Saturday, May 31, 2014

Throwback Nonfiction using Sticky Notes

Happy throwback week! Today I have two blasts from the past to share with you.

It was fun going back and looking over my old posts to choose one to bring back today. I wanted to go way back to 2011, but I couldn't find one that would be relevant to this time of year. So I went with two different but related posts from 2012 and 2013. I know some of you are already done with school, but we still have a solid 3 weeks left. This post comes from May of 2012 when we were working on reading  nonfiction. This was before I had heard about close reading, but as I was looking back, I realize that what we were doing was very similar to what we do for a close reading lesson. Well, parts of it anyway. :)

#1: Click here or on the picture below to go back in time to 2012 and read about how I used sticky notes while reading nonfiction and to get a little freebie:

#2: Then you can jump back to my post from last year. It goes into more detail about how I use sticky notes for research:

Hope you enjoy these posts! Have a great weekend everyone. :)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Throwback Some Math!

Mary from Pitner's Potpourri here....
Hope you're having some fun with the throwback posts from our authors.

Here's my blast from the past with a math theme.
Click on the pic below to download some fun games with dice for your classroom.
One of the most fun games we play uses cards to practice math fluency.
Click on the pic above to learn how to play.

And here's one more....
Combine drawing snowmen with multiplication practice and you've got a fun activity.
Click on the pic above to get the fun!

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for more Throwback Fun!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Freedom Fridays...A Throwback Idea to Survive the End of the Year

Hello all!

I am here to link up with a post from my past

At the end of the school year everyone is tired, it's getting hot outside and maybe, just maybe behaviour is starting to slide.

Come on over to Thinking of Teaching to check out my solution for this... FREEDOM FRIDAYS!

It's a fun and easy behaviour management system that promotes self-regulation at the end of a great school year.

Can't wait to see what you think.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Graduation Decoration Ideas Throwback Post

For sixth grade graduation each year, I have the students create a "collage" on a silhouette which I purchased from a local party store.  Unfortunately, this year the store has gone out of business and I could not find pre-made silhouettes to use.  I took a silhouette from a previous year and created templates for both a girl and boy graduate.  Each student received a quarter sheet of black bristol board, and they cut out their own silhouette. 
  Well this year (2013) I could not find the images again AND I don't have a template from previous I am going to have the students trace each other using an overhead projector and make a silhouette of their own head.  It's too bad they won't have the mortar board and certificate, but I will have to make due.  If you find the silhouette cutouts~grab em!  I had them add their name across the scroll part on the bottom, and decorate the rest using photos, images from the internet and items cut out from magazines.  They added glitter, felt stickers and ribbon to make them more eye catching.

Each silhouette was then mounted on a red or blue star which I had also purchased at a party store.  (I was smart and kept these to reuse them!)  These are then displayed on the wall behind the stage for graduation.    The students always do a wonderful job, and they get to keep the silhouette as a memento of their time at our school.

UPDATE 2014: Each year I try to change up how we celebrate graduation.  This year I am going to add "mortar board" hats to the silhouettes.  I found the mortar board cut outs at Dollar Tree and could not resist.  I keep looking for the silhouette cutouts pictured above but just can't find them.  I figure that having the students cut out their own silhouette and adding the mortar board will be even better!  I'll try to post some pictures of the final products!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

End of the Year Throwback

Hi! Kathy, from First Grade a la Carte, here to share...

I've gotten emails lately about my version of The Important Book for the end of the year, so it's the perfect thing to share again.

Click on the picture above to take a look. ENJOY!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Throwback: Listening Center

Hi everyone! For the next two weeks, we'll be "throwin' back" to some posts from the past!  We've gained lots of new followers over the past year and want to be sure everyone gets a chance {and time} to see some great, older posts!  I'm Mrs. Wheeler from Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade, and I'm kicking off the throwback!

My throwback post is from 2013 and it's all about having a listening center in your elementary classroom!  I feel that a listening center is so valuable to early readers!  Click the picture below to see the post and snag some freebies for your listening center!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

An interview with Lisa Donohue...Plus, Time to Start the Book Study!

