Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget

September 28, 2014

1 Million Page Views and a Lamination Trick!

Holy Cow! I am walking on air. My blog just hit over a million page views! ONE MILLION!!!!!!!!!!! That’s a lot of page views and my cheeks hurt because I cannot stop smiling!!!!!

Thank you for reading this blog and joining me week after week.  Really it means so much to me when you comment or message me.  Seriously!

Thank you!

I am BEYOND excited to share this uncommon used for lamination!!!!

This little trick that might help if you like to decorate your classroom door.

Lamination Trick! Cover your door. The art wont get snagged and torn by little legs, hands, or backpacks!

I had hung up these darling Johnny Appleseed art projects and within 30 seconds and 1 dismissal to recess 4 of them were beheaded.  This is not uncommon. Most things I hang on my door or on my hallway bulletin board end up getting destroyed. But you can’t hate the player… gotta hate the game!

Then it hit me. A game changer idea!

Cover the door in lamination!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lamination Trick! Cover your door. The art wont get snagged and torn by little legs, hands, or backpacks!

My school district has a resource center where we can buy lamination for 10 cents a foot! So I ran 15 feet of lamination (which is enough for the door and hallway board) and paid $1.50! What a bargain and I am loving life!Lamination Trick! Cover your door. The art wont get snagged and torn by little legs, hands, or backpacks! If you want to do this darling little art project you can find it here.

Johnny Appleseed unit has art, fluency, writing, and so much more!

September 27, 2014

Easy Grading Tips and Tricks

It’s that time of year. Progress reports are due and I am spending some quality time snuggled up with papers. So how do I make my grading experiences great? Let me tell ya! Here are five tips and tricks that make my life easier!

Quick Computation:

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I love this little paper. It’s two sided and in a plastic sleeve for durability. I created this because the real EZ-Grader is really hard to read and is not color coded. But mine works great for me and if you think it will work great for you, then by all means, download it for free.

Grade it fast and get on with your life- Freebie from Teacher to the Core.pgn

Download now new

Grade-It Drawer

Slide1 I really love these drawers and the labels were made from this freebie!

To Do Drawer Freebie - Melonheadz Edition

Click here for Learning In Wonderland’s Freebie!

Grade Book Order:

This is something that I started last year and I am 100% sure it is not a new idea, but it was new to me when I dreamed it up. You see my district is now forcing us to use computerized grader.  So it’s a hassle to scroll up and down and to find a kid’s name on the computer screen. Then, it hit me. Just have them line up in grade book order!!! Well hello!!!! Now, as I input grades, the papers in my hand match the ABC order on the computer screen!

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Grade book order can be a BIG challenge in first grade since you are asking them not only to line up, but line up in a particular order.  So I made a color-coded chart for the kids to look at. The chart colors matches our sit spot rug {seen above}.

The kids bring their papers and sit. Sitting is VERY important. It allows the kids to see the chart and see their spot on the ground.  Then they hand in their papers one row at a time-pink row first, orange row, yellow row and so on. It works like a charm. I can’t show you my REAL chart because it has the real kids name’s on it. So I made a new one with all my favorite characters!

Slide3 The other option is to type it and plop it under your document camera.

Slide4But what happens when a new kid joins the class? YES, I KNOW!!!!! The new kid messes up the number order, that’s why I use grade book order. I can just insert a name in between the other names and tell two kids, “Hey help our new friend line up between you guys.”

Happy Kids and Teachers use smelly markers:

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I love both Mr. Sketch and Scentos. The minute I grade something the kids smell their papers. I love that! When I am grading at home it makes me happier too. It’s the small things that make me happy I tell you!

Grade as they work:

Lots of times, I am running around the room grading their papers as they work. I circle incorrect answers and they can fix them instantly. In giving feedback right away I stop them from doing the whole task wrong.

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My point in being a teacher is not to catch them being incorrect, but teach them to come to the correct answers. For example, I do this during spelling tests. If I notice a child putting capital letters where they don’t belong, I circle it on the spot and talk with them really quietly, so they stop doing this.  I can have the conversation in the moment when it really matters, or I can have it after the fact. It makes more sense to have it now. If I collect papers to grade and the kids have fixed their mistakes already, I just write fixed in class.  This way the parents don’t think I have lost my mind and circled correct answers.

OOOPS! I did it again!

Ever circle something that actually WAS a correct answer? Yep, me too! Just write a letter “K” next to your circle and it turns the whole thing into a big OK.

