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April Currently

It is Currently time!  Don't you just love it?  Farley is hosting of course and it is a great way to see what is going on with all your blogger friends.  So read mine and comment, then go link up too!

I am watching The Apprentice and am amazed at the behaviors on this show! Some of these people are cut-throat,  Oh my!  And Gary...what can you say about Gary, who seems so out there in his thinking but a sweet and tender heart.  :)

I am loving that I am not having the Sunday night blues tonight since I have the next 2 days off.  But I really need to get some things done during those days.  

My advice is for bloggers and sellers.  Don't go into it thinking it will be a piece of cake or happen overnight.  It takes a while, but you will learn so many new things and build some great relationships along the way!

Now, go to Farley's blog and link up in the fun!

Oh' boy fourth grade

Peek At My Week- RTI & Reading Groups

Do you like seeing what other teachers are doing in their rooms?  We all do right?  That is why there are so many of us bloggers and readers of blogs!

Deedee, over at Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten, has a weekly link-up for visual plans.  I get  a lot out of seeing what other teachers are doing with their lesson plans and what skills they are covering.  You should join us and link up too!  We would love to see what you are doing!

First thing in the morning is our RTI intervention time.  I have Tier III for 3rd grade and Tier II for first grade.  In the picture above, I show that we are working on fluency, syllables, and digraphs with my 3rd grader.  We won't spend much time on blends/digraphs, but he does need quick reviews as he is not fluent with those sounds yet if they occur in an unknown word.  We spend the bulk of our time on syllables so he can attack unknown words efficiently which will also increase his fluency.  

First grade works on fluency with their sight words for a few minutes to help make those words automatic and quick  This week we will work on blends and digraphs and their short vowel sounds.  

This second slide shows the materials that I will be using during my RTI groups.  The numbers correspond with the numbers in the first picture.  Just click on the hyperlink to be taken to that item.  If you have not read The Fluent Reader, I highly recommend it!

This slide shows some of my reading groups.  Kindergarten will be working on ing being added to a word and sequencing.  We will be learning about ing before we read a book with several ing words.  I will teach how to see the base word and the ing and then expect the students to use this new knowledge as a strategy to read the words in the new book.  

First grade has been working on breaking unknown words into syllables as a strategy.  They have been doing pretty well with this, I am thankful to say!

Second grade is in the middle of a huge folktale unit and will be writing to compare 2 folktales.  

Well, that is it in a nutshell!  I hope that wasn't too boring- I tried to just skim the surface of what is happening.  So much to say about what is going on in each of our rooms.  So link up, I want to see what is going on in your world!

Have a blessed Easter today!

Egg-Cellent Sellers Sale!

If you are needing items for your classroom, now is the time to shop!  Along with some other great sellers, I am offering 20% off my favorite five products! Whooo Hooo!

Just click on the picture of an item to be taken to it or click on the first picture to be taken to my store so you can begin saving!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!!

Penny Words and Dollar Words

We've been working on character traits and the students have been doing a really great job of learning to describe a character's traits by how they act, think, or believe on the inside and not describe their physical traits.  But we did hit a bit of a snag with the type of words they were using at times.  

You know- the Ad group:  mad, sad, bad, or glad!  Plus, good and nice...So we have made a couple of charts.  

Words that students use all the time or are not exciting or very descriptive are now called Penny Words in my room.

not using overused or less descriptive words, word choice

The students immediately understood what I meant.   Associating these common words with a penny made total sense to them.

using more descriptive and interesting words

Then the more descriptive words or character traits were turned into our Dollar Words chart.

As we have discussions, I hear students saying "that's a penny word!"  They also want to know as we discuss books if their particular word they are using is a "dollar word".  I love that they are paying close attention now to word choice.  This leads them to a better understanding of the shades of meaning author's trying to get across and hopefully will lead to more descriptive word choices during writer's workshop!

I want my students to collect their own penny words and dollar words when they come across them and not just use the charts.  They can use these individual charts for that now.  They are free if you can use them be sure to grab them!

