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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Revving Up-Unit 5 Reader’s Workshop

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It is so good to be back in the south this week! I worked with some great teachers in Mississippi for a few days and then flew over to GA to go HOME for a few days. While there, I was able to meet up with my partner in crime, Michele. Here’s how it goes….we go to our hang out, Mellow Mushroom, eat a little pizza, and then get to work! We have to triple tip that poor server as we take up her table most of the afternoon! While there, we hammer out our next unit, the overview! Then, we go our separate ways and get busy working. So what will be be working on this month…our Unit 6. It will be all about Non Fiction! I love that unit!

But for now, we have finally finished Unit 5….Revving Up.

The unit begins with lessons that teach students the importance of getting ready to read a book before actually starting to read the words. After students understand how to get ready to read, you will teach them lessons about using letter sounds to figure out words. The importance of rereading and partners as teachers are both addressed in this unit.

The unit is broken down into four weeks:

*Week one- “Revving up to read”- You will be teaching students to warm up before they read by taking picture walks, telling a story through pictures, and thinking about words they may see as they are reading.

*Week two- “Letters help us read”- Students will learn to use pictures and beginning letter sounds to read words. They will also learn how to “switch it up” if a word they see does not match what they think it should be. You will teach your students to look all the way through a word to confirm their word choice and how to stretch out and blend letter sounds to read words.

*Week three- “Back up and reread”- You will teach your students the importance of rereading to figure out a word, to understand what they are reading, to sound like a good reader and to have fun.

*Week four- “Partners can be teachers”- During this week you will teach your students how to actually become like a teacher, helping their partners with picture walks, figuring out words and asking and answering questions.

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This unit contains an overview of the month, a monthly spreadsheet, a weekly overview and prep sheet for each of the 4 weeks, 20 mini lessons written in ready to use lesson plan form.

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…4 anchor charts with all the pieces made and ready to reproduce, revving up bookmark and chart, 2 brainstorming charts, 2 teacher made books for modeling,…Slide3

…a student book for active engagement, 2 sets of retelling pieces for the stories, switch it up cards, stretchy the word snake puzzles…Slide5

…student recording sheets, and a super cute craftivity to use for the end of unit celebration.

Here are the other units in the series:

Unit 1 Blasting Off

Unit 2 Powerful Partners

Unit 3 Digging Deeper

Unit 4 Discovering Patterns

Unit 5 Revving Up

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Columbus Day is Coming!

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Ok, so here’s the problem! Megan and I do the things for a special day, such as Columbus Day, take pictures, and get ready to do a blog post. The problem is, by the time we get the post up, the day has come and gone! And then you have to remember it for  next year! So, here are the pictures from LAST YEAR on Columbus Day! We had a blast! Here are the float and sink activities that we did. The children made predictions, checked their predictions, and made their bottle books!

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For this game, the children rolled a dice and moved the boats toward the water. They can move one boat or divide the roll between two or three boats.Slide3

This is our earth! The kiddos painted “land” on the sphere and on the back made a circle map of things that are spheres.

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This was the highlight…to say the least! The kiddos had so much fun making the coke floats! This was a fun way to teach predictions, doing the experiment, and graphing the results of the experiment!

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Here is where we made an all about Christopher Columbus Book! They loved the toilet paper roll telescopes! The chart is one that I found on someone else’s blog that they used while making the book.

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Here is where we made a large Santa Maria and then each child made their own. We were working on labeling.

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We talked about characteristics of Christopher Columbus and then the children drew and wrote about their connections. Then we shared them with our buddies.

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Here are some photos from where some other bloggers posted pictures from the packet! Love to see how people use things a little differently!Slide10

All of these activities are from the Hooray for Columbus Day Unit. What are you planning for Columbus Day? Do you have a blog post about Columbus Day? If so, leave a comment with a link to your post! Would love to see them as we will actually have time to do it now BEFORE Columbus Day!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fun with Firefighters!

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October is Fire Safety Awareness Month. I just put my Fire Fighters Unit on tpt! This packet is full of fun and learning! This packet contains activities for number combinations, addition and subtraction fluency, story problems, graphs, 5’s frames, a glyph, a spin graph, a preference graph, non-fiction writing, two cooking activities, a tree map, a brace map, a double bubble map, making connections, sequencing, letter sorting, making words, segmenting phonemes, labeling, and 2 simple “cut, stack, staple and read” books. Here are some pictures of a few of the items!

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Monday, September 24, 2012

How Do You Display Birthdays?

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When I saw  Erica’s post for how to display birthdays, I started looking through my pictures to see what I had. This watermelon display was the last display I used. I cut the watermelons from paper. The vine was made with  door knob pulls, buttons, and ribbon. The ants were the wooden cut outs. This was a picture that I took when I was setting up the room. After I found out the birthdays, I added their names to the seeds. Some months I had to add more seeds! The picture below shows some other displays from previous years. On the birthday cakes, I added candles with their names.
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Here’s how my friend Bert displays the birthdays in her strawberry themed room and below is Megan’s jungle themed display. As I was looking through these pictures, it was very clear to me how technology has changed the way we do things! Not only does the computer allow us to use various fonts and clip art, it also allows us to see how others are doing things. Whether we copy the idea, as is, or it inspires us to think “Oh, I could….”, the internet has allowed for this exchange of ideas.
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Speaking of inspired by others, Pinterest has totally changed everything! When my sweet daughter in law, Ginny, asked me to help her get a few things ready, I was more than willing to help! She showed me a photo that she saw on pinterest for how she wanted to make her birthdays. Well, who knew that this was Erica’s original idea? I posted the picture in an earlier blog and never mentioned Erica’s name only that is was from pinterest. The picture Ginny showed me didn’t track the idea back to her. I guess in this day and age, we must be careful to give “credit where credit is due”! It’s so easy to snag a photo and never seek out who was so willing to share that idea! So….”Thanks and Sorry, Erica that I didn’t say your idea was super cute!” So what is Eria’s idea? Well, here’s Ginny’s picture. To read about it hop over to Erica’s blog and read all about it!Slide5
Erica’s Birthday Board
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Are You a City Girl(Boy)?

