Sunday, April 28, 2013

Five for Friday

The sun is shinning and my friend's pool is open. Let me tell you that I cannot be happier. I am linking up again with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Don't mind that it is Sunday. :)

1. New Stuff

The end of the year is fast approaching and I do what I do every year...hoard my classroom budget until the end. I am always afraid that something earth shattering will come up and I will have to use all of my budget on it. Next year, I will try to be better. Anyway...

I got this new tabletop easel that I am so excited about using for reading groups. I also like that it is magnetic. Now I am just waiting on my magnetic letters. :)

The reading program at my previous school had a song that went with the weekly phonics skill. The kids could sing the songs and find the weekly phonics skill in the words. They loved to circle the words, frame the words with wickie sticks, and my personal favorite, tickle the word with a feather. My new program however does not have phonics songs. I found myself really missing the songs so I found these gems on Scholastic. Can't wait to add them in!

2. Eric Carle Inspired Plant Art.

I absolutely love Eric Carle's artwork. I try to do something Eric Carle inspired every year and this year it is plants. We have been learning a lot about plants so the students had the job of either describing a plant or telling how a plant grows.
We are still missing a few but I love how the board looks already.

I love the roots on this tomato plant. So creative!

3. Living Things

Our butterflies are in their chrysalises and I can't wait for them to come out. Our silkworms and mealworms just arrived as well.

We make these seed packs every year and I think they are the coolest. It is amazing what a lima bean, a wet paper towel and plastic bag can produce.

4. Non-fiction Literature

I picked up these books from scholastic as well. First let me start by saying I love anything about the ocean but I was so impressed with the pictures and information in these books. They would a great little series for introducing non-fiction literature. I also love that they use headings and have an index in the back on each book.
The sea turtle book also gives a fun fact about how sea turtles can be as long a small child. Guess what we will be making out of butcher paper for next year's ocean unit?
5. Art for Adults
Our fabulous art teacher put together an Art of Adults course for the teachers on Friday after school. It was just like one of those Art and Cocktails classes, minus the cocktails. When we got to her room,  she had all of the canvases up on easels and we each received our own paint palette and new brushes. I instantly felt like Bob Ross. I just wanted to paint "happy little trees" everywhere. She walked us through how to paint a beach scene. It was too much fun. When I retrieve my canvas back from the art room, I'll take a pic and post it. I'm hoping we do this again.

cartoon graphics Priscilla

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sight Words!

Well... I've been doing a lot of thinking about sight words. I've been thinking about how hard they are for kids to learn, how hard it is to make practice time meaningful, and realizing that sight words are so key for the success of our beginning readers. Phonics is fabulous! Reading strategies make the world go round! But without sight words, kids still struggle with reading.

With that said, I have decided to dedicate a week to sight words. Some of these will be my own ideas and others will be amazing ideas I have found through the methods of "Beg, Borrow, and Steal."

This is my Preprimer Sight Word Practice Unit that I create to give students additional work on sight words daily. We go over the word together, spell the word, act out the word, and use the word in sentences with a partner before I even have the students work on the word independently. My kiddos have to complete the daily word before heading to their Daily 5 rotation.

Here are some additional tips on how I use the pages with my kiddos.

I tried to copy a page and put it in paint, it looks a little grainy and is lopsided. Oops! If you click on the tips picture, you can see all of the text boxes. :) Anyone have a better way to convert word documents to pictures without using the snipping tool?!

Happy Monday,

cartoon graphicsPriscilla