July 29, 2016

Organize Your Sight Words

So I saw this cute caddy at Michael's on sale before school let out and knew I HAD to have it.
After spending the summer in Africa then creating my heart away, I figured out what to use it for!

Organizing my sight word flashcards and word wall magnets!

First things first, everything needed to be color coded.
So I trashed all my old flashcards and bought new colorful index cards. 

Then I decided to break down the list given to us by our district.
I chose which words I wanted to introduce for each week throughout the school week.
I typed them up and printed them out. 

{Find the template HERE to download for FREE}
Note: uploading to Google docs so that the template is editable will not support the fonts I used

I wrote the words on index cards to match the colored paper and put them into the corresponding box from inside the caddy. 

This caddy holds them all!
I just placed my papers into plastic sleeves and laid them on top of the colored boxes. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw this idea several days ago.
If you don't follow me, I highly recommend it. 
I do not blog about every single idea but I do TRY to post pictures of them!

Click on this photo below to follow me on IG {fortheloveoffirstgrade}

July 27, 2016

Back to School with Learning through Literacy

Who says teachers get summer's off?
Because this teacher right here may not have set foot in the school, but I sure did wear this computer out! I've spent all summer creating and putting together things for my firsties that I haven't even met!

My HUGE labor of love this summer was creating monthly literacy activities and centers.

Meet Learning through Literacy

Learning through Literacy focuses on skills taught throughout the 1st grade year.
I know students learn best when they get to practice what they are taught, after it "sinks in". 
So my goal was to create a literacy activity my students could practice successfully on their own. 

Each month's pack includes an activity for the following categories:
 phonics, word work, grammar, writing, & sight words
Within each month, the skill in each category changes.
For example, in November the phonics skill is blends but in December the phonics skill is digraphs.
This is true for each category. 

I like to be able to tell whether or not my students need help in their center work as it lets me know if they have mastered the skill, are progressing in the skill, or need to be retaught the skill. 
So, I made a recording sheet to accompany each activity. 

Here is a peek into the 5 activities for the month of September. 
Recognizing consonants in CVC words
Reading CVC words
Rhyming words 
Simple sentences
Sight Words

Here is a peek into the 5 activities for the month of October. 
Short Vowels
Reading CVck words
Categorizing Nouns
Simple sentences
Sight Words

Here is a peek into the 5 activities for the month of November. 
Words with Blends
Rhyming Words
Common & Proper Nouns
Sentence Building
Sight Words

Here is a peek into the 5 activities for the month of December.
Words with Digraphs
Compound Words
Sight Words 

Here is a peek into the 5 activities for the month of January. 
Words with Blends & Digraphs
Compound Words
Nouns & Verbs
Alphabetizing Words
Sight Words

Here is a peek into the 5 activities for the month of February. 
Words with CVCe
Nouns, Verbs & Adjectives
Punctuating Sentences
Sight Words

Here is a peek into the 5 activities for the month of March.

Words with Adjacent Vowels
Synonyms and Antonyms
Alphabetical Order
Punctuating Sentences

Sight Words 

Here is a peek into the 5 activities for the month of April. 
Words with Dipthongs (oo/ou/ow/oi/oy/au/aw)
Adverbs and Adjectives
Alphabetical Order
Vocabulary and Context Clues
Sight Words

Here is a peek into the 5 activities for the month of May. 
Words with R Controlled Vowels
Alphabetical Order
Building Sentences with Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives
Sight Words

You can grab each one individually or the whole bundle.
If you purchase the bundle, it is 20% off, which means you get 2 month's worth free!
Click on the pictures above and they will take you where you need to go in my TpT store. 

They will all be 20% off through this weekend!

July 26, 2016

Give Students Jobs in the Classroom!

Before introducing individual classroom jobs over 2 years ago, I only had 2 jobs.
Leader and door holder.
What!? I know!
Both would change daily. The leader would lead calendar and if they were responsible, I would have them run any errands that popped up during the day. I know you just 'gasped' and I did too! It obviously wasn't a very fair or consistent role. So I finally came to my senses and created a job for each student!

The last 2 years, every student in my class has had a job or a role in the classroom.
 Once thing I have noticed is that it helps a great deal by creating unity and a family-like environment. 

Here is how I have the jobs displayed. 
 That will be there job for the entire week
The only thing I have yet to add is a numbered popsicle stick.
Each card will also have a numbered stick next to it. This number coincides with the students' magic number.
On Friday afternoon, I will rotate the sticks so that their new job is ready for when the come Monday.

I have made 3 different sets of job cards. 
Bright Chevron.
Primary Colors.

