Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Non-Fiction Writing: How To Unit

I am about to begin my "how to" unit or in fancy language "procedural writing." Writing Workshop is my favorite time of the day with my students. I am amazed by the progress they make from September to June. I just finished writing a three week "how to" unit. I aligned it to the Common Core using the New York State Education Department's website (I teach in upstate NY).

I model my writing workshop after the books and articles I have read by Lucy Calkins. I was very fortunate to be able to attend some of her workshops at the Teacher's College Reading and Writing Project in NYC. If you are not familiar with Lucy Calkins or her work, I really suggest you read some of her books. She is wonderful and the lessons I learned from the workshops I attended  had a strong impact on my teaching. Another great book I have used for my Writing Workshop is About the Authors by Katie Wood Ray. This is another book every primary teacher should own.

The unit includes three weeks of daily mini lessons, stationary or "how to" writing paper for each stage of the process, ideas for anchor charts, an invitation for the publishing party and an editing checklist. Be sure to check it out at TPT. Click on the picture!

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

President's Day Emergent Readers

Happy weekend everyone! I just posted my two emergent readers for President's Day to my TPT store. Click on the picture of the George Washington reader below to check them out!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Animal Addition and a Freebie!

Hi everyone! I heard about a neat idea to practice addition skills in the classroom. First, you need to buy a set of those paper plates that look like animals. I think they are called zoo pals or something like that. They look like this:

Notice that they have three parts. Then, you need a die (more advanced students can use two),some animal counters and a recording sheet. Here is how you play:

Roll the die. Put that number of animals into the large section of the paper plate (this number will eventually be the sum). For example, if you roll a 6, place six animals on the plate. Then, the student must decide how to split the animals into two groups (the two addends).  The paper plate has two other little sections (on the frog plate, it is the eyes). For the number six, they may put four in one of the little sections and two in the other section. Using a worksheet or mat, the child will then write the number sentence to match = 4+2 = 6.

Here is the sheet I use:

  Here is a picture of my students enjoying the activity during math stations:

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love, exciting and new! New unit and a freebie!

Yes, a quote from Love Boat! I am kicking it back 80's style!  I just finished my Valentine's Day unit and uploaded it to TPT.

Please click on the image above to visit my store to check it out. It has literacy games, ten frame mats, a graph, and reading workshop comprehension activities. I also included an emergent reader in the packet. You can get your free copy of the emergent reader here:

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thank you!

I just received the Versatile Blog Award! Thank you so much to Diana at www.coleslittlepups.blogspot.com!

OK, so here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you!  

2. Tell 7 Things About Yourself 

3. Nominate 15 Newly Discovered Blogs and let them know they've received the award!

7 things about myself:

1. I teach kindergarten at a fantastic school in upstate New York.
2. I am married to a wonderful guy and have been blessed with two beautiful children.
3. I love Martha Stewart.
4. I am not very crafty which makes number 3 very frustrating.
5. My favorite drink is a medium hazelnut coffee with cream and sugar from DD. I need one every morning before school :)
6. I try to run every morning before school (5:45 wake up call, but I don't feel as guilty when I get my drink from DD).
7.I have been completely amazed by the blogs out there, and am trying my best to always share a comment!

15 Blogs That Are New To Me!


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Football Fever Thematic Unit!

Hi everyone. Boy, have I been busy! I feel like I just played in the Super Bowl! I just posted a small thematic unit for the Super Bowl to my store on TPT. It has both literacy and math activities. Visit my store at TPT to check it out!
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Ten Frame Touchdown!

Hi everyone! I made some more activities for my Super Bowl theme. The first is a set of ten frames with a football theme. I found small football erasers at the Dollar Tree to use with the frames.


The next activity is an emergent reader about football.
You can visit my new store at Teachers Pay Teachers for each activity. The Ten Frame set is free!You can click on the picture of each activity to visit my store, or click on my store button on the top right hand side of this page.Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Are you ready for some football? The Super Bowl of Sight Words!

Yes, second post of the day, but I could not resist this clip art from Scrappin Doodles (link to their site is on my page). Also, it is football mania in my house. Our beloved New York Giants play tomorrow and we have a shot at the Super Bowl. My husband is going crazy!!!  Every year, I usually do a few football themed activities in my classroom the week before the Super Bowl.

This year I made a fun sight word game to go along with the theme. I saw this game on another site but I can't remember where right now. If it is your game and/or idea please let me know so I can give you credit. It basically is a pocket chart game for sight word vocabulary. You hide a picture behind one of the words and the students keep reading the words to see where the picture is hiding. This past week, we have been trying to find a penguin. I decided to make my own football version called, "Where is Football Freddie?" (My husband's name happens to be Fred, so it worked).

I used words from our first basic list, but I will most likely create some more challenging words. I hope you enjoy it!

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Let's Compare! The Arctic and Antarctica

Happy weekend everyone! For the past two weeks my students have explored the Arctic region and Antarctica. Next week, we will compare the two polar regions. Have you read this book yet?

I thought it might be a great book to compare and contrast the two regions. I also made a Venn diagram for the study. Here is your copy:

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Polar Animal Report

Hi everyone! My children are loving the theme about Arctic animals and are reading tons of books! Next week, we will focus on animals from Antarctica. I decided to make a polar animal report for them. They can write a few facts about their favorite animal. The clip art is from Scrappin Doodles. Please click on the right hand of my screen to visit their site. Here is your copy of the report!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

More Arctic Addition!

I have been very busy making new activities for my Arctic theme. Here is another addition sheet with counters.

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Arctic Addition

We just started to "formally" study addition during Math Workshop, although like most of you, we have discussed it during various lessons since September. We use a lot of manipulatives during this unit (unifix cubes, counters, etc). I want them to also have some paper and pencil practice, so I made a very basic sheet for beginning addition concepts. I have some really talented little mathematicians this year,so I will have to make some more challenging activities. The sheet goes along with my Arctic Animal theme.

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Arctic Animals Emergent Reader and Vocabulary Book

This week I am beginning my theme about Arctic animals. Also, our sight word for the week is "was". Here is my reader which is now on TPT.

I also created a vocabulary book for the writing station. My students love making these books. We have really focused on writing those lowercase letters. I made six Arctic animal cards to post in the writing station. I plan on cutting these out and laminating them. I have a small pocket chart for them.  I also made a booklet for the children. The students write one word per page and illustrate the word on the top of the page. I made just three sheets, but you can always copy more if you want them to write more.

Enoy this freebie!

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