The First 5 Minutes of Guided Reading

We all know how hard it is to squeeze everything we need to do with a group of kids into 20 minutes of group time. This past year I have started to use those first 5 minutes of my group time in a different way to help maximize the time by starting with letter identification and sounds.

When my students arrive at the teacher table we take out our letter sound cards for the week and begin. I have grouped the letters by most commonly seen ones and we work through that sequence.  The students chant the letter name. Then we say the name of the picture that is on the card, Next, we say the sound that letter makes.

Once I have talked about the letter names and the sounds they make I introduce some picture cards that also show the same beginning sounds to my group. We talk about the pictures and what sound we hear at the beginning of them and sort them to the matching beginning sound card. The students like this interactive game and to be apart of the process. On the first day, I only do about picture card per sound just so I can introduce it all and then we move on to the next part of our guided reading lesson.

The second time I meet with this same group we review the same 5 sounds but then, I may just focus on 2 of the sounds and pull out 5 beginning sound picture cards for 2 of the letter and the kids have to sort all of the cards. This again helps reinforce and hear the differences between the letter sounds and also help build their vocabulary.

I will work on the same 5 letter sound with this group for about 2 weeks doing matches with the picture cards, letter sorts with all kinds of letter tiles to the big picture cards, and hopefully, by then my students will be ready to move on the next set of 5 letters.

Depending on the level of my students I try and meet with them 2-3 a week. After I do meet with them I do give them so word work type activities to work on independently in small groups that I will talk about in another blog post soon.

The Beginning Sound picture cards are for sale in my TPT store. Just click here to see them.  If you would like to get the bigger alphabet cards you can get them here by joining my email list!

I aslo have a video of me talking about how I use these cards head over to my Instagram page and click on my IGTV channel. There is a video over there where I explained this whole routine too!

I hope you found some of these tips helpful. Over the years I have found my teacher style keeps changing but, this way of starting out my guided reading group had made a difference for my kids this year and I think this is one routine I am going to stick with. If you have any questions feel free to leave it below.

Make sure to pin this image to Pinterest and save this blog post to your favorite board too!

Thanks for stopping by!

100 Days Smarter!

This past week we celebrated our 100th day of school!  Lots of fun activities were planned to celebrate the day and I ordered some goodies from Oriental Trading as well. I can't wait to show you what we did.

We started off the party with decorating crowns to show we are 100 days smarter! I love these since the kids get to color them in. They loved them too!

Next up we started with a craft. Each student got a gumball machine and filled them with 100 gumballs.

what I LOVED about this all the numbers are mixed up so I gave my students an extra challenge. I had them make each set of 10 a different color. This kept them busy and QUIET for such a long time. They had to hunt for those numbers.

I was really impressed with how hard they worked on filling this machine up!

Next, we worked on a variety of activities that included the number 100. These activities came from my 100 Days print and go resource.

Listening and following directions.

A flip book!

Different ways to have fun during the day!

It made the day so exciting and interactive!

Then to finish off the day each student got a bag of goodies to take home.
                                              Bookmarks to use in our favorite books!

                                           Stickers cause who doesn't love stickers?!!

                Pencils(cause we never have enough of those). I also found erasers for them too!

The day passed by so quickly that we never got to our last activity! So we are going to work on them this week.

So if you are planning your 100th day make sure you check out all the goodies that Oriental Trading has to help with your celebration.

If you want to save any of these ideas pin the picture below to your favorite Pinterest board.

** Oriental Trading has been a classroom favorite resource of mine to order items from. They do send me items to review/write a blog post about. I am happy to share these ideas with all my readers and all opinions are my own.

Have fun celebrating 100 Days of School!

Polar Bear Eraser Activities

If you have been following me for awhile you all know how much I ADORE mini erasers. So I was SOO excited when I discovered that Oriental Trading had some that I did not know about!

Today I am teamed up with Oriental Trading to give you a sneak peek into my eraser activities using these adorable polar bear mini erasers. As always, these opinions are my own. 

Mini erasers are a favorite activity of my students. They just love them and I love how engaged they are while using them. So awhile back I created a whole bunch of math and word work mats to use with these erasers.

Here are a few of them:

Roll To 100: Students roll a dice and add that many erasers to their mat. When the whole mat is filled up they count to see how many of their erasers were used. Whoever used the most is the winner.

Spin and Graph: What I love about this set are all the different colors they come in. They make spin and graph much more fun!

The different colors are also great for creating patterns.

Addition and Subtraction are skills we work on all year long and using erasers makes learning our facts so much more fun.

You can find all the math mats in my Mini Eraser Activity pack. I have created activities for each mini eraser I have found. I keep adding new activities to it all the time too! You can see them by clicking the picture below

Head on over to Oriental Trading to check out all the great mini erasers they have. I will be getting more and adding even more sheets to my eraser pack.

