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Archive for October, 2013

postheadericon Pig in a Wig- Unit 1.2


Unit 1.2 

Each week, we send home a skills sheet along with a note to the parents explaining what skills we will be learning over the next six school days. We run on a six day cycle, so we have the sixth day for assessment and writing time. 

PIG IN A WIG skills sheet

COLOR AND FIND: High Frequency Words

This is a center I put in for high frequency. The students have to find the word and color it the specified color. They love to do "color and find." 

color and find(pig in wig)

ROLL A SIGHT WORD: Another HIgh Frequency Center

The students rolla die and read that column. I have them play this in partners and they take turns reading the words.

roll a sight word 1.2

A-B-C Order: Spelling

I have been working on A-B-C order with my students at teacher table time. I used six of their spelling words and had them put them in ABC order. To differentiate this activity, I had cards with the words on them. The green group worked with the cards to put them in ABC order, then wrote them in order. The red group didn't need the cards and numbered them on the sheet before they wrote them on the side of this sheet. 

pig in wig abc order page

SHORT "i" word sort: word work

For my word work center, I had the children work with words that had the short "i" sound. I got this from Teaching Fabulous Firsties. 

To Download Click HERE


 Capture Short i Word Sort





postheadericon Sam Come Back! Unit 1.1


"Sam Come Back!" Centers for Reading Street

First Grade



The skills in "Sam Come Back!" are short "a" and consonant ending -ck. I made this center for my red and green group. I cut up each square and gave my students a pocket chart with a picture in each pocket. My students worked in partners to build the word to match the picture. I had them do this in a small pocket chart, but you could certainly put magnets on the back of each square and have them build on a cookie sheet. 

ck center



I made these spelling flashcards at Lakeshore Learning's Teacher Resource Site. It's quick and easy to use! I copied these words onto tagboard and cut them out. 

Spelling word cards 1.1

To practice their spelling, I used "Say It, Build It, Write It!" as another canter. I laminated several of these to use in my centers. I had my students, put the card in "SAY IT" and then "BUILD IT" with letter tiles, and "WRITE IT" with dry erase markers. 

say it, build, write it



I made these cards using the Lake Shore Learning website. I copied this sheet onto colored tagboard and cut them out.

To start the week, I had my students work in partners and put them in a pile and read them to one another. When they were done, they were asked to put them into ABC order and write them on their writing paper. You can also copy two of these onto tagboard and have them play memory with them. 

1.1 High Frequency Cards

Once they were able to read the words easily, my students played "Roll and Read" with a partner. They roll the fie and whatever number the die is on top is the number column they read. 

roll a sight word 1.1

As the week progressed, we had read "Sam Come Back!" at my teacher table a few times and my students were able to read the story independently. Once they were able to that, I used these cards and this sheet that I found at Sound City Reading and had them highlight the high frequency words in the story and then had them circe the words with consonant ending -ck. I had them bring it back to my teacher table the next day, and we worked on underlining the words with short /a/. We made a list of those words on our writing paper and used the litst of words to read together as practice with fluency. 

sam come back pg 1



I found this word sort using final -ck at Teachers Pay Teachers. It is a free download. You can find it HERE.



postheadericon Tallies Galore

I am all about hands on when it comes to math.  Our district currently uses the Everyday Math curriculum, developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project and published by McGraw-Hill Education.  Like any other curriculum, sometimes teachers need to make it their own and adjust it to meet the needs of all their learners.

We are just about ready to wrap up our first unit and are reviewing for the end of unit assessment.  I wanted a quick, paperless way to check whether my students knew how to create tally marks.  In addition to using this as a center activity, I also decided to use it whole class as a quick assessment.

I gave each student 20 craft sticks, 1 container and a few number circles with numbers ranging from 1-20.  I then reviewed on the board how we were going to use the craft sticks to generate tally marks.  I walked around with my handy, dandy clipboard and checked off whether each student knew how to use the craft sticks to make tally representations for the numbers they were given.


Our centers during unit 1 focused on the following:

  • I can make 5 tallies
  • I can make 10 tallies
  • I can make 15 tallies
  • I can make 20 tallies
  • I can make tallies for the numbers 1-10
  • I can make tallies for the numbers 10-20

This was a very quick, easy and paperless way of assessing whether or not the students had this concept mastered.


I created this tally matching game to use during our apple unit as additional center practice.



I also found some great tally mark activities online that we used during centers.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Tally Mark Houses

A Tally Tale

Tally Cards 1-20 (to use with Tally Top-It)



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