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Friday, April 18, 2014

Retelling a story with props!



We ended our week on Thursday with the very funny story There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick by Lucille Colandro.  They love retelling the story.  They each make their own basket and then as we reread the story I add the fun items - First the Peep (chick), grass, plastic egg, and jelly beans!




 


Friday, April 11, 2014

Geometry and a Math Expressions Question

This week we are working on geometry in our Math Expressions book.  The lesson is broken up into two days to discuss what the attributes of a rectangle, square, triangle and circle are.  I just feel like this is going way to slow and too easy.  I have felt this way for most of the year with this series.  Does anyone else have this series and how do you feel?  Please leave comments on how you work with this series.  I'm obviously going to have it for awhile and need to raise the bar.

We had Everyday Math for 14 years and it was much more challenging than this.  I'm afraid my test scores are going to go down.

For fun the kiddos made shapes with straws and twist ties.  This is something I did with Everyday Math.






Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rubber Stamping Money Booklets - Get Level 1 for Free!


Kindergarten and First grade do not have money in the common core state standards so of course it's not in our BRAND NEW CCSS aligned text books either!  So my team mate and I came up with Money Monday!  Every Monday we teach money instead of the textbook.  It has been working pretty good.  We have introduced all the coins and the students seem to have a good grasp of counting coins.  I feel better that they will go into second grade knowing this.

My stamping booklets is one of the last things I do after I have introduced all the coins.  I am looking for students to use the fewest coins to stamp out the answers.  You quickly find out who is struggling with using the larger coins.


Included in this packet are 7 different leveled booklets.
Level 1: 5-30¢
Level 2: 31-50¢
Level 3: 51¢-$1.00
Level 4: $1.05-$1.98
Level A and B Money Number Stories
Ways to Make $1.00

You can have each student start at the beginning and work their way through or let some students skip the levels you know they can pass.  You can put these in your math tubs or rotate the children in a center.  I've even done it with the whole class.


Two different level of story level problems gives you a lot of flexibility in how you use them.  Different grade levels?  Early 1st grade for one and end of 1st for the other?  You choose what is best for you!

Click on the first picture to take you to my TpT store to buy the set for $4.00 or check out the preview and you can get all of Level 1 for FREE!  

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Popcorn Unit and a Freebie!

Wow - I just love this unit!  What's not to love about popcorn!

It all began with the /or/ sound and ballooned into a full week of ideas.  I developed poetry, creative writing, punctuation pop, equivalent name boxes and more!


I use the book The Popcorn Dragon by Jane Thayer.

For this book I've included a vocabulary worksheet and two graphic organizers to work on the comprehension skill for cause and effect and beginning, middle and end.  After you read the book there is a fun creative writing activity.  There is also a fun five senses activity using popping popcorn!  Who can resist the smell of popping popcorn!

Areas of differentiation include a math center that has three levels of addition and subtraction problems.  These could be used in intervention, in small group or independently in your tubs.  For writing I have included a few different levels that you can choose from.  Including two levels of /or/ words.



Try a page out for free and let me know what you think!


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Monday, March 24, 2014

Visualize What's Inside! Lots of freebies too!

This week is our pirate week!  I just love this week with the kiddos wearing their eye patches and saying /ar/ all the time!
This is my bulletin board.  Sorry it's a bit fuzzy and my number line is falling down.  I need to buy a step ladder!



Every morning start out your day with reading a riddle for the class to visualize.  Have them close their eyes.  Make sure no one blurts out the answers.  Discuss the adjectives that can help you "see" what is written.  Encourage them to be colorful authors in their writing!  Click on the pirates to get these riddles for free.  Put them on the bulletin board or show them on the smart board.

Accuracy: /ar/ I'm using the Pirate Mark unit from Abby. Click here for a previous post and link.
Reading Strategy: Visualize  -  Use the above strategy daily to enforce the visualizing.  Also, reread passages from the book after you read the book in full.  Have them close their eyes as they listen.  Discuss what they feel and see from the passage.
Comprehension: Story Elements

We filled this out for each pirate book that we read.  I blew it up pretty big and we did it together but you could do it independently for an assessment too.  Click to get your own copy.

Click for some FREE Pirate D.O.L.

