Sunday, May 29, 2016

Love for a Teacher Planner

First off, let me just say, "I love pretty paper!" I mean LOVE!
Pretty paper and bags are two of my weaknesses. 
Okay, and children's books, and shoes, and wine, and clothes, 
and coffee, and Ticonderoga. But that's another post.

I've tried all kinds of personal planners and teacher planners.
Some have been prettier than others. 
Some have been more functional than others.
But...I've loved something about each planner I've used.
That is, until I met The Teacher Anchor.

Chandra Jayne created The Teacher Anchor and is a girl after my own heart. 
I would love to say she is a good friend, but we've never met.
 Maybe one day, although after this post she may think I'm a stalker.

 Chandra is a teacher, friends. She KNOWS what teachers need.

She has created a beautiful and functional teacher planner.
Did you hear me say, "beautiful AND functional?"
I love EVERYTHING about it!!

Y'all, we have to submit our lesson plans online. 
But honestly, that one page of plans doesn't get me through each day. 
As tech savvy as it is, I need more.
I need a place to jot down notes about my kiddos. 
A place to document student learning and record 
ALL THOSE THINGS that drive instruction!
This is it, y'all!

The Teacher Anchor is an 8 1/2 x 11 spiral bound planner and binder system.
You can choose colorful stripes or dots this year.

It's divided into five sections: 
1-Classroom Information (including Year at a Glance pages)
Favorites: Loaned Out Items, Usernames & Passwords, and Transportation
2-Monthly Calendars (2 page spread)
3-Weekly Calendars (46 weeks)
4-Student Log (14 pages)
5-Blackline Masters (23 + notes and grid lines)
Favorites: I think I love every page! 
It also has a cardstock pocket in the back.

A complete list of CCSS at each grade level K-6 is provided as a 
free download on her site.

Chandra includes tons of backline masters to plan your instruction-
something you can't get on that one electronic page.
Whole group planning, small group planning, and individual conferencing. Everything you need is there.
I use those forms in a binder for my DRAs and another binder for progress monitoring. My student data is right there driving my instruction.
 Intentional Teaching!
This pic is from Chandra's instagram.

Each morning, I get out my Ticonderogas and my coffee mug, and open my Teacher Anchor and smile.
I use it ALL. DAY. LONG.
I take it home in my bag each night because I'm afraid something
 will happen to it at school. I know. Paranoid much?

Take a look at The Teacher Anchor at
This year, Chandra has an all new shop and product line that offers planner stickers,  personalized folders and notepads, and tons of gift ideas.
I've already begun playing with the stickers! 
Love the bright colors, large size, and clear font!

December 22, friends...early release!

Here is my personalized gingham 2-pocket folder.
So many uses for this. I want one in every color. 
I bought 3 folders last year, and the pockets have held up nicely.
So, what do you think?  

You can read more about The Teacher Anchor and binder system
 AND watch Chandra in her own words here.

Follow her here:

Sign up for her newsletter here:
C.Jayne Teach Newsletter

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

6 Ways to Re-energize Your Class

Hi, friends!! 
I posted this last year at The Elementary Chalkboard but felt like it was worth another share!

If you are counting the days and need a refresher, hop on over and take a look!
Happy March!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Take a Closer Look-January

Hi, friends!

My sweet friends, Jessica and Latoya, are hosting a January linky!
I love those girls, so I'm all in!

I'm sharing one of my favorite January activity packs!

I cover 8 important Math standards while my kiddos have fun learning!
Standards Covered:
Ordering Numbers to 90
Greater Than/Less Than-Comparing Numbers
Missing Subtrahends
Sums of ten 
1 More, 1 Less, 10 More, 10 Less
Addition and Subtraction Strategies (Counting up and back)
Skip Counting by 2's
Skip Counting by 5's
Skip Counting by 10's
Five Bonus Activity Sheets:
Addition and Subtraction Color by Code
Number words Color by Code
Sledding Through Numbers-Number Grid to 120

Click here for a few FREEBIE pages!

AND, take 15% off this pack for the next few days!
The pic will take you there!

Click the button below to visit the linky!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Doors Galore!

Happy December, friends! 
Welcome to the very first "I Teach" Linky!
I'm excited to be a part of this incredible group of teachers!!

