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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

Favorite Math Pins

I am linking up with Ashley Reed over at Just Reed.  This week's Ten Pin Linky is Math Idea Pins. 

There are so many wonderful ideas out there.  I love teaching math, but often struggle to get it all in with our math series (Go Math!) by following our counties pacing guide.  My goal this year is to incorporate math groups by using the Daily 5 for Math.
Here are a few activities I have found on Pinterest to introduce a concept or to use as practice.
1. I love this board and have purchased Cara Carroll's Calendar Companion.
2.  This can be challenging at the beginning of first grade, but the kids rise to the occasion with lots of practice:)

3. The clock visual is great once the concept of time has been introduced not to mention it can replace the "That time is lunch?" question:)

4.  No more dice falling on the floor:)
6. I have a math vocabulary pocket chart, but this is so much more appealing and attention grabbing.
8.  This is such a great visual from A Cupcake For the Teachers for sums of 10.
9.  We always chant, "The little hand tells the hour and the big hand counts by 5."
10.  My first unit on TpT was Ladybug Addition.  I plan on going back to update it, but am on vacation for 2 more weeks:)  So, until then, Ladybug Addition will be FREE!  I would love you to leave some TpT feedback if you download it:)

Mrs. Wathen
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Bloglovin' Anyone?

I am sure you have heard the news.  If you follow blogs on Google Friends Connect, it will be GONE on July 1st! 

So, many are moving their list over to bloglovin'.  I have to say I signed up this morning and it was REALLY easy!  I am lucky I know how to turn on the computer. (OK, I might be exaggerating a little, but you got the idea!) 

You can click on the icon and follow me over at bloglovin:)

Follow on Bloglovin
Vicky, over at Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After is having a bloglovin' giveaway with some favorite products!

If you want help, Catherine at Brown Bag Teacher has a great Tutorial with pictures and a little giveaway too:)

Mrs. Wathen
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Word Nerds

What's the big idea about vocabulary instruction? That's the name of Chapter 1 and if truth be told my first reaction before common core came out.  I am a first grade teacher and first instinct is these children need to learn HOW to read.  As I read through the overview at Mrs. Russell's Room about Chapter 1 and reflected on what I have learned through Common Core this first year. I realized that this book was a MUST HAVE for me!

So much of our focus in first is on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency and comprehension.  We need to make a conscience effort to choose complex texts to build that vocabulary. In the book, it is stated that

Children's literature, with the exception of texts that have been simplified for beginning or inexperienced readers, contains two times a many rare words as in conversation between two college-educated adults and more than all adult conversation except in courtroom testimony!
The book goes on to site an amazing excerpt from A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon. The vocabulary in the story is rich and engaging. Our job as the teacher is to use rigorous texts and then extend on the vocabulary using a multiple steps. 
Marzano's six steps include the following
1.  Provide a description of the words
2.  Ask students to restate the meaning in their own words
3.  Construct a picture or symbolic representation of the word
4.  Engage the students in vocabulary activities
5.  Have the students discuss the word/meaning with each other
6.  Involve the students in games that enable them to play with the vocabulary

Check out Jen Jones' blog for an amazing post about Marzano's 6 Steps and more!

Grab My Button

One amazing packet I purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers is also from Jen Jones.  It is called Vocabulary Word Sets and compliments Utah's First Text Talk Lessons.  These are amazing lessons and Jen Jones has created a packet that helps to put Marzano's 6 steps to vocabulary instruction into motion. 

You can read more about the Vocabulary Word Sets HERE.
You can head on over to Teaching with a Touch of Twang to follow this book study and to learn more.  I am so glad I found this study as it is changing the way I think about instruction and my focus.  I hope you will join us!
Teaching with a Touch of Twang
Mrs. Wathen
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Ten Pin Linky

I just love the downtime during the summer to read blogs, peruse Pinterest and dream of the most fabulous classroom.  I am linking up with Ashley at Just Reed for The Ten Pin Linky.  This week's theme is Classroom Decor:)

1.  I love my apple theme:)  Such a cute door hanger! 

Apple Teacher Door or Classroom Sign - cute painted apple signs - teacher signs - teacher gifts

2.  I love organization almost as much as I love the color red!

3.  This door decor is a MUST HAVE for me this year!

4. I love the lantern apples.  I already hung my apples, but need to make my stems a little bolder.

5.  Telling time is such a hard concept for firsties.  I want to start much earlier in the year.

6.  Love this idea.  I would change the papers up a bit, but super cute for the library perhaps.

7.  I love that the time is magnetic:)  I can't tell you how many times I lose my timer!

8.  I always look at this  pocket chart but never purchase it.  Thinking I will use it this year as a vocabulary chart.
9.  I love cute organization that helps me and the kids.  These are both super ideas!

10.  Another MUST DO this summer.  I love the Dr. Seuss picture frames that were made by covering square canvas frames with the plastic Dr. Seuss bags (from Target I believe)! 

There is nothing like a little Pinterest for a  little  lot of inspiration!  I would love to to follow me on Pinterest!

Mrs. Wathen
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Classroom Decor Linky

I am linking up with my bloggy friend, Leigh from The Applicious Teacher, with An Apple a Day...  This week's linky is classroom decor and you know that being the Resourceful Apple, I have to say Apples:)

 photo Slide1_zps0f4262e5.jpg

I have always loved the apple teacher gifts that most might roll their eyes at say "Thank You very much!" for! I have embraced these apple gifts and all things apple.  I have tried to add something apple to my classroom each summer.  

Last summer, I added red and green paper lantern to my library and added a leaf and VIOLA- apple lanterns.  I am looking for a yellow one to add this year:)


I also made a Welcome to First Grade Banner on apples last summer.  Sorry the lighting in this picture is difficult due to  the window!

And last but not least for today is Apple labels in my library.  I have used the labels for the AR section and they are available for a FREE download in my TpT store HERE.

OK, speaking of Leigh and The Applicious Teacher Blog, we met on Saturday with a little bloggy meet up with Central Florida teachers at Tommy Bahamas!

From left to right:  Kimberly from KG Fonts, Daina from Sticky Notes and Glitter, Me, Leigh from The Applicious Teacher, Sabra from Teaching with a Touch of Twang, and Tamara from Mrs. Russell's Room.

So don't forget to link up with Leigh with your classroom decor!
Mrs. Wathen
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Currently & a Book Study

I am so excited that we have 3 more days of school and 2 workdays.  
1 WEEK- that's it!

I am linking up with  Farley with June Currently.

I am super excited to start my summer
BUT and stressed with all we have to do this week.

Can you believe I have moved my classroom
18 times in 18 years?

CRAZY, right?

Anywhoo, I am a pro at moving now:)

I am also joining Jenn at Charts & Chit Chat
(Best Practices 4 Teaching)
for a book study

Reading without Limits is available at Amazon 
as well as on the Kindle and the Nook.

More details as the time draws closer:)

Now, I am REALLY off to start this week's lesson plans.
Mrs. Wathen
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Follow @georgialoustudios