Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stitch Fix Show & Tell

Hey there! I'm linking up again with Barb from Ruby Slippers Blog Design for her Show & Tell linky.
http://www.rubyslippersblogdesigns.com/2014/07/social-media-blueprints-show-tell.html
Today I'm sharing my Stitch Fix with you. If you haven't heard of it, it's a simple way to have someone else choose clothes for you based on a detailed profile you complete when you sign-up. It costs $20, but that was credited toward the item I chose to buy.

When the box arrived Saturday I opened it right up!

 Inside were two cute tops. I loved the color of this one. It's actually more peachy than these pictures show. I really liked it one me, but it was too sheer for school.
 So I tried on this one. I love, love, love the color! And I really liked the way it looked on too (I'm just to self-conscious to show picture of me wearing them... hence the hangers). I never thought I'd like that type of neck line, but I really did. That's the reason for trying Stitch Fix- I was hoping I'd get some styles I might not choose for myself but would like once I tried them. And it worked!
These was a beautiful mint green infinity scarf
And this cardigan sweater that I fell in love with! Our budget is a little tight right now, but I was determined to keep one item and I knew this was the one before I even tried it on.
I took this picture of the back because I love the knot and the style it gives the sweater.
Cardigans are one of my favorite things to wear! The layers are good for the weather here.

If you're thinking of trying Stitch Fix, here's a referral code you can use that gives me a $25 credit, if you'd be so kind.   http://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3790629

I'm so glad I tried Stitch Fix! It was so easy! When you sign up you're assigned a personal consultant who chooses clothes based a detailed profile you fill out and your pinterest board, if you have one. It's amazing how well Pamela did in choosing clothes that were just my style. My next box is set to arrive mid-August. Woohoo!

P.S. Check out this giveaway! Just click on the image.
http://buzzingwithmrsmcclain.blogspot.com/2014/07/2014-anniversary-giveaway.html


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fly Guy is Informational Text!

Yes, Fly Guy can be informational text! Thank you Tedd Arnold!

http://www.rubyslippersblogdesigns.com/2014/07/moving-header-show-tell-linky.html
Today linking up with Barb from Ruby Slippers Blog Designs to show and tell about the book I found. (By the way, Barb's responsible for my blog rejuvenation. Did you notice the changes? New fonts, sidebar, background, and signature. I just love it! Thanks, Barb!)

I found this book in a local book store last week and HAD to buy it. I just had too. As you may know, my first graders are looping up to 2nd grade with me and we're starting off with an ocean unit. So how perfect is this?
When I told my class we'd be starting off learning about ocean animals, one of the boys said, "Are we going to have shark books?" Yes, sweetie, we are. He's going to be so excited. The only problem is that I may wish I had about 10 copies of this book. It's going to be a huge hit with my class!

To go along with the book I created a shark word search based on the vocabulary from the book. You can grab it as a freebie by clicking on the picture.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1WlMNXUXAS2SHlNSi1qbWdvaGM/edit?usp=sharing
Did you look at the words? One of them is "dentricles." Dentricles are what make a shark's skin rough. did you know that? I'll admit that I didn't. They say that you learn something new every day. I guess that's my something new.
There are two other Fly Guy Presents books on Space and Dinosaurs. Hmmm... my wish list is getting longer...

Enjoy the word search! If you download it, I'd really like it if you'd leave a comment below. That kind of thing just makes a girl happy, you know?

Till next time,


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Monday, July 14, 2014

Alphabet Exchange Information


Thank you to everyone who has signed up so far. As of today there are 190+ teachers in the exchange from 37 states and 2 Canadian provinces. I'll have group and letter assignments out in early August.

I'm posting today because a few emails bounced back. If you are 
Debbye from California (who has participated before)
Kathy from MI
or Cindy from VA,
please email me as soon as possible. If I don't hear from you by the end of the month, I'm sorry but I'll have to remove you from the project.


For anyone who hasn't signed up yet, but wants to:
The next 10 people who sign up will definitely be included in a group. Since the groups need to be 26 teachers each, everyone who signs up after the next 10 people will be placed on a waiting list. I will try to monitor the form so that it will state when it is a sign up for the waiting list instead a guaranteed spot in the exchange.

Thanks so much!



