Reading Wonders in First Grade

My school, the entire state of Hawaii actually, has adopted the Reading Wonders basal program this year.  My school is in full swing of implementation and we've gone through a little trial and error figuring it out.

The writing component has been the hardest for me.  I feel that my kids need a lot more than what is presented in the book.  We started the year having to teach the program with fidelity, so I started making units to supplement but that aligned.

We also need to have a focus wall.  I wanted to incorporate pocket charts so I'm not putting tons of holes in my boards or holes in my posters and cards.  You can see that I started off by hand writing my spelling cards and the essential question.  I also used the sight word cards that came with my materials, but I didn't like that there wasn't picture support or a sentence for context.

 Here is my focus wall after I made things the way I wanted them.  I still hand write my essential question just because of space.  But I like that element of non-laminateness.  That's a word, right? ;)

I'm happy that I'm able to re-use some of my old materials from 2nd grade, like my schedule cards.

And my jobs chart.

I also put up my 1-4 assessment posters to help introduce our writing rubric.  The kids were able to catch on a lot faster with these visuals of what writing looks like at each level.

My writing and Word Work materials for Daily 5 are below this wall.  In the drawers, I have various Word Work materials, such as play dough sight words.

And sight word stamping sheets.

For writing, I have staples and date stamps in the bottom bucket, and word cards in the top bucket.  The kids can practice the words on whiteboards, use them to help get ideas, or use them to help spell correctly.

I'm definitely tweaking things as I go, as I learn more about my students, and as I grow more familiar with the program.  So far, though, this is what has been working for me.  I'm a little slow to get my weekly units up, but that's only because I'm a perfectionist and it takes me forever to create things! So please be patient with me :)

If you are interested in any of the units above, here is where you can find them:
Wonders Unit 1 Focus Wall
Wonders Unit 2 Focus Wall
Schedule Cards
Jobs Chart
Assessment Posters
Wonders Unit 1 Printable Bundle (also available by week if you don't want to commit to the whole bundle at once)
Caitlin's FREE Word Work and Writing Cards
Stephanie's Flash Fluency Bundle

And here's a freebie for all my Wonders peeps - Editable Newsletters! I've only created up to Unit 3 (remember, I have to create as I go) but I'll upload the new templates as soon as I make them for you.  I hope they help you stay organized and connected to your students' parents!


  1. Your focus wall looks great! I'm glad I'm not the only one who worries about putting too many holes in walls and boards. And for the record, non-laminateness is a perfectly acceptable word. I would vote it into the dictionary!

  2. I think your focus wall looks great also! And such a lovely classroom. I'll be starting the new school year in 2 weeks in a new class. I don't know whether I'm excited or dreading unpacking the boxes!
    Look forward to reading more from you.

  3. We're about to begin Reading Wonders this year. We've always taken the reading books home, but our new Reading Wonders books are paperback!! How do you manage the books? Do they keep them in their desk or in a central location?

    1. I hated that they were paperback! I kept them in student book boxes.

  4. Hoping you can help me out?! Our school is looking into adopting a new reading series for the next six years and we are on the "struggle bus"! We are voting K-4th grade and it is a tie as of now. We are between Journeys and Wonders. What are your thoughts?
    Jackie in Oklahoma

  5. Hello! Your materials are fabulous! What is the bundle that I need to purchase for the vocabulary, spelling & sight words cards that include the pictures?? Thanks for sharing your goodies!

  6. Where can I get the sight words with the pictures?