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What's New in the New Year? My January Newsletter


As the holidays are coming to an end, it is time to get ready for January. This month has been nothing short of festive, filled with holiday crazineess, and lots of love.

Friends & Family

After Thanksgiving some of my friends from Seattle and Kansas decided to make the trip to Ohio for a long weekend. We were fortunate enough to stay at my parent's house while they were busy enjoying Florida. To say that we had fun is truly an understatement. We stayed up late, drank lots of coffee and ate way too much. On the flip side, we all pushed ourselves and achieved new goals through collaboration. Just like my first graders, I would rather work with others than work alone. Not to mention we learned a lot more working together. It was hard to say goodbye so we said see you soon. I cherish these friends in a way I can't even put into words.

After their brief visit, it was time for us to get ready for the holidays. Let's just say that shopping for 7 children is not an easy task. Once you have that all complete, then you have to wrap. I used to love wrapping presents... not as much anymore. This year Santa tried to trick our children. Usually he wraps all of their gifts in a different paper. Instead, he wrapped everything the same but added a number to each gift. Then he left a printed list of clues for every gift. Our morning was so much fun. It took us about 2 hours but we opened everything. The clues made us all laugh a little. Charlie was the little elf reading the numbers and running the show as usual. She did start to get the hang of saying 2-digit numbers. For the 3-digit numbers she just said each number individually. Here is peek at our tree, 120 gifts exactly. There were a lot of little things, not too crazy. 

Through all of this hustle and bustle, my husband worked extra hard. He took care of the house while I was off with my friends and he did a lot of extra wrapping. He is definitely my rock and I love him like crazy. Here is quick photo of our family on a little Christmas weekend getaway. 
There is an extra child in this photo... (Hannah's boyfriend) 

What have I been working on in the TpT world?

     So last month I began thinking I should have themed days before break just like I do for the end of the year. I tried my best to get them done but only a few were published. We did complete more in class than I posted.  I was able to post two, Elf Day and Moose Day. In class, we had a Troll Day and a Reindeer Day. I also am working on a Snowman Day too. All will be posted and bundled for next season.

     While at home over break I have begun working on Unit 7 in math. These units take me over two weeks to add all of the components. I'm half way there. I'm really trying to just enjoy my family and take a break from working. I did  add "The Snowy Nap" to my Mitten and Hat Bundle. This story is written by Jan Brett. It has the same characters as The Hat so I thought I would just add it to that bundle. If you own that unit, it is yours for free to download again. I did list it separately. It is also part of my January Guided Reading with a Purpose and my entire Year Long Guided Reading with a Purpose.  

This month

Whole Group Guided Reading

We will be going back on Thursday January 3rd this year. With a two day week, I will combine my first two units of GRP. We will begin with The Mitten, The Hat, and The Snowy Nap. This will go over into the second week of school. Then we will finish that week up with my Animals in Winter Unit. They do go together nicely. At first, I couldn't decide where to put The Snowy Nap so it will be my bridge right into hibernation, migration and animal adaptations.  For these two units we will focus on foreshadowing with Jan Brett's picture clues and checking for understanding. After those units, we will learn about Martin Luther King Jr. Our focus will be on text evidence. Then we will move onto a some more non-fiction fun with our Penguin and Polar Bear units. We will focus on non-fiction text features, specifically the glossary. We will also learn about making inferences using real photos and some Tacky fiction fun.  I love all the fun stories January brings along with a whole lot of learning. 
  
  


      

Word Work, Phonics, and Technology

In word work and phonics we will continue learning about the long vowel combinations.  Next week we will learn about "oa" and "ow" when they make a long o sound. Then we will spend two weeks on each of the r-controlled vowels. Finally we will end the month looking at the ''oo" hook sound.  We will be using my SPELLING UNITS as our main focus but we also do some other fun activities too. 


In my reading intervention binders, I have games, more practice and a fun little book craft that goes with each sound pattern. We will definitely be making all of those and working on some of the sorts and assessements. 

Bank it is one of our favorite games to play. They LOVE it and beg to play.
 These are some of the reading and math games I have planned for this month.




Boom Cards are a favorite for whole group on the SMART board and on the Chrome books independently.  

  

On Google Classroom  I will be sending these activities out this month. 
             

Math

In math we will finish Unit 6 which is comparing numbers with the <, >, and = sign. Then we will move onto Unit 7,  Addition and Subtraction to 20. Hopefully we will move into Unit 8 which will be on Time.

Seasonal Freebies

Here are a few of my seasonal freebies! Make sure to click on the picture to grab them.

  
If you would like to see daily ideas from my classroom, connect to my Facebook and Instagram accounts. I love to share in my stories on Instagram and they do link to Facebook as well.

