Sunday, January 18, 2015

Scurrying Sunday!

Hey everyone!  I woke up early to get a few things done because this afternoon and evening involves FOOTBALL!  

My Green Bay Packers are play the Seachickens Seahawks.  I am extremely anxious and ready for this game.  I'm rockin' my Clay Matthews jersey and anxiously buzzing around the room.

Here's a penguin blubber activity we did.  Click on the photo to get the FREEBIE.

The last two weeks in kindergarten revolved around Penguins!  We loved it.  The students' were so focused and engaged.  We had some of our best writing so far this year!  I've learned that they love to write facts.  This week we will be doing a lot of Martin Luther King Jr. activities.  Also, I do have school tomorrow.  

{Cue sad violin music}

We also made the awesome mittens from Maria Manore at Kinder Craze!  Check out our stained glass mittens on our windows.  Click the photo to go to this activity on her TPT!

Here we go!  I totally ran out of time this weekend to finish up my visual planner for you guys.  Hopefully I will next week.

High: Silent E words and blends/diagraphs and reading comprehension skills.
Medium: Phoneme Segmenting and retelling.
Low: CVC practice and retelling.

I have some flimsy laminated paper elkonin boxes that I have used in the past for small groups and RTI time but I decided to order a set from Really Good Stuff.  It'll probably be in by the end of the week. :)

We have been really getting into informative writing.  Lots and lots of facts!  Previous years we've had some trouble only writing facts and not writing "I like penguins.  They are cute." This year's bunch can write a good fact!  I've been very surprised.

We will continue writing facts about ourselves, winter animals (polar bears), and ending our writing this week with some MLK facts.

This quarter one ELA standard added is the retelling standard.  We will be looking at familiar stories such as "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears" and "The 3 Little Pigs".  We will break those stories down and learn how to tell events in order.  We have done a little of this before, but not at the capacity we need to for this quarter.

We use EnVision Math.  Topic 7 is ending tomorrow and we will be taking our Topic Test.  This topic has been addition.  I feel like in a way it is too short.  So we will be doing lots of addition checks and practices through this quarter and next when we have a little extra time after math or in the afternoon.

Last week we did lots of awesome Penguin science activities!  I'm sad to see it go.  This week we will be doing more Social Studies.  We will be reading, writing, and doing small projects on MLK.

Here is a *FREEBIE* I made for MLK that is in my store.  Click the picture to go get it!

This was short and sweet today because I have a few things to finish up around the house, a Mexican lunch with my parents, and then watch the PACKERS win!

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Scurrying Sunday!

Let me start off with saying GO PACK GO!

I just had to get that out of my system!  Anyways, every Sunday I'm going to post what we are doing this coming week in Room K2.  I don't know about you but I am definitely a Sunday planner.  It's rare and most definitely shocking if my plans are finished before Sunday.  Shocking indeed.

That's why I'm calling my Sunday post "Scurrying Sunday".  Sometimes it's a race to the finish to get everything planned out or last minute...OH YAs for things I forgot I wanted to do or try this week.

I'm working on a Weekly Planner to put on here for you to see my schedule and what we are doing for that week...but it isn't finished yet.  :(  Look for it next weekend!

So instead I'll do some subject headings and just type some of the main things this week.  

My stations do not take much changing or prep work since it is basically Daily 5.  I do put new and take out old Word Work activities on occasion to keep things fresh and match the skills they are working on in small and whole group.  I did just add a couple of activities from my Pocket Pack to the Word Work station.  My kinders have loved using the HUGE pocket chart since the beginning of December when I introduced it.  Don't know why we hadn't been using it before!  Here's a some of my kinders in action with the Pigs in the Mud CVC Match.

I am also putting up my new Write the Room: CVC labels around the room for students to find during word work.  I also made a couple more clipboards for the room that are glitterific!

Guided Reading Groups:
I have 1 low group, 3 on groups, and 1 exceeding group.  Here's the skills we are doing in each group this week.

  • Tracking print.  Christmas break did a number on our memories.  We are doing lots of practice with print tracking.  
  • Letter sounds and basic sight words.  We still struggle with this.
  • Reading Level 1 books.
  • CVC words- making them ourselves and also sounding them out without picture help.
  • Reading Level 2 books.  Working on comprehension skills.
  • Practice Quarter 3 sight words (we use the Fry First 50)
  • Diving into Silent E word practice.
  • Reading Level 3 and 4 books.  Comprehension skills and retelling.
  • Quarter 4 words.  This group has already mastered our new words that we work on till March. 
This week we are really focusing on characters, setting, and main events in a story.  We will be reading various fiction stories and talking about the characters and main events in the stories that are in order.  For phonics in whole group we will be practicing blends and digraphs.

