Monday, August 3, 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale!

Close the Barbecue
Close the Sun
Summer's Over,
School's Begun...
Well sort of. 
We still have a few weeks left of summer, but that's definitely not going to stop us from getting ready for the new school year!
Teachers Pay Teachers is here to help us out with their big Back to School Sale!
Save up to 28% off all Fluttering Through First Grade resources when you use Promo Code BTS15 at checkout.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Let's Play I Have, Who Has? with Freebielicious

We've got some exciting news to share! We've joined the fun over at Freebielicious. You can now find us fluttering over on their blog too.
We're kicking things off with a fun game our class loves to play called "I Have, Who Has?"
If you're just getting started, you can head over to the first post in our Back to School Edition {here}. Follow the clues for some of our best back to school tools!
If you followed our clue from A Special Kind of Class...
Who has been job share teaching partners for 13 years and known to show up at school wearing identical outfits without even planning it?
You're right...It's us!
We found each other through our teaching union 13 years ago when we were new moms looking to move to part time teaching. Our job share was born and we haven't looked back since. If you're not sure what a job share is...We share a classroom and contract. Christy teaches Mondays and Tuesdays, Tammy teaches Thursdays and Fridays and we alternate Wednesdays. So, you would think being on completely opposite schedules and all we'd come up with our own wardrobes. But, nope! On numerous occasions over the years we've shown up dressed like twinsies without even planning it! This is how we showed up to head to Vegas last summer. Gah!
We also have our favorite classroom program, Listen Up ~ Auditory activities for little listeners.

These daily, differentiated listening activities have helped us teach kids how to actively listen in the classroom. They think they're playing a game, which makes it fun too. The kicker? We only say each direction 1 time. No more! They learn quickly that they need to listen up! 
If you'd like to try our listening activities, you can grab our Listen Up Freebie.
You can grab all of our Listen Up activities and save during the big Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale!

Ready for your next clue?
Have a teeny tiny guess as to who this Freebielicious author could possibly be?
Click the image above to see if you're right! 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Habitats of the World Lesson Plans

Several years ago, we received the news that habitats had been added to our science curriculum. We loved the idea of taking our students around the world to learn about plant and animal life around the globe! What we didn't expect was that it would take our science curriculum to a whole new level that our students would love. 

We've received a lot of questions on how we use our Habitats of the World Bundle throughout the year...So climb aboard our plan book...Buckle your belts and let's take a ride through our Habitats of the World lesson plans.

We start the year by introducing our students to the idea of habitats...Most of them have little to no prior knowledge of the topic, so we created this little book to help them understand.  
You can download our "What's a Habitat?" little book for free in our TpT Shop. 
Our habitats bundle currently has 6 habitats, but soon to be 7. By popular demand, we'll be adding Forest Habitat very soon!

All of our habitat unit covers just got a facelift...We love them!
Here's What's Included in Each Unit

*16 Habitat Vocabulary Cards

*1 Blank Habitat Bingo Card Master

*5 Pre-made Habitat Bingo Cards

*Habitat Vocabulary Definitions 

*1 Habitat Mini (8 page) Book

*Habitat Fact Finders Activity

*Habitat Definition Activity

*Habitat Vocabulary Sentence Activity

*Habitat Vocabulary Activity

*Habitat Writing Brainstorm Page

*Habitat Writing Final Draft Page

*Habitat Art Project

*List of Common Core Standards for each unit

You can see each unit up close by downloading their previews in our TpT Shop.
We typically teach habitats in this order throughout the school year:
August - Ocean Habitat
November - Forest Habitat ~ Coming Soon!
January - Polar Habitat
March - Pond Habitat

We follow the same lesson scope and sequence for each of our habitat units as outlined below. Of course depending upon the time of year, abilities of our students, and the amount of time we actually have in our days, we adjust some of these activities accordingly. 

Each of our habitat units of study focuses on a mini book. These non-fiction, fact filled readers help our students focus on key information and reading for details. We ask them to highlight as we go and they get a ton of practice finding facts. Then, they illustrate the page to solidify their understanding. 
We provide tons of opportunities to learn, practice and use the academic vocabulary that accompanies each habitat. It's amazing how quickly our class picks up these words! We disguise the vocabulary in games and give them multiple opportunities to "play". Our favorite way to use these is with parent volunteers. They are easy pick up and go activities and the more we practice our habitat vocabulary the more we find our students get out of our research. 
We use our vocabulary in as many review activities as we can. Whether they work on them during morning work, centers, or as homework, we give them multiple opportunities to review the concepts and key vocabulary of each habitat. 
Once we've researched and have a solid foundation for the habitat, we take our students through the writing process by brainstorming facts and writing reports from our learning. 

Finally, we have some fun! We create an art project to culminate our learning and to go along with our habitat reports.
Most of our art goes into our habitat books, but some are too cute not to hang on the classroom walls.
We save each of their reports and art projects to make a keepsake habitat book of all the habitats we research throughout the school year. 

We create our habitat book covers during Earth Week. You can download the instructions and cover template from our post {here}.
We display our class habitat books at Open House at the end of the school year. It is one of our favorite take aways for families year after year. :)
So there you have it...Our year of habitats!
You can download our habitat lesson scope and sequence below. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Listen Up 3...Yippee!

Our Listen Up Family is growing! wink emoticon
Listen Up 3 has just been added to our collection.
 We're so excited to start the school year with daily listening practice because our class needs a lot of practice learning how to listen! Over the years, we've found listening is a skill that can be challenging for our little learners...But, they do LOVE to talk! :) We really don't blame them...Life's moving fast nowadays and stopping to listen seems to be a thing of the past.
But, this can make teaching and learning a little more challenging in our classroom. So, we created our Listen Up series to provide differentiated listening skills practice for our "little learners"...Though we've heard from a few reading specialists, speech and language pathologists, ELD instructors and even upper grade teachers who are loving it too! :)
-Listen Up Binder or Folder Cover (Color & Black and White)
-Listen Up Instructions for Use
-Listen Up Class Poster (Color & Black and White)
-25 Listen Up Print and Go Lesson Printables
-25 Differentiated Listen Up Lesson Cards (Beginner)
-25 Differentiated Listen Up Lesson Cards (Intermediate)
-Common Core Standards Tracking Sheets for Listening
-Listen Up Rubrics
-Listen Up Self Assessments

Once our students get the hang of our Listen Up activities, we will ask them to use these self assessments to reflect on their own listening awareness. 
We keep track of their Listen Up scores on these recording sheets as we work through the daily activities. It's a great tool that we LOVE to share at parent conferences. We keep a few of their activities over the school year to compare their progress and give parents insight into their own child's listening skills. We've even sent a few Listen Up activities home for homework or optional practice, which gets our parents involved and excited about the practice too! 
The easiest way we've found for storing all of our our Listen Up activities is in a 3-ring binder. We use page protectors, which are copy machine friendly, and keep all of our lesson printables and lesson cards together in one place!
If you're new to our Listen Up activities, we've created this Listen Up freebie for you to try.
Listen Up 3 has just been added to our TpT Shop and we're giving a few away! Head to our Facebook and Instagram pages to enter. Winners will be announced very soon!
We've also put all of our Listen Up units on sale for a limited time.
You can grab Listen Up 1, 2 or 3 separately or we've bundled all 3 together at a discounted price.
**Please note ~ This bundle replaces our recently retired Listen Up 1 and 2 Bundle which is no longer available.** If you already own the retired bundle, you can grab Listen Up 3 for the new school year at the discounted bundle price for a limited time.
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