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We've Got Some Winners!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Thank you for your participation in the Partyin’ with Primaries One Year Anniversary Giveaway! We’ve got FIVE lucky winners!

Reading Comprehension Passages Bundle Guided Reading Level C-I Jan Bruenger

Reading Comprehension Passages MEGA Bundle Guided Reading Level C-K Melissa Jennings

Nonfiction Animals Reading Comprehension Passages Bundle Guided Reading Level C-J Tammy Treadway

2nd Grade Morning Work Full Year Bundle Lori Raines

3rd Grade Morning Work Full Year Bundle Toni Nicholson

Thank you to each of my faithful followers I am so thankful you are along for the ride! Have a great weekend!

One Year Anniversary Giveaway

It was almost a year ago now that my TpT journey began. My husband and I had decided that I would take a one year maternity leave after our beautiful daughter had been born in April, and the school year was rapidly approachingAs thankful as I was to be able to stay home for the year, I found myself very tearful on more than one occasion thinking about not going back to my classroom! It was right around that time that I discovered selling resources on TpT! It was God’s gift to me in that fragile time, of that I am sure. It has been a fulfilling journey this past year and for that I am so thankful! As a thank you to all my faithful followers and those that are yet to come... I would like to give away a few of my top selling products! I know its very expensive at the beginning of the year so I hope that these can be a blessing to you in your classroom!

The giveaway will include:

Reading Comprehension Bundle Guided Reading Levels C-I

2nd Grade Morning Work Full Year Bundle 

3rd Grade Morning Work Bundle

Nonfiction Animals Reading Comprehension Bundle Guided Reading Levels C-J 

Reading Comprehension MEGA Bundle Guided Reading Levels C-K

That is over $168.00 worth of prizes! 

Guided Reading Resources

One of my most favorite things in the world is teaching readingI know, I am a nerd but it really gives me goosebumps! There are few things that touch my heart like a child learning to read and getting the opportunity to be an integral part of that process! I have had the AMAZING opportunity to attend several guided reading workshops, my favorite being based upon Jan Richardson’s The Next Steps in Guided Reading. She’s AMAZING! If you haven’t read her book, you should check it out! More to come on my obsession with Jan Richardson at a later date but here is how I structure my daily guided reading groups for my first and second graders!

My Guided Reading Groups last approximately 20 minutes. I base the groups off Running Reading Records that we do in the classroom on a regular basis. My groups are flexible and fluid they are constantly changing.

        *Sight Word Review (2 minutes)

        *Picture Walk and Vocabulary Preview (2-3 minutes)

        *Task at Hand- today we are going to be making connections  (2 minutes)

        *Students read quietly to themselves and teacher goes around the table listening to each child read, students use sticky notes to respond to questions (10-12 minutes)

        *Word Work  (2-3 minutes)

Prepping for guided reading can be a daunting process, when you think about planning each of these steps for four different groups EVERY DAY! I also strive to find HIGH INTEREST texts for my students... in order to do this I decided to create Nonfiction Animals Reading Comprehension Passages, that were leveled Guided Reading Level C-J (Fountas & Pinnell).                                                                     

Each passage has a set of questions that stimulate higher level thinking, require students to search for text based evidence and other skills the common core addresses. Sight words and word work patterns are also readily available in each passage to pull and use! The kids LOVE the passages and learning about different animals. I am able to print out multiple copies of each passage and it saves me the time of seeking out multiple copies of books for each of my groups. Note: I do not recommend ALWAYS using passages for guided reading, authentic learning from books is ABSOLUTELY necessary but once and a while, I think it’s good to mix things up!

If this sounds appealing to you feel free to check out this freebie Nonfiction Animals Reading Comprehension Passages for Guided Reading Level J. I hope this resource can be a useful tool for you in your classrooms! Thanks for stopping by! 

Throw Back Thursday: Feeling Thankful

We have recently finished our basement and Samantha found a bag of photographs and of course, started tearing it open! She pulled out pictures from my childhood, our wedding and then she found a small album. It was full of pictures from my trip to Zambia in college. I did a summer term in Choma, Zambia through World Hope International.