I hope you enjoy the Penny and Dollar Word chartlets.  I go on spring break tomorrow- whooo hooo!

Spring Literacy & Math Night

This past week was our Spring Literacy and Math Family Night.  The book fair was open until late so parents could come by after work with the family and purchase books.  Clifford even made an appearance!  Our Parents As Teachers had an activity for the little ones to do.  And the Title teachers had activities.

Take a look at our cupcake table!  Don't they look just like spring?  They were pretty yummy too.  The families got to enjoy cupcakes and milk while they read books and did math and literacy activities or just sat and visited.

Students could choose to estimate how many chocolate eggs were in a large plastic Easter egg or choose an egg from a basket and solve the math problem inside.  They also got to do a literacy activity based on the book The Easter Egg by Jan Brett.

This sweet book is about all the other bunnies helping out their friend and the illustrations are beautiful!  I found a really meaningful and fun activity from The Educator's Spin On It blog.  You need to check them out!

the educators' spin on it

Egg Wreaths

We made egg wreaths to go with the story.  Students got to choose a circle for the wreath and then picked out eggs to glue on top.  We used wallpaper from wallpaper books and scrapbook paper to make all of these.  Inside the eggs, students wrote different things they could do to help others.  It was so much fun to see these students of all ages working on their egg wreaths!

A fun time was had by all and who would have guessed the next day after our SPRING night school would dismiss early because of SNOW!!  :)

Hippity Blog Hop

You are in for a for a sweet treat that is going to be so much fun!!  

12 of my bloggy friends plus myself are holding a spring blog hop just for you.

AND at each stop you will score some fabulous freebies!! 

AND whats more, you can enter to win a $25 gift card to Target AND one fabulous TpT product from EACH blogger participating in the hop!  This part of the fun will be found at the end of the blog hop.  So be sure to hoppity hop all the way through each blog!  

So here is what you need to do:
*  follow each blog as you hop through (follow our stores too if you like our freebies!)
*  grab your freebies at each stop 
*  hop all the way to the end so you can enter to win the gift card and 13 amazing items

Wow!  We better get started so you can start collecting all of your goodies!

My spring freebie is some crossword puzzle fun!  There are 5 spring crossword puzzles that can be copied for each student or copied and laminated and placed into spring literacy centers.  Just click the picture or click here to be taken to my TpT store.  If you like it, would you mind following my store?  I would so appreciate that!!

Now, when you finish hopping through all the blogs, you will see that the item I am giving towards the grand prize is my I Am An Expert:  How to Writing Unit.  

After you have grabbed my spring freebie, you will now hop to Michelle's super cute blog to find your next great free item.  Michelle has a some great ideas and you will not want to miss out on what she has for you.  So don't stop now- get on over to Apples and Abcs!  :)

Apples and ABCs

A HUGE thank you to Mrs. Leeby at Learning with Mrs. Leeby for setting up all this blog hopping fun!! You will see her at the end of the hop to enter the contest to win the gift card and lots of great items from each of the bloggers.  We hope you have enjoyed our Hippity Blog Hop and all your goodies.  Be sure to leave some love to let each one know how much you like your freebies and how much fun you had.  We love to hear from you!

Freebie Fridays

3 Sounds of ed Freebie!

The 3 sounds of ed

Kick-ED, Help-ED...have you heard these type of mispronunciations?  Some of my students think there is only one way to say the ed ending.  They say it like the boy's name ED and then just keep reading like it sounds like a real word.  

We are working to correct this!  And an easy way to work on the 3 sounds of ed is to do a word sort- I love and use word sorts all the time!

A good idea is to have students highlight or box the ending in a different color.  This makes the ending stand out from the root word.  

Students highlight the ed ending, cut out the word boxes, sort and then glue.

If you would like to have this 3 Sounds of ed Word Sort, just click here or on the first picture and you can download this freebie!

Aren't the umbrellas that I used just adorable??  Barbara from Ruby Slippers Blog Design designed these.  Go check out her beautiful designs- she has the cutest stuff!

