This post originally appeared on the blog Hollie Griffith.

I love teaching. It’s the thing that I know I’m good at. The one thing I KNOW… I think I would say that I have a gift to form relationships. To think outside the box. To create engaging resources. And…. to ignite a passion for learning. I’ve taught for 14 years and, besides the learning curve at the beginning of my career, I would consider myself a good teacher. At least, I feel that I know the answers or can research to find the answers. On the other hand, this parenting thing is NO JOKE. Most of the time I’m on the struggle train… I pray that I’m doing the right things and often times find myself on my knees in prayer. This girl here.. my oldest… Sophie.. she is my worrier. She has this anxiety that creeps out and I don’t know how to fix it! She always wants to do the right thing, she hates to be the center of attention, and she is a perfectionist. I’m pretty sure she gets the perfectionism from me and the worries from her father. Overall, it’s not a good mix when you put those ingredients together. This week, it’s resulted in uncontrollable tics after school. I’m not a worrier…. but my children sure have brought out the worries in me! I’m guessing that many of you can relate… Parenting is HARD! You think you’re doing the right thing and something comes along to make you think you’ve done it all wrong.

I know Sophie will get through this and I’m guessing that it will make her stronger. It’s my job to teach her that everyone makes mistakes, fails, falls on their face… but the key is getting back up. To remind her to have fun and that it will be okay if she accidentally forgets to write her name on her paper and has to clip down…. which is her current worry… I want her to learn that she doesn’t always have to be the best, that there’s going to be people better than her, but her job is to get up… keep trying… and be the best that she can be. Most of all I want her to NOT BE AFRAID TO FAIL!

And then… as I was thinking about Sophie…. That’s exactly what I want from my students. I want them to feel safe to take risks. I want them to fail, because that’s what will make them stronger. I want them to learn from their failures! I mean… who can be right ALL THE TIME? AND I really want them to HAVE FUN… To love coming to school to learn!

SO…. now that I got that out of the way… I’m going to share what we’ve been learning about this week.. AND it’s been all about sentences and apples. But I’m going to save everything apples for another day… ha.

I started off the week with an anchor chart… I’ve been using clipart to save time and it’s been great! My students came up with the key and the sentences. Of course we had to use red and green because when it’s apple week…. EVERYTHING is red and green!

I used these sentence scrambles for one of our literacy stations. My kids loved it!

On Tuesday, I gave all of my students a card. They found partners by matching a naming part of a sentence to a telling part of a sentence. They always have fun with partner work and they really enjoyed the silly sentences.

On Wednesday, they wrote sentences about Johnny appleseed. They underlined the subject in green and predicate in red. I forgot to take a picture… so here is the example that I made when I created this unit! ha.

We also made these really fun Sentence or Fragment FoldUp books. I didn’t forget to take a picture of these…

On Thursday, we learned to expand sentences by using adjectives and conjunctions…

This week we’re going to be learning about the different types of sentences…

On Monday we’re going to complete this interactive notebook page

Then, we’re going to play a really fun partner game.

On Tuesday, we’re playing SCOOT! My students LOVE moving around the room! Sometimes I get silly and put the task cards in tricky places. When they find a card, they write the correct answer on their recording sheets. I know some teachers make students move around the room at the same time… I just let my kids go for it and I tape the cards on the walls and around the room in no particular order. It actually works great!

On Wednesday, we’re going to make types of sentences mini FoldUp books.

On Thursday, we’re going to be changing statements to questions.

AND… I’m super excited about this cute spider craft that we’re going to be doing on Friday! I think I’m going to put them on our bulletin board so I’ll update with a picture!

**Update…. our spiders turned out SO CUTE…

You can find all of these activities in my Sentence Building Unit Here.

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Hollie Griffith is a first grade teacher and curriculum designer. She has a passion for creating literacy resources that are imbedded in research, rigorous, and FUN! The foundation of Hollie’s resources are formed on her belief that all students should have the opportunity to set goals and experience success in school. You can learn all about her favorite teaching strategies at her website. You can also visit her store on Teachers Pay Teachers and follow her on Instagram and Facebook to see daily glimpses into her life in first grade.