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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.
Widget by:Gabby Barba

Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

Five for Friday {2/27}

 Do you ever feel like you are chasing your  tail? 
This year I can't catch my breathe!
So, I am finally linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching again with Five for Friday. 
I ordered an apple from Tallahassee Sunday on Etsy! 
She has the most adorable door décor for teachers. 
Thanks Leigh from The Applicious Teacher for the idea! 
One of our rotations during math centers is Math Facts. 
Students practice with Timed Math Sheets in dry erase pockets. 
This week we added math fact sticks.  They LOVED it. 
 Check out this pack from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits!
We completed our President's Day Projects this week. 
I had a very sweet parent prep and bag all the pieces for each student!
Then I had a sample page ready to go. 
This was the culminating activity or their "research" project.
You can find over at Simply Kinder.
I am trying to make healthier choices!
I am in LOVE with my Garmin Vivo Smart.
It is thin like the Fitbit, but has a display to see my steps!!
I am addicted to it and love when it flashes GOAL when I hit 10,000 steps!
My new favorite breakfast is a fried egg
with avocado on a whole wheat English Muffin.
 Due to county wide testing next week,
we celebrated Read Across America on Friday.
Our first grade team rotated classes and
students were engaged in reading, writing and math activities
from the Cat and the Hat!
This little cutie's mom teachers on my team and snapped this picture!
 Hope you had a fun, productive week too!
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Mrs. Wathen
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The Forgotten Art: Thank You Notes

The forgotten know the one...
the dreaded thank you notes!
So as I opened up Valentine presents and boxes of candy
I was quickly thinking about the thank you notes that needed to be sent!
I have to say at times I write actually old fashioned notes
with envelopes addressed to the child and family
and other times I print a card, write a little message and send it as is.
So why send thank you notes when so many don't?
1. To model proper etiquette for my students
2.  To make connections with students and families.
For something that takes only a minute to write,
it can warm a heart and build relationships.
I also use this little pack a lot...
I love easy!
There are four notes to a page so I preprint them
and have the ready to go!
So if you are in need of Valentine thank you notes
If you would like to see the complete Thank You Notes pack
So do you send thank you notes?
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Mrs. Wathen
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Teacher Talk Tuesday: Math Centers Part 3 Organization and a Giveaway

Math center organization is the key to my sanity as I journeyed into the wondrous world of math centers! It not only keeps me in line, but it optimizes student learning.

Now, I have to say I have tried Daily 5 Math, BUILD and just about any other guided math/center framework.  I don't think I ever saw it as a must do.  Needless to say, there was never enough time so it was pushed aside.  I started to follow Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits and learned A LOT about math centers.  Reagan is an inspiration in the land of math centers!  Did I say I actually got to meet her in New York at the TpT meetup?  #rockstar
So now here I am in 2015 bound and determined to make math centers matter.  I learned that simple works.  My flexible groups and centers started off on hand written on index cards.  (Gasp!!) I quickly saw the benefits of small group instruction during math and started on making something more permanent. My students voted and wanted to use animal names for our groups which gave me a starting point.
I write students names in dry erase marker because the groups are fluid and students can move up and down levels, depending on skill assessments.  I tend to move students in math than reading because our units change every two weeks in our county. So the same student might understand fractions, but struggle with addition and subtraction.  That's ok.
I then selected the 5 rotating centers that I would use.  I chose to incorporate Interactive Journals in my Teacher's Group to help my struggling kids.  This class in particular needs a great deal of scaffolding and this gives me the time to do it in math.  I am lucky to have 4 computers and 4 I pads in my classroom. 
Now that my students are grouped and I have the center cards set, I add them to a small pocket chart. (The ones from the Target dollar section are a great size!)  I remove the bottom center card, move each remaining card one down one place and move the bottom card to the top of the rotation. 
The classroom organization is set.  Now is time for planning.  I have added some planning pages to this pack to help me wrap my mind around the skills, activities and prep needed for the week! I will be back next week to share a bit about planning for guided math and centers.
If you would like to WIN a copy of MATH CENTER ORGANIZATION before it is available on TpT, leave a COMMENT BELOW about math centers: what works, what doesn't, what you would like to hear more about...Don't forget to leave your email to win!  Winner will be picked on SATURDAY 2/7:)
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Mrs. Wathen
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