Saturday, July 4, 2015

Spotlight Saturday

This week we are so very excited to be able to join Erin at Kindergarten Dragons for her linky party, "Spotlight Saturday!"
This Saturday, we would like to "spotlight"
the author of  the "Mrs. B's First Grade" blog, Sarah Barnett, who is from Highland Park, Illinois.  Sarah has been teaching for ten years: five in kindergarten and five in first grade.  She is the only first grade teacher at her school!  (Bless her heart!)  In 2011, Sarah began blogging about her classroom experiences.  

During the first "Two Truths and A Lie: Tell All Tuesday" we were fortunate to have guessed Sarah's lie correctly and won her, "My Reading Toolbelt" pack!
 Included in this pack is:
1. One full-page, student resource with the eight strategies listed
2. Two bookmark-sized, student resource with the eight strategies listed
3. One two-page explanation of each of the eight strategies

Sarah has used some of the cutest ideas for teaching students reading strategies.  We just LOVE the idea of having students "reach into their toolbelts" for strategies to help them figure out tricky words.  

The strategies Sarah gives to students to put in their "toolbelts" are:
1. Look at the Picture
2. Look for Words Within Words 
3. Stretch and Reread
4. Cross-Check
5. Chunk Letters or Sounds
6. Flip the Sound
7. Look for Word Families
8. Skip the Word and Go Back/Back Up and Reread
We have been super eager to begin using these in our classrooms.  We have planned out how we are going to use these resources this year.  Below are our ideas for teaching and using them.

A) Small Group Resource Bins and Classroom Poster - Whole Page Strategy Resource

B) Table Resource Bins and Reading Briefcases - Bookmark-sized Resource

C) Parent Resource - Explanation of Strategies

As we teach our students to read, it is critical that they have many resources to pull from.  Knowing where to look to find answers, helps build the confidence of beginning readers.  We give our students many resources and often will respond to questions with, "Please look at your resources!"  It is a MUST for our students to know how to search for answers on their own.  By knowing where to look, our distractions are minimized, their confidence is built up, and students can more quickly "get" an answer; rather than having to wait for us to stop our instruction and give the answer.  Sarah's packet is a fabulous addition to our long list of class resources!

We are just so excited about implementing these strategies and resources into our classrooms this year.  Sarah, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your hard work and for constructing such a high-quality packet.  

If you would like to take a look at Sarah's "My Reading Toolbelt", please visit her TPT store here:
This packet is only $2.00, and is worth every cent!  

Also, Sarah has several other fabulous creations for sale in her TPT store.  Please stop by and take a look at what she offers.  There are some really awesome things!  She has created some AWESOME QR code Read Aloud activities…along with many other great packs!

Take a minute to stop by and visit Sarah's blog: Mrs. B's First Grade.  Follow her on Instagram by finding @MrsSarahBarnett.  If you are on twitter, follow her class account by following @Mrs.B'sFirstGrade.  On Facebook, "like" her page, Mrs. B's First Grade.  

Thank you to Erin, at Kindergarten Dragons, for hosting such a fun linky party!  If you, too, would like to spotlight one of your favorites; please visit Erin's blog to find out how. 


  1. Super Cool! Thank you so much for sharing! Yes, I agree Sarah is so awesome sauce! These are great strategies for our tool belt! I love the graphics and how to incorporate fun with reading! Thank you as well Ashley and Brooklynn for making our day so happy!

    1. Yes! She is the BOMB! We love the thoughtfulness she puts into her products!
      Thank you for stopping by!
      Ashley and Brooklynn

  2. This is SO incredibly sweet!! This post and your words mean so much to me. I am honored that you chose me to write about and flattered by the compliments. I feel so not worthy!! I am so glad that you are excited to use my packet and see many areas to incorporate it in your classrooms. I hope your students enjoy it as much as mine! Thanks again, Ashley and Brooklynn!! XOXO

    1. No, THANK YOU! We are so excited to be able to use this resource this year. We KNOW our kiddos will love it! We just love your products! Thank you for all you do!
      Much love,
      Ashley and Brooklynn