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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Wonderful Summer Afternoon

http://www.rubyslippersblogdesigns.com/2014/07/show-tell-linky.html

Today I'm linking up with Barb over at Ruby Slippers for Show & Tell Tuesday where you can share whatever you would like to. I love that! Show and tell was so much fun when I was in school. Next year I'm going to make a point of leaving time for it again. My kiddos need that public speaking experience so much. This morning I intended to share my newest activity pack about the soft & hard sounds of G. But I had such a wonderful summer afternoon that I decided to share that instead and save the activity pack for later.

One of my very favorite summer activities is going to farmer's market on Wednesday afternoon. It's about a 15 mile drive inland to wine country but it's a beautiful drive, I love the fresh veggies, there's a small independent book store I love, and my favorite deli where I bought myself a sandwich and mango iced tea for lunch. Today I stopped along the way coming home and took some pictures to share with you.

I've been buying peaches at this stand for about 13 years, since way back when my husband worked at that winery.
Fred's peaches are the best! They're a staple of my summer breakfasts!

The beautiful drive is a large part of why these afternoons are so fun. It's was a relaxing drive with the Eagles playing on my stereo. Here are some photos of the tree-lined road through horse farms and some of the vineyard covered hills along the way. I figured it was finally time to stop and take some pictures.
















I'm looking forward to eating these too! I actually had an apricot already- YUM!
Just click on the show & tell image above to share your show & tell.

Thanks for sharing my afternoon with me!



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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chevron Binder Covers

Happy Tuesday! At least it is here (and wherever you are too I hope!). It's warm and sunny and we're going to Chile's for dinner. Yummm!

Today's been a fairly lazy day just trimming some plants in the yard and relaxing. The other day I had some fun designing binder covers to help me get organized next year. I love the chevron pattern, as you can tell. And I had some fun with the new set of frames and papers I bought recently. 

Do you use binders to organize? I haven't always, but now find them helpful for some things. I really like a binder for my lesson plans. I keep my whole class plans on my desk and my reading group and ELD plans on the shelf by my back table.
Here's what they look like and you can pick them up here if you want to, or just click on the green cover. They're editable for your own subject needs too.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chevron-Binder-Covers-Spine-Inserts-Editable-1299258
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chevron-Binder-Covers-Spine-Inserts-Editable-1299258


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chevron-Binder-Covers-Spine-Inserts-Editable-1299258

It's a very short post for today. Just thought I'd share my newest creation. Have a wonderful day!



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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Alphabet Letter Exchange- Ready, Set, Go!

It's that time again... the Alphabet Letter Exchange is ready to go! 

Last year there were over 280 teachers who participated in the project. Thanks so much to all of them for enabling this project to continue. The first year I did it I just hoped for 25 other teachers so that my class could do it. I love getting to know other teachers through this project and finding out about different schools and places through the notes teachers send with their letter of the alphabet. If any of you have photos of your alphabet from last year and it would be okay with you if I published it in a blog post, please email it to firstgradefoundme@gmail.com. Every year teachers ask for ideas and want to know what the letter might look like.

If you'd like to participate in the project this year, please read the project description below and fill out the google form at the bottom of this post.

Here's how the project works:

1. Your class will be assigned a letter of the alphabet and put into a group with 25 other teachers. Each teacher would have their class decorate 26 of that letter. A template like the letter below will be provided. You'll print it on cardstock and have your class decorate it. Decorate it however you like, just have fun and get creative!
2. You'll need to mail 25 of the letters to the members of your group and you'll keep one. Each teacher is responsible for their own postage charges. Some people send their letters in manilla envelopes and some fold them and put them in letter size envelopes. It really depends on how the letter is decorated. Either way is okay. At the end of the project you should have a complete, unique, student-made alphabet!

3. You could also include a short letter about your class, school, and where you live. This is optional.

The project will run from September 1st-30th to give everyone time to get back to school, decorate, and mail their letters. If possible, try to send your letter as early in September as possible.

I'd love to have you participate! Just a little favor, though, please sign up only if you really intend to follow through with the project. It is heartbreaking to kids and teachers alike to end up with an incomplete alphabet

Just a couple more little things:
I'm planning to stop sign-ups about August 1st so I can get the lists out. Also, I'll be in touch via email to give you any updates and send out the templates.

If you want to participate in the project this year, please click {here} and fill out the google form.

I've also made this button if you want to share about this exchange on your blog. I'm so happy to have you along on the wonderful bloggy adventure!

