Saturday, January 25, 2014

I {heart} February!

With January nearly over, I spent part of my lunch on Friday laminating and getting ready for all things February....hearts, love and friendship!
Here's a peek at some of my activities, games, and centers from my newest unit,
(A perfect unit to do during the month of February)
It's full of activities that your students can work on individually, with a partner, or in a small group.  Many centers focus on turn-taking, co-operation and problem-solving with another friend.
Word Family Delivery -> a fun way to practice word families...matching the word family word to the mailbox.
Secret Messages -> open up the envelope and read the sight word.  Write it in the letter boxes that fit the word.
Terrific Ten-Frames -> find the ten-frame that matches the number and color the correct number of dots.
Lots of Letters -> write the correct order of the letters
(I have the same activities for number order included)
Fair Share Treats -> place the cookies on the cookie tray to see if they can be sorted fairly
I {Heart} Patterns -> an easy assessment piece for patterning
To Sum It All Up -> use heart erasers to add up the equations and match them correctly.
Cookie Making Fun -> building cookies using different fractions.
Heart Breakers -> beginning sound match
This is one of my favorite co-operative games...Missing Match Ups.
Students work in pairs of small groups and play this game like memory (flip all the cards over and find a pair). card is left out.  They have to use the board to cover-up each pair they find and guess which card was left out.
Click on the picture below to take you to this unit.
Be sure to download the preview so you can see all that is included!
If you are like me and plan on doing a little something for Groundhog Day (which falls next weekend - so I'm going to be using this unit this week)...take a peek at my Happy Groundhog Day unit.

We did so many fun activities from it last year which I plan on doing again this year.
We even got a letter delivered to us from Mr. Groundhog himself telling us what the outcome of Groundhog Day was (2 versions included).
Here's our adorable prediction chart we did.
 You can read all about our Groundhog Day adventures from last year here.
BOTH of these unit are on sale until tomorrow night! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

DIY graphing mat...with a little help from Mr. Snowman!

We've been working a A LOT on graphing ever since we've been back from our Christmas holidays.  Here's a fun and easy way that I introduce graphing.
I've always wanted a fancy graphing mat, you know, the ones that they sell for WAY too much money in the teacher catalogues?
So since I never planned on spending that kind of money, I thought I'd make my own graphing mat.
All you need is a shower curtain and duct tape and....voila!
It's actually really durable too!
(I made a few different versions since they were so cheap and easy to make - 2 column and 4 column graphing mats)
We were graphing the clothing Mr. Snowman was wearing.
I placed all these pieces around the carpet and the graph in the middle.  The students had so much fun choosing the pieces and placing them on the graph.  It really taught them the concept of graphing!
I then had them translate the information to a recording sheet by reading the top portion and graphing the results on the bottom.
 You can find this activity in my best-selling Winter Wonderland unit.
I just updated the unit to include the large reproducible graphics for your graphing mat.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Now I know my ABCs...

Okay, so we are nearly half way through the school year and, boy, have I ever seen an improvement in my kiddies!
They are reading, writing, counting and more!
There are a few, though, that are still struggling with their letters and sounds.  Although we do tonnes of things on a daily basis to reinforce these basic concepts, I knew these students needed more.
So I created these mini Alphabet Readers.
There are 26 books in all, one for each letter of the alphabet, and both colour and black and white are included.
I introduced these this week to a group of students.  First we identified the letter, said the sound it made and then we read my coloured version together and listened to the beginning sound in each word.  I love using these books as a shared reading lesson to a small group because they are so simple and the kids can read along.
Best part came when I pulled out these little black and white books ... and told the kids they were going to keep them!
They were so excited!
So off they went colouring in the pages and reading the words to each other.
I plan on using these books weekly.  We are going through the alphabet in order, one letter at a time for extra reinforcement.  My goal is to have all of my students know their letters and sounds by the end of the year.  We are almost there! 
I just posted these Alphabet Books to TpT and they are on SALE until the end of the weekend.
Here's a look at what else we did this week...
Ordering numbers 1 to 10
Sorting words according to word families
Identifying sight words and writing them in the correct letter boxes
Reviewing patterning
Matching rhyming words
You can find these activities in my Fun with Frosty unit.
Since this past week was a short week (Friday was a PA Day), I quickly pulled out these fun activities to work on ... no teacher prep needed and a great way to review key concepts we have been practicing this year.
Counting how many in the ten-frame.  Next week = the reverse....reading the number and colouring in the ten frame.
Figuring out which one is MORE and which is LESS
I can't wait to share with you what we have been doing in math...graphing....BORING!
It was so much fun ... because Frosty came to visit!
Stay tuned....

