My October Dilemma...What to teach? Freebie!

So my dilemma.
We have a two week vacation
 from Oct. 1-Oct. 15.

(NO COMPLAINING HERE!)



BUT...

We return on Oct. 16.

 MONDAY

15 days (exactly ) until....

YOU  KNOW  IT

TUESDAY, October 31, 2017


HALLOWEEN!
Parties,
CANDY,
Kids who can't wait to get home ( highly DISTRACTABLE!)
(some schools...not mine....)
COSTUMES!

So ...
My  dilemma.

When we go back,
Do I put out HALLOWEEN themed centers?
Do I keep it OCTOBERish with Columbus, Halloween, Fall, Pumpkins,etc?
Do I just "touch" on the "HOLDIAY" stuff...and Promote the FALL  stuff?
Do I  add  THANKSGIVING?

Should I keep it ALL going until THANKSGIVING?

What to do?  What to do?????


BTW...   I  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE   FALL!
My favorite  season.


YUMMY!


But...
CONTENT is EVERYTHING!
My student's MUST take a BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT in December.
I want them to do well.

( I don't think there will be a HALLOWEEN question on it.)
Unless it's about 

HOW MANY CANDIES DID YOU EAT ALL TOGETHER?

So ..what to do?   What  to do?

INTEGRATE!

I must teach SCIENCE and SOCIAL STUDIES!

( Living things...life cycle...Plants/animals...Lifestyles Long Ago..)

So here is MY plan:

Reading:
  • Nonfiction about pumpkins, apples, plants
  • Biography about Christopher Columbus, Squanto
  • Fiction about Fall, Halloween, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving
I am checking my district curriculum ( yes, we have one )
for REQUIRED (Tested )  Skills & Strategies for this quarter.

As we delve into our reading...I make SURE to incorporate TESTED strategies.
Questioning? Sequencing? Retelling? Etc..etc...

Vocabulary?   Again...check NECESSARY vocabulary for success!
I spend A LOT of time on necessary vocabulary. I have 10-12  English Language Learners.
They need visuals, modeling, & practice before they can "TAKE ON" the new information.

Phonics?   Spelling?   Grammar? 
 Required phonics skills for this quarter.
What to use for  Spelling? 
BOTH!
  Required spelling skills AND  thematic vocabulary words. 
WHAT?      WHY?

Because...I want them to have some  INTRINSIC vocabulary to use easily in their..
WRITING!

I want MY Mummy!  :)
Sorry....couldn't  resist.

Writing:

  • "How To"..grow..carve...etc... about pumpkins, apples, plants
  • "Informative"  about Christopher Columbus, Squanto,Pilgrims
  • "Narrative"  about Fall, Halloween, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving
  • Thank You cards, Invitations, Lists, Etc.
Again....I am checking my district curriculum 
for REQUIRED (Tested )  Skills & Strategies for this quarter.

Whatever our REQUIRED writing prompt will be
( I already know mine  is INFORMATIVE)

We will practice, practice, practice!
I won't skip the other genres.
Just FOCUS on the INFORMATIVE!

BUT wait!
I want crafts! I want CUTSIE! I want products! 
I Love BOOKS!

And so...we will make CUTSIE lapbooks, paintings, charts, stories & crafts
 about???

Fall, Halloween, pumpkins, apples
, plants, Christopher Columbus, 
Squanto, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving

DON'T  tell  our FIRE MARSHALL..

I might HANG THINGS UP!
Definitely!

I won't tell,  if YOU won't tell.

MATH:
  • addition / subtraction
  • missing addends
  • place value
  • graphing
  • story problems

And MATH??
Lots of Graphs, addition & subtraction, problem solving, story problems
ALL ABOUT THEMES!

How many apples, pumpkin seeds, candies, turkies, indians, etc, etc.
(Math Journals are GREAT for this!)

and, yes..

I will need to keep it going until Thanksgiving.
And I will need to use EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY!
And yes... it will take planning, and prepping...

BATS! 


