Sunday, February 5, 2012

iTouch Listening Station

I'll be the first to admit that I am lucky. Very lucky. Last year I wrote a grant to get 4 itouches in my classroom along with a fantastic listening library. It was a cool November morning when the Grant Fairies arrived in my room with a big check for "iTouch, I Read, I Learn." Since then, we've been rocking the iTouches as part of Daily 5.

This year, I knew I wanted the kids to do more. I was totally inspired by the Persnickity Pickles blog on Pinterest, but could not download from her site. (I would link you to her, but it tells me this blog has been removed. Miss Pickles, if you are out there please connect with us! Please come back, your blog was awesome!)

I'm using the CAFE system in my class, so the students are working on different goals. I created this iTouch journal, then just copied the pages that met each student's needs. They love it, I love, we're all happy. Maybe you can find a spot for this in your classroom.

American Symbols and Monuments

Okay, so I know it's totally against blog etiquette to post twice in one day, make that night. However, considering I've been gone for so long, I knew you would forgive me.

So, we have been studying American symbols in our class. Let me tell you I searched high and low on Pinterest looking for some good stuff. Not so much. I will be the first to admit that I love Teachers Pay Teachers, and it comes close to Pinterest when I rank my addictive habits. I hope one day to have the talents those teachers have. But, it's hard times in our house- saving every last penny to finish our adoption- so I just couldn't spend a dime on there for these social studies lessons.

To make a long story short (too late!), I made my own tree map for the kids. I'm attaching it here for you and I hope you love it. I totally made this last minute and sent it on to my team. That's when sweet Miss T said, "Nicole, you should totally put your stuff on TPT!" I thought to myself, "Yeah, right!" However, that's when I got to thinking about my precious little blog that has been neglected for too long.

So here you go, a tree map for American symbols and buildings that stand for the U.S. I printed this on long, legal sized paper. If you have older kids, or students with really neat, tiny handwriting, you can probably use regular sized paper.

Just so you know, these are the websites I used in my class to go over each one. I envisioned setting up four laptop stations in my classroom, one for each of the symbols, but then I woke up to reality. My school doesn't have that kind of technology! Hopefully yours does and you can just post these sites around the room and let your kids do a little American scavenger hunt. Again, this was just supplemental to the literature and social studies textbooks, but WaY more fun to explore this way.

U.S. Flag

Eagle This one is super cool, but doesn't really explain why it's a symbol, sorry!

Liberty Bell

Statue of Liberty National Geographic Kids

Let me know what you think!

Some of the clipart is from Teacher Created Resources. Seriously, I love this clipart. You can buy it here. You won't be disappointed!

Listen to Reading I-Chart

Sorry friends I've been gone for so long! I will have to catch you up later.

Many of you have asked for the Listen to Reading I-Chart, so I've whipped it up for you! Enjoy!

Listen to Reading I-Chart

Saturday, September 17, 2011

For the love of Word Work

Let me tell you that Word Work is my favorite part of Daily 5. FAV-OR-ITE! And the kids love it to, so isn't that special!

The beauty of Daily 5 is the time is saves the teacher! Yes, the teacher SAVES time. I remember back in the day spending my afternoons and weekends making copies, cutting manipulatives, etc. getting ready for next week's stations. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Blah!

So, what I love about Daily 5 is I introduce the activities and the children use these same activities week after week. (The students think they are games because they are so fun!) Yes, some activities they will out grow and we will retire. We will add some activities here and there throughout the year as their skills progress, but I am NOT spending my precious time coming up with new activities each week. Promise!

Okay, so there are TONS of word work activities out there in the big blog world, or in my case pinterest. Several of which I will refer to soon. My biggest hurdle was figuring out how to differentiate the word study for my students. We all have such a wide range of students, how was I going to meet ALL their needs and keep them ALL progressing? Million dollar question, right? I did lots of research in our professional library at school, talked with teachers and literacy coaches, and read lots of articles online.

Finally, I came across this and a little light went on. Best of all, it's by Beth Newingham- we all know she rocks the literacy house! What I love about her word study is she combines Words Their Way and high frequency word inventories. I did have to make little changes here and there for my firsties, but she did the leg work. Thanks Beth!

So, here's what I did: I made a high frequency chart using Fry's list (that's what my district uses.) I gave two inventories, the first for words 1-20, the next week 21-40. A few of my kids mastered those easy-peasy, so I pulled them in small group and continued until we found some that didn't already know.

Each student now has a blue word study folder with the Fry's list in the brads. I highlighted the words they already know, and circled the words I wanted them to work on. Now, when they go to word work they have a customized list to work on. Genius!

Beth does a spelling test each week and they work with partners to test five of the circled words. I'm still ironing out the details of how I'm going to manage their progression in the folders. I'm thinking my high school intern may check in with them individually each week to check their progress and give them new words when they master the circled ones. We'll just wait and see how this goes.

Now to the fun stuff! My word work activities- here goes nothing!

1. Bottle of Words
If found the original bottle of words on pinterest. You can check it out here. I made my own recording sheet for whole group practice. Then, I cut and glued the headings into a spiral. I put a colored dot on top of the bottle to match the corresponding spiral and we were ready to go. They love it. (I used packing peanuts instead of the noodle things. I just wanted something quiet!)
2. Winning Word Roll
Love this game, especially now that they have their own list of words to work on. To download this, go here.

