2019 - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

First Grade Rooted in Reading March

I swear the months are flying by....and I can't keep up!  Let's slow down for a second and just appreciate these beautiful books! You can find them through my affiliate links below:

The following are the four nonfiction readers included for the month. One to pair with each book! I love the topics for each one and found myself learning A LOT! 

I haven't blogged a ton about the first grade units so I wanted to make sure you saw a good bit of what is in each one. 

For the Magical Sea Creatures nonfiction reader, I chose to focus on the habitat AND habits of each animal.  I think with more understanding of what lives below sea level, comes more compassion and effort to protect our beautiful oceans. 

For each week, you will receive two to three digital anchor charts and relatively quick comprehension activities to allow your students to demonstrate their understanding of the whole group lesson. 

After The Fall offers a wonderful opportunity to review nursery rhymes that your students may or may not be familiar with. 

Have you ever read The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig? What a FANTASTIC book! I find myself giggling several times when I am reading it because I find the author so clever. 

And because it is SO hard to show you everything but I don't want to miss anything, here are some more images.  You may click on any of the pictures to see the unit in Amy's store! 


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Operation GET ORGANIZED Post #1

It's been a minute sine I have shared about anything non-school related, but I figured since a large majority of the country has caught the Marie Kondo bug that this might be of interest!  Last Sunday I caught the organizing itch hard! I didn't even get out of my pajamas. I just spent the whole day tossing and bossing people around :) dreamy, right??

I started with the laundry room, where we have our "pantry".  You would not believe the dates on some of the stuff I threw out! I love having baskets to group like items. It seems to keep us a lot more organized! I was trying to link some similar ones from Amazon, but they are all too expensive...just go to Walmart! 

 I know I am a weirdo but I actually enjoy laundry...which is a good thing since 5 people equals TONS of laundry. 

After the laundry room, I moved on to the kitchen.  We just loved to our home a year ago and luckily purged a lot then so I was able to go through all the cabinets and fridge pretty easily. Y'all it feels SO good to know exactly where everything is and have a clear mind with less stuff!

The main reason that wanted to share these pictures is because I actually have found a few great organizational "things" to help keep everything in its place. 

First up are these drawer organizers. I found them on Amazon and I actually ordered a few more, because they are saving my LIFE.  The main reason I like them so much is that you can customize them for 

All of Mr. Husband's things are organized and not rolling around in my drawers anymore! 

Next up was my vehicle.  I spend a good 3 hours a day minimum in my car.  Between getting Smith to therapies and all of the kids activities... I live in my car.  It was making my crazy the amount of disorganization I was dealing with daily! 

First thing I realized was that I needed the whole family's help. So I have stressed to my kids that if they bring it to the car, they need to take it from the car! 

I also needed to reign in Smith's toys.  I took a bunch out of the car for good and then started using a basic shower caddy for the rest.  Plus I keep a few books handy because we are definitely a family of readers!

Plus I found this lap desk for Smith to play with his dinos and sharks on! He loves it and so does Momma because it keeps the mess contained and him entertained for hours! 

I also got this organizer for my trunk.  It is a dream! I keep my yoga mat and other things that we need for activities. It has all kinds of pockets on the kids for wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, and water bottles. Seriously, such a good purchase! 

And the last place I have tackled so far is Emmie's closet.  I have finally come to term with the fact that she is too old for me to pick out her clothes for her (10 in March) so I asked her to go through and let me know the things that she wouldn't wear anymore.  Such a beautiful pile of clothe! Luckily we have lots of little friends to pass them down too! 

Even though I am not picking out her clothes anymore, I was able to pass down a habit to her.  On Sundays Emmie picks out her clothes for the whole week and puts them in this organizer. We have done this since she was four years old and it is such a life saver for us! 

Here's a picture of the finished product of Emmie's closet! 

 And just so you KNOW I don't have all my stuff together.... here is my next project to tackle! Book hoarders unit! 

If you are interested in seeing more organizational posts or home in general, make sure to leave my a comment. I would love to hear any tips you have! 

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TWO BIG Last Minute Valentine's Day Freebies

Did you have lots of great intentions for the week of Valentine's Day and now you are feeling all kinds of tired and overwhelmed. Yep, yep. I know that feeling.  So let me help you out with some easy, print and go help! 

When Amy saw Robot in Love at Barnes and Noble, we both knew right away that it was screaming to be a Rooted in Reading book. So, we made it happen!

The skills that we focused on for within the book are inferences, schema, and character traits. Take a closer look with me...

