Five for Friday with a Freebie

Saturday 26 September 2015
How has it been almost three weeks since my last blog post?! I vowed to keep up with this blog when I created it, but this first month of school has been kicking my butt. I feel like I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things, so hopefully I will be able to start blogging more often again. Today, I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday to recap my week and share a bit of what has been happening in my classroom.

Last week, we read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and revisited the story all week to work on comprehension skills. We ended the week by doing an awesome directed drawing from Haley O'Connor at My Silly Firsties and responding to the prompt, "Do you think it was okay for the other students to make fun of Chrysanthemum's name?" I love how each drawing turned out! The kids were so excited that they were able to draw Chrysanthemum. I will definitely be trying to incorporate more directed drawings this year - they are a great way to work on listening skills and build students' confidence! On Sunday, while I was in my classroom for a bit, I hung their work on our student work wall. It's the perfect display for the classroom library!

I also got my number posters up. Finally. I felt terrible that we had already been in school for three weeks and I still had yet to put them up. But let me tell you... Moving classrooms is tough. This is my third year of teaching and each year I have been in a different classroom. Although I have tried to have everything set up and ready for the first day of school, I have learned that it is okay if it's not and that I will get it all done eventually. The kids actually noticed these posters as soon as they walked in on Monday and have referred to them many times this week. I love that they are at eye level and are near our Math area! The past two years I had them hung up high and I was determined to find space for them lower down this year. In case you are wondering, they are from Lidia Barbosa on TpT. I love how they show various forms of each number! So many number posters just show ten frames.

We have spent the fast few weeks working on subitizing and number bonds in Math. This week, we made this awesome name in a ten frame craft from Sam Nowak at Fun With Firsties. It is one of the first freebies I used in my classroom and I've used it each year. The kids love making it and it is the perfect activity for this time of year! The file comes with circles to cut out and use as counters, but I use colored circle labels instead, which is quicker and easier for the kids. They love using the labels because they think of them as stickers. :) Can you guess this little girl's favorite color? ;)

I introduced the concept of bucket filling during the first week of school and have a bucket filling message center set up in my classroom. The kids love to write notes to one another and deliver them to their friends' buckets! I have a bucket too and found these sweet notes in it this afternoon. So precious! Their notes are the best - especially at the beginning of the year when we are still getting to know each other! I am planning to reply to these kiddos, so they will have a little note from the teacher in their buckets next week. :) (The writing paper is from Rulin' the Roost's Bucket Filling Friendship Club packet.)

I am giving weekly spelling tests for the first time this year and wanted a quick and easy way to communicate the grades to parents. I whipped these notes up last night and sent home the first batch today! Click here to download them if you think you can use them in your classroom. I am hoping they will be helpful for parents and will help me to be more consistent with communication about our spelling tests each week. Do you give weekly spelling tests? How do you communicate the grades to parents?

Be sure to head back to the link up to read some more Five for Friday recaps! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

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