Most of this quarter is dedicated to Informational writing.  We are continuing to learn about penguins and also polar bears.  Students will be writing a fact they know about those animals for the week.  I'm challenging many of my students to write multiple sentences.  Our minilessons are about adding more details to our sentences...or adding another sentence.  We also will be focusing on stretching out those tricky words.

Addition!  We started addition last week.  We use Pearson's EnVision Math curriculum.  We have a video and then the students do a guided section with me and then their independent section by themselves.  We will be adding the plus sign this week in our lessons and also the equal sign.  It started out slow last week with just practicing 1 and 2 is 3.  Slowly doing the full equation this week.  On Thursday we will be finishing the topic by reviewing.  Friday I have sub so I will be having the students do a practice sheet to practice the full addition sentence with the plus and equal signs.  We will also be making an anchor chart tomorrow about ways to add: count on our fingers, use a number line, mental math, or draw a picture.  This will hang on our clothesline that runs across our classroom.

On Monday and Tuesday afternoons before Specials (which is our last thing in the day) we do Words Their Way. On Wednesday to Friday we do Science or Social Studies depending on the week or what our weekly theme or unit is.  This week we will finish up our Penguin Lapbooks.  We will also do a blubber experiment with a bucket of ice, Ziplocks, and Crisco.

Here's the Penguin Lapbooks we started last week:
Click the image to take you to the resource!  It's new in my store.  It includes different elements that you can cut and glue to build a lapbook or put into an interactive notebook.  I used those large packs of construction paper and folded them in half like a book.  Similar to the example on the cover of the resource.

Here's one of the cuties with his lapbook. The quote on the picture is what he said.  :) He sometimes can get sidetracked and super silly but he was incredibly focused making the cover and one of the elements that went inside.  It was fun to see!

Have a great week everyone!  Stay warm! & GO PACK GO!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Take Home Book Bags!

Happy Saturday!  Today I thought I'd share my newest purchase and idea...

Take Home Book Bags!

I was slightly hesitant to try this because I didn't want to purchase these out of pocket.  I'm saving the receipt to turn into for PTO $ we sometimes get or thankfully I've had a great holiday season on TPT.  
I ordered from Really Good Stuff these great bags for my kindergarteners to take home their weekly leveled reader.  The past two years I had the books in their plastic 2 pocket folder that they take home every night.  The books tore up those poor folders second semester.  The page protectors were constantly breaking and I'd tape or replace them.  The books would also easily fall out of the folder.

This past week I have gone over the bags with the kinders.  We've talked about how to use them, how to put them in our backpacks, how to take the books out and not to read the books near food or drinks...or those fabulous toddler siblings who love to rip, write on, and spill stuff.

These are the labels that go on the front of the bag along with the first pile of A-D books to put into bags.

Each bag holds their reader and a reading log for the month.  Their parents circle BT or WH (by themselves or with help for how their child read the book).  I also sent home a nice sheet last week explaining the leveled readers, how yes...they sound predictable and maybe even memorized, how to sign the log, and that these bags MUST be brought back every Monday.  I will send home a note each Monday afternoon if a student didn't bring it back.  If it becomes a habit they may have to take a break from the bag.

Here's one bag up close with the log and a book.  The top of the bags have a red handle, but it was tucked underneath and I didn't realize it for the picture.

I only do one book a week except for my students who parents have requested more or if I feel someone needs a little extra practice.  I also will send home other things such as sight word flash cards.  This bag can definitely hold more than one book...that's just how many I send home a week.

My school is lucky enough to have a leveled reader library (a closet the K-2nd hall and the 3-5th hall).  We have baskets with probably 20-30 books for each DRA level.  We can use these in the classroom or use them to send home for nightly practice like I do.  I know some schools do not have a similar resource.  :(  

Here's where I got the bags.  I ordered the medium size and got the clearview. I want to easily be able to tell if the book is in there, if it's messy, etc.  I ordered the blue.  I got enough for 24.  I currently have 22 students but may purchase another set because next year I could have more.

Click the picture to see this bag on the website.  Also click Organization and Storage at the top and then Bags & Pouches to see other size and style options.

I will do an update soon about how the bags have been going, if parents are signing the reading logs, if the bags are being brought bag, and more!  

They are pricy but I hope the kids get excited to open their bag and read, and that parents see we care about literacy in our school.  I'm glad I decided to try it!

In the update post I will also have a *FREEBIE* done by then for the reading logs I use and also for the book bag labels (I'll make them editable).

Have a fantastic and relaxing weekend!