A few things we've learned...

As many of you know, one of the most amazing things about this blogging world, is how much is out there to learn. New lessons, new ideas, new projects, new classroom decor, new recipes, new eye shadows (Thank you Cara!)... the possibilities are endless! From all of this new learning comes a new found drive to really make our teaching better. We've gained so much from this, and it really has helped us focus our teaching, and to create explicit, meaningful lessons. We do our best to make miracles, with very little sometimes. Today we wanted to share just a few favorites that we've been using, that were definitely inspired from the blogging world.

In these uncertain financial times, districts have had to tighten their budgets. You cut a bit here, a little there, and the next thing you know, you are currently using (or not using) an adopted reading curriculum that is... (gasp) 17 YEARS OLD! Yes, it may still have some good pieces here and there, but it's 17 years old. Which means we were never trained on it, we don't have all of it, and it's so outdated it's often painful to use. So although we dabble in it, mostly we create our own stuff. This year we created a new Word Family Structure, to make sure that we are hitting all of the important word famillies that our first graders need to know, while keeping it fun, and functional in other areas of the classroom. We've created these sets to include a sweet little story about a unique character for each sound we learn. There is a blackline master, and worksheet for each as well. When we introduce the word family to the first graders, we build the words using the letter cards that we made and this table top pocket chart.

If you'd like to take a peak at a sample word family lesson, click on the picture below. You'll get the King set for free! If you like it, make sure to take a look at the others we have at on our store.

Our kiddos have loved using these. They are also great to have out for word work during Daily 5. Check out a few pictures of our kids using them.

Make sure to check out our Word Family packs at Teachers Pay Teachers!
Word Family Pack Volume 1: at, op, an & it
Word Family Pack Volume 2: ed, ig, on & in
Word Family Pack Volume 3: am, at, op & ug

Be sure to keep your eye out for Volume 4, coming soon!

The other big activity that we've implemented after following all of your fabulous blogs is math journals. We use these as a way to reinforce the concepts taught during our lessons, and our kids can't get enough of these! We've made sure they are aligned with the Common Core State Standards, and get harder as the year goes on. We get lots of comments and questions about these at our store, so we wanted to let you know that February is now up!
Our focus for February is Subtraction to 20, and place value. March will be up in the next week or so, so make sure to check it out. Click on the picture to head on over and take a look!

We also have these at our store for September -January, so take a look.

We know we haven't been blogging as much lately, but the families have needed some attention. We are still working on some exciting things that will be ready soon, so stay tuned. We have a fabulous space unit that should be up by the weekend, and of course we'll have to have a giveaway! And hopefully soon we can share our 2 year old Owl party that Erin did for her little girl. Such good ideas (LOVE Pinterest), and some fun printables. One of these days...

Have a good rest of the week!


  1. Your Word Family packs look incredible! Thank you for sharing your -ing pack! I have added the others to my Wishlist!

    ❤Mrs. McKown
    Little Literacy Learners

  2. Thank you so much for posting your word family packs! They are wonderful! And the math journal questions are amazing as well! You two are awesome and make my (teaching) life so much better!