Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Let's learn about...2D and 3D Shapes!

Summer vacation should be about relaxing, turning my teacher brain off and doing things I never have time for during the year. However, my teacher brain can't stop making lists for my classroom, plans for new products and updating old ones. I think my non-stop teacher brain means that I just LOVE my job lol! Today, I decided to tackle an update for my bestselling product on TPT.
It was in need of a facelift and I can't help but love the touch of glitter on the cover! I have included all the same activities, but I also added a new game. Here is more of what is included:

Each year, my students love learning about shapes. It is a great unit to help establish math skills and routines. The booklets are, surprisingly, a favourite with my students each year. I set out real 3D shapes and 2D shapes for them to explore when they complete the pages. The pages provide lots of practice identifying edges, faces, vertexes and sides. They also encourage the students to sort using attributes.  I can't wait to pull these out again this September! However, I am definitely still in the summer mode - September can wait a little bit longer!

If you want to check this product out, click here. It, and the rest of my store, are 20% off until August 12, 2016!
I also recently bundled my Know it All! Headband Games. These games will make you very popular with your students. I promise!

Happy Teaching,

Thursday, August 13, 2015

{Step into my Room}: Beginning of the Year Assessment

Hi Blogger Friends! My instagram and blog lovin' feed have been filled with all your posts about B2S, since many of you are already starting school down south. Here in British Columbia, Canada, we don't start school until September 8th...but we did go all the way into June, so it's fair! I am starting to prepare for my 4th year as a Grade 1 teacher (ALREADY?!?!) and I was reflecting on what I needed to do in a more organized, less chaotic way. The first thing that popped into my mind were my Beginning of the Year Assessments. I have always done them, but normally it is on random papers with notes scribbled furiously and then easily misplaced when it comes time to use them. So, I hunkered down and created an assessment resource for myself. It is practical, and it will be so informative when it comes time to make groupings, and differentiate my instruction. So {Step into my Room} to see an in-depth look at how I assess my firsties!
Standards and core curriculum are so different across North America. There are still certain things that most Kinders have learned, and that we, as first grade teachers, hope our kiddos know when entering the first grade. Of course, we know this isn't always the case, and it is okay if some of them DON'T know these things. Learning is a process! But, in the crazy B2S puzzle we all try to piece together, assessment is crucial! Let's take a look at:
This little resource is chalk full of skill assessments that you can do in a short 5-10 min conference with your kiddos. Let me just talk for a minute about conferencing. Man, do I believe in this!! I love being able to have that one-on-one time with my students. It gives me a chance to ensure that I interact with them about their learning in an interactive way. I also just love chatting with them about their interests, or something great they did last week. It helps me build relationship with them. In my Beginning of the Year Quick Skill Assessments, I give you a few tips on how to put those "nervous" kiddos at ease. Now, I hear you, what are the other kiddos doing during this time? Well, I set-up things that I KNOW they can do independently like, math tubs, centers, simple art projects etc... Does it take time to set these independent work habits...absolutely. But, you can do it! Okay...included in this resource are assessment mats for:
- printing their name
- copying a simple sentence
- listening to oral directions (targets knowledge of shape, colour, quantity, size and position)
- letter sounds
- blending cvc words
- pre-primer sight words
- primer sight words
- number recognition 1-20
- addition and subtraction facts (using manipulatives)
Take a closer look at some of the assessment mats:
While your kiddos are going through each mat, really take time to listen to them. This is crucial. I created a teacher recording sheet that involves very little writing so that you can free yourself up to be engaged in what they are showing you. 
You know what the BEST part about this resource is? It's FREE until August 19th...Happy Back to School to you!! Simply click here to go directly to my TPT store to download it. I would love to connect with you, so please use those little buttons at the top of my blog to go to my Teacher Pay Teacher store, or follow me on Blog Lovin', Pinterest or Facebook. I would also LOVE to connect with you on Instagram (my fave form of social media), so search: melliebellie7. See you soon!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Super Reading Strategies {Freebie}

