Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Not a Cake Job.....

I'm telling you...
First, I never thought any job in the teaching field was a cake job, but I have "friends" who think that this my new job title is a cake job. It's not...granted I don't have to do grades, take attendance/lunch count, or new this year--have breakfast in my room, but it is quite busy.  I have to stay organized to remember what's what and who's who.  I start my day out with a planning period (because I'm not taking attendance/lunch count/etc) but then BOOM!  It keeps you on your toes.  I have to adjust my mindset just a bit and remember that I just worked with first and I have third graders following.

Then the planning, oh the planning!   I'm finding this to be my hardest part of the year so far.  I'm not sure if it's because it's new, if it's because I have a variety of grade levels or if it's hard because I have a variety of students from various teachers and I'm not sure what all has been covered in class prior to them coming to me.

So what do we do?  We play games and work on sight words! ;) Well, for reading anyway. 

Okay, so we still do WORK, but I want them to have a love for reading....to enjoy reading...to do well on those silly assessments that the state makes us take. 

Speaking of silly little assessments, our third graders will be taking a test next month.
I'm hoping they do well.  Here is what we're doing to prepare during intervention with 3rd grade.

We are beginning our reading time with a Grammar Minute.
Click the picture to see this on Amazon.

 *Side note, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE these books.  I've used them in 1st, 2nd and now 3rd grade and for grammar AND math! Perfect quick little activity.

Then this week, we are working on an Aesop Fable from this book.
Click on the image above to see this on Amazon.

What I like about this book is it offers comprehension, grammar and reading skills.  A focus of this week is TTQA (Turn the Question Around).

(Another side note--a couple years ago when I was teaching 2nd with one of my coworkers, we wrote a song to TTQA to the tune of Turn the Beat Around.  If I could sing, I'd record it for you!) ;)

Here's a picture of my wonderful third graders working hard for me.  Yes, they wanted to use the witch fingers.  Apparently I can keep my first grade mind set...thank goodness.  :)
 I grabbed my witch fingers from Micheal's, but here's a decent price on them. 
The colored overlays I've had for YEARS.  I'm not sure where I picked them up...maybe really good stuff?  Amazon has some too.

I have two groups of first graders.  
We are working on alphabet letters, sounds, sight words and phonics skills.
Here we are doing an activity from my PrePrimer Dolch Pack.

Another activity that are using is an alphabet matching game. 
It comes from this set. 

The great thing about this product that I made last year, it works 
for both my first and 2nd grade groups.
Here's a picture of my 2nd graders working on a sorting activity from the above pack.

Yes, they are also working on Pre-Primer Dolch Words and it is going well.
They have mastered nine words since last week.  I'm impressed with them! :)

My Kindergarten groups haven't started yet. 
I'm a little nervous (okay SCARED) of when that time comes!
Kindergarten teachers, you deserve a RAISE!!

In math, I have K, 1 and 2.  Again, K hasn't started.
In first grade we are working on Part-Part-Whole and telling Addition Stories.
 I'm so grateful for My Cute Graphics so I can can completely change my lesson plans last minute if a better idea pops up! :) 
Here the students were telling joining stories about cookies and cupcakes-
--not sure where that idea came from!

We also used lemonade mix and water as a part-part-whole lesson.
It went over VERY well.  We discussed that I couldn't have a full pitcher of lemonade without adding the two parts.  We related it back to making cookies...all parts have to be there, and when we add, it's the same way.  We have to have two parts of a number to make the Whole number.
At the end of the lesson, they were chanting
____ is the first part.  _____ is the other part.  ______ is the whole.
We used numbers smaller than 10 so we could demonstrate on our fingers. 
Our arms were extended palm side up with the number showing on both sides as we said the chant.
We then brought our arms together when we said _____ is the whole.

I really think they understood the terms of part part whole.
We did an Anchor Chart---not my forte.

As for my 2nd graders, we are working on place value to 1000 currently.
I had freebies to share with you, but I did it on my school computer.
It was nothing fancy, but it was simple and effective.

I wanted them to write out the number of ones needed to make a ten, the number of tens needed to make a hundred, the number of hundreds needed to make a thousand.  We wrote about the terms ones, tens, and hundreds.  We also wrote about their other name units, rods, flats.

I can't say it was like an interactive notebook because it was done just on regular paper.  I would love to do notebooks with my kiddos, but my groups may change based on student needs.  So we just do what works for now! :)

Oh yeah, we did an Anchor Chart too---again, not my forte.

