October 29, 2014

Spider Blends

Creepy. Crawly. Spiders.
Or should I say...
Cute. Crawly. Spiders.

Last week we finished up blends in phonics.
So why not craft it up? That's just what we did!

I paired students up and gave them a book. In the book they had to find 8 words that started with an S blend. They wrote them down on the manila sheet before making the spider.

They wrote one on each spider leg.

 Now our hallways is creeping with 's blend' spiders!

October 27, 2014

Fact Family Street

What street do you live on?
This week, we all live on Fact Family Street. 

Each student was given a sticky note with a set of 3 numbers on it.
They then had to create a fact family using the numbers and put it in their house.

This is a great quick and easy way to assess your firsties on fact families!

October 23, 2014

Fiction or Non-Fiction?

When teaching what type of books are fiction and which are non-fiction, my brain always has to stop and think about which is which. 

How come people who name things can't make them easy to remember?
Shouldn't non-fiction be NOT real?
Firsties would catch on SO much quicker that way, but since it's not here's what we've been doing.

We started off by making these 2 anchor charts together.
We sorted the different pictures after discovering the 2 types of books after looking at a pile of each and sorting them according to what, yes, BrainPop had told us to look for.

Each day we focused on a different feature and added it to our non-fiction feature chart.
I would show them examples from a non-fiction book I would read.
Then in partners, they would use a non-fiction book to find a feature in their books.

Last week was Bat Week so we did a little searching through non-fiction books about bats to record what we had learned from the features in the book.

Teaching non-fiction is definitely one of my most favorite things!
The kids are always so engaged and proud when they learn lots of facts about one certain thing.

Next up, pumpkins!

October 22, 2014

Was That a Question??

Punctuation.
Where to use it?
When to use it?
That is the question...

So, we have been constantly working on recognizing and writing questions. 
To help us recognize questions when reading, we have been writing down the "question words" we come across in books on this question mark shaped anchor chart.


The better we got at recognizing questions, we started writing them.
Each day I chose a question word off of our chart and had each student come up with a question using the question word and write it on a white board.

We shared all of our questions with each other.


And we are almost question writing pros by now!

October 19, 2014

Where Have I Been?

It's October.
And I feel like I've been doing everything but blogging!

Spending time with this guy.


And this one too.

Bonding with my teammates.

But I'm ready to get back to sharing my ideas and what's been going on at school with me and my firsties!

September 24, 2014

Wrapping up Writer's Workshop

Today's post is short. 
Just like how our end to Writer's Workshop happens.
Short and sweet!

I came across this turn-in accountability system a few years ago from my friend Susan at TGIF.

In previous years I had used a desk folder with a red and green dot on the inside.
Red=finished, green=in progress.
HATED it!
I rarely saw my student's writing and didn't feel it had any importance.

Then I fell in love.

My students now turn in their writing at the end of WW each day depending on what they completed.
If they are working on their picture or words (in pencil) they turn it into the red tray.
If they are going back and adding to their picture or words they turn it into the  yellow tray.
If they have completed their piece and are ready to conference with me they turn it into the green tray.

Simplicity at its best!
I collect writing pieces from the green tray daily and add them to my conference stack.
The next morning, I pass out the pieces from each day and we start the process over again.

My students also get to see and feel responsible for how much they completed during WW time, almost like a self-monitoring tool.

September 22, 2014

Phonics, Phreebies and Phun with The Little Red Hen

Recently we have been practicing our sequencing skills.
What better book to do that with than The Little Red Hen!?

Besides sequencing, we also had a little phonics fun! 
We've been working on reading and spelling short vowel words so we took a short e word family and made some words!

Making words with -en


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