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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
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

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!

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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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