Monday, September 26, 2011

There's a Whole Lotta {quiet} Shaking Goin' On!

We shook and we spilled....and boy was it quiet!  {Loved} this activity with my kiddos.  Because of Melissa's post (see my previous post for the link) about the noise level, I decided to take some precautions because I knew we would be doing this activity for quite awhile finding sums of 7, 8 AND 9.  I got a set of foam can coolers to use as our "Spill Cups" and cut some cupboard liners to use as our "Spill Mats."  It worked perfect! 

I am actually looking forward to doing this again tomorrow to find sums of 10, 11, and 12.....and so are my kiddos! 

We worked whole group today on recording our answers, so tomorrow we add the handouts!  Can't wait!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

More Rain=A Blog Hopping Lazy Sunday with Great Finds

Crazy that I am doing 2 posts in one weekend!  It's raining again so I get some more computer time because I am feeling the laziness!  So I just found 2 great things that I wanted to share.

First off I found this great freebie from What the Teacher Wants that I can't wait to use and incorporate into my stations.

I also came across a post that goes right along with what we are doing in math....but it puts more of a game spin to it. This is from F is for First Grade.  Click on the picture to see the original post. 
We used the counters on Friday and were making sums of 4,5,6.  I have to be honest that by the end of the lesson I couldn't get them out to recess fast enough because I was ready to pull my hair out!  So I love the idea of "Shake and Spill" so much that I created these handouts to use next week as we find sums of 7, 8, 9 and yet another lesson on sums of 10, 11, 12.  The first 2 pages are for sums of 6 and more.  The second 2 pages are for the smaller sums.  Click on the picture to grab your copy!  Thanks for the idea Melissa!
Well, time to get moving!  Hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing weekend!

**UPDATED Soggy Saturday=Lots of Checks on my To-Do List

**UPDATED POST (see below)

After a very wet soccer game this morning, I headed into school to work on my loooong to-do list.  I am proud to say that I got a lot accomplished....finally!  So here I am sharing what I have been working on.

First on  the list...change  my bulletin board.  We just finished week 6 and I have had the same bulletin board up since day 2.  I am trying something new so I can easily change out projects and not only display art projects but other academic work.  I hotglued clothespins to a piece of cardboard and stapled them on the wall near my vines.  I then added some leaves on top of the clothespins to mask them a bit.  I was trying to come up with a catchy saying to keep up all year, but I am not sure.  "Treemendous Work" ?!



Next on the list...organize myself for parent helpers and interventions.  So I put together a file box with student names where I can easily put work to be corrected with parents, flashcards or any other things that my students need help with.  There are directions on the lid as well as a ziploc bag of materials and a notebook to keep track of the help given.  The nice thing is...I can use it too when I get a few extra minutes (LOL)!

 **I just posted some more information on my kit, as well as some great {FREEBIES} to use to help get/stay organized when it comes to interventions.  Just click on the word {FREEBIES.}

My "Intervention Kit"

Intervention Instructions

Wanted: Poetry Station.  So I finally figured out how to get this station going.  We have been working on poetry almost since day 1 for fluency purposes.  I decided to carry them over to my new poetry station.  Space is limited in the classroom so I had to get a bit creative.  It is located on the inside of our classroom closet door.  To keep it organized I clipped the sentence strips together with a binder clip as well as the title of the poem on the outside.  Then I could hang the poems up on the closet wall (with the use of a pushpin).  I put all of the poems we have worked on in a binder and put that in a tray, also attached to the wall with pushpins.  I also made some highlighter pieces to use to highlight rhyming words in the pocket chart.These are in a baggie in the tray.  So when students go to poetry station they can: (a) read poems in the binder (b) arrange poems in the pocket chart (c) highlight the rhyming words.  We just started talking about visualizing as well so I will add some new poems to read then draw a picture of their mental images.  Whew!  That was are a few pics.

Inside the closet

Highlighter transparency

On the door

I also put up a Boggle board for my stations and my new agenda slips that include pics and times for my firsties that kept asking "is it time for....?"and "what does that say?"

*Pinterest inspired
Free letters available at my Teachers Notebook store
Love my new agenda cards!

More organization complete....overhead letter tiles are organized and ready to be used thanks to Pinterest!  Also made a file tub for graded papers throughout the week.  That way on Fridays when I work on my students' weekly reports all their week's work is ready to go!
Ice cube trays for my overhead tiles
As I grade papers, they get filed in student files to go home Friday!

I am exhausted, not only from the work I did today but from this long post!  I am hoping this makes up for the lack of blogging since school started.  Now....time to relax and enjoy the rest my weekend!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Great Find!

So I hit the dollar bins at Target at the right time because I picked up some foam blocks for 50% off.   I decided to use them in my ABC/Word station to build words.  I used a silver sharpie (*love) and wrote the alphabet on them, using the front and back to get a bigger variety of letters rather than use more blocks.  Not only can they be used to build words, but they can be used to practice abc order.

Still looking for new, hands-on fun abc/word activities.  What do you have at your ABC/Word station?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Literacy Workstation "I Can" Task Cards

So I guess it's been awhile since I last checked in, but of course life got busy!  We just started workstations last week after 2 weeks of learning the procedures and activities.  For the most part my kiddos did good.  Ocassionally they forgot what they were supposed to do so I wanted to get my "I can" list down on paper.  So I sat down yesterday and began to make them with picture clues for my lower readers.  After I was almost done I had a late "aha!" moment.  I was thinking about how long it was taking for me to find the right pic/clipart to match and how I would have to do this again in a few weeks after adding different activities....not very appealing.  So I decided to make task cards instead that way I can add/remove cards as needed AND (here's the big one...) be able to reuse year after year.  I know I am not the first one to think of this....I just forgot that this was a choice I could make.  I did look online for premade task cards but couldn't find anything that matched what I wanted...well that and I didn't want to pay over $5.  So here they are!  

"I Can" task cards

Mind you...they are a work in progress.  These are what I am using right now but will add tasks as we go along.  I have 3 tasks for Buddy Reading, Library, Overhead, ABC/Word, Phonics, Listening, Big Book and Pocket Chart.  I am selling it for $2.50 right now and will add to it through the year and send out update notices as I go for those who purchase.  By the end of the year I should have 8+ tasks for each station.  I will be adding poetry, writing, and fluency in the next month as well.  So, check them out at my store.  If you have suggestions of tasks to add and/or a station, please comment and let me know!