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

5 Little Snowmen - A Winter Poem {Freebie}

We have had so much snow here ... snow that won't go away because the temperature is absolutely FREEZING .... that I thought this post about snowmen to be quite fitting!
My students love the poem "5 Little Snowmen" and year after year we recite and act it out.  Well, I pulled out my January file over the Christmas break and realized that the props for this poem are really OLD and really UGLY!  The hats were made out of faded construction paper!
It was time to jazz this poem up!
I put the poem up on my Bright Links board and we all read it together.  Then we circled sight words, counted down from 5 and found rhyming words.  I choose 5 students to "wear" the funny hats and pretend they were the snowmen and, of course, one student to be the sun that melts them all away.  I think we must have acted this poem out about 10 times this afternoon!
You can click {HERE} to download your free copy.
Hopefully your students will have lots of fun acting it out too!
If you do download it, I'd love if you could leave me feedback! 

Monday, January 06, 2014

Happy New Year! Our first day back...with a FREEBIE!

Happy new year!
I just love a fresh start to things...including going back to work in January!
Okay, I'm not going to lie...I could most definitely have used another week off!
But there is something so special about the children when they get back from Christmas break.  It's like they have matured a little and you can actually see how much they have grown academically!
We started by reading the book Squirrel's New Year's Resolutions.  I tried to get a copy of this book during the break, even ordering it online, but since that was near impossible and I needed it for today, I found it on You Tube and thanks to my new Bright Links board we watched the book being read that way.
The kids loved it!
You can click here to take you to that video on You Tube.
 We talked a lot about what a resolution is and brainstormed our own resolutions.
Don't you just love "kidwriting"?  I asked the students how to spell the words as I wrote them on the board and this is what we came up with.
I did this activity last year too, since they are so darn cute, thanks to Julie Lee for the idea.
This one says "This year I want to play soccer" - sorry for the flash!
We got started on our basket work too!
These were so easy to prep...just print and go!  Perfect for the first week back!
 Unscrambling the letters in the star to form a sight word.
Working on syllables.
Rolling the die and bingo dabbing the correct number.  What a fun game to learn about taking turns!
All of the above activities are from my new unit, Happy New Year Ready-to-Use Literacy and Math Activities
Listening for and writing beginning sounds.
This is from my Fun with Frosty Literacy and Math Activities (more to come from this unit next week!).
Pick a penguin from the basket, read the sight word and bingo dab it on your worksheet if you have it.
You can get this activity (and lots of others!) for FREE by clicking here.
This is our pocket chart activity for the week.  Good thing we had a lot of snow last night so the kids could totally relate!
You can find this in my All Year Long Pocket Chart Fun Activities.  There are lots of weekly pocket chart activities, all with follow-up worksheets, for the whole year long!
And here is the corresponding worksheet.
It's already been a busy week and it has just begun!
Not looking forward to tomorrow....the weather is supposed to be absolutely FREEZING!
(Not that today was much better!)
What's the weather where you are?  I know a lot of schools were shut down today.  Not here.  It was a cold and very snowy day today but no school closure!


Thursday, January 02, 2014

DJ Inkers contest WINNER!

Happy new year!
I hope you all had a wonderful start to 2014!
I have just a few days left before heading back to work on Monday.
The weather here was so cold today (-20 C) I wish I was somewhere HOT!
We are planning a mini getaway this Buffalo, NY - where the weather isn't much better than here! HA!
I just love going to Target when I'm in the States.  That's my first stop!
Anyone been recently and have good recommendations (besides everything in the Dollar Section!)?
If you are looking for something quick and easy to prep for next week, be sure to check out my ready-to-print new mini-unit, Happy New Year.
Thank you to all for entering my DJ Inkers contest to win a fabulous CD!
The winner is....
Congratulations Shauna L.!
Please check your e-mail for further instructions on how to claim your CD (it will be mailed to you).