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About Me

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I am a first grade teacher who has rediscovered a love for firsties this year. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and even second over the past 16 years. I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 very active boys.

Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K Back to School
Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Phonics Games

Phonics Games
Phonics Games
Image Map
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Graphics by: MareeTrueLove.
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

New School Year and FREEBIE!

I have 2 weeks left of summer vacation and am hoping to be able to get into my classroom by next Wednesday.  I am so jealous of seeing so many bloggers in their classroom working and organizing this summer.  I have moved classrooms AGAIN!  Yes, 17 classrooms in 16 years:(  Hoping this is it for a while.

Every year in a new classroom is definitely a fresh start.  This is the first time I am actually moving back into a classroom I was previously in. (This is a first!) Did I mention it has a huge walk in closet??  I will post pictures when I finally get in:) 

I am linking up with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness and sharing some of my New {School} Year Resolutions. 

1.  I will keep my teacher space (desk??) neat and organized.  I tend to be a stack and pile girl and need to STOP doing this.  Its not expected by others because I am super organized with files and bins and everything HAS a place. 

2.  I want need to become more computer literate! Jumping into blogging and, hold onto your seats, TpT, is REALLY out of my comfort zone.  I am truly amazed by the support of other bloggers.  I will continue to learn and grow (and promise not to throw my laptop across the room!) for myself and my students. 

3.  I would like to work on some Tpt products that are needed in my classroom.  As I have said before, I am resourceful and love to support the many talented teachers out there.  Why reinvent the wheel?  I don't intend to...  So to get off to  a good start, I have uploaded my first product to my TpT store.  Please check out my TpT store, upload my first TpT FREEBIE , and like my store while you are there:)

Back to School Class Writing Journal CoversOk, how can I copy this from TpT so its NOT FUZZY!!  See what I mean??

4.  Finally, I LOVE taking pictures, but tend to wait until May to print them and start class memory books.  This year, I have purchased (see, resourceful!) School Days Scrapbook by Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera and can't wait to get started.  I WILL NOT WAIT UNTIL MAY!
Mrs. Wathen
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TpT Credits ROCK!!

How resourceful is resourceful you ask?   Well, I meandered over  TpT tonight and started reading about credits for leaving feedback.  OOPS!  Not so good at leaving feedback :(  So I started to leave feedback for SOME of the units I purchased and watched my TpT credits grow!  For each dollar spent, I earned 1 credit.  For every 20 credits, you get $1.00 to be used on your next purchase!  Let's just say, I had 200 credits tonight which translated to $10.00 in TpT products and that my friends is 2 FREE new units!!  (Please don't tell dear hubby because he might do the math!!)

PEN PALS - MAKE A CLASSROOM CONNECTION by The Teacher Idea Factory and

 Back to School Pocket Chart Activities for 1st Grade/Kindergarten by Doodlebugs Teaching were my units of pick tonight:)

So remember to support these creative teachers by purchasing these fabulous units and then head back to TpT go give feedback! Its a win-win:)
Mrs. Wathen
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Birthday Giveaway Winner and Daiy 5

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!

I used a Random Number Generator to select the winner of my Birthday Giveaway (Yes, I know about Rafflecoptor, but it was just one more thing on the computer I had to figure out!!). So, I decided to do it the old fashioned way and was going to print out the comments, cut them apart and have one of my boys pull the lucky winner out of a hat:)  BRAINSTORM at midnight:  use a random number generator!  Much better thank waking a sleeping tiger up at midnight and who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks!! 

So I headed back to the comments to check out number 4 and the winner is...(drum roll please)

Delighted from First Grade Delight

So let's switch gears to the final chapter of Daily 5:  Pulling it all together and troubleshooting.  The sisters discuss checking in, scheduling, assessment, room arrangement and interruptions.  For me, scheduling was the problem.

During our reading block, our first grade team switches students for reading intervention groups (this will be a future post) for 30 minutes which leaves us with 90 minutes to cover our Harcourt reading series, Daily 5 and the Common Core.  I kept reading through the chapter to see if the Sisters addressed the number of rotations we should get through a day, etc.  To me, I want my kids reading and writing daily but this might not be the case if they have choices and you only get through 3 centers. 

