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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Peek at My Week-Learning About Food

Maybe not the best unit for 2 girls who are trying to lose weight! I mean really…talking about food all day can make you hungry even when you aren’t! That said, we are having a blast with this new unit!
So here’s what’s happening…
In reader’s workshop we have finally built up enough stamina to start calling guided reading groups. While during centers we work with all of the children, during reader’s workshop it is a little different. In the fall, we work with those kids who truly are ready to read. We have found that this push at the front end of the year really pays off. One reason…by January we are only meeting with these kids one time a week. Now, those kids who needed a little extra time are ready and we can meet with them more often! It seem to pay off in the end!Slide11
In writer’s workshop this week Megan set up a conferencing schedule. This way she was sure to check in with all of her little writers.Slide9
During our literacy centers we played this fun little game for segmenting sounds.
Last week I talked about how we have moved the Sound Off as a have to center for the beginning sound sorts and that during the foundational time we are working on those vowel sounds.
We are loving our Non Fiction study on food with our little leveled readers! We will snag some of those pictures next week.
We’ve started moving some of the things we have introduced into our “can do” centers. This week we introduced the playdough letters. They are a freebee in my fan freebee folder on facebook. You can get them (here).
We also introduced Deedee’s Overhead Center.
If you are wondering “What is an overhead?”, you are REALLY young! Smile
We introduced our Math Attack this week! I love this activity. It is so easy to DI! Each kid can work right in their “sweet spot” of learning. You can read more about them (here) and (here). The picture you see shows the game in color. But, if you don’t have a color printer or the $$$ for the ink, we made the games in b/w, too!
The big news is we finished our Geometry Unit. We are now starting our counting unit. Now that might seem too easy…but…here’s my thinking…We want our kids to not only be accurate with their work, we also want them to be AUTOMATIC! What is automaticity? It is getting it right without even having to think about it! The only way to develop this fluency is through repeated meaningful practice!
So now, hop on over to my friend Deedee’s blog to see a peek at the week of some other bloggers. 
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fall Time means Conference Time! Here’s Where I Will Be in October

October is a “get your feet wet” presenting month. The schedule is light and just starting up for the big fall season of conferences, seminars, and customized training.
How excited am I that I am going to present in CA? And…with my good friends Deanna, Heidi and Shannon! And how about the fact that Jim Grant, the founder of SDE will be there too! So here’s a little sneak peek into what I will be presenting. You can see the full brochure (here).
Here’s a little about some of the sessions.
Games and More for the Common Core
This session is just a variety of games that can teach the different standards. I love Roll, Say, Keep. Now this one has the ABC’s but, it is so easy to play this same game all year, just change the cards..sight words, numerals, sets, shapes, etc.
To play the game, put a card in each of the 6 boxes with the dice faces. Now a child rolls a dice. If the dice lands on 6 dots, then they have to read what is on the card that is in the box with the “6” dice face. If they can, then they get to take that card off and add another card from the stack in the empty space! Easy Peasy! Lemon Squeezy!
DI Easy as Pie
In this session I share a variety of ways to do formative assessments, how to group kids and deliver instruction so that everyone gets just what they need.
One of the big ideas is how I form families. These are groups that stay the same all year. They have a variety of levels, personalities, and needs. They are ones that can “get along”. They are not necessarily friends, but when it is work time, they WORK! These are the children they go to math and literacy centers with. These are the children they do all group work with.
THEN, when they are working, I can pull a few from each of the families based on a common need. After I work with them, I send them back to their family and pull another group! These groups that I pull from the families are constantly changing!
Phonemic Fun for Everyone
This session has lots of activities to teach those phonemic awareness skills. One of my favorite songs is Shari Sloane’s Vowel Bat song! I just love it! I made a little book to go with her song (with her permission). You can get Shari’s music on her website, Click on the book icon to find it in my tpt store.
All Eyes on You
As I have worked with beginning teachers, and sometimes not so new teachers, classroom management can be a concern. To tell you the truth, when I first started teaching I was terrible at it! I would find myself trying to yell over them and losing control. I love this little non verbal reminder. Just put a few magnets on a cookie sheet along with the “rule” you are working on. While you are teaching your class, if someone yells out, instead of stopping and verbally correcting, just pull down on the the magnets! No words needed! It is a great way for children to have a visual reminder! 
Mission Organization
Who doesn’t love to get organized? In this session I share ideas on classroom organization and other tips that will improve your instruction. One thing that I always get asked about are my carpet bags! In this session, I take the time to go through the items stored there and how we use each of them. You can read more about carpet bags (here).
Is That a Fact? Non Fiction Writing
I love to talk about writing! In this session I share ideas on how to get your children writing procedural, all about, and research pieces! I also share how this easy anchor chart is something we use all year…it is the writing process!
On October 18 I will be in Mountainside, NJ for an event sponsored by NJAKE. I’ve worked with these teachers before, so I am super excited to be able to make a return trip. Not to mention, I plan to catch a show and a few other fun things in the NYC! You can register (here).
So here are the three sessions that I am doing in NJ. Two of them are the same as I did in CA.
Literacy Centers
In this session I am going to share lots of center ideas. But, the biggest “aha” moments come when we talk about organizing, managing, and running the centers. This slide shows how we organize our classroom into zones with each zone having reading, writing, word work, and a library. The kids visit one zone a day, by the end of the week they will have been to all 5 zones. You can read more about how we do that (here).
So to round off the month, I am doing 3 customized training events. I love doing these! Here’s how it works, a district or school contacts me and tells me what they would like to see happen. We talk about how to make it work and what training I will do to help them reach their goals! This will be my second trip to both Ripley and Verona so I am excited to see those teachers again as well as meet some new teachers in San Antonio!
Hope to see some of ya’ll this fall!!! Smile
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Ahoy Mates! It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy, me Hearties!

