Monday, June 26, 2017

How Full Is Your Bucket?

I love using children’s literature to help students understand a concept.   One of my favorite books to share with my students at the beginning of the year to help them transition to school and how we should act is How Full Is Your Bucket? (affiliate link)
This is a great story to introduce how we should interact with our classmates and why.  In this story, a little boy named Felix is taught about an invisible bucket.  His grandfathers share with him that when your bucket is dipped, you feel bad but if your bucket is filled, you feel great.  Throughout the story, you follow Felix and see different bucket dippers and bucket fillers.  I love this story because students are able to relate to it.
In our classroom, we then talk about bucket dippers and bucket fillers. We brainstormed a list of things we could do to fill our friends bucket.  It is also a great story to refer back to and revisit throughout the year if necessary. 
I have also created a bucket filler and bucket dipper sort for students to complete independently. 
It is a great review for students of different ways that they can be bucket fillers and bucket dippers in the classroom.  
You can grab that free sort here: How Full Is Your Bucket Sort

I hope that you enjoy this story as much as my students and I do!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Letter Sound Intervention Lapbook

I had several students in my class that were really struggling with letter sounds.  I needed to help them master this important kindergarten goal that can be overwhelming for some students in a fun and kindergarten friendly way that would motivate them.     
As teachers we want to make the most of our time and interactions with our students.  This letter sound lap book was created to help those students who are struggling with letter sounds, while doing so in an easy, efficient way for you at the same time. It is highly interactive and packed with opportunities for your students to practice their letter sounds in small attainable goals.  Since students who are struggling often have trouble learning all of the letters at a time, they are broken down into smaller attainable goals.  For this, I created 5 different levels on the spinners.  For each level, there is a group of 5-6 letters to make a more manageable goal for students.  I have included an editable version in case your curriculum may have a different order. Since students who are struggling often need lots of repetition.  These spinners often repeated practice to the students.
As an activity, students can spin the spinner (a paperclip) and identify the letter that they land on.  I also included a recording paper for this so they have practice writing it as well.  

This makes for great independent practice for the student and students follow up with you and say the letter sounds that they wrote. This recording sheet is a great piece to take home so parents can see what they are working on.  
Once a students is able to identify all of the letters on their current level, then they are able to move on to the next level (group of 5 letters).

Also included are student flash cards.  Students can flip through these quickly to review the letters they know and those they are working on.  Once again, since they have smaller goals, in the “Letters I Am Practicing,” you may want to include the 5 or 6 letters from the spinner since those letters will be their focusStudents an keep their letters sorted in the pockets by letters they know, letters they are practicing and letters they still have to learn.  
By combining the letters they are practicing and letters they know, it allows students to feel successful and not overwhelmed by having 26 letters, many of which they may not know.  
Another great warm up or opportunity for the students to practice is the alphabet mini books that fit perfectly into one of the little pockets.

Students “read through” these little books and may be at a level where they just repeat the letters or some can do it independently. 
For my little routine, students point and say the letter name (the capital letter), the sound (the lowercase letter underneath it), the picture and then repeat the sounds 3 time.  
I put all letters in my book mini book but another idea is to only do several mini books of the 5-6 letters they are working on and they can warm up with only those letters.

Students can also use the letter game board that is glued on the back to track letters they have learned and have fun practicing the letters. (This game board is included as a freebie at the end)

Students can color in the letters as they master them.  This is great to do this documentation monthly and students can use a different color each month (this is a great way for you to see as well if they are making adequate progress and documentation for you as well).
Students can also use this game board to practice letter sounds.   For example, students can say the letter sound and they can find matches to the flashcards they are learning.   

You can also do this without the flashcards and you (or a peer) can say a letter sound and have the students find that sound and put a chip on it.  Once they know most of their letter sounds they can roll a dice and say the sound that they land on or do this with a friend if they aren’t quite independent and repeat the sounds.

