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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quick and Fun Activity

Friday at the end of the day I was  the kids were tired.  We had everything accomplished for the day, our weekly tests were over, we had no specials and we only had a few minutes left before dismissal. 

My kiddos seem to be liking the riddle activities I made for them, so I thought I'd something similar on the board...A Riddle me Word activity.  Here's how we played.

I wrote six words on the board.  I started with simple CvC words that all my students could read or tap out.  For example:

dog     cat   gum   fox   mug   pig

Then we used the back of one of our worksheets (EGADS!)or center sheets that we had in our folder.  (We reuse our papers when we can--writing words, sounds, sentences, etc)    I had the students fold their papers into fourths (I'm getting math in there too!).  Each fourth on their paper would now be for a new set of words.

After the papers were folded, and the students had time to read the words to themselves, I started giving clues to find my word.  

For example:
1) My word has 3 letters.  The students looked at me, and said, "Mrs. Davis, they all have three letters".  I said, "Choose one.  The object of this game is to get my word by the time we get to the fifth clue."  So they all wrote a word down and I went on with my next clue.
2) My word doesn't make the /uh/ sound.  My kiddos just looked at me and said, but there are three words up there.  I said okay. Choose one. :)
3) My word is an animal.  Again, the kids looked at me, and said THREE of them are animals.  I smiled, and said choose one, but now you know my word can't be two of the words up there. If you wrote one of the other words, you know now to change it.  If you had already written a word that was an animal, you can write it again for your 2nd word if you'd like. 
4) My word is an animal you could keep in the house.  They were starting to see that their choices were narrowing down. 
5) My animal barks.

By the time we got to the fifth word, they all knew it was dog and had it written on the fifth line.  
Then they wanted to do it again....so who am I to argue?  We practiced with long vowel silent e words and also sight words.  They really seemed to have fun doing it.  It was a fun way to review sounds, listening skills, and reading simple words for my struggling kids.  

I just wanted to share with you--in case you need a little filler someday. :)

Also, here's the Riddle me This activity pack I made.  It was created to provide a fun way to get my students reading and spelling.  You can check it out by clicking the image below.
Have a great night! :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Place Value and Friday Fun with Scoot

We've been working on place value with tens and ones.  When I gave my students an addition activity, some of them began to get the two mixed up. For example they were writing 9+2. When they went to write the answer, they wanted to write 92.  I think they were so used to writing 9 tens and 2 ones that they didn't think about what they were doing.  In other words, they aren't mastering something, and I need to find another activity to continue reinforcing this skill.

Then when we did our centers (which I, I mean  the kids, LOVED LOVED LOVED the St. Patty's centers this week), a few struggled with expanded form.  For example, they went back to writing 9+2 instead of 90+2.  Again, somewhere we have a missed connection.

I haven't played Scoot nearly as much this year as in past years.  I regret not doing that because this class truly loves it.  It is such a fun way to review concepts and the movement is great for my kiddos as well. Are you wondering about Scoot? If you click HERE you will find directions I put on my blog a few years ago.

Tomorrow for a Friday Fun activity we will be playing Expanded Form Scoot. 
I asked my FB followers if they preferred colored or black/white---so ASK, and you shall receive. 

 I'm hoping to create a Scoot Pack of Math Activities for Firsties, but for now, I hope you enjoy this expanded form freebie.  You can grab it by clicking on the image below!!
Expanded Form Scoot-First Grade and  Fabulous
Happy (almost) Friday Friends!! :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Differentiated Stations

Can I just say that I'm having an UBER hard time of staying on top of it all this year?  I feel like I'm a last minute Lucy.  I'm amazed at how easy it looks for others to "get it all done", but this old gal is just tuckered out each night at 9.  My kiddos are only 12 and 7, so I can only imagine how busy life gets as they get older.  Lord help me stay afloat!!

 So,if you're a last minute Lucy like me---hold on...let me change the tone.  If you are a Busy Beatrice, and also trying to get things accomplished for your class this week--check this out.

I've been working really hard on trying to differentiate my stations even more for my kiddos this year.  I have many on a Kindergarten level, and it's difficult to stay on top of it all. This pack really incorporates the skills that we are all working on.  From phonics to writing to grammar in the ELA activities and focusing on place value for math, this pack will be a winner for my students.

Basically, I extended the differentiation in an old set that I had made.  You can check it out by clicking on the image below.  

 OR--you can check it out in this video overview! :)
Forgive me, as I get nervous when doing videos--and I completely zoned out there for a second. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Literacy Afternoon

This week, I'm sure, there are MANY great things planned to promote reading. You know with the birthday celebration of the Dr. himself---it stands to be a wonderful week across the country.  In my building, we are trying to promote literacy at home as well. 

Many of you know about the area in which I teach..struggling students, and unfortunately, some struggling parents.   They so desperately want to be able to help at home, but the resources and ideas don't come as quickly to them, as they do in a home where mom or dad is a teacher.  Let's face it---our own children are so lucky to have us----EVEN IF THEY DON'T REALIZE IT! :)  We have the know how, the tools, the resources, the training to help our own kiddos, but do we really explain it to the parents of our students?  I know that I give ideas, packets, strategies during conferences and mini-conferences, or at a parent's request--but I wanted something more for my families.