One of my biggest frustrations with adults is when they do not understand the complexity and rigor  that picture books offer to our students. The amount of stuff going on in these illustrations is amazing!  We need to talk about how characters act when they are "in love" and what is happening when the robot lands in the puddle. We can't assume that kids have been exposed to enough of the world to really GET it. And, folks that is what we do in Rooted in Reading.  We zoom in. We give them time to talk and analyze. 

I also LOVE using animated short films to really hit a Grand Slam with the kids.  This "Cupid Love" video is a perfect addition to use alongside Robot in Love and gives students a chance to infer without the pressure of decoding words at the same time! 

If you are interested in seeing more of a Robot in Love, you can see it in Amy's store here:

I also decided to make this freebie for you! It has bookmarks to use as small gifts for your kids on Valentine's Day AND three printables to use for those of you that want to the Robot in Love unit but think it might be a little too challenging for your kids.  You can find those freebies here: 

AND since I decided to be an overachiever this week, Amanda Newsome and I decided to team up on a little Book Freebie. It comes with MORE bookmark options for any book, tags to use with gifts, book recommendation cards, AND a bulletin board idea. Phew! Look at the pictures below for more insight. 

I hope that you are winding down from the week and preparing for a weekend of relaxation and rest....right?!?! 


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Calling all Kinder Teachers!!! A MASSIVE freebie!

First and foremost after years of saying I am going to get to it, I FINALLY made an email list and I can't wait to start sharing some of my favorite books and other content with you all that way.  You can sign up for it by clicking HERE
Second, Brooke and I have heard you loud and clear. You wanted Kindergarten Storybook STEM after seeing how well our bundle has worked with first and second graders. 

We are taking some of your favorite books AND throwing in some new ones.... and coming up with the perfect STEM and Literacy activities for your Kindergartners.

We completely understand that your students need clear and easy to manage STEM that ties into your science standards. For example check out a few things from The Napping House and The Mitten: 

We also took the this opportunity to REALLY hit home those ELA standards in an engaging way. 

And because once you guys tried one, that you would want more, we completed SEVEN at once!  You can grab Volume One Bundle or The Whole Set.

Here are links to the books we used in Volume One: 

AND...if you made it all the way, then you get a reward!  Here is one of our units for free in Brooke's store: 

Thank you all for popping in <3 

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Not your Typical February Picture Books

First, let me apologize for my disappearance from this blog space.  Second, let me welcome you into the second semester of your school year....the time of year when the lightbulbs start to go off, the routines get mastered, and you truly fall in love with those sweet children in your classroom.  Well, lets cross our fingers and toes that that's what is happening in your rooms right now. Amy and I just recently uploaded our February Unit for First Grade Rooted in Reading, and I could not be more in LOVE.  These are not your typical February books and I think your kids will love the change of pace! I want to give you some insight into this unit so you can see detailed descriptions of the four books and then images from the preview that show you everything inside the units! 

1. Cloudette-  Much like the Little Engine that Could, Cloudette wonders her value because she is so small. She can't do the BIG cloud things like a massive storm or creating a lake from a torrential downpour.  She understands that everyone thinks she is cute, but she wants to be so much more.  Tom Litchenheld's humor and attention to detail is what I crave in a picture book.  It makes it enjoyable for the grown-up too! 

2. The Big Bed-  If you have never read Bunmi Laditan's blog The Honest Toddler, you are seriously missing out on some full belly laughs.  Bunmi has a way of connecting to adults and finding the humor in our sometimes hostage situation with children that is so refreshing. When I heard she was coming out with a picture book I immediately purchased it. I could not be more THRILLED with her end result.  She packed her main character with so much voice and personality that you can't help but love her.  The daughter's persistence and well-thought-out plan also makes for the perfect mentor text for persuasive writing as well.  If you do nothing else today, find this book and read it!  

3. The Radiant Child-  Anybody else a podcast listener?  I am a Podcast enthusiast and this morning I listened to the same sentence about ten times.  The sentence was "Creativity was how I share my soul with the world." In a time when teachers have to fight tooth in nail to keep arts education in place that meant so much to me.  It is so important that our students see examples of real life artists.  The real life story of Jean Michel Basquiat is brilliant because it is so different than the ones our students are probably accustomed to hearing.  And if you need a way to hook them, because well money talks, share with them that one of Basquiat's paintings was recently bought for 110 million dollars!

4. The Koala Who Could- Growth Mindset is all the rage in education and for all the right reasons. Students need to learn to persevere when things are tough. Even as a 34 year old woman I have to remind myself not to quit (like when I can't remember my password for the thousandth time).  Students need to know that tremendous growth happens when we are uncomfortable and take risks! 

I hope you enjoyed the little tour, and I promise you that I won't stay gone as long this go around! 


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