Monday, September 30, 2013

"Paw"some Realism and Fantasy

I found the best book to re-teach realism and fantasy. It's called "Dogs Don't Brush Their Teeth"  Monday through Wednesday we usually follow our basal program.  On Thursday, we branch off and find a book that lends itself to re-teaching our comprehension skill of the week.  I LOVE THIS BOOK and I thought the activity turned out pretty "doggone" cute!!


During the summer I present various reading workshops across the state of Alabama.  One common question is: " How do you teach letters and sounds?"  That is actually a tricky question because there are so many activities that you can use to practice letter knowledge.  However, NOTHING takes the place of explicit, intense letter instruction.  I usually introduce the letter(s)/sounds on Monday, using large alphabet cards and telling the children "This is letter "T'". Then I do activities all week that cause children to find, write, read, recognize, and spy the letters anywhere we can find them.  So the pics below show all of things that we do during a common week.  Friday is my BIG review day for letters.  As the week goes on, the responsibility begins to rest on them, not me, to name the letters.
Monday- letter introduction
Tuesday- letter recognition (finding the letter(s) in daily news, small group texts, etc.
Wed- writing the letter in whole group and small group
Thurs- Naming the letter upon command
Fri- Review all letters taught
Here is good rule of thumb: IF THEY CAN"T RECOGNIZE THE LETTER, THEY CAN"T NAME THE LETTER!!!  In other words, if you place two letter cards in front of them, one being "T" and the being "A", and they can't point to letter "T" on command, they will not be able to name the letter when prompted.  Recognition comes before letter recall. 

 I'm sure you know my drill... I could not get the pic to turn..grrrr.... This is from our station work on Thursdays.  A great way to review sounds and beginning sounds
 Every Friday we create letter/sound charts that reflect words that begin with the letters that I have taught that week.  I know that you have seen charts that are much fancier.  PLEASE REMEMBER THIS when looking on pinterest or any website..... If the chart is colored by the teacher, written by the teacher, and created by the teacher... who is the learner?????  When children are able to interact with any graphic organizer or chart, they become actively engaged which multiplies the learning experience.  To ensure that EVERYONE is able to create the chart, I give every student a dry erase board.  I pull a child's name from my equity stick container.  That child comes up with a word that begins with Aa and then he/she comes to write that letter on the chart.  All of the other children write that same letter on their dry erase board.  This ensures that ALL children are actively engaged and learning!!  What a great formative assessment. They all have multiple times to write and say the letter/sound.  It is also a great classroom management technique.  All of the children are busy, which cuts down on discipline.
 I saw these on the website  They are letter of the week animals.  How cute is it!!  LOVE these!!

Just an example of small group writing.  I give the sound, they write the letter that produces that sound. "Write the letter that makes the sound _______"
 I spy letter search.  The letters are inside a bag and they pull one out at the time and circle each letter a different color.

Environmental print is a great way for children to recognize letters.  It quickly teaches them to attach the letters/sounds to something they are familiar with.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's Almost Fall Y'all

LOVE LOVE LOVE fall.  My neighbor teacher is also a Scentsy rep and she brought in her fall scents today and I tell you, it was like euphoria.  My favs are the spicey smells.  I live on the Florida/Alabama line and I have cotton and peanut fields all around my house.  There is NOTHING like a freshly plowed peanut field.  You know what's coming after that.... football season, cooler temps, Halloween, and hot cocoa.  Oh yeah, and little mice trying to find a haven in the walls of your toasty home. 
The following pics are a hodge podge of all things fall. 

 These are from my neighbor teacher, Mrs. Robinson. The clip art for the Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves is from Scappin' Doodles.  TOOOOOO cute!!

Shapes and measurement

OK.  So let me begin with a big Sooo Sorry.  I have not posted in several weeks and that is just pitiful.  The only excuse I have is that I am terribly busy.  Between school, church, home, kids and hubby, it seems that all of my time is just spent.  Well spent mind you, but spent none the less.  So I am going to post numerous things tonight.  I am starting with shapes. 
We created our own scope and sequence this year.  We have a progression for everything from math to reading to writing to phonemic awareness.  It is for sell on my TPT page.  We have decided to "camp out" on math topics that are we really want the kids to master.  So, we spent almost four...yes four weeks on basic 2D shapes.  Here are a few things that we did. 
I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was great.  The mice are made from basic 2D shapes.  I had all of the shapes in a bag and I would give them specific directions like "Reach into your bag and pull out a rectangle."  It was a great formative type assessment just to get a quick snap shot where the kids were with shape mastery.

This was where we started.  A good ole' shapes chart.  Creating this chart took one week.  We took a basic shape each day. 
 Our Geome"Trees"
 The following things came from our shapes pack on TPT.  We also had a shapes book to complete each day.  Let me say, the children truly mastered their shapes!!  I think it was the manner that we taught it... LOTS of exploration and kids seeing shapes MANY different ways along with the time spent teaching.  We did not assume that kids already knew them.  They really didn't. We were pleased with the end results.  

These pages came from a shapes book that we made.

After shapes, we have mooooved onto measurement.  We began by brainstorming things that were taller and shorter than themselves.  I wanted to ensure that the children fully understand the terms shorter than and taller than.  These are just a few of the activities that we have done this week.

 We measured different items with candy corn and linking cubes.  I partnered the children up and gave them each a bag with an item inside, a handful of candy corn and 10 linking cubes.   Once we recorded the answer, they passed their bag onto the next set of partners.