Monday, July 29, 2013

A literacy Activity, a Freebie, and a Sale!

***If you notice, the page links on the blog are gone. I'm working on organizing them a bit better, so hopefully they'll be back up soon! :)

I've just uploaded my newest fry phrase activity: Look Sharp!
Click the pic to get it. Everything in my store (including this pack will be 15% off tomorrow for a Flash sale!) You can visit my store here
I'm planning on creating several more packs in my B2S series so be on the outlook for those!
In this fry phrase game, you will get a colored version and a black and white version that allows you to print on colored paper and save on ink. 

colored version

B/W version

To play, students flip all the pencils face down and take turns flipping them over. When a match is found, that student records it on the recording sheet.
The person who fills up their recording sheet first is the winner! Also included in the packet is the label to create your own "I'm a Look Sharp Whiz" pencil jar in which the winner will choose a pencil from.

Now for the freebie!
I've been trying to create some pages for an interactive notebook for my 5th graders and I created this sheet that can be used in ANY grade and I thought I'd share. Just click the pic to download it from my store. Feedback is always appreciated! :)

Here's the printable in action! It always helps me to see how someone uses something. 

Happy Teaching! :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Classroom Makeover: Week 4 (Continued)

Remember to follow my new blog Life in Fifth Grade to see more pictures of my new classroom! 

Over the past few days I've completed a few new things in my classroom, so I thought I'd quickly update the blog with some pictures! :)

Focus Board complete

I had displayed my parts of speech posters on the other side of the room, but I decided they needed a board, so I made a green bulletin board on both sides of the white board at the front of the room and it made the whole wall look so much better!
I also decided to create a cursive ABC line to put over the board. I had originally planned on not having an ABC line since I'm going to have 5th graders, but the wall just need something and it's always good to have a guide for cursive handwriting. I may end up taking it down if I see it's completely unnecessary.  

I've got one side of the filing cabinet covered. Still need to do the rest, but I've at least got a little bit done :)

Table baskets are done!

I made these little magnets from Ashley Hughes clipart to hold each amazing word since this board was made on a white marker board. This way it will be easy to change out each week.

I FINALLY made my no sew curtains, which is way easier than I thought it would be. I found this iron on adhesive at Wal Mart.

All you do is fold over the fabric and lay down the tape.

Iron it:

And simply pull off the tape. Super simple!

Curtains are up! :) :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Classroom Makeover: Week 4

Be sure and follow my new blog Life in Fifth Grade to see more pictures of my classroom!

I've been enjoying summer a little too much lately (is that possible?) and haven't done a whole bunch in my classroom, but I have managed to get a couple of tasks completed.

Completed: Our Word Wall
This originally was one big pink board that I was going to use for writing, but I couldn't find a good place for the word wall. So I decided to divide this big board and use it was two things. There isn't a whole lot of room for writing, but we can display a few things on it like an anchor chart for the weekly skill.

 Completed: Instagram Door/Board
In my little independent reading area there's a door that leads to the air conditioning unit. I originally thought I would hate this but it creates the nicest humming sound...kinda like a fan. I'm dreaming if I think the room will ever be quiet enough to actually hear the calming sound, but it's nice while it lasts! :)
Anyways, back to the picture. I thought it would be nice to have an area in the classroom to display the pictures we take throughout the year, so I created an Instagram board/door. I found this perfect wrapping paper ($2.50!) at TJ Maxx. I was a little worried about the quality, but it was so easy to work with!

 Completed: Spicing up my marker storage
This was the tiniest of projects, but I've been wanting to do this forever.

Completed: The Twitter Board
I took this picture before I added the "today's question". I'll post a question (not every single day) and the class will "tweet" their answers. 

 Completed: Poms and Table Labeling
I couldn't get a good shot of all the poms. Three are green and three are pink. This took FOREVER, but I feel much more organized now. :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Favorite Things Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Yvonnee G.! I'll be emailing you shortly!! :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday-Reading Street

I'm linking up with Cara for Throwback Thursday!

I've been getting lots of emails asking about how I taught Reading Street in first grade, so I decided to feature this post today. Back in September, I wrote a detailed post on how I taught whole group and centers during the 90 minute reading block. Now, I know a lot of people are switching to the new version of Reading Street that is CC aligned, so things will probably be laid out a little differently, but you can still get a general idea of what I did. This is how I taught reading for the past 4 years and it worked wonderfully for me. Hope this helps! :)

Reading Street Whole Group/Centers

Here's how I teach Scott Foresman's Reading Street. I'm by no means an expert, but since I've had requests on how I do some of our center activities, I thought it might be easier to go through the whole morning routine. 
We have 2 hours for our morning reading block. We start at 8am and finish around 10am.  At the beginning of reading each morning, I start off with a 30 minute whole group lesson that covers what we will be doing during centers. Each center lasts around 15 minutes.
  Here's the whole group routine:
I make a "Reading Objectives" chart for every lesson. Time consuming? Yes! But it does help me tremendously with planning out the lesson. It also helps the kids know what we will be doing next. Here's an example of this chart.
I put an empty box next to each item and at the end of the whole group lesson, we go over the chart and put a check next to each item. That way it's easy to remember if we've left something out and it serves as a reminder for what we just learned.
See the skill words written on green post it stickies? These are 'tickets' to get to centers. I call on different kids each day to tell me what each word is. If they get it right, they get to go to their center. 

