Monday, October 29, 2012

Reading Strategy Cards

Here are some reading strategy cards I use during Daily 5 time. I Recently, I got this amazing Velcro board that I am using when I teach. The thing I love about this board it that half is Velcro and the other half is a wipe-off board.  At my reading table I put the icons up depending on the strategy that group is working on(on the Velcro part). I use the white board part to teach a new word etc. The best part about the board is that there is a stand in the back!!! You can pick it up and take it anywhere in the classroom!

 Favorite New Teaching Board

Right Side White board~left side Velcro

Good Readers
Chunking and Monitor

picture and fix

slide and guess

stretch and cross check

You can click under the picture to download from Google Docs. You can click below to get the folder from Claco. It's free to join Claco but is sounds like you may have to wait to get the download. If you have not used Claco it is worth looking at!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

One Witch Math Problems

I accidentally came across this Halloween book this week. A boy in my class had taken it out of the school library and I took a peek before he returned it. I blogged this week how I did a Bridge Map using rhyming words from this story. Today we returned to this story to solve some Halloween math problems. We have been doing story problems a lot this year. I am also trying to incorporate number lines into our math work.  It was much easier for students to illustrate and answer a problem then create one themselves. I had students work with a partners they had to illustrate the problem and solve it together. They came out great!! I did have some groups work on the same problem as others too.

click here for downloads

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thinking Maps Thursday

This post will share two different ways I used Thinking Maps in my class this week. Below is a class bulletin board  that shows all of the Thinking Maps we have learned about. I am always trying to use Thinking Maps whenever possible.
Using a flow maps to show the steps in writing letters

 I have been on the lookout for a Halloween book loaded with rhyming words and I found it!! We read the story One Witch we illustrated the rhyming words in this story. We learned about Bridge Maps below. This was my first Bridge Map I made with my class. I need to go back tomorrow and write the word as  (under the upside down v ). I got this great idea from the book Draw Your Thinking by Marjann Ball. Tomorrow we plan to read our map and look at the spelling patterns of the rhyming words. There are a few words that rhyme but have different spelling patterns.

 We talked about the words that rhymed. I wrote the words on an index card (small one cut in half). The students illustrated the picture and I took a ruler and outlined the sides.

This is VERY long!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween in KC

At group time we are starting to write  the poem I Knew It Was Halloween this is the same format we used for I knew it was Fall. We have been reading so many Halloween books that have such great language that I decided to create an Alphabox (Linda Hoyt).
The first reading is always for enjoyment! We often go back on the second reading and talk about WOW /interesting words. Creating this Alphabox has been fun. This morning we added more words and I read all of the words in a Halloween playful way and it sounded like a poem. You can see above that I am also having the class make a little picture to go with the letter. Whenever I add a word to a letter box the class keeps track of the letter with the most words.

I LOVE  this Halloween book! The language is beautiful.

Learning About Story Endings
We are learning that stories can end in many different ways. During story time we are tally marking how the story ends. 
I blogged about story endings last year. This year, I set this up a little differently. You can see  the top has the different ways a story can end and the bottom has a Post-It to keep track. I cut an extra big Post-It in half.
We are doing the play to the BIG PUMPKIN. I just had a few students make an illustration. You can get a copy below.
Click Here
We made bumpy pumpkins. I blogged about this last year, you can click here to get to the link. I LOVE this lesson. This year I made them bigger. The kids cut out a big bumpy pumpkin. We painted the scraps green. I had students paint their pumpkins and we shared all the scraps to paint green. On a different day we added the eyes, mouth and teeth. Lastly, we added the green stem and grass.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I love how this Bubble map came out! Each week we have a Special Person of the week. I have blogged about this here. This was our first week and Patrick was the Special Person. Making a map with adjectives can be very challenging with kindergartners!! We talked about different things we knew about Patrick and I helped with some of the word choices. The goal was to think of describing words.  We worked together to make Patrick with detail. We looked at his hair color, skin color and what he was wearing. I hope to build a bank of words that we can use for the Special Person Bubble map.

Learning About Details
Who Could It Be?
This was a fun way to learn about details.
I modeled this lesson by drawing a child in the audience trying to make as many details as possible! I started by making the skin color and hair color. We looked around the room and talked about the possible students I could be drawing with short dark hair. Next I made the shirt. I picked a child with a stripped shirt that really stood out. The class got the idea that you really want the picture to look like the person. At Daily 5 time this was a work on writing choice. I let students pick anyone in the class to do. On a different day, I whispered a classmates name that they had to do. We also did this with a partner. 

I plan to keep doing this lesson because I can see that the more they do it, the better the pictures are coming out. The kids LOVE guessing who it is too!! My next move is to give the students objects in our classroom. You can get the template below.

click here for sheet

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall In KC

 We have been reading lots of nonfiction books and doing lots of activities that connect to fall. We went apple picking for our class field trip and we recently carved a pumpkin. Fall is in the air, especially in New England. There are a few things I plan to share with you fall related.
 Last year I introduced non-fiction text features in the spring and I told myself I have to start this in the fall! There are so many wonderful books we read in the fall that relate to things kindergartner's LOVE that connect to nonfiction.
The discovery Object this week was a pumpkin.
We recorded attributes of the pumpkin in our Science Journals.
We have been talking about nonfiction books and fiction books. The kids are so proud of this new discovery that some books are nonfiction.
We plan on writing an All About Fall Book we made a circle map of what we could put in our All About Fall book. I have not done this in the past, but I want to be able to weave in nonfiction lessons and I think writing a book can make this a meaningful activity. When we finish our book we can share it with another class. I love that a student suggested fall Birthday's... of course she has a fall birthday.
At large group time we labeled a photograph of a pumpkin. We talked about how it is important to be accurate with facts. When we read nonfiction books we often see labels. This lesson came from Linda Hoyt Nonfiction book.
I am always surprised when students have not done this lesson in preschool.

We did a Brace map of a pumpkin after carving it.

We have been doing a lot of story problems connected to apples. I made a little math story problem book for kids to solve(below). Like writing workshop I am trying to provide them with more time to talk before asking them to write/create/draw On my class blog you can see more examples.

 My Problem Solving Book for the Class to Solve
 When reading these problems, we are always using manipulatives to find the answer.
 The book has 5 pages.
  I used some of the kids' names in the problem.

Writing a Fall Poem 


For this lesson the focus is on painting word pictures. We talked about how writers use words to help the reader get a good picture in their mind. I created the template in black below. On the first sitting we added the word in brown(noun).

The next day, we reread our poem. We talked about how a good poem should use words that paint a picture in the reader's mind. 

Shut your eyes and made a picture in your mind of what the squirrel is doing?

The next day, we went back to the poem to insert describing words before the noun. 

The kids had so many great suggestions that I made a Tree map above. 

We then took a vote and circled the winning word. 
We did a lot of rereading to make sure our poem made sense. 
We had a few words that didn't make sense, so this was a great way to model rereading and thinking aloud. I did a similar lesson last winter.
I thought it might be too hard for k's to write in the poem above, 
so I made a little book with more space. 

I had my kids work with a friend on their own poem book.

This lesson comes from the book 
Marvelous Minilessons for 
Teaching Beginning Writing, k-3 by Lori Jamison Rog
All of her books are fantastic!!

I Knew It Was Fall (Google Docs)
pumpkin brace map 
nonfiction features 
apple math
When you click to download it will bring you to a fall folder, you click on the little gray square on the left side, it will bring up the sheet and you will see click to download.
Click here for downloads