Sunday, November 16, 2014

Leo Lionni Goodies and a FREEBIE

It's been a BUSY, BUSY school year and I apologize for completely neglecting my blog.  I just finished putting together all my Leo Lionni goodies and I just had to share.  I've been meaning to put these together for years, and I finally squeezed in the time to get it done.  My students just finished these activities and really enjoyed learning all about Leo Lionni.

Here's a peek at the finished product:

 I always make anchor charts for each of the stories we read.   Here are a few:


Once my students are familiar with Leo Lionni and his stories, then they are ready to tackle writing their own Leo Lionni story.  I use the FREEBIE below for them to plan their story.
I always write a story along with my class as a shared writing piece.  This is the planning page we completed together:

I'd love to give a copy of my Leo Lionni unit to the first 3 readers that leave a comment below.  Please don't forget to leave your e-mail.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Basics and a Sight Word FREEBIE

This is just a quick post to share an update that I just added to my Guided Reading Goodies resource.  I am a bit of a perfectionist (okay, maybe a lot!).  I decided to make editable versions of the Book Basic Cards that I use for Guided Reading.  I currently have mine handwritten, and my handwriting is pretty much driving me nuts.  If I'm going to take the time to laminate them, then they have to be just right.  The resource still has the whole set of cards that can printed and hand-written, but I just added 4 more cards that are editable.  You can't change any of the headings, but you can fill in all the blanks.  You can even change the levels in the top right corner.

Here is a peek at what they look like.  I use them to guide my Guided Reading lessons.  I have about 11 years worth of handwritten cards that I need to convert over to my new template.  That sounds like a fun project (not so!).  The goal is to have a ring for each level.  I go through so many books a year, there is no way I can remember every single book.  This gives me a basic idea of what the book is about and how I want to lead the discussion.  The real magic happens in those teachable moments that happen while reading.

If you have purchased this resource, please head back to re-download the updated file.

I also wanted to share my latest freebie.  I plan on using activity in my Sight word station.  I usually have my students quiz a buddy on their sight words.  I will have them write down any words they missed on this template.  They will keep this page, so they can continue to practice the words they missed at home.  They can check them off as they master them.  I will do a final little sight work check to ensure they are all mastered.  If they master all of the words on a ring, then they are VICTORIUS!  They will get a punch on the sight word punch card.

In case you aren't familiar with my sight word rings, they look like this:

They are a freebie in my teacher store.  The file says second grade, but they are not just for second grade.  They are the First 300 Fry words.  You can click here to download them at TPT.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Guided Reading Goodies and a Sight Word FREEBIE

I have really neglected my poor blog lately.   This school year has kept me extremely busy the last few months.  I really am going to try to stay better connected.  I'm definitely still working on projects even when I'm away from the blog for a bit.

I wanted to share a few of the new resources that I'm using in my reading block that I just couldn't live without.  Everyone that does Guided Reading knows that staying organized is essential, especially when you are trying to manage several reading groups.  Most years I have 5 groups, which is a good number.  This year I have 7 groups, which makes scheduling a bit more challenging.  Some days I'm begging for a free moment, so I can pull another group.

Over the summer, I decided to revamp my Balanced Literacy Binder.  Over the last eleven years, I can say I have tried about every form imaginable for keeping track of my guided reading group notes.  For a long time I loved using labels, but these labels would end up everywhere!  I never seemed to find the time to hunt for the correct page to stick it on.

The forms I'm now using are pictured and explained below.  They are working really well, and I'm beyond happy about that.

Here is a peek at what's included in my binder.  
Click here to check it out on TPT.


I also have another resource that I created this summer that I've fallen in love with.  It is just a simple ring of cards that lists a few reading behaviors to be on the look out for at each level.  It currently includes Fountas and Pinnell levels A-R.  I do have plans to add the remaining levels to the set in the future.
Now for a freebie!!! 
I created sight word cards based on the the first 300 Fry Words.  Our students are responsible for 50 words each six weeks, so each ring contains 50 words.  They make a great sight word station.  I generally have my students see how many they can read in one minute.  It's another great way to build fluency.

