Back To School Teach With Me!

At the start of every year there is a slight panic: 
  • What will they read that is decodable?
  • How will they get going on paragraph writing? 
  • What the heck, a "sense of closure"?
  • What will I put on my bulletin boards? 
It's all done for you!


Fall Bundle {click HERE}
 Winter Bundle {click HERE}
Spring Bundle {click HERE}
Year- Long Mega bundle at 50% off
Let's focus on Back to school. 

Each of us start school at a different time of year, with some teachers, who are year-round, starting in JULY! 

 Here is how I start my year! I tap into the not so distant memories of happy, hot summer days. 

 You and students are going to LOVE this  literacy unit!

What relief to have it planned for you! 

These download(s) contain everything you need to address: 
  • The three text types of the Common Core writing starting with personal narrative because kids love to write about what they know BEST, themselves!
  •  The informational reading that supports writing and reading skills.
  •  Shared reading / Fluency passages and fluency charts.
  • The art that makes school fun and your classroom beautiful. 
Let's talk about "Back to School Emotions" It is easy to feel "strung out" and your kids feel many of the same emotions. 
This unit is one for my absolute favorites. 
  • It teaches the many emotions we might have
  • I have my kids read the emotions with a matching voice, so that later when we read a "sad sentence" our voice is "sad"
  • The predictable and decode-able text ENSURES success.
  • The writing and art are quick and easy for this unit. 

This "We Love to Eat" shared reading / writing / art resource has a focus on color words. 

All units even have a comprehension passage with questions on the bottom.  This will expose first graders to Common Core style testing in small doses. Plus, we need these grades in our grade book! 

Later in January, you have full-sheet quizzes are designed in true Common Core format with multiple correct answers, bubbling in, and free response. 

All reading passages are available in 3 formats. 

  • Easy Reading with 1 sentence per line.
  • Comprehension passage.
  • Fluency passages with numbers.
These formats also feature the OPTION to have parents sign off in the corner for homework use. 

Learning to tie your shoes is a freaking "Back to School" MUST HAVE. 

 The Laces Poem is a perfect passage for your 1st and Second Graders! 


Because every first or second grader has had to learn (or is still learning) to tie their shoes. 

I have included a full writing unit to help your students write the "perfect paragraph" including that tricky sense of closure! 

It's differentiated for 1st-2nd. The darling art will bring this unit to life, delight your learners, and make your classroom beautiful!

We memorize this together over the month. 

At the end of the month I allow them to recite. 

Farmer, Farmer, What Do You See? is a perfect passage for early readers because it is:

  • Modeled after Brown Bear, Brown Bear
  • Pictures on every line
  • Easy writing and art


If they love Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 

then they will LOVE THIS!


The adorable art makes a beautiful bulletin board and  showcases the learning happening in your classroom!

Checking for Understanding: 

Now let's talk about back to school checking for understanding.

The kids are TOTAL squirrels this time of year and if we cannot make things engaging we will lose them and experience behaviors we don't want. 

Enter these FREE true and false cards.  

These True/False or Yes/No cards are a quick, fun and easy way to have kids show their understanding. 

And they are FREE

Here's how I use them: 

  • Say a statement
  • They show their card to answer. 
  • Cards are not folded, they are rotated to show yes or no to your statements. 
  • Little kids eat this up, and since I use them only about 1x a week they stay novel and super fun!
  • Keep a class set near your carpet time area and quickly pass these out to check for understanding.
  • PRO Tip: Have kids hold the card near their chest so that they cannot see the other kids' answers and you actually have a very fast informal assessment!
  • Just print, laminate and go!

 Homework Folders:

Kill me now... they are a lot of work. 
But they are less work with this
I call my folders "kid helpers", not "homework folders" because we use them in class too! 

These are what my students use every day in class and at home. I placed these pages into sheet protectors, and that makes them erasable and reusable if the kids use an Expo marker. These folder activities and reference pages rock!

This is a freebie (for now), but will become a paid product SOON. Enjoy!

Moveable / Useable Sound Wall

  • I have my sound cards hanging off of a push pin.
  • I can grab sounds and the kids can build words using our real sound cards! 
  • Getting the cards back up on the wall is less of a mystery because I have small circles up on the wall to mark their place. 
    • It's not like it's hard to put the cards back, but this allows me to not have to think about it.

I use these to make my phonics wall interactive! Now we can do making words activities with our giant phonics cards. Talk about fun!


ABC and Digraphs are the only cards included. This freebie is not editable.

Sight Words

Benchmark Advance and Dolch sight words.

This sight word program comes in two versions. 

