Friday, September 26, 2014

Apple Day Fun!

Our Apple Day was so fun! 

We did this activity earlier in the week. Mom invited my class to join her students and we tasted three different colors/kinds of apples with her students. The students voted for their favorite color of apple.

Today we read books about Johnny Appleseed, books that explained how apples grow, and books about the parts of an apple. The students put together an apple "craftivity" and labeled the parts of an apple, they made a belt using the apple life cycle sequencing pictures, and they used an apple from home to do some measuring and counting activities.

We had an "Apple Tasting" Party and the students ate Apple Jacks cereal, apple slices, applesauce and drank apple juice. We went into the hallway and they selected their favorite food and we recorded the data.

The Apple Jacks cereal was the favorite food!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lesson Plans Sept. 29-Oct. 3

This week we are reading books from Journeys 1.5. The books, The Handiest Things in the World and The Little Red Hen, have a theme about helping. I will also be reading The Big Red Barn and Pumpkin, Pumpkin to get ready for our field trip to the farm! The Helping Unit can be found here.

Whole Group Reading
Monday-Read The Handiest Things in the World & TSW complete web by drawing/writing about key details from the text.
Tuesday-Read The Little Red Hen & TSW complete the story map (character, setting, events).
Wednesday- Read The Big Red Barn & TSW write about their favorite farm animal (opinion).
Thursday- Read Pumpkin, Pumpkin & TSW label a pumpkin.

Literacy Centers
Octopus-Stamping popcorn words & choice of games
Jellyfish- Some students will match alphabet letters and record & other students will write the letter for the beginning sound of the picture. The writing on the card provides some scaffolding for the students. Choices-Write the Room and Classroom Library
Turtle-Cut and paste picture sound match. Some students will begin to write the word beside the picture. Choices-Watercolor and Q-tip painting here.
Crab-Color Word Sentence Cloze Writing. This really helps them to read the color words which are some of our popcorn words. Choice-Free Choice Writing
Fish-Some students will spell this week's popcorn words (cut and paste) and other students will write all popcorn words 3Xs each. Choice-Playdough and mats

Predictable Chart-What we will see at the farm

Writing Workshop-Blue
The Writing Process Unit is here.
The books are here.

Letters Bb and Ll

We are continuing to work on sorting and deciding which group has more or less.
Monday-Read 3 Little Firefighters & TSW sort shapes by size with a partner and record.
Tuesday- TSW sort pom-pom craft balls 2 ways (size and color) and record.
Wednesday- Read The Button Box & TSW sort buttons and record to describe how they were sorted.
Thursday- Read Sorting & TSW sort a cup full of manipulatives and record to describe how they chose to sort them.
The Math Tasks and Sorting Mats can be found here.
The Unit Lesson Plans can be found here. (free)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lesson Plans Sept. 22-26

We will be reading books about Jobs this week. The books Pizza at Sally's and Everyone Works are from Journeys Unit 1.4. We will also read Miss Bindergarten Takes a Field Trip and discuss Community Helpers. The unit with literacy centers can be found here. 
Whole Group Reading
Monday-Pizza at Sally's & TSW write about the toppings they would like to eat on a pizza.
Tuesday-Everyone Works & TSW recall keys details by writing about the jobs that we read about in the book.
Wednesday- Miss Bindergarten Takes a Field Trip & TSW recall key details/events by drawing the places the students went on the field trip.
Thursday-Re-read all books & TSW complete the map that sequences the places they went on the field trip.
Friday-Apple Day Activites

Literacy Centers
Octopus-stamping popcorn words
Jellyfish-some students will match alphabet letters and record and other students will write the letter for the beginning sound of the picture
Crab-Color Word Sentences
Turtle-cut and paste pictures for Hh and Cc
Fish-some students will cut and paste letters to spell popcorn words and other students will write all  words introduced 3xs each

Phonics-Hh and Cc

Predictable Chart
Student strips can be found here.

Writing Workshop-Red

Monday-Caps For Sale & TSW complete the math task/craftivity
Tuesday-Read Sort It Out  & TSW get a mystery bag of items to show and explain how they are alike.
Wednesday-Read Sorting & TSW sort cubes by color with a partner and record
Thursday-Read Little People Colors and Shapes & TSW sort shapes with a partner and record.
Friday-Apple Day Activities

We will celebrate Johnny Appleseed's Birthday and Fall with an Apple Day Celebration on Friday.
The students will be bringing an apple from home to use for sorting and graphing apples and the Apple Investigation sheet. We will have an Apple Tasting Event, discuss apple parts, and the growth cycle of an apple!
The Apple Fun Unit can be found here.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Conference Forms-Free & Editable

In a few weeks, we will begin 2 evenings of Parent-Teacher Conferences. 
During the conferences, I will discuss how the students are progressing academically, behaviorally, and socially. We will also review the tests I have administered (Brigance and STAR).
I use a form to assist in the discussions and it also gives the parents some information they can take home (translation-put in their child's memory book).
I complete a form for each student and then I make a copy of it for the parent to sign and I file that for documentation of what was discussed during the conference. I give them a copy of the original one with my signature.
I have two forms that I have made and one is editable so you can change the skills or topics you want to cover during your meeting. I did not add a space for comments because I would end up just reading it to them instead of discussing it with them.
This is the one I am using this year. I have two versions on with "needs improvement" and one with "progressing". 
Here is the link for the editable version.
(Once you download it you can change the spacing and fonts. I noticed that the words are on top of the clip art.)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

More about Centers

Here are some answers to a few questions I have received about the way I organize and manage my Literacy and Mathematics centers.

