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Guided Reading Basket

Last week, I posted a picture of my guided reading basket on  Instagram. I had lots of questions about it so I wanted to share it with you today.

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my disclosure here
This basket contains everything I need for guided reading. It includes comprehension stems, dry erase boards, finger light beams and so much more. Come read all about it and grab a FREE printable label too!

This basket stays on a shelf right next to my guided reading table and it has everything that I need on hand. These are things that are always used and can be used with all my groups. Let's start with the pocket dice. These came for OrientalTrading and I LOVE them! Here, I've wrote story element questions on index cards. I love these because I can adapt them to whatever comprehension skill we are learning at the time. They can also be used for different subjects.

I also use these for word work practice. I might write "tell me a word that starts with sh" or "tell me a word that rhymes with _______."

These pocket dice from Oriental Trading are perfect for guided reading groups!

Also, for comprehension, I have question stems on hand. These can go with any book and are perfect for small groups. This specific set includes questions to ask before, during, and after the story.

These resource cards contain over 100 comprehension questions to be used with any book. Use this resource as a tool for whole group reading, guided reading, or partner discussions.

I also have sets that go with specific topics that I switch out often based on what we are learning at the time. Each set is a different color so that I don't get them mixed up. These are also good for partner reading. Once they are finished reading, kids can work together and ask each other questions. 

These resource cards contain over 100 comprehension questions to be used with any book. Use this resource as a tool for whole group reading, guided reading, or partner discussions.
  

These larger poster pages are also used. They include the same question stems, just all on one page for easier reference. 

This basket contains everything I need for guided reading. It includes comprehension stems, dry erase boards, finger light beams and so much more. Come read all about it and grab a FREE printable label too!

The pink dry erase boards came from the Target dollar spot. These are used for word work and quick writing checks. I have a set of 6 and they've really held up much better than I thought. 

Their current favorite tool are our finger beam lights. These also came from Oriental Trading. They come in four different colors (red, blue, green, and white) and the kids go absolutely nuts over them. I've purchased several sets and these are by far one of my favorites and they've lasted me a good while. The black piece of elastic that slides over their fingers can easily slide out but it is very easy to put back in. I've also purchased this set from Amazon and been happy with them. 

These resource cards contain over 100 comprehension questions to be used with any book. Use this resource as a tool for whole group reading, guided reading, or partner discussions.

Finger light beams are the perfect tool to use during guided reading!

Underneath the pocket dice in the main photo, I have an index card box that holds , fluency phrases, sight word cards and phonics picture cards. We use these for sorting activities, rhyming practice, segmenting phonemes, and so much more. Here are some examples. 

word sorts
These vowel team cards are perfect for guided reading groups, word work, and whole group activities. They are super versatile and come with two different options.

segmenting syllables 
These vowel team cards are perfect for guided reading groups, word work, and whole group activities. They are super versatile and come with two different options.

These vowel team cards are perfect for guided reading groups, word work, and whole group activities. They are super versatile and come with two different options.

rhyming practice 
These vowel team cards are perfect for guided reading groups, word work, and whole group activities. They are super versatile and come with two different options.

Some other random, smaller items in the basket are listed below. These are items that we always need and can be used in multiple ways. 
-highlighters: locating important information in a text such as sight words, phonics patterns, story elements, etc...
-index cards: quick writes to check for comprehension
-post it notes: quick writes to check for comprehension
- highlighter tape: locating words in a text, identifying different types of punctuation, searching for a phonics patter, etc...
-magnetic letters (lowercase) and magnetic letters (uppercase): I store these in a plastic case next to my basket but we use them almost daily for making spelling and sight words. 

This basket contains everything I need for guided reading. It includes comprehension stems, dry erase boards, finger light beams and so much more. Come read all about it and grab a FREE printable label too!

If you'd like to create your own guided reading basket, you can grab my label here! If you'd like to save this idea for later, feel free to pin the image below. 

This basket contains everything I need for guided reading. It includes comprehension stems, dry erase boards, finger light beams and so much more. Come read all about it and grab a FREE printable label too!

For more ideas for guided reading, check out my Pinterest board



Disclosure: I was provided items to review by Oriental Trading, but all opinions expressed are my own. 


Candy Heart Measurement

This week in 1st grade we are exploring the world on nonstandard measurement. Today just also happened to be Valentine's Day so I wanted to tie in some hands on fun with candy hearts. This activity was perfect for whole group instruction. It took us roughly 25 minutes to complete before we moved onto math stations for the day.