Today, I'm linking up with Kindergarten, 
but believe me, these ideas can be used for all of us!

Do you decorate your classroom door for the holidays?

Well, if you do, and you need a little inspiration, take 
a visual tour through our hallways at my school!

Just FYI: The majority of these doors connect to a grade level standard!

Let's get started!

Snowman Interactive Writing

Equivalent Fractions Snowman

What would you do if you had a reindeer?

Book Recommendations Reindeer

Christmas Tree Interactive Writing

How much would the Twelve Days of Christmas cost today?

Christmas Wish Writing

Whooo's Ready for the Holidays?

AND...Just for fun!
These two fun teachers were Rock Stars for Back to School. 
They transformed into Santa's Helpers this month. :)

A Giant Grinch

A little bit of  Elf!

And a whole lot of Rudolph! 
This was created by our super cool PE Teacher!

And for those teachers who need a WINTER fix...
Take a look at these doors! 

Hello, January, right???

Penguin Nonfiction Writing

How to Make Hot Cocoa Writing

That's a lot of holiday fun!
I hope you were able to find some inspiration here!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our school to yours!!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Holiday Ideas Turkey Trot


Welcome to “The Chalkies” Turkey Trot! 
We hope you enjoy a jog through our blogs gobbling up freebies,
 ideas, and recipes for some holiday joy!

We have a new BLOG NAME!  
We switched out the word "Primary" for "Elementary." 
We want to meet the needs of any teacher K-6. 
Our blog has been thoughtfully designed to help you find what
 YOU need for YOUR classroom level!

I love those grade level tabs {seen above} that help me grab what I need. 
This trot will also take you through the grade level blogs of your choice.

We hope you enjoy this little meal from appetizer to dessert!

Slide1 - Copy
My Math All Year pack is one of my absolute favorites!

Each page covers one Common Core Standard,
 and ALL First Grade math standards are covered.

Click the pic for a free page from my packet!

I've shared this idea before, but I can't share it enough!
Every year, parents call and email saying 
how much these gifts mean to them.
We create these frames for Christmas presents each year, 
but you could make them for any occasion.

Click the pic or click here to see the fun and easy tutorial!

Slide2 - Copy
Okay, friends! Y'all know I live in the Deep South. 
So...I have to share a true southern dish with you. 
It's NOT a dessert, by the way, just your dessert from me.
We have this dish for brunch every Christmas Eve, 
but it's a perfect side dish, too!

Introducing...Garlic Cheese Grits

Now, before you snub your nose, ponder this thought.
Morgan Freeman was once asked in an interview: "You could live anywhere in the world. Why do you live in Mississippi?"
Freeman replied, "I live in Mississippi because I can live anywhere in the world." 
A few years later he stated, "I'd live here for the food, alone."
Hattiesburg American, November 2014
So, here you go, friends! 
Cheese Grits-Two Different Versions

slide 6
Here are a few of my favorite products!

Click the product pics to see them in my store!
To say, "Thank You" and share a little love, my store is on sale right now! 
20% off today and tomorrow!

I hope you've enjoyed my little part of our Turkey Trot!
Now it's time to trot over to my sweet friend Autumn's blog! 
Have fun!!


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sight Words in 10 Easy Steps

Does anyone else have a Love-Hate relationship with sight words?

You know they're important, but sometimes getting them to stick is like 
pulling teeth...that aren't loose...anyone else feel that pain?

I've tried many, many different ideas over the years. 
Some good, some not so good. 
Finally, I feel like I have a solid sight word routine in my class, and I'd like to share it with you.

Here's what we do!
1-Introducing the Words!
In my district, we use Fry Words when teaching sight words. 
Each Monday, I introduce the words to students one word at a time. 
We cheer and chant and discuss what we notice about each word.
I use large flash cards to introduce each word.
Since we work on five words each week, we can target one word each day. 

2-Heidi Songs DVDs
After introducing words, we learn the respective sight word songs! 
HeidiSongs get children up and moving as they learn sight words, color words, number words, sounds, and on and on! 

I LOVE these songs! I was thrilled last July to meet Heidi in person! Seriously a starstruck moment! She was such a genuinely kind person! I'm more of a fan now than before I met her!

