Sunday, October 12, 2014

Phonics Fun! Short e

Something new for me in my first grade curriculum is spelling tests.  I’m slowly figuring out the best way to practice our spelling words in a way that is meaningful, hands-on and fun for my kiddos. I think I’ve found what works for my kiddos -- So far, so good.

Here’s what we do..

Each week we have a new list of words – we are currently working through the short vowels as a review from Kindergarten.  I am following the Scott Foresman Reading Street spelling curriculum for the whole class (but I will begin to differentiate with our word sorts next week).

Monday:

We start off the week by introducing our spelling pattern and brainstorming words that follow that pattern. We hang this anchor chart up for the children to refer to the entire week.

On Tuesday we will read the corresponding Phonics Poem and look for our spelling pattern.  I use the poems from this book:

On Wednesday we read the poem again and get our own copy to add to our poetry notebook. He highlight the spelling pattern and practice reading the poem for fluency. We also play some sort of word game – just depends on time!

On Thursday, we will practice our words on our dry erase paddles. 

Friday is our spelling test!

Throughout the week, the children work on various activities during their word work time for Daily 5.  I’m slowly putting these together in packets – so far, only Short e is finished.  I have a lot of bits and pieces, but everything isn’t assembled into one spot.  Someday when life slows down….

But, here’s what I have so far…

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My kiddos loved using these activities during Daily 5.  There is a good mix of center based materials, easy print and go sheets, and whole group games. 

I also used a lot of activities from these units:

CVC Intervention Kit - RTI {Short A}CVC Intervention Kit - RTI {Short e}CVC Intervention Kit - RTI {Short i}CVC Intervention Kit - RTI {Short O}

Our Daily 5 rounds last for about 15 minutes, so the games and activities are perfect – just enough time to keep them engaged!  I have also been working on some fun word work sheets for ANY spelling or sight word!  I’ve been working on these since last spring and slowly adding to them.  I can’t wait to share the finished product with you!

Have a wonderful, wonderful week!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fantastically Fun Fall!

I wanted to share with you some of the centers and games we did in my Kindergarten classroom last year.  Maybe you’ll find some fun ideas!

We LOVE to count and write the room! I ALWAYS have these centers each week – kids love to get up and move around and it separates the children a bit more.  More separation = less talking!

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I differentiated this center for each kiddo – those that were ready to write number words did that, and those that weren’t quite ready just wrote the number.

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I always had some sort of patterning center as well.  There are two different spinner for the children to choose from – AB, and ABB – some kiddos aren’t quite ready to move on from AB patterns yet :)

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This center was a bit challenging for some kids, but I think once they get the hang of the multiple steps it will be a bit easier!

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This was our first time playing “Flip Five” - -the children LOVED it.  There are NO numbers in this version – just pictures to count.  I have a few other versions of Flip Five in my TpT store if you’re looking for number versions.  Again, for the kiddos that were ready, they wrote their equations on the response sheet.

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We’ve been practicing adding 1 more during our calendar time, so this game was perfect for some independent practice!  Dice + candy corn = FUN!

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I love incorporating fine motor skills during centers whenever I can.  At this center, the children used a clothes pin to clip the beginning sound and flipped it over to check it (the answer is designated by a sticker!).

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Ooh! This was SO fun!  The kiddos wrote the beginning sound of each picture to figure out the scarecrow secret code!IMG_7654

This game is GREAT for beginning sound practice! We spun the spinner and moved the candy corn piece down one leaf.  The first candy corn to the bottom is the winning letter!

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Fun with rhymes!  The children rolled two dice – when they rolled two words that rhyme, they covered up a crow with a candy corn.  HINT – If you own this center, print two copies of each rhyme.  Choose 3 rhymes to focus on. The children will be more successful rolling two words that rhyme!

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This was a pocket chart activity – sorry I forgot to snap a pic of the pocket chart.  The children put the words in the correct order to make a sentence that makes sense.

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This center is one of my favorite ones – I’ve been doing it for years! It’s from my It’s Fall Y’all pack.  I die cut different color leaves and sort them into baggies. The children then sort them and graph them and complete the graph.  Each kiddo gets their own set.  It’s so fun seeing the gigantic graphs on the floor!

