Five for Friday(ish)

Hello there!
Today I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday. While it is not quite Friday anymore, trust me when I say you would not have wanted to read a blog post from me yesterday. It was one busy week, and my brain was fried. You all understand right? #teachertired

So, here's a little about what's new in my world. Disclaimer- this post contains affiliate links which means that I earn a small amount when you make purchases. However, my promise to you is that I am only sharing my honest opinions and I will never promote something I do not believe in.

After reading Wemberly Worriedby Kevin Henkes in class we each shared something we were worried about. I shared that I was going to be puppy sitting for my friend's new dog Sullivan for the first time (only 10 weeks old). My students helped me brainstorm all the reasons I should be worried about bringing this little guy home and could not stop talking about Baby Sully all week long!

Well, it turned out better than I could have imagined and I enjoyed being a temporary new-puppy mom (minus the 400 trips up and down apartment stairs for potty breaks). Sully continued to be a big hit in my classroom this week and I lost count of how many Work on Writing stories were about him, haha.

Look at that face! I am in love.

The biggest success during our math time were number puzzles. I simply bought a bunch of 100 piece puzzles from Dollar Tree and numbered the pieces 1-100. The most complicated part was finding the time to put them together first! I am storing each puzzle in a zipper pencil pouch. I also cut the main image off of the puzzle box and put it in the pouch so they know what they are working towards. 

Each day during arrival and math center time my kids have been building number sense skills by putting these puzzles together. I was surprised last year with how many of my students had never put a puzzle together before so in addition to practicing counting, they are also increasing spatial awareness. I think I will also get a few with less pieces so they can be completed quicker. Even my students who struggle with numbers are getting better at recognizing the order. Most importantly, they LOVE the puzzles and are so engaged and focused when working on them.

We also began literacy rotations this week now that I have some more of their baseline data. I use Words Their Way for our spelling/word work, and Daily 5 as my framework for our literacy block. Guided reading groups have an ocean animal theme and WTW has colors. 

Because I have two sets of groups, I decided to make center clips to help them remember which groups they are in. I used Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches and printed/cut out little pieces of paper to put inside each clip card. I love these mini laminating sheets! (Side note, I also made student computer password cards and lunch number cards and laminated them too because they are so durable.) To save the step of laminating they also have Vertical Name Tag Holders that could work the same way. I also bought Badge Clips to attach them with. My students love to wear their clips and I often catch them with them on later in the day just because. It's the little things in first grade that excite us!

Every night seemed to be full this week with School Improvement Team meetings, PTA events, appointments, and regular old life. I also had two planning sessions with a fellow teacher from my town to develop County Wide Professional Development on highly engaged classrooms. I am so pleased with how the session turned out and can't wait to share some of the best tips here with you in a future post. Of course, teachers need to eat, so our planning sessions were at Panera. Food makes everything better! (Ps. have you tried the Turkey Cranberry flatbread? It is amazing!)

Finally, after a stressful week I have to tell you about my favorite new discovery! The Occupational Therapist that is working with 2 of my Autistic students brought in Mr. Fox, a weighted, lavender scented stuffed animal. Well one of my kids bonded with him instantly! The weight helps ground him and the scent is also calming. Not gonna lie, his EC teacher, Speech teacher, and myself have been caught sniffing the poor little fox a few times! 

Today I went to Marshalls and found a special section with these Warm & Cosy friends for $13 each. I bought the Frog and Sheep and am going to try them with a few of my other sensory/ADHD students. I think the weight of one sitting in their lap, along with the snuggly feel and scent will really do great things. I'll let you all know how it goes! They are also available online but Marshalls seems to have the best pricing I've seen so far. 

Well, that's about it for now! I hope you had a fabulous week and enjoy your weekend :)


  1. I love the puzzles idea! Wow! I teach 3rd, and I'm thinking about prepping some puzzles with 4-digit numbers. Or, I could do skip counting puzzles which will help get them ready for multiplication! Thanks for sharing.
    Laughter and Consistency

  2. Replies
    1. I am so impressed with the one I'm borrowing so far. Can't wait to show my kids the new ones on Monday.


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