How To Writing Unit: Make-Up & Football

Warning!  I am about to do a little bragging on my little guys.  We have been working hard on our How To unit.  And I must say that my little first graders did a bang up job on this!!  So proud of them and what they learned.

We first started with books- how to books of different kinds.  Like knowing how to swim or ride a bike or how to fish.   That led to a discussion about the things we saw that were in each kind of how to book.  So we made an anchor chart about what we noticed that was needed to be successful.

How To Writing Unit

We also came up with a class list of ideas that might make a great how to book.  I tried to help them think about the small idea- how to hammer a nail rather than a big idea like building a house!

How To Writing Unit

Before we started creating our how to books, we practiced sequencing with a How To Make a Peanut Butter Sandwich.  It sounded really funny when we had the steps out of order!

How To Writing Unit

After the students made a plan for their own how to book and edited their work, they were ready to make tackle creating their masterpiece!  Here are some of the pages from one girl's How To book:

Evidently I have at least one first grade girl that is interested in make-up already!  :)

Don't you love how she drew the "lip balm" on her lips?  That is exactly what I would imagine that it would look like when a first grade girl puts on lipstick.  Love that!!

Notice the puffy sleeves on her princess dress.  She had a hard time figuring out how to draw them like she wanted them to look.  And her girl looks to be wearing LOTS of beautiful make-up!

One sweet boy decided he would teach how to kick a football.

I really enjoyed this unit and finding out what all my first graders thought they were experts at.  I put all of this into a unit and you can find it on TpT if you are needing it.  It includes everything you see here plus lots more!  Click the picture to be taken there!

School Supplies and a Discount!

Look what I got in the mail!!  Don't you just love to get fun stuff for your classroom?  I got these wonderful items from MPM School Supplies.

MPM School Supplies site is easy to navigate and they have LOTS of items to choose from!  I was needing some new vowel posters as we are working really hard right now on getting those sounds solid and sure.  

I had also been looking for a group of poems that I could use with my kindergarten or first grade small groups.  I like to use poems to increase their memory, finding rhyming words, work on syllables, look for sight words, and connect words to sounds on our blends chart.

finding words in poem to connect with beginning blends and digraphs

My first graders are working really hard on hearing their blends and digraphs and connecting them to the correct letters.  I like to call out a word from a poem or book they have been reading (the poem or book would be not be out so they are relying on auditory and not visual cues) and they find a picture from the blends/digraphs chart to connect it to.  

For example, I would call out clouds.  The students would use their blends/digraphs chart and find the picture- clown- that begins the same way clouds does.  

Now, for some great news for you!!  MPM School Supplies is giving you a discount to get some school supplies for your classroom!  Click the link below and start shopping!

10% off your readers' first 10 orders:

Silent e and Scavenger Hunts

Silent e...Sneaky e...Magic e... Whatever name you use, the e at the end of words usually has an important job to do- make the vowel say its name!  

Some struggling readers have trouble with this little e.  For some reason it doesn't always stand out to them, they don't attend to it.  When we work on silent e words, I always overemphasize the sound of the vowel saying its name, so they can hear it better.  The video clip above is a cute way to show the silent e's job.  When I found it, I really liked it because it shows the e jumping over the consonant to make the vowel say its name.  Which is what I teach them in class.

The students love to draw the arrows over to the vowel.  After we talk about short vowels and long vowels and how they are visually different as well as sounding differently, we go on a scavenger hunt. 

silent e rule
For a scavenger hunt, I put up cvc and cvce on the board and students look for words with these patterns in their books.  It is important to not teach these skills in isolation of reading.  They need to see and practice this in real reading.  If they find a word that visually fits the pattern AND fits the sound pattern (there are rule breakers out there!), they get to write the word on the Smartboard-after reading it to me first.  We set the timer and see how many we get can.  Fun while applying what we learned!

Here is a Silent e poster if your students need a little extra help.  Sing it to the tune of "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow".  Songs always seem to help things stick for students.  
silent e rule

Click on the picture above if you could use this poster in your room.  It's a freebie!

Free Resources