Thursday, December 22, 2011

Calendar Project for 2012

The kids loved making these calendars for their parents for the New Year!! We did an art project for each month. If you look below I have each month and a few samples of kids work. At the bottom of this blog, I have an example of the calendar and picture size.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lunch Box Letters

I love this idea! I saw it on a website and unfortunately I don't remember where.

I call it Lunch Box Letters because I like the way it sounds. It is a station where the kids go and create word families. I love the idea of just putting the letters they need to create words.


This makes this station more manageable for K's. I created a sheet for recording.
Lunch Box Letter Sheet Download 
Lunch box letter book 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thumpity Thump Thump

We learned an easy song that starts with the TH, SH, CH and WH sounds. This quick chant goes to the tune of Frosty the Snow. I had each child draw a picture of themselves on a hill.


whumpity whump whump Thumpity Thump Thump shumpity shump shump Chumpity Chump Chump

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Word Family Posters

After learning a few different word families, we made classroom posters.

This was an easy activity to do. The kids did a great job with the illustrations.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Making Words

I saw this oil drip pan on Pinterest and created a center for making words. I LOVE it!! The pan was only nine dollars at Walmart it is much bigger than it looks. I have had four kids at a time working at this center. It was so light that I stuck it to the wall with velcro.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Five-Finger Planner


This lesson came from the book Marvelous Minilessons by Lori Jamison Rog. I loved the idea of using your hand to plan out a story. The palm is the topic. Each finger is one detail and the thumb tells how you feel about your topic.






The main point of the lesson was to think of different details about the main topic. I modeled this lesson many times before I sent them off to do it do their own.

Five Finger Planner

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wow Words

Sharon Taberski's suggestion of WOW words. 

I often read the book many times, introduce the wow words and have the children talk about what the word means and we often put a movement to the word.
Using the CAFE board from the daily 5 I created sentence strips with WOW words. 
These words get listed under Expanded Vocabulary.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Word Family IKE

This week we are working on the heart word like. The word splat is from Heidi Songs blog
Ike With Boxes

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grace Lin

Retelling a story helps readers recall what is happening in the story they are reading or listening to. A retelling usually includes characters, settings, problems, and solutions or the main ideas of the text. It involves telling what is important without telling too much. 

I had the children make illustrations with a partner. The two Grace Lin stories were The Red Thread and Lissy's Friend, both stories have strong problems and solutions. 

The children in my class LOVE both of these books. The Red Thread is a fairy tale adoption story. Lissy's Friend is about Lizzy moving to a new school. 

 During large group time we talked about the important parts of the beginning, middle and ending of each story.

After working on retelling we connected this lesson to the CAFE board and listed Retelling the story under comprehension.
We are creating kites based on the Grace Lin's book Kite Flying. I decided to have the class outline with black paint. When the paint dries we hope to make patterns with markers and oil crayons.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Writing Workshop

I use this chart at the start of writing workshop time when all the children are sitting on the rug. I got the idea for this board from
the book The Castle in the Classroom by Ranu Bhattacharyya.



Before we start writing time, I have the children think about where they are at. 

Are you drawing? 
Are you thinking about
your next book? 
Do you need some help?


 Below is a checklist I use to keep
 track of where my students  are  at.

 If I see that many children are just drawing, then I may need to focus my mini-lessons on writing words. 


Everyone wants to share in the Author's Chair so the rule is three kids can share at the end of workshop time. 

This year, my rule is that you can only share once that week.


Status of the Class

Daily 5

We just had a professional development day with Richard Allington. His focus was on struggling readers. His message was that the teacher should know by the second day of kindergarten who does not know their letters. The child who does not know his/her letters should learn them by Halloween.

His emphasis is on the importance of reading Just-Right Books. I was following the model of Sharon Taberski on reading workshop and decided to give the Daily 5 a try. Both styles are similar. The big difference is that the Daily 5 has the listening piece and writing piece. I like the idea of giving my class more choices. I also like how simple the stations are too.
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