Thursday, February 24, 2011

Update: Literacy Workstation Task Cards Cards

Last night I finally figured out how to reduce the size of my PDFs. So I re-posted the Literacy Workstation Task Cards in the PDF version! whew.

If you would like to see more about the cards check out my recent post here
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Teenage Dream kind of mood...

 I am in a good mood because:
1. Today was the second day of the entire school year I had in my classroom alone, no students. Finally, got that work done I cannot accomplish with them in the classroom! (Besides the time I show up early or stay late to prepare for my weekly lessons) But I got to do some house cleaning!
2. I am wearing this bomb nail polish that has put Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" in my head on repeat. I can't even lie to you... I have really enjoyed seeing my nails sparkle on my document camera. Is this weird? Probably.

3. Mardi Gras is right around the corner and Holy Word I am ready. Unlike most of you, Southern LA did not get the snow day breaks. Whaa.
Regardless... I am ready for my 2 days off. Ready for New Orleans, the parades, the Mardi Gras Ball, the beads. And mainly ready to paint my face with glitter, wear my purple/ green/ yellow feathered Mardi Gras boa and dance in the street. And yes I do plan on doing all of that. 
 And to top off the Mardi Gras celebration, "The Park" always does a parade of Pre-K- 1st Graders.... SO CUTE! The kids drag their mini shoe box floats and throw beads to the rest of the school. Best day. 

Anyways, since I had so much time in my classroom today, I didn't have much to take home! So, I decided to upload my Journaling Sticks for you tonight :)
Click Here

Seriously guys, these sticks have been such an awesome tool! I have seen such creative writing taking place at the writing station! The journal topics really have gotten those juices flowing for my kids.
Also, at the end of the Journaling Topics document are Quiz Questions (Who are the characters, what is the setting, etc.) These are a great tool to use during small group time.

*There are 33 Journaling Topics and 15 Quiz Questions. I printed mine on Avery 1"x 2 5/8" (30 labels per sheet, Template 5160) Afterwards, I cut them down to fit on the large popsicle sticks. 

* And to top off the night, I finally figured out how to reduce my PDF sizes. About time. 
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can I get a hallelujah?!

Dear Lord, uploading this file to TPT was hard. I guess 43 pages of graphics, backgrounds and fonts was just too much for them to handle. However, I finally figured it out and it is now available to you! 
I uploaded the file as a gif file, so if you would rather the pdf version I will gladly email it to you! 

Included in the pack of Literacy Workstation Task Cards are:
- ABC/ Word Study Task Cards (9)
- Poetry Task Cards (8)
- Listening Station Task Cards (5)
- Writing Station Task Cards (10)
- Library Task Cards (11)
- Big Book Station Task Cards (10)
- Pocket Chart Task Cards (12)

In addition, I have included blank cards for each workstation set. This will allow you to create your own cards for the specific tasks that you would like your students to complete, that may not have been included!

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Sneak Preview of Literacy Workstation Cards

I'm almost done with the Literacy Workstation Task Cards I have been working on! I have already completed two sets and the rest should be done tonight :).  The tasks cards will be used to give students ideas or reminders of what they can do in that particular workstation. It seems that sometimes students forget all of the assortment of activities that can be accomplished at each workstation. I figured these cards would be a great tool to help students who needed the reminder.  I use Debbie Diller's workstations in my class (which I love). It's meaningful work, and I don't have to make new activities each week. Working smarter not harder, right?

The last thing I have recently created was journaling sticks. I printed out the topics on label sheets and cut them down to fit the large sized popsicle sticks. The can that holds them is a Crystal Light can. They fit perfectly! Students just pull a stick and choose a topic! So far these have been great! It has really helped with the students who have a hard time getting those creative writing juices flowing. They give them cute ideas to think about and then let the writing flow! yay. 
*Look back later for the pdf!
Happy Monday!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Classroom Management: Hand Signals

I'm sure some of you have already seen this classroom management tool, however for those of you who have not... I love this tip. My first year of teaching my reading coach suggested I try this out with my students. 

Instead of rasiing their hands for the following situations: 
- I need a new pencil.
- I need to get a tissue.
- I need to go to the bathroom.
My students raise a number in the air. Its our hand signals! 
As shown below in the picture. 
This poster hangs in my classroom as a reminder of how to let me know which situation they need me to address. If the students simply just have a question, they raise their hands with all five fingers in the air. 

