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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.

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Penguins and Literacy Week

This has been such a busy, fun week.  We have been reading tons of Penguin literature-both fiction and nonfiction, magazines, A-Z projectable books and even Scholastic News!

After reading several non-fiction sources, we looked at our Thinking Maps and the children decided we should use our Tree Maps because we will be classifying penguin information.  We used the categories can, have and are.  There are so many maps available in TpT units that I LOVE and own!  I am torn as our county and the Thinking Map trainers strongly suggest the children create their own thinking maps so they have ownership of their work and the relationships with the skills used.  We are also asked to not copy things that the kids could complete without a worksheet...  So, I pick and choose what I copy with the school's copier and with my personal copier in the classroom.

I did use a fabulous web from Lori over at Teaching with Love and Laughter.  If you are looking for engaging student activities, you need to head to her TpT store.  :)  I used her Writing Through the Winter Pack to get an amazing web that helped me focus on an introduction, three details and a closing sentence.  The kids loved the adorable clip art that went along with our penguin theme as well as the structure they long for.  

Sorry, I could not get this picture to load the right way!   The kids then used their web to write an informational piece on lined paper. Lori includes various maps, webs, and matching lined paper with winter themes in this unit. 

You can click on the picture to see the unit. 

 Writing Through the Winter

As past of Literacy Week at our school, our wonderful literacy coach asked that each class make a class book and the books will be delivered to a  local children's hospital on Friday.  The kids finished up these adorable penguins and created a Penguin Fact Book.  

I used the Simple, but Cute Penguins pack by First Grade Blue Skies for the Penguin patterns and a writing template for Penguin Facts.  

The kids loved learning penguin facts, writing about them and making a book.  Their only thought was, "Can we make another one so we can keep it?".  I love this class :)

And I love that tomorrow is a Teachers' Work Day.  I will be finishing grades and getting report cards completed.  Looking forward to the long weekend!

Mrs. Wathen
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  1. So, so, so cute!! Love them!
    Thank you for the shout out!! =)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  2. Hey, friend! Thanks so much for the shout-out! You're the best!
    Ѽ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter


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