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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kindergarten Teachers Should Have Raises....

Yes!  I fully believe that Kindergarten teachers should have raises.  Oh my goodness...the patience, the tolerance, the love.....you all ROCK!!

The tears, repeated directions, redirecting, the lack of being on task---Oh wait! That's me!!

I took on Kindergarten kiddos recently with my Interventions.  Oh my!  See, I can teach first graders on a K level, but K on a PK level is SOOOO out of my comfort zone.  I'm trying here friends.  
I'm really trying.  

It makes it even harder when I'm not sure where they are, or what they are capable of doing.  I only have them for a period a day, and it's hard to know whether or not I will make a difference with them.
We began working on the letter C last week, and after watching videos, reading books, practicing writing/forming, etc...I FINALLY think they got it.  

We talked about letters, words, spaces and practiced reading a sentence about the letter C. 

They really enjoyed this activity.  Today we did a picture sort of beginning C sounds. 

 I had each student draw a picture of something that started with the letter C.  They colored it.  I wrote what it was and we "framed" it on bright colored paper.  We then attached it to a Letter C anchor chart.....which I forgot to take a picture of...check Instagram tomorrow!!  :)
But if you want an independent page, here is a copy. 
 Then we followed up our activity with a Letter C sound sort of their own.  

All of these activities can be downloaded HERE

But you can find a variety of activities in my beginning sounds/activities pack.
I focused on the letters c, m, a and t in both upper and lower case letters.  
One of my closest friends is a K teacher and she said "I want this for ALL of the letters."
I do hope she knows she has to wait a while, as this pack was over 100 pages..and I'm just like a Kindergartener and get distracted easily and lose focus (but we established that earlier!) ;)

I do really like this pack.  It includes a variety of activities and differentiated for students as well.
Included are puzzles, books, sorts, games, and letter writing.

Here's a preview pic of the new pack.

If you're interested, it's listed in my TpT store. Click below to see it on TpT.
Be sure to download a few samples from my blog to see if it works for your kiddos! :)

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!!

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