Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog Swap and Hop with Monica from Treasures for Teaching

Hello and welcome to our blog party!  I'm excited to have Monica from Treasures for Teaching here today as my first ever guest blogger. Be sure to visit her blog after reading here and then hop over to for my guest post. Grab your favorite drink and take your time visiting the talented bloggers as they share their creative ideas and some freebies along the way.

Hi, I am SO excited to be here at Melissa's blog for my first ever guest post! It's a good thing I am not in front of you, 'cause I would probably be talking really fast (but that's probably just a Texan thang). I'm Monica from Treasures for Teaching. I will begin my 9th year of teaching first grade this fall. I can't believe how time passes so quickly. I absolutely love watching my firsties grow and learn over the course of the year. Since we all know the wide range in abilities that are found in a kindergarten and first grade classroom, my post will include ideas suitable for K-1. I know I want to get to know my students' strengths and areas of concern as soon as possible. So, I thought I would share with you some fab.u.lous freebies and ideas that I have found that will help get you started in the fall, so you can spend more time welcoming your students. First, I wanted to share with you this Multiple Intelligence Chart that a fellow blogger, Marsha, from Differentiated Kindergarten created.

get your copy here

I think it is so important those first few weeks to get to know the kinds of learners you have in your classroom. I would keep a copy of this chart on a clipboard and as your students are completing tasks, I would take a sticky note and jot down the names of students that are showing a particular trait. You can use this data later to reflect on improving tasks or working with students on using different intelligences. I love read-alouds, especially at the beginning of the year, because I enjoy visiting old favorites and having my students make text-to-self connections right away. One of the wildly popular books in my classroom is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. My friend, Tammy, from Live, Love, Laugh Kindergarten, has a super cute mini-literacy unit based on the book that includes uppercase / lowercase / beginning sounds matching cards and story retelling cards.

Laura Numeroff

get your free copy here

Another great beginning-of-year activity is a freebie from another friend, Heather, from Hojo's Teaching Adventures.

grab this freebie

I like that this activity is differentiated by having letter sorts for 2, 3, and 4 letters. She also includes letters in different fonts, which will help letter recognition for letters like a and g. If you want more letter sorts, she also has a larger unit for sale. As for math, Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants! is offering a number-word matching game for individuals, partners, or small groups. I love that this set has a number-word reference page and a recording sheet.

grab it here

For all you The Daily 5 fans, I would like to share my I Can...Picture Displays. I got this idea based off the idea of anchor charts. I think, as teachers, we tend to use a lot visual reminders as support in math, due to the learning concepts, and need to remember to support other content areas with visual examples. Here is what I used last year in my classroom.

I took and displayed pictures of my kiddos after they had built their stamina for each of their literacy choices. I would refer to the pictures when someone needed reminding, after a long break or holiday, or when I got a new student (which was quite often last year). I wanted to expand on that model more this year. I thought as I introduced each literacy choice, I would have my students draw pictures of what they should look like and you could focus on what you see: student being on task, busy the whole time, getting started right away, building their stamina, etc. Then I would take photographs and use these same frames (copied on cardstock or themed paper and laminated) to display students showing those traits. You know how they love having pictures of themselves around the classroom. Plus, it is helpful for subs to get a visual of what they should be doing if they are not familiar with the D5 (or if your students decide to deviate from what they should be doing...but that doesn't ever happen, right?). So, I came up with this:
the daily 5

get your copy here

This is the first place that this freebie is available! I will add it to TpT later :) Kinda a bonus for doing the Blog Swap and Hop! I would love for you to stop by my blog sometime!

Treasures for Teaching
Enjoy the rest of your browsing :)   


Lori on June 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM said...

Thank you for your ideas! I appreciate that you try to learn your students and reach each one by figuring out which kind of learner they are!
Conversations in Literacy

Tamera on June 30, 2012 at 2:50 PM said...

I have confer lite on my iPad, but realize I need to pay for the App. It looks great. Thank you for sharing!

Monica on June 30, 2012 at 3:46 PM said...

Hi, Lori. I feel that the better you get to know your students, the better chance you have of reaching them where they are as learners. Thank you for your comments!

Treasures for Teaching

Monica on June 30, 2012 at 3:49 PM said...

Tamera, I downloaded the Confer Lite App, and I like what I see so far! I like how you can upload and print the data as well. Thank you for sharing that resource! I appreciate you stopping by :)

Treasures for Teaching

Grade School Giggles on June 30, 2012 at 5:23 PM said...

I am going to have to get this app. This is the second time I've heard about it today.

Grade School Giggles

Pennie on June 30, 2012 at 10:13 PM said...

Hi. I just found your blog and tried to subscribe to the email feed but I am getting the message that your blog does not have an email feed. Hope you can get it fixed because I'd love to get your updated posts.

Cynthia on July 1, 2012 at 8:51 AM said...

I'm loving this blog swap and getting to meet so many new people. I missed out on it, but it just so happened, that I have a guest blogger also! How funny!

I'm your newest follower. :-)
2nd Grade Pad

Melissa O. on July 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM said...

Thanks for all the comments and thanks again to Monica for a great guest post!
Pennie thanks for letting me know about the subscribe by email. It should be working now :)

Teacher Mom of 3 on July 2, 2012 at 3:59 AM said...

Hi! I gave you an award! Stop by my blog to pick it up! Lauren
Teacher Mom of 3

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