Slide8 Well friends, that’s all for now from me, but do you have any grading tips to share??? I am all ears and cannot wait to read your comments!!!!!

September 23, 2014

How do I start fluency?

HOW do I start first grade fluency ? This is a really important question! It’s almost as important and WHEN should I start fluency and WHAT materials should I use?

I am nobody’s boss, but let me share what I do.

FALL FLUENCY & SIGHT WORDS

In the fall we work really hard on sight word fluency. I want them to master 300 words by the end of the year. They are divided into groups of 10 (30 lists) and placed into daily homework folders. The sight words are very prominent in the set up. They are half sheets and become very well worn by the end of the school year! The fluency passage is right there next to the sight words, so that both can be read easily!

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade.

We practice them daily in class, during afternoon reading buddies, and for homework. We really hit them hard and play a lot of sight word games I  found on Pinterest.

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After speaking at a kinder conference in the spring, it occurred to me that I should be doing single-passage fluency in the fall.  But how would I start? What would it look like? This might be how you are feeling too.

FALL FLUENCY & PASSAGES: 

I hit the books, “Googled” it, talked to others and, honestly, I prayed. How and when would I introduce single-sheet passages to my firsties? Shouldn’t they be turning the pages of little books in the fall? Are their “reading eyes” too new for passages?  First graders are fragile and if you overwhelm them, they FREAK out. Oh my goodness could I really consider timing these babies on words per minute? Prayer, Google, Diebles, and Fran Kramer, Prayer, Google, Diebles, Fran Kramer REPEAT. This was how I spent my summer and I came up with a plan. Research told me first graders should not be timed until December or January. Shared reading is how I decided to start with a soft launch into passages.

 Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade

This is my pocket chart. I know this looks like teaching from 1992, but this works. I wrote out the single sheet fluency passage onto sentence strips and created comprehension picture cards that go with the fluency.  I also wrote the fluency to have very readable and predictable text!

In this way (Pocket chart style) I begin to model fluency, 1 to 1 correlation, and vocal intonation, rate, and accuracy.

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade

Then the kids take over the pointer and the real magic happens. I mean look at those babies! Hands in the air BEGGING to read. Be still my heart!

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade 

We pull picture cards off and put them back on to encourage comprehension. I hand out the cards and when you hear the line read that matches your card you get to come up and put it on the chart.

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade

The kids LOVE getting up and reading off the “Big Chart”. We do a lot of echo reading at this point too!

FALL FLUENCY & SIMPLIFIED PASSAGES:

Keeping it readable is key. I really think my job in this first trimester is to help the children see themselves as readers! Many of their skills are lying just under the surface and with a little practice, luck, and love those skills will come bursting through as will a confident and excited reader. So I wrote really easy, but engaging passages. They should be easily mastered within a few days so the kids can begin to build their fluent voices!

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade

FALL FLUENCY & ART:

You know that I believe art is important. There is no denying I am into making learning fun. Each passage has a darling art project and bulletin board lettering for you to display.  Does a pretty room equal smart kids? No. Does an engaged child equal a smart child? More often than not. I display the art we will create next to the fluency passage on my chart to get them excited and pumped up about the passage we are reading.

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade

FLUENCY and WRITING

These go hand in hand!!! I LOVE having my students write about our fluency topic. The ideas are ones they are SO familiar with! By Friday, when we sit down to write, the ideas flow easily and they can concentrate a little more on conventions. Please, God, let them capitalize, punctuate, and use finger spaces. PLEASE! 

I adore “processes of learning” maps, Thinking maps, or smart charts. Whatever you call them, they help the kids organize their thinking and I like that! Kids at this age level need that all year, not just in the fall! These are our Circle Maps for the healthy foods we like to eat!

Flunecy, writing, and art go hand in hand- A nice circle map is always fun too FALL FLUENCY MATERIALS- Informational Text

In my opinion the content read by kids in a fluency manner should be Social Studies and Science based! Kids are hungry to read about the real world. This is also a simple way to get informational reading into my day! If they are going to read a passage no less than 20 times, shouldn’t it be worth while? Shouldn’t it add to their schema? I think it should.

Fall Fluency by Teacher to the Core

There will be 8 units in total in this bundled package. It will sell for  $16. That is $2 a unit. Until the bundle is complete that is the price I will sell the parts for. The bundle will be released in a few weeks, but I know you need material now!   Once I release the bundle the prices on the individual units will go back up. I have the first 3 units done! I have the fluency written for all 8 of them but am creating the art for the last 5 and let me tell you the art is KEY-YOU-T.  But the art takes a while. These units below are JUST released and on sale for the first 48 hours.

 Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade   Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade- Use yoour fluency to support your writing! It is so much easier to write when you have a lot to say! Slide3

Plus, of course you get the comprehension pictures to go along with a pocket chart !

Pocket Chart:

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade

Obviously pocket chart, holder, or sentence strips are not included. I am pretty sure I don’t have to say that, but you never know….

Bulletin Board Lettering and Art Masters:

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade. Use art and writing to support your program! 

TPT 3

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade

  Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first gradeGreat blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade. Use art to make it more fun! Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade- Use yoour fluency to support your writing! It is so much easier to write when you have a lot to say!

Bonus Free Resource Links and Pocket Chart Pictures:

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade. Make it thematic, full of fun and art! Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade- Using picture cards to match your fluency will help support comprehension

Bulletin Board Lettering and Art Masters:

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade. Use art to bring fleuncy to life

TPT 3

 Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade

Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade-Art brings it to life! Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade- Use yoour fluency to support your writing! It is so much easier to write when you have a lot to say!

Pocket Chart Pictures:

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Bulletin Board Lettering and Art Masters:

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Not pictured since the kids do the art on Tuesday! I promise to update this post for sure when they complete the art!

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TPT 3

FALL FLUENCY LESSON PLANS & TEACHER HELPERS

Each packet comes with easy to read lesson plans and explanations for how I run my successful program. It’s a very common sense approach. 20 minutes of your school day will turn into the most powerful minutes of your day for building comprehension and fluency!

Fall Fluency Lesson Plans

If you are hungry for more games, strategies, and materials I wrote a 101 post {here}.

Develop fluent readers who can comprehend

Here is my hope for us and for fluency this fall: Let’s get these little babies reading. Let’s have some fun together in the midst of Common Core drama. Let’s just teach reading to the best of our ability with Social Studies and Science passages that matter in real life!

A super personal note:

It’s is a big week for this little lady, this blog, and my teacher-prenure adventure. I have reached a major TpT milestone because of all of you! To celebrate I am putting the unit above Comprehension and Fluency 101 on Sale for 50% off all week. My entire store will be on sale Sun – Wed for 20% off because I am so thrilled to have surpassed $75,000 in sales. I cannot believe I get to be in the newsletter on Sunday Sep. 20th, and I am honored to share this milestone moment with so many talented people I LOVE!

Check out the newsletter {here}.

 

image Comprehension and Fluency is my Newsletter Special !!!! Regularly $8.00 This week the price is $3.20 Sun-Wed and $4.00 after Wed- Sunday the 28th!

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My whole store is on sale Sunday-Wednesday too! Yippie!

September 20, 2014

How to cut an apple the easy way and an Apple Jacks Math freebie!

How to cut an apple the safe and easy way- Teacher to the Core

Oh how I love apple season! In first grade we do an entire apple day! You name it we do it! We make Apple sauce, do apple math, and of course apple tasting and graphing. I wanted to tell you how I slice apples since apparently I am a freak and cut apples differently than any of the room moms had ever seen before. I call it Apple Cheeks and it is the easiest and safest way to cut an apple! I hope this makes your apple tasting a little easier!

How to cut an apple the safe and easy way- Teacher to the Core

I love how the kids can stack their apples in their hands and really see the peels. I bring my big old knife to school in the bottom of a water bottle. The top wont fit on it , so I wrap it in cling film. The cling film keeps the knife in even when tipped upside-down and keeps the knife clean.

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All of this keeps me from getting cut and gets my knife home and back without damage to my purse or the knife.

This year I added Apple Jacks Math. I found this pin on pinterest and KNEW I had to do it! You can find the blog post written {here} from All Things Kids .com   This is a sweet blog and I found lots of fun ideas for my little man and my firsties alike!

Counting with Apple Cereal

I typed up a quick little set of apples. I could not decide if I wanted to do adding or even and odd. I ended up doing both over two days!

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I need 1 box of Apple Jacks  for a each assignment. This year I have 24 kids. Each child also got to eat a BIG handful to eat on the way to recess. I plopped 2 plates in the center of each group. One plate of glue and one plate of Apple Jacks. They had an amazing time!

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Download now new

If you are looking for some great September Freebies, click the picture below! Lots of my friends have joined together to bring you some amazing goodies!!!

September

Happy Fall Ya’ll !!!! I love this time of year!

 
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