After we quickly go over the objectives chart, we dive right in with the first task: Question of the day. Here's where it is located in the TE
I tell my kids the question of the day, give them a second to think about it, and them tell them to turn and talk to their partner. Their partner is just whoever is sitting close by. While they are doing this, I'm walking around listening and encouraging some of my shy kids to talk. After about a minute, we share as a group what they've just talked about their partner. Sometimes if it's a good question of the day I like to chart their responses on the smartboard.

Next is the amazing words, which are here in the TE
This is something that I don't spend a lot of time on. We just quickly talk about them and move on. I'm trying to find a better way to incorporate these words into our daily lessons, but I feel like I should spend more time on the comprehension and phonics part. If you have any ideas on teaching amazing words, please comment below!!

Next is Building Background. I drill into my kids' head the word "schema" and they love to tell me what it means! We complete the chart that is located in the book and I display it in our classroom. Here's where it is in the book:
This page is for A Fox and A Kit, but here's the chart that we did for Sam, Come Back!

Next we do our comprehension read aloud. If I don't like the one in the book, I usually pull a picture book that fits in good for the comprehension skill and use it, but sometimes the read alouds in the book are good. Here's the page in the TE
During the comprehension read loud, I refer back to a chart that have I created for the skill. For example, when we did the read aloud for Pig in a Wig, we completed this realism and fantasy chart:
The pigs were made later :) 

Next comes the most important item (in my opinion anyways): the phonics skill. For the phonics skill, I use this page in the TE
I write a word on the smartboard, tell the kids to "hold it in their head" so everyone isn't blurting the word out, and then pick someone to tell me the word. We also model sounding out words here. 

On Mondays and Tuesdays we listen to the story after the phonics skill. The book does not have this part, but I feel like it is important for the kids to hear the story day one instead of waiting until Wednesday like the book says. If you wait 'til Wednesday, then the kids have to take the test the next day after hearing the story only once. This would work if everyone read their story at home at night, but we all know that is not the case. 

Now it is time for centers! I have four groups. In each group, each child has a color. Here's an example:
Group 1
Rachel: Blue
Quinn: Yellow 1
Finn: Yellow 2
Kurt: Green
***I am watching Glee while writing this, hence the names! :)
The colors refer to their level. When everyone first gets to a center, I call a color and those kids come and meet with me. This is how I differentiate my centers. It sounds confusing, but it isn't once the kids get use to it and it works out really well. It ends up that everyone misses one center, but they make it up during Tier II time.
I also have four centers: computers, comprehension, word work, and independent/buddy reading. Here's what activities are at comprehension and word work.
Each color has a different activity. This accounts for differentiate centers. Plus, it helps cut down on copying others papers! :) 

The graphic organizers are also the same every week so the kids understand how to fill them out. 

Word Work
There are four different activities at Word Work. By Thursday, everyone will have completed all the activities. They know to do a different one each day. Here are some of the activities that are at word work. These change every week, but here are some favorites.
Reading decodables with word buddies. I simply typed the decodable readers that we do at small group, put them in the binder and placed it at the center. The word buddies are easy to make too. Just print off your favorite clip art and cut out a square in the middle and laminate. 

I put a Stop! post it by the decodable that we haven't read yet so they know not to go past it.

These "Frame a Word" activities came from Babbling Abby's Word Work packets. They are fabulous!!!!! 

My kids love Babbling Abby's Highlight a Word activities, also found in her Word Work packets, so I decided to try the idea using a past decodable. 

There is usually a word sorting pack of mine or a word scramble at Word Work too.

That's all! I hope I didn't make it too confusing to follow along. Please, if you have any more questions, feel free to comment or email and I will do my best to answer them! :)

Don't forget my TpT Sale! It ends tomorrow!! :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Favorite Things Giveaway #2: Favorite Back to School Things!

I LOVE summertime and I would be perfectly happy if it were summer all year long, but I also LOVE seeing all the back to school items in the stores. There have been some great finds here lately and I've also seen lots of other great finds from everyone's instagrams. After several trips to Target, Hobby Lobby, Kohls, and my local teacher supply store, I have just about got my classroom complete. I've collected several of my favorite items and decided to give them away. That giveaway is on my new blog Life in Fifth Grade, so be sure and check it out and enter! Here's a sneak peek of what's included. 
Go enter here!

THIS giveaway is for one of my favorite books to read for back to school. I just love Curious George and he's always a hit in my classroom. When I taught first (that still sounds weird, being in past tense), I always had book characters in my independent reading center. The kids loved reading books to them, so this combo would work great! :)

Here's how to enter:
*Be a follower of Life in First Grade
*Like Life in First Grade's Facebook Page
Super Simple!
Giveaway ends Sunday (7/14). Winner will be announced Monday. 
Good Luck!!