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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Mom Life, Teacher Life

*Forgive me for a minute as I talk to Blogger: Wow. So we meet again. I feel that I've neglected you, and even just logging into you, I feel I forgot how to make a post. We were once best friends you and I. I would come home from work and sit down and write my post with new ideas, products or freebies. It's been a year since we have worked together. I hope we can become better friends again because I have some things I would like to share with our followers. I just know that I quit using you so that I could have more family time and take care of me.  Now it's time to go back to what I once enjoyed! Thank you for waiting around.*

A lot has happened in the past year. My kids are growing up. My daughter is now a junior, driving, and could graduate early. She is continuing taking her college classes. She has a job. She's being a responsible adult and I'm wondering how I was ever so lucky to be blessed with her. I have a hard time thinking she will be leaving our nest soon---her hope is to go into the biomedical field, I believe.
My son, is now in 7th grade. He keeps us on our toes that's for sure. We try to keep him involved in sports, but if Fortnite were a sport, I think he'd be going PRO. I DESPISE FORTNITE!

As for me, I am still plugging away at the mom life, teacher life gig. Still holding out for that bakery someday---and I roped the hubby into helping as well! :)

 As for the teacher life, I am still currently in the Title position. We have a brand new building. This year, instead of working with 1-3 in reading/math, I am only serving 2nd grade reading.

I started the school year doing DRAs on about 200 2nd graders. It was cumbersome, but I enjoyed it and feel that I know a little bit about all the students. It was also a great way for me to learn names.

When my groups started, I had several in that level 2 DRA. Scary, right?  I struggle trying to figure out how to help them when I know what the state mandates at their level. My groups are only 20 minutes long, so I try to do as much as I can in a short period of time. Fact of the matter is, I just want them to read and enjoy it.  I came across these quotes the other night and it truly hit home for me.

Within 4 weeks of group starting, my lowest reading group (exception of 2 students) is now at a level 6. While I know that is still far away from where they should be, I am seeing growth. They enjoy their group time. That is a win for me!

I do have a few students who are still working on CvC words for skill. They were still struggling with vowel sounds. I have taught them other strategies to use for decoding purposes while reading, but I wanted to hone back in on the short vowel sounds today as a review.  We used this as a quick little warm-up activity.

I had the students sort these by vowel sound. I actually just turned the backs of the game boards (shown below) over, and wrote a vowel on each page with a dry erase marker.  I turned all the pumpkin cards over and had the students choose 1 at a time and determine the vowel sound, then place it on the proper board.  Then they worked together to do the CvC game word sort.
other sounds are in the download

I liked this activity because I can also share it with the Intervention Specialist and it can be used in a variety of ways. Students can choose a pumpkin and write the word. Students can work on just one vowel sound at a time. Students can use all the boards together. There is a variety of ways to differentiate this to meet the needs of our groups.

I am still using our Fry Fluency Books. I truly believe these have helped my students. I even had a parent tell me that her child's fluency and confidence soared after taking one of these booklets home!

And sometimes my groups are so small that if teachers are assessing, students are absent, or their is a classroom activity going on, I'm not able to always get my students. On those days, we improvise. Today was one of those days! Thank goodness for Hot Dots! :)

If you are interested in any of the school related items above, you can click the following images to find more information.

Clip art for the CVC Pumpkin Activity was provided by the following awesome ladies! Click the bold link to download.

Fry Booklets

Hot Dots

Oh and it's almost Friday! :)  Thanks for sticking around!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Math Groups and Games

First, I have to say that I know that I blog hit or miss.  It has been VERY sporadic through the past year or so, and I want to thank you for hanging around with me on FB, as I do tend to post there more often than blogging. I do want to say that I feel that I kept up with reading blogs, and creating things when I was spending more time blogging myself.  With that said, I used to teach, come home, blog and repeat.  I felt I was neglecting family, my husband and myself. It's hard to find a healthy balance when you work  full timevso it comes in spurts for me. 

I realized that my daughter is growing up on me. Some of you have watched her grow up through FB, my blog and IG.  She just recently attended her sophomore homecoming and is busy as a high schooler and taking Freshman college classes.  I had a wake up call that she will soon be leaving the nest and I best make the most of it!