Anyway, her songs are addictive! You'll go to bed and wake up singing them! MULTI SENSORY folks!

Yellow is one of my favorites!

3-Mix and Fix
We spend time during guided reading lessons working on words! 
My love for magnetic letters is no secret. We use them each day. 
Mixing and fixing is one of my students' favorite activities. 
It's also a chance for me to observe any confusions kids are having with words.  I'm able to address confusions right then! Great opportunity for informal observation!

4-Flash Cards
Each child in my class gets a word ring to use as flash cards. You can print the words on labels and attach them to index cards or just print on cardstock, then place the cards on rings. The students keep the rings in their book boxes. They read the words to partners or Upper Grade Buddies.

5-Flash Sorts
One thing I've learned about teaching sight words is children need to "over learn" each word. The words need to come automatically, much like letters or numbers. Sorting LIKE words seems like a very easy task, but for young children, seeing and reading those words over and over leads to that automaticity. 

In this activity, students cut the words, then sort words by LIKE words, OR any other way you would like them to sort. You may only want students to have one copy of each word and sort by number of letters, beginning sounds, etc. 
I always ask my littles who are struggling to sort by LIKE words.

I suggest sorting the words 3-5  times. The more familiar the words are to children, the faster they can sort the words. They love the challenge of sorting faster as they time themselves. 
Each Friday, they sort then glue their words in their sort booklets.

6-Flash Word Fluency
This activity goes home with students. Sight words are placed on a grid, and students are asked to read the words as quickly as they can 10 different times throughout the week. 
At home. 
Ideally, with their parents. That's the hope! 
After each reading, parents (or other listeners) record the time it takes the child to read.
*This is not an original idea. Teachers have been doing this for a long time. 
This pack contains the five words my kiddos focus on each week.

7-Flash Color by the Code
In this activity, students read their sight words to partners as quickly as they can 3 different times.
Then they use the color code on the page to color the words, saying each word as they color it. If students want, they can spell the words as they color, too.

8-Flash Sentences
For this activity, I created a phrase or sentence using each word. These ARE NOT Fry or Dolch phrases. I love Fry phrases, but some of them are too difficult for beginning readers. I wanted easy phrases for students to use while working on one-to-one and fluency.

All of your students may not need these sentences. Many of my students struggle with one-to-one correspondence this year. I knew we needed a place for students to point below each word so I included dots for that purpose.

9-My Short Books
I found these books one day while searching online. My Short Books are sets of books that target specific sight words and ARE NOT predictable. A former Reading Recovery teacher wrote them (which warms my RR heart). 
They are incredibly inexpensive, too!
If you haven't tried them, you can find them here

With all the practicing we're doing, I would be remiss if I did not hold students accountable for spelling sight words correctly in their writing. Easiest tip: Provide them with word dictionaries and encourage them to make use of the Word Wall and get them writing!

AND provide them with as many opportunities as possible to just READ, READ, READ!
We all know the best way to learn words is to READ!!

Do you know how much these pics make me smile?? 
They were completely engaged in their books!! 

What else can you do??
There are so many ways children can work on sight words independently. 
Here are my favorites:

*Play Dough Words

*Color by the Code-

My kiddos love these on Friday afternoons!

*Highlighter Tape-
My firsties feel like big kids when they're allowed to use the highlighting tape! They get so excited when they find words in books and on charts!

*Sight Word Bracelets-
Kids love bracelets so what better way to review sight words than with bracelets? Just FYI: Cardstock works better than copy paper. Insert smile here!

*iPad and Kindle apps AND Online Games-
Just google or search Pinterest for sight words. There are bunches!
My friend, Emma, has a great list right here!

*Letter Stamps-
Kids love stamps in all their messy glory!
These are from Lakeshore.

*Scrambled Sentences-
We all know how important it is to practice reading words in context.

*Partner or Group Games-
There are a ton of word games your kiddos can play: Memory, Musical Words, Bang-type games, etc. My kids love our seasonal games!

Most of these activities are found in my new Sight Word pack, 
and here are a few of my other sight word activities! 
A freebie is included!

This one is a FREEBIE!

Whew! That's a lot to process! If you're still here, thanks so much!
My Sight Word pack is 20% off through Monday.
Have a great week, friends!


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