Version 1: Benchmark Advance First grade words spread over 30 lists. 

Version 2: Benchmark Advance words plus bonus words spread over 30 lists. I use the second version because I wanted to add in bonus words that help students learn those tricky contractions, math words and more.


This program focuses on reading growth and also helping children experience less stress while being tested. How you ask? Check out the preview for a quick explanation with pictures.

I have them for Benchmark Advance and Dolch Words.

This sweet little freebie can be used to support or coordinate with Benchmark Community Helpers Unit 1, Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Showing Texas and Florida Love. I hope you enjoy these pages that are perfect for 1st grade readers.

Page 1- I Can Help:

Defines community

Page 2- Am I Helping?:

Kids read and sort short scenarios

Page 3: We Can Help

Read and Match- Easy reading comprehension

Download, enjoy and come back to tell me how much you like it!

Other Shared Reading Options: 

Community Helpers is a perfect passage for early readers!

  • One sentence per line
  • Picture clues on each line to help your youngest readers.


Wash Your Hands - Germs is a perfect passage for early readers! One sentence per line and picture clues to help your youngest readers.

  • 1st grade July, Aug, September
  • Kindergarten Spring
  • Spring 1st grade / Second Grade more complex passage is provided


Better Printing FREEBIE Journal Paper

Looking for paper that helps your students print more neatly? You have found it with this freebie!

Illustrative Math

Illustrative Math for First Grade

The unit is for extra practice / homework and is carefully designed to be Illustrative Math friendly.


Extra Practice / Homework

  • 1 extra practice page per lesson
  • Supports vocabulary
  • Lesson format is extended here
  • Supports game-play
  • Can be sent home as homework or used in class
  • Can also be used as a quiz
  • Can be used outside of the IM program as standards-based math practice.

Will you be making other units?

  • Yes!
  • I need this extra practice as much as you do!
  • I plan to post a unit every few weeks.

Will you bundle?

  • Yes, but I will not bundle until all the units are completed.
  • Please enjoy them "hot off the press" until then.

Free Resource: Manners in the Bathroom!

  • Do the little kids on your campus often struggle with how to behave in the bathroom?
  • Mine do!
  • They scream, run into the WRONG bathroom on purpose!
  • They don't flush because their parents do that for them in a public restroom
  • The bathroom crisis is endless. This book was written to help!


  • We have to remember that most first graders came from kinder classrooms with a private bathroom. 
  • This means that many of our first graders have never been in a public bathroom alone. 
  • This FREE book teaches them how to be quietclean, and safe
  • There is even a little poem at the end of the book that helps them bring it all together.

Check Your PLAN:

PLAN is a classroom management quick phrase from Teacher to the Core.  Come to the blog to see how she turns the amazing freebie into a fun game called Noodles.

Want a freebie that cuts down on the amount of teacher nagging you have to do? This is it! Nobody wants to nag so acronyms really help.

  • I simply teach the acronym PLAN and it helps my students get into a self-controlled learning mode
  • I teach the WHOLE acronym day 1, then spend time focusing on each letter for the next 4 days of school.
  • Before I release them to do anything, I say check your PLAN or PLAN to "do it right" as I point to the chart.
  • When they are at the carpet or their desk, I say, "Oh! Nice PLAN" or "Check your PLAN" if a child needs redirecting.
  • It works wonders!
  • It also helps me give out PBIS points. 

Good PLAN = Me giving a compliment and students earning points.

I print these posters at Staples. 

You can even make this into a game! I call it Noodles: 

  • Tell the kids to "check your PLAN".
  • The should fall into the expected behaviors.
  • Then say "noodles" 
  • Kids act like noodles without falling on the floor or touching others. 
  • Then you say "Check your PLAN" and they come back into the expected behaviors. 
  • So this game takes seconds to play. It still takes seconds even if you are playing a few rounds, but the impact is JOYFUL and effective!
  • Times to play Noodles with your class:
    • In line
    • At desks
    • At the carpet
    • Before an assembly is starting and other classes are filing into the auditorium. Parents love to see kids having fun with their teacher while still learning how to "do things right". 
    • Anytime. This a way to review expected behaviors without nagging or taking up valuable time.

Teacher to the Core is a first grade teacher author who brings you the best resources
Well that was a LONG POST but I sure do hope you got an idea or two, LOTS of freebies, and that you "Teach With Me" this month. Click the image above to grab freebies from my store or click {HERE}

I wish you the best of luck with Back To School.

  • You ARE a Teacher to the Core of your heart.
  • You have GREAT instincts, and you have got this.
  • Trust yourself and have fun!