American Symbols Art

Holy Cannoli! I did it!!! OH MY WORD. I survived making this SMART ART and I’m beaming!

American Symbols SMART ART by Teacher to the Core- Each project has an academic task on it to up the rigor and make your classroom look brilliant and beautiful

This has been on my heart and my “to create” list since the moment I posted my American Symbols unit. Now it’s come to life! My students love ART and I love making it for them.  I am very motivated to create this year since Jackson is in first grade too and his teacher does all my curriculum in her class. His teacher and I are “besties” and she was thrilled when I showed her the completed masters!

This art will make your room stunning! But it will also make your students smart.  Each art project has a skills based component to it. Here is the Place Value White House, for example.

Teacher to the Core  American Symbols White House SMART ART is makes your classroom look amazing and your students brilliant

I have added this art to my already existing American Symbols unit, turning it into a {BUNDLE}. It even got a new cover. If you already bought the original unit, just download again!!!  The art is all yours as a GIFT!!!!

I did not raise the price when making this a bundle for Sunday the 12th, Monday the 13th, and Tuesday the 14th only. Just in case some of my readers have this on their wish list, get it off your wish list and into your cart, if you want the deal of the century!

American Symbols Literacy and SMART ART by Teacher to the Core- Each project has an academic task on it to up the rigor & make your classroom look brilliant and beautiful- The reading pages will get you results

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If you only want the SMART ART, then the unit below is for you:

American Symbols Art from Teacher to the Core- Each project has an academic task making the art Smart Art

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If you only want the Informational Reading and More unit then you want this little baby below:

American Symbols ELA & Math 2014 Cover

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What? You can’t see the little pictures and want to see some of the pages in a larger format?  Why of course! I aim to please!  I have updated the ENTIRE Informational Reading pack.  New fonts and some tweaks make this one of my favorite units EVER!

Little Books introduce the concepts.

Amazing materials for getting unparalleled reading results- from Teacher to the Core American Symbols

My informational reading passages are designed to be readable for first graders, but also have rich vocabulary and are rigorous and engaging enough to be read again and again.

Amazing materials for getting unparalleled reading results- from Teacher to the Core American Symbols (2)

Here is a sample of the 8 activities and 3 tests included.  These skills pages keep the theme going and the rigor high.

Amazing materials for getting unparalleled reading results- from Teacher to the Core American Symbols (3)

I am evangelical about fluency, and I tell anyone who will listen how it has changed how I teach. These are a few slides for my upcoming “I Teach K”conference presentation. I’m getting ready people. My presentation is only a few weeks way!

A case for fluency in America's Classrooms

A case for fluency in America's Classrooms


Fluency Grid

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Here is my fluency grid.  Most grids have tiny squares and are ugly. This is big and cute. This is perfect to run on the back of the passages and/or to put on a bulletin board for kids to see their amazing growth.  The large boxes are just easier for first graders to write in. Plus, it is great daily math practice.  If you read 85 words, then where do you put that number? Yep, you put it in the 80+ column because you did not get to 90 yet.  These are the conversations that make math real!

Well, I love you all!  I am off to go clean my house and try to remain calm about my upcoming presentation.  What tips do you have for me as a speaker?

  • What do you love doing during a conference session?
  • What do you hate doing?
  • In a power point do you want to watch short video clips of fluency in action?
  • What goodies do you want to walk away with?

Please leave your tips and I will pick 2 winners from this blog posts and 4 winners from Facebook. Click here for Facebook. The contest is over and…..


Jay Pea is our winner! Thank you for all of the tips you offered.  I hear you on the CONSTANT think, pair, share in trainings. It does get old.  I won’t do it, but I will bring freebies!


  1. Really the only thing I don't like doing at a conference is "turn and talk", or other sharing out activities. I feel like the participants end up doing all the work! I love seeing clips of teachers in action and leaving with something that is so ready I could do it the next day. Door prizes are always a hit, too! You will do awesome!

