Friday, March 20, 2015

Literacy Freebies by Cecelia Magro I Love First Grade

Hello, I am Cecelia Magro of I Love First Grade.  I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this new blog and know I will learn a lot, too.

A Little About Myself:

I have been teaching for 20 years.  I've taught in Colorado, New York, and New Jersey --that is 5 school districts and 6 schools.  I have been teaching first grade for 11 years but have taught special education, second,  kindergarten, and have been a literacy specialist.  I adore first grade and plan to retire teaching firsties.

My husband, Tom,  and I celebrated our 20th anniversary this past August. We met in Colorado but are both from NYC.  We actually know some of the same people but somehow never met on the East Coast.  My mom, who is a nurse, even had Tom's family members as patients in the hospital.  Small World.

  After 5 long years of infertility,  God blessed us with two beautiful children, Emily, 16, and Nick, 14.  Parenting is not easy but everyday I am thankful for Emily and Nick. 

This is Emily.  She is smart, spunky, creative, and athletic.  She spends her free time doing All Star Cheer and is on a level 5 Worlds team.  I travel a lot with her for competitions and am really looking forward to going to Florida in April for The Cheerleading Worlds.  Emily wants to be a first grade teacher when she grows up.

This is my special boy, Nick. 

Tom and I did in vitro 3 times to have Emily.  When she was 9 months old, I got pregnant and lost that baby at 4 months.  This was our 6th miscarriage.  We were shocked that we could get pregnant without doctor assistance, but we were also heartbroken.  Well...three weeks later I was having symptoms that I thought was appendicitis.  My husband took me to the hospital.  Turns out I was pregnant again but they thought it was an ectopic pregnancy and begged me to have a D and C.
We thought it could only be 2 weeks along so how could doctors even SEE anything in an ultrasound?  This was 15 years ago and ultrasounds have advanced quite a bit since then.  As a matter of fact, my geriatric pregnancies "high resolution ultrasounds" back then look primitive to today's regular ultrasounds. 
We prayed about it and decided to wait a little longer as the fetus was way too small to erupt a tube.  Two weeks later, I go to the doctor and find out the doctor's were wrong and it was a viable pregnancy.  Two weeks after that, we hear a heartbeat.  It was smooth sailing until a month after Nick's first birthday.  It was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2001.  My son stopped communicating and did not care if he was all alone.  He rocked back and forth in the corner with a shop vac he dragged into the playground listening to it's droning sound.  I knew he was autistic.  The doctors told me I was comparing him to our precocious daughter and not to worry.  But I knew.  I have my Masters Degree in Special Education and worked with children on the spectrum.  I was sure.  Eventually we got the diagnosis and have been working with him ever since.  No.  It is not easy.  Some days it absolutely stinks.  But everyday I am thankful for him and all he has taught me about life.  I have become a better person and definitely a better teacher because of our precious boy.
Having Nick has taught me how to engage all learners.  It has forced me to think outside of the box and collect a variety of tools in my tool belt. 
Because of him I do not get frustrated with differently abled students.  I find every child a challenge, a puzzle, one that I know I can solve.  It makes teaching fun and exciting.

Enough about me, how about a freebie?

I want to share this product with you.

This is from my second grade pack but I use them in guided reading groups with my high readers and whole class to teach a concept.  The best part of these is that even kiddos who struggle can access difficult text when done whole group.  And THAT is very important!

Hope you love this and come back again to visit real soon!!



  1. Thank you for sharing your story and the freebie

  2. Thank you for sharing your story! It is so fun getting to know all of you! The stories will be great for some of our reading groups! Thank you!

  3. Thank you for opening up and sharing your story. Thank you for the great freebie as well :)

  4. What a wonderful story, and thanks so much for the freebie :)