Summer is about half over for me up here in Beautiful British Columbia, but I know that some of my American friends are preparing to go Back to School. I wanted to share this resource that I made for my own group of firsties last year. I found that I needed some extra practice work to assess reading strategies. I wanted some generic worksheets that could be used for any book. I also wanted them to be simple and straightforward so that I could include them in centers, or simply have a block of time where my kids could be working independently so that I could assess small groups or simply do one of the ten million things on my to-do list. (Who has ever heard of a teacher getting work done during school hours?!?) The BEST thing about this little resource is that it is a FREEBIE! 
Your kiddos will love putting their knowledge to the test so they can show you that they are SUPER readers! Here is what is included:

I have included 8 student worksheets that focus on various reading strategies.The reading strategies are prediction, connections, opinion, sequencing, story elements (setting, characters, problem, solution), and comparison (book vs. book, character vs. character and character vs. me). I often pull one of these worksheets out to pair it with a fun or thematic read-aloud. I also LOVE to see my students read their own book and then complete one of these worksheets! This resource is meant to be practice or assessment for your students. It is assumed that you will teach the concept of each strategy to your students already. I love to make "whole brain teaching" style chants that teach each skill. There are also some fantastic anchor charts on Pinterest that you can replicate in your own classroom. 

I know that worksheets are a dime a dozen, so I wanted to include some great teacher resources as well. There is a student log for your marks book. TIP: Just remember to write all your students names down first, THEN photocopy! (I've made that mistake more than one lol!) You can have one log for each strategy and then keep track of each practice worksheet your students do. I have also included the rating system I use:
1 = Beginning (The student needed a lot of guidance to complete the task, and they were not accurate in many of their attempts.)
2 = Emerging (They are showing growth, and they grasp the strategy. The student is accurate some of the time.)
3= Independent (The student has a firm understanding of the strategy. They are able to independently brainstorm and are accurate most of the time.)
4= Exceeding (The student can help others with ease. They are accurate and their ideas often show deeper thinking and understanding.)
This system really helps me at midnight when I am working on report cards and I am trying to remember what to comment on! Also included are awards that students can decorate and colour themselves, bookmarks, and lanyard inserts. The inserts fit perfectly in a 4" x 3" lanyard. The best thing is the look of pride and accomplishment that students get when their teacher "catches" them being a brilliant SUPER reader! I really hope that this freebie is useful to you. If you have some time, I would love to connect with you. Just click the links at the top of my blog and remember to follow me on Instagram: melliebellie7. Don't forget to leave lovely comments and ratings on Teachers Pay Teachers if you like this freebie, and stay tuned for more fun!

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's a New Year and a New Blog SALE!

Welcome to my new blog design! I was so thrilled to work with Megan at A Bird in Hand Designs. For me, it was love at first sight for anything she designed for me! It was a match made in bloggin' heaven! Thank you Megan :) A cute, modern and trendy blog design calls for a - what else? - a SALE. Everything in my TPT store will be 20% off until January 3rd. This even includes my bundles, so there is a TON of money to be saved! Simply click on the "My Products" link above to visit my store. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Canada Day in October?

I cannot believe that two months of school has come and gone! It has been a whirlwind in my classroom having fun with Apples in September, and learning about Canada in October. I change my theme monthly for my classroom, and at the end of the month I always have a fun day or theme day to end it. Do you do this as well? I find that it creates excitement about what we just learned, and it is also a way for the parents to participate and have fun in the classroom.
At my school we don't celebrate Halloween, so yesterday we did our "I am Canadian" party...and I was too busy having fun with the kids that I didn't take any pictures! It was a day complete with "I have, who has" featuring Canadian Symbols and landscapes, a how-to video on maple syrup from Quebec, a snack of pancakes, berries, whipped cream and authentic maple syrup, a SMART board Wheel of Knowledge game for review of everything we learned (they loved this so much we did it twice!), and a funny read-aloud called Up the Creek. It was a busy, but incredibly fun way to end our unit on Canada!! Next month our theme is Community Helpers and I have a wonderful plan for my wrap-up party already...but you will have to wait and see until the end of November!!
Today is the first day of November, so it is only fitting that my Write About It! November Keepsake Journal is posted today.
 It is part of a growing series that is definitely a labour of love! What makes it all worth it is when I hear comments like: Journal is the BEST time of the day! I actually get cheers and that makes me a happy teacher!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Making it Stick {Fun Activities for Short "A" Word Families}