First Grade Found Me



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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Making the Most of Small Groups Book Study


Hi! When Heidi, from Mrs Samuelson's Swamp Frog, posted about her book study on Debbie Diller's book Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All, I jumped at the chance to present Chapter 6: Phonemic Awareness. This topic became especially important to me this year after reading this book.

A little background on me:
In the past I've taught phonemic awareness mostly by following our district curriculum with it's whole class blending & segmenting games, rhyming, adding/deleting phonemes, etc. We were told to do the program whole class and so I did phonemic awareness at the beginning of every lesson. I began to notice that the kiddos who weren't good at it just didn't really participate and I was frustrated because of the lack of time for small groups and the push for fidelity to pacing guides that seemed to force me to teach page 1, page 2 in order and stay on the same page as my colleagues despite  the fact that some of my kiddos weren't ready. I know I'm not alone there, so enough said about that. Well, reading this book and the integration of Common Core left me breathing a sigh of relief and feeling that I had the freedom to teach my students based on what they needed. Phew!

So, I read this book for the first time last summer and decided to start my school year teaching all my phonics in small groups. It worked so well for me! That way I was able to cover long vowels with one group while another still worked on cvc words, and my group of 2 boys worked on phonemic awareness and a few sight words. It seemed to me that everyone felt successful this way. Thanks to Daily 5 for making small groups so easily manageable!

Anyway, back to Chapter 6.
I'm embarrassed to say that I'd done phonemic awareness activities without realizing just how critical the skills are. Debbie Diller write that "phonemic awareness is the most potent predictor of success in learning to read." That's so much clearer to me now. She created a chart (which I turned into a checklist you can grab by clicking on the picture below) that will help me go back with a few of my 2nd graders next year and see what they're missing. If I teach K or 1st again, I plan to follow this order when teaching phonemic awareness and do my best to make sure no kiddos are missing any crucial steps.
this is a Word document so hopefully you can type in student's names
In chapter 6 Debbie writes about the difference between phonological awareness and phonemic awareness and says that phonological awareness (like rhymes, hearing syllables) leads to phonemic awareness which is manipulating the actual phonemes in words. She says many teachers use these terms interchangably. I sure did. Reading this helped me to learn the difference and see how the skills build up to reading and spelling.

When Debbie wrote about rhyme being important to young students "because it helps them understand that words are made of parts that can sound the same," she also mentioned alliteration. So I started my small reading group with these boys by putting 3 pictures on the table and asking them to find the two that start with the same sound. They couldn't. We tried and tried. It wasn't working. So I said, "Are these two sounds the same /m/ and /p/?" They said yes. Oh yikes! I mentioned this to a fellow teacher who suggested adding movement to the sound to help them. So the next day we did something like jump and make the /m/ sound and clap the /p/ sound. "Are they the same or different?" Sometimes the boys were right, sometimes they were wrong. Oh yikes again! So I got out pictures and just asked if two pictures (like a car and a book) were the same or different. They said "same." Oh no! but at the same time, Wahoo!! I finally hit on the problem. They didn't know what same and different meant. Once they realized the meaning of the words, we were on our way.

For me this chapter highlighted the different phonological and phonemic awareness tasks so I could make sure they were in place for these kiddos. She writes about teaching kids to hear individual words in sentences by having them say or repeat a sentence and hold up a finger for each word. Wouldn't kids be better writers if they were really good at this?

She then writes about having kids blend and segment syllables (like hearing that happy is hap+py). Oh my would this help my struggling first grade spellers!

A few things that really struck me were

"Phonemic awareness is both a prerequisite for and a consequence of learning to read." I'd never thought of it as a consequence of learning to read.

"Connecting phonemic awareness instruction to reading and writing increase it impact on reading achievement." I plan to incorporate much more writing into my reading groups next year.

"Emphasis should be placed on segmenting words into phonemes. Blending is important, but segmenting is most important." I read that and thought about how that translates directly to spelling and writing. 

This chapter contains clear, easy to follow plans for each step of her "phonological awareness continuum." Well worth the read!

Debbie cautions that phonemic awareness is "not a magic bullet that will generate success for all children." But with these boys it was key!

Maybe you found some of my ramblings helpful or at least this helped you get a better idea of what Making the Most of Small Groups is about.

If you're interested in reading more, of course get the book! But you can also read about the other chapters time, organizing, grouping, comprehension, fluency, phonics, and vocabulary) on these blogs


http://secondgradeinthedesert.blogspot.com/
http://my2ndgradesmarties.blogspot.com/





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