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First Grade Idea Sharing

 READERS' THEATER:  Thank you to the teachers at Newport-Mesa Unified School District for their willingness to share!                     

Moving Day

Me on the Map

The Sleeping Pig

That Toad is Mine!

If You Give a Pig a Pancake

Johnny Appleseed

When I Am Old With You

Two Greedy Bears


Here's a look at your entire first grade year, theme by theme, concept by concept:

First Grade Reading at a Glance 


Cynthia Rodgers, first grade teacher at Adams Elementary School in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, has created one-page posters that feature the theme title, theme concept, and a photograph that exemplifies the theme concept.

Theme 1                            Theme 6

Theme 2                            Theme 7

Theme 3                            Theme 8

Theme 4                            Theme 9

Theme 5                          Theme 10


The new Vocabulary Page has pictures for every Key Vocabulary word in every anthology story in the Houghton Mifflin Reading Program.  Use these resources to help build your students' vocabulary background knowledge -- especially your English Language Learners.

Link to the Vocabulary Page 

  • The Florida Center for Reading Research (Reading First Eastern Technical Assistance Center) has developed a wealth of Student Center Activities.  These activities might be used during Universal Access Time or during intervention lessons. 
  • Each activity comes with complete directions as well as any materials that might be needed for the lesson.  Activities are listed under various subheadings (Phonemic Awareness, Fluency, Comprehension, etc.) and each contains multiple pages.  Downloading these materials may take a bit of time, but they are worth the wait.  If you don't want to print everything, click on File, then Print, then click the circle in front of Pages and enter the page numbers you want to print (e.g., 36-42). 

 Student Activity Centers



The link below will take you to the Reading Writing Workshop page.  There you will find posters for all the Reading Writing Workshop genres and the supporting "Tips" posters for each lesson in the Reading-Writing Workshop.  You will also find Student self-check questionaires for the Reading-Writing Workshops. 

Writing Page

  • Shauna Juarez, Literach Coach at Alvin Elementary, has created banners for your focus wall.  These banners print out as multiple pages that can be pasted together to create a colorful banner for each theme.




Theme 1                                Theme 2                           Theme 3                        Theme 4

Theme 5                                Theme 6                           Theme 7                        Theme 8

Theme 9                                Theme 10

  • Here's a way to help your students build their vocabulary, as well as get "into" the books they read. 

My Favorite Words recording page


    Here's a look at the way Houghton Mifflin is taught throughout a week:

First Grade Week at a Glance

  • What genre are you working on this week?  This table lists all the reading genres for each main anthology selection as well as the Big Book and Teacher Read Aloud stories.  The Content Links are also listed for each week.

First Grade Reading Genres

  • First grade has a cute little poem for teaching handwriting.  This poster adds pictures to the rhyme to help remind students what they should be doing as they write.

Handwriting Poster

  • Literacy Coach Shauna Juarez has typed up all of the First Grade Morning Messages in large print. Teachers at her site have made overhead transparencies of these pages rather than write them on chart paper or the white boards. Just think of the teaching possibilities that could occur with a couple of colored Vis-a-vis pens!

Theme 1                         Theme 6

Theme 2                         Theme 7

Theme 3                         Theme 8

 Theme 4                         Theme 9

   Theme 5                         Theme 10

  • Shauna has also typed the Daily Language Practice sentences on lined paper.  Teachers are using these pages to combine the DLP lessons with editing, as well as handwriting practice.  The teacher and the students use the pre-typed DLP sentences to first identify the grammar and spelling errors.  During a direct instruction lesson, both the teacher and the students mark the errors in the sentences with the appropriate editing marks (see the Proofreading Marks poster), inserting the appropriate corrections.  Students then rewrite the edited sentence on the blank line, incorporating the corrections identified during the group lesson and correct letter formation.  

Theme 3                             Theme 7

Theme 4                             Theme 8

Theme 5                             Theme 9

  Theme 6                             Theme 10

  • Teachers all over the country have been visiting our website and many are sending in great ideas they are willing to share with others. These Focus Wall Parent/Family letters come from June Sears, a teacher in Ojai, California. Thanks, June!

Theme 1                        Theme 6

Theme 2                         Theme 7

Theme 3                         Theme 8

Theme 4                         Theme 9

  Theme 5                         Theme 10

  • Theme Focus wall letters in Spanish!

Theme 1                         Theme 6

Theme 2                         Theme 7

Theme 3                         Theme 8

Theme 4                         Theme 9

  Theme 5                         Theme 10

  • Click on the links below to access the Houghton Mifflin high frequency words printed in "cut apart" boxes in large print. These could be used as flashcards or displayed on focus walls.

First Grade High Frequency Words

Kindergarten High Frequency Words

  • For Houghton Mifflin high frequency words listed by theme click on the link below.

High Frequency Words by Theme

  • Check out this Proofreading Marks poster.  It features the proofreading marks taught in first and second grade.  Make individual copies for your students or enlarge it for a class poster.

Proofreading Marks Poster

  • Are your students having a hard time transitioning from short vowel words to long vowel words? Sally Shaywitz (Overcoming Dyslexia) recommends reading word pairs to build automaticity. Carol Jeanson, Literacy Coach at Bonita School, created a word-pair list of short vowel words that change to long vowel words (bit to bite, fin to fine, cod to code, etc.).

Word Pairs: Short vowel words changed to long vowel words

  • Carol also created a list that features verbs whose spelling changes when -ing is added (move - moving, write - writing, etc).

 Word Pairs: Verbs changed to verb + -ing 

  • Shauna Juarez, Literacy Coach at Alvin, came up with a great idea to manage the small punch-out letter cards used in "Connecting Sound to Print" lessons. Below is a picture of the Small Letter Cards folder that she created. Click on the link below to see the "how to" directions for making this handy classroom tool.

Managing Small Letter Cards

Santa Maria-Bonita School District    Souza Center    708 South Miller Street    Santa Maria, CA 93454    805.928.1783
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