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Polar Express Day 2016
20 Dec, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past Friday was our annual Polar Express Day. This is by far one of my favorite traditions. This year it ended up…
STEM activities in November
5 Nov, 2016. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I love that STEM education is getting so much attention these days. Incorporating STEM activities in your classroom helps your students develop problem…
5 Tried And True Morning Meeting Activities (for kindergarteners)
15 Jul, 2016. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I absolutely love using a morning meeting to begin our day.  In the book it says, "morning meetings help to create a climate…
Exploring Light In Kindergarten
9 Jan, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
{This blog post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.} This past week my kindergarteners explored light. They enjoyed our unit SO…
An Easy Way To Increase Engagement: Rally Coach
11 Nov, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
One of my favorite ways to increase engagement is to use Kagan structures. I was beyond blessed that when I was in college…
Making a Bible Lesson Come To Life With Science
30 Aug, 2015. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The first Bible lesson that I always teach my class is the story of Creation. This year was no exception. In order to…
Bringing Inquiry Into Your Classroom
3 Aug, 2015. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This summer I have done a lot of research on bringing inquiry and exploration into my classroom. I have been reading books, articles,…
Assessments and Data
9 Jul, 2015. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
With just a few short weeks of summer left, I am trying to prepare as much as I can before the back to…
Classroom management without clip charts and extrinsic rewards
23 Jun, 2015. 10 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last year I finished my 12th year of teaching. Over the last 12 years I have seen many behavior management trends come and…
How to set up a morning meeting in your kindergarten classroom
14 Jun, 2015. 39 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
A few years ago, I dabbled in using a morning meeting in my first grade classroom. I wrote my students a message every…
Plant and Earth Day Activities
19 Apr, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
If you read my last blog post, I promised to tell y'all about the rest of our Earth Day and plant unit activities.…
Earth Day Activities
17 Apr, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week we have been gearing up for Earth Day. We have been learning all about plants and our world. To make…
Cause and Effect
25 Feb, 2015. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Cause and effect is not always the easiest concept for students to grasp.  However, I was determined this year to make it tangible…
Exploring 100
22 Feb, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Children are naturally inquisitive. As they grow, they, without prompting, seek out learning. As many of my friends who have toddlers would attest…
Quick! Grab a Lesson– Jackie Robinson {FREEBIE!!}
9 Feb, 2015. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello Everyone! I hope that this post finds you well! Can you believe that it is February already? Where is the year going?…
Digraph Reader FREEBIE!!
20 Jan, 2015. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I have a VERY long commute home and have been using these car rides as an opportunity to listen to podcasts. I don't…
A journey to the Arctic– guided reading focus
5 Jan, 2015. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we are exploring the Arctic. Like many of you, today was our first day back after a very restful Christmas break.…
5 Ways To Encourage Reading At Home
28 Dec, 2014. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Reading is a skill that takes time to develop. In young children,…
Operation: Spread Kindness
14 Dec, 2014. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The Kindness Helpers have been leaving us fun little notes every day since the first day in December. Each day they give us…
The Kindness Helpers
7 Dec, 2014. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I don't know about you but I love the Christmas season. I love the twinkle lights, the music, the food, the smell of…
Christmas for the Classroom Giveaway
6 Dec, 2014. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
 I am so excited to be teaming up with some of my friends to participate in a Christmas for the Classroom giveaway! In…
December: Lessons, Guided Reading, Math, and more!
2 Dec, 2014. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Ok. Let me be 100% honest. Moving down from first grade this year was a little difficult. At the end of last year,…
Wrapping up October, in comes November
5 Nov, 2014. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Can you believe that it is already November? I certainly can't! Last week we were fully immersed in all things PUMPKIN! We had so…
Enjoying October
13 Oct, 2014. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Don't you just love long weekends? This past weekend I was able to head out to my father's house in the Berkshires to…
Guided reading at the beginning of the year
5 Aug, 2014. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
It is that time of the year again. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils fills the air and we are busily getting our…
How to LOVE teaching Math — making the most out of your Math block
27 Jul, 2014. 11 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
A few years ago, I did not love teaching Math. Math seemed hard to teach. I couldn't figure it out. I felt like…
When To Launch The Next Daily 5 {with a focus on work on writing}
27 Jun, 2014. 34 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The next chapter in the Daily 5 that we are covering is Chapter 7: When to Launch The Next Daily 5. This chapter…
Well, the cat’s out of the bag!
21 Jun, 2014. 98 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
So, the craziest thing happened to me about two weeks ago. In order to explain it correctly, I have to back track to…
A Summer Book Study– The Daily 5 (the second edition) PLUS FREEBIES!
6 Jun, 2014. 12 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I am so excited to be joining with some of my friends over at Freebielicious in our summer book study. We are reading…
A Special Surprise
4 Jun, 2014. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The other day my students were in for a HUGE surprise. If you haven't noticed, I simply ADORE Nikki, the illustrator who draws…
3 {Easy and CHEAP} Ocean Activities
19 May, 2014. 22 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We are down to 8 days left of school. Those days include 5 full days and three half days... amongst those days we…
Writing about shells {and the ocean}
9 May, 2014. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The ocean is one of those things that simply fascinates me. My mom has a picture of one of my brothers and I…
3rd Annual Camping Day!
