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Archive for June, 2015

postheadericon Not a Box



This week we read the story Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis.  This story is an interactive read with a rabbit who is playing with a box. Using two colors, black and red, the author takes the reader through what is real (black line) and the rabbit's imagination (red line).  As we read through the story, the box transforms into a robot, rocket ship, car, a mountain and several other objects.


I gave my students a simple sheet with a black box.  Using only a red crayon, students had to transform their box into something that was NOT a box.  Students then completed the sentence frame "This is a ________. " and added two additional sentences describing their drawing. 

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5


I also used this book as a math tie-in.  Our first graders have been learning about shapes, both flat and solids. Later in the week, during one of our Math centers, students completed a shapes activity for Not a Box.  I found an easy to use shapes booklet and assembled one for each student.  In this small group center, students filled in the sentence frame "It's Not a _____." and then created something other than the shape on that particular page.


postheadericon Reading Street High Frequency Words

I  don't know about you but I am obsessed with colored paper and flashcards.  This past year I put together an entire set of color coded high frequency word cards for my students to use during independent centers.  I started in September with my green set (both Kindergarten and Unit R).  Please note: Reading Street Kindergarten has 40 high frequency words where the Grade 1 Unit R only contains 28 words.  I then added another color set as we completed each unit.


photo 1                       photo 2

At the beginning of each unit I also send home these flashcards with all my students and let the families know that they will be tested on those words at the end of each unit.  I found this to work much better than just giving out the high frequency word list and expecting them to practice all the words for mastery in June. 

I also created a quick and easy to use assessment sheet for each unit that allows me to test the students on the high frequency words and then send home a parent copy for additional practice.  I posted about this teacher resource here


HF assessment Unit RHFUnitRlist

Below are links to all the Grade 1 Reading Street- Common Core edition High Frequency Word flashcards.


Unit R

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Unit 5

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postheadericon Writing a “How-To” with Written Expression



Procedure Writing Using Written Expression: How to brush your teeth

Writing a "How-To" with Written Expression is easy to do. My students wrote sequential sentences about "How To Brush Your Teeth."


My co-teacher found this packet on Teachers Pay Teachers for $1.50. I used the whole packet to teach this lesson. 

Click on the image below to be directed to TPT for this packet.





I used the cut and paste sheet from the packet to begin this lesson. I read each of the sentences to the students and had them cut out each sentence. Then, we decided which order the sentences would go onto their paper. Once we were done, the students glued their sentences to the paper.

When we were done, their paper looked like this:




Sloppy Copy:

For this step, I used a graphic organizer to organize their thoughts. 

On this graphic organizer, I didn't put what expander to use. The students were told to use two expanders (of their choice) in each sentence. The triangles are still there to remind them to use an expander. 





Final Draft:

Once their graphic organizer was done, they wrote their final draft on this paper. 


"First, I squeeze toothpaste on the toothbrush. Next, I run water over the toothbrush. Then, I brush my teeth at the sink. Last, I spit toothpaste in the sink." 




To learn more about Written Expression, click on the image below: 





To read other posts about teaching with Written Expression, click on the links below:

Writing In Independant Centers

Super Sentences

The Snowy Day

Animal Park Prompt

Predicate Expanders

Teaching Barebones with Literature






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