July 31, 2015

FREE First Week Assessments {Flashback Friday}

What teacher doesn't want to get a little ahead of the game?
I like to soak every ounce of summer in but there is always something inside of me too that loves venturing back up to  my classroom to prep for the new year. 

Speaking of prepping, I wanted to flashback to a post I shared last year that has some FABULOUS first week assessments that will give you a great idea of what your babies are capable of right away!


Tomorrow is August!
The month when school resumes.
The month when summer is over.
If I've made you sad I have something to uplift your spirits!

Today I am sharing with you a collection of back to school simple daily assessments for the first week.

Don't you just dread those days when you have NO idea about what your students can and can't do.
Talk about frightening!
This packet contains all the assessments you need to figure out what your firsties can and can't do.

Included are the following:
*I Can...draw a picture of me.
*I Can...write my name.
*I Can...write my alphabet.
*I Can...match uppercase and lowercase letters.
*I Can...hear beginning sounds.
*I Can...write my numbers.
*I Can...can the objects.

My recommendation is to knock out one or two a day that first week, before you even begin to teach anything at all. 

Check out my TpT Store for even more freebies I didn't have the chance to share OR just click on the freebies tab at the top of my blog page!

July 29, 2015

Student 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 27, 2015

Minion Management

Aren't these little guys the cutest!?
My team is going with a "Minion" theme for our hallway this school year.
So when my sister in law gave me these, I knew I had to take them to school with me!
(They came in a McD Happy Meal)

My plan is to incorporate these guys into my behavior management system, at least for the first part of school...because we all know things like this tend to lose their effectiveness after awhile.  

Throughout the day, as students make positive choices, I will move the Minion around to sit on their name-tag. At the end of the day, whichever student has the Minion on his/her desk, they will receive a ticket worth 3 for the day. 

I use a ticket system for behavior. Read about it HERE.

What other ways could these be used in a classroom?
Feel free to share your thoughts!

July 24, 2015

Five for Friday!

Time to give Friday a little LOVE!
Here's a few things I've been up to this week. 

My friend Michelle from Smitten with First and I are hosting a fun Back to School Freebie giveaway each Friday for a few more weeks. Read more about it HERE. Our first one was today and it was so much fun!

I jumped on at Step into Second's bandwagon to change my logo so that it has my picture and blog name on it. If you haven't seen her tutorial check it out HERE.

If you haven't heard of Sit Spots, you need to check them out. I normally use duct tape to make a large rectangle for my firsties to sit in during carpet time. Well, duct tape no longer. Now each student will have an individual spot to sit on!

I haven't stepped foot in my classroom since I left (hence the date on my blocks). So my first task this week was to reorganize my teaching books and binders!

I really haven't been thrilled with the way my math block has been running the past few years, so I decided to change it up a bit. I love everything Reagan Tunstall does during her math block. My plan is to use her guided math program for my math block this year!

So sad that there are only 2 Friday's left of my summer. 

July 23, 2015

Back to School 5 Minute Friday Freebies

During the school year we can't wait for them.
During the summer we could care less about them.
But summer doesn't last forever and soon we will be preparing to go back.

So starting this Friday, let's have some back to school fun!
Michelle from Smitten with First and I have teamed up to bring you....
5 Minute Friday Freebies

How Does it Work?
Each Friday we will pick one back to school item from our TpT stores.
For 5 minutes you can grab that item for, yes, FREE! 
The only catch is, if you download, we ask that you PLEASE leave feedback

If you don't already have an Instagram account make sure you sign up because that is where we will be announcing our 5 Minute Friday Freebies!

Follow Lindsay HERE
Follow Michelle HERE

Let's get back to school ready!

July 21, 2015

Gettin' Charty With It

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
I LOVE using anchor charts both ways.


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!


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


Here are 2 products for introductory anchor charts that you can just print and use from my TpT store.


Here is a glimpse of what my anchor chart filled room looked like at the end of last year.

As you can see, we have both interactive and introductory anchor charts all around our classroom!
I like to think of it as pure evidence of hard core learning!

July 14, 2015

Printable Anchor Charts for Reading & Comprehension

I feel like a broken record, but if you know my teaching style, you know that I run off of anchor charts and smelly markers #mrsketchsnob 

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.

I feel like I spend a good chuck of my day teaching reading.
Last year we followed a new reading curriculum that I absolutely love.
My kids use the language I use all the time, in part because I have these great reminders for them!

Printable Anchor Charts for Reading & Comprehension

When I introduce a new reading strategy, I always have a pre-made anchor chart by my side.
We talk about it daily with the books we read.
I use them in my small group teaching.
We refer to it during discussions.
I hang them up as references to our learning!
They are ingrained into their little brains!

So I'm sharing with you my love for printable and pre-made anchor charts!
Here is my newest creation!

It comes with 6 anchor charts used for different reading strategies:
*Making Connections
*Main Idea
*Author's Purpose


All you have to do is print them out!!!! 

If you think these would be useful, you can also check out my anchor charts I use for teaching grammar!

My goal is to make the prep work of teaching easier for you!