Black  Cats


Growing  Pumpkins


Making APPLESAUCE!
Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed!


And YES


I WILL LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

You see...
FALL IS MY FAVORITE SEASON OF THE YEAR!

To those of you who hung in there to the bottom of this LONG POST...
A FREEBIE FOR YOU!

Happy FALL!


Happy Fall...Bring it ON!

September is almost GONE!
October will be here soon.
And then...NOVEMBER!

Then comes  SANTA!


Ok...I  regress...

I like FALL.
But...I LOVE  CHRISTMAS!

So to get ready for FALL...
Think leaves, scarecrows, pumpkins, LATTES!
Sweaters, boots, scarves, mittens!
Soft, fluffy blankets.
Fires in the fireplace.
Hot cocoa by the fire, READING A BOOK!

HURRY!  HURRY!
I AM  READY!

Here are some fun ideas to help YOU (& ME)

If YOU need anymore FALL ideas...


Stop by  



Are YOU ready?

(And then...BRING ON SANTA!)
:)

Johnny Appleseed's birthday gift ..to YOU!



Do YOU know whose BIRTHDAY is in SEPTEMBER??

NOT MINE!!


It's  JOHNNY APPLESEED'S !!!!

September  26 is the BIG DAY!

What?  It's NOT on YOUR CALENDAR?

Add it today!

One of our FAVORITE FOLK HEROS!!

In first grade we LOVE September!

Apples HERE.
APPLES there.
APPLES, APPLES, EVERYWHERE!


via GIPHY


And so we work on reading, writing, fluency, science, & social studies INTEGRATING APPLES all month LONG!

This year on FRIDAY, Sept. 29...we will have a BIRTHDAY party for JOHNNY  APPLESEED!

And how do we celebrate?

WE  MAKE  APPLESAUCE!




Get out the crock pot...chop up some apples.
A little sugar, cinnamon...
The classroom smells  SOOOOO   GOOD!
I smash it up some for my little ones.
Bring in some vanilla ice cream...bowls & spoons...
Apple Pie A LA MODE!
YUM! YUM!

Our 6th grade BUDDIES come in and celebrate with us!

Now there are a LOT of apple & Johnny Appleseed resources on (of course)...PINTEREST!





We start our unit with 
DIRECTED  DRAWING APPLES!

I LOVE  FIRST  GRADE  ART!




( Hard to imagine this was a whole class, directed drawing lesson)
HAHAHA  
Good thing there are no TWO apples EXACTLY alike!
LOVE it when they do it themselves!

As the month moves on ...QUICKLY....testing & parent conferences in September....

We use our APPLES ARE THE BEST
and JOHNNY APPLESEED booklets
to help us on our learning JOURNEY!









They are 2 to a page...copy, cut apart, collate, staple!

The WHOLE month in ONE little BOOKLET!
YIPPEY!

And as we end the month...
our JOHNNY APPLESEED birthday
celebration will commence!

AND WHO DOESN'T LOVE A 
BIRTHDAY PARTY??

To help YOU get in the FALL mood...

Here is a FREEBIE.

Enjoy your SEPTEMBER my friends!

Fall, Apples, & Johnny Appleseed



It's ALMOST HERE!



FALL
The leaves will be changing, sweaters & boots come out of the closet, & PUMPKIN SPICED LATTE!

The world will be "balanced" again!

To celebrate the 
COMING OF THE NEW SEASON

I have a new product!
I LOVE APPLES!
Apple pie, apple cake, applesauce...apple everything!

September is the MONTH of celebrations!
We celebrate Johnny Appleseed's birthday too.
We make... APPLESAUCE!




To add to this year's celebration..
I have a NEW product.

Apples are the BEST!










September Literacy Booklets for Apples and Johnny Appleseed.

Booklet style..2 on a page..B/W

21 PAGES of Reading, Graphic organizers, Word Work, Grammar, labeling, & Writing!
All in ONE BOOKLET!
Great for Whole Class, Small groups, Partner Work, Independent practice.

