Lesson Plan Sunday!

I am kind of obsessing over my lesson plans this weekend.  Will it make me a better teacher come Monday?  Maybe.  However I know they will look great in my lesson plan book and I am hoping they will help remind me of the important things I need to get done this week! Here is a little peek.
I bought the "Easy Ecology" unit from Teacher to the Core, click HERE to get to her blog.  She has posted pics of her unit in action, it's a really good one!  I love that she included fluency pages because our end of the year DIBELS (ack!) testing is just one week away.  I am totally stressing!  Our goal is 47 words per minute with 90% accuracy.  I have about 77% of my class at that benchmark right now, just trying to get a few more over that HUMP this week!  

I use the fluency passages during our "6 Minute Fluency" time.  Our district uses this program, but I only use their passages when I can't find anything to match the current unit I am working on.  I do use the "management" portion of 6 minute fluency.  Read with a partner for 2 minutes, listen to your partner for 1 minute, read to your partner for 1 minute.  I think it has really helped increase our fluency!

I hope this week brings you laughter, learning, and most of all peace.  Heaven knows we need it! 

Happy Teaching! ~Heather

A Summative Assessment and a New Unit!

Well it's windy in my neck of the woods, so you know how behavior has been like in my room.  So we WON'T be discussing that!

We are finishing up our unit "How We Express Ourselves" with an opinion piece on the student's favorite version of Cinderella.  I love, love, love, how this is going so far!  We have our rough drafts written and will be editing/writing final drafts tomorrow.  I can't wait see their finished products. It's been A LOT of work this week, I've really had to stay on the students to not give up and to write down ALL of their reasons for liking the book.  One of the favorite responses was, "I liked this book because it was cool."  Some of them really had to dig deep to figure out why they thought it was "cool". 

We are so near the end of the year, I needed to start up our last unit, "How the World Works" before I officially finished the last. Crazy right?  I am working on the unit now but here is the cover.  I need to clean it up so I can post it on Tpt.   It is based off of a FOSS unit I use, but I added quite a few lesson ideas I've found over time and the main portion of the unit is a printable journal for students to respond, record, and reflect on the investigations.  I made my copies today and will start using it tomorrow with my kiddos. 

LASTLY...I sold 5 copies of my Cinderella unit this week!  For the teachers that make thousands of dollars I know they probably don't notice 5 new emails in their box, but for me, I get so excited when I see that "Congratulations, you sold a product on Tpt!" email in my box!  Also, I got the app for my phone so now it updates me immediately.  Cool!

As always, happy teaching!  ~Heather

Cinderella Around the World

It's done!  I worked on this all weekend and I am so happy with it.  I learned how to use Powerpoint to create documents (so cool!) and thanks to the lovely Erica Bohrer I also learned how to merge vertical and horizontal files onto one document.  It's been a weekend of learning for me!  It's my birthday today too so who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

This unit has been a collaboration between my 1st grade team.  We have been working on an IB unit called "How We Express Ourselves" with the central idea, "Different versions of the same story teach us about different cultures".  Cinderella is a perfect way to learn about different cultures and fairy tales at the same time.  We also tied in character traits, setting, retell, and opinion writing in this unit.  In April we give our District Writing Assessment and this year we were able to pick a topic that went with our unit.  In an effort to tie in more text dependent writing (GO Common Core!) we are having the students pick their favorite Cinderella story and write their opinion with supporting details.  I can't wait to complete this part of the unit next week.  They are so cute writing their opinions!

I teach opinion writing using one of my favorites Anna Brantley 's Writing Opinions All Year Long packet.  You can click on her name to get to her Tpt store.  I have also used her Narratives packet and Writing to Inform.  The graphic organizers are fabulous and there are a ton of cute prompts and writing paper to go with them.  Love them!

If you would like to preview the new and improved unit click HERE!  There is a freebie graphic organizer in the preview too!
I have finally discovered cute borders and pages!  Woohoo!
 Here are a couple of graphic organizers included in the unit.
I even included a "geography" page.  We talk about the countries but I feel like they need to identify them on this tiny map.  This is not my favorite page, but it's hard to find maps to work with!  I use a globe in the classroom when we are talking about each story. 
 These are a couple of the pages for the writing portion of the unit.  I also included a self editing page, a graphic organizer for planning the opinion piece, and a self editing checklist.

Thanks for checking out my stuff!  I have officially posted 3 days in a row, I think I am getting the hang of this!  I promise to post some of my kiddos work and my bulletin board when I get it all up!  

Have a great Monday! And as always, Happy Teaching! ~Heather

Cinderella Around the World

I am so excited about what I am working on today!  Last night I literally "threw together" a little unit to post on Tpt because I was so excited about how easy Powerpoint is to create on.  I have also just figured out the ins and outs of how to use fonts and clipart without violating any copyright laws.  That has stressed me out since the beginning of this "let's sell our stuff online" venture!

Anyway...I am spending today fixing up what I already posted.  Now it might be Tpt worthy so I will have to replace the old one.  I went in and added some graphic organizers and detailed lesson plans that walk you through the process of using Cinderella stories from around the world.  I am super excited to get it done, but just wanted to share the cover today!

Happy Teaching! Heather

My new tool: POWERPOINT!

I know that everyone that knows ANYTHING about creating documents knows that using Powerpoint is amazing, however, I just figured this out this week!  A new friend tuned me into this so I logged in and figured out how to make it happen.  I was like a kid in a candy store dragging, dropping and inserting "STUFF" into new documents.  This is so much easier than Word I am so mad at myself for not trying this sooner!

Then.....yesterday I saw Erica Bohrer's blog post on how to merge pdf files together to create horizontal and vertical files together from a Powerpoint.  Simply amazing!  I need to get to work on some new stuff!

Here are a few things I just made playing around to do a little retelling today in our Cinderella Around the World unit.  Next week we are writing an opinion piece on our favorite Cinderella story from around the world.

 If you would like to grab them in my store click HERE!  This is a link to the item on Tpt and the preview of the doc includes a FREE graphic organizer.

So that is my amazing new find.  It has completely changed my life and I have so many ideas rolling around in my head to create this summer.  I am hoping to really get my store going and share some fun new stuff in the future!  Stay tuned and thanks for visiting!

Happy Teaching~Heather