I NOW HAVE A MAILING LIST!! IF YOU AREN'T ALREADY SIGNED UP... DO SO NOW AND GRAB THESE FUN MATH GOODIES. SIGN UP HERE



    

    

Here's wishing you all a Happy New Year. Take time to focus on you, your family and your friends. Make memories and enjoy each and every moment. 
Megan Mitchell  First Grade Roars
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What Does My December Look Like?

Many people have asked me what I use from my store and when I use it. I thought it would be helpful to send out a monthly newsletter to let you know what I have been working on and what I am doing right in my room. But first, and always first, I will share a little update on my family.

Family

It has been a busy year with a freshman in college, a junior, 4 freshman, and one in preschool. Sometimes our driveway looks like a parking lot...I can't imagine what it will look like in 2 more years.
It has been an adjustment for all of us, especially missing our oldest on a daily basis.
My freshman triplets went to Chicago and performed in the holiday parade. It was definitely a proud mom moment. They love being in the marching band and I'm so glad they had a community of friends at the beginning of their new high school journey. 


Charlie is progressing with her speech and beginning to play more with her peers. She is so strong willed and determined. The little things we take for granted can sometimes be difficult for her. She loves going to the park but even walking up the steps to the slide is a struggle. She is a constant reminder to all of us to never give up and to not take anything for granted. For Halloween we were Mommy Shark, Daddy Shark, and Baby Shark. (Yes I have an amazing husband who would do anything of her and all of us!)

What have I been working on in the TpT world?

     I have been busy working on a new math series. I have always used the acronym MASTER math in my room.  I finally found the time to make exactly what I wanted for the standards and my acronym. (M-manipulatives, A-apply skills(games), S-small group, T-technology, E-enrichment, R-review) I currently have 6 units done out of 15. I am bundling them into groups of 5. When they are all done, I will offer a complete bundle for all of the 1st grade CCSS. They take me FOREVER because there are so many components. My students are especially loving the technology pieces and manipulatives. The bonus to all of it, my students love it, and their math skills are AMAZING. 

   

     I'm throwing a little mini celebration because I finally finished my small group leveled reading series. This project has taken me almost two years to complete. It has been a game changer in my classroom for planning and differentiating my small group guided reading lessons. I now have levels A through O. It is a huge span but that is my classroom in a nutshell. The levels vary that much in first grade. 

I have also found time to do a mini unit or two. I'm really looking forward to sharing the story Pig the Elf, and completing the activities to go with it. If you haven't read any of the Pig books, I highly suggest them.

This month

Whole Group Guided Reading

We will begin this week with two weeks of Gingerbread Fun! The last two weeks we will be reading some of my favorite holiday stories in my Christmas bundles. Throughout the entire month, we will be learning about different holidays. We will spend two days on each holiday and then compare their similarities and differences. We will also learn about reindeer and spend the last day having a fun reindeer day.

  
         

         



Word Work, Phonics, and Technology

In word work and phonics we will begin to learn about the long vowels. Next week we will learn about CVCe words. Then we will spend a week on each of the following patterns ee & ea, ai & ay, and oa & ow. We using my SPELLING UNITS as our main focus but we also do some other fun activities too. 
In my reading intervention binders, I have games, more practice and a fun little book craft that goes with each sound pattern. We will definitely be making all of those and working on some of the sorts. as assessements. 

         
        

Bank it is one of our favorite games to play. It is a digital powerpoint or pdf that I project on my SMART board. We divide into two teams, I assign a banker and we begin. The goal is to have the most money in the bank. It is fast paced, and no one is ever eliminated. They LOVE it and bet to play.

   

   

Boom Cards are a favorite for whole group on the SMART board and on the Chrome books independently. Our focus in Boom with be the Turtle out the word activities although I am hoping to add more. 


We are also learning to use Google Classroom too. So I will be sending these activities out to them in Classroom. We have been playing Google Slides together on the SMART board all year long and will continue to do so. 

   

   


Math

In math we will begin Unit 5 this week working on place value. Then we will move into Unit 6 which is comaping numbers with the <, >, and = sign. 

Seasonal Freebies

Here are a few of my seasonal freebies! Make sure to click on the picture to grab them.
  
     

     

If you would like to see daily ideas from my classroom, connect to my Facebook and Instagram accounts. I love to share in my stories on Instagram and they do link to Facebook as well.

    

    

From my family to yours… I wish you a wonderful holiday.  Thank you for your continued support. I'm so thankful for your following and all of your kind words and feedback. 
Happy Holidays!
Megan Mitchell 
 First Grade Roars

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