Today is 'International Talk Like a Pirate Day'! To celebrate, I have joined with some friends to give you the chance to find lots of pirate booty!

Each blog will have some different treasure for you to find!

I want to share with you this freebee, label a pirate.

You can click the picture below and it will take you to my facebook page to pick up this freebee. (You can’t see it on your phone or ipad, only on a desktop or laptop!):
Our kids love making these treasure chests. We put a tens frame under the flap where the children can glue their “gold”. Then, they write clues about their number. For example, they might say… “It is less than 5. It is more than 3. It is an even number. It’s how many legs are on a chair.”
You can’t have Talk Like a Pirate Day without singing Jack Hartmann’s fun “Silly Pirate Song”. You can get his music (here) and the music book (here).

You can head on over to my tpt store to see our Pirate Day Sale!

Don't forget to pillage some other bloggers buccaneer's posts for more great teaching treasures!
Thanks for stopping by! 

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Food Unit is Ready!


Food Unit is up! Here is what is in the unit. Look for our Sunday post, Peek at My Week to see how we are using everything. It is on sale 20% off until Saturday morning!

MATH: Sequencing Food, Spin a Vegetable, Make a Pizza, Food Line Up-Ordinal Numbers, Spin a Salad, How Many to Make 5 Gumballs


LITERACY:  ABC food, What starts with Bb?, Stamp a Food Word, I Like Food “cut a sentence” Book, Orange Slice Segmenting Words, Slice of Syllable Pizza, Beginning Sound Grocery Store Sort, Baggy –ag Words, SOUP! Sight Word or ABC game, Gumball Blending


SCIENCE/LITERACY: Label a Chef, Rainbow Fruit, Where Does it Come From?, How to Make a PB&J Sandwich, Making a Grocery List, All About Food

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Peek at My Week, Updates, and New Math Unit

Hey Guys! I finally got around to making some requested addition/changes to some of our units. The first additions are to Let’s Get Cooking. A teacher sent me an email about the peanut allergy epidemic! She has several kids in her room that can’t have peanuts, peanut products, or anything made in a factory that makes peanut products! So I ADDED a modified recipe for these four cookbooks and follow up activities. The peanut versions are still included, this is just another option. If you already have the unit, go to your “my purchases” tab on tpt and you can download the updated version.Slide8
The next change…Reader’s Theater Units. When I updated these units sometime ago, I added a colored background thinking it made it more attractive. However, I had several teachers who expressed a concern about the backgrounds making the text too hard to read. So…I have added a script without the colored background. The colored background script is still included, if you prefer. If you already have the unit, go to your “my purchases” tab on tpt and you can download the updated version.Slide6
Last week I posted the Pets Math and Literacy Activities Unit. I mentioned in the post that I was going to add some nonfiction information this week. So here it is….I have added two nonfiction texts—one of them is simple enough for early readers. We used these this week in Megan’s room and her kids did great. We worked on labels, photographs, bold text and cutaways. I can’t believe how many features of non fiction text we already have under our belt.  We made the tree map about dogs to record our learning. We practiced reading sight words and looking at the picture and first letter to figure out a word. WOW! 30 days in and her kids are doing great! If you already have the unit, go to your “my purchases” tab on tpt and you can download the updated version.
Now something new…Michele and I have finished Unit 3 for our Small Group Math Lessons. This unit focuses on teaching counting sets to 10 in a random configuration and sets to 20 in an array, circle or line.  It also works on numeral writing. Then, we move on to comparing sets for greater than and fewer than and end the unit on comparing numerals for greater than and fewer than.
When Michele and I finished up our Reader’s Workshop Units, we put them all in a bundle. BUT, this time, we are making the bundle NOW!
If you want to get the entire series, this is the cheapest it will EVER be!  You can prepay for all ten units for a 50% discount! Then, each month we will update the bundle on tpt and you will be able to download the newest unit by going to your “my purchases” tab. Each month, the discount will decrease, until at the units have been added. It will then be it’s full price.

