Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Daily 5-It has been an amazing journey! Plus Freebie

Hello friends!
I can not believe we are already in May with 22 days left of school...NOT that I'm counting ;). The clock was on fast forward the whole year. I still can't seem to catch my breathe...whoa.

I have been doing Daily 5 for a couple of years now and have found that it truly addresses the whole child. It helps my students be independent and cooperative at the same time. It helps them become more responsible for their own work. It allows them to learn in an environment of self-discovery. When I look around my room, I see students actively engaged in meaningful learning. Above all, it allows me to pull students either 1:1 or in small groups to provide targeted instruction.

I'll be honest. I was ter.ri.fied of even getting started with my kinders after being gone from the grade for a couple of years due to looping with my previous class. I knew all the reasons why it works, but I found myself wondering where to even begin the journey. Most of my kiddos couldn't write their names, some knew few, if any letters or sounds to start the school year, and most struggled with fine motor skills. I simply realized that it would be a very slow process and that it was okay if it was. I took things very slowly and let my kiddos be my guide of how much they could handle and when. We did chug along (AND I DO MEAN SLOWLY) in our Daily 5 block of time.

It all seemed to come together sometime early April to what I consider an ideal situation. For the most part, my kiddos worked independently, but I still had to proctor the room between small groups to put out small fires or redirect my littles. Now my kiddos can function with very little supervision or redirection.

I purchase many of the resources I use for word work from some amazing TpT sellers. When I can't find what I need, I just make my own. I thought I would share some of the jobs (I don't call them games) my kiddos do during this time.

  This is our pocket chart for Daily 5.

 Word Work

 This Race to the Top game is combination reading and writing. This was back in December. They only had to mark an x in the box after they read the word correctly. Since January, they are required to write the word in the box. This a favorite one for sure! You may get a FREE copy of the forms I use each month by clicking here or the picture below.

Read to Self/Partner Read
                                              By Karen Jones
                                                         (Fluency Work for Emergent Readers)

Listen to Reading

Work on Writing
                                By A Teachable Teacher                                       By Tara West



 I know you hear it all the time, BUT this is definitely my kiddos favorite!! Well, what is it? It's Write the Room. I have two clipboards with a pencil attached (never gets lost) to them. Two students at a time can walk the room to find the read and write the words. They get to wear the theme glasses for the month and they just think they are all that and more. My kinders have gotten so good at using these words in their writing and have been able to pick up on patterns such as long vowels, ar, and -y at the end of words. It is amazing what I have witnessed in the last couple of months. I will be posting on their writing growth in another post. This job also does wonders for those kiddos that simply need to move a little more. 

                                                                                                              Some of the glasses they have been able to use.

The form is from my Write the Room May edition. This is a sample of the form we are using this month.          

I do have a Write the Room for every month available. The bundle right now is over 50%.
 That's only $2.50 per month.         

I really hope this has been helpful. Let me know what works for you.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'm Coming Home...

Hello friends,
I am feeling a little nervous (like getting on a bike after many years). There was so much going on in my life-life happens- that something had to give. My life seems to have settled down quite a bit and I'm very happy to be back.

Every year I tell myself that I am going to keep the same theme for more than one year, but no matter what, I always end up changing my theme. Over the summer, I contemplated many- superheroes, jungle, and the cool blue cat. I'm not fond of real life cats, but that blue cat won me over! My 1st graders last year loved him and would hum his music ALL.THE.TIME. The other problem I encountered, was that finding decor was quite challenging. I did purchase some items, then made many of my own. So with further ado, here is my class in photos:

My classroom door.

 My Writer's Workshop Process Chart.
Teacher sample with student expectations numbered. The picture direction cards are from Miss Kindergarten.

Student sample (I was talking to my dad-that we can go to the store) with rubric. Click HERE for a copy of the rubric.

 Happy Birthday Card
student pages

 Happy Birthday Class Book--each student will write/draw to the birthday person and then I staple all the pages into a book that they get to take home to share with their families.
 Pete gets to sit with them all day and they get to have the birthday sign at their desk.

 I am loving this blue cat soooo much, that this may be the year that I finally repeat a theme. I am really happy to be back to share what is happening in my classroom. I'll be back to share more photos, my Daily 5 in Kinder,  and my struggles as well as my triumphs.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Love to Read-Dr. Seuss

Read Across America is one of my favorite times of the year. I get to read so many silly books and many with great themes: keeping your word, trying new things, responsibility.

This year was especially special. My student teacher Ms. Anna is fab.u.lous. She taught them this really cute poem, that they also presented at our assembly.

For a special treat, she invited her father, Detective Anna, to read a couple stories to my kiddos.

 Too go along with One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish, the students were given a blue bowl with a handful of fish crackers. They first had to estimate, then do an actual count, and finally determine if there estimate was greater than, less than, or equal to their actual measurement.

After reading Green Eggs and Ham, we made a dessert version (green vanilla pudding, with a wafer cookie, and green sprinkles for salt and pepper).

They got to create a hybrid animal after they we read Horton Hatches an Egg. This was my favorite:

Of course no Dr. Seuss celebration is complete without a hat. We had the students write down the title of the books on the hat as we read each one. At the end of the day, they got to put a fish on their favorite one.

For a sweet treat, we made them a hat topper pencil.

 Last, but never least, here are my kiddos with Ms. Anna. We sure are going to miss her.

How do you celebrate the big day?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Love & Friendship

I feel so behind...but here's a look at our day.
Valentine's Day was so much fun for my kiddos. I know it is a commercialized holiday, but I love it nonetheless. My hubby and I are pretty low-key about the day, eating at our favorite Japanese restaurant and sharing an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. This year, that cake disappeared too quickly--teenage boys.
In the classroom, I love the excitement that builds up to the "BIG" day. My kiddos can't contain their excitement to pass out their cards and goodies. I love that my students are so engaged and eager, and the whole time they are learning.  I have posted a few pics of our activities.

 The poem is from Dedee Wills February Poetry Collection- I have the year bundle. They are absolutely FAB.U.LOUS! We read Monster Love. It is an absolutely wonderful story about a monster that feels like he doesn't belong, until he finds someone that loves "him". It is my new favorite book.

 The heart craft idea I got online, but I can no longer find the link. If you know whose idea this is, please let me know to credit them. My kiddos wrote a note to their parents on back by completing the sentence stem, "If you'll be my Valentine..." Their letters were very touching.

They came out so cute!

  The vertical contraction came form Aimee over at Primarily Speaking. Both of these crafts were a perfect/cute way to practice our contractions.
 Of course we did candy sorting and graphing.

We made Love Potion Floats - Cherry 7-Up, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a maraschino cherry.

 These were the goodies we made for the kiddos. They filled up their baggie with Valentine goodies and cards.
This is my absolutely WON.DER.FUL. student teacher reading Pete the Cat Valentine's Day Is Cool. She bought it for the class and dedicated it to them--aaahhh! I'm going to miss her so much when she's gone.

That is a wrap.
I hope your day was filled with love!


By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
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