Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brand new Valentine's Day packets half off today and tomorrow!

Hey friends!! I wanted to let you know that my Valentine's Day units for K/1 and 2/3 are listed half off for today and tomorrow only and I'm having a sale on everything in my TpT shop until February 1st as well! Yay! Here are some pics of my new stuff if you want to check it out.

Just wanted to share this in case you needed some Valentine's Day resources for your classroom. Have a fabulous day and it's almost Friday!! Woo hoo!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Just for the Teacher Tuesday! {Linky Party}

I'm linking up with Jacque at Mommy and Me Creations to share some freebies and products that are just for teachers. This is a brand new linky party, go check it out and see what the other teachers have to offer. Today I shared my free centers I posted this past Sunday. You can pick those centers up here. Make sure you visit Mommy and Me to check out more freebies and products. :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Centers Sunday #2! {Free K-2 centers}

Hey friends!! Hope you are all having a great Sunday. I know many of you are coming off of a three day weekend and I bet you LOVED it like I did!! :) Today is "Centers Sunday #2 and I'm so excited to share some freebies with you. These centers are Valentine's Day themed centers. I hope you enjoy them! 

#1 Kindergarten "Spin, Read and Color": For this game, students play with a partner. Each player picks a color. They use a paperclip to spin and read the word they land on. The student finds that word and colors it in. Play continues until all hearts are colored. If they land on a word that has no more hearts available, then they lose their turn. The person with the most hearts colored in is the winner.

Students can also play independently just for practice. You can pick the file up here.

#2 First Grade: Sums of Ten Sort

For this center, students solve the equation on the lollipop and decide if it is a sum of ten or not. Students sort with the header cards included. *The header cards can also be glued onto envelopes and students can place the lollipops into the envelopes if you'd like that instead of just sorting on their desk.*

You can pick that file up here.

#3 Greater than and Less than 50: Students solve equations and decide if the sum is greater than or less than 50. Students sort the problems and then use their recording sheet to record the equations.

You can pick that file up here.

I hope y'all enjoy these free centers and that it helps you get off to a great start this week!! I'm working on a Valentine's math unit for K/1 (should be done sometime this week) and just finished my 2/3 Valentine's unit last week. 

I'm off to go get my garage ready for a garage sale next weekend...ahh!! A little overwhelming but I'll be so glad to get rid of a ton of stuff we don't use anymore. :) Happy Sunday!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Prefixes, Suffixes, Comprehension and the Leader in Me

Happy Thursday!! I hope you are all having a fabulous week. I had a great day yesterday with my 2nd-5th graders. In the upper grades we are doing a ton of STAAR test prep...not the most fun but ya gotta do it! 

I did notice with my 4th graders that they had no idea what an affix was! I couldn't believe it. In fact, it irked me a little because I taught many of these 4th graders when they were in second and I KNOW for a fact that we introduced prefixes and suffixes to them. ARGH! That's ok, poor babies have so much thrown at them. 

Seeing this, I thought we might need a little refresher! So we discussed the basics of prefixes and suffixes. I made some base word and affix cards for them to create words with. We used flap books to record 4 prefixes and 4 suffixes. On the inside flap we wrote the meaning of the affix and recorded some words with that affix in it. The kids liked the change of pace and had something to take with them for review.

You can pick up the flap books and word cards here.

With my second graders we reviewed that good readers think while they read. The kids read an expository passage about grizzly bears. They recorded their thinking on sticky notes while they read. After reading, we shared sticky notes and sorted them on an anchor chart. We sorted the sticky notes by comprehension skills. We did this to review some basic comprehension skills: making predictions, asking questions, making inferences and drawing conclusions. 

In their reader's notebooks they glued in their "Good Readers Ask Questions" pocket along with sentence stems for asking questions. I blogged about this on Monday if you want to pick that file up or read more.

I introduced a new passage to them about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They used a flap book to record questions before and during their reading. We had to stop there because we ran out of time. Next time, they will finish reading and record questions after they read the entire passage. I also created a comprehension check for them. So we will be digging deep into expository text in the next few days.

Oh and just for fun I wanted to include some cute "Leader in Me" ideas I saw. One of the teachers did a lesson about being a leader and doing kind things. She had the kids record ways they are leaders and turned it into a heart. How cute!

Another teacher created a rock climbing wall. On each step the kids recorded their goals. How cool is that?! I loved it. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Comprehension Strategies with MLK

Happy MLK Day my friends! I hope you are enjoying your day off. I will be spending my day 100% WORK FREE and enjoying my family. Hubby and I are planning to take Jackson to the park to let him play on the big kid playground. Since I'm 7 months pregnant, Hubby will be the one chasing him around...I'm totally fine with that! 

