Monday, November 17, 2014

Songs in the Classroom!

Why hello there! Long time no speak! I sure meant to share my Songs in the Classroom update with you a few months ago, but a new school year, wedding planning, and moving into a new house just seemed to get in the way! But here we are, so it's all good ;)

Do you use songs in your classroom?? I am OBSESSED. I make up songs all day long! Well I put this little booklet together and hung it on a ring, but I don't even look at it because I have all the songs memorized ;) HA!

I did add little number tabs to each section so that they're easier to find.

I also wanted to show you an easier way to organize these songs {since clearly time is of the essence these days!} You can print off each page, stick them in a page protector and store them all in a 3-ring binder.

Here's a look at each section in the book.
These are songs I use throughout the day, especially during transitions. The best way to grab your students' attention and get them to stop talking is to sing a song. They ALWAYS sing along, so eyes are on you and conversations have stopped. It's miraculous ;)

Section Two is all about Calendar Time. We sing the whole time ;) #favoritetimeoftheday

Section Three has fun songs to help your students practice vowel sounds, learning new words and spelling sight words.

I numbered each page so I can find the songs I need quickly. When we have a few extra minutes before snack we usually sing a word wall song. My kiddos love it!

I also created a whole separate section just for color words. Each color word song comes with visual cards that you can have a student leader point to while you are singing the song.

So the last few weeks, we've been working on word families! I made up this really fun song that I wanted to share with you. First, I asked my students to come up with words in the "at" family and wrote 6 of them on the board. Then we sang our song, to the tune of The Addams Family ;)
Each time we learn a new word family, we will think of 6 words and put them in our song!

Hope you are able to use some of these ideas!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trick & Treat!! Freebie Hop

Fall is upon us and that means it's time for some Teaching Trick & Treating!

I am excited to team up with my Freebielicious friends again to share some 
teaching tricks and special free treats for you!  

Is it just me, or do you always feel like you are constantly walking around in circles around your classroom?? It is my biggest pet peeve!! I am all about efficiency so that just drives me crazy! I feel like Rachael Ray stacking all my "ingredients" up in one big pile instead of taking the extra trips while I am setting up my room for the day ;) I realized last year that the one thing I was missing was a "catch all" for my paperclips. Are we aware of how many paperclips we use in a day!? It was driving me nuts! So here is my Paper Clip Tip for you ;)

This little tip has seriously kept me sane so far this year! I hope it helps you too!

Now for my little treat! 
I just put together some word family fluency practice to help my kiddos with their reading fluency. I grouped all the word family words on a ring for my students to flip through and practice reading.

The word family chunks are color coded to help your students see each chunk!

These cards would also be great to copy onto colored paper!

And I also included some words with blends for your "advanced" readers ;)

The other fluency page is all on one sheet. You can slide the page into sheet protectors and keep them in a binder at your reading table! This would be great quick practice before starting your reading groups!

The students can roll a dice, or you can just tell them which row to read.

You can grab this sweet treat in my TpT store!

You can also find the rest of the short a word family words in my store on sale!

Now hop along to the next Freebielicious friend to see what her Trick & Treat is!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Morning Work Update!

November is almost here and I have officially completed 1/3 of my Morning Work Bundle! Woohoo!

Here's a look at the newest mornings work set. I think it is my favorite yet!

Matching uppercase and lowercase letters, reading and writing sight words, rhyming words, and syllables:

Beginning sounds and more sight word practice:
 Some fun writing practice:

Teen number practice and identifying the group that has more:
 Counting on from a give number and one-to-one correspondence:
 Making a ten, finding the bigger number and more one-to-one practice:
 Making number bonds, beginning addition sentences and working on tally marks:

The clip art is just so cute and makes me so happy! You can grab the November Morning Work in my store, or grab the bundle for a discount!

The bundle includes morning work for August, September, October and November currently! The rest of the months will be added as I finish making them!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Peek at Our Week!

