October 26, 2011

Author's Purpose, D5, CAFE, and a Little Glue

















I made these posters to match the way Reading Street teaches author's purpose in second grade. I love these little bugs from Scrappin Doodles. The borders are from the Scrappin Cop. You can pick them up at my Teacher's Notebook store.

This week has been crazy! Teaching and assessing at the same time is just nuts. Add in the full moon, Halloween, and a change in the weather...NUTS!

On a positive note, my kiddos are doing so great with Daily Five (actually four since we just started read to someone this week and I haven't introduced listen to reading yet!) Some of my lower readers are actually asking if we are doing read to self each day! And while DRAing one of my struggling readers today, I commented on what a good job he was doing self-correcting and he smiled at me and said, "Did you notice I backed up and reread too?" It tickled me so much. Can I just say I l.o.v.e. CAFE too! Those Sisters are amazing. If you aren't doing Daily Five or CAFE (or...gasp...have never heard of them) I strongly encourage you to check them out. I bought an ebook Daily Five book from Stenhouse Publishers so I didn't have to wait for it to come in the mail. Great invention--ebooks. I wish they had one for the CAFE too. That I ordered from Amazon.

I've got to share a funny from today. A kindergarten teacher in my building (who has the class from h..e..double toothpicks) had a little guy use glue stick to try and glue himself to his chair today! I just died laughing! His bottom was covered in purple glue. Okay, I promised her someday she will laugh about it although today wasn't that day. I have a few kids I'd like to glue to their seats, but purple glue stick wouldn't be the glue of choice...

By the way, this post was ready to go a week ago but I've had trouble with my google.docs and scribd and haven't been able to upload this. I finally got it to work today... :)>
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October 25, 2011

Writer's Eyes


A while back I found this super cute idea about writer's eyes on Cara Carroll's website. She had a great freebie that I grabbed and mounted on poster board (since I'm out of bulletin board space). I used it at the beginning of the year to begin teaching writing and editing. After a while I needed more. Then Debbie Candau recently blogged about her version of the writer's eyes which incorporated her class mascot. Debbie's freebie included some extras that I wanted to add to mine, but it didn't fit my needs perfectly either. Duh, why don't I create my own to go with my bee theme?! (I've been a little slow lately, but please!) Scrappin Doodles has those adorable buggy-eyed characters that fit the writer's eyes theme perfectly and I had already purchased the bee set of course, so I went to work. According to Debbie's post, Mrs. Phippen is the one who started the writer's eyes craze. She has the cutest board with embroidery hoops made to look like glasses! Debbie is taking the idea up a notch by having her kiddos wear 3D glasses with the lenses punched out...bet the kids LOVE that. (Just what I need...any excuse to see a fun movie. Oh honey, guess what we must do this weekend...and can we write it off as a "business" expense?) If you haven't already, check out these three ladies' fabulous blogs for their incredible versions of writer's eyes (as well as other amazing ideas). I know you'll find one you can't live without or you can whip up your own themed version.

This item now available at my Teacher's Notebook store.

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October 16, 2011

Favorite Read Aloud Linky Party


Courtney at Swimming Into Second is hosting a favorite read alouds linky party. I am seriously addicted to all things books so I had to join in the fun. A book that I happened upon not too long ago is called Gooney Bird Greene. This a great story to read at the beginning of the year because it will get your kiddos excited about writing stories. It will make them realize that they have many great stories to tell such as how their parents came up with their name and how they came to live where they do. Gooney Bird's stories always have a twist and will make your students do some serious thinking as well as expand their vocabulary. My students are crazy about Gooney Bird!

Teacher's Clubhouse has an amazing unit for Gooney Bird Greene. The whole unit of 10 files is only $4.99 or you can buy each file separately for $0.99. If you aren't familiar with Teacher's Clubhouse, it is a.m.a.z.i.n.g!
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October 11, 2011

Bonus Letters Song & Binders

Sunday night when inspiration struck, I immediately grabbed my cell phone and recorded this simple little ditty about the bonus letters. Hope you can use it along with the poster from my previous post. (My songs are always piggy-backed on a well-known tune or they just don't work for my musically challenged self. I also find the kids adjust well to them because they are usually familiar with the tunes also. We usually sing the original tune and then hum it before I introduce the new words.) This item is available for free on my new Teacher's Notebook store.