Feel free to pin the image below to save these ideas to one of your boards.

HP Insta Ink

Teachers do a TON of printing. We are always needing something for our classroom and sometimes we can not do it all at school.I do most of my printing at home. Yes, at home. I can print as much color and black and white sheets as I need. Wanna know how?  HP Insta Ink.

I get asked all the time how do you get all your classroom centers and activities printed in color? It is all thanks to the Insta Ink. HP Insta Ink is a program you can sign up for and pay a monthly fee.  They have 4 plans you can pick from to meet your needs.

I use the Frequent plan since I know I have stations, books and more that I need for my classroom. As you can see each plan is based on how many pages a month you want to print.  The best thing is that if for some reason I don't use all my pages in a month they ROLL OVER! Yes, you read that right I keep the pages I don't use until I need them.  There is no fee for cancelation either but, I think once you try it you will be hooked!

Now to get starting with HP Insta Ink you need a printer that is qualified for the program. Here is a list of printers that will work.

If you have a different printer that is not on this list, it won't work. That is what I ran into about a year ago. So, I shopped around and settled on the HP ENVY printer.

I have been using the HP Envy for over a year. This printer does it all for me. Prints, scans, copies and it is wireless. That means I can print from my phone or Ipad. I can print double-sided too!

The Insta Ink printer lets HP know when your ink is low. There is no need to ever go out and purchase ink for your printer. Your printer will let HP know when your ink is getting low and new ink will be then sent to your home. Usually, my ink arrives well before I need to replace it in my printer. I can use as much color or black ink as needed. Color and black and white pages cost the same so I can print whatever I need to without any worries.

I can log on at any time on the HP Insta Ink site and see how many pages I have used for the month. I can also see how many rollover pages I have left too.

Are you ready to sign up?  If you have a new printer and use this HP Insta Ink Link you will get one month of FREE ink! You can also use the coupon code SAVE50PERCENT when signing up to get 2 MORE months of FREE ink.That is 3 free month to start off. You won't be charged for the plan you pick until your free months are over.  Then just follow the instructions to set it up on your printer. Super easy, fast and convenient.

Here are a few more reasons that this was the best choice for me.
* Cartridges are bigger than XL ones so I can print more with them
* No cancelation fee at any time
* Change plan at any time.  All you need to do is just hit EDIT on your homepage.
* Never run to the store for ink again.

I hope that this helped answer some questions. Like I have said before this was a very helpful, smart choice for me. If you would like to save this post to your Pinterest board just pin the picture below.

December Fun In The Classroom

December time means fun, energy, and excitement! We have been having a blast the past few weeks and wanted to share with you what we have been doing.

I have teamed up with Oriental Trading Company this month to fill our classroom with crafts, decorations and more!

This year our whole entire first-grade team spent a week using Gingerbread books. You can read all about our book ideas here. We wanted to add a cute craft at the end of our week and this one from Oriental Trading worked out perfect!! It was so easy too.

The kids followed all the directions and what I LOVED the most is all the pieces were stickers!! NO GLUE was needed! 
click pictures to see them on their website
another brilliant idea was to make them into magnets! So we added each students picture to the face and they became their own gingerbread men!

Each class decorated their door frames with the cute class gingerbreads!

This class showed theirs off before the went outside. The students were so excited!

I also created this writing prompt for students to use to tell me who they would run from.

If you would like a copy of this prompt just click HERE

This week is our last before Winter Break. This week in reading it is ALL about The Polar Express!!
We made these activity books to go along with the story this week.
If you want a copy of this cover just click HERE.

All during the week, we will be looking at different elements of the story. We are using this graphic organizer pack from Primary Graffiti

On Friday we will be having a school wide PJ day and we will all be watching the movie! Once again my team came up with the great idea that we should give each student a jingle bell after the movie. Oriental Trading had the best back with a variety of sizes!

I can't wait to see the children's faces!

During our social studies time we have been learning all about holidays from all around the world. We have been using this flip book to gather the new information we learn.

Click the pictures to grab the freebie!

This week I am having my students pick which holiday they liked best and each student will create these  poster!

They are HUGE! I love how it gives lots of room for words and pictures. Click this link to see them on Oriental Trading's Website.

I also love these gift bags from them for my student gifts!

This year my kiddos are getting these books and pencil toppers
Oriental Trading has been such a BIG help this month.I just love sharing all these ideas with my teacher friends and co-workers.  Make sure you check them out for more crafts, decorations and cheer!
 I am already planning some fun winter activities from them too!

Feel free to pin this image to save the ideas you see here today.