Several years ago I was working in another building in my district.  I tried to hold a literacy evening.  Same idea, same concept as what we're planning this week, but it didn't pan out and I only had two parents want to attend out of THREE first grade classes.  YIKES!

So here I am again....getting this idea in my head..wanting to help my families/students.  I wanted to do it this past fall, but timing just didn't happen.  SOOO--I went to my principal a few weeks ago and told her that I wanted to do this during Read Across America week.  She agreed it was a good time, and I have my K-1 coworkers on board as well.   Little did I know that I was also roping in our Title director---thanks to her we were able to get funds for at home resources!!  WOOT WOOT!

THEN--I find out that during one of our TBTs (Teacher Based Teams) that our Superintendent was sitting in to find out what our literacy afternoon was about.  Can we say NERVOUS?  Friends, I DO NOT speak well in front of peers/coworkers/groups.  Give me a classroom full of firsties any day--just not adults!  BUT, my K-1 friends and I rocked it!  We had our Superintendent on board as well! 

It was official and we were ready to roll with our planning!
A quick overview of our afternoon:

1) It was suggested to do it during the day.  (Our students release at 3:05, but we have parents waiting to pick up their children at 2:00.)  Our afternoon will be 1:30-3:00.
2) If you feed them, they will come.  I HOPE!  (Our Superintendent called a local chip company, and they are donating chips our way.  My principal, I believe is getting pizza and pop for us.)  We are feeding them AFTER the activities. :)
3) A raffle will entice them.  (We have a discarded computer that has been cleaned up and ready to go for a giveaway.)  An entry form went home on the letter to parents.  They have to be present for their chance to win.
4) Free games/resources to use AT HOME!  

 We wanted all the activities planned to be something that was cost friendly for parents, yet fun and educational for students.  I tried to get items from the Dollar Tree, or use resources found at home where possible.  

The students and a parent will be together doing the following activities. 

Activities Planned:
1) Play Dough:

 Parents/students will be given a bag of play dough.  They will use it to form letters.  This can be used as the parent calling out a letter and the child making the letter.  It can be used as a parent giving the sound and the child making the letter that makes that sound.  It can be used to create sight words.  The play dough can be flattened and you can write words, letters, sounds with a toothpick in the play dough, use alphabet cookie cutters to cut out letters, etc.   We are sending them home with the Kool-Aid recipe seen below (you can click the image to grab you a copy). 
Play Dough Recipe
 And they will also take home a small sample of play dough to get them started.
2) Newspaper Activities: Our community gets a free advertiser every weekend.  The paper can be used in so many ways.  A letter sort, sound sort, picture sorts, spelling activities can all be used with the newspaper, and this is just a few ways to put the paper to use.   At this station, they will be taking home scissors, and glue sticks to use at home with their weekend paper. 

3) Magnetic Letters: We all know how great these are!  Again, parents will be given a set of magnetic letters (again, using Dollar Tree/Walmart as our source) to use at home.  It will be explained that again, they can use it for letter sounds, practicing writing letters, spelling words.  In my house, when my kids were younger, this was what we did while fixing supper.  It was great to be able to have them in the kitchen using the fridge while we were cooking our meals.  They could also use a cookie sheet from the Dollar Tree for their word building.  They are magnetic!  WOOT WOOT!

4) Games: In a sheet protector, parents will be given a blank copy of a spinner game and a dice game.  I have models to show them how they can use it at home. Since this is a K-1 afternoon, activities needed to be tweaked for grade and ability.  Parents will receive the games, sheet protector, dice, paper clip for a spinner, and dry erase markers to create the games for their child. 

 The spinner games can be inserted into a pocket chart.  Students can spin and write (or read) letters, sounds, words, etc.  It's just another way to get them excited at home.  When I told my firsties that they would be having spinner games like centers going home with them, they were UBER excited!   Parents will be able to program them with a dry erase marker at home by writing over top the sheet protector.  (Our school colors are blue/white but I didn't know if we could print in color--hence the reason for both choices.)

 This blank copy above can be programmed to fit the needs of their child at home.  See the examples we will share at our literacy afternoon.

 This blank copy can be sent home.  See the example of a roll and read below that we will share during our Literacy Afternoon.

If you like these activities, you can click HERE for the Spinners and HERE for the Dice Games.

We will also be sharing a Roll, Say Keep!
Roll Say Keep!
This is also on Teachers Pay Teachers , but I don't tell my parents I blog, so I took my blog name off. 
If you want to head over there and leave feedback for a freebie, that would be SUPER DUPER! :)
*I also want to thank Bubbly Borders, KG Fonts, and Melonheadz for the graphics I used in all of our activities going home!!

5) Books: Students will be given a book.  Parents will be given before and after questions for pre-reading, and comprehension.  They will be taught a few reading strategies: Skip ahead, get your mouth ready, tap it out, etc.

All these great things will be stored in a cute little tote bag that was purchased by our Title Director from Oriental Trading.  I'm so excited, and nervous about this little afternoon.  I want it to be able to help our families.  Our students have many gaps, and I want this to be a home-school connection.  I want it to be a fun afternoon that will create a WANT for learning at home!  Wish us luck friends! :)

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