Friday, November 27, 2015

A Short Thanksgiving Week

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a great time with my husband's family and I'm pretty sure my tummy will be full for days! ;) I know it's been since I've blogged, but let's be real....this past year has been busy, busy for me and I haven't made the time between caring for our first baby, learning a new grade, and a new school. I've just been trying to stay afloat! I'm starting to feel a glimpse of my old self and maybe I'll start blogging a little more. Either way, I'm here tonight to blog about our short week before Thanksgiving break. I was a last minute planner for that short week, but I think it turned out pretty well. The kids enjoyed it and I got a lot of "your the best teacher ever" comments. That's all ya need right?! ;)

During our typical reading block, we studied the differences between things we do and use now compared to back then. I threw together a little product for this lesson which you can see below. 
I gave each of the kids a card with a picture on it. I encouraged them to use their very best coloring and use colors that made sense. They did a pretty nice job! 
 Then we came back to the carpet to sort our cards by things that are done or used now or then just using any prior knowledge we had. 
 This was the finished sort with just our prior knowledge. 
Then we read a story about many of these things and began coloring the pictures. 

 After some time spent coloring, we came back to the carpet to review our sort and make any changes that we learned about from the story. We discussed some of the items and compared them.  Then we wrote about how things we do now are different than it would've been back then. 

 The next day, we reviewed the sort and sorted again, read the book again, and did this piece of writing. They had to decide whether they would rather live now or back then and give reasons to support their answer. 

For math, we did some easy prep math stations that I put together. There were a total of 4 stations so we did two rotations each day. They loved playing games like these. 
The games worked on addition, counting on, decomposing, and writing addition and subtraction equations. To finish off the math block, we did some Thanksgiving problem solving.

 These were differentiated to challenge some of my higher kids.

For writing I always have my kids do a countdown to Thanksgiving with 5 things they are thankful for. I didn't get any pictures this year, but the book is in my store here. We also made these cute little turkey hats. My students asked if I was going to make one for baby Creyton, so here he is! My little turkey in his turkey hat! :)
So yes, in the midst of having a busy year, there is so SO much to be thankful for. This little man is one of the big things I am especially thankful for this year. Again, I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and I hope you are all getting rejuvenated and ready for a quick December! We will be on winter break before we know it! :)
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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ocean Literacy Centers

So, I had every intention of blogging and sharing about our ocean literacy centers (as well as many other themed literacy centers at the end of the year), but it just never happened! I finally finished finalizing the literacy center pack to post tonight and I thought why not just blog about it too?! Maybe it will be useful for somebody, right?! Well if that somebody is you, here you go! :) 

A few of the centers included in the pack are not shown here because, well, I didn’t create them in time to use at the time, but I wanted to make sure I included 5 ready to use centers in the product. I would totally use them all next time around!

We always love the write the room center so it’s definitely a regular in my classroom. I added a little more to it where the kids have to find the cards, write the word, count the syllables, and then turn the paper over to draw and label a picture and write a sentence using the words they found. This keeps them completely engaged and busy the entire center time. 

Every kid enjoys a fun board game, right? This next center fits all those competitive little souls and can be played multiple times throughout center time. Of course it's really just luck of the spin and they don't even realize they are working on sight words when they play. When the player spins a word, they get to move to the next space with that word in it. 
The next center is rainbow writing sight words. See a pattern here? We were really needing to work on sight words at the end of the year, so it did happen to be a big bulk of our literacy centers. 
There are two more centers included in the pack which include a fun sight word bump game and a matching memory game working on reading words with ee and ea vowel teams. One of the other centers we did in this rotation was a game I learned from Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade when I listened to her sessions in Wichita. My kids LOVED this and you could do so many variations of it to switch it up to fit another theme. It's called Hop to It! I laminated and cut out lily pads and wrote sight words on them. I only did five words at a time and wrote them on lily pads twice. The first time we played, I had the kids hop to the word after I said it aloud. They went up against their partner. Eventually I had a student reading the word and they would just switch out with whoever won the round. You can see a video of this on my Instagram. The next time we played it, I had them use my froggy flyswatters. So fitting, huh?! ;) This time they had to swat at the word after it was said as you see here. It was fun, but I did have to remind them every once in a while to make sure they were reading the words and not just swatting without putting any thought into it. 
Well, there you have it!! If nothing else, maybe you found an idea to pin and come back to later because this is probably not what you are thinking about as we are all getting ready to head back to school! ;) 
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