Early Finishers WILL LOVE THIS!

Fall themed. 

If you need more Literacy Products... follow 1stgradefireworks

I hope you can enjoy 
APPLES ARE THE BEST!

Follow my PINTEREST boards for MORE
FALL  FUN!!!


It's BACK TO SCHOOL Time...Giveaway!

It's that time of year...


Parents are....   SO  EXCITED!!!



Teachers are...excited  &  EXHAUSTED!

To help with the "OUT OF POCKET" expenses...

We are having a GIVEAWAY!

My friend, Kelly, @ An Apple for the Teacher
has organized a

$100 TARGET CARD GIVEAWAY!

Who could not use $100 to TARGET ? 

Don't YOU LOVE the TARGET DOLLAR SPOT??????


GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $100 Target Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 9/1/17 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Good Luck to ALL!

via GIPHY



How to do GUIDED READING in 20 minutes or less..(FREEBIE TOO!)

What is YOUR favorite time of the day?
Before lunch?
Recess?

Mine is...

GUIDED   READING!


The place where "MAGIC" happens!
The "AHA!"..the lightbulb...whatever you want to call it.

Last year I got rid of my 
TEACHER  DESK.

This is my 
CENTRAL COMMAND.




Then I added stools from IKEA.
My kiddos LOVE IT!


My next favorite "accessory"
from by
BFF....
AMAZON!

Brewster Wall Pops 

WPE99065 Peel & Stick Calypso Dry-Erase Dots

 with Marker



I put  BIG teal dots on my table!




My kids write on them!





After we read... then
we write questions on them
 and then change seats to answer them!
Musical Chairs!



They LOVE it!
Write & WIPE! 

The BEST!

I use my 


to guide my lessons.


I use it
to assess kids reading levels,
 to group them with like skills,
 and to teach them AT THEIR LEVEL.

Now a couple of things I have learned "on the way"...

1.  Guided Reading is NOT independent reading time!
They read to themselves (READ TO SELF) at a different time of the day.. we do it after lunch.

2. Guided Reading is NOT a time for a LONG teacher LESSON!
 I only have them for 15-20 min.
  Always give them a skill or strategy they can use NOW!

Your goal is to create INDEPENDENT READERS... do not enable them to wait for YOU to do the reading.

3. You DO NOT have to read a BOOK every day!
 This is not the time for HOW MANY BOOKS have you read?

  My lowest reading group needs PHONEMIC AWARENESS. If you don't know your letter sounds...it's really HARD to read.

My "bubble" kids ( those that have some skills , but need support  and practice to move over the "BUBBLE" into INDEPENDENT READERS) need phonics support to be able to solve reading problems, independently!

So Guided reading should be called

GUIDED  LITERACY

Meet them at their level.
Give them a "take away" that they can use TODAY.
Repeat. Repeat.Repeat.

I also use FRIDAYS for assessments ONLY.

NO GROUPS!







I do one-to-one RUNNING RECORDS.
I do fluency assessments.
I do letter, spelling, word family, & phonics assessments.
BUT...

Don't  "DAWDLE"...

Make it quick. Not a "story" time.
Try to get the most BANG for your buck.

Suggestion:

Start with your middle groups.
The "BUBBLE" kids.
They will be moving the fastest.

Next.
 Alternate assessments between your highs & lows.

Your highs probably will make continued growth with "less" support...they came in with strong foundations or they wouldn't be HIGH!  
Don't forget about them. Keep them connected with BOOK CLUBS,    Writing, and LOTS of COMPREHENSION.

My low babies. You can't practice TOO MUCH.
When they become "done"...distracted, unable to focus, etc.
CHANGE IT UP.
Interactive writing, phonics games, reading with "finger pointers", etc. etc.  
 Change the game...not the content.

Here is a Sight Word FREEBIE for YOU to get started !


So I LOVE the guided reading table.

LOTS of learning goes on there.

BUT ALWAYS, ALWAYS, remember...

IT STARTS WITH

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