and the likelihood of survivors was slim.  The kids began to ask questions, that no one could not answer.  Little Joseph who was three would go up to any officer or fireman he saw and ask if they had found his daddy yet.  When I babysat for the children one evening, he cried and cried for his father.  It was heartbreaking that I could not give him the usual "He'll be home soon."   The surviving firefighters from the firehouse were wonderful and helped Donna anyway they could.  In the beginning there was always someone there at the house to offer support or lend a hand.  Weeks passed, still no body was found.  Our town banded together and held a memorial service and a funeral was arranged.  A few months after that, partial remains were found and another funeral was planned.  Then our town renamed a street, Angelini Blvd after Joe and his father Joe Sr.  I know it was hard for the the family to be in the spotlight and to relive the tragedy again and again.  My heart still goes out to them and all the families affected by 9/11.  To read an article remembering Joseph Angelini Jr., click {here}.

Our school remembered 9/11 on Friday.  I thought I would share some resources to help you remember 9/11 with your classroom.  As I am sure you have found as well, it is very difficult to find age appropriate activities to do with primary students.  On Friday, my school wore red, white, and blue, our principal made a wonderful age appropriate announcement over the loud speaker, and we had a moment of silence.  I read books from Deanna Jump's America packet.  I asked if any of my students had any questions.  None of them did.  I feel first graders are too young to for me to show them videos or talk about what actually happened.  I thought about it over this weekend and about the people who lost their lives and the people who continue to put their lives on the line for our country.  I thought that a great way to honor these individuals would be to write them thank you letters.  I created these letter writing printables for your students to write a thank you letter to a firefighter, police officer, or soldier.  Your students can simply write "Thank you for keeping our country safe.  You are appreciated!" or elaborate on that theme.  Click {here} for the download.  

I also included these for soldiers, firefighters, and police officers.  I thought PreK and K students could draw a picture and sign their name.

You can get these graphics for free from Whimsy Doodle Graphics.  Click on the pictures below to download.

Other blogs with 9/11 Activities:

Back to School! Week One a Success!

09 September 2011
School started for me on Tuesday with students coming in on Wednesday.  I have an awesome group of first graders this year.  I am also so lucky to have only 20 students.  My school was supposed to have three first grade classes and then when the budget passed we were able to get four!

A few people asked me for my schedule for the first week and I had emailed it to them over the summer.  I have updated it for this year and thought I would post it below.  Click on the photo of the plans to download.  Most of the activities in my plans are included in my Back to School Writing Prompts and Activities Packet on TpT.  I also incorporated Deanna Jump's adorable Fun with Names Unit into the first week.

Read/Write the Room For Your Name (click {here} to purchase my Read/Write the Room Sheets). The girls are looking at an ABC File Folder Word Wall (click {here} to purchase them from TpT).  They are sitting in bean bag chairs purchased from Big Lots.

Art Center
This center is from the book below: 

My classroom jobs (Click {here} to purchase from TpT).  Every student in my class gets a job.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Trees and "___ my name is ___ and I like____."  Both activities are from Deanna Jump's Fun with Names packet.  Click {here} for her post. 

My Warning Board - I made the name cards by placing labels on bright card stock paper, cutting, and laminating.  The font is called Going Nuts and can be found by clicking on the Lettering Delights button to the left.  I add the "We are having a great day! We are following the rules to a polka dot scrapbook paper sheet and laminated.  To save money on laminating, I had to place two of the 20 students sideways.  This does bother me a bit, but I really did not want to have to pay to take it to Staples, when I have my own menu size laminator at home.  So, then I added velcro to the name cards and "We are having a good day" board.  To create the Warning Board, I used a small sheet of bright poster board I purchased from JoAnn's Fabric.  I then mounted my warning labels onto the same black and white polka dot scrapbook paper.  I had to have this board laminated at Staples, because it was too big to fit in my laminator. 
These labels are included in my Polka Dot Classroom Labels and Signs packet from TpT.

This behavior system is based on Lee Canter's Assertive Discipline

Thank You and Where I Got the Polkadot Punch Out Letters!

05 September 2011
Top 10 TBA
I would like to thank the following blogs for picking me as a top ten blog!  Thank you ladies.  I truly appreciate all my followers and fellow bloggers.

First Grade Blue Skies

Live Love Laugh

3rd Grade's a Hoot


I have gotten a few emails and questions on my posts about where I got the punch out letters and the polka dot borders I use in my classroom.  Both were purchased through Frog Street Press.  Click on the letters below to check them out.

Click here to see my posts and photos of my classroom.  

You Get What You Get and You Don't Throw a Fit!

01 September 2011
So many of my followers told me that they say "You Get What You Get and You Don't Throw a Fit!" after reading my post "You Get What You Get and You Don't Get Upset!"  I did not understand why that would be said, since to me it does not rhyme.  I live in NY.  Then Melissa of F is for First Grade commented that "get" and "fit" rhyme where they live!  Click on the poster to download.  I also updated my version and included it in the link.  Enjoy!  
*My font (Wish You Were a Shirley) is from and my graphics are from Pixel Papers.  Both links are to the left.

Here is a book that goes with the theme of the sayings.  Click the picture to check it out on Amazon.

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