This candy heart measurement activity is perfect for keeping your kids activity engaged during math for the month of February. Grab this FREE printable too!

I gave each child their own individual box of candy hearts and they pulled various school supplies from their desk to practice measuring. We talked about the different lengths and then wrote our answers on recording sheet.

This candy heart measurement activity is perfect for keeping your kids activity engaged during math for the month of February. Grab this FREE printable too!


This candy heart measurement activity is perfect for keeping your kids activity engaged during math for the month of February. Grab this FREE printable too!

We also made estimates before measuring each object and then took turns sharing our results once they finished. 

This candy heart measurement activity is perfect for keeping your kids activity engaged during math for the month of February. Grab this FREE printable too!

This candy heart measurement activity is perfect for keeping your kids activity engaged during math for the month of February. Grab this FREE printable too!

Once finished, they compared their results with their neighbor to see if anyone came up with a different result. 

This candy heart measurement activity is perfect for keeping your kids activity engaged during math for the month of February. Grab this FREE printable too!

This was the perfect activity to keep them engaged on such a crazy day.  You can click here to download this resource. There are 2 different recording sheets available. 

If you want to save this idea for later or to use next year, pin the image below! 
This candy heart measurement activity is perfect for keeping your kids activity engaged during math for the month of February. Grab this FREE printable too!

You can also find related resources on my February in the Classroom Pinterest Board



Introducing Vocabulary

Vocabulary is the knowledge of words and their meanings. Teaching vocabulary consists of 
several things. 
1. Expressing words through multiple meanings. Ex: fly (insect, something a bird can do, a way to travel in a airplane)
2. Giving students the tools they need to effectively communicate orally and in writing. 
3. Kids need to be able to explain what words mean as well as understand what they mean. 

Research shows that students need to be exposed to words in multiple contexts in order for them to stick. Today I'll be sharing how I introduce new vocabulary words in my classroom. 


Vocabulary instruction is a critical part of your literacy block. Come read how I introducing new words to my students using the research based strategy My Turn, Your Turn.
This post contains affiliate links. You can see my disclosure here

When introducing vocabulary I like to use the My Turn, Your Turn strategy. This comes from the book Word Nerds:Teaching All Students to Love Vocabulary. 


This model focuses on 6 things when introducing new vocabulary to students. 
1. making predictions about the meaning
2. teaching parts of speech 
3. give a kid friendly definition
4. discuss what they already know
5. use it in a sentence

Here is an example of how it works. Teacher holds up a vocabulary card with the word bursting.

Teacher chants, “My turn, bursting. Your turn, _______.”
Students fill in the word bursting as they chant together.
Teacher claps the syllables as she slowly and carefully pronounces the word.
“My turn, BUR-STING, 2. Your turn, _________.”

They hold up the number of syllables with their fingers and say the number.
• Teacher gives part of speech.
• Discuss what you already know about the word. Turn and talk. 
• Use it in a sentence. Turn and talk. 

Example 2
Teacher: All right, the next word for this week is My Turn, breathe, Your Turn, 
breathe.
•Teacher: The word breathe has one syllable. Students clap and show with their fingers.
•Teacher: The word breathe is a verb, so it is something that you can do.
•Teacher: Ok boys and girls, what do we know about the word breathe? Turn and talk. 
• Teacher: Breathe is how air moves in and out of your mouth and nose-like an air tank. Model and have students do. 
Let’s try it in a sentence, “I want to breathe some fresh air.” Can you try? Turn
and talk. 

We repeat this process with each new word introduced and refer back to this method 
throughout the week. Once the kids have it down, I'll call on students to lead
My Turn, Your Turn to review. 

I hope you can use this strategy in your classroom. If you are looking for more ways to 
to implement vocabulary into your classroom, you can check out this post about 
implementing vocabulary games into your classroom. 

You can also check out my vocabulary Pinterest board for more ideas. 









Hands On Skip Counting

Over the past few weeks my firsties have been working hard on their skip counting skills. This is such  a tricky concept for them to grasp. We started our week off by counting by 10s and making this anchor chart. I believe that anchor charts should be student made so at the start of our day, each child got a pair of feet to represent 10. After coloring them, we glued them on our chart and them labeled them together as a class. 

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

After labeling our chart together, each child got a blank copy of a 120 chart. We quickly skip counted and colored the tens along the way. Once everyone had their chart complete, they cut it into strips of 10 and made skip counting chains. You can grab a blank copy of this 120 chart here.


Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!


Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

Once we mastered 10s, we started practicing counting by 5s. We made another anchor chart. This time, I traced each child's hand and we labeled them together.

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

For extra practice, we made these fun skip counting hats using this printable from Smitten with First. You can grab the hand printable on her blog. The kids counted by 5s and wrote the number on each hand and then glued them around a sentence strip to make a hat. We kept them at school all week to wear and use as a reference.
Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

Up next was counting by 2s and we all know that this is the hardest for them to get. We started out by making another anchor chart. I gave each of them a pair of eyes and we labeled them together as we added them to our chart.

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

I wanted to do something really fun that the kids could relate to when counting by 2s. I came across this idea from my sweet friend Lindsay over at For the Love of First Grade and just knew I had to do it. Each child brought in a pair of socks. After discussing things that come in pairs of 2, we labeled them and hung them from our ceiling. I still have these hanging and we practice counting when we line up. This line may or may not have fallen on my head while I was trying to hang these! LOL! 

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!


I'm all about hands on practice so we made these skip counting bracelets by counting numbers up to 20. First, they sorted each set of beads by color. Then, I let them string them onto their pipe cleaner. They wore these all week. I would ask them at random times to count by 2s. It was perfect practice.  

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

For stations, I wanted them to have some sort of activity that they could easily do to reinforce the skills that we have been working on. I grabbed a set of colored craft sticks and wrote random number patterns for counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s and they put the sticks in the correct order. I also made a few sets for my higher kids that start at various numbers between 1-120. 

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

I always want a way for students to be able to check their work. I drew a random line on the back of the sticks. Once they've put the sticks in order, they can flip them over to check and see if they are right. If the lines match up they got it correct. 

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

All three anchor charts are displayed in our classroom and we reference them each day. They are perfect for a quick math warm up. You can grab the images used to make these anchor charts by clicking here

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

If you'd like to save these ideas for later, pin the image below. 

Skip counting doesn't have to be tricky. This blog post is full of hands on ideas and activities to practice skip counting for your little learners. There are FREE printable too!

For more math ideas, check out my math Pinterest board that is full of great ideas.    


Celebrating Classroom Birthdays

Celebrating classroom birthdays is a great way to let your students know that they are special and that you care about them. Today I'm sharing how I celebrate birthdays in my classroom!

Celebrating classroom birthdays can be such a special time. Come see how my classroom celebrates and grab a FREE printable too!


First let's talk about displays! My birthday board is one of my favorite displays in my classroom. At the beginning of the year, I have my kiddos write their birthday on a whiteboard. Then, they hold them up and I take their picture by each month and place them on the these monthly posters. You can grab these burlap themed posters in my TPT store.

Celebrating classroom birthdays can be such a special time. Come see how my classroom celebrates and grab a FREE printable too!

Celebrating classroom birthdays can be such a special time. Come see how my classroom celebrates and grab a FREE printable too!


My favorite birthday celebration is our birthday chair! On their birthday, they get to sit in the special chair! You can read all about how I made it here. I originally got this idea from my sweet friend Amanda over at Mrs.Richardson's Class. She used fun stickers to make her chair and it turned out so cute.

Celebrating classroom birthdays can be such a special time. Come see how my classroom celebrates and grab a FREE printable too!

Student gifts are totally not necessary but always fun, especially for the kids. This year, I choose these fun neon pens from Oriental Trading. These mini ink pens include 10 different colors and the kids absolutely go nuts over them. I also have a few of these in my writing center. The great thing about ordering these from Oriental Trading, is that you can add them to your classroom wish list to share with parents. You can read all about how to do that here

Celebrating classroom birthdays can be such a special time. Come see how my classroom celebrates and grab a FREE printable too!


I used some twine and added this cute birthday tag. These are so diverse and can be used with any gift. You can grab them for FREE here

Celebrating classroom birthdays can be such a special time. Come see how my classroom celebrates and grab a FREE printable too!


Celebrating classroom birthdays can be such a special time. Come see how my classroom celebrates and grab a FREE printable too!

If you like this idea and want to save it for later, pin the image below! 

Celebrating classroom birthdays can be such a special time. Come see how my classroom celebrates and grab a FREE printable too!
How do you celebrate classroom birthdays? Feel free to share in the comments below. 

Disclosure: I was provided items to review by Oriental Trading, but all opinions expressed are my own. 


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