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.

Feb 29, 2012

Plant Observation Log for the Primary Grades

Next week we begin Unit 8 in our Language Arts text... "Away We Grow" ... The focus: PLANTS.

So, yesterday I went on a treasure hunt of sorts... What was I looking for? My search was simple - All I wanted was an adorable plant oberservation journal/log that would be perfect  for my first graders.
I began my hunt of course at TPT and then headed over to Teacher's Notebook. I also visited some of my favorite blogs... but unfortunately, I came up empty. I didn't find anything- anywhere! This was completely unexpected. Did I miss something??? Perhaps someone can clue me in... Nonetheless, at the end of my hunt, I had nothing.

Since my search was unsuccessful,  I plopped myself down in front of American Idol, and set to work creating  my own version of a primary plant observation log. I finished the "Primary Plant Pack" early this morning before heading off for school. I hope it proves to be just right... and perhaps will be perfect for some of you as well. It is currently available in my TPT store.
You can snag your Plant Vocabulary FREEBIE pages from the pack HERE.  Enjoy!

Feb 27, 2012

March Word Banks and Writing Paper

I just completed my March-themed writing pack. This 30-page pdf file contains 7 different word banks with matching writing paper and bubble maps for brainstorming. The pack also includes a prewriting planning sheet and syllable sort page. Word banks/themes feature:
  • Read Across America/Dr. Seuss
  • St. Patrick's Day
  • Going to the Dentist
  • Going to the Doctor
  • Spring
  • Alaskan Iditarod Race
  • Baseball
It is now available in my TPT store.
The baseball pages of the packet are available HERE for FREE.

Feb 25, 2012

March Math, Matching, and More

I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by... I am trying my best to stay a week or so ahead of the curriculum as I create materials and prepare activities for my classroom, but sometimes a day or two in advance is all I can muster! With March just around the corner - I am doing all I can to finish up my montly theme packets and post them for those of you that are using them in your rooms.

My March Activities packet, titled: March Math, Matching, and More is now available in my TPT store and the writing word banks and matching writing paper will be ready in the next few days.

The March packet is 48 pages in length and inludes:
  • A March Celebrations Calendar with questions worksheet
  • 30 March-themed words with matching picture cards to use as a Concentration game or to post in a pocket chart or Read the Room
  • 3 Syllable Sort Mats with recording sheet and answer key (to use with the 30 March word cards)
  • March Madness Word Game Shamrock Subtraction Game
  • St. Patricks Day Perfect Paragraph
  • Write and Illustrate
  • Make Up a Holiday
  • Words Within Words
  • ______The Incredible Kid Writing Paper
  • March Word Search
Sample pages are shown above and a few feebies are available below.
Click HERE to grab these March FREEBIES.

Feb 20, 2012

Tick Tock...Shamrock Clocks

Last week we tackled chapter 17 in our math book - telling time to the half hour. Since we have been practicing telling time all year, most of my students have this skill down and are ready to move on to telling time to the quarter hour. So, I created a new game with an Irish Twist called Tick Tock Don't Let the MONSTERS Eat Your Clocks! I am certain that my kiddos will have fun telling time to the hour, half hour, and quarter hour with these SHAMROCK clocks, while trying their best to avoid the clock-eating monsters.

The game and flash cards are available now in my TPT store. Check it out!

Feb 19, 2012

Mardi Gras

Even though I didn't grow up in the South and have never been to a real Mardi Gras parade or celebration ... there is something about the festive colors and decorations, and all those beads and masks that just makes me want to do something special with my students to celebrate this traditional holiday.
I have a favorite art project that I always do with my students - no matter which grade I am teaching at the time. The projects always turn out wonderful and are a  real "show-stopper" when hung up around the classroom. I also play Cajun music as we work on the art and I pass out beads, a doubloon, and a mask to the children when they are finished.
This year, I decided to do more than just the art project. So, I created a Mardi Gras activity pack. The entire pack is available now in my TPT store.

However, you can grab a FREEBIE copy of my favorite activity from the pack HERE.
Just let me know you are snagging it!  Enjoy!

I can't wait for Tuesday!

Feb 18, 2012

March Super Sentences and Perfect Paragraphs

Once again...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 March version of my Super Sentences and Perfect Paragraphs.

Also at the request of a follower, I have added a final draft page to each Perfect Paragraph template, that includes only the heading and graphic followed by lines. See sample below.
They are currently available for purchase in my TPT store.

Of course, there is always a FREEBIE or two included for those of you who only have time for a page a month... Click HERE to grab your Super Sentence FREEBIE and HERE to grab your Perfect Paragraph FREEBIE.

Each page in these pdf file features a different picture/theme to inspire students to write perfect paragraphs and super Super Sentences.

Happy Writing!

Feb 15, 2012

Possessive Pronouns

This week our Open Court Imagine It program has us teaching and assessing our little first graders on identifying and using singular possesive pronouns. (5 of the 20 assessment questions ask students to identify which of the four sentences listed has the possessive pronoun underlined.) "Yikes!" 

So, I scanned over the student support materials and realized there were only 6 practice sentences in our Skills Workbook. Double YIKES! Then, I pulled out the other support materials and realized that  if I wanted to copy pages, there were an additional 2 sentences in the Challenge Book and 4 more in the English Learner Support book. However, not one of the practice pages had the students identifying the possessive pronoun in a sentence! Triple YIKES!!!

