Motivational Monday: Chrysanthemum, TpT, and Newsletter, Oh my!!

Happy Monday! We hope everyone had a relaxing and fabulous weekend! It seemed to really fly because we were both so busy! We had an inservice day on Friday, so we are itching to get back into our classrooms. But we definitely could have used a bit more time off! Hope you all have a minute, cause this is a long one... :-)

We've been running like crazy people since school started, but it's finally starting to calm down as we settle into our school year, and get into our routines. We've been really training our first graders on the Daily 5, and hopefully (fingers crossed) we'll introduce our last 2 dailies this week, word work and listen to reading. Hopefully next week we'll be able to blog about how wonderful it's going having Daily 5 up and running....

We've got a few new things up on our store that we wanted to share with you. First, as a result of all of our blog stalking over the last year, we decided to give our phonemic awareness lessons a make over. We have changed the way we introduce our sounds to the whole class. We do small reading groups that do this as well, but this year we've decided to be more explicit in teaching the sounds, blends, etc. whole group style. Our district has had the same reading program for 17 years, so needless to say it's not used much. Thank goodness that we both have such a passion for reading, because we've had to sort of re-invent the wheel so to speak. (We are finally going through the curriculum adoption process this year, and I'm on the committee. If you have a program that you're district uses that you love, please let me know. I'd love to share the information!)

Anyway, this year we will be focusing on 1 word family a week for now, and as the school year progresses, we'll work up to 2 or 3 sounds or blends a week. For September, we've been focusing on at, op, it and an. We've created a fun packet to help you teach these word families to your first graders. Make sure to check out our Word Family Pack. And if you like it, make sure to watch for our next pack coming soon...

During September we've also been focusing on habitats. We created these Habitat Vocab Cards for our class's science bulletin boards.

Make sure to check them out at TpT as well! Many more Habitat words are included. We will be making more of these as we focus on other things in science so stay tuned!

This past week we read Chrysanthemum in our reading group, and did several activities with the sweet book. Click below to get your own copy.

CLICK HERE for your copies.

Do you have any other activities that you do with Chrysanthemum? What are your favorites?

And last, I've decided to try a new newsletter this year. We both have done the monthly newsletter, and I've done a classroom blog, but with our population, it just isn't checked enough by parents. So this year, I'm going to try a weekly newsletter, that's a bit shorter, and more to the point. This week will be the first time it goes out, but better late than never, right? I'm sure I will play with the format a bit, but what do you think?

If you'd like a copy CLICK HERE. The cute border is getting cut off on the picture, but it shows up in the download. Due to copyright, I can't share a version that you can edit. But if you'd like one you can change, I can email one without the clipart. Just send us an email. This may change throughout the year since this is my first draft, so if I have an updated version to share, I will let you know!

Have a great week friends!

Clipart courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles.


  1. I love your cute and simple newsletter! I'm wondering if you have a cute saying for kindergarten that you could edit it to say??? My class is Room K2, so all I can think about is What's the news in Room K2? Can you think of a better one? Or a more generic one--what we've done in kindergarten doesn't seem to work very well in the past tense for a newsletter that is supposed to be current and predictive of the week to come. Hmmm. . . what do you think?

  2. Saw this on pinterest and I wanted to thank you for leaving it as a freebie! My kiddo's will love using these this year! thanks again!


  3. I would love a copy of your newsletter that I can edit. I think the way you displayed the information is great!

  4. I would love to have a copy of your newsletter for the first grade team of teacher at my school.

  5. Can you please sent me a copy of your fist grade newsletter so I can edit? My email address is Thank you