Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hooray for the 100th Day!

Today we celebrated 100 days of school and my kids could not have been more excited! They began by walking through our banner that they called the "car wash" all day as walked through the streamers :)
Thanks Kathleen for this idea (you can check out her 100th day activities here)!
We started our morning by making our 100 day hats with ten strips of ten stickers. We made a point of talking all day about how ten groups of ten is 100!
Hard at work

From the front

And the back
We also played a roll to 100 game to see how many rolls it would take us to get to 100.
I made our 100th day cake that I've made every year since I started teaching and since it was miracle to get it baked last night with Ellie Grace helping me {as in wanting to not be put down...which is fine by me :)}, I let the kids help me decorate it.

The kids loved the cake, but I think they loved making our 100 piece trail mix even more. I think we all finally can remember that ten groups of ten is 100!
The goods

Adding a group of ten at a time

100 pieces!
Have you had your 100th day yet? What's your favorite activity to do with your kiddos to celebrate?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Guided Reading/Small Groups

Yesterday I shared how what my kiddos do while I am working with small groups. Because I have had quite a few readers ask me how I do my small groups/guided reading groups, I thought I would go through a typical lesson.
For the most part, I use the model in this book:
This book was written by Beverly Tyner and I was lucky enough to watch her do a variety of lessons and teach inservices while she was hired by our county. She is super helpful and really does want to help teachers do the best they can when it comes to teaching small groups in a differentiated manner.
For my groups, I have 3 groups of 6 kids and we meet EVERY day. This is super important to me, and something Dr. Tyner gives instructions on in the book. For classes who have more children, she also outlines how to meet on a different schedule. When the kids come to group, they have this box with the materials we need:
We always have our hands in "ready."

Right now, my first two groups are working on the same thing in phonics (word families), but are on different book levels because of how many sight words they know. My other groups is still working on letter names and sounds. Here is our lesson from today (each lesson always follows the same outline, so the kids always know what to expect):
We start with a reread of yesterday's story. The kids have to use their pointer finger so that I can make sure they are tracking print correctly:
This is the group's book that is still on letters...level 1 and repetative text
 My first two groups quickly review our blends and digraphs with this wonderful chart from Katie King (click here to see):

When we have time, I have the first two groups work very quickly to spell three CVC words:

Then, we move on to word study/phonics:
We sort words according to their word families and the kids write them

This is our big board for sorting our words for word study

This group is sorting pictures by beginning letter sound and writing the letter

Our big board for sound sorting
Then, we review our sight words and play a sight word game...each group is working on a different list
After our game, we look at our new read for the day. We make predictions, inferences, etc. and take a picture walk together. While we are reading, I ask questions related to the story and to our phonics skills:
This is a harder book that the first group read today...level 5 with more complex text
Then, the first two groups get a dictated sentence to write (I forgot to take a picture) and the last group works with me to write a sentence, cut it, and put it back together.

After our group lesson, I have the kids go buddy read their new book to 2 friends (this starts after we clean up that round of workshops, so while I am starting a new group, the last group is buddy reading) then go to their workshop.
Our reading folders

The person who listened to the book has to give a smiley then the reader ranks themself on how they read...you can get this log here.

They LOVE buddy reading!
The basic outline of my small group lessons can be foudn in Dr. Tyner's book along with all the word study, sight word,and phonics materials.
Sorry for the super long post, but I hope this might help clear up some of what we do. This is the second year I've done it this way and I can honestly say, I love it and have seen it work wonders in my children. You can see more about Dr. Tyner here. By the way, I don't get money or goods to write about how great I think this format is, I just wanted to share because it works :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Workshops {Literacy Centers}

I often get questions about how I do guided reading and literacy centers in my classroom. I thought I would share a little today about how we do "workshops" in my room.

As most of you who have read this blog before know, I use Beverly Tyner's small group model and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I think it is super important to find a guided reading/small group model that fits not only your class' needs, but your teaching style as well. We have an hour and a half for small groups, which is wonderful! I have 3 groups of 6 kiddos and I meet with every group every day {I hope to post more details about what we do tomorrow}.

While I am meeting with a group, the other 2 groups are split into 4 groups of 3 kiddos each that are practicing skills that their small group is working on with me. So, each group comes to me and does 2 workshops every day.Some groups are working on word families, some are working on blends and digraphs, some are still working on letter naming, etc. so our workshop time is a huge differentitation time. It does take some time and work to have so many different workshops, but I've found it really helps my class and I finally like the way I'm doing it. I don't have specific "named" centers like word work, alphabet, etc. All of my workshops are in numbered tubs except for writing and reading corner, so the groups just pulls out the tub they are working in.  I really like to have some type of paper/pencil at each workshop to hold them accountable and so they get some type of writing practice. When they finish the workshop they are at, they are able to get a game from our game bucket, which is usually some type of word/picture match, sound/picture match, or sentence/picture match. Here are some of the workshops we are doing right now:
Short a word families

Letter Matching...you can find this game here

Groundhog Day Blends...this is in my groundhog pack here {which is on sale right now for $5}

Finding beginning digraphs sounds

Groundhog spelling: Working on CVC words...this is also in my groundhog pack here

Beginning sound matching {this is in the game bucket}...from my sound match pack here

Matching pictures to medial sounds...this can be found here

These are CVC puzzles from Lori Rosenberg's Ultimate CVC pack {click here}...the kids love them!!

Reading corner

Clipping beginning sounds

Building our sight words...this is from a sight word freebie pack I posted here

The kids are also loving these...matching pictures to sentences. I am hoping to get a pack of these made soon
Tomorrow I hope to get some pictures of what I do in small group with the group I'm working with. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When We Grow Up

Thanks to my sweet friend and teammate Deeanna, we are learning all about community helpers this week and talking about what we want to be when we grow up.
Yesterday, we read Everyone Works and discussed jobs people do and why we have to work. Then, the kids told their shoulder partners what they wanted to be when they grew up and the partners shared with the class. We also wrote about what we want to be when we grow up...you can see I still have a wide range of writing levels in my class, but we are making progress :)

I want to be a doctor. I want to help people. 

In the army

I want to be an artist so I can earn money. 
Today, we revisited the story and discussed the different things people need to do their jobs. Then I gave each kiddo a picture card with either a community helper or something they need and they had to mingle to find their partners. This is an activity from Deeanna's community helper pack that will be posted soon. :)


In math, I adapted one of Deeanna's acitvities to our Promethean Board and we practiced working out story problems with our construction worker and his tools. I would read a story problem, and one of the kids would come up to put his tools in the toolbox or take some out then we would write and solve our equation. Can I just tell you how much I love hearing kindergarteners say the word equation? Makes my day!

That's all for now...I have got to get finished with my winter centers that were supposed to be finished over a week ago...eeek!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. since we have the day off in his honor on Monday. I was pleasantly surprised at how many of my kids already knew who he was! We began by watching a short video on United Streaming then reading Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King! The kids talked with their shoulder partners about the things they learned from the video and book, then we recorded them on our circle map.
Then, we wrote about what we learned on this cute graphic organizer from Susan's MLK mini unit {you can get it here} and made her even cuter {and easy!} craft to go with it.




Short and sweet today...I have a baby to snuggle and LOTS of stuff to prep for next week :). Have a great weekend!