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Archive for September, 2015

postheadericon DIBELS- Getting ready for RTI


As the new year is getting in full swing,  I am already thinking about which students are going to need additional support, perhaps motivation, and who may need practice, practice, and more practice! 

In order to prepare my students for the upcoming DIBELS, I decided to prepare a binder with everything I would need in one place. I had an extra binder at home, so I decided to put it to good use!  

I made this cover for this year's binder. I love the cute owls!

DIBELS data binder cover


First, I printed the DIBELS Next Recommended Benchmark Goals sheet from the DIBELS Website

I often need this sheet to refer back to during meetings, especilly when I meet with parents and most often when we have team data meetings. This information is important as to what the goal currently is, as well as where does the student need to be for the next progress monitoring? 

This information will go right in the front of my binder, so that I can quickly refer to the information, when I need it. 

(click on image to make larger)


Next, I printed these sheets and wrote in all the students names. During the course of the year, I write in their scores. This helps me to see who is and who is not making progress throughout the year.

I look at the data I have collected to gauge the progress or lack thereof for each student.


I look at the following things throughout the year:

1. How much progress has that child made since the last DIBELS? Is it a sufficient amount of progress? If not, what can I do to help that student make progress? What curriculum should I use to help that student be where they should be at this point in the school year? 

2. As the year goes, I can gauge the progress over a few weeks, a month, or even a trimester. I use this information for meetings and for informal communciation with parents throughout the year. 

3. At the end of the school year, I can look to see progress from September to June. 


(click on the images below to download)

dibels nonsense words-correct letter sounds

dibels nonsense words copy

dibels-passage words copy


In order to see progress, you need resources to help students within the classroom setting. Here's how I put together my binder. 


Letter Naming Fluency:

In first grade, we begin with rapid letter naming fluency. So, I printed a packet of extra practice sheets and put that in my binder as the first subject. 


You can download this for FREE from Teachers Pay Teachers. 




For the second part of the binder,  I needed lots and lots of nonsense word practice sheets. This helps me to work with students on phoneme segmentation, letter sounds, blending, and reading whole words. You can do so much with these sheets. 


You can download this for FREE at Teachers Pay Teachers







The last part of my binder, is for DIBELS DATA. Each time our Title One Teacher gives us data on the DIBELS, I will be keeping it in the section. 


postheadericon Teaching Character Traits- Responsibility

I am starting a monthly character education unit with my students this year.  Social skills are such an important part of first grade that it's only fitting to begin right away. Use the beginning of the year to set classroom climate and start to build students' character.  I don't have a curriculum that I'm working off of.  I will be teaching each trait using read-alouds and interactive activities.  At the end of the month 1 student will be selected as a student model.  That student will have proven that he/she has demonstrated the trait qualities all month.  There may be times that more than one student is worthy of the acknowledgement and will also be recognized.  I made a list of 10 character traits and placed one trait into each month September-June.  These can really go in any order this is just my way of setting them up.

September- Responsibility


November- Kindness

December- Respect


February- Fairness

March- Courage

April- Determination

May – Cooperation

June- Sportsmanship

This month I will give you an overview of September- Responsibility.  I've compiled a list of books to use throughout the month.  I will also give you some ideas for activities that can be done to reinforce the trait. 


This is the time to assign classroom jobs/duties.  Students should be taught how to do each job through modeling.  Use circle time to teach each of your classroom responsibilities.  Explain through role play, showing what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.  Pinterest has many different options for setting up your classroom jobs and there are many FREE downloads available at TPT


Books that teach responsibility

The Signmaker's Assistant by Tedd Arnold 
The Messy Room by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Emperor’s Egg: Read and Wonder by Martin Jenkins

The Pigsty by Mark Teague

I Just Forgot by Mercer Mayer

The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Arthur’s Pet Business by Marc Brown

Know and Follow the Rules by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed

The Way I Act by Steve Metzger


Anchor Chart

How To Be Responsible Person 

Be reliable and dependable

Demonstrate Self Control

Take care of your own business

Finish what you start

Take responsibility for your actions

Make smart choices


Praise worthy Focus Traits

Ready to Learn

Rule Follower

Model of Good Behavior

Radical Hand Raiser

Spot on Participation

Hard Worker



Here a prettier sample of a responsibility anchor chart.


Writing Journal:

  • Make a list of your responsibilities at home.
  • Make a list of your responsibilities at school.
  • Write about how it makes you feel when somebody doesn't do what they said they would do.
  • Describe someone you think is very responsible. How does that person act? What do you like about that person?


postheadericon Organizing Your Classroom Library (Part 2)


Hope you enjoyed my post on Organizing Your Classroom Library (Part 1). If you missed it, click on this link. I recently visited another school, which happens to be my sister-in-law's classroom.  She asked me to please help her organize her classroom library. She too teaches first grade and loves books, so this was a great project for the both of us to work on together.  

When I arrived, this is what her classroom library looked like. Her space was designated and the shelving and books were easily accessible to her first grade students. There was a nice spacious rug, where kids can sit to read. The problem was, the books were in bins of various sorts, which you could not easily see in or reach in. We had our work cut out for us. 




 Before we started to even begin to make sense of the library, we had to first go through lots and lots of books. She also had books from Scholastic in boxes that were never opened and a big box of books that were donated to her.  Mrs. E and I quickly got to work opening boxes, sorting books, and writing her name in all the new books. 


Once this was done, we took the books that were in bins and put them in clear plastic (shoe size) boxes. This process went quickly. We took the books out of one box and put them in their forever home (plastic shoe boxes). 

The back shelf, in this picture, was starting to make sense. It's starting to look like a library! 


Look at all the bins on the shelf to the right. They were now empty and ready to be used else where in the classroom. 

See those boxes on the floor filled with books, those books were all labeled with the teacher's name and then sorted into a category. 


When we were done, the library looked like this! 


Here is a close up of some of the categories we decided to use in the library. 



Some books, we couldn't categorize, so we decided to put them on a shelf without a bin. 



Before and After: An Amazing Transformation









Some of the categories we chose to use in the library were:

There was an Old Lady….


Dr. Seuss

David Shannon

Chester (The Kissing Hand)

Pete the Cat 

Black Lagoon

Magic School Bus

Junie B. Jones

Chapter Books (Various titles)

Charlie the Ranch Dog

I Can Read

Animals (2 Bins) 

Award Winners

Eric Carle

Berenstein Bears 

Fly Guy


Amelia Bedelia






Thank You Mrs. E for having me in your classroom! You have a beautiful classroom library! Enjoy! 



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