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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

Graphing Frenzy & FREEBIE

The end of September leading into October is the perfect time to explore graphing!  It is included in our Common Core standards, but not in our Go Math! book.  Go Math has stepped up to the plate and has online resources now for those interested.

Graphing is such a fun, interactive math concept that I try really hard NOT to use unrelated worksheets.  At the end of September we had an apple taste test.  The students were then able to paint their favorite apple.  They had definite opinions about apples by the time we were ready to graph!

The kiddos took the reigns on this activity and helped create our graph from the apples to the title to the labels and the numbers.  THIS MADE A REAL CONNECTION to graphing!

On Tuesday, each friend will receive a package of  Bones Halloween Candy.  We ordered them HERE from Oriental Trading as they are hard to find in regular stores now. 

Bones Candy

We will be reading Dem Bones before we start the activity. Dem Bones is a super cute book by Bob Barner with a catchy tune. You can find it on Amazon HERE.

Product Details

You can find an amazing Halloween Themed Math Centers with a Dem Bones graph, sorting mat and questions over at TpT with Erica Bohrer

Ok, pictures to come later this week of more graphing activities.  Since to have stuck around this long, you can head on over to my TpT store for a Class Journal Cover FREEBIE! 

 I would love to hear about your favorite graphing activity:).

Mrs. Wathen
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Helpful Hints on Hump Day

I love this "get me through the week" idea!  Yes, its HUMP DAY and Teresa at Fun in K/1 has started a fun, new linky:)  She shared about a super engaging activity for spelling practice so check it out!

So now for my helpful hint...contractions style:)

I prefolded the papers for the kids just to make it go a little quicker.  They were instructed to write the two words on the front of the fold. They then cut on each side of the letter that is taken away...

When they lift the flap up, they make their apostrophe under it to make the contraction.

And when everything was written correctly, they went back to trace the words in crayon for extra practice and to give it a pop:)

And there you have it, simple and easy contraction practice.

Now head on over to see what other helpful hints you can find:)

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Mrs. Wathen
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Super Sight Word Review

Sight words are always such a hot topic for firsties:)  There are so many choices out there.  You could use your reading series, Dolch Words or even Fry Words.

This year I have decided to try a combination of our Wonders Series and Fry Words.  In our reading series, we introduce 4-8 new words weekly.  We practice these words whole group, in small group, at the word work center and they are on our study guide too!  The sight words are incorporated into our weekly anthology, our leveled readers and then into our weekly test which consists of a cold read story and fill in the blank sentences.

At the end of each unit (5 weeks of curriculum), we give a Unit sight word test for a grade. YES, we take numerical grades here in first!  So I made this Super Sight Word Review for a little practice that can be used before the tests, for review or even for first grade practice if you do not use Wonders!

This unit comes with BINGO, I Have, Who Has..., Sight Word BOO and Mixed Up Sentences. Lots of extra practice for those firsties who need just a little extra practice.

I then work individually with my students of FRY lists.  You can read more about that HERE.  All these units are on sale for 28% off.  Just remember to use the TpT code fb100k.  

Alright, my wish list is big so I am heading over to TpT to shop before I drop!  We had a super fun day at Sea World and I am one tired mama!
Mrs. Wathen
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Five for Friday and a HUGE TpT Sale!


I love joining in with Kasey at Doodle Bugs Teaching with Five for Friday.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:)

How exciting that TpT reached 100,000 followers on Facebook!  They announced only on their Facebook page that they are having a FLASH SALE and giving 10% off all purchases if you use the code fb100k.  In addition to that, I am joining in and am putting my store on sale with 20% off.  That means you get a combined savings of 28%.  

Photo: FLASH SALE!!! facebook page reached 100,000+ followers today and they are throwing a flash sale October 12-14!! Use the promo code FB100K to get up to 28% off my ENTIRE STORE!! Woohoo! Link in the first comment!


Fall soccer has started so we are on the fields 3 nights a week for practice and Saturday morning for both games.  Zach is always my one to ask for a picture, but I will grab one of Justin next weekend! 


I love ALL the writing activities by Lori Rosenberg over at Teaching with Love and Laughter.  The kids "get it" when they use the tree map to organize their web.  The final connection is made as the web is then transformed into their writing piece.  It help all my little firsties be successful!  She is my go to teacher for fabulous writing ideas:)  


Click on Lori's button to hop over to her blog...but don't forget to hop back!


All I have to say is

My kids love earning their dog tags, but I adore this one! This is probably one of the most important lessons of the year!  This is what will make my firsties "College and Career" ready.  Nobody likes a bully! Thanks to Miss Nelson for promoting this positive incentive.  You can check out her blog HERE!


And last but not least... first grade classes spent Friday afternoon working on our  S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity.  The children learned about planning and creating bridges.  I have to say we need a little more practice, but they LOVED every minute:)

After the bridges were built, we placed a piece up paper on top and to see if they would hold a teddy bear counter... Back to the drawing board:)

Now head on over to Teachers pay Teachers and check out the awesome savings:)
PS- Don't forget the code- fb100k
Mrs. Wathen
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Person, Place or Thing?