You can grab the letter sound game board freebie here:
Or check out the entire product in my TPT store: Letter Sound Intervention Lapbook

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tiggy Gaming System Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I am so excited to be joining up with some of my blogging friends to be giving away a Tiggy Gaming System.  This is an amazing iPad gaming systems, focusing on math and ELA.  These interactive games are such a great way to engage your students through the use of technology.  You can enter the giveaway above!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Support Beginning Readers And Writers Using Predictable Sentences

I love using predictable sentence in my classroom.  They are such a great way to support my kindergarteners in reading and writing by reinforcing a variety of concepts including sentence construction, sentence writing, and grammar skills. 
I usually do a new predictable sentence each week in my classroom.  It is a way that we practice our sight word of the week so I always make sure that the target sight word is included in the sentence starter.    
I prep this activity by having our sentence starter written (one time for each student) on large chart paper.  I usually write the sight word in a different color, so it sticks out for my students.  
I have a 5 day routine for our predictable sentences that looks like this:
Monday: Introduce our new predictable sentence.  Model how to complete it and provide examples.  Students share examples and share their sentence with a partner.  I have half of my class individually share sentences to the group and I scribe for them on our chart.  
Tuesday: Several students from the previous day read their sentences.  I usually cut the ones that we did on the first day and put them in our pocket chart.  Students can use our pointer and track the print as they read, which is a great way to reinforce concepts of print. 
Once we have reviewed our sentences, students share again with a partner.  I also have the remainder of the class individually share sentences to the group and I scribe.  
Wednesday: Prior to this day, I cut the rest of chart paper into sentence strips for the students.   Students each have their own sentences and practice reading them to a friend.  We practice reading our own sentences several times and students also practice reading their friend's sentences.  I love this because students practice reading the sentences with our sight words multiple times. 
Thursday: This is the day that we really interact with our sentences when we mix and make the sentences.  Each students is given their own sentence, but I cut between each of the words.  All of the words are mixed up and the students put the words back in order to make their sentences.   We remind each other before beginning that each sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period.  
Once they make their sentences they check that the words are in the correct order by reading them.
We switch around the classroom and have fun mixing up the sentences of their friends and putting them back together.  This gives students multiple opportunities to practice making and reading sentences.  
When we are done, I have the students put their words back in a pile and I store them in our pocket chart to use the next day. 
Friday: On Friday, students glue their sentences in the correct order on a paper and each student illustrates their sentences that they have been working on all week. 
I will sometime collect these and bind them to make a class book to put in our library.  The students love this and will read it over and over again!
By Friday, each student has the opportunity to practice reading these sentences many times giving them multiple exposures to the sight words.  I have found that using these are also a great support for beginning writers, since I am modeling the correct way to write a sentence and they are interacting with them so many times throughout the week. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Learning Game With Decodable Phrases

I just wanted to write a quick post on a game in my classroom that my students are loving!  It is so simple and a quick review of facts or skills that gets your students moving.... What 5 and 6 year old doesn't LOVE to get out of their seat?
For this game, students are divided into groups.  We have tables in our classroom so we just use our table groups.  I provide the group with a question or activity for each member.  They have the questions at their table (one for each student) and then I place the answer or match across the room on the carpet.  Right now we are working on reading decodable phrases so we practiced matching a phrase to a picture.
The students each picked a phrase card and read their phrase.  It was great because since students were working in groups, their friends were helping to make sure they could read the words.  I have taught my students if their friend is having trouble to coach them by prompting, what are the sounds....
Once the student reads their card, they run to the carpet and find the pictures card that matched their phrase.
The students brought their match back to their table and then the next person in their group would pick a card and they would do this until all of their friends in their group read a card and found their match.  
There was so much fun and excitement during this game and the best part is, the students had a fun way to practice a skill that we were learning. 

We have used these game with other content as well, which makes it even better!  For some more ELA ideas, students can match upper and lowercase letters, find rhyming pairs, match pictures to word.  For some math ideas, students can match numbers to tens frames or solve addition and subtraction problem.  The possibilities for content in this game are endless!
The phrase cards that I used are available in my TPT stores here and includes 35 different phrase cards with matching pictures for students:
 Decodable Phrases
I hope that you enjoy this game in your classroom!