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A Snowy 5 For Friday


It's been a while since I've gotten to link up for Five for Friday.  Today I get to since I am home for a snow day!



We have had so many snow days this year that I have completely lost track of the number!  I mean seriously...we have missed A LOT since December.  I think we have been out more than we have attended school.  It's been bad, folks.  

This is what it looked like Tuesday when we called off school. Where's the snow??  The weatherman was calling for enough snow in the forecast that school districts were calling school off before we even saw a flake.  The snow did come though and with it freezing temperatures.  Not sure when it will melt.  



I have been trying to be productive while I have been enjoying these days off this week!  RtI is beginning to start up again soon and I have some small reading groups who need some extra work on their fluency with letters and short vowel sounds.  



Students can build letter fluency by rolling the monster dice and reading that row of letters.  These will work well in a center or for RtI intervention groups. There are lower case, capitals and mixed letters.  Add some fun pointers with the sheets and monster dice and the kids will love building their letter fluency!


Students can also track their progress with the data graphs.  As you all know, I keep lots and lots of RtI graphs!  This will be a great way for the students to take some ownership of their learning.


I also made the same type of activity for short vowels and chunks.  My first graders this year had some struggles blending the sounds together in chunks.  This will help those who are finding that difficult and have a lot of fun while doing it!  You can click the pictures to check them out!


I passed my cake decorating class!  Well, okay...everyone passed.  A group of my teacher friends took the class together.  We had a blast!  But I will say it was a lot of work making cakes and cupcakes each week and making batches and batches of icing.  None of us are experts yet, but we are getting better.  I didn't get a picture of my final project.  It turned out okay- cake with white icing and yellow roses on top.  I brought it home and my boys immediately dove in!





Is this not the coolest treadmill??  My treadmill broke and it is wayyyyy too cold to be walking outside right now.  So I am looking for a new one.  I would love to have this one, but I am not willing to pay for that.  I have put a flat surface across the handle bars on my old one so my computer would sit there while I walked.  I seem to need to have something to do if I am on the treadmill and the tv sometimes just isn't enough!  


I've got a question for you all.  I have some funds that I need to do some shopping for at my school.  I want to allocate a chunk of these funds for the classroom teachers.  First and most importantly, I want to get them (or actually have THEM choose) sets of books for their classrooms.  They need new books!  With the push of more informational text, we are lacking enough good quality materials.  But besides the sets of books, what else for literacy would you ask for if you could get them?  Technology will not be covered with this money, I am being told, so it has to be something else besides iPads or computers.  Besides the books, I was thinking kid magazines like Time for Kids?


I have even thought of these Fountas and Pinnell intervention kits for the upper grades.  But I don't know enough about them.  Those of you that have them, are they scripted?  I don't like programs...is it materials with some direction on how to use them or is it a program to follow? 



Help me out if you would!  What would you like me to consider if I were spending some funds for your school?  Thank you for the help!!


27 comments:

  1. I love Time for Kids! This is the first year to use them in my kindergarten classroom. Our school earned free subscriptions by having parents fill out postcards to mail to friends and family promoting magazine sales, but no one has to buy a thing.

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    1. That is a great way to get the Time for Kids without paying! Our students love this magazine too!

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  2. Time for Kids would be awesome. I also love Mondo Safari. I've taught with LLI- the green and blue kits. If you go to their website, I believe they will send you a sample. I would say it is a program to follow. I liked using it.

    Bridget
    Literacy Without Worksheets

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    1. I will have to check out Mondo Safari. I am not sure if I have seen that one or not. I may need to see a sample. Thanks for that tip, Bridget!

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  3. That monster letter pack looks great, and how cool would it be to read blogs and walk on the treadmill at the same time?!

    If I had money to spend, I would buy more Fountas and Pinnell books, and add to our Benchmark Assessment kits. I would do Time for Kids or Scholastic Weekly Reader.

    -Maria
    Everyone deServes to Learn

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    1. Great ideas on what to consider buying, Maria! And thank you for the comment about the letter pack!

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  4. We use LLI for our intervention. I love it. It is a program to follow, but you don't start at lesson 1 with all students. You figure out where the student is and start where they are. With periodic assessments, students can move around. There are also a lot of options in terms of implementation. It's a very. Complete program, but I don't feel as if it's scripted.

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    1. Good information about LLI kits, Jessica! That is all good to know! Thank you for sharing about it. :)

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  5. I'd love items for word work. Jumbo magnetic letters for group lessons, small magnetic letters for the kids to use, lowercase alphabet stamps & stamp pads, wiki sticks and gift certificates to TPT to buy appropriate fluency packs and readers theater plays. Of course books, books, and more books. The magazines would be nice too.

