Saturday, June 30, 2012

What are Your Writing Plans?

So, here I am knee deep in the next phase of my planning. This week I tackled writing, which I might add is one of my favorite subjects to teach.

Confession time, before I went into education, I was an English major. Yes, I was one of those, and I fit the stereotype perfectly. I graduated with my B.A. in English Literature. I also, as many English majors did, dabbled in writing. A younger me had aspirations of becoming a writer. Oh, not a famous one, no, I liked staying in the shadows and just under the radar. It would've been great, except I began to be pulled in a better direction. But, I digress...

Click the picture to get you free guide

In first grade it is hard to separate writing and reading. They go hand in hand, intertwine, compliment each, you get the idea. If you put all those standards on one pacing guide though, it is overwhelming. So, I break them up for my sanity as I've done here

I teach writing using Writing Workshop. My buddies love it! I see such improvement in their writing by the end of the year. I don't jump in right away. I usually ease them into it making sure they have the basics first (handwriting, sentence structure, etc.), but with Common Core I've had to up the pace a bit. With Common Core they are required to write four different types of paragraphs by the end of the year - how-to (research), informative, opinion, and narrative. I want to make sure that my buddies are comfortable with each so that they are prepared for second grade. I'm hoping I can meet the pace. I'm thinking of focusing on grammar on Mondays. Then pulling the grammar in with a mini-lesson before Writing Workshop on Tuesday - Thursday. Friday will be another grammar day or assessment. What do you think?

I'll be posting Reading next...if I can decide which Common Core text exemplars to use for Shared Reading. Any ideas???


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Introduction and a Freebie

I'm belly flopping into the world of educational blogs. Stand back because this could get messy! I'm not new to blogging. I've been writing a personal blog for over a year now as a way to share the highlights of my children's activities with grandmas, papaws, aunts, get the idea, but I don't think a readership of my family (despite the sheer number of them) counts.

Now my husband, a dairy farmer and fellow blogger, has convinced me to venture into the world of professional blogging. I don't know what he's thinking. I'm already MIA during the school year (can you relate???) and now he is encouraging me to disappear even further into the depths of the computer. Hmmm, perhaps I should be concerned...

The title of my blog came from the t-shirt slogan, .

With all the changes, social issues, lack of resources, and general educational upheaval, you would have to be crazy or fearless - or both! I think most teachers fall into the fearless category. Everyday I'm impressed with the dedication and passion of today's teachers. What makes us fearless education soldiers? Our love of children? Probably. Our passion for learning? Definitely. Or could it be that despite what everyone says we really do know what we are doing and are confident in our abilities? Absolutely!!

One area I enjoy is planning. I love planning and researching ideas which is how I splashed into the blogging world. I've been skulking around blogs for awhile now and gobbling up some real inspiration.

I'm now ready to give back a little. Like most of you I'm planning for August. I'm starting by tweaking all of my curriculum guides to match Common Core. We adopted Envision Math last year as well, so I started by aligning my guide with Common Core and Envision. Now I usually don't teach strictly from the book, so I'll be adding other activities that match the Topics but dig deeper into the standards. Can we say rigor? Yes, that's a catch phrase in our county as well. You can snag a copy of my Curriculum Guide below.

I apologize for the long post. Generally I keep it short to keep up with my 3 children.(Right now my one year old is trying to tackle my computer. Wonderful!)

Let me know if this is helpful. I'll be posting my language guide soon, so check back!