Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall is in the Air!

The weather has definitely changed!  We are expecting a pretty big storm during the next couple of days.  I love the change in the weather each season, and feeling the cool fall breezes after a long hot summer is a favorite!

With October knocking on the door, I know I need to introduce some new games to my students.
And since my little firsties are whizzing through their sight words, we are moving into list 2!  I needed an updated game for them with thematic clip "it's a brand new game" to them!  That always cracks me up.  It's the same game, but I'll call it "Trick or Treat" or "Boo" and it's completely new!  At least they're easy to please, right?

And since it's football season, I've got a new little football themed version with the first 20 words. This will be great to capture the interest of my boys!  I know the girls will like it too, but so often our games have "cute" clip art that isn't necessarily exciting for the boys.  I hope this will be a way to grab their attention during centers.    I plan on using this version for some RTI groups as well.
 I also updated my Reading Logs for Fall!  If you have purchased this in the past, please download again for the updated version!

I hope your kiddos will enjoy these games too!  Please leave a comment or feedback to let me know what you and your students think!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up! and a Freebie!

I hope you have all had a great weekend!  My family and I went to visit my daughter in SF!  It was so good to see her.  The whole family drove down to SF and hung out.  We drove across the new Bay Bridge.  It really is pretty!  I didn't get to see it at night, unfortunately.  It's supposed to be beautiful all lit up!
I'm hopeful that this will help with travel time! (Yeah, right!)  The last two times we've visited, it has take us upwards of 5 hours to make a 3 hour trip.  Tonight we made it home in 3 1/2!  Woot!  Unfortunately SFSU Volleyball did not have a winning weekend.  But, the game we saw on Saturday night was awesome.  It came down to the last possible point in the 5th game!  Totally edge of your seat excitement!

All the while, the Facebook Frenzy was happening.  When I got back to my hotel room, I had to take some time to complete the Frenzy and download like a mad woman!  Wow, my students are so lucky!  They are going to have some awesome games to play and activities to discover in their math tubs and word work tubs!

My class kicked off our Green Team Unit last week!  I love teaching this unit because the kids have so much fun.  Last week we kicked off with Recycling!  Tomorrow we'll do a sorting relay to discover what can and can't be recycled.  Here's something I've just finished for my kids!  I wanted to practice sentence word order with them, and thought this would give them some good non-fiction practice as well.  Click the picture to check it out in my store.  I'd love your feedback!
If you haven't made it over to my Facebook Page for the Facebook Frenzy, it's not too late!  The Frenzy continues until tomorrow evening!  In celebration of all of my old and new followers, I'm making one of my fall products in my store FREE for you!  Head on over and grab it here!  This is an extra freebie just for you!

Have a great FIRST WEEK OF FALL!!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's Working!

Today was the day!  We put it all in motion!  They did it!  The DAILY 5 works!!!  My firsties did it all for the first time...all 5 at the same time!  It was beautiful.  The only glitch was...wait for!  I love it and it's my nemesis! None of my headphones worked, the iPads didn't have the write app ready to know, Monday problems!  Well, the kids worked so well at their spots that I was able to help the iPad group without interruptions!  Amazing!

Working on Writing

Reading to Self

Working With Words

Reading with Someone (EEKK)

Listen to Reading

After a great morning of Daily 5 (STAR Time), we went to lunch and came back in for Math Tubs!  We did a mini lesson about writing equations.  We reviewed the addition and equal sign.  Then we completed a page from Renee's Fall themed, Cut, Do & Glue! This is a great packet, check it out!

Then my students, once again, worked independently in Math Tubs, while I worked with small groups and partners.

Math Tubs

Math Tubs - Roll, Add, Color

Math Tubs - working with Tangrams

 Finally, last Friday, we read Office Buckle and Gloria!  Then we did the CUTEST direct drawing of Office Buckle and wrote our own safety tips for school.  Aren't these pictures adorable?  I love kid art!

