Thursday, September 11, 2014

Reading 2.0

We've continued to work on our reading skills by learning different ways to write a reader response.

The first one, I got from the very talented Meg over at The Teacher Studio

Of course, I did it on the whiteboard first
 and modeled it with Enemy Pie.
We also added the strategy to our notebooks.
This friend put it in sideways :)
The next one is a 3-2-1 Strategy, which I've used many times before, but this post from Science Notebooking reminded me :)

For this one, I got smart enough to pull the chart paper off (It's not easy to do the anchor charts with it tucked in the corner), and magnetize it to the whiteboard.

I used Enemy Pie to model this one as well. (Can you tell that it was our Mentor Text last week? :)
On the other side Catherine Reed's Letter Template from her Reading Response Packet
For each day, we practiced the strategies with the Scholastic News for the week-Tracking Turtles.

They did okay! We will definitely continue to practice this throughout the year!

This week we've started off with character traits

I continue to start teaching this with Hooway for Wodney Wat, as there is just so many traits and different characters. It's also a great one for character change and development.

Plus, the kids love it-and I hear them talking without 'r's for the rest of the day :)

I also continue to use this chart-although I may remake it next year! I used my magnet clothespins to hide the parts I didn't want them to see yet. 
After reading, we did the worksheet (pulled from Joanne's awesome post-it one) together, and we talked about how a character can have a lot of different traits.
Then, I sent them off on their own to practice.

Eventually, we'll add character traits to our reading notebook.

We've also started talking about making connections, using a selection from our literacy book (but shhh! we're using it sparingly and only following it for the comprehension focus).
They've had this in years past, so I'm going to be focusing more on their proof, and reader responses this year.

Smiles and Sunshine,

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kicking off Math with Place Value

Now, I won't say that I'm totally in love with and want to marry Math in Focus, but I've found some things about it that I like and am enjoying.

One thing I really like-their place value chips!
I'm loving working with them, and I think they are really helping the kids visualize expanded form that much better.

Since my SMART Board is still a no-go (although it should be fixed eventually...), I've been doing a lot of whiteboard work.

We started by talking about numbers, and I would write a number on the board, and have the kids make it with their chips.

Then, I would have them walk me through how many I would need, and I would model how to write it in expanded form.
I've also spent some time teaching them different partner games that they can play so I can pull friends to work with them in small group.

(Groups have been created based on the pretest I gave before the unit started-it allows me to target friends who might need some additional help. If they come to group and don't need as much, I send them back to work in their workbook or play a game.)

My goal this year is to teach the whole group lesson (15-20 minutes), and then give them different choices to do while I pull friends to work with.

So far, it's running smoothly-but I've taken some time to teach them some different games.

One came from the book-Find the Value. I modified it a little, and of course, made it pretty :)

The other one, Place Value Battleship, is my own addition, but I've also made up worksheet with the different things you could do with the numbers (expanded form, comparing, adding and subtracting with regrouping, rounding, etc.) so it will be a long laster.

So far, so good!

Most of the kids are hard workers, and I haven't had any behavior issues yet (knock on wood!).

Hopefully, I can keep this up for the rest of the year!

Linking up with the amazing Jivey for Workshop Wednesday.

Smiles and Sunshine,

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Made It

Happy Monday!

This Monday marks the first full week that I've had with students-hopefully it will go well! (and we are also starting reading groups...)

Still going crafty strong-so time for Monday Made It!

First up, my favorite made it...

I made fun clipboards for my teamies!

Thanks to my leftover scrapbook paper stacks (and letters), some washi tape, as well as some glitter tape!

I love the way they turned out-and both my teamies started using them almost immediately after I gave it to them!
I also did some cool made its for my class.

Like a Morning Work sign (that I can change easily every day!)
And essential questions for reading and math

I also went a teensy bit label crazy, and made tons of labels for the kids' notebooks!

I wanted to be VERY clear about my notebook expectations, as they will be graded this year. I made enough of those to put in each one of the notebooks they have!

While I was at it, I also made the labels for the first trimester check. :)

I made genre abbreviation labels, to go along with their 40 book challenge, so they can abbreviate when they are filling out their reading list.

I also made a cheat sheet for our mentor sentence notebooks of the abbreviations for the parts of speech!

For my last made it, I love my library labels so much, that I made labels for my Mentor Text library!

I love how everything is starting to coordinate in my room!

Have an awesome day!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday Throwdown: Answer Buzzers

 I'm so excited Thursday Throwdown is back!! I've had this post sitting in drafts since April! I'm glad you finally get to read it :)
Just before April vacation, I pulled these out to make our Figurative Language Football game (found on SMART Exchange) a little more fun.
I bought these from Calloway House a few years ago, but they can be found almost anywhere.

The buzzers all make different sounds, and they look so pretty!
They do require a little planning-a tiny screwdriver and 2 AAA batteries each (I read it wrong and brought AA's-but thanks to an aide who lived nearby-she brought me AAA's during lunch!!)

The kids LOVED them!

I had a small period of buzzing time-to get it out of their systems! :)

Then we each got a whiteboard, a marker, a buzzer and our teams and went to work!

Of course, some yardage was taken away in the game for excessive buzzing~some of us got a little too excited!

Definitely a fun way to spice up a game-and highly recommended!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Reading Block Kick Off

We kicked off our reading block with a bang this year!

We started off with my favorite activity, writing a reader response!

We started off by reading Skippyjon Jones, and then moved onto the response portion of the day.

This year though, I taught them to answer using ACE-I want them to get it right from the very beginning!

We worked on our response together.
I kept asking if we were done-most of the time they said no!

I sent them off to work on their own and most of them did pretty well!

After school, I turned what I had on the board into our first reading anchor chart!
And into a notebook entry!

They did a pretty decent job for the first time...of course, we'll continue to practice this!

The next day, we spend a lot of time setting up our reader response section of our notebook.

We are doing attempting the 40 book challenge this year, as well as weekly responses.

We had a lot of notebook entries to set it up!

Interested in the NB entries? You can go here for a freebie!

After we FINALLY finished putting everything in, I wanted to do Young Teacher Love's comprehension lesson.

I started out by just putting the word on the board, and we created a web of what they thought of the word when they heard it.
Ok-not too bad...

I also did one for schema-a word a use a lot!
This one was pretty funny! :)

After we finished brainstorm, I explained what each meant.

I started with schema, since you have to use your schema to help you comprehend!
Then we moved onto comprehension.
We talked about how just knowing the words wasn't enough (see green sentence), that what we were reading also had to make sense (dark pink sentence). Only when it made sense we could work on comprehending it.

Of course, it wouldn't be a lesson without an anchor chart!

As we learn different comprehension strategies, we'll add them to the bottom of our poster!

Next up, we are going to try literacy rotations-if I can manage to squeeze down the lesson-I forgot how long it takes with a new group!

Linking up with Jivey's awesome...

Smiles and Sunshine,