I found an answer to my problem in the last past of the chapter that was titled:  I teach 5th grade.  How can I adapt the Daily 5 for older students?  OK, REALLY?  I almost skipped over this section, but continued to read.  The Sisters said that intermediate classrooms may split up their writing and reading blocks.  BINGO!  This is the answer to my problem.  We will have 3 rotations in the morning reading block which will include Read to Self, Read to Partner and Listen to Reading.  In the afternoon, we will continue with our writing block which will include Work on Writing, Word Work and perhaps a Science/Social Studies  activity or experiment.  I still need to workout the details of that. 

I have to say that I am so EXCITED now!  I feel like I had not committed to do Daily 5 the Sisters' way until now!  I could not wrap my brain around the time constrains and getting everything in.  I'm in!

Don't forget to check out our weekly hosts:

Funky First Grade Fun

Surfin' Through Second

Mrs. Wathen
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The Resourceful Apple-That's Me!

OK, I have been in a little funk!  I have always stood by the fact that I am RESOURCEFUL, not CREATIVE! 

Whether it was scrapbooking, crafting, home decor or school, I have always been resourceful.  I love finding fabulous creations and making them my own.  So why do I feel this need to be creative and make fabulous units  for my classroom and post them on TPT for all to see?

I have been buying units and supporting so many wonderful bloggers.  I applaud you! However, I have come to the conclusion, that I DON'T need to reinvent the wheel!  There are creative units out there that are exactly what I am looking for (and even some I wasn't looking for:) that I am more than happy to purchase, print, cut, laminate and cut again!

So, here's a look at what I was working on today:  Katie King's Classroom Decor Unit (from Queen of the First Grade Jungle).  I love the primary colors as they will complement my apple theme, but will match other themes if I change at some point!  She is even putting her alphabet and classroom decor units on sale tomorrow, July 25th so check it out on TPT!

OK, this is what I am talking about! Computers and I have a love/hate relationship!  I love them when they do what I want, but most of the time this doesn't happen!  OK, I took three pictures with the camera on landscape and the alphabet picture  downloads as a portrait!  WHY???

Any computer suggestions are always encouraged and appreciated here at The Resourceful Apple:)

Finally,  Wednesday is the last day to enter my birthday giveaway!  I am so excited by all the new followers and potential friends that have come about as a result of my birthday giveaway!  Remember to leave a comment that you are a follower under the birthday giveaway post and another if you blog about it before midnight. 

Mrs. Wathen
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An Award and a Linky

What's better thank reaching 100 followers and an award on your birthday? 
I am so EXCITED!

A HUGE thank you to the fabulous Miss Elementary for giving me this award:)

Miss Elementary

This award highlights blogs that have under 200 followers.

Here are the rules for it:

1. Copy and paste this award on your blog.

2. Thank the giver and link back to them.

3. Reveal 5 other bloggers and let them know by commenting on their blog.

So here are the 5 blogs I am awarding the Liebster Blog Award to:

Please stop by their blogs and check them out!  In addition, there are some really FABULOUS blogs over at the Newbie Blog Hop Linky Party with Janice at Grade Three is the Place for Me!

    1.  what state you are in?  Florida

    2.  your current teaching position: 1st Grade Teacher
    3.  your teaching experience: 16 years teaching PK-2nd with the majority in k and 1st
    4.  when you started blogging:  May 2012
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource:  If you don't know something, just ask.  Lots of    bloggers will reply and some will even go above and beyond! There is an amazing community of teachers out there. Its all about building relationships. 
Mrs. Wathen
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Daily 5 and Giveaways

Daily 5-Chapter 6 talks about Writing and Word Word. You should check out Mel's great post in the blog hop at Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations!  I also purchased the I Can Write Board from A Cupcake for the Teacher that Mel blogged about. 

Our Chapter 6 Hostesses have wonderful ideas so stop by and visit them too!
  and  Fabulously First

 In the past, I have used the components of Daily 5, but not in the Daily 5 Framework.  I did not have time for 5 rotations, so my kids went to journal writing DAILY.  Then they rotated through the other components (Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listening and Word Work) weekly along with a daily Reading Group. 

