Interactive Phonics Readers ~ Update

Teaching kids to read is one of our absolute favorite things to do each school day. We love the journey from beginning to end, and all of the bumps in between. 

One of those bumps is mastering phonics skills for some...
So, what else are we teachers to do but meet their needs. Right? 

Our class has been doing an incredible job with our Interactive Phonics Readers these past few weeks. 
These hands-on little books have been giving our developing readers the support they still need to keep practicing their phonics skills, and they provide our fluent readers with an interactive, *fun* way to show what they know in reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension.
We began by using our Long Vowel Interactive Phonics Readers Bundle during our whole group Language Arts block to start. We needed to teach procedure and directions and these were the skills we were learning at the time.

Since each of our Interactive Phonics Readers follows the same procedures and directions, our kids quickly find success no matter which little book we throw their way. 

We have to admit, we love the differentiation between the reader and tracer versions we created. It gives us two styles of books to choose from and more options for meeting our students' needs.
For some of our readers, just reading, highlighting and drawing is enough. 
But for others, they needed a little more interaction with their readers. So, we created them the tracing version so they can practice their printing and fine motor skills too. 
Each of our Interactive Phonics Readers Includes
-Interactive Phonics Reader with Tracing Lines
-Interactive Phonics Reader without Tracing Lines
-Mini Word Walls
-Directions Cards
-Home Reading Reminder
-Reading Reward

We've had lots of requests to add black and white versions of the Word Walls.
Great Idea!

We've updated each set and all 3 of our bundles to include ink friendly word walls too. If you've purchased, please be sure to update your download. If you want to take a closer peek at our Interactive Phonics Readers...

Homework Passes for Responsible Classes

When we think of homework, only one thing really comes to our Mommy minds some nights...
Homework, oh homework,
We hate you,
You stink.
We'd rather eat worms or wash our kitchen sink.
Or, something like that... 

If Homework Helping was an Olympic event, we'd probably earn a Gold medal...just saying.

But, truth be told...we do not wish to become Homework Olympians. 
Sometimes it takes away from our family time. It causes fights. It causes stress. Sometimes we don't get it. But, then we are teachers...So, we do get it. Sort of...Sometimes...We guess.
But not really tonight...
The whole time we were helping shuffle papers, flip through textbooks, wipe tears and frantically finish class projects, we first were grateful that we had the opportunity to be moms and do homework with our kids because one day we're going to blink and this will all be gone in a puff of smoke kinda moments...
Followed quickly by a Why don't kids get homework passes anymore?!? kinda moments... 

So, after hours of hitting the books, we tucked in our lil cherubs and made our own dreams come true. 
Which very loosely translates to= we made a new freebie.
Homework Passes for Responsible Classes
 We use homework passes throughout the school year to help build responsibility in our students. 
But again, truth be told...
We like to hook a parent up every now and then too. 

We're BIG on building responsibility young.
Kids can do it, and we like to teach them how they are in charge of them. :)
And when they do spread their wings and fly, we reward them from time to time with just a little time off. 
Kids are working harder than ever these days, and even they need a little R & R. 
Truth be told...Us Moms and Dads appreciate the break too. 

But as teachers, homework is really only about one thing in first grade...
Building responsibility and procedures at home for LSS=Lifelong Study Skills.
Kids need to learn how to learn. 
And, parents need to teach them.
Parents are working harder than ever these days, and even they need a little R & R. 
Are you catching our drift here?
Homework passes, oh homework passes
We love you,
You're swell.
We'd kiss you and hug you
But, never ever throw you in a well.
Or something like that...
Want to reward your responsible class with a homework pass?
Want to hook some parents up? 
Homework Passes for Responsible Classes
Please leave us feedback if you choose to download!

Looking for a few more homework resources? 
Our Editable Homework Folders and Folders for Olders build responsibility, confidence and a strong home-to-school connection all school year long. With over 20 themes to choose from, our homework folders have become a quick class favorite year after year!

One, Two, Three Super Giveaway!