My son, and if you follow me on IG (@mrsdavis_76) you know that he has now broken TWO bones in the past 30 days.  Yes, exactly a month apart.  He was seeing a chiropractor for neck problems (we noticed it during baseball season) and the chiro said that he had whiplash from his bike accident when he broke his wrist.  Then, playing football at school, he broke his foot.  He is one expensive child.  We decided that his Halloween costume (not what we originally planned) was well suited for him.
If only I could put him in a bubble for a few more years! 

If you've been following me for the past few years, you know that I have wanted a bakery (mobile or store) for quite some time.  I have been busy trying to get that started as well, and try to create something new at least every other week or as time allows.  I believe in baking therapy!!
This is what I left on my desk for my sub when I had to leave for yet another Doctor's appointment.  Refer to image above this one to know why! :) 
After making this, I ended up with several orders.  It is a 16 oz jar cake made of layers of pumpkin cake, homemade caramel sauce, cream cheese buttercream, and candied pecans.
 (Then repeat the layers.)

Finally, I have been trying to take care of me for the past couple years.  While I may not have lost the weight I had hoped (hence image above), I am physically stronger than I have been in my entire life. 
I benched (smith machine, but still) 180 last week!! I WAS PUMPED! 
I can generally do 120-130 x10 reps, but this was pretty exciting!!  
Hubby said I have bragging rights, so I am going to go with it! :)

Now, if you've stuck with me through all of that, I have some math goodies for you.

Nothing special, but when my 3rd graders said OHHH spinner games, I knew I found a winner!!  
(I worked with them in reading last year, so when I got them for math, I think they expected a game..I had to follow through!) :)

The bump game is only in a x3 at the moment....but there is also a Doubles +1 I was working on with my 2nd graders. For multiplication, they spin the spinner and x3.  For the Doubles +1, they spin the spinner, double it and add one.  If you need directions to play BUMP, I can post them later or feel free to email me at mrsdeannedavis@hotmail.com

I have x3-6 as the spinner page.  My 3rd graders did enjoy this activity.  I hope your kiddos do too.
Click HERE to grab the Bump game, and click HERE to grab the spinner games!

Have a great week!!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Phonemic Awareness and Sight Words

First, this is like crazy.  I haven't blogged, or created much of anything since January.  Well, I can't say that I haven't created anything because if you follow me on IG, you know that I've created some things.  Here are some of my creations. 

So, maybe it isn't school related, but it is a great stress relief.  For those of you that are new to following me, I have wanted a bakery for quite some time.  I get orders now and again at home, but I'm still holding out for a mobile bakery. Some day---but for now, the teaching gig.

I began my reading groups last week.  I knew that the students I was working with were low.  I feel that this new group of first graders may be lower than those in the past by looking back at old lesson plans.  I needed to go back to Kinder skills and make sure we truly master those skills before moving on.  I  believe that a lot of times we are under so much pressure to cram things in that we don't always know how much information is being absorbed.  That's the great thing about small groups.  You can focus on specific skills, and work on those problem areas.  

This past week, I spent time in my Intervention groups working on rhyme.  The majority of my students (15 of them)  couldn't tell me if given words rhymed, let alone orally produce rhyming words. I spent class time reading rhyming stories, having the students repeat the rhymes, giving them silly name rhymes (for example Nayden Jayden).  They thought that was a hoot.  I would go around the table each day and give them a new rhyming name.  We also played rhyming games, and we did quick assessments with a thumb up, thumb day based on pictures of rhymes.  It is definitely important that they repeat those rhymes.  Some students didn't want to repeat me, and they had the most difficulty.  Most often, if they are repeated, in a series of rhymes, they can hear the difference. 

By Friday, I was impressed with how well they were rhyming.  I was left with 2 that couldn't produce a rhyming pair.  We worked with a rhyming activity and assessment out of this pack as well. 
Literacy Stations
There are several literacy activities that are coming in handy as a review for my students in this pack.
Click the image above to see what is included in this pack. 

