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.

Dec 9, 2012

Holidays Around the World

Happy Holidays! I trust you are all enjoying this busy but festive time of year! As evident by my lack of postings, I have been crazy busy ... just like you!

Despite all of the 101 things we are trying to cram into each day, my students and I are having a marvelous and truly magical time as we travel the globe learning about the many traditions associated with each country on our travel itinerary... as we explore Holidays Around the World.

Each day throughout the month of December, the children complete their boarding pass, grab their suitcases, and wait in line to go through security. They love this! I first check their boarding passes, then pretend to scan them with a plastic handball racket and hoola hoop. Occasionally, someone sets off the alarm and needs to be pulled aside and re-scanned. Next, they drag their suitcases across an empty table- pretending to run it through the x-ray machine. They then board the plane and take their seats. Once they are all aboard, I close the door and give the official airline announcements -including stowing their carry-on luggage and turning off electronic devices.

I did the research a week ago, and created a "real" itinerary that includes airport names, air miles, and flight time for each leg of our journey.  The kids love it!

Then we watch our in-flight movie (a PowerPoint presentation all about the holiday traditions and celebrations of our destination city/country) Usually a snack is served that is related to the country as well.

Flight instructions are read again as we land, then passports are stamped and our suitcase pages for that country are completed.
A local craft and/or activity follows. What fun!

The highlights so far have been: finding a burlap sack of goodies at our doorstep - following a surprise knock on December 5th - and clogs filled with little gifts on the morning of the 6th. We also drew names for a "Sinterklass Surprise" exchange and are currently making homemade ornaments for our "Secret Sinterklasses" at home. Our St. Lucia procession led by the oldest girl in our class was also a memorable moment. Too precious! I can hardly wait for next week.

Thanks to a number of creative teachers and the TPT website, I had almost everything I needed to make this unit come to life for my students. But, of course I always have to tweak or add that little extra. So,I created my own suitcase (folder) for the scrapbook pages, travel itinerary with flight instructions, boarding passes, passport page, map, and flags, and am working daily to create PowerPoint shows a day in advance. Thus - the hecticness of it all! But well worth it!!!!

If you are interested, you can find the following "Holidays Around the World" supplemental materials in my TPT store:

Suitcase for Holidays Around the World

Christmas in the United States

Christmas in The Netherlands

I also some FREEBIES:

Nov 15, 2012

Sight Words Practice

Since I have a nautical themed classroom, I refer to my OCR Imagine It! high-frequency words or word wall words as Anchor Words.

Several days a week we practice them together as a class using a 1 second per slide, PowerPoint presentation. It is also a quick an easy way to test the children. Since the slides advance quickly and automatically, I know exactly who knows them on sight and who doesn't! I can mark the recording sheet as the slides flip and the student reads aloud for me.
You can grab a FREEBIE copy below as well as the scoring sheet I use for assessing students and a set of Anchor Word bookmarks for each unit.

If you use a reading program other than Open Court, you might want to consider creating a PPT that matches with your curriculum. It really is so easy to manage, and it has worked like a charm!

Nov 12, 2012

November FREEBIE

Dishin' Up Dinner

My November Freebie is HERE. This game focuses on reading and spelling  words that are commonly used in the primary classroom as well as super e words for the vowels a, i, o, and  u. Students roll and move around the game board by reading the words correctly, when they land on a dinner item they must spell the word on the backside correctly to collect the card and begin dishin' up their Thanksgiving dinner. The first player or team to fill their plate with every course: turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, carrots, corn, bread, and pumpkin pie - wins.


Nov 4, 2012

Host Your Own Cranberry Day

Looking for new ideas for celebrating the upcoming fall harvest and Thanksgiving? Wanting to do something different so that your students aren't always having the same old classroom feast in November? Why not host your own Cranberry Day?

Last year, my 1st grade teaching partner, Kelley, told me she celebrated Cranberry Day with her students each November. Since she grew up in Massachusetts this was a given! However, since I have lived my entire life in California, I had never heard of this celebration, but thought it sounded wonderful. It was! The parents donated all the supplies we needed and several volunteered to run one of the stations.

I kept it simple last year, but decided I would add a few more activities that Kelley had shared with me this year. I can't wait!

The children will rotate through the following stations:

1. Taste Test: Which do you like? (unsweetened juice, sweetened juice, dried cranberries, fresh cranberries, cranberry sauce, cranberry muffin, etc.)

2. Freshness Test: Do the cranberries bounce?

3. Video: Growing and harvesting cranberries

4. Drying Cranberries

5. Using Cranberry Dye

6. Stringing Cranberries (Make a popcorn and cranberry garland)

7. Observe Cranberries Using Your 5 Senses

We will also complete a "Can, Have, Are" sheet which we will use later during our writing period
and complete a Class Graph to determine who did and did not like the taste of fresh cranberries.

They will also read a little Did You Know? Cranberry Facts book I created using facts I gathered for the Ocean Spray website. It includes facts about Cranberry Day, how cranberries were used by the Native Americans, where and when cranberries are grown and harvested, how they were served at the Pilgrims feast, and more.

The booklet and other activities I created to help me implement the activities listed above are available now in my TPT store. Check it out!

You can grab a FREEBIE page from the packet HERE as well.

Happy Cranberry Day!

Oct 9, 2012

Roll and Spell Homework

A couple of weeks ago I switched-up my nightly spelling homework. I found some adorable ideas on Mrs. Reynold's blog Oh, My Little Classity Class. Her Roll and Spell Cards are so cute and I knew my students would love them. The previous forms I had been using were just plain boring and did not include any space for my kiddos to practice their word wall words each night. So I adapted the ideas I got from Mrs. Reynold's Roll and Spell cards to work in a four night homework format with a matching recording sheet. My students love their new spelling homework and their Friday assessment scores have improved! Now that's what I call a win, win - no matter how you ROLL!

