Category Archives: CCSS

First Post…. Bats!

Hi there! I’m Emily, and I’m so excited to be teaming up with Laura on this blog! Laura was my mentor teacher for my first two years of teaching first grade. She taught first grade for her whole career and therefore taught me all the important stuff that you need to know. For example, how to use a Smart Board (her technology skills are AWESOME), how to assess reading skills, how to work with parents, how to sing a song for every part of first grade, and how to solve MANY mysteries in the boys’ bathroom….. Ha! I am in my sixth year teaching first grade, and when I think back on those first two years, it is crazy to think how I ever survived! Laura is such an inspiration and I’m so thankful for her guidance when I was just starting out!

Anyways, my first post is about bats! Do you like bats? I always thought they were pretty terrifying until I started teaching a bat unit every October. Now I think they are really neat! This week, we went bat-crazy. We researched bats using some great resources, like bat nonfiction books and a Scholastic News issue. If you do not subscribe to Scholastic News, I would highly recommend it! Great informational text, and the online component is awesome! You can just throw it right up on an interactive whiteboard. Each issue is available online with a little video, vocabulary words, and a game!

We also dove into this great book! It is loaded with fascinating facts about bats and really great photographs, too.


Next, we compiled our research onto this cute graphic organizer. I love are/can/have charts. They make research so simple for the kids.



We used these graphic organizers to write bat reports. They came out beautifully! Check out the bat drawings. I love kid art! The bats don’t look so scary, do they?

We integrated lots more bat activities this week. We compared fiction to nonfiction text features using the classic book, Stellaluna, tied in math with some graphing, sorted true and false bat facts, wrote about what life would be like if WE were bats, and lots more!

Grab this bat writing paper for free below, or check out my Fantastic Bats mini unit in my TpT store! Everything is printable and ready to go! I hope your class goes as batty for bats as mine does!   Emily MG

Bat Writing Paper

Fantastic Bats Unit




First Grade, First Day . . . and First Post!

Today is the first day of first grade at Maple Elementary in Chardon, Ohio.

All day long, “First Grade, First Day” will be rolling around in my head.   This was the first poem placed in my students’ poetry notebooks.  I used it as the basis for a reading lesson on the first day of school.   We would chorally read it aloud together, read it with a partner, use it to identify rhyming words and practice making words with the -ay word family.  Then I’d send home a copy of the poem for my first graders to read with their parents.

Kids would love reading this poem later in the school year and remember the first day of school.  Repeated readings would help build fluency.

Here is a free copy of the poem for you to use with your students.  Click on the image below to get a PDF file:  First Grade First Day Poem

I offer two complete reading lessons connected to Common Core State Standards using the First Grade, First Day poem.   Click on an image below to check out these products in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

First Grade First Grade Notebook Cover First Grade First Day PPT Cover

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