Tomorrow we are working on creating our own numbers using graham crackers, pretzel sticks and cheerios.  (Graham crackers=100, pretzel sticks=10, and cheerios=1)

So if you made it this far, and you are teaching little ones, perhaps you can use these freebie.
 If you like this game, there are some similar games in the literacy pack. 

*I would love to hear how your school year is going!!  Please share in the comments! :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Guided Reading and Intervention with Freebies! :)

My Classroom Door! (Perhaps more pictures to come at a later date!)
For those of you that weren't aware, I changed jobs this year. I am now a Title One Reading and Math Teacher for grades K-3.  It is definitely a change, but I feel that it is a positive one in my life.  I have to admit, I was sad at Open House when I didn't have a new group of kiddos to come see me.  However, my old littles stopped in and gave me hugs and I'm a familiar face to some kiddos in other grades that I work with, so that is making me feel special of course! :)

I haven't had a chance to take a lot of pictures with what I'm doing in class.  I've been busy collecting data, doing running records, checking sight words, helping with AR testing, working with some AIMS assessments, assisting Kindergarten (God bless you Kindergarten teachers!).  I was starting to see data points in my sleep.  Luckily that is over and I've been able to get some kiddos in my room and we've been working hard.

First, here's a snapshot of my day:

 Here's what the third grade group is working on.

This is a Soar to Success book, but I created work for our group based off the skills I saw in the book.
 *SO thankful that hubby drives so I can plan in the car...we lead a busy life in this household!

Seeing how I've never taught 3rd grade, I wasn't quite sure which direction to go when planning my lessons, what phonics skills they still needed, what reading skills they needed to practice, etc...so I just pretended to know what I was doing.  :)

First, I LOVE this story, so that helped. After rereading the story to myself, I went through and checked out the skills I felt I could tie into the book.

Then I created a little packet for each kiddo.

 If any of this looks like things you could use with your students,
 please click HERE to download your Freebie set.

With my 2nd graders, unfortunately we are working on beginning first grade skills.
This is a snapshot of some of the things we are working on this week.
These are the "popcorn" words we are working on for intro/review.

We talked about why I chose to use popcorn pictures on their cards, and how sight words keep popping up in books they read.  I explained how it is important that they practice those words daily at home as well. Then, I made little booklets with their sight words to practice writing the word, and using it in a sentence.  Here is an example using the word come.

 We used sight word stories from the Pre-Primer Dolch packet, and I gave them a sight word to practice from the pack as well. This was something they could do at home on their own as well.  Many don't have the support that they need.

And what's all this practice without a little more fun?
How about a spinner game? :)

If you like the game and flashcards, you can click HERE
If you like the sight word cut ups and sentences you can click HERE

My kindergarten group will be working on some visual recognition activities.
You can see it more in detail on TpT. 
Here's a preview pic. 

You can download a sample in the preview. 
Click HERE to be redirected to TpT.

 I hope to have more resources, samples and freebies as this year gets a rollin'....for now, I hope you enjoy the ones I've shared! :)  
Have a happy week!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Phoneme Substitution Activity-with Dollar Tree Resources

We all know that I LOVE Dollar Tree.  I can't go in without finding something to use, or coming out with something and trying to find a way to use it.  *Side note:  Dollar Tree is supposed to save me money, right?  I don't think I "save" when I go in! ;)  Moving on....

This week, I popped in and found these great little trays.
I thought how PERFECT for CVC words for small group. 
 Each section has a compartment for practicing segmenting and blending the words.  
We also use Fundations in my building.  
This is a GREAT way to get my students to tap out the words, and hearing the sounds as they tap out. 

After purchasing this, I thought why not make a mini-lesson/station activity to keep reinforcing the skills that my students have a hard time with. I came up with this.
 This pack only focuses on beginning and ending sound substitution using the medial vowel a.
Also included in this pack are the glued sounds of -am and -an.  The nasal sounds are hard for my students to distinguish, so they are included at the end of the pack.

What the student will do:
Students will study the first picture and state what letter needs to be changed to create the next picture.  I like to ask if it is the beginning of the word, what letter needs to be changed, and what the new letter should be. This activity should be done orally, but I also like to encourage the use of manipulative letters for spelling as well. 