3. Keyboard
Again, they are practicing their own words. They get to "type" their words using colored fly swatters. My student teacher made the keyboard last year using a shower curtain liner. She used a sharpie to draw the keys then stuck on vinyl letters. Some of the letters are starting to peel. If they come off you can just draw them in with a sharpie. If you teach kinder, this game is a must! I promise it helped them so much when we went to the computer lab. They were no longer searching for the right key like lost little sheep.

4. Spinners
The students get to practice writing their words in different ways. Surprisingly the boys LOVE this. To download, go to my post called THE SPINNER.

5. Fry's Phrases
Still working on this one, but my sweet friend Ally let me take a picture of hers. She is awesome and this is her awesome idea. Write Fry's phrases on craft sticks, students pull the stick and read the phrase. She even put them in a McDonald's fries carton. CUTE!

6. Texting Words
I'm currently collaborating with our iTeam to create an Iphone texting page, but I totally stole the idea from Teacher Tipster. You can download the blackberry page here. Oh, and while you are there scroll down to the One Breath Boxes. Awesome!

7. Kaboom
Last year we called this pop and it was a hit. This year I changed the name because it would be way to babyish to play a kindergarten game! Sheesh! Basically I write or glue the Fry's words
on craft sticks and stick them in a can. I also add several sticks with Kaboom on them. Students pull a stick and read the word. If they don't know the word, they return the stick. They keep the sticks they can read. When they pull Kaboom, all the sticks are returned. This game can get really silly, so I will probably create some sort of recording chart or a way to make them more accountable since we are first graders now!

I know I mentioned this before, but I don't put these ALL out at once. It's always fun to rotate the activities, but it's nice to have several to choose from. I hope you found something here you can use. I will post my iPhone text page as soon as possible! If you find something fabulous for word work, please leave a comment and share!

Almost forgot, I found this really cool sight word game on pinterest. She used Candy Land and turned it into a game. Check it out! I went ahead and typed up most of the Fry's first 100. I left off the super easy ones like a, I, up, and at. But for the most part they are all there. Enjoy!

Daily 5 I-Charts

Hello friends,

I hope you had another terrific week. I'm going to break one of those blog etiquette rules today and post twice. For now, I'm going to give you all copies of our Daily 5 I-Charts. You'll notice I don't have Listen to Reading posted yet, we are still working on that. I consider myself very lucky that we are already up to "Daily 4" in mid September. It helps when you get to keep your kids for two years. Just know, we may be doing 4 parts of the Daily 4, but we are definitely still building our stamina on the Read to Someone part.

You'll notice that each I-chart has two pages. One page is the chart I created with my students. We use words like "participation" because that's part of our Mustang Code. Or, when we refer to voice levels, we usually have something like voice level 0 (silent) or voice level 1 (whisper/six inch voice). You probably don't want that, so I made an extra page that closely follows the book.

If you want to download just click below.

I'm sorry issuu is making you create an account to print and download- yikes! I tried to fix that, but I'm not an issuu expert at this point. Here are the links for google docs. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New class pics and free printables!

Unfortunately I spent quite a bit of time up at school yesterday. Blah! However, I got quite a bit accomplished. Lucky for me, my sweet friend Ally was there so I had someone to talk to! I finally feel like my room is coming together and you can actually tell that we ARE learning something. I love the beginning of the year because the room is so clean and organized, something strange happens when the kids come into the picture.

Anyway, thanks to a wonderful I-Team friend, I found this awesome site called issuu. Pretty cool! I uploaded all the pictures of my room as well as some free pdf's for you to print. It was quick, easy, and I think it will be very easy for you to use. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

And, yes, I got a little ahead of myself. Let's just say I got a little upload happy. You will see I have some documents on here that I have not blogged about- YET. I promise I will give more details this week, or you can just google or pinterest it and I'm sure you'll get the idea.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Morning Message

I just love three day weekends. I feel like I get SO much accomplished. For instance, I've been dragging my feet with our morning message routine this year. I wanted something new, I wanted something fresh, I wanted something the kids would enjoy- give me a three day weekend and it's done.

I spent some time reading about morning message. We do writing twice a day: in the morning for Daily 5 and later in the afternoon we do a writing workshop. During Daily 5 I really just want to teach a quick mini-lesson, most likely on mechanics, spacing, etc. I thought morning message would work perfectly.

My favorite site was Mrs. Nelson's Class. I got lots of great morning message ideas here, especially if you read all the way to the bottom where other teachers have submitted ideas. Now I have figured out where I want to start and more importantly, where we are headed.

I really wanted a catchy name for our "Daily News." That's when I ran across this site and discovered someone did the legwork for me. SWEET! Some of my favorites from the list were Humbug and Reflector. In the end I decided to go with 1B Chronicles.

Then, I typed up all the fun stuff I wanted to include: issue #, date, yesterday in review, what's happening today, reported by, nonsense word, and the code word. Cut it out, glued it, and this is the final product:

My plan right now is to laminate the chart and reuse it each day. I will have the technology guru take a picture of the newspage. I'm considering posting the pictures on our class blog at the end of the week. We'll see how that works out! (If all else fails, I'll make a class book with the pictures.)

For now, just my student teacher and I will be the reporting. I'm hoping in the next few weeks we can have the kids add bits and pieces. This whole idea may be genius or it may just bust! Time will tell!

Enjoy your day off teacher friends!

P.S. This probably won't be very helpful, but maybe a start. Click here for the google doc I used to make the news page labels.