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Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer - Week 3 - Read to Someone

'Bet you will all be real jealous... this week I am campin out in the woods!!
Yep that is right... in a tent without showers or toilets for 5 days.
Some decisions are made because you love the gospel and take your calling seriously and sincerely love the youth.
So, I might not be responding to your posts and comments, however, I will be looking forward to them this weekend (along with a hot shower ;)
This week I wanted to share some of the things I learned and tried last year with Read to Someone... AND... a couple things that I plan to do to improve.
After much practice and reinforcement with EEKK, my kiddos did a fairly good job with Read to Someone. We used the poster below to describe ways to read with someone properly. I didn't see/remember too much choral reading (unless it was a week that I focused on it and encouraged them to use that particular strategy)... many times I remember my students using Read to Someone to read, review the story from our basal. Whether it was the story for the week OR stories we read in the past.
Somewhere I read (on a blog) of students sitting on bright colored bath mats during read to someone. I know that Target and Walmart tend to have college essentials at BtoS time, so I might keep my mind open to this idea. While at Target this weekend, I ran into these cute chairs and Japanese lanterns.  I plan to hang the lanterns (with a table number) over my tables... but I thought the chairs would be fun for Daily 5.  I'm one that is still stuck in the PRIMARY COLOR era... so I was excited to find them.  I actually went back to get the blue set also ;)
Another thing I noticed was that my kids really enjoyed non-fiction this year.  I couldn't purchase enough for them.  My cute collegues (friends ;) and I decided to purchase Scholastic News for that very reason.  We purchased a class set and shared them between the 4 classes.  We each had 6 new copies for each week of the school year.  We purchased a set for the final 12 weeks of school just to try things out and the kids really enjoyed them during Read with Someone.  I only allow 6 kids go to each of the 5 Dailys at a time so we always had enough. Because we received a new one each week, I didn't stress about laminating or doing much to them.  I always kept about 5 sets out at a time so they could choose the one the wanted.  It was fun to hear them read the 3 different ways and ask and answer the questions found on the back of the magazine.
Hope you all have a great week in the comforts of your home ;)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Patriotic FREEBIE

While at the store today, I saw these little red, white and blue guys.
I've attached the freebie here.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Blog Party - Week 2 Work of Writing & Journals

Week 2... Work on Writing and Journals
 I hate to see the summer time go quickly!
We enjoyed a fun few days up in Yellowstone National Park with some dear friends last week... this will be my first week of pjs until 10:00 am (it's a goal ;)
Writing was an personal goal of mine last school year.
It was a subject I felt I needed to improve in order to see improvement in my student's work. I added a monthly writing page to my student portfolios to track the progress throughout the year and 'creative bursts' to help my student spark an interest or idea. These 'burst' were nothing more than topic cards (half sheet) with pictures and words related to a specific topic. We used these all year long, during portfolio work time, creative writing, Daily 5, etc. I created the cards as the year went along to include holidays, subjects discussed in class and topics my students showed an interest in. A couple times I found a small ripped piece of paper on my desk reading,
 "Mrs. Evans, I would like to write about different pets.
Could you make a new card for the box? 
Thanks, xxxx"
Having key words allowed them to not worry so much on the spelling and get the words and thoughts down on paper. Each file contains the cards, a foldable booklet for ABC order, syllables etc. along with lined writing paper. I didn't use the additional resources much, but I did print and laminate 6 of each card and continue to add them to my 6 Work on Writing Boxes. I'm glad these are complete and ready to go for the next school year.
Each student also had a copy of this writing box idea.
Occasionally we would add ideas to the chart as a class, however, the students added to their own often, without my assistance. 
One of my new goals for this upcoming year is to dig deeper into the 3 specific types of writing.  We dabbled and I believed they understood the difference... but this next year I want to KNOW that they KNOW the difference and are successful with each.
I plan to search high and low for ideas/ lessons and activities to share with my future kids.  I'm hoping that someone might share a success they had with this particular part of the curriculum.
Each Work on Writing box had these little reminders also.
I didn't focus as much on personal journals last year as I have in the past.
This year we will be focusing though ;)  I toyed with the idea of posting a new journal entry each day as an option for Work on Writing.  I would have them write the entry in their spiral notebooks (that I use just for Work on Writing... in their book box) rather than copy and bind a whole journal for each child.  We are watching our paper and supply budgets closely and think it might help us save BUT still continue the skill.
My thought is to use one of the mini lessons when we regroup (during Daily 5) to properly teach the kids how to create a journal entry... date, rewriting the quesion in a complete sentence etc. By the time Work on Writing is discussed and implemented... they'll have had plenty of opportunities to try it out.
That is my idea (for now... until my next dream ;)  I'd love to hear other ideas and routines.
I'm excited to move Work on Writing up the ladder of instruction
and introduce it earlier to the kids.
Out of curiousity... what do you use for your writing notebook.
I always stock up on spiral notebooks at the Back to School sales,
 however, I'm always up for a different idea.
Please feel free to link up and share a recent or old post regarding Work on Writing and Journals.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Literacy Centers for September and October