How to Prep the Activities:
The activities are very easy to prep.  
They are great for mini-lessons, reviews, and then you can place the cards
 at a work station for independent use.
First print out the pages from the activity.  
Laminate, if desired, for durability and longevity.

Cut the strips apart lengthwise, but leave the word intact. 

Fold the word under and clip it with a clothespin.
This allows a self-checking station for students.

When placing at a station, you could even use the plastic trays that look like the image below.
Letter tiles, letter cards, or magnetic letters can be used to build the words.

Now, it has been a LONG time since I've video taped myself with a lesson.
(I hate being watched in the classroom...when my principals have asked if they could have someone observe me...I usually just smile at them and shake my head no really fast lol  I FREEZE up and everything when I'm observed)
I also had to beg my son to help me out with it as well--
and to pretend that he was a K or firstie in this lesson.
And I was nervous the whole time (as I kept repeating myself), but I thought a video may be helpful on how to use the Dollar Tree divide trays with the letter tiles and suggestions for the mini-lessons.

But here goes:
If you're interested in trying out this activity, click the image below to download it for FREE on TpT!
Phoneme Substitution-First Grade and Fabulus

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer and Review

We, as teachers, know the importance of reviewing with our children.  My son doesn't realize how lucky he is that mommy is prepping him for that silly state test he has to take next year.  I truly believe he will do well, but he is NOT wanting to do school work at all.  I don't blame him.  I was a kid once....many years ago...but I was a kid.  I think that's hard for him to believe. ;)

He thinks he's supposed to stay in PJs, fix breakfast, play on the computer, watch a little TV, play on the Wii or Playstation, eat an early lunch, put on swimming trunks, swim for a little bit, come back in, shower, eat, and repeat.  Sounds like a plan--but no. I've told him to get up, make the bed, get dressed, eat breakfast--you know all the "grown up things."  Now he goes to bed at night and says "Are we going anywhere?"  Because if not---he seems to think it's silly to get out of PJs if he is going to be swimming later.  Maybe he thinks he's saving on the laundry...I don't know?

Anyway--I've been working with him--but then my friend, a K teacher, asked if I'd help her son
that's going into 2nd grade.  (What is it with teachers and making their kids work, right?)
Her son is bright, but she wanted to make sure he understood regrouping before going into 2nd grade.  I began tutoring him.  The first day I quizzed and assessed.  He knew his math facts.  We reviewed counting by 10s from any number (4, 14, 24, 34, etc). 

We worked on adding sets of tens to a number in picture form, using a hundred chart,
 mental math, etc.  Then we went to regrouping.  He did great.

I just wanted to share a few things that we worked on.
Because this was for tutoring, it's a very small sample.  

His mom stayed with me as I worked with him.  
She enjoyed the lesson, I think.  

*Side note, I had an interview this same day.  She told me I should've taped the lesson 
to show at my interview.  I didn't, of course.  But I did take a sample of this with me in my portfolio. 
The principal took it out of the sheet protectors and asked questions about how to use it.
I think that was a good thing that he was interested. :)  Plus side, it even had student work on it because I literally took the same things we were working on for tutoring.  I explained that to the principal too.  I hope that's a good thing? ;)

As we were finishing up our lesson for the day, I showed him that he could do his own math problems at home just using what he had around the house.  

* Using dice, roll two dice and create a two-digit number. 
(Let's say we roll a 5 and a 6.  We can make 56 or 65.  Either number is fine.)
Write the number down.  Repeat.
Add the two numbers together.

*Using a deck of cards, flip over two and create a two-digit number.
(The Kings, Queens and Jacks can be removed OR you can count them as a ten for higher level thinking.  Aces are worth one. If you flip over a 4 and a 9, you can create 49 or 94.)
Write the number down.  Repeat.
Add the two numbers together.

*Using a set of dominoes, choose a domino and create a two-digit number.
(For example, you draw a domino that has a 6 on one side and a 1 on the other.  
You can create the number 61 or 16.)
Write the number down.  Repeat.
Add the two numbers together.

This provides practice for the student on writing the math problems 
and aligning them in the tens and ones place. 

If you're interested in the activities above, the center type games, you can click on the image below.
Summer Fun and Review
Thanks to Melonheadz, Maree Trulove, and the Bubbly Blonde 
for the cute graphics in this little freebie.  

*The cover pic is my own little guy---goodness, he's not so little anymore. 
Where does the time go?

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