Monday, October 27, 2014

Rainbow Words

Over the years I have found that next to reading everyday, students being able to identify sight words is a key component in students ability to read. At my school we do a program called Rainbow Words to help kids learn their sight words.

Rainbow words are the Dolch pre-primer and primer words divided into groups of 8 words. Each group is then given a color. Students are given the red words to start and practice those words for a week. On Friday a parent volunteer comes in and quizzes students on those words if they know them all they are given the orange words. The next week if they know all of the red and all of the orange words they are given yellow words. This continues until students have mastered all of the words. Once they are able to identify all of the words we go back through the list to see who can write them. 

When we introduce Rainbow Words we sent a letter home to parents explaining the program and why we do it. You can view that letter here.

My wonderful teaching assistant has come up with this great way of making all the sets of Rainbow words. Each sheet contains 1 word 8 times. You copy the sheet on the correct construction paper stack all the sheets for that color on top of each other and use a paper cutter to cut them apart. When done this way you make 8 sets of Rainbow words at a time then all you have to do is hole punch them.  Want to use Rainbow Words in your class? Click HERE!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Last Minute Halloween Word Work

On Friday I decided that my kiddos need some new word work activities so I packed up all the fall and farm games and went searching for some Halloween games.  But when I opened the bin I wasn't impressed with anything that I found.  So with 4 empty game buckets on my desk I went home.

Soo after our amazing camping trip (check out the sunrise on the beach) I sat down to make some new games.

This week my kiddos will spin the spinner and stamp the sight word. Get a free copy here!!

Match the Trick or Treater to their corresponding bucket. (Trick or Treat CVC picture word match)

Sort some monster candy by it's ending sound. (Monster Ending Sound Sort)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Transitions and not the Movement Kind

This week we have been working on adding transitions to our narrative writing. For this we looked at a couple different stories to see how they began. What we found was that many stories started with one day..., last week, So we write these down on the first car of our transition train.

Then we looked at the middle of stories and noted that they had words like then, next, So we added those words to our train.

On Friday we looked at the end of stories and saw that they ended with words like suddenly, last, finally. We added these words to the end of our train.

Here is what our train looked like when we put it all together.

Grab your FREE copy of the transition train here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Down on the Farm-Pigs

To get ready for our Field Trip to the farm we have been spending some time learning about farm animals. We started off by learning about pigs. Here is what our concept board looked like at the end of the week.

Here are some of the books that we read.

We also visited Pebble Go and learned all we could about pigs.

And just for fun we did a cute piggy craft. Get your FREE copy here.

Next up cows!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

No more Pumpkins...

So last week I made a million things with pumpkins.  This week I have moved on to something with a little more of a Halloween flare... skeletons!!

Here is a simple sight word activity!  Grab your copy here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins

Last week I went a little overboard on the PUMPKINS!!! By the end of the week my coworkers were asking me for other games besides pumpkins.

We matched uppercase and lowercase letters with pumpkins.

We filled in the missing letter with pumpkins.

We rolled pumpkins to practice our sight words.

We rolled pumpkins to practice writing our numbers.

I think I need to find a new obsession!!! Maybe skeletons....

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Describing the Setting

We have been working very hard on describing the setting of our stories this week.  Our favorite was The Relatives Came.

After we identified the setting was the house we used our 5 senses to describe it.  Here is what we came up with....

I made each student tell why they described it that way.  So when they said that the house was soft the students said that they saw a rug in the kitchen and it looked soft.  They also said they could smell dinner in the house. Another student came up and pointed in the book to where the family was eating dinner.  Because this was the first time we did an activity like this some of the describing was hard but we worked through it as a class and I was very happy with the end product.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Beefing up Writing Conventions

Last week I noticed that many of my kiddos were struggling with capital letters at the beginning of sentences, writing in lower case letters, and using spaces.  So what I have decided to do is beef up my morning messages to allow students to practice some of these skills. I am going to start each morning meeting message like this...

Then I am going to have students complete the sentence and then add 2 or 3 more sentences.  While writing the sentences we will focus on using our capital letters at the beginning of the sentence and putting spaces between the words. Time to bring out the jumbo spaceman.

My goal is to use some of the simple lessons from Toying with Writing and Toying with Writing Too to keep students interested and engaged.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Progress Reports

I got this idea from a co-worker a couple of years ago and where it is time consuming it has many benefits.  On Friday I send home a Weekly Progress Report with each of my students.  It informs the parents about student behaviors from the week.  There is also a place at the bottom for me or the parents to comment and sign.  Through out the year I change the expectations depending on things we are working on as a class and our county expectations.

Like I said doing a report for each student is sometimes difficult but being able to communicate with parents on a weekly basis about behavior allows for them to reinforce positive behaviors at home and keeps them informed as to what is going on in the classroom.  I have had great success with this the past 3 years.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Adding Some Color

So this morning while I was trying to figure out what to have my parent volunteer do I came across my stained glass pumpkin file and decided to add some color to our classroom.

My kiddos had so much fun making them.

Here is what they looked like hanging on the window.

Want to make your own.  Here are the pages to copy!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Daily 5-Work on Writing

This year instead of having students continue to work on their stories that we started during writing workshop I decided to change things up a bit.  So I ordered students green folders to match their green book boxes. :-)  During Work on Writing they can put their writing pieces in this folder and keep it separate from their writing workshop folders, which are blue.

Here are our Work on Writing Folders

Here are our Book Boxes

What else is different....I give them story starters!! They are loving coloring the pictures and creating their own stories to go along with them.

Here are the Halloween story starters that I will put out next week.  Grab them here for FREE.

I am also going to start using my huge stock pile of sticker. Then students can write sticker stories.  This is so simple!!! All you do is put 2-3 stickers on a sheet of writing paper and students add the setting and the words to tell the story. Grab a blank sticker story paper HERE!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Favorite October Books

I was switching out books in my thematic library today and found some of these.  I can't wait to share these wonderful books with my class.

What are your favorite October books?

Monster of a Favor

One of my good friends teaches pre-k and when we found these adorable monster buckets at Target we just had to do something with them.  For her I created an uppercase/lowercase letter sort.  But for me I am not sure.  What games would you like for these adorable monster containers?

You can grab the uppercase/lowercase letter sort on my TpT site.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oh how they have grown....

I am lucky enough to have a student intern this fall and by lucky I mean it is awesome!!! We are both able to pull small groups during Daily 5. Today we were talking about how much our kiddos have grown in their reading over the past week.  So today I decided to share a couple of things that are working for us.

Up first is the planning template that we use.  You can grab your free copy here.

We have been spending a lot of time rhyming these last few weeks.  This week we have been playing Rolling Apples!

As for books we would be no where with out Reading A to Z.  Just love them and the selection of books that they have. If you have not checked out Reading A to Z it is worth it. I promise.

I am still new with this awesome F&P calculator but it is really coming in handy!

We have only introduced 2 but our kiddos are really catching on to the strategies and it is showing in their reading.

Up Next for next week we will be working on using our sight words to write sentences.  I think we will be using the mini dry erase boards so that we are saving paper.  We will also be working on counting syllables by playing my newest game Alligator Chomp!!! Check it out on TpT