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    1. We always need more books, don't we? Those are wonderful ideas about the letters and stamps! Thank you so much for sharing those! I hadn't thought of them and they would be great!

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  6. Whew- so many snow days for you! I love your new products- they look great! I am using LLI for the first time this year and I really like it- it definitely is a program to follow, but I'm like you and I don't really like scripted lessons, and I find that it is a great resource that can be used step by step as it is set, or you can use it like me, where you use bits and pieces and then add in your own materials too. I would recommend it to people who are interested in it because the books are great and switch off between fiction and non fiction every other story.
    Can't wait to see what you choose!
    Aylin
    Learning to the Core

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    1. Yes, so many, many snow days! We are up to 17 now! Great tips on the LLI kits. I appreciate your thoughts on it. I like that component of going back and forth between fiction and nonfiction!

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    2. I am using the LLI kit for the first time this year too! I am also using bits and pieces of the program that suit my students' needs. Our district wanted us to use it as a Tier 2 intervention, but I use it with my Tier 3 students and have found a lot of success with it. At first we only had the K and 1 sets, but I used the 1st grade kit with my 3rd graders and found it appropriate.

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    3. Paula, I am glad to hear that you are liking the LLI kit and that it is working for you! Sounds like my school might want to look into these kits a bit more!
      Lori
      Conversations in Literacy

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  7. I need that treadmill! How much I could get done if I had it!

    I have used both Scholastic News and Weekly Reader, which are both great. I do wish we had LLI, but we got zero funds this year! I can't even purchase ONE book! I am so jealous that you have money to spend, and I would purchase something fun like these for sure. Can't wait to see what you go with, so I can start thinking about what I want when I get money again.

    Andrea
    Reading Toward the Stars

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    1. I want that treadmill too, Andrea! Isn't it great! That is so sad that you had your funds cut and can't purchase anything. That is difficult!

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  8. Lori-
    Our division has LLI, and I love the books too. I actually don't have LLI for the upper grades, but I wish I did. We have it for K-3. My partner does K-3 (FT) and I have 4/5 (PT). She pulls groups of 3 per group. I also love Time for Kids. If you're looking for nonfiction, the National Geographic nonfiction books are wonderful. We've also purchased sets of magazines from http://www.kidsdiscover.com/ on various social studies and science topics. If you run them through the laminator, you can make them last longer too.

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    1. I like National Geographic too, Carla! And Kids Discover. I had forgotten about them. Thank you for reminding me about them!

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  9. Such a fun post to read! The snow days this year are crazy! I just heard on the news that we have accumulated over 60 inches in Chicago this year and last year was 9?!?! What?!?! I almost think that I heard that wrong but I swear they said that! Love your monsters letter recognition that kids can track their own progress-super cute! Your cake decorating class sounds like fun! That treadmill does look incredible!! Love that you found a way to put your computer up on your old one while you were walking! I have always only gone the TV route while on the treadmill but you are right-sometimes it is just not enough so a computer is perfect!

    Amanda
    Learning to the Core

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    1. Oh my, Amanda! That is a crazy amount of snow!! I cannot imagine that much. As for the treadmill, I get so bored that I have to do something besides stare at the tv or I won't stay on it for very long! ha!

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  10. Your first picture looked just like my area did around 10 a.m. We missed all but Monday of this week. I was wondering where the snow was, but by noon we had an inch on the ground. I am ready for the snow to leave so I can get the kiddos back on track. I feel like I have to reteach everything once they've missed so many days. Hopefully spring gets here quickly!

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    1. That is what we missed last week too, Kimberly. We did get some snow and now today (Monday) we got 1-2 more inches. Crazy!

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  11. Your cakes and cupcakes look great! I bet they tasted good too. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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    1. They did taste okay, Tammy. I think they tasted better than they looked!

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    2. Hi Lori,
      I am from a small town in Saskatchewan Canada. I have used the Fountas and Pinnell reading assessment kits for the last 5 years or more. My school division, the largest in our province, uses it for children grades 1-8 and submits results 2 times / year. The results are used to determine if we have met our literacy goals but more importantly to determine what reading skills and strategies children need to be taught. We form targeted groups based on reading levels grades 1-3 where children are taught for 30 min per day at their level

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    3. My computer froze... So I will continue: the assessment works best when given individually. There is a running record score and comprehension score when combined give you a child's reading level score. The assessment gives you very good info but it takes time!!!! As a grade 1 teacher I am constantly testing my students because they grow so quickly in the reading levels. In order to provide them with the targeted teaching they need I have to

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    4. Thank you for letting me know how your school uses the reading kits, Shelley! Your system sounds a whole lot like how we use the DRA kits at my school. So important to keep up with how the students are progressing so we can keep them moving! Thanks for coming by!

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