Columbus Day Book and a Sale

Do you teach about Christopher Columbus at your school?  Our first graders go on a Columbus Day voyage which is a lot of fun.  I will post pictures after our voyage next Monday. 
Here is a little Columbus Day booklet that we will be completing after our voyage to learn more about Christopher Columbus.
I created it to be very similar in style as my Veteran's Day and President's Day books.

You can check it out by clicking below.

Also...because I LOVE October, it is by far my favorite month, I'm throwing an I LOVE OCTOBER sale.  Everything in my TpT and Teacher's Notebook stores are 10% off tonight through Tuesday!

Focus Walls

Do you use Focus Walls in your school?  We were introduced to them a couple years ago.  At that point, I put one up, but didn't do much with it.  (Needless to say...that was pointless.)  However, two years ago, I placed it next to my calendar and bingo it became useful!! 
The words are kind of hard to read above, but I have a spot for our phonics skill, spelling words, high frequency words, comprehension skill, grammar, math, science/social studies and writing.  Everyday during calendar time, we go over our Focus Wall to review what we are learning about that week. 
This year we were asked to add objectives to our Focus Walls.  I didn't really have room for that, so I placed my Objectives on my dry erase board in the front of my room.
I just used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the words out with vinyl.  Now all I have to do is use my dry erase marker to write our "We can" statements for what we are learning about at that moment.  Love it!!
I also wanted to share some of the Focus Walls around our school.
2nd grade classroom 
4th grade classroom

Special Education classroom
 She uses this frame for her objectives.  She can also take it with her when she goes to work with students in their general education classroom.
Even our special areas have Focus Walls.
Music Room
Art Room
 Library/Computer Lab

Our PE teacher also has one in her gym, but I forgot to take a picture.
Here is one in our Conference Room where they hold IEP Conferences.
It's hard to read, but it has our school wide strategies, Interventions, Assessments, Vocabulary, etc.

Then this is just a random picture of the outside of one of the 2nd grade teacher's room.  We have a "Space" theme this year and I just had to share.  It's much more impressive in person :)
If you don't use Focus Walls, I definitely recommend them.  They give the students a place to find information.  It's also great when the entire school is on board with it and they know that they will see one everywhere they go.
Do you use Focus Walls?


Updated Fluency Passages and October Poems and Songs

I LOVE Fall!!!  That has nothing to do with this post, but I just have to say that I love, love, love it!!  We went to Grant's Farm yesterday in St. Louis and it was a beautiful day to be outside enjoying the first day of Fall.
Anyways, I updated my October Fluency passages to include the Common Core Standards. (Click on the pictures to head on over to TpT to check it out.)

I also finished updating my entire Fall Packet to include the Common Core Standards.
The Fall Packet includes my September, October and November packets into one.  You can find samples of the October packet here.
I also finished my October Poems and Songs packet today.
This packet includes the poems and songs from my October Fluency packet, but they are in a different format and are a great supplement to the fluency passages.
You can find the October Poems and Songs by clicking below.

Happy Fall!!


Narrative Writing

This week I introduced narrative writing to my students.  I created an anchor chart in my room, but picky me, I didn't like the way it looked so I went home and made these posters.

After going over what narratives are we wrote a narrative together about our school day.
I displayed our writing above our writing bulletin board.  This hallway is a really long hall leading back to my room.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with this space and I think this works perfectly. 
It became the "Writing Hall of Fame."

I just laminated scrapbook paper and stapled it to the wall.  Then I clipped a binder clip onto the top to change out student writing easily through the year.

 These narratives are from Anna's Writing Narratives All Year Long Unit. 
I love teaching writing, but I also think it is the hardest subject to teach.  There is just SO much that goes into teaching writing.  However, I absolutely love to see how much progress students make throughout the year!
Also, don't forget to enter my Brag Tag Giveaway.  It ends tomorrow.


I Love Brag Tags!!

I'm sure you have seen these AMAZING Brag Tags by, but I am here to tell you {again} that they are so much fun and the students LOVE them!!
Since our school-wide theme this year is Space, this packet of Brag Tags was absolutely perfect for my class.
All of my students start off with a Brag Tag.  Then the other's can be earned throughout the year.  As soon as I got my tags, I labeled the container so I knew exactly what I was wanting to use the Brag Tags for in my classroom.
I use a behavior clip chart in my classroom and everytime a students gets to purple, they earn a jewel for their clip.  Once they have 5 jewels, they earn a behavior Brag Tag.  I will also be giving out Brag Tags for learning Math Facts and Sight Words, Character Education Awards, DIBELS improvement, completing homework, and more. 
I made this bulletin board in my room and this is where the Brag Tags stay.  I let the students wear them on Fridays.

If the students are playing with them during instruction, the necklaces go back up onto the wall. 
After receiving my first packet of Brag Tags, I quickly became obsessed with them and went back and ordered Perfect Attendance tags and 100th Day of School tags.
My next ones that are on the way are the new No Bully tags.
Brag Tags are so much fun!
Here is the best part. is giving away a set of 35 Brag Tags of your choice and 35 neckchains to 3 lucky people.
All you have to do is follow's blog and this blog.  Leave a comment letting me know that you are doing both.
The contest is open until September 16th.


Small Group Phonemic Awareness Activities

You may remember this post from last year where I shared this freebie with you:
Click on the picture above to download again for FREE

Many of you wondered what activities I placed in the folders behind each section.
Well, here is my first unit for this notebook.
This unit contains activities for each of the stages of phonemic awareness (sentence segmenting, rhyme and alliteration, blending and segmenting syllables, onset rime blending and segmentation, phoneme blending and segmentation, and phoneme deletion and manipulation.)
They are very easy to implement and need very little preparation.  These activities are perfect for small groups, but can also be used in whole group or individual settings.
You can check out this unit by clicking below.

Also, don't forget to enter the Ultimate 1st Grade Common Core Giveaway.  The giveaway ends tonight.

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