Simply click here to head to TPT to download all of the sets in one zip file..

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Donuts with Dad

We celebrated Donuts with Dad yesterday and it went really well.  We had a great turn-out!!! It really means a lot to our little ones to have their dads in the classroom.  This is a super quick post to share a little of what they did.  They colored these signs to leave on their desks for dad.
My 4 year old wanted to make one for daddy, so here is his cute little sign.

They also had a chance to interview their dads and then complete a fill-in-the blank writing piece about their dads.  They had a blast interviewing their dads and their writing turned out super cute!!!

There is a girl and boy version of the page above.

All the pages above are freebies, so you can click the any of the images above to download. 
Have a great weekend!!!

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mon-Star Behavior

The school year has gotten off to a great start and I love my sweet class, but right from the start I noticed something else about my little lovelies...they are extremely CHATTY!!! My usual systems of behavior management just weren't doing the trick for this group.  I really don't like whole group consequences. It's fine if they sit out from recess a min. or 2, but this group would have been sitting out far longer than that, and it's really not fair to the ones that are quiet. I mentioned my dilemma to my bloggy buddy Tonya at Tonya's Treats for Teachers, and she shared this blog post from last year.   I loved her ideas and it really got my brain gears turning!

My classroom theme is monsters, so my chart definitely had to have a monster or 2 (or 4) on it.  I really liked Tonya's tally chart, and went with a very similar idea.  I decided to go with check marks and added the amount of recess they would lose at the top.  The recess time at the top is really just  a reminder for me during recess.  During the day, I simply put a check mark every time I have to redirect them for talking.  I keep it on a clip board, so it's handy during the day.   I like that the chart also provides me with an additional form of documentation. I also like that it's more private than a clip chart in the classroom.  The chart really seems to be doing the trick.   We also keep a citizenship chart in our Daily Folders, so this makes it easy to mark folders accordingly at the end of the day.  I simply write in how many check marks they received during the day.  If they manage to turn their behavior around, I do cross out checks on my chart.

Here is a pic of the chart.  It is editable, so you can add your students' names and even change or remove the recess time from the top. The blue portions show the editable fields.

I started with just the chart last week.  This week I knew I wanted to reward my students that didn't receive any check marks.  I decided to go with a mon-star punch card.  I will simply initial a monster at the end of the day if they have no check marks, Once the entire punch card is filled, they will receive a NO Homework pass.  I will probably give them a color changing pencil when they get 5 monsters complete.  The star counts as the 10th spot.

If you are in the same boat as me and want to give this a shot, they are both freebies.  You can click either image above to grab the documents.
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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Early Finisher Calendars

This year is off to a great start, although I must admit it's hard for me to believe I'm already getting ready to start week 3!!!  Time just seems to fly by.  This year, I seem to have several students that finish before the rest of the class.  They do a fantastic job of getting a book from my Book Nook to read, but I believe my class is ready for me to introduce my Early Finisher Calendars.  I created these calendars this summer with exactly these students in mind.  I have already created August, September, and October.  They are already packaged together in my TPT store.  But, with time flying by as fast as it is, I better get a move on creating the next 3 in the set!  By the end of the year, I will have the entire year complete.

I'd love to give these away for free to the first 3 people that leave a comment.  PLEASE do not forget to leave your e-mail.  Now, off to grade a few papers before bed.
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Year at a Glance Calendars

Oh my, it has been quite awhile since my last post.  I will definitely get better about posting once I get settled into this new school year.  My days are so busy, by the time I finally get home, I'm down for the count!  I'm sure things will settle down once we get through our Open House next week.  I have so many things I'd like to share, but I NEED to take pictures.  I've also been neglecting my poor Instagram over the last week :(

I shared my Year at A Glance Calendars on Instagram, but never got a chance to share them on my blog.  I thought I'd do that tonight with this super short post.  I love to use them for lesson planning, but I also use one at home to keep track of my hubby's fire fighting schedule.

They are FREE on TPT, so grab them if you haven't already :)

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