All of my students have a binder where we keep poems, songs, behavior calendars for the clip chart, and our daily calendar sheets. They love these binders and read from them often! Students take the binder home on Fridays to share all the wonderful things in them with their families over the weekend. At the beginning of the year I bought a ton of plastic tabbed dividers from the Dollar Tree and labeled the tabs using my Dymo label maker. I LOVE that thing! Do you have a binder for songs, poems, and other wonderful things you want your kiddos to keep?
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October 08, 2011

Bonus Letters, I Forgot, & A New Look


In the blogosphere it seems like forever, but it was only a week ago that Ms. M asked for helpful ideas to teach the double final consonants. I read her post, since I follow her wonderful blog, but thought to myself, "Hmm, I teach those guys. How do I do it?" Well, the answer was BORING! :(

This week those guys are in my lesson plans for spelling and so I revisited Ms. M's post to check out the comments left for her in the hopes of finding inspiration. The fabulous Erica Bohrer left Ms. M a message about her word wall for words with bonus letters on TPT. I love the term "bonus letters" better than double letters. (So changing that this week!)

Then Bonnie of Living a Wonderful Life mentioned how they (in Foundations) line the alphabet up a certain way to highlight the bonus letters. Great idea!

Finally Mrs. Jackson wrote about an anchor chart she made. I tried to find this beauty, but couldn't so I have made my own. (If Mrs. Jackson is reading this, I hope she won't mind that I borrowed her idea.) After teaching this, the poster will go on my focus wall and the class will do a scavenger hunt for words with bonus letters. (If you call anything a scavenger hunt your kids will get excited...trust me!) This poster is available at my Teacher's Notebook store.



Now, those of you who know my love of all things songs know that I am going to try to come up with a song before Monday. I'll keep you posted. HA!

BTW, I had a great song in my head a few nights ago (in the middle of the night) for teaching about the hour and minute hand (cause my kiddos are struggling with that) and I didn't get up to record it. You know what happened! I forgot it. Dang it! I don't know why I worry about the husband thinking I'm nuts...he already knows that!

Hope you love the new look! I contacted Kenna at Project 3 Designs after seeing Ms. Preppy's blog and wanted a more polished look. Let me tell you, this young girl is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! It tickles me that Kenna is a high school student who designs blogs. Not only that but she is a follower of Jesus. If you are thinking of a new look, I would definitely recommend Project 3 Designs!

Please leave some love and let me know how you like the new design.



October 06, 2011

Verbs (aka Action Words)

This week we've been working on verbs (also known as action words). I teach my little friends this song. In the second verse, we substitute in different verbs they can think of and do a motion for each. Although some don't "fit" in the rhythm of the song, we don't care! If we can sing and move, we are happy.Microsoft Word - Action Verb Song
If you haven't already noticed, I LOVE music and movement!


We've also played "Verb Charades" and brainstormed different action verbs with similar meanings. For example: rest and relax, eat and devour. What fabulous discussion! I like to share Melissa Forney's strong verb poem called "The Dog Ate the Bone" from her book Razzle Dazzle Writing. This awesome book even has a cute three-minute play about strong verbs. The book is targeted to older kids, but my class always loves both of these activities!

You can find a great lesson on action verbs at www.readwritethink.org called "Action ABC's: Learning Vocabulary with Verbs". I've done this activity in the past and it is fun, but since we did our ABC noun quilt, I decided not to do it this year--yet!


October 02, 2011

The Noun Quilt

All the alphabet noun pictures from my last post were combined to make a noun quilt on a class bulletin board. It is hard to see in the picture, but you get the idea.

The kids want to make a verb quilt, but I think something different would be more fun. Anyone have a great idea they'd like to share?



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