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Archive for June, 2014

postheadericon Dollar Deals~ Magic Wands

                                                 PicMonkey Collage

I love a good bargain and I'm always on the look out for deals I can use in the classroom.  Some of my favorite local deals come from the dollar section at Target, Dollar Tree, Christmas Tree Shop, Walmart and the dollar bins at the grocery store/pharmacy. This is post 1 of 5.  Let the Summer shopping begin!


Magic Wands- I bought a package of three at the Dollar Store.  My students use them to read the room.  One of my favorite centers to use them with is Magic E. This focuses on the long vowel sound and word work is to practice CVCe pattern.

I photocopy the short a cards on oak tag and write a letter "e" on each star of the wand.  We practice this at the teacher table.  Students place their star wands at the end of the short a words, and then read the new word with the long a vowel. I use a lot of modeling "Magic E makes "A" say it's name! A-A-A-!!!" and students are pretty good at correcting their mistakes and reading the words with long and short vowel sounds! We do a few together and then practice is released to a workstation. 

*If you don't use the wands, photocopy the "e" star template on a different color of oak tag and attach to a straw or popscicle stick.*


To download the FREE template click here

To read more about the Magic E activity visit Make, Take & Teach


postheadericon Caterpillars, Chrysalis, Butterflys, Oh My!


What have we been up to? We have been watching our caterpillars grow into beautiful butterflies!


Here are the caterpillars the day they arrived to our classrooms. We had five caterpillars. Welcome to first grade little caterpillars! Look how tiny they are!

May 14th (Wednesday)



A week later…

May 22 (Thursday)

The caterpillars have made their way to the top of the can. They are ready to become chrysali. Notice how much the caterpillars have grown in one week. Today, we read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." 

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May 28th (Wednesday)

The chrysali were moved into their new home today.  




Day 18: Tuesday, June 3rd

Hooray! The butterflies hatched today! It couldn't have happened at a better time! The kids were starting their day and working on their morning work and the first butterfly hatched! The kids were so excited…as were the teachers! 


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The kids kept a journal of how the caterpillars changed over the last few weeks. Here is a student journal from today:


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Day 21: Friday, June 6

We have beautiful butterflies! The kids enjoyed watching them eat fruit, which we left at the bottom of the net. We will keep them a few days and set them free outside as a class. 

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postheadericon June Poetry Folders


The last month of school is here! Here is the last poetry packet from this school year. 


This is the cover to this month's packet:

June Poetry cover


Each day we have a word-a-day. We put that word in our journal and practice reading them each day. At the end of the month, we have 20+ words we have learned to read together. 

June word journal



You can download this for Free at Teachers Pay Teachers




This poem is a two page packet! The students read the poem and then complete the scavenger hunt page. You can download it HERE




You can download this poem for free at Teachers Pay Teachers




postheadericon The True Story of the Three Little Pigs- A Read, Think, Write Activity


This is one of my favorite stories to do as a read-aloud. This book is the story of the Three Little Pigs, but is written from the wolf's perspective. The wolf's name is A. Wolf. He didn't mean to blow their house down! He had to sneeze a great sneeze! He was framed! Read it and you decide if he REALLY was a big bad wolf! 

I introduced the lesson to my students and told them we were going to read a fun story. While I read, I wanted them to think about adjectives to describe the wolf and events that happen in the story. 

This lesson was divided into three different parts. The fist part is simply to read the book to the students and engage them in conversation about the wolf. Did he mean to blow down the pig's houses? The second part is "Think." Giving them a graphic organizer, we are going to think about events that happened in the story and think about adjectives to describe A. Wolf. The third part of the lesson is to "Write" sentences in paragraph form using their graphic organizer. 

Let's Begin! 



-Review the story of the Three Little Pigs with the students. 

-Introduce A. Wolf and explain that he is telling the story, not the pigs. 

-Engage students in conversation. Get them excited about the story! Talk about the wolf! Was he framed? Was he mean or was it just an accident? 





My students were seated on the rug for the story and conversation. Now, we move to the teacher table and each student receives a graphic organizer. 

Using my pocket chart, I model how to fill in their graphic organizer.

(You can download the graphic organizer by clicking on the image below). 


3 pig gr org


I used my pocket chart to help the students think about events, adjectives, verbs, and our sentence expander (where?). They brainstorm the words and I write them on cards as I model where their answer is going to be on their chart. I found it easier to write the word "wolf" in the noun column and then brainstorm a list of adjectives. Then, we filled in the verbs going across, as well as their sentence expander, where. 

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This is what their chart looked like once we were done brainstorming. 

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Now it's time to write some great sentences. I model on the white board how to write the first sentence, making sure my students understand that we are reading across to write our sentences. For some students, it may be easier to cover the other sentences and move the paper down as they progress from one sentence to another. 

Here a few samples of work from our writing lesson:


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