4 May, 2014. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
It has become a tradition at my school that every year, around this time, I host a camping day for the first graders.…
Getting ready for summer — setting up summer review books
1 May, 2014. 9 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I don't know about you, but the last month of school always seems to FLY by. I always start to feel overwhelmed due…
The end of school is near– how to keep your students engaged!
27 Apr, 2014. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Like many of you, we have a countdown going in our classroom. It reads "23 days until summer vacation!" When I put it…
A rainbow of writing
25 Apr, 2014. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
During writing workshop, we have been working on making our writing more colorful. I wanted my students to really focus on word choice…
Easter Activities and a GIVEAWAY!!
15 Apr, 2014. 22 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Teaching the Easter story is such a humbling and exciting series of lessons while teaching at a Christian school. Every day, my class…
Exploring Plants
13 Apr, 2014. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last week was our testing week and I am very glad to say that it is over! My students did fantastic but by…
Volcanoes! {best day ever!!!}
5 Apr, 2014. 12 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Today was "volcano day" in my classroom. It was SUCH a great way to end our study of landforms!  Oh my goodness, I…
So Happy {guided math bliss}
2 Apr, 2014. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I don't know about you, but around here, testing season is upon us. Next week, our entire school will be in "testing mode."…
Frog Week- summaries, writing, and an art “experiment”
30 Mar, 2014. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
In Texas, the weather is currently beautiful. Spring is in the air (and allergies are on overdrive)! To capitalize on what is going…
Guided Reading After Spring Break {freebie}
24 Mar, 2014. 19 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
For the next few weeks, I am pushing a few things in my guided reading groups. I currently am meeting with 6 different…
Our new favorite SPRING Science experiment {on matter!}
22 Mar, 2014. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we revisited what matter is. In December, I introduced this concept with a fun science activity. {you can read about that…
Texas sized fun! {making social studies come to life!}
21 Mar, 2014. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We have been having SO much fun learning about Texas this week. My students would concur that Texas is a pretty incredible state.…
Getting Ready For A Week Of Texas And Tall Tale Fun!
16 Mar, 2014. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last week was our Spring Break. I started the week crazy sick. After school on Friday I went straight to the doctor and…
Fun with force and motion!
1 Mar, 2014. 9 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Oh my goodness. This past week was SO MUCH FUN. When we shared what our favorite part of the week was on Friday…
A glimpse into our day!
27 Feb, 2014. 13 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I thought it might be fun to show you a glimpse into a 'normal' day in our first grade classroom. As many of…
Fractions, Estimating, Adding and More!
24 Feb, 2014. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We have been hard at work trying to master a few new skills. Currently in our small groups, a few of my groups…
Making Phonics Fun!
24 Feb, 2014. 14 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Every week we have been adding a new "special sound" to our repertoire. I assume that most "language" curriculums are similar and they…
Happy Presidents’ Day!
18 Feb, 2014. 13 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Like many of you, we were in school today to make up one of our snow days. I was actually really happy about…
“Best Week Ever!”
15 Feb, 2014. 13 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I have a student who has been asking me since August, "Miss Smith, WHEN are we going to study about the DINOSAURS?!" Well,…
A Day In First Grade Loves TpT {Giveaway!!!}
8 Feb, 2014. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
A few years ago I started this little adventure in blogging and TpT. I never knew how immensely I would be blessed by…
Happy 100th Day!!
6 Feb, 2014. 13 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hooray! Hooray! We are 100 days smarter!  We celebrated the 100th day in fantastic first grade fashion. My students were welcomed to a fully…
Blast Off To The Moon
1 Feb, 2014. 15 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week has been an absolute blast. (pun intended!) We started our unit on the moon and space and my students could not…
Math Questions: Answered!
28 Jan, 2014. 14 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello everyone. How many of you had a snow day this week? Last night the district that we follow issued a two hour…
Loving Math {how I set up my math block}
23 Jan, 2014. 17 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
My students are always super excited when a new month rolls in and we start playing a new set of math bins. This…
Increasing Rigor and Engagement At The Same Time
19 Jan, 2014. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week I was able to go to the SDE conference here in Austin and got to hang out with some of…
Having fun in the winter! {Freebie!!}
11 Jan, 2014. 11 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Weather in Texas is so crazy. One day this week it was 29* when I woke up. The next day, my students were…
Winter is Here!!
9 Jan, 2014. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Winter has definitely hit my classroom. While we are NOT experiencing all the snow and cold that y'all are having, we did get…
Guided Reading Made Easy
5 Jan, 2014. 27 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I don't know about you, but one of my favorite parts of the day is when I get to pull my guided reading…
Getting ready for a new year!
1 Jan, 2014. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Happy New Year!! I hope that you are all doing well and are still enjoying your last few days off.  I have been…
“Life saving” winter crafts!
