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Friday, February 20, 2015

Random Ramblings of Me, Snow Week (and Freebies)

Where did my week go?  Last Friday, the 13th, was the last day I was even at my school.  You know, with us being off for President's day...then all the snow.  But even worse, I only had one group of kids on Friday because of Valentine's parties and other events that they were tending too. Needless to say Friday was a boring day, but I did get my plans made for the week (EVEN if I didn't get to use them this week!)

So where did my week go?  Some say they get bored being at home in this wintery days.  Not me.  I truly have enjoyed this little break.  Most years I would have worked worked worked on school things.  This week, not so much.  I sat down and tried, but then I get distracted.

Then I see that other teachers, other bloggers, in similar situations have been blogging, revamping products, creating new products---and I'm all over here like what do we have to watch on TV?  Who wants to play a game?   (Because dagnabbit, first and foremost I'm a mom and wife--and sometimes you need to be with family!)  I think that's why I've been a little lax in the blogging world.  Friends, this has been a fun journey.  I do enjoy blogging and creating work.  I still create things for my classroom and my groups weekly, but the time to blog disappears on me.  My priorities have shifted, as well as they should. I spent so much time blogging over the past few years, that I feel that I lost time.  That time was taken away from me, from  my husband--sometimes my children, but I usually did the blogging/creating when they were in bed. It is hard to keep up with it, and all the other responsibilities that life throws at me. 

PLUS, sometimes, I get, I don't want to say bored--but my attention goes elsewhere.  There's a saying about how you shouldn't half butt two things, you should whole butt one thing.  But my attention span is very much like a child, and I need new interests sometimes to get me out of slumps.  You know my baking (how I someday want that bakery!), TpT, blogging, volunteering for various activities, and now my new found love of Jamberry!!  OH YES!! Maybe that's where I've been lately too---I did become a consultant--PLEASE ASK if you're interested! (You can email me, FB me, or visit the site at mrsddavis.jamberrynails.net) AND of course, I have been focusing more on me, my health, and losing weight--and exercising.  So see, sometimes, life gets busy! Not to mention that I mentor year 1 teachers (to the best of my ability), try to manage a FB page for parents, and.....the list goes on.

BUT then, I have been off all week.  I see how everyone's going on with their life, routine, and creating/recreating.  They are dedicated, caring teachers---and here I begin to feel GUILTY. 
I thought, I'm the teacher that is doing NOTHING...everyone else is working on things for their classrooms, their students.  What kind of teacher am I?  I seriously felt very guilty that I've enjoyed this snow week.  That secretly I don't mind if there is another 1-2 more snow days before summer break. It gives me a chance to recoop, get in some more exercise, and spend quality time with my husband and kids. ;)

With all those ramblings said---I appreciate you listening to me! Allow me to present you a few freebies---this is what my students will be working on, should we ever go back. (Another 5-8" coming overnight)

First, my coworker/friend/Resident Educator and I are working on trying to do an inclusion model of D5.  This is what we've come up with for our Kindergarten group.
We are trying to give the two higher groups more time for buddy reading, while we focus more on word work activities for the lower groups.  We haven't had a FULL week with both of us implementing this routine, but it seems that it is working and will work well for us when we get into a full routine.

Here are a couple activities that my group of Ks will be working with. 
 Though this activity was created as a cut/paste for this week, I am planning on making a set similar, photocopy on various colored cardstock, and then using velcro for the activity.  This will provide them continuous reinforcement.  I will later add letters and beginning sounds.  My group of Ks are a low level group.  Some have missed 30-40 days of school (not counting what we have missed due to snow, holiday breaks).  I needed something that would provide reinforcement, and this would also be an activity that I could easily send home for extra practice.

The -at word family activity you see above will be a hit, I know it!  They enjoy the Read and Writes, but I want them to read the word and then to make sure they can read the word---draw the picture!  I am so excited to use this with them, and I hope to create a product with this (would you like that?) :)

 I am now working with two groups of first graders in reading. (The first semester I worked with students in reading in the AM, and math in the PM.  We have since switched that so that I can provide more reinforcement to our bubble kids.)  Here is an activity for them.  Some of the phonics refers to Wilson's language.  But it is a read and write the room.  Just as in the activity above, simply place the cards around the room.  I provide students with clipboards and they go around and will spell out each picture.  When they bring it back to me, I quickly check over their work, reteach/redirect/coach as needed, and allow them to try again.  Read and writes are always a hit--with all of my students (including my 3rd graders!)

Speaking of 3rd grade, we use a lot of Reading A-Z stories.  I create questions for them to respond to, we work in our notebooks, we write....they are growing and I'm proud.  I actually have a new group of 3rd graders, since our semesters switched, so we must be doing something right! :)

Here is one thing they will be working on.  They have enjoyed the interactive notebook pages, so we will focus on homophones/homonyms/homographs when we return to school.
 Students will glue the headers in their notebook, as well as their flaps.  They will only glue the top part of the flap.  Under the flap, they will have to create a sentence spelling the words correctly, and using both words within the sentence.  I will also allow them to do one on their own--draw and write.  They will be great! :)

This is just a small glimpse into my week.  We were to have taken the PARCC assessments this week, and some of my classes were cancelled so that I could help administer the test.  I think mother nature showed us this week just how she feels about the PARCC assessments.  ;)

I hope you enjoy the freebies, thanks for sticking around reading my randomness. Thank you to KG Fonts, Graphics from the Pond, Educlips, Melonheadz, Scrappin Doodles and Dots of Fun for my clipart addiction to make these resources. Should you want to use them for your students, you can get them all HERE on Google Drive.

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