Welcome Aboard!

I'm delighted that you have taken the time to drop anchor here at my little teaching blog: Sailing Though 1st Grade! Oh, the places we will go! Enjoy the voyage.

Jan 31, 2012

New... Open Court Decodable Worksheets

This post is for all my fellow 1st grade teachers using the Open Court Imagine It series...

As you know or may be just discovering, as soon as we hit unit 7 the work gets signifcantly more difficult for our little angels. To help prepare them for the upcoming assessments and really focus in on comprehension, locating information in a body of text, and summarizing a story,  I decided to create a set of Unit 7 decodable worksheets that will really hone these skills.

I began today using one of them as a whole group activity with lots of teacher modeling. I am hoping that after completing a few together most of my first graders will be able to complete these on their own or in partner teams.

Each page (one per decodable) contains 3 questions that align with the Open Court e-presentations. Students will simply read the questions, locate the answers in the text, and then respond using complete sentences. (I ask my kiddos to reprase the question when answering)... I have included a student sample to show you what I am hoping for!

Following the 3 questions, they are also asked to summarize the story in a sentence or two. (See FREE sample below)

My Unit 7 Decodable Worksheets (decodables 88-101) are available now in my TPT store. Hopefully some of you will find them useful. Come check them out!
Please grab your FREE sample HERE and try it out with your kiddos.  Then, make sure to come back and let me know how it went ... and of course, please offer any suggestions to make these better!

Jan 29, 2012

Super Bowl Freebies

Super Bowl Fever has hit! This Sunday, millions will  gather around their television sets, host parties, and root their team on with their family and friends. Of course there will also be those who are fortunate enough to actually ATTEND the biggest game of the year. My amazing teacher partner is one of those privileged ones... So in honor of her and her team "Go Patriots!" I am posting a Perfect Paragraph and Super Sentence FREEBIE.  Also, if you  purchased either my February Perfect Paragraphs pack or my February Super Sentences, please go back to your TPT purchases and redownload the updated packet(s) as each now includes two new football themed pages.  Enjoy the game!!!

Jan 28, 2012

Open Court Imagine It Unit 7 Materials

I just completed the Big Idea and Focus Questions posters for Unit 7 of the California edition of the Open Court Imagine It! program (see sample pages at right) and the Unit 7 Lessons 1-5 support materials.

The remaining lessons will be added in the next week or two. So, check back often if you are using Imagine It too.

Click HERE to grab the Unit 7 Focus Question Posters.

Unit 7 Lessons 1-5

Unit 7 Lessons 6-10

Unit 7 Lessons 11-15

 Unit 7 Lessons 16-20

Jan 26, 2012

Creating Your Own Clip Art

Since posting about how I had created my OWN clip art, I had a couple of followers ask me how I did it. Well, I am sure there is a much better way to go about creating "digital clip art" - and if I had better technology tools, no doubt my art would have been crisper, but with limited technology and supplies, and no instruction or reading up on "how to" do it... " I simply winged it".  
  • First, I drew my pictures on plain white paper. 
  • Next, I scanned my drawings and saved the files on my computer. 
  • Then, I used Microsoft Paint, found in the accessories folder on Windows machines, to clean up the edges and color/paint in my drawings.  
  • After that,  I saved the images as both .jpeg and .png files using the Paint program.   
  • Finally, I zipped all the files into one folder and created a collage page with all the clips on it to “show” what was included.
However, now that the question has been posed, I guess it is time to actually research how best to create your own digital clip art - so I am off to do some research. I will let you know in the near future what I find out.

President's Day Clip Art

As I was creating my teaching materials and TPT store items for next month, I discovered that there was not a lot of  "commercial use" products for President's Day out there. So, I thought, why not try creating my own? So that is exactly what I did.

Then I got to thinking, maybe other teachers would like them too.  So I combined the 12 patriotic-themed clip art images I created in both .jpeg and .png format into a zip file and placed in my TPT store for $2.00.

No commercial license is required if you wish to SELL products you create using my artwork, please just credit me, Debbie Candau, as the artist. I hope some of you will find these useful.

Jan 23, 2012

Counting Makes "CENTS" with Abraham Lincoln and George Washington

In honor of the upcoming President's Day holiday I created a Early American patriotic-themed coins-counting game.

Students will practice adding "Washington" Quarters and "Lincoln" Pennies as they make their way around the President's Day game board using coin cards and a die.

I also created "value cards" that match the coin cards so students could play a "concentration" type matching game as well. I also plan to use the value cards for a "SHOW ME the MONEY game - where students will use plastic coins to match the value I display.

I plan to print two sets of the cards. One set will pair coins with their value (back to back) to create an answer check/ flash card for more coin-counting activities.

My Counting Makes "CENTS" with Abraham Lincoln and George Washington is available now in my TPT store.

Jan 22, 2012

February-Themed Word Banks and Writing Paper

I just comleted my February-themed writing pack. This 20-page pdf file contains 5 different word banks and matching writing paper for the month of February as well as a prewriting planning sheet with completed student sample, noun, verb, and adjective sort and syllable sort page. Word banks/themes feature: Groundhog's Day, Valentine's Day, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Mardi Gras. It is now available in my TPT store.

February Syllable Sort, Word Search, Calendar Activities, and More

Late last week I created a 20+ page packet that includes a variety of February-themed language activities for children in the primary grades. The pack includes a 30-word syllable sort and recording sheet, word search, calendar with questions, groundhog paragraph frame, and more. The 30 February word cards can also be used to play two games: Don't Break My Heart: a Valentine's Day version of BAM! and Concentration, where students turn over cards, matching words to pictures. The 30 cards include Valentine's Day, President's Day, Groundhog's Day, Mardi Gras and Leap Year themed words.