Just a little background.....
I am currently a Title teacher serving 1-3. 
The majority of the students I service are being monitored closely.  
A portion of my day includes me tracking data, and filling out paperwork for SSMT.
Last year, around 10 students that I had worked with qualified for an IEP.
My job as a Title teacher isn't what I envisioned, but it is definitely what is needed in my building. 

So when you see me post things that I am working on with my 1st, 2nd, or 3rd graders
and I post on IG or FB, keep in mind that my students may be performing up to 2 years behind their peers.  I felt that may be important to say to help clarify some of the things I may have posted. 

BUT, the good news is, most of the students I serviced last year, I am not seeing in my groups this year.  I truly believe that my 2nd graders retained their sight words. I fully believe that the fluency reads helped them master those. You can check those out by clicking the image below.  If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Fluency Reads

All of my first and second grade groups have been working out of our Roll and Read fluency binders.
Roll and Read Game

I have taken the pages from this set, and placed them back to back in a sheet protector.
I am able to work on tracking print, or letter naming with my first grade groups, and short vowel sounds with my 2nd grade groups.  They have enjoyed these games and ask to play them often.
You can click the image above to check it out on TpT.  It's a $3 set, and it has been a lifesaver for me and great for time fillers or sub planning! :)

Another activity that my first graders have enjoyed is our popcorn game.
I just placed all the pieces in a popcorn container. 
Students have to name the letter, and the letter sound.
It has been a fun way to review (or in some cases) learn their sounds.
You can pick up this FREEBIE from this old blog link.
Click HERE!

Finally, if you have made it this far with me, here are a few things I am working on with groups next week.  This is several days of instruction as I review letters/sounds daily, and only have my groups for 20 minutes.  We will be working on letters/sounds/sentences, and number of words in sentences.
I have for you an 18 page activity reviewing those skills with sorts, teaching points, and independent activity for checking mastery.  This is my way of saying thank you for still supporting me though I have slacked as a blogger.  I do try to post on FB often, so be sure to check me out there! 

The last few pages is a sight word activity.  I used a little pocket chart at my teacher table often. (All of these activities were actually designed with my teacher table or pocket chart in mind.) 
With the sight word activity, the first colored background are the first 25 FRY words.  The yellow colored set is for Fry words 75-100.  
To play the game, sight words are placed in the pocket chart with the squirrel card hiding behind 1 of the sight words.  Students take turns saying a sight word.  When the squirrel is revealed, the game is over.  My kids like these silly games, so I hope to make one with all Fry words for each month/season.  This game, because they always ask me the name of it, is, The Squirrel stole my nut!

If you would like this activity pack, please click HERE to be taken to the Google Drive link.

Now,  I have to get back to the kitchen because I have jar cakes to finish. 
Here's the order for today. 
Oreo! :)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Back to Life--Back to Reality

Okay, am  I completely dating myself with my blog post title?
*Still singing*
 Back to life, back to reality Back to the here and now---
now I make up some lyrics because for some reason, I never remember song

Okay, anyway---
We just had our OFFICIAL first FULL day back since Christmas break.  We had an inservice last Wednesday, and started back with students Thursday, only to have an early release due to incoming weather.
Then Friday, with weather and cold---we were closed. 
Friends, let me tell you---the first day back after vacation is BRUTAL.  I felt like I was dragging by 10:00. 
But, I survived---and all in all,  it was a good day.

Before we left for break, my firsties were working on place value.  I wanted a fun little game to review with them before moving on in our lessons.  They truly enjoyed this game, and wanted to play it again.  

Tens and Ones Freebie

 How I played with my group:
They had to draw a card and read what it said.
Example:  4 tens 2 ones. 
Then they had to tell me what number it made.  42
Finally they got to put the piece on if it matched.  If it didn't match a game board (as there are 6 and I only had 3 in group today), then we put it into a discard pile.

I am glad I played it this way because I got to hear who needed more guidance.  For example, I have one that is still struggling with numbers in the teens.  He wants to read 50, as 15--and has that confusion for all tens, and teens.  We will definitely continue working on this for him. 

If this game is something you think you could use, please click the image at the top with the game directions.
Have a great week!!

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