Sunday, May 31, 2015

End of the Year Favorites!

With only days left in the school year, I have some favorite activities that I cherish doing with my first graders!  Click the image below and stop on by the First Grade Critter Cafe to take a peek at these treasured favorites!


Saturday, May 30, 2015

End of Year Review Freebie!

If you are done with school already, I want you to know that I'm so happy for you.

Actually, I'm raging with jealousy, but really. . . I'm so happy for your freedom.
:)

If you're like me and in the homestretch, grab this fun, little freebie:


Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Newsela, A Digital Newspaper For Kids



Newsela is a free website that is a digital newspaper for students.  Kids can read up to date articles on science, art, pop culture, current events, and sports.  The articles are of high interest and thought provoking.  They're filled with informational text, text features, and images with every story.  It's an age appropriate newspaper filled with real world connections.  It is perfect.  It is completely free.

Newsela does a multiple things extremely well, the first being leveled readers.  Most articles have exile levels that students (or teachers can choose between.  Below is an example using everyone's favorite villain/hero, Tom Brady.

I like seeing how the opening paragraph increases in complexity.  BUT I really love seeing each opening paragraph morphs into an US Weekly story.  Just really good stuff.

This site offers many other bells and whistles such as quizzes, annotating text, and easily creating differentiated material.  There's quite a lot to it and many other teachers rave about it.  I'd highly suggest checking it out and then spend a little time and figure out how you can incorporate this into your classroom.

Their tagline is spot on: Read Closely. Think Critically.  Be Worldly.

Check it out.
Matt


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Summer Reading Pack for Incoming First Graders

I am on the home stretch now. Summer is SO close! Many of you have already packed up your classrooms. As much as I love summer, I always worry about the big summer slide with some of our students. Many of our students would be fine even if they did a little backward slide. Unfortunately, many of our students can't afford even the smallest step back. We've all worked so hard to make progress all year long, then we send our students out for the two or three month break and wish for the best. Last year I created a summer packet for incoming first graders. I made it with my struggling readers in mind. These are the kids that need to be practicing this summer. These are the students that are not as likely to be reading for pleasure this summer. They are on that cusp of becoming readers so many of the books at the library are still too hard for them. Some of these parents are looking for guidance and are willing to help their kids but are not sure how. Hopefully, this packet can help! I've updated it with more direction for parents. 



I added a letter to parents that can go on the first page after the cover. 

I also added these pages that elaborate a little more on each section. I printed them in bright colors and placed them between each section of the packet. 

I know my parents are often looking for more guidance, so I added some ideas for what to do if their child is struggling with certain parts of this packet. I also described how they can help their child with each section. 





and to download these free bookmarks!





PS. My packet is 20% off today and tomorrow!