The words singular possessive pronoun alone are enough to scare any 6 year old.  
 So, what did I do? Why, I headed over to my favorite online support site - TPT. However, when I did a search for possessive pronouns for grades 1-2 I basically came up with NOTHING! So, I figured it was time to get to work and create more practice activites for my little ones to prep them for the end of week test.
I am sure that I could have created even more materials, but time was of the essence! So I put together a 20 page western-themed possessive pronouns pack for the primary grades that includes pocket chart sized phrases and sentences that have students practicing the following skills: finding the possessive pronouns, replacing nouns with possessive pronouns, filling in the sentence frames with possessive pronouns, and using possessive pronouns in sentences and then illustrating.

It also includes cards with each of the possessive pronouns, headings for each of the tasks listed above, and cards for plural pronouns, and singular pronouns which could be used for a sort. There is also a worksheet that asks students to circle all of the pronouns that could be used to finish the sentence frame.

Lots of great practice for working with possessive pronouns.

These activites are definitely doing the trick and filling a void left in our program.  Hopefully this pack will help out any of you who find yourself in the same boat in the near future.

My Possessive Pronouns for the Primary Grades pack is available now in my TPT store.

A freebie page is included below.

Feb 12, 2012

Vowel Dipthongs: OI and OY

This week our language arts program
introduces the vowel dipthongs OI and OY. So, just like last week, I decide to create a week's worth of activities to reinforce the skills covered in the curriculum.

What I ended up with was a 25-page file that includes games and word work activities.
The entire pack which is available now in my TPT store includes 4 word games, 48 word cards, OI and OY word sorting mats with recording sheet and answer key, a syllable sort and recording sheet, parts of speech sort and recording sheet, a read and write the room recording sheet, 2 word searches, and a write and illustrate page.

My kiddos love playing these games and doing the sorts, and of course they absolutely love the word searches.

I have included one of them as a FREEBIE

Feb 8, 2012

Silly Syllables Under the Sea

Over the weekend I created Silly Syllables Under the Sea: a nonsense word game designed to practice decoding using the rules for open and closed syllables and to help students break apart and sound out those multisyllabic words.

My students love this game and it has improved their decoding skills tremendously. Even my own children (a 3rd and 5th grader) love to play it.
If you haven't yet tried decoding nonsense words with your students - I higly recommend you consider doing so... The students really learn their phonics rules.

On Monday, I began by placing one of the cards under the document camera so we could all see it on the screen. Then, we located the vowels. Next, we decided how many consonants between the vowels.

If 2 consonants fell between the vowels, we learned that you usually divide the word into syllables between the consonants. If only one consonant, then you usually divide after the vowel.

Finally, I taught them that syllables ending in a vowel are called "OPEN" and usually have a long vowel sound. Syllables with a consonant after the vowel are "CLOSED" and are pronounced with a short vowel sound.

When we play the game... we play as if these rules always apply! (Even though we know that there are always exceptions to the rules!)

After I introduced these two rules, I divided the class into 2 teams and they competed against each other. Every child was expected to figure out what the nonsense word was and then confirm whether the child who drew the card and had to read it for their team was correct or not.   I simply tallied each correct answer for the teams to determine the winner.  Every child was engaged!

The next day we played again, same teams, but this time a correct answer sent you to first base (a corner in the room), and the following players advanced you around the bases until you scored a run when you hit home plate. Of course, 3 strikes and your team is out! Another fun activity... and the students' decoding skills... well... All I can say is WOW!!!

Also... now that my students have the basics down, I have a new game to add to my literacy centers. In the small group version of the game, players try to collect as many cards as possible to win. Cards are earned by correctly decoding the words. 6 Shark Attack cards are also included - and if drawn, require the player to return all of their cards to the pile. Just like BAM!
If you are interested, Silly Syllables Under the Sea is available now in my TPT Store. The file includes (90) 2-syllable nonsense words using both the VC-CV and V-CV patterns. A second copy of all 90 cards is included with syllable breaks (example: zip-zot, hi-nog)

Feb 5, 2012

Vowel Dipthongs AU and AW

This week our language arts program introduces the vowel dipthongs AU and AW. So, I decide to create a week's worth of activities to reinforce the skills covered in the curriculum.

What I ended up with was a 23-page file that includes games and word work activities using the graphic themes of Astronauts and Space Launch for AU and a western Outlaw vs the Law theme for AW.

The entire pack which is available now in my TPT store includes 4 word games, 40 word cards, AU and AW word sorting mats with recording sheet and answer key, a syllable sort and recording sheet, parts of speech sort and recording sheet, a read and write the room recording sheet, 2 word searches, and a write and illustrate page.

My kiddos love playing these games and doing the sorts, and of course they absolutely love the word searches.

I have included one of them below as a FREEBIE. 
Grab your sample FREEBIE page HERE.

Feb 4, 2012

Harriet Tubman

Last week, one of my followers left a comment to one of my posts asking if it were possible for me to create a writing word bank and the matching story paper for Harriet Tubman. So, in honor of black history month which was not included in my original February writing paper pack - how could I refuse.

Well, I finally found the time to make this happen... So, Lyssa over at My Mommy Reads - this is for you and for anyone else who is teaching or sharing about the life of this most extrodinary woman.

Grab your FREE copy HERE.