22 Dec, 2013. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hooray!!! It's Winter break!! We made it-- congratulations and job well done! I don't know about you, but our past week was filled…
All Aboard the Polar Express!
14 Dec, 2013. 10 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week my class and I dove into one of my favorite Christmas books ever written, "The Polar Express." I told my…
Christmas themed word work and writing activities {FREE!!}
12 Dec, 2013. 12 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I hope that everyone is having a great week. I don't know about you, but to me, it feels as if this week…
Baby, it’s COLD outside!
8 Dec, 2013. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Being from New England, a few 20 degree days should totally not throw me for a loop but MAN! I'm freezing!! I have…
December is here!
2 Dec, 2013. 11 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This afternoon I went to my classroom to get everything ready for December and I am so happy with the way that things turned…
What does the fox say? {finding the main idea and details in a passage}
29 Nov, 2013. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I'm sure by now your students have told you all about the song "What does the fox say?" In case you have not…
Reindeer Fun! {getting ready for December!}
24 Nov, 2013. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
On Friday, my students came to school dressed to the nines ready for our Thanksgiving feast. It was such a blast and such…
Clams?!
22 Nov, 2013. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Today my class was in for a surprise when they walked in the door. We have been diligently studying Thanksgiving and what the…
Dry Erase Board Challenges
20 Nov, 2013. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Teaching children how to read is probably one of my favorite things to teach. On any given day in my classroom you will…
Life as a Pilgrim
16 Nov, 2013. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The last week we have been so busy it's crazy. With only 5 days left until Thanksgiving break, we are working so hard. The…
This week in small groups {and freebies!}
8 Nov, 2013. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week during our Guided Reading time I have really been working with a few students on reading words that have long vowel…
Goodbye October, Hello November!
2 Nov, 2013. 9 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last week was a whirlwind! Here is a super small snapshot of our crazy pumpkin week: We created life cycle of a pumpkin crowns…
Move over alligator, the shark has replaced you
29 Oct, 2013. 12 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last week after assessing my students I noticed that a few of them could use a little bit of extra practice with the…
We’ve got spirit, yes, we do! (and owl pellet dissections!)
27 Oct, 2013. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week we celebrated "Spirt Week" at my school. Each day students were able to come to school out of uniform. (which…
Math Bins 101 :)
23 Oct, 2013. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Math bins seriously has to be one of my favorite parts of our day in first grade. I had a few people ask me…
Owl Week!
19 Oct, 2013. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
On Monday we start our next unit. Throughout the upcoming week we will learn all about owls! The owl pellets arrived the other…
I love my job! {and a Freebie}
16 Oct, 2013. 15 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Today my students walked in and their mouths hit the floor. Those few seconds of silence, followed by the HUGE smiles, and then hands…
“It’s fun first grade!”
12 Oct, 2013. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
In my classroom, we have lovingly named Fridays, "Fun Friday." On Fridays my students work super hard in the morning taking their assessments…
Sight words in an interactive notebook {freebie!!}
9 Oct, 2013. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Sight Words.... Love them or hate them, teaching them makes your life so much easier as a teacher and it helps your students…
Monday, Monday…and a whole bunch of bat centers!
8 Oct, 2013. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Today my students walked in to a classroom set up ready for bat week. Our Scholastic readers (featuring bats) were on their desks…
A week of spiders {How do you fit it all in?}
5 Oct, 2013. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week we went CRAZY for spiders. My students LOVED every.single.minute of each day and they came out stronger readers, writers and…
Creepy, Crawly Spiders!
2 Oct, 2013. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Well spider week in my classroom is off to a HUGE hit! I had a few parents email me saying that their child…
October Mapped Out and Spiders! {and your chance to win!}
29 Sep, 2013. 86 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Can you believe that it is almost October? CRAZY, right?! Goodbye apples, and hello October themes! On Friday I mapped out my month…
More Apples and Johnny Appleseed Day!
27 Sep, 2013. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Oh wow! What a whirlwind this week has been. My students have amazed me this week. They have worked so hard and have…
How to make applesauce in your classroom {recipe included}
21 Sep, 2013. 11 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
On Friday my class made homemade applesauce in class. It is truly one of my favorite activities that I do every year. I…
Apple Juice! {classroom style!}
20 Sep, 2013. 9 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
On Tuesday, in one of my guided reading groups, my students and I were working our way through an "apple" reader. In the…
Apple Weeks start TOMORROW!! {plus TONS of Freebies!!!}
16 Sep, 2013. 10 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hooray, hooray!! Our Apple Weeks start tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited!! I have TONS of fun things planned for us and…
We Love Weather!
14 Sep, 2013. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The other day one of my students raised her hand and asked, "Miss Smith, are we going to study weather next week?" I said,…
Visual Plans and Freebies!
9 Sep, 2013. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Before I get into my visual plans, I have to tell y'all about my latest obsession. Here in Texas unfortunately it is still…
Weather Galore!
7 Sep, 2013. 9 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we started our first "science theme" of the school year. I start my year with weather because it echoes both my…