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Here is the response sheet for our acorn count the room (the photo is above!)IMG_7662

At our listening center, we listened to Firefighter Ted!

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If you’re interested in these centers, I have them in my Fantastically Fun Fall pack!

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

First Grade Math Workshop

As I’m learning all about a new grade, one thing I wanted to accomplish was a math workshop.  Another goal of mine this year, is to work SMARTER, not harder.  I’m working on that
balance issue.  It is hard to have balance when you are learning a new grade level, but it’s a great opportunity for me to have a fresh start. 

So, here is what I’ve come up with for my math block. 

  • 15 minutes: calendar journals (I AM working on a first grade calendar, but I really want to test and tweak it this year before I offer it to you.  I NEED to know that it works for first grade!)
  • 15-20 minutes: Math warm up, number talks, and whole group math lesson
  • 15-20 minutes: math rotations
    • Meet with the teacher
    • Math with technology
    • Fluency practice
    • Math boxes
    • Partner games

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We do ONE rotation a day.  I WISH I could do more, there just isn’t time in the day!  However, with this management system, I really only need to change the activities ONCE a month. *insert cheers of joy here*

So let’s break it down – each student will visit each center once per week.  I would love to incorporate more rotations (ala Daily 5), but I just don’t have the 90 minute block to fit it in.

1. Meet with the teacher: aka – MOI.  During this time, I will meet with a small group of students to work on what THEY need or to reinforce what we have taught whole group.  Sometimes it will be center type activities, sometimes it will be partner games, and sometimes it will be a mix of activities!

2.  Math with Technology: we will use our ipads or laptaps (more on this later!)

3. Partner Games:  We use the Everyday Math curriculum, and new games are introduced every few units.  It’s important that the kids play these games because they build on them through the grades.  AND, the kids LOVE playing them.

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4. Fluency Games:  the blue basket houses our fluency games. Right now, we are practicing basic addition facts. Some of these are played with a partner, and others are played independently.

5. Math Boxes:  these are what are MOST familiar to me! I had so much fun creating these centers based on what the children need, the common core, and what our math curriculum is working on.

Here is what I have in the drawers for October:

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Everything is housed in the green drawers.  I love these drawers.  I purchased them from Ikea about 3 years ago.  The children just grab a drawer and find a quiet workspace in the room.  Only one person at a time will work in the drawers.  I am letting them manage these on their own.  The activities are SO fun, that I know they’ll want to try all of them.

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I don’t have every activity in the drawers right now, some I will use during my small group time. 

If you’re interested in grabbing these centers, you can find them in my TpT shop.

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What questions do you have?  Post them below!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Let’s Take it Waaayyy Back!

Way back to September 2nd and the first day of school.  In case you haven’t heard….

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Yep, I graduated.  I am in a brand new school and I’m teaching first grade!

The beginning of the school year was a little bit difficult because of a tiny organ in my stomach.  My gallbladder.  Two weeks before school started, I found myself in the emergency room with pancreatitis.  After a couple of nights in the hospital, I had surgery to remove my gall bladder.  Needless to say, having surgery right before school starts is quite stressful!

But, the good news is, I’m all good now, and I am loving first grade!! So, here’s a quick flashback to a post that should have went up a while back!

Here is a peek into my new, LARGE room! I am spoiled with this HUGE room, and the amount of storage space.  Our classroom is definitely “lived in” now, so these are NOT perfect, organized clean pictures of my room.  This is real life :)

From the back of the room:

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Also from the back.

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This photo is from the doorway.  I LOVE this big countertop and the storage underneath!  The children love to sit here and work.  You can see their mailboxes, and the books that they check out each night to read at home.

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This is our carpet space, where the magic takes place :).  

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See that gray cart in the corner? That’s my laptop cart.  I’m super lucky to have access to a class set of laptops AND 6 ipads!

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Looking back from the front of the room.  See those cabinets? LOVE. 

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I LOVE our classroom library, and so do my kiddos!  They are so cute when the pull up the yellow stools and put their feet up while they are reading in the comfy chairs! 

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Our Daily Focus board is my favorite part of our room. It really helps to focus my teaching and the children refer back to it constantly!

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The children’s book boxes are stored here.

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Our specials schedule and our rules against bullying.

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I hope you enjoyed my little tour!

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