The book study starts tomorrow!!

I can't believe it's here already and I can't wait to hear everyone's thoughts.

If you are excited as I am (and I hope you are) then please head on over to Thinking of Teaching and check out my interview with Lisa Donohue, the author of 100 Minutes. 

Monday, May 19, 2014


LORI R.!!!
Congratulations and check your email!

Thanks to everyone that hopped around and participated!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Guided Reading in Kindergarten

This is my first year teaching kindergarteners reading and I. love. it. I seriously can't get enough. They are just so precious and reading instruction is always so fun with those kiddos. I created a set of guided reading activities slowly and I've been testing them on my students and on my son who is learning to read right now. So far, they've been a hit with the kids and I've seen a lot of growth as a result.  So, if you're looking for some guided reading activities for your kindergarten kids that are hands-on, eye-catching and effective, you might like this set!

I made some short, simple stories (as in one-two sentence stories). Believe it or not, these one-two sentence stories have a character, an event, and most have dialogue. I have my students "whisper read" them, using their strategies to read accurately. Then I have them reread them a few times for fluency and to work on expression with the dialogue and stopping at punctuation. Of course, this is at the basic level, so it's not perfect, but I think it's so important to introduce and model this skill anyway.  After reading, they can spin the story spinner to answer questions about their mini story. Comprehension...check. fluency... check. using strategies to read accurately... check. Gaining confidence... hopefully check!

In the picture above, he is pointing out who the character was in the text.

Here the student is underlining what the character is saying.

My favorite might be these sequencing cards. Each "story" has four cards. Students read the cards and put them in order. 

My son was all about this! 

I love using fluency sentence strips. It gives students an opportunity to practice reading sight words, sounding out words, and using picture clues. These are perfect for my newest readers.

Shawn's favorite was the sight word spin. He loved going through and mastering each list. When he read a column correctly, he could color in a smile. 

If you are looking for activities to spice up your guided reading groups for those beginning readers, come by my blog to see more:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Segmenting Words

Segmenting words can be a tough skill to master, but it is an essential skill for beginning readers and writers. I'm always looking for ways to give them practice. I love giving them something to move while they segment sounds. Often I would give them a little circle (math counters) to "push" the sounds as they segment. I've also seen people use a car on a track. I'm always looking for more ways to pretty much do the same thing so it feels new and different to my students. For spring, I made two different segmenting activities that I wanted to share with you today.

 I'm putting my bug math manipulatives to good use here. :) As students segment the word, they are pushing the bugs onto the leaf. 

And here you can hop the little frogs onto a lily pad.  The picture card is a fish, so you would push the frogs as you say this: f-i-sh

You can get both of these "segmenting mats" for free by clicking here or on the picture below.

I included a bunch of picture cards to use with the mats, too. 

If you like this, you might also like some of my kindergarten spring literacy hands-on activities.  You can check these out here:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Classy Collaboration Blog Hop

Border Bubbly Borders and More
Fonts Leeby's Love Letters

We are so happy to team up and offer our followers some FREEBIES!
Thanks to everyone that just came from Thinking of Teaching! Make sure you complete the cycle!

This hop is simple and fun!
Just grab a freebie at each stop and follow each blog along the way. 
Enter for your chance to win these amazing prizes below. 
You may share this giveaway each day for extra entries! 
Enter the rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Got it?

Okay, go grab your first freebie from the lovely, Brenda!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Hopping!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Simple Centers

I don't know about you but I am about centered out at this point in the year!  The countless hours of laminating and cutting is finally wearing me down!  Last summer, I created some easy, minimal prep centers using labels and cutouts from The Dollar Tree.  There are synonyms, antonyms, compound words, and contractions.  Just print the labels, slap them on some cutouts, and print the recording sheet.  You can laminate if you little heart desires, but if you don't want to, I won't send the laminating police to your house! Want to win a $10 gift card to The Dollar Tree so you can get your cutouts for free?  Click here to enter!

Click here to snag the free labels and click here to snag the recording sheets!  Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!