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This year our 1st grade team has transitioned to using Mentor Texts to teach and guide students through our writing genres. It's my first year knee-deep in mentor texts and I am in love! Mentor texts offer students a 'real' perspective on a genre and give students a 'real' author to model. Making writing concrete is a priority for me and mentor texts help me do this.
Over the summer I shared with you all some of my favorite classroom resources and things I consider 'must-haves' for our primary classrooms. At the *very* top of the list was a library display shelf (Amazon Affiliate links included in this post). Out of all the things on my list, it was the priciest so I hesitated to include it..BUT I just had to. Our library display shelf is one of the main focuses of our classroom and something that is used every.single.day by every single one of my students! Today I wanted to share with you how I use this display shelf.
Music is my go-to resource for helping student internalize difficult material, for smoothing and quieting transitions, and for adding excitement to our classroom. My 1st graders absolutely love Hedi Songs, Ron Brown Intelli Tunes, Harry Kindergarten, and Jack Hartmann. We sing allthetime everysingleday!

Today I wanted to quickly stop by to share our Making 10, 10 Frame Song. If you follow along, you know we are all about making 10 right now - apps, centers, games, the whole bundle!

On my way to the Ron Clark Academy 3 weeks ago I was stuck in grid-lock, Atlanta traffic and 90 minutes later this Making 10 Song was born. WARNING - Please don't judge my voice. In front of 1st graders I have *THE* prettiest singing voice in the entire world. Anywhere else and my magical singing abilities don't work! ;)
If you think this song is something your friends would love, you can click here to download the lyrics for your own classroom. If you reduce the page size to 85% when you print, it fits perfectly into an interactive math notebook.
The 10 Frame Song is super simple, but perfect for helping students remember 10 friends (and it makes for a simple and quick transition song)! I'm sure you and your little learners love it. :)
Do you use music in the classroom? Who are your go-to musicians? I'd love to hear your suggestions!
The second week in October, our 1st grade focus was working with numbers to 10 - subitizing, multiple representations, and later in the week making 10. 10 becomes such an important benchmark for students, especially as we head into addition and subtraction. Becoming fluent in 10 is a fantastic tool for mental math, and when students begin adding larger numbers (especially in other grades), having mastered 10 is critical! We spend a lot of time with 10, and we'll spiral review with 10 through out centers each week.
If you've read my blog before, you probably know that I use a Daily 5 structure to organize our reading time. I love the freedom, choice, and time spent reading/writing it offers my students. One of the most common questions/comments is "My students can't handle choice. I'm doing Daily 5 just without the choice. My kids aren't ready for it this year." While I totally respect teachers doing what works best for their class rooms, I wanted to share what our 1st week of choice looks like. It takes us 7 ish weeks to make it to choice and it is ALL about training, practice, and modeling up to launching choice. (If you're interested in learning about the training leading up to choice, read more about that here.)
Hello, friends! Six weeks into the school year, we have hit the ground running and read-aloud has quickly become one of our favorite moments of the day. Today I wanted to share about one of my favorite books for teaching and modeling Making Predictions as a reading strategy - Duck on a Bike  by David Shannon.
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