Such a simple tool, but it seriously saved me from the headache of hands constantly going in the air and having to stop instruction to see what the student needed. 

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Update (Treasures: Stormy Weather Theme)

Here are some pictures I promised I would post yesterday...
Below is the anchor chart I created with my students to remember the the difference between compare and contrast. 

These are more examples from the activity we completed yetersday, "I wish it would rain..."

Today we completed the compare and contrast activity on the two stories "It Rained Hearts" and "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs".  It really went well! Afterwards, I had the students complete the Reader Response "Would you rather it rain hearts or meatballs?". Apparently, my students were ready for lunch because majority of the kids chose meatballs! ha
 I found ucute printables and poems about the weather on The First Grade Parade and created these charts to dicuss the weather cycle (There is also a great recording sheet to go along with the water cycle).

The last two pictures are random but I took today as well so I figured I would post. Here is my completed Smarty Pants! So cute! Thank Abby! However, my jeans now kind of look like shorts after I hot glue it all together (I cannot sew, and I find it in my best interest not to even try).  Please ignore the student work already posted. My writing station is right beside this wall... therefore, my two students there took it upon themselves to declare themselves smarty pants? Whatever.

And finally my big book stand has a home. The books are now on the back and my students can now use it. Our old make shift stand was tearing apart the bottoms of our books, so I'm pretty stoked about this one! 

Lastly, I hate to gush... but seriously for someone who doesn't like the mushy things these flowers made me smile, Big.  Seriously, the boy did good for vday. Plus, I love my students reactions to them... heaven forbid I have a boyfriend ohhh.
Hope y'all had as great of  a Valentines day as I did! 

* And please let me know if my google documents are still not working for you and I will be happy to email them to you!
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Treasures: Stormy Weather Theme

So, I'm not sure who else out there teachers Treasures... but yawn! I could give a list of things I dislike about this Reading Series. However, I cannot change the fact that this is what we use for our series... so my teacher bestie, Ffion (or Ms. Thomas), and I try our best to make it more engaging for our students. We have found the stories usually to be typically blah in the students books, so we have opted for trade books to cover the skills of the week instead. 

This week our skill is Compare and Contrast, which I discussed with my students today. I will post a picture of the anchor chart I created to use with my students as a reference for this skill.  Ffi and I decided we would use the stories "It Rained Hearts" and "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" to implement this skill!

Since it was Valentines today I decided to read the story "It Rain Hearts" with my students first. We then completed a Readers Response "I wish it would rain...."

* I will post more pictures of my students responses! So funny! One student wanted it to rain "Diamond Chains", only in the Park. 
(He only wanted $25.00... modest lil thing! So sweet!)

Tomorrow I will read the story "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" and as a whole class we will complete the compare and contrast graph made by Ms. Thomas.  

Afterwards, the students will complete the Reader Response "Would you rather it rain hearts or  meatballs?" inspired by the adorable Babbling Abby (who had this whole lil' cute Vday activity... which I want to do next year. I mean I am a girl who is now on a school budget, so I have to pick and choose from her Tpt! Boo.)

Today we also create a chart with our schema about the weather and what we are have learned. It was funny to see my students thoughts on the weather, wow the misconceptions about snow! Duh, I guess Louisiana doesn't teach us too much. 
*I forgot to take pictures, so I will re-post in the morning when I return to school.

Coming up this week: Weather Cycle and Weather Poems courtesy of The First Grade Parade. 
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Mini Lesson

I created some activities to do with my class tomorrow. As I said in my previous post, my activities focus around the conversation hearts. The mini lesson includes activities dealing with: estimation, graphing, analyzing their data, using the hearts to create a letter to a love one, and creating their own conversation hearts.  Click the picture below to get the lesson! 
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day

I love this day with my students! I will be completing the activity that Ms. Thomas has created with my students along with a few other activities. On Chalk Talk I saw this estimation activity using conversation hearts. 
So, I created a recording sheet to go with the activity for my students. The conversation hearts will be the main focus of our day to use with our activities. Look back tomorrow for more activities! 
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