Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Duck on a Bike & Center Time


My first graders have been reading one of my favorite books- Duck on a Bike!!  I love, love, love this book!  They do too.  We have had so much fun thinking about a duck and all his animal friends riding around on bikes.  


We needed a little more practice on retelling a story, so we practiced that and made our cute little ducks.  We all decided that Duck on a Tractor would be one of the funniest things we would ever read!  Come on David Shannon and write that book!  


It is time for Spring Centers time!  Some of my kinders are ready for the the Short Vowel Scramble.  Really shows me who can hear the sounds in words.


Another activity (there are 6 different activities in all), is the Long Vowel Scrambler.  I have several students that need to strengthen their vowel, consonant, silent e skills.


Students are really enjoying working with the centers.  Click here or the picture above to see it. 

ABC activities

I do have some kinders that still need a bit of practice matching up capitals and lower case letters.  Some can do it fast and some just need more time.  

ABC Letter Activities

Some of my kinders and first graders are struggling with forming their letters following the correct path of movement.  And that can lead to letter confusion for some students.  I have even been seeing some capital Ns with the slant going the wrong way lately!  Great way to do a little review!


This has 5 activities for helping students learn capitals and lower case letters, along with learning the correct path of movement.  Click here or the picture above to see it. 


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Apps for Authentic Learning-No Games!

bright ideas

It is Bright Ideas time again!  I am joining some of my favorite bloggers to bring you some fabulous ideas for your classroom.  You get to go from blog to blog and read some great ideas!

I am sharing with you today some great iPad apps!  No Games!  When I got iPads in my classroom, it was important to me to find some apps that enhance my students' learning, not playing games.  I do let them do that a bit too!  But about 95% of our iPad use is authentic activities that promote their learning time. 

Word Cloud

bright ideas for the classroom

I know a lot of you are familiar with making word clouds or Wordles.  Now you can on your iPad!  This is a free app from abcya.com.  Easy, easy to use!  Students type in the words and the app creates the word cloud.  Students can choose color schemes, fonts, etc...

Just a few ways that this can be used are character traits at the beginning of a story and then a new word cloud at the end of the story if the character goes through a change.  It could be used for new vocabulary found in informational text, informational text features found in the text, new learning, etc...  Lots of possibilities!  Students can then email the cloud to you.

InstaCollage

Bright Ideas for the classroom

Are you on Instagram?  If you are, you may be familiar with InstaCollage.  But you could use InstaCollage for more than just Instagram.  I used this app last year during summer school.  I took pictures of what my students were doing and involved with and then emailed them periodically to the parents. The parents really enjoyed seeing what their children were doing and what they were learning at school.

iPad app ideas to use in the classroom

Another way to use this could be for rewards.  When you catch a child being great you could snap a picture of them holding a special Great Kid Award and share it with InstaCollage to the parent!  What parent wouldn't LOVE getting that picture of their child??  You can jazz the picture up with different frames and stickers too.  

Students could use InstaCollage to create their own collages of pictures taken on field trips, to document science experiments, etc...The collage is saved as a jpg when emailed.

Popplet

ipad apps to use in the classroom

So many ways to use Popplet with your students!  It is basically little boxes that you can add to the screen and you can draw or write in them.

ipad apps for the classroom

Here we used the Popplets as a quick sketch for Beginning, Middle, and End.  

ipad apps for learning in the classroom

My second graders used them for dividing words into syllables.  We have been working hard on that skill!  

You could use Popplet for prefixes, root or base words, and endings.  Students could use the boxes for brainstorming before writing or any concept mapping.  

Show Me 

iPad apps for learning in the classroom

This is an app we use almost every single day!  Show Me is like a wipe off board on the iPad.  When teaching sight words, we write them on Show Me.  If I need my RtI students to use a new word in a sentence, they go to Show Me app.  Writing beginning sounds heard in a word (or middle or ending sounds) works really well for the younger students.  Another feature of Show Me is the recording feature.  Students can record themselves reading a passage for the first time and then again after practicing the passage.  They can then listen to the difference.  Or you can keep the recordings over time so you can hear the progression in their fluency skills.

I sure hope you enjoyed these iPad ideas!  I know I loved finding great apps to use in my classroom.  Hopefully you are already following my blog.  Please do follow me if you aren't!  

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook, Instagram, and TpT for more great ideas!

For more bright ideas from my bloggy friends, please look through the link-up below.  You will find some terrific ideas!




Sunday, April 6, 2014

RtI Visual Plans & Easter Egg Phrases

Download the picture to access links to the resources

It has been a busy week!  I am sure it has been for you too.  I think we all at our school are feeling the pressure to get lots accomplished in the short amount of time we have before testing time.  We have missed so many days over the winter and suddenly state testing is coming up, along with end of the year testing.

I have been pleased with the progress the students are showing in RtI.  I like routine so students know what to expect, but I like to keep the activities fresh to keep them and myself engaged.   So we try to  review skills in new ways. 

practicing sight words activities

My kindergarten students are working hard to learn to read and use sight words.  We practice, practice, practice.  One way we took it up a notch is to read them in phrases.  We have been practicing that for several weeks.  With spring here, I thought we would try these phrases in a new way.  Easter eggs!  I spent part of an evening rolling the phrases and stuffing them into eggs.

practicing sight words

Students were excited to grab a colored egg from the basket!  It is funny how even at a young age some students prefer certain colors.  In one class, the boys would only take the blue or green and the girls took pink or purple.  The yellows and oranges were left in the basket!  