1, 2, 3 Eyes on Me!
No, not really...
But, eyes on us!
A few of us blogging buddies were chatting the other day and we decided it would be fun to run a 3-way giveaway!
It's much more fun than 3-way calling and way luckier than a 3-leaf clover...So, there ya go!   
We've each picked one of our top 3 super units and we're offering all 3 to you! 

We're picking 3 winners to each win these 3 units on the 3rd school day of the week...AKA Wednesday. ;)
And, From
(formally known as The Teacher's Cauldron... Just LOVE her new blog design and name!)

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
Be sure to check back on Wednesday for a 3-way call announcement!
Good luck!

Habitats of the World Bundle...Plus, A Habitat Book Cover Freebie

We celebrated the 100th Day of School last Friday. 
In our teacher minds this really means only 1 thing...
Only 80 days until summer!!! to teach our largest science study of the school year!
This has slowly become our favorite part of the school year, but the idea of teaching 5 habitats was definitely enough to make us feel seasick a few years ago when our District moved this curriculum to first grade.

But, not anymore! 
We've got our passports ready and our itineraries set. 
Our class is ready and we're not stressed!

Yep, that's right...
We're taking our class Around the World in 80 Days!
Apparently, in a box...Teacher budgets are tight ya know...HA!
 We spend anywhere from a 1-2 weeks on each habitat unit of study, but could go longer if we didn't have to catch our plane to the next stop! We immerse our class in habitat learning by incorporating the activities into our whole and small group time. Since they span the curriculum, we can use them during Language Arts, Science, during Workshop or whenever else we can squeeze it in throughout our day.  

Each of our habitat units follows the same itinerary, which quickly sets our class up for success. Without having to learn new directions and procedures or having adapt to totally different activities, we've kept the scope and sequence the same, just jumped ship to another part of the world. We find this frees the kids up to actually learn the content rather than the procedure for learning the content. Working smarter, not harder. We love that! 

Each of our Habitat Units Includes
*List of Common Core Standards for the unit
*16 Vocabulary Cards
*1 Blank Bingo Card Master
*5 Pre-made Bingo Cards
*Habitat Vocabulary Definitions
*1 Habitat Mini (8 page) Book
*Print and Go Fact Finders Page
*1 Definition Print and Go Worksheet
*1 Vocabulary Sentence Print and Go Worksheet
*Draw and Label Habitat Print and Go Worksheet
*Habitat Brainstorm and Final Draft Pages
*Habitat Art Project
We've recently bundled all 5 of our habitat units together for the price of 4. 
Plus, just because we are loving that summer is 80 days away you, we've thrown them on sale through Friday!

Here's a peek at some of the elements included in each unit. 
Our Top Seller...
Vocabulary, Vocabulary, Vocabulary!! Oh, and Art!
More Habitat Art!
Vocabulary and Picture Cards for Games!
Expository Brainstorming and Writing Process Templates
Non-Fiction Interactive Habitat Readers to help guide us through each unit from start to finish!
They're packed with habitat facts and age appropriate information.
We practice our reading comprehension and main detail highlighting strategies as we learn the lay of the land.
They become experts in no time!

We've received a ton of questions about our Habitats of the World books. Well, here's your chance. Take a peek inside our suitcase and see what we've got inside!
After our long trek around the world, we take all of their final writing pieces and art and bind them into a keepsake 
Habitats of the World book. They absolutely love it!

We display them at our Open House in May, where our entire classroom is pretty much A.A.H...All About Habitats. :)

As the kids learn, the teachers file. We sort their final habitat writing and art pages as we go so we don't look like stressed out rodents (see above...or this sounds weird).
We got really smart a few years back, and had them create the  Habitats of the World book covers during Earth Week in April. Duh...We know. It really fits perfectly and we get the covers done well in advance of Open House night.
 We are Type A creative and make them color the title in rainbow order.
 We got really smart a few years back, and had them fold their colored cover and cut a wavy line across the middle to cut the pieces in half.
 We are Type A creative and wanted a stripe in the background. You see it too? Duh...We know.
We are Type A creative givers and sharing our Habitats of the World book cover and Earth template with you free. 

To take a closer look at each of our habitat units and our Habitats of the World Bundle or grab any of them on sale until Friday...
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