 I finally have my September and October Literacy Centers posted (November and December are coming soon). They are a tad bit different from January, February, March, April, May and June in the fact that they were designed to use as a whole group to instruct and discuss the 12 grammar standards.  There is a poster with the definition, a hands on activity and worksheet (in booklet form also) just like the others... everything is just a bit bigger.
I plan on using these for some of my mini lessons during Daily 5 (even before we get to WORD WORK). I've placed magnet strips on the back to hang on my white board near my Daily 5 area of the classroom.I might use the worksheets as an assessment... I'll see.
Hopefully with a few months of group discussion and interaction with these standards, they will be able to be ready to dive into the individual boxes come January.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Blog Party - Week 1 Read to Self/Book Organization

My first day of summer! Wahoo!!
Hubby is out packing the car right now so we can take the kiddos up to Yellowstone National Park for the week...but I wanted to set up the blog hop so we can start sharing our ideas.  I was told by our school reading coach that the Sisters have made a few changes regarding with the Daily 5 so I'm planning on checking things out on their website.  I'll share my findings asap!!

I LOVED using Daily 5 in my classroom last year.  It was my first and I became a real believer!!  My dear co-worker and I took it step by step and followed the book page by page. It will be nice this year to have the tools already in place in the classroom.
My school uses the Accelerated Reader system so I've organized my books into the red dots (1st grade), yellow dots (2nd grade), and blue dots (3rd grade) into corresponding tubs.
I also focus on 10 different authors throughout the year so they each have their own box. Each book has a colored dot on the inside cover for the kiddos to know if it is a good fit book.  These are all my picture books... I also have book crates holding chapter books. They are organized into series rather than dots.  One thing I noticed with the students this past year is that they really enjoyed the non-fiction text.  I'm wondering if I should create a new area  labeled NON FICTION... I'd love to hear how you have organized your books to help the kids... I'm always up for a change.
I purchased book boxes at Target last summer from the $ Spot. 
Each box was $3.00 so I spent about $90.00, however, I only have to replace a couple. Hopefully they will be available when their back to school supplies come out.
Inside the boxes they each had the basal, 5 good fit books, 1 spiral  notebook (work on writing), journal notebook (word work) and a cute little book that I found on the internet.  They were only about 4 x 3 inches and they sort of served as a "review" for the kids after they read a story... I loved them... last year I ran them off, made little books but didn't save an original (not my best, I know). I wanted to use them again but couldn't find it on the internet... I typed them up so I could make new ones... but would LOVE to give credit to the real creator.  If you recognize this product and can direct me to the website/blog... I love you for it.  Here is my version...
Be sure to link up below. I'd love to hear how you have implemented Read to Self in your classroom.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer Linky Party.... Blogville style

This summer my focus is revising and adding to my findings of the past 2 summers. 2 years ago Deedee Wills invited me to study and share in the Debbie Diller Math Stations blog study... it was a fabulous opportunity to meet many talented teachers in blogville and learn from their classroom experiences.  I have implemented Debbie's strategies in my own class and truly believe my kiddos are better off and stronger mathematicians.  Last summer many wonderful ladies participated in the Daily 5 blog party.  Once again... I was in awe and so anxious to try it out within my own 4 little walls.  It was a lot of work, but SO incredible.  I am excited to revise and tweak a bit for this fall and try it again.  10 weeks goes by so quickly and I plan to enjoy each one with my cute little family... but... I want to better myself as a teacher... SO... I'm setting up a linky party for the summer... CliffsNote style (short and with pictures ;)!  I've created a 10 week list of topics we might share in common.  My hope is to have friends link up and share their expert and creative ideas that they use in their classrooms. I'd love to continue learning... from each of you. If you have the time and or energy...please stop by...share the party with your blog lists and let's get everyone involved. 
Stop by tomorrow and share your Read to Self (Daily 5)ideas
 and ways that you have organized your books for your students.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

End of the Year Candy Awards - UPDATED!!!

I uploaded another version of my candy awards for the end of the school year...
if you prefer these more ... just download your previous purchase and                                              now you'll have 2 versions!!