January 28, 2015

How to use Reading Responses to Help with Comprehension

I'm SO excited to finally blog about these new reading response sheets!! These have been a work in progress for a few weeks. This idea came about because I wanted my students to interact with their books more and show me that they could use some of the comprehension skills we've learned in class. I'm using these during small group, independent reading, and as book responses at the listening center. Here's a sneak peek of them in action!
Each of the interactive pages come in 2 versions of "flip flaps".  These pages work on sequencing, b/m/e, and story elements. The kid below is using the beginning/middle/end interactive notebook page to write about his story during independent reading. 
I worked with this student 1 on 1 to discuss the book "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom". He understood the idea of sequencing, but isn't quite ready to write sentences yet. I told him he could illustrate what happened in the book and tell me about it when he was finished. Can you tell the letters are falling out of the bent tree...so cute!
 Here are a few more examples of what the interactive pages will look like. Having these fun response sheets available will make your students pay more attention to these skills during their story as well as after.
This girl is retelling "The Mitten" using the 5 finger rule. For Kindergarten, we stick to the 5 finger rule as characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end. When working with this student, she had the cutest light bulb moment. She was trying to stretch out the word mitten, and realized it was on the title of the book. She said "hey, I know where to find that word" and pointed to the title. It's so fun to watch those connections happen!
Graphics organizers are a great way for students to compare and contrast story elements. These really make students dig deeper into the books. These graphics organizers were done in small group, but I think they'll eventually be able to do them independently. This bundle includes graphic organizers for them to compare their books, compare books with a friend, compare characters, and compare settings.
The story starter pages in this bundle come with dotted lines and regular lines, depending on what your students need. In the past at my listening center, students would just write and draw about their favorite part. These responses get the students to think more about the book and find ways to connect to what they read. 
After this boy illustrated his favorite character, I told him he needed to tell me who it was and why he liked that character. Since this character doesn't have a name in the book, this boy decided to call him I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham. LOL!
Click here to grab this packet of over 20 pages of reading responses. Here's a sneak peek of the table of contents to see what's included. 

January 25, 2015

A Year of Scrambled Sentences

Would you like to have an activity that you can use in your literacy centers all year? Scrambled sentences are just that! Once you explain to your class how to use scrambled sentences once, all you have to do is change out the cards for the next month, and it's ready to go! Quick, easy, and educational!

What are scrambled sentences?
Scrambled sentences are a great way for students to work on sentence structure, sequencing, reading, writing, vocabulary, and many other reading strategies! Students sort all of the picture cards with the same picture into piles. They then use those cards to build a sentence. This is a great way for students to learn that a sentence always begins with a capital letter and ends with a punctuation mark.  My students put those cards down first, then arrange the rest of the cards in order until it makes sense. They then record the sentence onto the paper provided and do another sentence. 
What's included in this bundle?
You'll get a set of 5 sentences for each of the 10 themes provided. Each set comes with 2 different sized cards. You can use the bigger cards for whole group and smaller cards for small group/centers. Each set also includes and answer key and recording sheet. 
Themes included:
August - School rules
September - Apple life cycle
October - Halloween 
November - Thanksgiving
December - Christmas (no religious symbols used)
January - Winter
February- Valentine's Day
March - St. Patrick's Day
April - Easter (no religious symbols used)
May - Summer/beach 

Here are some more examples of the scrambled sentences that are included. 
You can purchase these activities individually, but I have also created my Scrambled Sentences MEGA Bundle which will SAVE you $10! 

January 15, 2015

100th Day of School - The Most Exciting Day of the Year

Are you gearing up for your 100th day of school? Here are some fun things we did in our classroom and as a grade level to make the 100th day of Kindergarten very memorable! This is what the kids walked into as they entered my classroom.
I used this frame for the 1st day of school, so all I had to do was change the star to say "100th" and it was ready to go! I print a picture of each child holding this frame on the 1st day, 100th day, and last day of Kindergarten so they have a keepsake of how they grew throughout the year.
As a grade level, we did a 100th day duck hunt! We bought these plastic ducks from Oriental trading and made cards 1-100 to sit next to each duck. The six K teachers divided the ducks and hid them around our classroom during the student's lunch time. When they came back from lunch, we divided the kids into groups and had them hunt through each room for the ducks. As they found a duck, they colored that number on their 100 chart. The students LOVED this and yes, it was a bit chaotic in our rooms and in the K hallway, but it was worth it.
We made some 100th day hats and fruit loop necklaces. We used these counting mats to help us keep track of our fruit loops. 
If you have your students collect 100 items to bring in, they can also use these mats to count out their collection. Grade these FREE counting mats here
As students were counting their fruit loops, I went around and took their pictures using the Aging Booth app which they have for Apple and Android devices. I took the photos on my iPad so I could then use my Apple TV and show them what they'd look like in 100 years. They were cracking up! Here's one I took of myself so you can see how it works. Pretty gross, huh?!?
Finally, since your students are probably going to be a bit crazy during the 100th day of school, why not let them get rid of some of that energy with this 100th Day Fluency & Fitness! This slideshow has students work on naming and recognizing numbers 1-100 and doing exercises every so often. 

