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Monday, March 23, 2015

Got Phonics? Short i

This unit has a lot of NO Prep Short I activities but honestly as much as I want to do everything NO Prep I know one of the first steps in independence and self regulating is peer or partner work.  I did research for two years on self-regulating students and I know partner work is important.  I try to create a balance in my units to give you options to suit your student and teaching needs and style.  

I was thrilled when my struggling readers were sounding out and listening to the words.  I would hear kids saying d-i--g  d -i-g  -ig when they completed the activities.  I didn't realize how much the activities would force my kiddos to sound out and listen to the sounds.   Model how to sound out and hear the sounds.  They won't instantly know how to do that.   The way the activities are created also force the kids to say the words and think about the sounds.  
Medial short vowel i  Word families  Rhyming
I use the curriculum decodables with short i and reading a-z for the reading component when teaching the short vowel sounds.  This unit helps introduce circle maps and tree maps if you use those in your class.  You can see, this unit has just about everything you will need for teaching rime, word families, and medial vowel short i.  The unit includes short i word searches, word boxes, sorts, graphing and a lot more!
Short i word search cut and paste circle maps tree maps


There are 3 easy games for students to play or for you to use in small groups or RTI.  I racked my brain for a way to come up with a solution to pieces EVERY where because I know my weakness is keeping track of pieces to games!  I also know some students will spend the entire time setting up a game and then they never get a chance to play.  Kinders and Independent Game play were just 2 words that didn't go together at least for me this year (my 1st year in kinder).  I have been brave lately and with more skills under their belt I have been teaching them to work with partners and play games.  My disinterested students were interested and my lowest off-task learners were engaged so as much as I dislike noise and games I know I need them.  The games in these units are simple enough and all the activities except the worksheets I have students complete in pairs.  

Kindergarten Phonics Phonemic Awareness

I am limited on copies this year so the printables that are not cut and paste are put into clear plastic sleeves in a binder and kids can choose to work on those in word-work.  They tend to like working on them that way.  I also pull the binders for kids to work on when I am working with kids in small group so they can work on the activities while each student reads to me.  I use this as a divider.  Right now I have the short a and short i vowels and will add the other vowels as we go.   You can download the cover in the preview of the unit for free.  Just click on any picture or HERE if you want to see the contents of the unit of close.
short i activities
If you are looking for more challenging phonics and your kiddos have passed this level you can find the long i units spelled CVCe HERE and Long i spelled i, i_e, ie, igh, y, HERE.

I will be adding pictures of the binders and the games made with binding this week so bookmark me or sign up to receive updates through bloglovin.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Have you ever . . . Humor Me Please!

I am so relieved, thankful, and happy to be on spring break!  It was very much needed.  I will be going in to school to work on some posters for literacy night on Tuesday and I really want to rearrange my room but with only 2 months left - I just don't know if that will happen.  My to-do list is longer than  _________  you can fill in the blank there.  I am trying to be politically correct here. 

Anyhow, you know how you think you have heard or seen it all when you teach? I mean kids make you laugh, they frustrate you, and they break our hearts with their stories. Of course in teaching you can never really think you have seen it ALL.   

Well, last Friday I got a call a call from the office secretary informing my student who is a kinder, TP'd the office bathroom and they did a really good job at it.  It took them forever to clean.  Could you imagine????  I just had to laugh.  It wasn't a boy either.   I wish I had a picture.  Now I know I can wrap a toilet paper roll for Christmas and give them it as a gift ever year (in good humor of course).   I'll add that to the list of things students do.   Not only that but the week before I had a kinder hand out printed pictures of Chucky (the doll) on the bus and kids were apparently crying on the bus because of it. Do you know who Chucky is?  Guess what?  Not a boy either.  It was actually one of my sweetest most quietest girls in my class.   DO you have any student stories that can just make us laugh?  Share them, PLEASE so we know we are not alone.  Happy Spring Break if you are on it!  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Differentiated Homework: Super Easy K-3

What a fun, crazy, hectic week!
Last week I spent 2 days at Dr. Appt.s for my son.  He had broke his pinky but he ended up needing surgery with pins and a full cast to boot.  All of that for his little pinky (his writing hand too).  Needless to say I will be spending most of today helping him complete missed work from school.  He is doing much better now - just B-O-R-E-D because of his limitations (still medicated in this picture).  My poor little guy. 



