Featured Teacher Tuesday ~ It's my turn!

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You may already know a bit about me but today I will be sharing a little bit about me and my journey so far. I have been teaching for 21 years (gasp!) Most of my teaching has been in Grade 1 but I have also taught Kindergarten through Grade 4.  I also spent 3 ½ years working as a substitute teacher at the beginning of my career.  I have been teaching in a small village just outside of Kingston, Ontario, Canada for most of my career.  

When not teaching I love spending time with my family: a busy 12 and 15 year old and a husband who runs his own business.  We love to travel and spend time time at the cottage.  Here we are in Central Park. We had a mini vacation there at Christmas time.
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I have always had a passion for teaching.  When I was growing up there was no question about what I wanted to do when I grew up.  A first grade teacher was my dream job and I has been fortunate enough to teach 6 year olds for the majority of my career so far.  

I have always had a passion for creating my own classroom materials and sharing ideas with my colleagues.  I stumbled upon Teachers Pay Teachers in 2012 and got the nerve up to post my own products in the winter of 2013.  Since then I has continued to add products and really grow my store.  I have many freebies to help early primary teachers out in Math, Literacy and Classroom Management.  Click on the covers below to check out some of my most popular freebies.  

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I loves to teach using centers to engage students and keep them practicing crucial skills.  Some of my most popular math centers are:

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I also creates products that support directed teaching as well.  These comprehension checks are perfect for whole group teaching as well for small group instruction.  The Word Jail is one of my favourite products.  I use it to help students learn to read and spell those tricky rule breaker words.  My students love it.  
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I has been blogging for about a year and half.  I enjoy sharing what is happening in my classroom and showing off some of my products in actions.  You can check out a few of my most popular posts below.  If you like what you read be sure to follow me to keep up with my posts!  
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You can also follow me on Social media.   Check out my accounts below:

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I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about my journey.  See you again next week when you will meet another first grade teacher.

How To Use Whiteboards To Get Students Excited About Learning

Using whiteboards with your students is a sure fire way to increase student engagement.  It has been my experience that any task that involves writing is always better when done on a whiteboard!

Do you love to use whiteboards in the classroom?   Are you looking for a few more ways to integrate them into your day?  If you answer yes to either question then you should check out my guest post on the Education to the Core blog where I share my favourite tips and tricks with whiteboards in the classroom.  Click on the image below to visit the blog and check out my post.

Until next time,

Tips for Using Picture Books to Teach Inferring

Welcome to the I Teach First monthly link up.  This is my first time participating in this link up and I am very excited to be bringing you some great tips.

This month I want to share a bit about how I begin teaching about inferring. This post is a taste of what I do at the beginning of our inferring unit.

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I love to teach about inferring because I can hook the kids with the idea of being a detective - we search for clues in the pictures and in the text and put it with what we know (our schema) to infer. We make an anchor chart to help us remember what we do to infer. If you don't see the anchor chart here then pop back in as I will be adding the picture as soon as it is finished.

I always start with inferring from pictures.  There are lots of great photos online you can use, but I like to use a resource we have at our school.  The resource is called Let's Talk About It  and the publisher is Mondo!  I use the large flip chart with pictures to provoke conversation.    I model how to make inferences by writing my inferences on post its and sticking them right to the picture.  You could do the same thing with pictures you find or by projecting them on your smartboard.  These are a few of the pictures I use. Some of my inferences for the first picture might be:
 -  I infer the two boys are brothers because they look alike.
 -  I infer that the younger boy is mad and yelling because his mouth is open.
 -  I infer the bigger boy doesn't want to listen because he is plugging his ears.

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Once we have a handle on inferring just from looking at pictures we move to picture books.  I have so many that I love to use.  I usually start with the David series by David Shannon.  First graders have no problem relating to him. After I read the book a number of times they have a chance to infer what David might be thinking while he is getting into trouble in the pictures. (this is also a great book to use when teaching Point of View)  You can provide your students with copies of the pictures from the book or they can draw their own scene.  Grab this freebie to use.  It applies to any of the David books even though it has NO David at the top.  Click on the image to get it now

inferring worksheet NO David

Once they are pros at inferring from pictures we start to work on inferring using text clues in picture books.  I love to use The Monster in the Woods and A Wolf at the Door.  These books are great because they have descriptive text that help students to infer about a character in the book.  However, there is a twist in each story.  The ending is not what they are expecting, so it provides a great opportunity to talk about how what you infer may change as you gain more knowledge (schema) or you find more clues in the text.

Grab this freebie to use with A Wolf at the Door.

                                     inferring worksheets

Another one of my faves is Farmer Duck.  There is so much to discuss with this book when it comes to inferring.  We always start with the leading pages that show the farm and the land around it and make inferences about the setting and then move into the text.  We love to infer what duck is saying throughout the text everytime he says QUACK. 

comprehension question cardsI hope you can take something away from this post to use with your students.  These ideas just scratch the surface with inferring.  There is so much more I dive into with many, many other books. When I am working on inferring I keep my comprehension checks ring close by.  This ring contains questions to use with any book for inferring, as well as all of the other comprehension strategies you teach.  If you are interested in this resource click on the picture to be taken to my TPT store.  You can also read more about them in another blog post by clicking {HERE}

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  If you think the content I shared here is valuable, use this image to pin to your Pinterest board.

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Be sure to check out all of the other first grade bloggers who are sharing ideas and information with you!

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