Reading the phrases gave me some insight to where some of the students are in their reading skills and not just with sight words.  Some would pull out the paper, unroll the slip  and know right away if the writing was right side up or not.  Some would just stare at it trying to make sense of it upside down or would try to read it right to left.  Others had no difficulty figuring out how to make it make sense.  Lots of fun and lots of information gathering for me!

Did you join in on the Hippity Blog Hop 2 yesterday?  If you missed it, you will want to go check it out!  12 of my bloggy friends are giving away some great freebies and we are having a giveaway of some great resources and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Freebies


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hippity Blog Hop 2


Are you ready for a fun time hopping along to some of your favorite blogs and getting some fun treats?  You can get started on this hop at 8:00 this morning!

12 of my bloggy friends, plus me, are sending you down the bunny trail to all our blogs.  Along the way, as you visit us all, be sure to pick up your fun freebie and leave a us a comment.  We LOVE to hear from you!  And be sure to hop through to the end, so you can enter to win a gift card to Amazon and some really great materials from us!

Are you hopping over from Rowdy in First?  I know Jennifer was happy to have you stop by and had a really great treat for you!  If you haven't visited Jennifer, you need to hop back and see her!


Today, I have a fun sight word game for you!  My kids are really enjoying playing Roll A Sight Word games and it is really helping to get those words to stick for them!  Click here or the picture below to be able to get this game if you would like it!



I hope you enjoy this game and that your students do too!  




Follow me on Bloglovin' so you can keep up with all the fun stuff happening here on my blog!



Now it's time for you to hop on over to Lisa's blog, Growing Firsties! She has something great waiting for you!!



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Sunday, March 30, 2014

RtI Reading Intervention Plans & Freebie

Click the picture to download the links to the resources

Finally a spring weekend with no snow in the forecast!  What a wonderful thing!  And we are celebrating my father-in-law's 80th birthday.  It's a great day!

My Tier II group is about halfway through their cycle and really making some great progress.  This is my kindergarten group.  They have just really moved right along and are picking up skills pretty well.  For some of them, I think the fact that they go out of the room and are in small group for the entire 30 minutes is a huge help to them.  They are easily distracted so this small group time with nothing else happening in the room has really been good for them.   


My third grade, Tier III, students are also making progress.  But they are finding it harder to make as big of gains in the same time frame as the younger students. I think that really speaks to catching students as soon as we can and correcting what we can as soon as possible.  

One of my third graders needs to work on the 3 sounds of ed this week  If you would like this freebie, just click here or the picture below!



Don't forget that my TpT shop is on sale today and tomorrow, so clean out your wish list before this sale is over!  Many of your favorite sellers are participating in this Spring Sale!  Click here to be taken there now!



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Family Literacy Night


We celebrated Family Literacy Night last week.  It was a lot of fun!  Parents, grandparents, students, little brothers and sisters attended and participated in the activities.


This was our table to welcome families and have them sign in before beginning the fun!  We have to turn the signatures in so we want everyone to sign.

Family Literacy Night Activities

When students and their families arrived they stopped by my table to pick up their Scavenger Hunt paper and a pencil.  During the scavenger hunt, they read the clues and looked for letters hidden around the school.  These letters were then written to finish a Dr. Seuss quote.  

Once students and families finished with the scavenger hunt, each student and sibling got a pretty pencil and Dr. Seuss bookmark.  They also received a green raffle ticket for the book drawing!

Family Literacy Night Activities

We had buckets of books for the pre-k to 1st graders and second and third graders to put their names into for the drawing.  The kids really enjoyed stopping by the tables to look through the books they just might win!

Family Literacy Night Activities

We had a table for the older students and even a bucket of books for their parents to have a chance at winning too!  I think the parents really appreciated being included in this.   


At another table we asked parents to fill out a parent survey letting us know how we were doing and suggestions for how we could help them (parents). 

That night the book fair was also open late so parents could come and shop with their families and buy lots of books.  

It was a fun night and a great way to get to know the families!  What does your school do for Literacy or Math Nights?  I would love to hear about it!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

RtI: Charting Student Progress

RtI Reading Intervention Lesson Plans
Click the Picture to Download the Links to the Resources

Was this not just the busiest week?  We had off Monday for yet ANOTHER snow day (day 23 or 24- I've have lost track), so it was a short week.  But I think we tried to pack in as much as we could in those four days!  

This next week is also a 4 day week, so we have lots to try to accomplish in RtI.  Sometimes it seems like it takes the students a bit to get going on their progress, but then they take off and things start clicking!  

My kinders are working on different phonemic awareness skills.  One little one is still on blending phonemes, but it has finally clicked when I stretch out /b/  /i/  /k/  I am NOT trying to say the word wet!  Another student is working on identifying common phonemes.  One boy has moved past that on to deleting phonemes.  He will not be there long- he is picking that right up!

sight word activities

 These are what I am using to chart the kindergartners' progress with Dolch Sight Words.  As you can see, we are making slow, but steady progress.  Kindergartners love to see the progress they are making and it really motivates them to try their best to do more!


sight word activities

If you would like this chart for the Dolch Pre-Primer words, you can click here.

The kids like to play Hide the Monster sight word game (click here to see that post) and Roll A Sight Word.  We practice stretching out sight words, listening for the sounds we hear and writing them.  I keep our learned sight words in baggies and add new words to the baggies as they are introduced.  Then we take a couple of minutes everyday to review them. 

We had our Family Literacy Night Thursday.  I'll post pictures Wednesday of the activities we did for that.  It was a lot of fun!