This year I am hoping to work in the Daily 5 Framework and follow the Sisters Suggestions.  I am looking for fun activities to get the kids excited about writing.  I read on someone's blog (and if you know who's please let me know!) that she makes class journal books and I LOVE that idea!  For example, On the first day of school..., My favorite food..., etc. and each child writes in the class journal.  How fun as they are able to share with the class as well as read each others' responses!   I also love the Pen Pal Unit from Kellie at The Teacher Idea FactoryLet me know if you are interested in a monthly connection:)

Word work is an area my kids always LOVE!  At the beginning of the year, they are able to use play-doh and alphabet cookie cutters, alphabet tiles, magnet letters, colored pencils for rainbow writing and some making words activities.  Later in the year, I introduce Scented Markers which they go CRAZY over!  I just found a cute recording sheet for this called Spell It, Smell it over at Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade!

I am always on the look out for great ideas and giveaways are an added welcome:)  Check out the following blogs for great giveaways and don't forget to enter my Birthday Giveaway too!

   The Resourceful Apple

    Swimming into Second
   Fourth Grade Fanatics

Click here to view larger image     Fabulous in First

Mrs. Wathen
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Birthday Giveaway

A BIG shout out to Kimberly at The Learning Tree for making my birthday button!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

So- here's the details...leave one comment if you are a follower and another if you post about it on your blog!  I am giving away the "Quiet" Pencil Sharpener in Firehouse Red! You can check it out on my last post, Its My Birthday.  It is already on preorder and I can't wait to get them:) 

The giveaway will end next Wednesday at midnight.  Good luck!

Mrs. Wathen
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Its my birthday week!

Hey Bloggin' Friends! 

This THURSDAY is my BIRTHDAY.   So, do you know what I want MORE than ANYTHING for my birthday?

  100 FOLLOWERS of course:) 

So, I want to have a little giveaway, but there is one little problem.  I want to make a cute little "button" or "banner" (not sure what it is actually called) for the birthday celebration/giveaway .  Yes, that's the problem!  I have purchased clip art and fonts, but can't figure out how to layer items in Microsoft Word. I know, DUH!  I am completely computer illiterate!  I almost threw my laptop across the room today!


Can someone point me into the right direction?  You can leave a comment here or email me any suggestions.  I would love to have the giveaway. Since you are here on my blog, you get a heads up.  HA!  I am preordering the new, FIREHOUSE RED (my favorite color!) pencil sharpener and there's an extra one on my order:)

COMING SOON! Firehouse Red

I would love to have the Birthday Giveaway posted before Thursday so if you are able to help, I would TOTALLY appreciate it.  The details on how to win will be coming soon so check back!

So here's to a great birthday week and figuring out making documents in Microsoft Word!

Mrs. Wathen
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Daily 5 Chapter 5

I know I am a few days late in posting this, but I promise I did do my reading on time!  In Chapter 5, the Sisters take us through Read to Someone and Listen to Reading.  I know many of you reading this have already read the chapter and posted about it, so I am going to skip the retelling and tell you what works for me and what I would like to change this year!

Read to Someone

Since reading the Daily 5 two years ago, I have had the children Read to Someone or Partner Read at least 3-4 days a week.  Where I differ from the Sisters is that it is not during my reading rotations.  I do like my classroom to be quiet, and I felt like it was a distraction to other students and myself (dare I say)! So, this is what has worked for me:  We do Read to Someone whole group (GASP!).  We have 5th Grade Reading Buddies come every Wednesday to partner read!  The kids LOVE this time and I love that they are practicing their reading and hearing great models for fluency.  Its a win-win!  Two other days during the week, the kids partner read their reading story (usually Thursday or Friday to review for the test) as well as partner read their Accelerated Reader books.  I am going to TRY to have them Read to Partner during out Reading centers.

The one aspect I did not give enough attention to in Read to Someone is a comprehension check.  This is definitely something I need to teach and model more.  I do use Accelerated Reader (AR) in my classroom.  As a teacher, I love that it gives the kids accountability for their reading.    I require one Accelerated Reader test (passed) per week.  The 5th grade reading buddies are great at listening  my students reread and getting them set up on Accelerated Reader.  I recommend they read the book 2-3 times before taking the test.  I am excited this year that our media specialist (Thanks Trish!) has purchased the rights to ALL the AR quizzes so now so MANY books have tests. What are your thoughts on Accelerated Reader?

As a parent, I have a love/hate relationship with AR.  I find my kids shy away from books that are NOT AR, because they need a certain amount of POINTS for a grade each quarter.  They both read for the required 20 minutes a night (which I love so I am not the bad guy!) and that gives them enough time to read for points.  Some series lend themselves to AR, and others don't; especially the new releases!  I am hoping this year it is easier since there will be a larger selection of AR books to choose from. 

