word work, some organization, and a Valentine's Day freebie

This has been a CRAZY busy week!  There are no kiddos tomorrow - parent/teacher conferences and professional development day.  I don't know about you, but 4 day weeks seem harder than a regular week; maybe because I feel like I have to cram everything in with one less day!

Like many of your children, my firsties love the read/write the room activities using words for their spelling features.  With this said, I have been working on one and two packets a day this week, trying to get a jump start on my lessons for the next couple of weeks.  I have 3 groups in my classroom, so that means between 12-15 lessons are used in one month.

One of my small groups has struggled with beginning blends, but they are not yet ready to spell those longer words, so I have created a couple of lists with CVCC (and sometimes CCVCC!) spelling patterns.  The one I finished last night has short a sounds.  The preview picture (also included on the preview file in TpT) has the list of items included.  Note that the read/write the room headings and word cards are in both full color and black/white, in case you are saving on ink!  Click here or on the picture below.

With all of the word work activities that I have been creating, I knew that I needed to be better organized - to know where the activities are located in my classroom AND  to know that I have something for that spelling feature so I don't make a new one!  (Yes, that has happened before!)  I recently saw a post in which the blogger teacher had zippered page protectors - so jealous!  Since I can't find those around me, I decided zippered pencil bags would work, too!

This is how everything started on my floor after printing and laminating (I just purchased a personal laminator and LOVE it!) ...
Note: I used the same color card stock for each lesson to keep cards organized and I saved on ink! :)
now here is one of the finished word work packets in my notebook at school, ready to use
Once I got this far, I decided that my reading group plans (which have been in the same binder with my word work/word study lessons for each week before moving to the filing cabinet), needed some work, too, so I put every reading group lesson with a copy of the lesson plans in page protectors and wrote on the edge of the page protector the reading level AND the name of the story.  For the units that wouldn't fit in a page protector, I used a manila folder and labeled it the same way.  Things are organized in my filing cabinet and I don't have quite as many binders.  I purchased colored baskets at the dollar store to match my groups; everything needed for the week - both reading group plans, copies of the books, and worksheets/quizzes, along with everything for their word work/word study lessons - is in the tub!
my 3 tubs on the AC unit, just behind my reading table

a close up of one of the tubs
And for a thanks for reading this VERY long post, I have a Valentine's Day freebie for you!  Here is an addition and subtraction fact activity.  Your children do not need number cubes for this one, as the number of spaces to move is on the bottom of each card, with "special" directions on the game board.  Store these in gallon size bags so the cards don't spill out everywhere!  I have included an answer key card in hopes the kiddos will be able to self-check.  Click here or on the picture below.  Enjoy!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. Fire marshal will get you for putting those on the AC unit! Love your organization! I need you to come organize my stuff. It needs it!!

    Reading Toward the Stars

    1. Hush, Andrea! Jenn would say that we have to use every available space - we're teachers! :)


    2. So wish I could like your comment!

  2. I found your blog through the Friday Freebie linky party. I am your newest follower. Thanks for the organization tips and the freebie. Liz in South Dakota

  3. Thanks for the reading group organizing tips. I love to see how others get it done! Thanks for the freebie too!

  4. What a neat game! My students are going to LOVE it! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    Nurturing Noggins

  5. Thank you for sharing the freebie game!


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