Each set contains 30 different jobs for your class.

water patrol.  weather reporter.  line leader.  door holder.  pencil monitor.  caboose.  techi.  light monitor.  trash collector.  lunch counter.  message carrier.  materials manager.  snack assistant.  germanator.  table captains 1-5.  calendar cadet.  security guard.  brain break.  card shark.  vacation.  sub.  stretch leader.  ask me.  well wisher.  librarian.  pet cadet.  

Here is a preview of a few jobs that are in each pack.

{shown is the Bright Chevron pack}

You can find each pack available in my TpT store. 
All 3 will be on sale for the next 3 days!
Click on the pack you would like to purchase for a link to my store!

July 21, 2016

Do you LOVE Anchor Charts as Much as I do!?!?

Are you down for some anchor chart L-O-V-E?!
I wanted to share with you how I use anchor charts all.the.time in my classroom.

There are 2 different types of anchor charts I use in my teaching:
1) Interactive anchor charts--those made together
2) Introductory anchor charts--those that are pre-made

Interactive anchor charts are those that my students help me construct.
Sometimes we complete them whole group. Other times I make several of the same template and put students in groups. Normally I have a title on them or a few pre-written words, but the rest of the chart is up to them to help me fill out and create based on the lesson. 

We use these in pretty much every subject.
Here are some scenarios from the picture above where we interacted to make class anchor charts:
Insects--our schema and new learning
Bats--what we learned from nonfiction text
Verbs--squares from a verb search
Phonics--digraph word hunts with books
3 Sound of ED--partner word hunts
Things We Can Do--record individual verbs

Incorporating these into any lesson engages students and lets them take ownership of their learning!
Plus they feel like they are getting to "be the teacher"!

Introductory anchor charts are used to just that, introduce a skill, strategy, or concept.
I present these completely pre-made anchor charts in my very first introductory lesson. I keep it and display it so that I can refer to it during any follow up lessons, small group lessons, or for student referencing.

I use these in every subject also.
Here are some scenarios from the picture above where I used anchor charts to introduce material:
Vowel Pairs--list all the pairs
Rhyming Words--define and show examples
Scientist--who they are/what they do
Fiction & Nonfiction--define and add pictures
Reading Strategies--define and add an anchoring mental picture
Grammar--define and add pictures or examples

I feel like I make an anchor chart for everything. My room starts off SO bare but ends up so "charty". 
So in order to save space, I have created printable anchor charts.
These charts are 8 1/2 X 11 (normal sized paper) and don't take up a great deal of space.

Printable Anchor Charts for Reading & Comprehension

Printable Anchor Charts for Grammar

Here are the 2 products for introductory anchor charts that you can just print and use from my TpT store.
They will be on sale for the next 2 days!

Happy Charting!

July 19, 2016

A Trip of a Lifetime: Africa

Where have I been? Well let me just tell you all about it!
First off, let me say, this post has absolutely nothing to do with teaching.
I want to share a personal experience I had the opportunity to take early this summer.

God led my heart to take a mission trip to Tanzania, Africa 2 weeks after school let out for summer. 
I had from February to May to raise $4,100 and prep for the trip. It felt like an overwhelming task. 

God taught me through all that I had to do to get ready that NOTHING is too big for Him!
I raised my money in record time and memorized a stack full of scriptures.

I've always had a love for Africa and a desire to visit and now I know just why God placed that on my heart! I wasn't nervous for what I was going to go do. I was nervous for being pushed out of my comfort zone...and that's exactly where we grow!

The plane ride was the worst part of my whole experience. I was just not made to sit that long!
We flew 2 hours to Detroit---8 hours to Paris---8 hours to Kenya---1 hour to Tanzania.
With all the layovers...27 hours total.
Days 1-3 were travel days...whew!
We finally met up with our team and the excitement was contagious!

We drove 2 hours to our first hotel in Arusha...and let me tell you I was NOT disappointed!
I was thinking I would be staying in some sort of Motel 6ish rooms but look at this....

Definitely my kind of accommodations!
The next morning we woke up and drove 7 hours to Singida. 
To my surprise, the main roads were paved so it wasn't the drive I was expecting. 
We arrived at our hotel and it was just as nice as the first one! This was "home" for 5 days.

We headed to church to meet our team for the week.
Each on of us had a local interpreter, "new" 2 pastors who were planting churches and 2 "old" pastors who already had churches in place but were supporting the "new" pastors. Reality set in as I met the people I would be spending all day every day with for the next 5 days. 
That night I experienced my first "African" meal. Many of you may have seen my fish picture...but just in case you didn't, here was my dinner. YES, eyes/head/mouth and ALL!
So a little about the food--it's bland, very bland. Not much seasoning.
We had the choice of beef, chicken or fish each night with fries or rice. 
Needless to say, I'm totally over rice and appreciate my veggies much more!
Breakfast on the other hand wasn't too bad. We had eggs, toast, carbs, carbs, carbs each morning. 
Enough about food....