Listen to Reading

I have always had a listening station in my reading rotation.  I love how it models fluency as well as adds excitement to the story.  The kids love the expression and voice found on the cd's/tapes.  However, when the story is over, they are reading books in my library.  I would like to add another listening station to the center.  Perhaps I will head on over to Doner's Choice and try to get one donated.  Here is my question for you all-  Do you think I should ask for individual CD players or MP3 players? Do you download several books on an MP3 player at a time and can the kids work it properly?

Head on over to check out our hosts for the week:  Dilly Dabbles, Barrow's Hodgepodge and Castles and Crayons.

DillyDabblesCastles and Crayons           

Stop by and check out this awesome giveaway!  Congrats to Janine at Faithful in First on 400 followers!

One final question-how do you link a picture?  Any help would be appreciated!  Thanks:)

Mrs. Wathen
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An Apple a Day!

Apples it is!  I have finally committed to a classroom theme of apples.  I have several things that I have used in the past, but don't think anyone has walked in my room and said, "Great apple theme!"  So with that said, I am on a hunt to add some things on a budget:)

First stop:  Lakeshore Learning where I found these super cute borders and matching accessories.  I have 2 square bulletin boards in the front of my new classroom on each side of the white board.  Thinking black or red fabric on each board; and to keep both bulletin boards matching.

Onto Walmart where I found this much cheaper apple border with matching accessories.  I am thinking of red fabric with the border.  I bought 2 of the square buckets and am going to print out labels for sharpened and broken pencils.  I know I have seen cute labels floating around blogland.  I am definitely more resourceful than creative:)  Did I mention these are all in the 88 cents section?  I LOVE a good deal!

Then Target (my favorite store) where I found a red paper lantern on clearance for 50% off!  I also want a yellow and a green so I can make them into 3 apples over my library.  My cousin in Rhode Island found a green at her Target and shipped it yesterday.  Thanks Amanda!!  Now I am on a  hunt for a yellow Target lantern. The other Target purchase is that ultra cute index card ring.  It is in the school supply section for $1.99 and could be used for reading words, spelling patterns, math facts and on and on I could go!  I am going back for a few more, but really hoping they go on sale or clearance in the next month!

And finally Kohls!  I know I had to go when Jessica at Mrs. Stanford's Class posted that all Skippy Jon Jones hard covered books and stuffed animals are $5.00 and part of the profit goes to Kohl's Cares.  Sounds like a win-win to me!

So now I have a question for you!  Which boarder-the black and primary apples or the yellow with red and green apples?  I would love your opinions!

 ***Head on over to The Learning Tree to find other frugal finds!!**

**Check out the Classroom Theme/Inspiration Linky over at Surfin' Through Second.***
Mrs. Wathen
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Giveaway and Daily 5 Book Study

Stacy at Simpson's Superstars is having an awesome giveaway and being I live in Florida I just have to post!

All 15 giveaways are by 15 wonderful bloggers right here in Sun-Shiny Florida:)  So head on over, check them out and follow along to win!

Daily 5 -Chapter 4:  Read To Self


Laura from Tattling to the Teacher   

Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies  First Grade Blue Skies

and Tales from Outside the Classroom are hosting this week.  Check them out for great ideas and a giveaway or 2.

Chapter 4 covers Read to Self. 

This includes the 3 ways to read a book:
     1. Read and talk about the pictures
     2.  Read the words
     3.  Retell a previously read book

Launching Read to Self focuses on building stamina and setting expectations.

The Sisters create an I chart (I for independence) and list what the children and teacher will be doing during read to self.  The magic occurs when the children model examples and NON EXAMPLES!  The children that act inappropriately in the  non examples then model the correct way to act, showing everyone (and themselves) that they CAN make GOOD CHOICES!

We also see in Chapter 4 WHY it is SO IMPORTANT to start with reading for a short period (3 minutes) so everyone has the opportunity to be successful.  A minute a day is added and practiced until primary grades can reach about 30 minutes!

I would love to hear from other teachers to see if each of your Daily 5 components will last for 30 minutes in your room.  I am trying to figure out how to get it all in!  I was thinking 20 minutes max.  Any thoughts?

Mrs. Wathen
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