Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12 Days of Freebies Countdown

Welcome to Day 9 of the Christmas countdown.  I do hope you're able to use the things I've shared.
Today's countdown freebie comes from My Christmas with a Cat Unit. 
 It involves using this WONDERFUL book.

I just love the Splat Books, don't you?

I created a mini-unit for my sub to use last year at Christmas time.
My kiddos loved their Splat Craft that was with it.
I also enjoyed seeing them hanging in the hall when I returned.
They were cute!

I thought I'd share a little page from this unit for you.
It's a comprehension check.
Merry Christmas Splat Freebie-First Grade and Fabulous
 If you'd like to use this for your class, click the image above.

 If you'd like to check out the unit, you can click the image below. 
Christmas with a cat-First Grade and Fabulous

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kindergarten RTI lesson and a Christmas Freebie

I love my little group of kinders, but sometimes I wonder what the heck I'm doing.  Kindergarten is NEW territory for me and well, I want to make sure that I'm doing what's best for them and their needs.  Though we focus on letter recognition, and letter sounds daily, we've have also been talking  about words and letters within words.

Before I explain this activity above, please note that 
1) I'm a Title Teacher now (though I've taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades.)
2) Many of my kiddos are not exposed to nursery rhymes stories, fingerplays 
or fine motor activities before starting school.
3) Some have a language delay...
My list of things could go on with why my activities may seem simple to others.
But it is at the developmental needs of my students, 
and hey--they are making gains! :)

When we did the activity above it was a mini-lesson to gather what my students knew.
I only had TWO of my kiddos this day.  TWO!
So I "winged it".

I started with the word the.  I wrote it on a sentence strip and gave it to both students.
I said this is a word.  It has three letters. Count the letters.  They agreed that they saw three letters.
On a different color sentence strip, I wrote the word the again and cut it apart.  
I said these are the three letters that are in the word "the."
Build the word the.  And they did. 

We repeated this activity for the words cat, is, and black. 

I said each one of these green letter strips make a word.  
Each one of the pink words together form a sentence.
I wrote down the sentence on a separate colored paper strip.
We added a dot to each word and counted the words.  
Then they built the sentence.

They quickly saw that letters make words, and words come together to build a sentence.

I kinda liked this quick little activity.  It went over well with my lil kiddos too.
It's a hard concept for some to grasp.

You know what else is hard...ALPHABETICAL order.
But my kiddos LOVED this ativity.
Based off of their enthusiasm, I knew I had to share it with you.

I was originally going to make a Christmas pack of station activities and put them on FB,
but because I'm such a last minute Lucy, I thought maybe you could use it now.

How I played this little activity in my small group.
1) I placed the letter cards face down in a pile.  On their turn students chose one.
2) They had to name the letter for me.  
3) We wrote the letter down in the first light.  I always said the yellow light.

4) We used the alphabet chart as needed to help us complete our strip.
They had to write the next three letters in the sequence.

 **When we used the alphabet strip, I told them to tell me when to stop as I came to the letter.
This helped them skim and scan quickly as well.
My little group is very well behaved and always quiet, but this activity broke them out of their shell just a bit.  The excitement by the 2nd go on the alphabet strip was just to much.  They were shouting (happily) STOP when I got to our letter. They were rereading the letters on their strips.

The excitement, engagement and the learning process that took place on this activity was awesome.
You want a copy?
Check it out. 

There are two I Can posters depending on how you want to use it (With or without a recording sheet)

 9 Letter Cards (with a number on each in case you choose to use the recording sheet)
Light Strands--I laminated them and had the students write on top.
One of my sweeties said, Really--we can just write on top of them and that's okay? :)
Yep---it's like magic! :)

 And the recording sheet should you choose to use it.

If this looks like a station you can use, click the image below to download.
Kindergarten RTI freebie

Monday, December 8, 2014

Winter World Holidays

You all know how much I LOVE Reading A-Z.  It is just the best!  I love being able to give my students a book, that they can keep.  One we can take notes in, highlight, underline, etc. 

AND---I like the variety of levels right there at my fingertips.

*Side note---I get discouraged seeing where other students are when I look into other classrooms via blogs.  My kiddos (not all, but a lot) are not where other students in other classrooms are.
AND it's not because I'm a Title Teacher now.  
They weren't there last year, or the year before.
I work hard.  My kids work hard. 
It's not that I don't challenge them.  
They just move at a different pace.
They make huge gains through the year, just at a different pace.

Which brings me back to this quote.

I felt I needed that little side note because then if I'm talking about an activity and it seems below level, that's because my kiddos are still working on getting caught up.  They will--but in their time! :)

Moving on--my Third Graders are working on a World Holiday book.
This book can be found on Reading A-Z.
My third grade group is new to me as my schedule was rearranged 
so that I could service more students.  I chose a book that was a bit below level for two reasons.
One, I didn't know what their level was, and two non-fiction is harder to read.
This book was a good fit for them for reading, but they struggled with comprehension.
We went back and located information, reread, discussed, reread some more.
Having them go back and REREAD is like pulling teeth. 
Soo, I thought why not review the vocabulary again with a game of Read and Write.
They aren't too big.  
This will be a great way to get them to go back and review the vocabulary word 
and REREAD the text.  
Friends...let me tell you...they struggled a bit with this.

*Mind you I've only had them for 2 days now, so we will get this problem fixed.
They enjoyed the activity.  They were up and moving.
It had them discussing their answers, rereading and PROVING their answer.

I tell them that reading is the only subject you can cheat in.
You can always go back and find your answer or find proof to help you determine your answer.

Here's my cute little group doing our Read and Write.

 If your class is studying World/Winter Holidays, or if you're using Reading A-Z, perhaps you'd like this freebie.  It's a Riddle Page for Write the Room.
Winter Holiday Freebie-First Grade and FabulousWinter Holiday Freebie-First Grade and Fabulous

Just click on the image above.  
Special thanks to Educlips for the cute Snowmen!! :)

The days of Christmas freebies countdown is dwindling down....
I hope you've enjoyed them! :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Differentiated Reader--Lil (BIG) Freebie

A blast from the past---like I went back to my first days of blogging around Christmas
Back to 2011!
Sounds like such a long time ago.
That's part of the fun of blogging.
It gives you a chance to see where your students were year to year.
It gives you ideas of what you were doing.
It helps you create new ones.
It gives you a diary of your classroom.
 Yes, that's one of the best things about blogging.
 Well, that and being able to share and gather ideas. :)

So where was I?
Oh yes---a blast from the past.

I was going through some old posts and came across this great quote.
 I shared it last year. 
 It still hits home today as we've been working on doing more caring acts in our household. 
Today my son decided he wanted our Christmas act to be the police station.
So we attached this little note and some filled boxes from our local donut shop.
  These kind acts are getting all of us in the spirit of giving.
So to continue with the season of giving, I bring you another Freebie.
It is an older freebie, but the kids have always enjoyed my "little stories" I create.
I think maybe it's because I was the author.  They get a kick out of me being an author. :)

Several years ago (2011)
I wrote this little rhyming story for my students
I recreated it last year to hit various abilities in my classroom.
I wanted to share it again with all of you.
You can click the image below to grab your copy.
It contains a projectable book and 3 versions of the story.
Christmas Reader-First Grade and Fabulous
 Enjoy! :)

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