I can not count how many times we have said this during the week!  We have introduced not only nouns, BUT nouns in a series!!  Yikes!  Anywho, thank goodness there are so many fabulous resources out there to get the kids thinking and moving!

Visuals are the name of the game.  First graders need a connection.  We started off the week with Pumpkin Noun Sort by Michelle Oakes. The kids loved coming up to pick a card and decide if the picture and words was a person, place or thing.  The best part was because everyone wanted a turn you could hear a pin drop!  You can click on the picture to see Michelle's blog post.

My poor intern had a fabulous lesson planned with this activity today and was going to be observed by the college supervisor.  However,  he came an hour early as we switched for intervention groups.  I have to say as a middle school principal, he was very impressed by intervention groups, the rotation we had set up and my intern's higher order questioning.  Needless to say, the noun lesson was still engaging and the kids loved it!

We then used this super cute nouns interactive activity.  I wish I know who to credit, but is was a single page download with no named creator.  Does it look familiar?  I would love to give credit!

And last but not least is Pinterest.  I have to say I do not spend a ton of time on there anymore, BUT I love the app on my phone when I have a minute or two.  There are so many wonderful anchor charts for nouns, but I will just share my new favorite one for nouns.  You can click on the picture to find the pin...


Or you can head over to Mrs. Dwyer's A+ Firsties and check out Tanya's blog!  Super fun and jam packed with lots of fabulous ideas!

OK, tomorrow is Friday.  WE CAN DO THIS!!
Mrs. Wathen
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Becoming a Super Reader and a Giveaway

As I look at the data for my students' reading levels, I have been thinking about what I need to do to get them to the next level.  We spend 30 minutes a day in intervention/enrichment groups four times a week.  These groups target each child's specific reading need. I also meet with each reading group daily and target their specific reading level.  Finally, my kids are working on their Daily 5 Centers so they have another 15-30 minutes to be engaged in reading.   This is a fabulous attempt to get the children where they need to be, but some of them still can fall through the cracks.

I have decided to work on extra sight word practice in addition to the 4-6 sight words our reading series introduces each week.  Students can practice sight word rings during Read to Partner and use them during word work to target the words they are struggling with.

This is "Super Reader" Fry Words 1-100.  It includes a master teacher list including words 1-100, 4 small take home lists with 25 words each, flashcards for the classroom and awards for mastery of the first 100 Fry words.

"Wise" Reader Fry Words 101-200 is the follow up and is set up the same way.  This allows for each student to be working on his/her own list and moving along at his/her own pace.  Again, this is above and beyond the reading series curriculum, but I strongly feel we need to increase the rigor to match that of the Common Core.

Today I was able to post Out of this World Reader {Fry Words 201-300}.  In all three sets I tried to keep the graphics general and not tied to a specific holiday or season.  The flash cards can be printed and used throughout the year for additional practice as each child progresses.

I would love to share one of each set with 3 lucky winners!  All you need to do is pin your favorite set for a chance to win it.  You can pin one, two or all three sets for up to 3 entries! Just leave a comment for each pin and your email.  Please include your pin link from Pinterest.  I will pick 3 winners on Wednesday:)

Mrs. Wathen
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Five for Friday and our Apple Project

OK, I am totally freaking out that we are in October already!  I seem to be a day late and a dollar short as we wrapped up our apple activities this week and never even got to Johnny Appleseed:( (Please don't judge!!)

So I am joining up with Kasey at Doodle Bugs Teaching with her five for Friday linky!  Here are 5 snapshots from our week:)


I {heart} apple activities and FREE apple centers by Kasey are on the top of my list!  We practiced counting by 5's on the pocket chart.  We still need more practice, but Rome wasn't built in a day, RIGHT?


We started our group apple projects on Monday. We read From Farm to Table (Wonders Series) which was a perfect nonfiction reader for the group. The students then broke up into groups of four to start working on their first part of their poster.  This was my intern's first experience with a cooperative group project. I think it was a great learning experience for her as well as the kids:)



Day 2 or our Apple Group projects started with a story called Apples, Apples, Apples and then after a discussion, the groups had to create an part 2 of their poster- The Life Cycle of an Apple.  Each group member was assigned a daily number and then each number has a specific job.  This helped with the accountability for each student in the group.  


The following day, the groups worked on a flow map to tell additional details about the life cycle of the apple.  This was the third part of their poster.  This group had not added their arrows and title yet, but I guess we got caught up in groups and I didn't snap the final product.  


On Thursday I was out at a writing training, but my intern did a great job introducing Double Bubble Maps to compare and contrast our two books for the week.  She took the students step by step to make their own double bubble map for their fourth and final part of their apple poster.  On Friday when I returned, each group made a presentation sharing what they learned through the week!  They did a fabulous job:)

Then we squeezed in apple taste testing, painting, an art project and even made apple sauce on Friday!  I came home and crashed and now my Five for Friday rolled into Saturday!

Mrs. Wathen
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