Monday, October 29, 2012

Reading Strategy Cards

Here are some reading strategy cards I use during Daily 5. I got this fantastic 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.  On my reading table, I put the icons up depending on the strategy that the group is working on (on the Velcro part).  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

and fix


and cross check

Saturday, October 27, 2012

One Witch Math Problems

I accidentally came across this Halloween book. 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 the story One Witch 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 partners work together to represent the problem and solve it together. They came out great. I did have some groups work on the same problem as others too.

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. 
Using a Flow map 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 the Bridge Map below

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 listed the rhyming words.  

 Students illustrated the picture, and I took a ruler and outlined the sides. I wrote the words on an index card (one small cut in half).

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 was 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 the enjoyment. We often go back on the second reading and talk about WOWwords. Creating this Alphabox has 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 also have the class make a little picture that will 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.  This week 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?
Learning About Details
Who Could It Be?

Creating this Bubble map 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. The students thought about who it could be by the clues given.

I could be drawing with short dark hair. Next I made the shirt. I picked a child with a stripped shirt that stood out. The class got the idea that you want the picture to look like the person. At Daily 5 time, this was a  writing choice. I let students pick anyone in the class to do. On a different day, I whispered a classmate's 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

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Writing Workshop Anchor Charts

 Writing Workshop

This post will share with you some of the anchor charts we are using in my class.

You can see from the chart that I have drawn, tell your partner your story. I try to encourage a lot more storytelling before writing. I think when kids start to draw it helps them to talk about their ideas.

This is along the same idea as the first chart,  but you can see how I am adding in talking and rereading our stories. I am also adding what to do when you are done! 

 I  always want to stress REREADING.


 We talk a lot about using bubble gum spelling. I have also heard it called ghost spelling

For this lesson, I had my class work with a partner and spelled an unknown word using bubble gum spelling. 

At large group time, we modeled what this would look like with a partner. 

 The kids loved doing this! Everyone was confident trying to spell words, and that's my goal.  

Alphabet Anchor Chart

 I saw a similar anchor chart in a Pam Allyn book, and I loved it! I often talk about using the alphabet chart, but I never thought of making an anchor chart. I did do a mini-lesson on how you can use an alphabet chart to help you write a letter or figure out a sound. 

 I am always using an alphabet chart to help when conferencing with kids.

They may know the sound but don't know how to write the letter. They may have no idea what letter makes a particular sound and I can use the chart to teach them. 
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