Alright folks, I am back! It's been a while, but I have been busy building my little TPT store and teaching a batch of Grade 1 students. I am only a few weeks away from my next little group and I am here to share a product with you that is invaluable for my first few months in Grade 1. First, let me tell you why I decided to put these ideas together. I, like any teacher, love the concise nature of a worksheet. It allows direct practice of a skill and provides assessment for us to file away. I also know that worksheets cannot be the "go-to" method of teaching. Over the past few years in Grade 1, I have slowly built up my own ways to make practicing certain concepts much more active. So, let me introduce you to my new product...
Making it Stick includes 6 games and activities that provide TONS of practice reading and identifying word families. As teachers we are faced with the reality that our classroom holds an array of different learning styles. Some students learn best through words, pictures, kinesthetic, music, interactions with others and many other experiences. It was my goal in this product to reach as many learning styles as I could. You will find activities that involve words, speaking, body movement, music, talking and interacting, and pictures. As a result, you will find your students to be motivated and excited when you pull out a Making it Stick activity! Cheers can actually be heard from my classroom when it is time for Word Family Jam!

Here is a closer look at what is included!
For each activity I have written a letter to you, the teacher, detailing the activity, offering tips and suggestions and the steps needed to set it up.
1. Read n' Circle
Students will flip through cards contained on a ring. On each card they have to look at the picture and circle the correct word. They can be combined to include all the short "a" word families on one ring, or can be broken up into separate word families.
2. Peanut Butter SLAM
This is a simple card game that includes getting up and moving while playing. Don't worry, there is lots of reading to be done, but it is broken up with activity and will keep your learners active.
3. Sticky Pics!
This is an interactive reader, but in reverse. Students will read the page and find a picture that will complete the illustration. They glue it on and then colour the page. Many of the sentences are kind of silly, which just adds to the fun!

4. Real or Nutty?
A PB and J take on Real vs. Nonsense word sorts.
5. Word Family Jam
A music and dance driven game that encourages students to identify rhyming words. The round picture cards are spread around the room. Then you turn on the music and dance. Whenever you stop the music, hold up a word card. Students need to find a picture that rhymes around the classroom. It is a bit of chaos, and a whole lot of fun! I think chaos, in the name of learning, is allowed ;)!
6. Snack Attack
This is a pocket chart game that has students working in teams to read words. If their card has a Snack Attack behind it, they can sneak a card from the other team! This is a fast-paced game that encourages interaction between your students.

Each of these activities are FUN, ENGAGING and VALUABLE! There is so much practice reading word family words and these activities will get them to STICK quick! This product is available in my TPT store now, and will be on sale for 20% off for the Back to School Boost Sale! On August 20th, use code word BOOST to get an extra 10% off - that's 28% off this product and everything else in my store. I know I am going to do some shopping too!!

Making it Stick! Short "E" Word Families
Making it Stick! Short "I" Word Families
Making it Stick! Short "O" Word Families
Making it Stick! Short "U" Word Families

Here are some of the other great products available in my store at 28% off for the sale!

 Happy Shopping!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pen Pal Pair Up 2013

Getting up early before church to read some of my favorite teacher blogs was worth it today because I stumbled across this exciting event!  
Last year I really wanted to get a pen pal class, and I signed up for some website and it wasn't that easy to follow and I had to do the choosing myself, which I found daunting! Anyways, Kelley over at Teacher Idea Factory is hosting this Pen Pal Pair Up, where you submit a form with your basic information and then SHE will do all the work partnering classes together. She is fantabulous for taking on such a big project! I am eagerly anticipating who my teaching pen pal will be, as I am sure we will become fast online friends :) If you want to join up with your very own pen pal class, you can head on over to Kelley's blog post and read all about it!

Alright, it's time to pull myself away from teaching blogs and get ready for church!