I have 5 Literacy Centers and 5 Mathematics Centers. I am also using centers during RTI as skills centers (right now, my mathematics centers here), for those students who are not meeting in my RTI group.

This is the rotation chart. I have it on my calendar board (not my students' real names).
Every day the students go to a different center. They will visit that same center for Literacy, Mathematics, and Skills. I take the bottom circle off and move the rest of the circles down a space, then put the bottom circle I took off on the top. My students in the center groups are not grouped by ability. I have 4 students at each center and 4 small groups. I place one student from each small group at the center. This helps to take students out of the centers and there are not as many at the center working when one of the four is at the teacher center and another on the computers.

I have these hanging from my ceiling to show students where the center is located. They are also used as table names for calling over to the rug, lining up, etc. I use pictures instead of numbers or colors because I sometimes have students who may not be able to identify numbers or colors at the beginning of the school year.

Here is a picture of my mother's center/table signs.

(I am making these center signs, rotation cards, and center basket signs for different themes. I have ocean and jungle themes in my TpT store now. If there is a theme you prefer, I will take special orders. Follow me at TpT to see when they are uploaded.)

During the Literacy Center/Small Group hour, the students visit one center with a must-do and choices, visit the computer center for 15 minutes, and meet with me for 15 minutes.
The rotation looks like this:
Group 2 has two center spaces. It is the same center just broken into two different time slots.
After the 15 minute small group, I escort the "teacher group" over to the computers and we let the students working on the computers know that their time is over, I stand by the computers as the students get off and on the computers. Then I quickly check how the other students are working at centers as I walk back over to the table to call the next group.

Each center has a must-do and choices. The students know that after they complete the must-do, they can make choices on their own. I do not have a formal rotation time. Sometimes it takes students longer to complete the must-do and sometimes you have students that can complete the must-do in 10 minutes. Having the choices provides them with activities to do the entire 30 minutes. The must-do provides accountability.

This is how the centers are set-up. Each one has the must-do in the white basket labeled with the center icon. The choices are in the cart drawers. 
I have a detailed post about what goes in these baskets and carts here.

The must-do assignments change every week. The task is the same but has different words, letters, or skills that we are working on or needing to review. After next week, I plan to differentiate the must-do work at the centers for the students. I will be posting my literacy centers weekly and showing/explaining the differentiated work.
The choices are left in the drawers for several weeks. I have empty drawers and will add activities as I find or make them and as the skills change.

I started centers the first full week of school. Because my students do not rotate, it is easy to do.
The first "training week" of centers I had a simple worksheet (shape cut and paste, dot to dot, tracing) and then one choice. They only stayed at the center for about 20 minutes. 
 During the "training week" as part of the hour center time slot, I gathered the students to the rug and taught them how to complete the centers that are in my literacy units-the ones I have in the center baskets now (pictured here every week). I modeled one a day and they recorded the answers on their recording sheet with me and then the second week of centers
the students completed those as the must-dos. Every week for the first few weeks, the must-do's are the same task (cut and paste sound sort, cut and paste popcorn words, stamping letters and words, alphabet match with recording sheet) but different skills/letters/words.
For the first few weeks, I place a completed sample sheet in the basket in case they forget what to do or need some scaffolding.

For Mathematics Centers, we use the same rotation center icon. They will return to the same table/zone they were at during Literacy Centers. They have a math tub with the center activity. Right now, they are using the Kathy Richardson counting centers. I will post pictures of them next week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lesson Plans Sept. 15-19

This is one of my favorite weeks to teach - Pets! We will read Please, Puppy, Please and I Have a Pet  from Journeys 1.3. I will also be reading another favorite book, Julius.
The unit can be found here.
 Monday-I Have a Pet and the assignment is a web about the pets featured in the book.
Tuesday-Please, Puppy, Please and the assignment is a story map.
Wednesday-Please, Puppy, Please and the assignment is to draw/write about a pet for the class pet show.
Thursday-Julius and the assignment is a story map.
Friday-Julius and the assignment is to label a picture of a pig.

I will use these charts this week:

Close Reading Passages and Picture Cards to help with writing

Literacy Centers
Crab Center-Color Word Sentences
Octopus Center-Stamping Popcorn Words
Jellyfish Center-Matching Uppercase and Lowercase Letters
Turtle Center-Cut and Paste Picture Sound Sort for  Nn & Ii
Fish Center-Cut and Paste Popcorn Words

 We are studying the letters Nn & Ii.

I have a little....Predictable Chart
The student strips can be found here.

We are learning to write the numerals 6-10.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Literacy Centers

Here is what my students are doing at centers this week!

Fish Center
I bought 4 carts from Sam's Club to organize the choices that students can chose from after they complete the must-do.


Choice-Alphabet Letters Play Dough Mats

Choice-Beginning Letter Play-Doh Mats

Choice-Popcorn Words Play-Doh Mats

Choice-Pattern Block Alphabet Letters

Turtle Center Choices Before.....

and after!

Turtle Center Must-Do

Choice-Watercolor Words

Choice-Q-Tip Painting Words

Choice-Letter-Picture Magnet Match

 Choice-Magnets to spell popcorn words

Choice-spell popcorn words on strings

Jellyfish Must-Do
Choices-Write the Room
Read books in classroom library

Octopus Must Do
(I know, I know Stampin' Up Stampers, I should have pressed the stamp in the middle, 
but I was just too tired to play by the rules.)

Choice-Fishing (matching letters and pictures)


Choice-Picture Perfect
(will switch to letter/word perfect soon)

Choice-Alphabet Games

Crab Center-not pictured
Must-Do:Completing Sentences
Choice-Free Writing

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