It was a mission’s trip/class experience through Houghton College, where I attended. We were given a partner and a box of paper and markers and told our kids would be arriving the next day. It was a “literacy clinic” of sorts. There was a local village nearby and the World Hope Center would drive a truck out in the morning and afternoon to pick kids up and bring them in.

The experience was INCREDIBLE. Kids were lined up at the gate at 7:00, two hours before our start time each day mind you, it was summer break and it was at least a 30 minute walk to get there. We used our box of markers and paper and a few things we’d packed in our suitcase (like the shaving cream seen in the pictures below) to teach these babies the basis of the alphabet. It is amazingly convicting to me as I reflected on this experience on how frequently I find myself grumbling at school “I can’t believe I only have 5 copies of this book.. I have 6 kids in my guided reading book now what I am supposed to do?!?!” On top of it, I’m in the midst of a two year maternity leave and a classroom change at school I have packed up literally TWENTY - 20 gallon bins to move from one place to another... How blessed am I?! These kids don’t even
HAVE BOOKS. They literally have the clothes on their back, and that’s all. We are so incredibly fortunate for all we have. So today I am reminding myself of how fortunate I am to teach in an INCREDIBLE school district with endless resources. May I never take that for granted! I am also going to clean out some of the things I don’t use, and donate them to the district in our local city that perhaps doesn’t have as much at their disposal! What a good reality check this was today! Thank you Lord for ALL we are blessed with and take for granted each day!

What are you thankful for today???

Morning Work Routines

Oh how I love routine! The beginning of the school year is full of joy, anticipation and excitement. Meeting new students and building the foundations of relationships is one of my favorite parts of teaching but I have to say I do look forward, from day one, to starting routines.

For the past 5 years I have taught a blended classroom, serving regular education students and students with special needs. Our morning routines were crucial for starting our day on the right foot! I may have been structured to the point of neurosis but it worked! Some students had a visual schedule on boardmaker so they wouldn’t forget, that was very helpful too! Our routines goes as follows:

1. Say good morning to Mrs. Mathias with a High Five, Hand Shake or Hug! (I once had a student that cried lining up for lunch saying that no one had even said her name that day - heartbreaking! So I make a point to greet each child by name in the mornings and some type of physical touch... they choose if they want a high five, hand shake or hug)
2. Hang up coat and backpack on hook
3. Take out folder and check for notes from home
4. Put folder in mailbox 
5. Take down chair 
6. Complete morning work on desk (I set out the differentiated morning work on each child's desk... see below for specifics) 
7. Place morning work into "Completed Work Bin" 
8. Read a book of choice, quietly, in the classroom library 

Finding a good set of morning work was difficult for me, so I decided to write my own! It is aligned to the common core, reviewing elements of ELA and Math that we often don’t have time to review during guided reading, writing block and guided math groups!

There are two different versions of each page of morning work to meet the needs of all our learners. In the top right corner a D1 stands for the easier version and D2 stands for the enriched version. Concepts like long and short vowel sounds are differentiated by circling the correct pattern versus writing out the pattern. Every day there is a sentence with spelling or grammatical errors that need to be corrected!

Math concepts such as telling time, solving story problems, skip counting, money, comparing <, > , = and mental math are all included. Again, I made sure to differentiate different ability levels because this work is meant to be completed independently. I found it to be a great quick check to see areas that I needed to re-teach as a whole group lesson or to pull small groups during centers to specific concepts that kids were lacking. It also served as a great home-school connection for parents to see how kids were keeping up on old skills and concepts taught in class!

My colleagues at work seemed to like the 2nd grade morning work too, so I decided to make a version for 3rd grade as well! When I taught 3rd grade I always felt so much pressure because the 3rd grade NYS test was approaching at the end of the year and I never knew if my kids were retaining all the information they needed to know (without simply teaching to the test)!!! This serves as another great way to check to make sure they’re staying afloat with all the content before that DREADED TEST!

(Aligned to 3rd Grade Common Core Standards)

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your school year is off to a great start!

Back to School Sale! EVERYTHING is 28% OFF!!!

Hey Teacher Friends!
Don’t forget to check out my TpT store on August 3rd and 4th this week! Everything will be 28% OFF! Each of my products is marked down 20% and then TpT is taking off an EXTRA 10% if you use the promo code: BTS15. Time to stock up for the new school year!!!

Click on the image below to head directly to my store! Enjoy!