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 29, 2014

February Reading Logs and Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe

Can you believe it is almost February?

In preparation for the upcoming month I recently updated a few of my homework packet pages... Now I am ready for Monday.

My 1st graders do such a great job on their weekly reading logs and they are really enjoying these new tic-tac-toe spelling activities.

You can grab your own copy of these below.

February Reading Logs
February Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe


Jan 25, 2014

OU and OW Word Work

This week my students will be introduced to the spelling patterns /ow/ and /ou/ as we head into Unit 7 of our Reading and Language Arts program.

Each day we do one or more word work activities related to the weekly spelling pattern(s). Most, if not all of the word work activities we will cover this week are from my "Out and Around with Little Brown Mouse" pack which is available in my TPT store. The word cards from the packet will be used for Move it Monday, Trade It Tuesday, and Walk and Write Wednesday. Click HERE to grab the word cards for FREE.

We will also be busy with 100's Day activities this Thursday and Groundhog's Day and Chinese New Year fun on Friday. It is going to be a jam-packed week. I can hardly wait!

Jan 22, 2014

"How To" Instructional Writing

My 1st grade CREW are currently working on writing "How To" instructional paragraphs using the transitions First, Next, Then, and Finally. Of course these are sandwiched between and introductory and closing sentence to complete a six or more sentence paragraph.

FIRST, we began with the ever popular: "How to Build a Snowman" - which we finished up last week.

Here's a sample from one of my youngest students.

NEXT, we wrote "How to Make a Sandwich" paragraphs.

THEN, it was on to "How to Play___________  (basketball, checkers, four corners, Old Maid, etc).

FINALLY, we will write a "How to Get Ready for Bed" paragraph that will be used as our unit assessment.


To help my students through the writing process and publish attractive pieces, I created the templates shown here.

Click on each picture to grab a copy for yourself.

Jan 18, 2014

Word Work for OO

This week we will focus on words with the oo spelling. Here is one of the mini-word work packets I created to work with this spelling pattern. Just click on the graphic to grab your FREE copy.

(Imagine It! friends -  this is for Unit 6.11-6.15)

The Streganona-themed packet, with even more oo word work activities is available in my TPT store.

Also...For those of you who tried to download yesterday's post... It is now fixed. I simply forgot to "SHARE" the file in my Google Docs.

Thanks for letting me know about the download issue!

Have a great weekend!

Jan 17, 2014

We're Over the Moon for Long U

That's Right!

We're Over the Moon for Long U.

Here's a copy of  my word work activities for this week.

For my Imagine It friends - that's Unit 6.6-6.10.
Grab your copy HERE.

Jan 12, 2014

MLK Word Bank and Writing Paper

I just finished updating my MLK writing paper and word bank mini-pack. I will be using this along with some other fabulous resources I purchased from TPT authors: A Year of Many FirstsCurriculum CastleJessica PetersonFishyrobb, and Teacher to the Core.

Click HERE to grab this FREEBIE.

 Here is sample from one of my students:

One Paragraph Retell


Now that my students have tackled the task of locating answers and responding in writing to questions about the text we have read ... I am teaching them how to develop a one paragraph retelling.

I developed this form to help scaffold them through the process.

Here is a completed student sample:

I can hardly wait to see the progress they will make over the next few weeks.

Click on the image of the template to download the form.

Jan 6, 2014

January Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe

I FINALLY got around to completing the January Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe... Just in time for the first day back to school of the new year.

So, for those of you who have been asking - here it is!

Just click on the graphic to download your copy.

Happy Teaching!

Jan 4, 2014

Weekly Word Work

I thought I would share our weekly word work routine with you... so simple yet effective!

 Move It Monday
Each Monday, after introducing our spelling pattern for the week, I pass out this recording sheet and we play Move It Monday - Just a different name for the old favorite "SCOOT". However, instead of saying, "Scoot," to indicate that the children are to move to the next desk/seat, I say, "Move it."

If my word cards are numbered, the children copy the word in the corresponding location on the record sheet. If the cards are not numbered, they simply record the card at their starting seat position as number one and the rest follow in order as they "move it" around the room.

Trade It Tuesday
On Tuesday, I distribute the same word cards we used for Move it Monday. Each child begins with a word card. Then when I call out, "Trade it", they move around the room as quickly as possible, reading each other's cards and trading them if they read the word correctly. The goal is to trade and read as many words correctly as possible. I usually have more than the 20 word cards used for "Move It" - and include more challenging words - so we play several rounds of the game.

Walk and Write Wednesday

On Wednesdays, after I place the word cards around the room, the students grab a clip board and a recording sheet and walk around locating, reading, and then sorting the words on the cards by spelling pattern.  The sorting is done as they spell/write each word down under the proper heading on the recording sheet.

Throw It Thursday

Throw It Thursday is my version of Word Wall Word Blast Off. Student list the top 6 most difficult spelling or word wall words of the week across the top. Then they roll a single die to determine which word they must write next. They race to see which word's column will be completed first, second, and so forth until the entire sheet or as much of it as possible is competed within the time limit.

Fix It Friday 

On Fridays we play the Spelling City WORD UNSCRAMBLE  game. I project my laptop on the big screen and the children FIX their weekly spelling words - unscrambling the letters and placing them in the correct order using their Doodle Pads or white boards.  When I say, "Show me," they all hold them up and I can quickly spot check to see who "has it" and who doesn't.

That's it in a nut shell... so simple! 

Click here to grab the three recording sheets.

Jan 3, 2014

I'm BACK with some FREEBIES

No... I have not gone "missing"... although it may seem that way since I have not posted in MONTHS.

Actually, I have no excuse - other than I have been busy being a mom, teaching my wonderful class of 1st graders, and trying to stay at least a day ahead of the projects, events, and curriculum, as well as make sure I was ready for all the holidays. (I hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.)

However, during my blog absence ... I did work on a few things that I can share with those of you who still check in. So here you go...

I'll be using these this month:

Some more items I created for December
Support for Imagine It! Unit 5.11-5.15 

Once my students had been introduced to a number of holiday gift-givers from various countries during our Holidays Around the World unit, I had them create an informational paragraph introducing the United States gift-giver, Santa Claus, to the children in other parts of the world.

We began with a Santa Is, Has, Can page, drafted, and then published the final piece. They turned out great! 

Word Work Mini Packs
(An Imagine Unit 4.11-15 Resource)

(An Imagine Unit 4.11-15 Resource)

(An Imagine Unit 4.6-10 Resource)

Finally... Make sure to check out my latest TPT freebie