 Each day we met for devotion time and breakfast, set out to church, met up with our small teams and headed out to the villages. 

Days 4-5 we went to Ginery.
My interpreter, myself, church pastor and a few others from the church went out and literally went "door to door" sharing our presentation with families. Our goal was to share the gospel with as many people as we could and share with them the news of the church in their village.

I had the opportunity to share the gospel with a group of 13 girls who were on their way home from school. Each and every one accepted Christ. They each were beyond excited to receive a bible that I could not hand them out fast enough. Fun fact: they also loved touching my hair, ha!
This young lady was a family member of a current church member who's home we went to and shared the gospel with. She also accepted Christ and received a bible. We had a special connection!
Talking to some locals at the fruit stand!
 Here is a sweet Muslim family that welcomed us into their home, even though they didn't accept Christ, we showed them His love by giving clothes to their sweet children.

Here are some photographs of the village of Ginery.

 Each afternoon we held discipleship back at the church we were helping to plant. We invited everyone we spoke with to come to the church at a certain time where we would teach them how to disciple to others and share what they had accepted. These are a few of the ladies who showed up from our 2 days in Ginery.

Such a special treat to get to see all the new believers together!
Days 6-7 we went to Mwonkoko.
My team member's interpreter was actually the pastor who was planting a new church in this village. 
So we set out again, going from house to house speaking to as many families as we could.
The first family we visited lived here. This village was a lot more "natural" than Ginery. 
Everyone except for the lady in yellow were born again Christians. They let us know she was possessed by a demon. So our interpreters, who are also pastors, led us in "an intense prayer" to exercise the demon's spirit out of the woman. It was quite the experience!

They had an immense farm where they grew bananas, pumpkins, papayas, mangos. avocados and I'm sure many more foods.
Here's another family who all accepted Christ.
Just look at these photos! I don't need to tell you anymore about this visit...
 And then there's this...
Y'all, I get teary eyed looking at this photo every dang time.
The emotion and feeling. The rawness. It's so real.
It's pretty much the whole reason why I went on this trip in one single photo.

We also had the opportunity to visit....A SCHOOL!!!!!!
God knew all along that my dream was to visit a school, and on the LAST day, he provided!
Here's a glimpse at the school.
My partner spoke with the teachers and I had to opportunity to speak to 2 classes, all crammed into one room of--get this--87 kids! Talk about nerves.

When I walked into the room, they all stood up simultaneously and greeted me!
I honestly felt like the most special person on Earth!
They were respectful beyond belief.
And not to mention, they were the most attentive group of people that I have ever spoken to.
They hung onto my every word, like they couldn't get enough. 
This is probably my favorite moment of the entire trip--right here in this photograph! #teacherhearthappy

45, YES, 45 of them accepted Christ!
While floating on cloud 9, I took a quick tour of the school.

 Here's inside one of the classrooms.
That's it!
I just had to let the headmaster know how much I appreciated him letting us come into his school, stop their classes, and let us minister to these people, amazed!

We also had a great family that opened their home to us over the course of the 2 days we were there.

           The hospitality of the people of this country blows me away...literally! They will stop what they are doing, grab whatever they can find for you to sit on, welcome you in (like they've known you for years) and just share the immense amount of love they  have for you...and it just opens your eyes to love, to the love we are supposed to show to everyone as followers of Christ. 

If there is anything that God taught me on this trip, it is how to truly LOVE PEOPLE! 
Love them not because of who they are, but because of who He is.

Day 8 we visited a local church children's program.

Our leader taught a kid friendly message to 2 groups of children. They were precious in every way.

We gave them all bibles and loved on the quite a bit!

We also had the opportunity to baptize some of the new believers in the local lake.


Day 9
Sunday we went back and visited both churches and attended their services.
One church gifted us with some African cloths as appreciation for our visit.

Later that day, we met up with the team and headed to Karatu...so we could finally be tourists!
We were going on day 9 of African cusine so we were dying for some American goodies.
Look what we got!

Here is a glimpse from our last hotel in Karatu.

Day 10 EEEK--Safari Day!!
If you know me, you know this is the ONE thing I have dreamed to do all of my 28 years of life. And God sent me here to do His work and is fulfilling my dream in the process! #blessed
Lake Manyara National Park
Oh you know, just "the tree of life"!
Hippo pond.



How amazing to see God's creation!

Mt. Kilimanjaro 


A big thank you to those of you who contributed to my trip. 
You were a part of reaching these lives for Christ just as much as I was.

If you want to find out more visit EPPIC Missions website!