Wednesday I'll be back working with my 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. I wanted to share some of the plans I have for my second graders. Part of our tutoring sessions focus on comprehension. I know that all students can benefit from comprehension strategies (particularly with expository text), especially struggling students. In order to get some comprehension practice and keep things relevant for the kids, I created a MLK expository passage with a matching comprehension check. Here's how I plan to use the passage...

The focus of our mini lesson will be on asking questions. Before we read, I'm going to have the kids practice using these thinking stems to ask questions. I'll have the stems cut out and bound together before hand since it is a tutoring session, but if you use these whole group the kids can make them.

I gave each student in my group a reader's notebook to track our work. THEY LOVE THEM!! I used interactive math and science notebooks when I taught kinder and second, I regret not using them in reading! But oh and learn! Ok...back to the lesson. To make a pocket, the kids put some glue dots in between the lines, flip it over and press on the edges. If your kids haven't done this before, stress the importance of "A little bit of glue sticks a lot!" Have kids label the pocket and stick the stems inside.

I've also created BDA flap books for kids to record their questions. These are easy to make. The kids cut around the entire flap book and cut the two flaps. They put glue on the back and stick in their notebooks. Before they begin reading, have them use the stems to think of questions they have about the passage or the topic. Students record under the "before reading" flap. Teach them how to do this during and after. I've modeled this for them, so it should be pretty easy for them to do independently.

I created the MLK passage and comprehension check to fit into the notebooks as well. This was my first go round at writing passages, I think it turned out ok but let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement! It was a little harder than I thought. 

My husband read the passage and the questions. He said that question 3 was kind of hard because there are two choices that could both be right. I told him well, yes...but the kids need to refer back to the text to see which answer fits BEST. I explained to him how our state reading assessment can be very tricky like that and the kids need to know how to choose the BEST answer based on text evidence. It's funny when you share stuff like this with non-teachers because the second grade they remember is NOTHING like the 2nd grade now. The kids are learning and doing so much more, it's unreal!

Ok so there you have it my friends! If you want to use anything I posted, you can pick it up here. Let me know what you think and if you can use it! Now it's off to enjoy the day!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

First ever Centers Sunday!

Hey friends!! I'm so excited to bring you my first ever Centers Sunday! This Sunday is a little different than most because tomorrow is MLK day...but MOST Sunday evenings are a very frantic time for teachers. Between organizing centers, grading papers and lesson plans (not to mention family time)'s just plain CRAZY! That was the thought process behind my little idea...I want to help your week get started off on the right foot. That's why I'll be bringing you seasonal centers for K-2 teachers each Sunday evening...and oh...totally free!!

I'll be creating centers for math and/or literacy...depending on what I'm inspired by. If you have certain skills that you really want your kids to review, I'd love to hear about it. I ask my Facebook followers often, so if you follow me there you can leave me a comment, or just leave a comment here on my little ole blog. I'll do my best to create some freebies that are exactly what you need. 

So here it goes, center numero uno:

I created this center as an activity to do with my little nephew. He is only 3 but he's learning sight words right now. I call this center "Mittens in the Snow". To make it a sensory experience I filled a tub of cotton balls and placed the mittens in the bottom. Hank (my nephew) reached in, grabbed one mitten and read the word on the mitten. He then found the matching mitten on his paper and colored it in the same color. *This activity is also great for teaching and reviewing left/right.* Then I reached in the tub and did the same thing.

For the white mitten, I outlined it in black to show that I found it. But kids  can color it in with a white crayon if they want. This game can also be played as a memory game. There are 8 sight words in this game: go, the, big, an, and, see, me, and can. You can pick that file up here.

I also brought Hank a poster that says, "What's the password?" My sister is going to post this somewhere in the house so that he can review a sight word each day. A lot of teachers do this in their classrooms. When a student enters or leaves they have to read the password. You can pick that file up here.

Center #2: 

This center is for first graders. In this center, the kids match the number with the place value blocks and record. The mittens are in color but there is more than one of each color so that the game is not too easy. The colors help them narrow it down but they still have to check and be careful when they are counting. Click here to pick that file up.

Center #3:

This center is for 2nd graders to practice synonyms. The students read the words on the mittens and find the matching synonym. These mittens are all white to up the rigor. They will look really cute if you print them on colored cardstock though. The recording sheet and directions sheet are included. You can pick that file up here.

To prepare the centers just print the game pieces on cardstock, laminate and cut out. I recommend laminating the directions page too, it's a great reference for students. I hope your students can enjoy using these centers. Let me know if you like them and are planning to use them by leaving a comment below. I'd love to do this every Sunday if it makes your life a little easier!! ;)