2019 - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

The WHY Behind Rooted in Reading

When Amy and I began creating our 2nd Grade Rooted in Reading curriculum we were solving a problem for both of our classrooms. We had both been using picture books to teach comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar, but we did not have a go-to resource. We had activities and lessons that we were creating year after year, but we wanted something that would bring consistency to our reading block.
That’s when we got together and decided we wanted to take what we were doing each and every day in our own classrooms and create something for the entire year, something that other teachers could benefit from as well. In the fall of 2015, we chose 4 picture books and began developing a curriculum that our 2nd grade students fell IN LOVE with. It TRANSFORMED our ELA block. It helped us fall in love with teaching again. It helped our students fall in love with reading in a way we had never seen before.
Over the next few years we began creating curriculum for 1st and 3rd grade classrooms. It has been a true blessing to see so many teachers use our curriculum over the years. It touches our hearts to see every picture, read every review, and hear how Rooted in Reading has impacted so many classrooms.
We know how beneficial it can be to use picture books in the classroom, but we know that some teachers need to provide evidence to their administrators. Well, now we have you covered! We have put together a document with information, testimonials, and more! You can click HERE to check that out.
We hope that this document is just what you need to help bring Rooted in Reading to your classroom. If you want to see the specific books we chose for each of our units you can find them all listed on Amy's Amazon storefront HERE.

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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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