Working With Words

If you are like us, you know how hard it is to fit everything in and how important it is to make use of the small bits of time in your day before transitioning to something new.  It is our goal this year to make those moments meaningful and fun.  One of the ways we are doing this is with independent word work activities that are quick and enjoyable for the students.

This week we are linking our real and nonsense short i word work with Manic Mondays at Classroom Freebies. This is a simple no prep activity that has students practicing short vowels and blending words.  We hope you can use it in your rooms! Click on the cover to give it a try. :) We will be posting the entire bundle of short vowels in our store soon.

One of the other activities that we have been using and found successful is our short vowel whiteboard mat activity.  If your first graders are like ours, they love to get out the dry erase markers and whiteboard to practice anything from handwriting to math facts.  This activity allows them to use the dry erase markers and practice their short vowel chunks in the process. They are so simple to prepare, just copy and laminate.  The pages wipe clean with a paper towel!  In this short a set, there are activities to practice writing the words and using them in sentences.  Our students love them!  You can check them out by clicking the cover.

We hope that you have a great week!  Don't forget to visit the Manic Monday linky for other great ideas to make learning fun and meaningful in your classrooms.

We would love to hear from you too.  Please take some time to leave a comment and tell us how you use those little blocks of time in your rooms.  We would love some more ideas to add to our tool kits!


Space Case!

Well, this week's class meetings are all about Space.  No, not the planets, but the need to have some room!  I have a little guy at home who loves to snuggle and cuddle so I do understand those little friends in our rooms that love to hold their best buddy's hand or have a need to whisper in someone's ear rather than just speak in a low voice.  This week is all about teaching these kiddos that not everyone feels comfortable with someone in their space.  It all ties in with our lessons on respect.  We need to be thoughtful and conscious of what other people need.  We have used this wonderful book for several years now and it is great for sparking discussion and coming up with ways to nicely tell a friend that they are in your space.  You can click the pic to find it on Amazon.
This year we are also using this great graphic organizer that Erin made.  Very simple, but a great way to check for understanding.  You can click on the pic for your own copy.  We are also linking up with Manic Mondays at Classroom Freebies so after you grab your Personal Space freebie you can visit there and find some other great freebies!
We hope you all have a great week!

Begin Again!

Hello Friends!

We are going to try this blogging thing again.  We both had some difficulties last year that kept us from our blog, but the start of a new school year has inspired us to give blogging another chance.  We are back to work and feeling inspired and excited to begin again in so many more ways than just our little blog and school.  We are hoping to share that excitement and our eagerness for new beginnings with you in future posts!

This year, we are beginning a new structure for our reading groups and are concentrating on making some great easy activities to practice skills that don't require a lot of prep time.  We don't know about you, but our school requires A LOT of testing and data during these first weeks of school so we have come up with these fun little activities to keep the kiddos busy and engaged while we do some individualized assessing.

The first are Erin's roll and color sight words.  Now, we don't know a first grader that doesn't love dice and if you are brave enough to hand them a set of markers, they are happy as clams. :)
You can click the pic to give it a try in your room.  We have linked this freebie up with Manic Mondays and encourage you to check out all the great activities there!
You can pick up our complete set of Roll and Color Sight Words here.
Hope you all have a great week!
Jo and Erin

Plenty of Place Value!

      After what has seemed like nothing but snow days, we finally had a full day of school and a regular schedule.  It has been CRAZY 'round here.  Our kiddos don't know if they are coming or going.  "Will there be reading today?" or "Are we starting at writing time" and "Should I go to math or are we staying here."  We are soooo tired of snow and snowdays and delays!  AHHHHHHH!  At this rate we will be here until July! (We are already pretty close!)  Our one hundredth day won't be celebrated until February 19th... crazy 
      Anyway, as I said, we did have a full day today and we spent a good part of it on place value.  With so many interruptions to our schedule our kiddos are taking a little longer getting place value skills down so we have been supplementing instruction with lots of fun game and activities to keep them interested and learning.   Friday we both used Erin's Ally the Alligator Packet.  The classes loved alligator war!  Here are some pics of the fun!

 You can pick up this packet and our other place value activies by clicking any of the pics below.

You can find this freebie and many more at Classroom Freebies Manic Monday Linky!

 Hope you have a wonderful week!