January 7, 2015

Winter Literacy & Math Centers and a FREEBIE

This is my first posting using my new MacBook Air! I got it from my husband for Christmas since my old MacBook Pro is about 6 years old and I LOVE this laptop! It does take awhile to get everything transferred from one computer to another, but I think I've finally got it done. I've been kind of in a creative funk lately and haven't been posting much or creating new TPT products. Anyone else get that way?? I've just enjoyed being lazy over Winter break and spending time with family. Hopefully, this new laptop will get me motivated again ;) Like my hot pink Beats headphones too?
Can you believe it's time to go back to school already? These breaks sure go fast! I've recently updated my Winter Packet and added more games! One thing I try to do in my bundles is create games with a similar format, so teachers can put the game in a center and students will already know how to play. Here a peek at a few games included in the packet.
These photos are being recycled from a previous post, but it's such a fun way to work on addition to 10! It can be played a few different ways, so it can stay in your centers all January long. Students can answer the addition problem and cover the snowball that matches the correct answer or they can use the game board to work on their addition skills.
These next 2 pictures of my 1-1 correspondence (1-20) games. I use small white pom poms for student to count out the "marshmallows" that go in the hot chocolate. 
If you're a follower you've seen this type of game in my other theme packs. Students work on numbers 1-20 and move around the game board until someone wins! 
To get more practice with place value, we use these cards to count the base 10 blocks and clip the clothespin to the correct number. This Polar Bear Place Value Game come with 3 activities to work on place value. 
 After students play the games in centers, they can use this worksheet to break numbers in tens & ones.
Are your students ready to work on CVC words or sort pictures by their short vowel sound? Then this game will be perfect for you! Students can match up the words to the correct picture. Also included are igloos with the 5 vowels on them so students can sort the words or pictures to the short vowel sound they hear. 
This game is similar to my Scrub-a-Dub-Dub-Digraphs since students can match the word or picture to the correct digraph sound they hear. They could also use the word and picture cards to play memory! 
I created 2 emergent readers with simple sentences. One story is about the steps it takes to make a snowman and the other works on counting mittens and filling in the blank with number words or adjectives. 
These are just a few of the games included in my Winter Literacy & Math Bundle! Some of these are sold separately in my store, but you'll save a lot of money by purchasing the bundle. I hope you enjoy this bundle as much as this buyer does!!
Don't forget to snatch up this FREE shape game! Snowy Shape Bump works on 2D and 3D shapes. Students cover up the shape that they spin, but if their friend spins the same shape, they can get BUMPED off! Students love this!!

January 3, 2015

Organizational Tips For Your Literacy and Math Files

I'm linking up with my girls over at our blog Elementary Entourage to help you get ready for the New Year! Here are the blog topics for the first half of the month if you'd like to link up with us!
If you've been following me, you know I'm a bit OCD, so getting organized is not a problem for me! :) This past Summer, I went through ALL of my literacy and math center files and games which was  2 whole filing cabinets!! I organized all of the centers by topic instead of by month. The white containers are math and the teal containers are reading. It has been a lot easier to find a skill if I need some review, instead of digging through files trying to remember what month that topic was introduced. 
Inside each container I made a binder that included all of the worksheets and cards that go with those worksheets. If a binder included a few topics such as beginning sounds, ending sounds, and rhyming sounds, then I separated those worksheets into the correct category {see below}.
Also inside each tub, I made a giant file folder of all the games for each skill. Now, when we work on beginning sounds, I just grab this file folder full of games and find what I want. SO much easier!!
You can grab these container labels to organize your literacy and math files and games by clicking here
If you are looking to further organize your room, grab the whole bundle of container labels that include labels for: 
-school supplies
-crafts
-literacy & math skills
-table baskets
-3 drawer carts
-binder cover & spines
Feel free to link-up your post about how to get organized for the New Year!