Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I know I am a little late to the party on this one, but I wanted to post about our President's Day celebrations (just in time for Casimir Pulaski day - oops!).
One of the things I am trying to work on more is the "research" aspect of the Common Core Standards. Students are supposed to be gathering information, organizing it and discussing it. We took the opportunity to do so when we discussed Abraham Lincoln and George Washington for President's Day.

Here are the steps we took:

1. Read 3 books each about Lincoln and Washington.
2. Used post-it notes to mark facts (discussed fact/opinion).
3. Organized information in a Venn diagram as a group.

4. Wrote about it ourselves.

 5. ...and then we of course added some color to make it exciting! The kids did a really great job, even if they were just copying from the list, everyone helped to organize.  Some even expanded on their ideas and write their own.!

SO proud of my little ones for not only researching, but organizing the information and expanding! Not to mention all the "chopping" they had to do to sound out unfamiliar words.

We are going to try to do this with a number of other subjects... so stay tuned! :o)

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

We need some iPads!

One of the great parts of learning is exploring. We can explore literacy and math concepts so easily through technology.  Many times, if a student is having difficulty, the use of technology helps to positively impact their learning.

We are so grateful to have four computer in our classroom to use during centers. However, incorporating iPads, with apps for each child to use would be such a positive addition to our classroom.

I have set up a Donors Choose account for our classroom to try and raise enough money to purchase two iPads for our classroom!

Below is the link if there is anyone you know interested in participating in such fundraising.  Thank you so much for your support!

OH! And this is the best part! For the next few days, funds will be matched up to $100!! Yes!!

Donors Choose iPad Project

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sight Word Superheros!

We are really rockin' on our sight words and many of us are able to use sight words strung together in sentences to read fluently.  We have 67 words to know by the end of the year so multiple ways of practicing them is important!

I have (with the help of a very, very wonderful colleague) developed sight words kits to work with at home and in school. When playing sight word games there are a few important things to remember:

1. Make it quick! 10-15 minutes per day - it should be exciting, not a chore.
2. Practice everyday, try something new each day to keep it exciting.
3. Always start with a flash card review. Have your child sort his/her words into "Ones I know" and "Ones I do not know."

Alrighty...let's get started....

Easy peasy sentence strips. Just match the clothespin words to the sentence strip words and read! 

 Get a little silly! Put one of your child's flash cards in the front pocket of this crown.  If you wear it, your child has to say the word five times (use stickers to keep track) before the word is changed.  OR - if your child wears the crown, you can give him, or her clues to what the word is, until it is guess - its hours of effortless fun! ;o)

 Roll playdoh into a snake shape and then divide it up to form into the letters of a sight word. You can also use this to make word family words!

 Who doesn't LOVE playing with toy cars? 

Attach a sight word to the top of your car, and park that word in its parking space.  This is a fun way to match words! If your child cannot say the word after he/she park it, it goes back into the bag to try again!

So I definitely can't take credit for all these activities - Mrs. Borst from first grade uses these sight words kits with her kiddos, and I was so impressed I thought that they would work for us too!

I am going to send sight words kits home with some of the kids this week. Each kit is a little different and we will take turns bringing them home.  Have fun with these activities! Remember to make them quick and if your child is getting bored, move on!

Have fun!

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