Yesterday was my husbands birthday.  We spent the day at his friends place.  I tried to take pictures but you just can't see the view I saw.  It was gorgeous.  We were sitting on a hillside overlooking the ocean with greenery all around.  This place was tucked in the mountainside like a secret hideaway.   It sat on 3 1/2 acres of pure greenery, lights strung across the trees, a rustic bar, and a bonfire.  I felt like I was in a Pinterest Pin : ) .  The White part in the picture on the left is the ocean, 



Alright - So back to reality.  Last week I put these reading response logs into a usable printable unit.
Here is the reason reasons I like these:

1) Kids are reading a book that is appropriate for their reading level.  They can read a book you assign, a book from home or parents can read to them.  So the reading is differentiated yet . . .

2)The kids are practicing a comprehension strategy.  I pick the reading log that corresponds to what we have been working on in class. So it is their choice of book but practice is based of of what they are being taught.

3). Children are responding to reading through writing.

4).  Application of sight words and grammar is integrated in their responses.

5) I send home one sheet for the entire week and I don't have to spend time making "homework packets (very important when you are limited on copies)." 
6) Homework was simplified with more meaningful homework where children need the most practice -     READING/WRITING/COMPREHENSION
Reading Log Homework


I love these things.  The kids LOVE them too! The Response logs are easily differentiated because children can read books at their level and of their interest.
The Way I Teach

I did not use these the first half of the year in kindergarten.  I started using them in January.  I always showed the children how to do these before they went home. 
I love reading what they write. I really am not sure about homework in kindergarten but my district has homework in kindergarten this year. However, I would have used these in 1st grade and definitely 2nd.   Most of all my kids complete these and turn these in on the following Monday.  I always have them turn homework in on Monday to give them the weekend to make up work in case they had a day they couldn't complete it.
Reading Response Log Reading Log


The unit has editable templates so you can type your newsletter to parents explaining the reading long and includes the Reading Response questions for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.   I have included several options including the one I send home now.  Of course you can use your own too.
Differentiated Homework  The Way I Teach

I suppose if you wanted, you could post sentence frames on the board and use these for write about reading in your Daily 5 rotations too.  If you purchase this unit and you want something added or changed please email me. I will be happy add and adjust the unit.
You can check out the Unit HERE or click on any of the pictures and it will take you to it.  Happy SUNDAY!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The ER an Enchanting Math Resource and more Randomness

Have you seen Arithmetic Village with Polly Plus and Linus Minus?   I wrote a quick post over on Who's Who and Who's New last week.  I just couldn't believe I hadn't ran across that resource before. Once I found the resource, I introduced it to my students immediately and integrated it into the math lessons.  I didn't have everything I wanted to start but it really is amazing what you can come up with when pressed for time and most the time it ends up better than had you planned it!  AMEN to that!  


Kimberly, the extremely creative and generous lady below is the creator of these enchanting resources.  The literature piece to connect the math concepts are just what I needed.  She also sells the hard copy or downloadable copies of the books on her TpT store (I think her store is new because she doesn't have many followers yet and a resource like that - she should have tons).    



Here is what I have done so far and when I have more time to plan and gather the items to fully implement the Linus Minus and Polly Plus I will add pictures.  I purchased these sweet things from party city ($4.99) to tell some stories about Linus Minus.
Right  away we started coloring our minus signs blue and plus signs yellow.   I wanted to use little burlap bags to put gems in for the kids to write math stories in their journals but I am just not there yet (time).   So what did I do - I pulled yellow cubes and blue cubes.  They are not as pretty as the cute gems above I used to tell stories but they work.

Activity:
Each child had 1 blue and 1 yellow cube (they really were getting mixed up between plus and minus signs prior to this).  I orally told the children math stories with addition and subtraction.  The children held up the cube that corresponded to correct addition sign.  We are now working on listening and writing the stories.

Activity:  
I gave children blue cubes to practice telling and writing subtraction sentences.

They used yellow cubes to practice and tell addition stories and number sentences.

The children wanted to tell the class their own Linus Minus stories and Polly Plus stories.  They caught on super quick and they always want me to reread the books.  




Let me first say, I will add to this post as I take pictures but that will not be happening this week. Nope.  I will be at the hospital with my son.  We were in the ER on Thursday and had to leave school mid-day to pick my son up from school.  He broke his pinky and has to have surgery on Wednesday! All for this little pinky.  We were in the ER for 5 hours then have appts. on Monday and surgery on Wednesday - yes, I said that twice because that means lesson plans - which I despise doing.

My little guy was not happy - at all.   His baseball season is officially over and I really am not sure how his schoolwork is going to work since he will be getting a cast on his writing hand.  They have to pin it.


I really need to start posting more.  I have at least 5 things to say and they should all be different posts but by the time I get around to it I want to say it all at once - sorry about that! For example, I wanted to tell you the story of this ginormous bug , our AMAZING Read Across America Event, my 130 page Fish Unit that took forever, and STmath but I'll have to save those for another time.

Warm regards!

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