Have fun with your little pirates! Leave me some love and follow me on bloglovin'

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Daily Oral Language (DOL)

I differentiate my morning DOL!

I love the Evan-Moor Series.  I use the first and second grade books and I've tried the third.  Some of the third grade skills were at my kiddos levels but the sentence combinations were a bit tricky!

Old and New Covers - same content (What I love about Evan-Moor and Teacher Created Materials is now you can purchase as ebooks!)  Super easy way to print!

When I run off the copies I use colored paper to keep them organized.  Students work on these while they eat their breakfast (yes - we eat breakfast in our rooms!)  

When students get stuck they put a ? next to the number and I help them on that problem later.  They are working on these independently.  While they are working on this I am taking a Guided Reading Group.  We only meet for 15 minutes.  This morning time is used to work on fluency and comprehension.  We usually do not have any word work at this time.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Do you struggle with Differentiation?

You are not alone!  Differentiation is hard to manage and wrap around in one's head!  I've spent a lot of time this year working on making it work in my room!  I think I'm getting there!  I thought I'd share some of my tips with you!

Pre-testing!!

This is important to decide what level the kids are at!  Then you can group them.  For example, I tested my kids on long and short vowels.  Afterwards, I knew who was still struggling with which skill.  So I set up tubs with their names and that skill so when they went to Word Work for Daily Five they knew what skill to work on.  I change the activity in the tub weekly until I retest.  If it is a worksheet, I write each child's name on it so I know who did and didn't finish very quickly!  It really helps with management!

I love my drawer tubs.  These I got from Target (paid more for the color but love them!)


My Schedule

Monday and Tuesday I teach whole group reading comprehension, accuracy, fluency and vocabulary using parts of the CAFE from The Sisters.  I use Treasures Reading Basal or children's literature to teach the comprehension skill of the week.

Wednesday thru Friday I pull small groups to work on the comprehension skill with a reading passage that is at a differentiated level.  I have three groups.  I meet with each group twice during these three days.  I call this Apple Time (Red/Yellow/Green).  I explained to the students that we all are using different books; that is why we have different colors but we are all working on the same skill just like the apples are all white inside! So while we all have different books we all are working on the skill visualization (or another comprehension skill of the week).  We also work on vocabulary and some fluency and decoding.  But my main goal is comprehension.

I print these out and staple to red folded construction paper to make their folders to hold their small group material.  I have coordinated baskets from Really Good Stuff to hold their folders.  If you would like the Red/Yellow/Green covers click the picture.  

Notice the color coordination? :)

Where am I getting my resources to teach these groups?





www.printables.scholastic.com (some free/need subscription)

basal

reading room


What are the other kids doing while I have small group?

They have their folders with them at their desks.  They are given a writing prompt, spelling practice and one additional activity.  This week we did a book report.

Writing Prompt

   
There are so many different writing prompt books to choose from or make up your own.  Use magazine pictures or old calendars.  I really like to talk up that I can't wait to see what wonderful stories they come up with so they start doing some of their best work!  Next week I am giving them a choice of three different pirate writing prompts!  I can't wait to see their writing!  We are working on expanding our writing to more than a description of the picture.  They need to have characters, setting, problem and solution.  Some have to go back a few times but they have such pride in their ending result!

Spelling Practice

Each student gets a stapled copy of this practice choice sheet.  My sheet has their spelling words on it.  To pick up your copy click on the picture.  We have 10 words a week so each day they use a 10 box sheet to write their words into.  They have the three days to do the two activities.  If they don't finish by Friday they stay in at recess to finish.

Another Activity

This week I chose for the students to do a book report on a book they already read in their book box.
Other Ideas:
Phonics Activity
Silent Read
Tablet (We have subscription to Raz-kids.com)
Late Work
Dictionary/Thesaurus Work
Vocabulary Practice
Sight Word Practice


My small group time is different than guided reading.  We are not doing book walks, word work, extensive decoding and the groups are larger.  I group the children with similar reading abilities but not exactly the same level.  I choose passage that are a best fit for the whole small group as best as I can.  I still have guided reading groups.  These groups are based on their guided reading level.

Wow - that's a lot of info!  If something I wrote isn't clear please ask and I will try to explain it better.

Here's a differentiated math game freebie for sticking with me to the end!
Click on the photo to get 6 different playing boards.



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