Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seuss at work!

I LOVE Seuss week!  We have been reading our "Cat in the Hat on Wheels" book and adding illustrations.  They love their little readers and the transportation vocabulary is great for them.  I love how the directed draw lesson produces so many different illustrations :)  Their cats are so cute and it makes the book much more meaningful.  The dots have also been a great help for tracking!


The addition pages have also been so much fun!  The kids are so excited to add on their own and count the fun Seuss pictures.  They are doing so well and love doing this independently.  They have been so engaged with this activity, I can't wait to make another version for St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Dr. is in!

The packet is finished!  Just in time for next week's fun :)  I can't wait to use these activities in my own classroom and share them with my team.  In fact, we already have a bunch of the stuff prepped and ready for Monday.  Get it here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dr. Seuss is on the move!

After the grade-level collaboration today, I was sent to work on my new packet. . .all about Dr. Seuss' wonderful characters.  To top it off, we plan on integrating the HM curriculum and mix it up with transportation.  The first book is finished (after a clip art shopping spree) with picture/word cards for the pocket chart.  Up next is an accompanying worksheet, math activities, another book, and most likely more that I haven't even thought of. . .

Look for it this weekend!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bubbling over books!

I love bubble map books!  They are officially my new favorite activity.  This is our second success, and definitely not the last!  It's a week long process: we start by talking about the topic (in this case, Abe), pair/share the next day to create a bubble map together, review the bubble map again the third day, and day four and five are spent illustrating and reading the book.  This activity is like magic for their reading skills.  Because they compose the text, it's so much more meaningful and they soak up the vocabulary like crazy!  These little miracle books have my kids reading sentences about Lincoln with fluency and confidence.  Not only can they read big words like important, Lincoln Memorial, and president, they are using their high-frequency words in a meaningful way to show how much they know about our 16th president!  Our last bubble map book was student-illustrated, but I used pictures I found online for this one.  We actually looked for pictures together, using the SMARTboard and Google, then matched them to the text on our map.  By the time they got the book, matching the words to the pictures was a snap.  I am so proud of my reading historians, and can't wait to see what we write next! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Presidents' Day

I'm nearly finished with a new package of activities...with bubble maps to organize our thoughts, sentence building, emergent reader, vocabulary reader, fact cards, math activity, fact match, and CVC word puzzles!  I just want to add one more puzzle (which is saved at work, of course!) and then it will be up on TpT tomorrow morning :)  Check it out here.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I've been differentiating the homework the last couple weeks, so have been bringing it home to check it.  Today I got an interesting surprise when I read a response to the prompt, "Write about what you like to do at home."  Most kids talked about playing, coloring, and reading books, but not this friend.  For once, I'm glad he forgot to make a picture!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Skill Workshop

In an effort to make every minute count, we've been trying a new thing- skill workshop.  Instead of a whole group daily review, we have groups that are skill based and designed to be mostly independent.  One group goes on laptops to watch a review movie I made, another watches a PowerPoint that reviews letters, sounds, blending, sight-words, and numbers/counting in a BINGO format.  The BINGO aspect is great because it keeps them engaged and super motivated.  I made sheets that have numbers 1-30 in a tracing font.  The numbers on the presentation are all mixed up, so when a number comes up, the kids use dry-erase markers to trace the number on their papers (in sheet protectors).  The other kids have writers' workshop.  They work on on-going projects that have several activities to help them create their own stories.  While the groups are all working, I am free to conference with writers, give mini-lessons to small groups, and pull kids to work on specific skills or progress monitor.  I LOVE it so far!  We've done it for less than a week, but the kids already know what to do, where to go, and what is expected of them.  Before I have to ask, they get their supplies and get started.  When we started the new routine, we talked a lot about why we were making changes and that this new time would be for them to practice what they need to practice.  With everyone working on tasks specific to their levels, the kids are happy, engaged, and making the most of those minutes.  My next step is to have the principal come in to observe so I can get some feedback and suggestions.