Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Get Your Word Wall Verbs! My Newest Freebie!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

I just wanted to post about my newest freebie!

Word Wall Verbs!

These are common core aligned to help the kids get a better understanding of the complex vocabulary that goes with common core.

I have mine posted above my alphabet.  I use the words as often as I can and I am seeing a much better understanding of the words from the kids.  They are actually using them when the use their Accountable Talk!  I LOVE IT!  While we did a math task the other day I heard one of the kids use one of the words while they were defending their answer. 
It made my day!

Here is a sample of the freebie.  Just click on the picture and it will take you to TPT so you can download it for FREE!

I hope everyone is having a GREAT WEEK!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reading for some Pumpkin Fun!

As I sit here on Fall Break, I decide to make up some samples of some of projects I wanted to do with the kids in the next few weeks.  We have been working really hard on making webs and writing rough drafts from them.  The kids have done really well it and it's time to make some PUMPKINS!

Here is a picture of the outside of the craftivity I have planned for next week.  We are writing funny stories about pumpkins that try to run away. 

After we finish, I am planning to make a huge pumpkin patch display in the classroom.  With Open House coming in a few weeks, I thought this would be really cute!  You can click on the picture to go directly to the link. 


Monday, October 7, 2013

Reading Centers!

For many years I struggled to find the perfect reading centers.  Everything I put together was either too hard for the kids to do by themselves or it required so much prep time on my part I was going nuts.  I've tried so many different things and I think I have finally find the right combination for me.

It required a little bit of prep work to get them organized, but now all I have to do is switch a few things every six days.  It is mostly add some new books and notebook paper.  It never takes me more than a few minutes to change it up, so it is TEACHER FRIENDLY!

I run reading groups three days a week.  I have six different reading centers and the kiddos go to only one center while I do reading groups.   I've split the kids so that they aren't in the same reading center with someone in their reading group.  This way when I am meeting with a group it decreases the number of students in each center.

Here are My Six Centers:
Spelling Center - 6 different activities that focus the kids attention on the order of the letters - they complete one activity each time they are in the center

Non-Fiction Reading - it helps tie into the common core standards by reading and writing about a non-fiction book of their choice - I try and use books that go with our science and Social Studies topics - the kids follow a list of ten things that they have to locate and tell about in the book - the kids really love this one!

Squiggle Center - they get a blank box with a squiggle line on it and they turn it into a picture and write a story about it - great review of those paragraph skills

AR Center - it is ten to fifteen preselected books for the students to read and take AR tests on - I made a data sheet for them to record the title and their score on it

Writing Center - I pick a poem, letter, or paragraph for them to copy and analyze by answering preselected questions

Sticker Story Center - finally a use for all those tiny little stickers we have - they pick 5 of the stickers and make them into a picture and then write a story

You can see that these centers have lots of reading and writing in them.  The kids LOVE it and want to go to centers each day.  I also have an Early Finisher Folder in most of the centers to keep everyone on task.  I put a review worksheet or a book in it for those kids that finish quickly.  It has allowed me to concentrate on my reading groups and we have very few talkers because they are so involved the centers.

I made a Safari themed set for my classroom and my friend wanted a rainbow set.  Here are the pictures of some of the pages.  You can click on the link to go directly to TPT to see them.  They are on sale this week for only $4!

I hope that helps you get a few ideas for your own reading centers!

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Homework Choice Boards!

I'm always trying to think of fun things they can do for homework, but still make sure they are reviewing the skills that we are working on.  I've tried lots of different things and it always seems like it never fits all of the kids and some of them seem to forget to do homework at least once a week.  Last year I gave different homework to different kids.  It sounded like a great idea, but was hard to keep track of and it really confused my parents.  I also have given out a packet on Monday that was due Friday.  I had pretty good luck with this idea and almost all of the kids would return it.  I am always looking for something new to try and finding a great homework idea is always on my mind. 

I was working on making a choice board for my advanced kiddos to use for a science project and then it came to me!  Why not create homework choice boards?  On Monday I could give out the board and the kids could pick four things to do and turn in on Friday.  I've designed a bunch of different boards.  Some of them have activities for all of the subjects and then I have a group that are subject specific.  I made one for reading, spelling, and math.  Some weeks our spelling words are really hard, so I thought giving one just on spelling would help us do better on those words. 

Here is a sample of the packet.  You can take a better look at it
by clicking on one of the pictures and it will take you to my TPT store.