Isn't it always fun to take a peek into other teachers' classrooms? I love doing it! I have been secretly stalking Mrs. Will's Peek at My Week Linky Party since she started, and I've never had the guts to link up. But I all of a sudden was inspired this week, so I made sure to take lots of pictures so I can show you what we did LAST week! 

I also always get tons of questions about how we "fit it all in" since we are half-day kinder, so hopefully this answers those questions! Just so you know, we have "science week" about every other month where we dedicate a whole week to our science units. We then sprinkle in other science, crafts, social studies and health throughout our language arts and math units.

Okay, let's talk about last week!
{you can click on any picture in this post to see where it's from}
We start our day off with some morning work and then we work on our literacy centers. During centers, I am able to pull small groups of students to work on specific needs. We practice letter sounds, segmenting words, phonics skills, and guided writing.

During guided writing last week, we focused on using our sight words to build a sentence. We focused on the words "I" and "see". Sometimes during guided writing we use the cut and paste sentences, and sometimes we just fold paper into parts and write each word in the correct box.

While I am working with a small group, the rest of the students on working on these centers. 
Two students visit the listening center, two students get to paint and one student uses the iPad. The rest of the kiddos choose from a center tub. {almost all of our center work is in write and wipe pockets so that they can be re-used multiple times and we save on paper!}
At the ABC center, we worked on letter formation.

At the stamping center, we worked on stamping upper & lowercase letters.
At the play-doh center, we worked on building letters.

At the word work center, we practiced beginning sounds. The students matched the picture on the lunchbox with the letter on the backpack and then recorded what they found.

We are also worked on matching uppercase and lowercase letters.

At the handwriting center, we reviewed our focus letter from last week, as well as practiced our current focus letter.

At the sight word center, we are practiced using our new sight words to build sentences.

The next hour is our literacy block. Last week we worked on correctly forming the the letter Mm. We follow the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum to teach our letters. The students love the little letter chants and it really helps them remember how to write the letters correctly.

We also practiced our new sight word "see". You can read more about how we teach sight words {here}.

 Now let's take a look at reading groups! 
The first 15 minutes is a whole group lesson. We usually read a story from our Houghton Mifflin curriculum, or work on a phonics skill. The next 45 minutes we run three rotations. We are able to split our classes by ability level so that each group gets to work on the skills they need. Our rotations are about 12 minutes long so that we have time to clean up and rotate in between.

The first rotation is reading with the teacher. We use phonics books from Houghton Mifflin which incorporate the sight words and phonics rules we're learning. 

The second rotation is run by our amazingly wonderful classroom aide. Last week the students worked on the letter Mm.

And practiced more beginning sounds.

The third rotation is either run by a parent volunteer, or completed independently. Since we don't always have a volunteer, this means the activities have to be self explanatory and easy enough to be done without constant direction ;) Last week we practiced writing the letter Mm.

Our Houghton Mifflin story from earlier in the week was about fish, so we created a fish scene and used our sight word "see" to complete the sentence.

We also worked on sorting beginning sounds using this print and go activity.

{are you tired yet?? I'm exhausted!}

During math, we finished up our unit on sorting, completed our Halloween graph, and introduced our new unit on position words.

We made this super cute and fun bee book from Kindergarten Crayons. I had an abundance of bee stickers {#hoarder} so we stuck them on the end of a popsicle stick and used it to tell the story while practicing our position words. The kiddos loved it!

After our whole group math, we chose math centers to work on.

We practiced one-to-one correspondence and fine motor skills by counting apples on the tree.

We worked on counting on using pumpkin numbers.

We also counted and graphed candy dice.

We practiced building our numbers using play-doh.

And finally, we used our number stamps.

After math, the early birds go to snack and recess and the late birds start school. We mirror our day from the morning, so late birds start with math.

Then all of our students come together for calendar time.

After calendar, the early birds go home and the late birds go to snack and recess. We finish off our day with our literacy stations and reading groups again with the late birds.

It is short, quick and exhausting, but we sure do have a lot of fun!

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