Officer Buckle - Direct Draw and Safety tips

Do not play in the car.  Safety tip #8!

Thanks for hopping by!  I'll be back later this week with a surprise product I've been working on!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Practice, Play and Read!

The Daily 5 is going so well in my class!  I'm loving the flexibility it gives me to work with individual students! I've started introducing lots of games and activities to my class that will help them learn their sight words!  These games and activities range from individual, group and partner play!  My students are asking to play these games and I love it!  They play which means they practice which means they are reading!!!!  They are once again the inspiration for another product.

I've included everything I use to run my Star Readers Program in this Practice, Play and Read Packet!

Each week I give my students 5 new words to work on at Word Work Tubs.  My kiddos add the 5 new words to their word rings, which stay in their reading baskets.

I simply cut off one column each week and the kids cut these apart, punch a hole (little fine motor workout :) ) and add them to the binder ring.

 During the week they will play Roll, Read and Write, several group and partner games, and at the end of the week, I'll assess them on the 5 words of the week.  After 4 lists, my kiddos will have practiced and played with 20 words! 

 After I assess them for fluency, they earn a star on one point of their Reading Star!  After filling up the Star, they move to the next 100 sight words and a second Reading Star.

I've used this method for several years now.  It is working!  I remember, years ago, I expected (the district/school expectations) my first graders to read the 1st 100 Dolch words by the end of First Grade! I've increased my expectations, and guess what?  The kids are meeting them!  Of course!  That's what children do, right?  They meet our expectations!  My students, varying classes over the past several years, are meeting my expectations and are reading 200 Dolch words by the end of First Grade.

If you want to have your students Practice, Play and Read, check it out here!

What are the expectations in your district? at your school? in your classroom?  

I'd love to read your comments!

Friday, September 13, 2013

I'm Back!

Wow!  It's been a while.  I looked at the date of my last post and can't believe it has been so long.

It has been a busy first few weeks of school for sure.  I have a very "lively" group this year with a few "special" kiddos that are going to need lots of my attention.  I'm also working with my teaching partners to fully implement the Daily 5 in our classrooms.

So far, we are LOVING the Daily 5!  We call it STAR time which goes with our yearlong theme, Reaching for the Stars.  Each point of the star is one of the Daily 5.  It actually works out well.  We are on Day 17 of implementing.  I am super excited about how well my kiddos are doing with it!  I love being able to pull kids one at a time or a few at a time to assess, read with, talk with, WHATEVER!  It's awesome.  I am also appreciating my time!  I don't feel like I have to teach the same lesson four times like I did before.  I teach mini-lessons to the whole class.  This way of teaching is SO MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE!  I feel like I'm getting to know my students in a much more personal way!

I've been busy working on some Word Work activities for my students, too.  I'll share those with you as soon as there ready!  Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Week 3 and the Daily 5

I'm looking at week 3 of the new school year and wow!  I'm exhausted already!  

Exhaustion doesn't have to be bad, right?

I've been working hard to get my students ready for the Daily 5.  My first grade team has decided to implement the Daily 5 with our group of firsties.  We have run "traditional" centers in the past, so this will be a change to our management and instruction.  We have all read the book by "the sisters" and have done lots of reading on the internet, but I still feel very overwhelmed by it all.  I re-read the book this weekend and realized that I am moving way to fast!

That is the biggest thing that seems to be stressed, is move slowly and make sure the kiddos have the routines.  I KNOW this, but every year I feel an urgency to TEACH and rush my kiddos through procedures and routines.

So, tomorrow is my 10th day of school and I'm putting on the brakes!  We will review "Read to Self" with some more attention to the anchor charts and modeling.  Then I might introduce "Read to Someone", but I may have to wait for Wednesday.

I have tried to implement the Daily 5 in the past, and gave up.  I really want to be successful this year.  I think it will be so good for my students and ME.

Any suggestions are welcome!  Please?!

Have a great week!