Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What Worked Last Year? Just Roll With it (Deal of the Day)

Last year I sort of fell in love with these differentiation cubes (and my class did too!).

We started the year off slowly.   Simply roll and trace.  Because I made these files editable, I could select any 6 letters I wanted the students to focus on and print them on the response page.
We also had numeracy activities as well!
Let us not forget sight words!  I loved being able to look at my data to see which words I wanted to bring back for review.  I would usually include our 2 new words of the week, then toss in 4 other words that looked like they needed review.
We roll in the bucket, so we don't have the "Craps-at-the-Bellagio-effect."
 As the year progressed, so did the complexity of the skills.   In this activity, students would create words then record them as real or non-sense words.
 These are so simple to prep... print and cut.  I did not laminated the cards.  

I bought my cubes off of Amazon.

click on the image to find these.
Today the bundle is discounted!  

click on the image to find this unit.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What Worked Last Year? Super Sentences (Deal of the Day)

Yesterday I talked about my writing work stations as a predictable station that started out fairly simple and grew in complexity as the year went on.  The same is true for this station.   These predictable sentences were also a favorite in my classroom.

 In August, I asked my students to practice reading the sentences.

On the second week I said,  "You know what?  We are getting so good at reading these sentences, I wonder if some of you would like to stretch yourselves and begin writing them?"  Then I showed them how to do that!
 Each month we would swap out our thematic words.

Here is a January sample.
um... fort! 

These units also include some of these actives.

As well as 2 emergent readers!

click on the picture to see this product.

What Worked Last Year? Writing Work Stations (Deal of the Day)

Last year (and the previous 3-4 years) I have been thrilled with my writing station.  
 Each month I put out the new vocabulary cards. 
 At the beginning of the year, I have a few mini-lessons on how to use the writing station.
We go over the "I Can..." cards and options.
Then... for the most part... I get out of the way. 
 At the beginning of the year, we spend a lot of time just labeling and coloring.  That is A-OK with me.  We are in kindergarten... that is where we are at.   

As the year continues... I nudge them.  I might whisper to a student... "Oh... I see you are going to the writing station.  I can't wait to see what you do there!"  I brag on those who do more.  "Yesterday, I saw Miss T writing a sentence at the writing station.  It makes me so proud to see her stretching herself as a writer.  If you are going to be going to the writing station, I wonder if you can stretch yourself too?"   Boom!  Done!  They are all stretching themselves.

Sometime in March, this started happening in at the writing station.  One student started writing about Upward Basketball and it pretty soon... EVERYONE wanted to write a basketball themed book.

There you have it... I am all about making my stations engaging and challenging... but for my sanity, they have to be predictable.  Done and done!  I don't have to explain this station each month.  I just add engagement by swapping out the resources.

Deal of the Day
Click on the picture to find this unit.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Vegas! Baby! VEGAS!

t's almost that time again! The time that thousands of teachers and bloggers head to Vegas for the annual SDE and Teachers Pay Teachers Conferences. To say we were excited would be an understatement! 

This year will be our 4th annual Vegas Teacher-Blogger Meet Up. What started as a fun little way to get to meet other teachers and bloggers from across the country, has turned into the BIGGEST teacher-blogger meet up ever!

Here are the details you'll want to know:

  • The meet up will be on Wednesday, July 8th, and will start at 6:30pm at the Venetian in the Galileo room. 
  • RSVP on our Facebook event page {HERE}
  • You will need to download, edit, and bring your own name tag.  Download the file {HERE!} Below is an example of how your name tag should look. 

  • You do not need to be a blogger to attend. All teachers are invited and welcome to come! 
  • Please be ready to have fun, meet people, and make new friends! Make sure to post pictures to social media using the hashtag #2015vegasmeetup.
  • Our main sponsors for this event are SDE and TPT, although we have dozens more who will be donating prizes, swag, and other fun stuff! You do not want to miss out on these awesome prizes!
    • Here is a peek at this year's DIAMOND sponsors:

Please take a look at our amazing sponsors, visit their websites, and if possible say thank you for supporting this event! We have never charged an entrance fee for this meet up and it's because of all these wonderful, generous sponsors!   



And just to help you get even more excited, here's a peek at the fun we had at last year's meet-up! This year is sure to be even 

All our happy prize winners from last year!
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