The pack is available now in my TPT Store.

Of course there is always a FREEBIE for you to grab from the pack. This time I included the calendar activity.
Grab your February Calendar FREEBIE here.

Jan 16, 2012

Groundhog's Day

I just purchased the cutest digital clip art for Groundhog's Day from Scappin' Doodles... unfortunately I didn't have it when I first uploaded my Febraury Super Sentences Pack and the February Perfect Paragraphs - So if you purchased either of these from my TPT store, make sure you go back and download the updated version that includes the Groundhog's Day page. Too cute!

Jan 15, 2012

Dinosaur Decoding

I just finished creating a game I am really excited about - as NONSENSE syllables/words are one of the most effective tools I have ever used to teach decoding...and what primary student isn't fascinated by dinosaurs and volcanoes?

Dinosaur Decoding is a prehistoric-themed nonsense word game designed to help students with their decoding skills. I plan to use this game to reinforce blending, the rules for open and closed syllables, consonant blends, single and double vowels, and beginning and ending sounds. This 36-page file contains a game board for up to 4 players, "how to play" instructions, 256 nonsense word cards - which are refered to as "EXTINCT" words as well as 8 "ERUPT" cards. Students take turns decoding and collecting as many cards as possible before the erupting volcanoes get them! Tons of fun for the little ones!

Check it out in my TPT store.

Jan 14, 2012

February Super Sentences and NEW Perfect Paragraphs

For those of you who are MORE organized than me and prepare materials weeks in advance - I wanted to let you know that I have finished the February version of my Super Sentences. They are currently available for purchase in my TPT store for $1.50. Of course, there is always a FREEBIE included for those of you who only have time for a page a month... Grab yours HERE. But that's not ALL...

Since I have been receiving so many positive comments from my followers about the Super Sentences  - I created a NEW PERFECT PARAGRAPH pack as well. It is  fashioned after my SUPER SENTENCES. Instead of Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How... these templates have students either creating a Topic Sentence, 3 Detail Sentences, and a Closing or... an Introduction sentence followed by sentences beginning with First, Next, Then, and closing with Finally.

When they have finished completing the template they will have a 5 sentence paragraph!

Each page in this 30+ page pdf file features a different picture/theme to inspire students to write perfect paragraphs...just like the Super Sentences. Find it in my TPT Store.

Click HERE to download your FREEBIE.
Let me know what you think... and please pass on any ideas you have for improving this new format.

Enjoy your three-day weekend!

Jan 12, 2012

More Spelling Papers

After uploading the 52 weeks of spelling test paper pack I designed to my TPT store (which I posted more than a week ago) I had a few teachers ask if I would be willing to modify this pack to better fit their classroom. So I also created a 10 words only pack and another one that is designed vertically and includes a place for 10 spelling words, space for up to 6 word wall words and a dictation sentence. Grab a FREE copy of each.

Like the early versions, the entire 52 week packs of these forms are available in my TPT store.

I also designed a new weekly spelling homework form for those children that were struggling to complete the monthly tic-tac-toe form. It isn't as cute or creative, but I think it will be easier for many of the children and for busy families - and checking to make sure everything has been completed should be easier too.
Click HERE to grab this FREEBIE as well.

Jan 11, 2012

Seasonal Calendar Numbers for Pocket Chart

I ordered my  first calendar pocket chart over the summer in preparation for teaching 1st grade. I thought it would be a lot easier to manage than the calendars I used years ago,  when I had to staple the numbers on the bulletin board. Well, it is easier - but my calendar just isn't as cute as the ones I had more than a decade ago. So I decide something had to be done! Over the winter break, I created a year's worth of calendar numbers and monthly headers... I am hoping these will do the trick! We shall see...

In any case, I would love to see a post or link to pictures of all of your creative classroom calendars... I am in need of some major inspiration.

In the meanwhile, I am posting the February numbers I just finished creating as a FREEBIE for those of you who are feeling like your calendars are as BORING as mine! Grab yours HERE.
Or... if you like these... and they are better than what you currently have, you can purchase an entire year's worth of numbers and monthly headers (over 70+ pages worth) in my TPT store.

Can't wait to see YOUR Calendars!

Jan 6, 2012

Gifts from My Students

I have an amazing group of first graders and families that I am so thankful for. As we concluded our Polar Express party on December 22nd, just before heading off for our winter holiday break, they presented me with $250 worth of Amazon.com gift cards and cash so I could purchase items from my classroom WISH LIST. Well, I was completely overwhelmed - but boy did I have fun shopping! Just look at all the new goodies I purchased! I can't wait to share these with my Firsties!

  • Reading Rods Word Building Rods
  • Base Ten Number Concepts Set
  • Magnetic Attribute Blocks
  • Sentence Building Dominoes
  • Tub Of Number Tiles
  • Thermal Laminator
  • Word for Word Phonics Game
  • Pattern Blocks Set Activity Cards
  • Classroom Wireless Microphone and PA System

Jan 3, 2012

Long U spelled EW and UE

A couple of days ago I posted about how difficult it is for me to wind down from school when I have a break. Instead of relaxing on my days off, I had been looking ahead in our curriculum and created an OW and OA WORD WORK packet in preparation for returning on the 9th. Well, I am still trying to slow down - but it just isn't working!!! So I created a similar packet this morning for Long U spelled EW and UE. Here is a sample of the 20 page packet I came up with. As usual I have included a link for a couple of FREEBIE pages for my blog followers and the entire packet is available in my TPT store. Grab your freebies HERE.  

Oh... and just so you ALL know -  although I never seem to hit SLOW down mode, I actually have made some time to spend with my adorable boys, amazing husband, and new puppy "Nugget".  Isn't she precious? Almost as cute as my youngest!