UPDATE: After a few questions last night --"What about if we have already purchased Units 1 and 2"--here is what we decided to do. We have made a second MEGA bundle that contains units 3-10 ONLY. So if you have already purchased Units 1 and 2 you will want to get that bundle. It is also 50% off of the cost of those 8 units. We will make that option available for a limited time to give everyone a chance to get it that previously purchased units 1 and 2.  You can get the bundle with units 3-10 ONLY here....

So now…what are we doing this week in Megan’s room….We are finishing up Pets. Next week, we will be moving on to Food!Slide1
Our morning meeting is in full force! We added our academic vocabulary this week. That was the final piece to our morning circle time!
So it looks like this:
Monday: We introduce our new sight words for the week and put them on our “parking lot”.
Tuesday: We do our “word family” of the week. At this point, it  really is all about the auditory rhyming, but many of them are picking up the phonics.
Wednesday: Unit Vocabulary. Since we started our list of pet words last week, we are adding more words to that SAME list this week.
Thursday: Book of  Lists. This gives us an opportunity to review math, science and social study standards while working on stretching out words and the sounds we hear.
Friday: Academic Vocabulary. This is where we add any new words that we have learned that week. Then, we pick a word from LAST week for our anchor chart and in-depth study.
Reader’s Workshop has us teaching our children what kinds of things they can share with a partner, and Writer’s Workshop has us reviewing all the things good writers do.
During our foundational time we are starting on vowels with our Sound Off unit. We are still doing the beginning sounds, but our kids are pretty good at those so we are using them as a center and moving to vowels for our anchor chart work.
We are using mostly items for the new Pets Unit that we just finished up for our literacy centers and our science and social studies time.
ONE MORE TO GO! Next week we will start “beefing up” our centers. Be sure and check next week to see what kinds of things we are going to ADD now that our kids have the general idea of how each center works!Slide4This will be our last week working on shapes. Next week we will move onto our Counting Unit. We have moved many of our shape activities into the “can do” part of the math workshop. We are also continuing our in-depth study of each numeral. This really has helped our kids in the past to know all about each numeral. I can’t wait to make the Pet Glyph with them! So fun!
Be sure and hop on over to my friend, DeeDee Wills to see what kinds of things others are doing this week!
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Peek at My Week—Week 5 Pets

We are on day 25! Things are really starting to settle down and we are getting into a routine. Megan has the sweetest class…and she is loving it! This is a quick post this morning as I’m off to spend the day with my son’s family. You can always check back to the other Peek at my Week posts for more details about the different parts of our plan.
The big news…Unit 1 of Reader’s Workshop…DONE! We celebrated Friday and now  on to Unit 2! In Writer’s Workshop we are working on the “I’m done” syndrome! You know…where as soon as you turn your back they all start saying, “I’m done!”  In our foundational time we are working on letters, sounds, and labeling.
We are almost done introducing all of our literacy centers. Just a few more to go. Next week we will start introducing more items to put in each of these areas so be sure and check back to see that next week.
We are starting our first science experiments this week. I really love our little Science Blasters Unit. The experiments are simple and easy to do. I like using this as a way to use non fiction text! The text is simple and picture supported.
We are also using our Tacking Transitions Unit quite a bit. This unit is packed with daily ideas to keep your class in control and manageable as well as some interactive anchor charts, flap books, and other ways to keep them busy during those transitional times. BUT, these activities can also be a lesson that you can now use for transitions!
In Math we are almost finished with our geometry unit. Megan had the most fun last week using a set of ipods that her school library has. She gave the ipods to groups of 3 kids. Then, she assigned them a shape. They walked around the school looking for those shapes and snapping pictures! So much fun.
Our can do areas are really taking shape. We have introduced many of the activities that we can now just change the clip art, change the dice or deck of cards or spinner, and now it’s a new game. We are also moving some of the “have to” activities here for the kids to revisit again.
You can download our Peek at My Week plans (here).
I was on the computer for 15 hours yesterday. Now that was crazy and not recommended, but I was determined to finish this unit! You can see from the slide all of the activities included so no need for me to list them again here. The unit is $8 but on sale for $6 this weekend. Another note, I do plan on adding some non fiction information to this unit in the next few weeks. I just didn’t have time to get everything added. So I am introducing this unit at a reduced price from my normal units. Once I add that nonfiction information, the price will match that of my other units. HOWEVER, remember once you purchase, you get all the new additions for no extra charge! So it is a real savings right now. Slide6Slide7Slide8
Now be sure and hop on over to my friend Deedee Wills to see what others are doing this week.
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