Thursday, July 26, 2012

Monthly Focus: Small Group Instruction

This year I’ve decided to pick a few topics to blog about on a monthly basis. I hope to post ideas and insights and show you how it works in my classroom. My first focus topic is small group instruction. This month I’m sharing one of the things I’ve used for the past couple of years in my word work small groups.
I mentioned before that I normally have four types of small groups: 1. Word Work 2.Comprehension  3. Guided Reading/Reading Strategy  4. Fluency. I pull students according to the types of observations I make during my one on one conference time with them or when I take a running record and see the types of errors they are making as they read. Looking closely at errors allows me to determine which strategies I need to help them develop during small group or individual conference time.
Today I’m sharing what I use in my word work groups. I have tons of Roll and Read games that I’ve made over the years and my students love to use these during Reading Workshop.
I decided to make them small so I could get two on a page. I always have a set of them at my small group table to use as a warm up game while I’m getting materials ready, or if I’m walking around the room helping to get my stragglers where they are supposed to be. We all have those right??
Sometimes I might color code them I try to make each board unique in terms of the words.
The student uses a foam die (so those things!) and they roll and read the corresponding word that matches what they rolled. It’s a great review and sometimes I give them the attached tally sheet so they can make a tally for each one they rolled. You can laminate them or not. Sometimes I’ll send them home so students can play with a family member. It’s great extra practice.
Here is my short vowel edition.
I’ve spruced them up for you. Click on the picture below to help yourself to a copy. I’d love to hear from you…I’ve even taken the spam filter off…so it’s easy peasy!! I keep getting spam about Viagra…is that the new trending topic for spammers???
I hope you can use these in your classroom.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quick First Day Math Game

I know I’m blaspheming by talking about heading back to school…but here’s a quick math game I introduce my students to on the first day of school. It’s called Color Squares.
The students partner up, and they each pick a different crayon. They roll a die and color in that many squares. Their partner does the same thing. Play continues until all the squares are filled. The person with the most squares filled wins the games.
You can tell a lot about your student's counting and number sense ability when you observe them playing. Does the student have one to one correspondence? Are they filling in squares one at a time or is there a strategy? Can they count in correct sequence? Do they actually know the names for numbers? Are they grouping squares as they count? Are some students able to keep a running number as they play or do they have to start over from one each time they color in new squares?

I usually make front to back copies so that students can play twice, then I circulate among the partners and observe. Click on the pictures above to download.
Don’t forget today is the last day to take advantage of my Christmas In July Sale!
Happy Sunday!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christmas in July

I love the Christmas in July sales at my local craft store. So I figured why not have my own. I’m having a sale starting today and ending Sunday night. Ahhhh visions of sugarplums dancing in my head.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Such An Honor

I opened my e-mail this afternoon and found this. You can click on the picture to see the complete list.


My blog is being featured in Online Master’s  Educations 100 Best Web Resources for Educators. It makes me feel good to know that my blog, along with so many other amazing teacher blogs are inspiring others! Thanks to all of you who leave kind words of encouragement. Since I became a part of the Education Blogging community I’ve become a much better teacher myself, and I learn something new or gain a new insight each day. Thank You!!!!!! Here’s to an awesome 2012-2013 school year!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Teaching Channel

I just found this wonderful site thanks to Sassy in Second. Take a look at this video. When I first started teaching I'd did something similar to this. It just reminded me that I should start to do this again this school year.

If you register with the site(it's free) you get your own on-line lesson planner which will allow you to save your favorite videos. You can even choose when you want to be reminded about the lesson so you won't forget. I know I come across lots of ideas and I bookmark them, then promptly forget where I bookmarked it or I have so many bookmarked that it's impossible to find. The other neat thing is you can add any wonderful idea you find on the thousands of fabulous teacher blog we stalk, to your lesson planner.

Here's another one to use during math time. It's geared towards K but I can change it to fit first grade.

This one has two good place value games. This one is for 2nd grade but I can certainly see implementing this later in the year or even changing it up a bit to use during the beginning of the year.

You should take a look around.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Call the Man Aunt Bee

“Nip it Andy! Nip it, nip it, nip it…”

Rest in Peace Andy Griffith (1926-2012).

"Nip it Andy...nip it, nip it, nip it." Rest in Peace - Andy Griffith (1926-2012)

No matter how many times I watch the re-runs I still laugh out loud! My favorite episodes are when they featured the Darlings and Earnest T. “No Coffee, Tea, or Punch Thank You” Bass. What’s your favorite episode?