    1. Oops- if you need my email:

  2. I love conferences where the presenters expand and elaborate on their slides and not just read them verbatim...which leads me to what I hate about not read the slide to me...I CAN read...but if you refer to it in your dialogue then we are fine. Videos are awesome instruments for teacher learning too! I think most teachers love to see learning in action! Any kind of freebies are great...a couple of chocolates during the presentation, a packet with a few printables...maybe a drawing for a few prizes!?!

  3. Wow - this unit looks great! I love the smart art you have added. At a conference I don't like to do mixers (or ice breakers). I love to get strategies and activities that I can do the next day. I think short video clips are a great idea. Good luck with your presentation!

  4. Girl, you are amazing. I have had the American Symbols unit on my wishlist for a long time now! I guess I better buy it before the price goes up!

    As for conferences, I really hate "getting to know you" activities. They make me want to gouge someone's eyes out. Don't make me get up when I first get there! I always love video clips that really let me see a REAL classroom in action! As for goodies, I would say anything that you give me is great, but maybe some stuff I could use in my classroom on the topic being covered. For example, if it is about fluency, maybe a fluency graph or fluency passages? I would love to come see your presentation! I am sure you will do great!

    Blooming In First

  5. I do Not like meet your neighbors and that get up interact nonsense! I feel like it is such a waste of time and let's the speaker off the hook..... :) I also do not like practicing the ideas being taught! I feel like I can understand and I take a lot of notes! I love learning and great ideas that I can actually USE in my classroom! Goodies.....girl! We are teachers and love ALL goodies!! Good luck and I wish I was gonna be there:( haves blast!!

  6. I love to see examples and pictures/videos of what the speaker is talking about. I'm such a visual learner that these things are SO important to my own learning! I really don't like when a speaker has us move around the room doing odd things...though I don't mind if we are assigned a "project" to do at our table. I love walking away with resources that I will actually use...but it's the QUALITY of these resources and not the quantity that matters to me. Game or project ideas, a few printables, make and takes are awesome!!! :o)


  7. I like to see things in action - videos of students doing the activity you are explaining would be fantastic at a conference! I don't really like the "walk around and talk to someone" things...maybe I'm just introverted sometimes! I love walking away with freebies that I can put into use right away and tips on books or products that the speaker has used and tells us how to use.

    Good luck speaking!

  8. Things I like to see - videos of the activity being done in the classroom. I really love seeing true life examples of things being done not something rehearsed over and over with one kid in the group. I don't like having the powerpoint read to me. I know how to read! I love walking away with ideas, samples, and even freebies that I can use right away to implicate what I have learned.

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

  9. I hear you guys about having someone READ a power point. UGGG how awful!!! The are wordy slides but I will be breaking them up BIG time with pictures, videos, and more. Thank you for all your great ideas! I'll get freebies ready for my attendees.

  10. Ditto the not digging icebreakers. And I HATE when the speaker has us move around so we aren't sitting with anyone we already know. Make sure your hand outs have enough information so that people can look at them later and still know what you were talking about.

    Good'll rock the presentation!

    tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

  11. Ooh, good luck on your presentation - you'll do great!

    Like most everyone above, I'm not a fan of the ice-breakers/turn and chat sort of stuff, because I think it takes away from the presenter. Teachers especially know the important of talking through ideas, but there's a time and a place, and when they've come to listen and learn, I think it's important for the speaker to have as much time as possible to do that. (There's always question time at the end!) Practical examples, etc, are always awesome. An alternative to paper handouts (which I confess to misplacing often) is putting notes/resources online and making sure participants walk away with access to them.

    Best of luck, Katie!

    Miss Galvin Learns

  12. I don't like the ice breakers either. I like to walk away with materials that I can use. I think breaking up a power point presentation with video clips would be good. I love your Smart Art bundle! How unique!

  13. Oh wow....I won!!!! Thank you so much! I can't wait to use this! Thank you and I appreciate ALL your hard work and sharing of ideas! Thank you!

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