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As many of you know, in August Andy and I moved to Washington DC where he once again is a student. When, Andy told me he was going to take me away from my southern roots, I was less than thrilled! After some tears and looking at this more as an “extended vacation” I finally gave in to the idea. I have lived in my home town for over 40 years along with all my sisters, my mom, my nieces and nephews, and most importantly both of my kids and their spouses! Now, I am living right in the middle of downtown DC! We live just a few blocks from the National Mall with all the monuments and a few blocks from the White House. There is always somewhere to go, something to do, and another quaint little restaurant with outdoor dining for dinner—all within walking distance. So what is missing? Well, how about a Dollar Tree, a Hobby Lobby, a Michaels, a Walmart, a school supply store? Nope…none of them in DC. What’s a girl to do? One day while Andy was in class I did a little internet search to find a craft store and a school supply store. Let’s just say when he got home, he was greeted by one very excited teacher who had set the adventure for the evening! After over an hour of driving in traffic we arrived at the Michaels. I was like a crazy woman trying to decide what I needed to get! Then, off to the Lakeshore, just a quick 10 minutes away.Slide2

See all my purchases! I think I bought all the scarpbooking paper they had! Another issue with DC is the whole grocery shopping thing! We have a CVS right out the door of the apartment, so simple things are there. But when we need REAL groceries, it is quite an ordeal. We either have to drive, and then if you can find a place to park, pay $20. Or,take the metro! Either way, quite an ordeal. So while we were out, I wanted to make a grocery store run. I was looking for food items that could be the parts of a fire truck.Slide3

So here’s what I came up with! And here’s what it looked like when I got home and put it together!

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I wanted a concrete way to show the parts without doing an art activity!  I made a poster brace map and used the “craft/cooking” as the connection. The parts on the right side of the poster, are attached with velcro.  I did make a recording sheet where the children can then draw the parts of the fire engine to make their own brace map. BTW, I had them frost the fire trucks with either red or yellow frosting. Since not all fire trucks are red, I wanted to be able to turn this into a graphing activity. “Did you make a red or yellow fire engine?”

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The fire engine brace map is part of my new Fire Fighters Unit. I am putting the finishing touches on it and it should be ready by tomorrow! So I’m off to the National Mall. Target is sponsoring some reading event with lots of different authors! Can’t wait to see if I get to meet any of them.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Freebees—What happened to Day 5?

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Okay, so did you notice that I totally forgot to post Day 5 of the freebees?  Well, here it is…a week late! Better late than never! First freebee is a Roll, Say, Keep abc game.  I featured this game on the Blog Hoppin linky party not to long ago. If you got it then, you might want to get it again. I added larger abc cards with directions on how to enlarge the game board so that you can model with the whole class. Remember to get to each of these freebees, just click on the picture of the covers.

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One thing teachers are good at…thinking outside the box. This fun little game from Amanda is for 3rd grade! So how can I use it in kindergarten? Well she included a page of blank cards! I typed up sight words and the alphabet, printed them on clear labels, and then stuck them to the blank cards! Thanks Amanda for the freebee!

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And here’s another one…Natalie teaches 5th grade! How am I going to use it…well we all know that research is a part of common core. While I can’t use her product as is in kindergarten, I love her format! I am going to tweak it a little and use it with our k kids! Check out her layout and see how you could use it in your class.

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This product is from my friend, Susan! She teaches 3rd grade! (BTW, I taught both of her kids! Loved them!) Okay, so a bookmark is a bookmark no matter the grade! Kids love bookmarks. They are great motivators to keep in their bag of books!

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This freebee is from my friends over at kinderlit! I love this sight word book. I am going to make some of these up to put in my writing and word wall centers.Slide24

The last freebee spotlight is from Kathy! Now, I love this cute little fall book, but if you have a smart board, you need to go to her tpt store. She has lots of smart board freebees! Hope you enjoyed the freebee spotlights. These are just a few of the many freebees on tpt. You could spend many days just looking and downloading the free things!

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Freebees—Day 4!

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I’m thinking by now you have found a few freebees that you were excited to find! Remember that table in the hall? (See Freebee post from Monday.) So here we go again. First up is one of my freebees. Here’s my thoughts on homework…I want to send home something that will encourage the parents to sit down and talk to their kiddo! I send home bags each week, each child having a different bag. They bring the bags back on Friday. During the week there are activities for the parents to do WITH their little ones.  The activities use common items such as playing cards, pattern blocks, etc!
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Next up are Lindsey’s vowel glue cards. What a clever idea! She teachers her kiddos that vowels are the glue that hold words together! Love it!Slide16
This packet of Cheryl’s is packed with activities, games, and recording sheets for teaching place value! Can someone say Common Core?
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Want to talk about being creative? Well that’s Amy! She has tons of craft activities as free downloads. You know how you see something and you try to make it but it just doesn’t turn out as cute? Well, Amy gives you all the patterns you need so that you can look like a pro! This is a cute cupcake for the months of the year.
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This packet of Sarah’s is simple but so useful! She has make the cutest tags to put on the containers for sharp and not sharp pencils. Now your kiddos will not be doing the pencil sharpener relay! Don’t miss tomorrow for the final day of my freebee finds!
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