You can grab my new FREEBIE Roll and Spell Homework forms HERE.
And do make sure you to stop by Mrs. Reynold's blog afterwards! You will be glad you did!!!

Sep 12, 2012

Johnny Appleseed Word Bank and Story Paper

I have created word banks and story paper packs for almost every month of the year. However... September and October are yet to be completed and posted. I had hoped to have the September pack done by the first of the month, but unfortunately I didn't even come close to meeting that goal. In fact I am still working on it. Since I have no idea when I will find the time to get it completed, I felt I needed to post at east one the word banks from the pack for my teacher friends out there who have been waiting oh so patiently with no word or progress from me... So here is your Johnny Appleseed FREEBIE. I hope it is not too late! 

Sep 5, 2012

Imagine It Unit 2 Support Materials

My Open Court Imagine It! first grade support materials for Unit 2 are finally updated and are available now in one organized zipped folder. Sorry for the delay! If you are a first grade teacher using SRA's OCR Program you can download the entire set of Unit 2 Support Materials HERE
Files for each week of the program include:
Unit Focus Question Posters
Weekly Overview
Spelling List
Challenge Spelling List
Spelling Pretest
Spelling Words for Pocket Chart
Vocabulary words and Definitions for Pocket Chart
Focus Wall Strips for Pocket Chart 

Decodable comprehension worksheets for each unit are also available for purchase in my TPT store

September Super Sentences

For those of you who have been inquiring..My September Super Sentence Pack and Calendar are finally finished and available in my TPT store ...Unfortunately I am always at least a week or two behind where I wish I were in planning and preparing. There just are not enough hours in a day! I should have the September story paper up in a day or two and the Perfect Paragraphs will follow just behind that!

Of course I always have a few freebie pages from the pack available for download for those who have found the time to "cruise" by my little blog. Click on the photos to grab them.

Aug 29, 2012

Open Court Imagine It! Spelling Words for 1st Grade

I have had several followers ask for a list of all of the Open Court Imagine It! 1st grade spelling words for the year. Unfortunately, I don't have the entire year compiled in one file (at least not yet). However I do have a list for the first 6 units which I developed based on the Open Court curriculum, since the program does not begin spelling lists/test until unit 7. So, for those of you who have been asking, and for those that would find it useful... Here it is. Click HERE to grab your copy!

Aug 20, 2012

Classroom Tour Linky Party

I just joined Brigid Classroom Tours Linky Party. Although my classroom isn't quite finished, it is pretty close to being ready. Now all I need are my darling 1st graders to show up and ADD all of their creative and whimsical touches.

I stuck with my sailor and pirate nautical theme but moved the furniture around, changed out some of the bulletin boards items and classroom posters, and created a reading reef for my students to curl up in using my son's old soccer goal that was being stored in my garage. I think my kiddos are really going to enjoy this space. See for yourself!
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Create a free digital scrapbooking design

After you've toured my room, make sure to check out some of my fellow bloggers amazing rooms as well. Just click on their links below. Then join the party and add some pictures of your room as well.

Pirate Booty for My Crew

This afternoon I will be meeting my new first grade CREW for the first time. I am so excited! It is just a thirty minute meet and greet, so we won't have time to do much more than go on a little classroom scavenger hunt that will end with them finding their pirate loot bag, drawing a picture of themselves, as a member of our crew, and hearing a story.

I made a few tweaks to the booty bag from last year, and have posted the FREEBIE note along with a few little extras to place in the bag HERE.

Aug 12, 2012

2-Day Back to School TPT Sale

I will be throwing a Back to School Sale on August 12th and 13th along with all my favorite blog authors over at Blog Hoppin'.

Every item in my TPT store will be 20% off!

But that's not all... if you use the coupon code BTS12 at check out on these days, you will receive an additional 10% off. 
So hop on over to my store and check out all my blog friend's stores as well! It's time to get ready for a new school year! 

Aug 9, 2012

Classroom Rewards

This year I plan to pass out pirate doubloons as rewards to my CREW members. These can be saved and used once enough have been collected.

Students may use them to:
  • Select something from our classroom treasure chest
  • Purchase special classroom privileges
  • Participate in a monthly raffle 

Grab a FREE copy of the doubloons here.

Aug 3, 2012

Open Court Sound Spelling Cards Reference Sheet

Open Court Teachers, this one is for you! I just compiled a FREEBIE one-page reference sheet with all of the sound spelling cards. I printed a class set and ran back-to-back with a digraph and blends reference sheet created by Lacey Yates from Wild About Teaching! It is available for FREE as well in her TPT store. You have to check her stuff out!

Then I laminated the set. They are now ready to go in my students' literacy boxes. I plan to run a second set and place in their three-pronged SHIP to SHORE folders to use as a reference at home as well.

Aug 2, 2012

Writing Journals

I just finished preparing my students writing journals for the year. It took a little time - but well worth the effort. All it took was a pack of decorative paper, a glue stick, my pirate-themed labels (with each student's class number on the treasure chest), and a role of clear contact paper.

These Stage 3 Primary Journals by Mead worked just perfectly for my 1st graders last year. It was amazing to see how their writing progressed .
There was plenty of room for pictures and top, middle, and bottom baselines for proper letter formation.

They were more pricey than the regular composition books, but worth the investment.


A few weeks after this post, I received an email from a follower asking if I could create these labels for second grade as well. So, here you go Liz! Click HERE to download the labels for SECOND GRADE.