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Making the Most of Small Group Time


I believe that small group time is THE most important time of our day. Small groups are the backbone of my instruction. Small group instruction allows me to really meet the needs of all of the learners in my classroom. Together with whole class instruction and activities, small groups help me ensure my students master the standards and skills at deeper levels. One of the most common questions from teachers is how to maximize the time spent with our students at the small group table. 
Guided reading first grade
 Small group time is precious.

Tips for Writer's Workshop



There should be a time for writing every day. Your students need to know that you value writing, and the best way to do that is to make sure that students write each and every day.


writing



Ten Must Have Primary Books That Teach Tolerance, Acceptance and Empathy


As a teacher, I feel it is my duty to teach students tolerance, acceptance and empathy.  We want every single student to feel accepted and know that they belong.
I love picture books.  I especially love picture books that inspire, provoke, and promote amazing classroom discussions. Let's look at ten picture books that I use to teach students about important character traits.  

Top Tips for Parent Teacher Conferences


Love them of hate them, they are here!  It is time for parent teacher conferences. Conferences can be stressful but I actually enjoy them. Teaching is all about building relationships - with students and their families. I approach conferences as another way to deepen our relationship.
We have two conferences a year; one the first week of November and the other at the end of February.  This first conference is especially important in building trust and mutual respect.  We need parents to know that we love their children but also balance telling them about their child in the classroom.  Going over strengths is always easy, it’s when we have to tell them areas that need growth.  We need to balance being sensitive while being honest.


Sight Words



Every primary teacher knows how important sight words are to beginning readers.  When many of these words show up in our reading material, all phonics instruction gets thrown out the window because the majority of these words do not follow phonics rules.  You just have to know these words by sight.
Did you know that the first 25 Dolch words make up approximately a third of all written material? The first 100 and 300 words make up about 50% and 65% of all printed material!
Hands on practice with sight words is key.


kndergarten, first grade


Apple Day



Apple Day is so exciting!  I had TONS of fun things planned and I am excited to share them with you, too!  Apples are such a great topic to teach because we can integrate all subject areas and even do some taste testing.  

apple day, apple week

STEM in the First Grade Classroom

A few years ago I began Genius Hour on Fridays to incorporate STEM into our classroom.  STEM (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is an engaging, hands on way to get students to communicate, collaborate, be creative, think critically, and exercise compassion.  These are all important skills for life and even your littlest students can do it.



teaching STEM; STEM materials




Back to School Tips


It's Labor Day weekend and you know what that means...time for Back to School!
While it's sad that summer is ending (and our freedom to go to the bathroom whenever we like), back to school is a time for renewal and fresh starts and ...excitement.
I thought I would share some Back to School tips with you to help you make this the best year ever!
first grade


Activities for the New Year PLUS a Freebie!


I love the new year!  It is a time to wipe the slates clean and start anew.

Who doesn't love a fresh start?