Welcome back to the Spelling Alternatives for 1st Grade blog series! Here's a sneak peek at the entire series:


Sometimes you just need an activity that is a little more structured, but still provides your students with the opportunity to get "hands on".  This is a resource that I created to do just that. I noticed that some students didn't always do so well with my typical "no worksheet" approach, so I made something that was a good balance. 

These work so great at your teacher table during guided reading, but after students are familiar with them, they work great as a station as well! 

Option 1: No-Prep Worksheets

This resource set is one that I tended to use more whole group. I've also ran a copy of the entire set of patterns and placed in a folder with brads (as seen below) that works great as a station. That way, if one student doesn't finish, the next student can start on that page and finish it for them. I tell the kids that it becomes our "class book of _ar_ words" and they just eat that up!

Option 2: Laminated Word Lists

In this option, you have to put in a little bit of prep work by laminating the word lists BUT you aren't having to copy new worksheets each week. You can copy a large number of the worksheet and continue to use it week after week, so less paper is wasted. There are several different options of worksheets for you to choose from to best fit your needs!

Just What You Needed? 

I thought so. Check them out here: 

Welcome back to the Spelling Alternatives for 1st Grade blog series! Here's a sneak peek at the entire series:

Interactive Spelling Wall

"Sharing the pen" is one of my favorite practices that I started last year. It really helps my little firsties to take control of their own learning and feel empowered (AND they just love the smell of using my scented chart markers).

An interactive spelling wall is something I use every Monday to introduce our spelling pattern for the week. It can be used as whole group mini-lesson, a small group mini-lesson, or as a spelling station.

-Large section of a dry erase board -OR- a large piece of chart paper
-Dry erase markers -OR- chart markers

-Design a heading 
-Introduce the pattern
-Have students generate words and add them to the wall

Tip: As you can see towards the bottom, when we run short on time I usually ask for students to call out the remaining words and I write them on there. 

Like things pre-made? Check out these

Hello again friends!! If you missed my post about:

you need to go read it now! Don't forget to snag your free End of Year checklist!!

The Ultimate Inventory Checklist 

Now that you have your End of Year Checklist, you are on your way to a nicely, neatly, wrapped up school year (hey, we can dream, right?). Now you need a better way to take inventory of what you still have, what you need to prep a purchase order for, or what you need to keep an eye out for over the summer. 

Here's a sneak peak:

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Welcome back to the Spelling Alternatives for 1st Grade blog series! Here's a sneak peek at the entire series:

Stamps and Playdough

This is an idea that I stumbled on to last year by accident. I was using stamps in my spelling station with the typical ink pads, and it was making such a MESS!! I had the idea to use playdough for a week to try and clean my stamps off. Well, turns out the kids loved the playdough WAY more than they liked the ink pads so it just stuck around. Now it is easily one of their favorite stations! 

-Alphabet Stamps
-Spelling List

-Students roll out the playdough
-Students stamp out their word
-Students reform their playdough and repeat!

Okay friends, it's getting close to that time of year again! The time when the clock ticks by so slowly, the calendar fills up with events and the overwhelming pressure to teach before those final tests and assessments really hits home.... it's the END OF THE YEAR!! 

So, while we all know that teachers hit survival mode around mid-April, I have the one and only checklist you will ever need to make sure that you finish up the year with absolutely no loose ends. 

The Ultimate End of Year Checklist

This is seriously the only end of year checklist you will ever need and it's YOURS for free!! It includes a generic list of things to do, things to clean, things to store and put away, things your students can help you do, things to turn in to the office, a checklist of technology, a checklist for your classroom library AND SO MUCH MORE!

Here's a sneak peek at page one:

Simply sign up below to receive the only end of year checklist you will ever need!

The Ultimate End of Year Checklist

Tips for getting things done

-Break large tasks into small chunks.

-Don't try to do it all at once, pick 2-3 things a day that you want to accomplish.

-Highlight the priority items and try to finish those first. 

-Delegate as much as possible to your students. 

-Purge as much as possible, I promise it will make you feel better!

-Give yourself a break, you've been teaching tiny humans and you are mentally, emotionally and physically tired. Go reward yourself, it will all get done! 

The Next Step

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As a teacher, I am ALWAYS looking for ways to save time and make learning more fun! I'm not a huge fan of worksheets (don't get me wrong, they have their place) so I am constantly looking for something new.I have tried many things over the years and I decided to dedicate an entire blog series to my favorite spelling alternatives for first grade!

 Here's a sneak peek at the entire series:

"OO" words with Reinforcement Stickers

Spelling "oo" words with reinforcement stickers is something I started using about five or six years ago and let me tell you something, it's an oldie but a goodie!! 

-One sheet of reinforcement stickers per student
-Blank paper
-Marker, crayon or pencil

-Students write first letter(s) of word
-Students add stickers for the two o's
-Students write last letter(s) of word

Easy Peasy!

Other Great Ideas for "OO" words

Here are some other great ideas I've found on Pinterest for teaching "oo" words!

Earth Day is one of my favorite times of year. From reading the Lorax, to teaching all about recycling, Earth Day is such a great opportunity to teach our little learners how to become global citizens. After all, the future of our planet is in their hands. 

Make a Pledge

My favorite way to celebrate Earth Day is to have my students make an Earth Day pledge. Here are the 3 easy steps:

Step 1: I pre-make a poster with the Earth in the middle and I write our pledge "With these hands, We pledge to take care of our Earth".

Step 2: As a class, we generate different ways to help take care of our Earth, and I add those to the poster. 

Step 3: Students make their "pledge" by placing a paint covered hand on the poster and I write their names underneath. 

Handprint Tip

When doing handprints, it is WAY easier to have the student hold out their hand and use a paintbrush to put the paint on their hand rather than having them dip their hands into paint!

An Earth Day Freebie

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If there is one thing that my class LOVES this year it's STEM challenges!! What makes it even more fun is when we get to do holiday themed STEM challenges. So, as good teachers do, I turned to Pinterest (my teacher bible) to see what I could come up with!!

Painting with Jellybeans

This first one is an activity that I found on Pinterest YEARS ago, but kids still love it. It's not so much a STEM challenge as it is a science experiment showing the kids how to transfer color from a jellybean onto their paper.
 Here is the Pinterest link:

Egg-cellent STEM challenges

These two are true STEM challenges. Students have to create a structure using the objects given. I love that some students go for the traditional structures, but I also love that some of my students were  creating people with their jellybeans and toothpicks and even adding hair!! It was precious. 

Here are the Pinterest links: 

TIP: Do not try the cheap toothpicks, I had a teacher friend tell me that her toothpicks were not strong enough. I bought the colored ones just trying to be fun, but they ended up being WAY sturdier!

For more fun April ideas, check out my April Teaching Ideas Pinterest board:

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