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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Throwback Thursday...Sight Words!



I am joining The First Grade Parade's Throwback Thursday Linky!

Here is an old post I wrote about sight words...

I love to show off my word wall because it took me an entire  summer to create. I teach kindergarten, first grade, and second grade, so I had to come up with a way to differentiate my words and have room enough to fit them all in. My word wall consists of all the Dolch words for each grade, plus words that my students frequently use in their writing. It has really helped them become independent spellers. They are always referring to the word wall and using it to help them with their writing. Here are two pictures:




My word wall spans one and a half walls in my room. All kindergarten words are in red, first grade words are in yellow, second grade words are in green, and words frequently used in writing are in orange. My younger students love to boast that they can spell words from higher grades correctly and I sometimes point out to my second graders that they are misspelling words that they learned in kindergarten.

My students and I love to play word wall games and I have a plethora of word wall activity sheets that the children use when they are finished with their station work. My students' favorite word wall games to play are definitely Sparkle and Hangman. Of course there are many more games that we play, but these two are the most requested games.

Another popular game is my Sight Word Memory Game. My students play this all the time and love it!

They also love sight word scrambled sentences...



And, sentence puzzles!



Between word wall games, word wall activity sheets, sentence puzzles, scrambled sentences, etc., I think I've pretty much got it covered! LOL! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Words that describe me...

Kind, sincere, funny, giving...oh, wait, that's not what this post is about! Silly me! 

I just love the "Words that describe me" adjective activity that I've been doing for years and see that many of you do it, too. I always look forward to seeing the portraits and reading the words that the children write to describe themselves. I also have them fill out labels to describe the color of their shirt, pants, hair, etc. I promised Krista, over at Stellar Students that I would share the labels with her, so I figured I would share them here in case anyone else was interested. You'll notice that the labels I'm sharing with you today are much cuter than the ones I used in my activity. I made mine years ago, before I got all cutsie and such! I didn't want to share my plain, boring labels, so I quickly cutsied them up! I hope you find them useful. Just click on the image below to get a copy. 

Here are some pictures from my class:







I just wanted to share with you some of the comments I received on this post. Susie Q, from Learning With Susie Q. mentioned that this would be a good beginning of the year activity. I agree and thought it could also be used at the end of the year and the children can draw a friend and label him/her with describing words. I think it would make a cute keepsake. It can even lead into a writing activity. (Example: Billy is funny because he is always making jokes.) Then, Kristy, from Teachin' First, said that she's going to have the children draw their moms and label them with adjectives. That is a super idea and I will probably do the same. I think all the moms would love this activity! Thanks for the great ideas Susie and Kristy!

This post was written in response to the 5-Star Blogger Challenge posted on The Organized Classroom Blog. Make sure to click on over to see more great 5-Star Blogs!

Thanks for looking! If you download my labels, please leave me a comment. I just love reading all my comments! Thanks so much!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies!

It's just another Manic Monday...wish it were Sunday...my I don't have to run day. I just LOVE this song and I LOVE Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies! Thanks, Charity! 

I'm linking up and sharing a freebie I posted last week. My first and second graders write on notebook paper a lot and have a difficult time figuring out how to properly use this type of paper. To help them be successful without having to ask me, "Is this the right way?" I keep a laminated model showing the proper way to use notebook paper at each table. They find it very helpful and I love to watch them comparing their paper to the model. If you would like a copy, please click the image below.

You can link up, too! Come and join the fun!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

TpT Banner Contest...please vote for me! Thanks!

Have you heard that Teachers Pay Teachers is having a banner contest? They want to replace their old banner with a new one, made by anyone who is interested. I (almost) never turn away an opportunity to spend quality time creating, so I entered the contest. Here is my contribution:


If you like my banner, I would love it if you would click on it and vote for me. If you don't like it, I would still love your vote! LOL! Thanks so much!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Last Chance to Enter Samson's Giveaway! And some pictures from my week.

Okay, folks, we're coming down to the wire! My Samson's Classroom Giveaway contest ends at the stroke of midnight. Well, not really...it ends when I wake up tomorrow morning! Good news for all you night owls! My students have really been enjoying my free account. It's now officially their favorite computer activity. If you would like to take advantage of this giveaway, please click below for more information.


Do you all play scoot in your classroom? Whenever I tell my students that we're going to play scoot, they literally stand up and cheer. There is something about this game that really excites them. Is it the movement? Is it the fact that I move all my tables into one long line? Is it that every word I say while they are playing begins with an S? Stand, Scoot, Sit, Start, Stop! Do they realize that they're doing work? I don't think so! Scoot really came in handy last week while we were cooped up in our classroom during FCAT testing. Here are some pictures I took of my first graders playing plural nouns scoot.




My version of scoot is not as cute as the one I have at my store.  Today's weather was REALLY bad, so I took advantage of a stay at home day, and cutsied up all my scoot games. I liked them before, but now, wow! I also bundled them to make it a better value. If you are interested in checking them out, please click on the link below to see my bundled game. Once you get to my store, you can find all the games sold separately, too.


In addition to scoot, my first graders were also learning about Earth Day. They wrote expository essays about why Earth Day is important to them. First, we planned our essays on a web and then, after I conferenced with each student to edit and revise, they copied their essays onto publishing paper.









The web and publishing paper are part of my Earth Day Activity Packet. You can check it out here.

The last thing I want to share with you today is a lesson we did on sentence fragments. My first graders needed a little reminder about how to write complete sentences, so I did a group activity where I gave each table a sentence fragment and they worked together to turn it into a complete sentence. They love to write on sentence strips. I don't think this activity would have excited them as much if they had to write it on plain old paper!






Well, that's it for today. I hope everyone has a great weekend!





Thursday, April 19, 2012

Notebook Paper Freebie

My first and second graders write on notebook paper a lot and have a difficult time figuring out how to properly use this type of paper. To help them be successful without having to ask me, "Is this the right way?" I keep a laminated model showing the proper way to use notebook paper at each table. They find it very helpful and I love to watch them comparing their paper to the model.


Please let me know if you like it! Thanks!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cute plant book and a freebie

In kindergarten, we finished up our plant unit this past week. Have you ever heard of the book, A Plant Called Spot, by Nancy J. Peteraf. I can't get over how cute it is.


The children and I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the adorable illustrations. After I read the book, we talked about our favorite part. I model wrote my favorite part and then the children did the same.


 My favorite part in the book was when Teddy treated the plant nice.


We also wrote some facts about plants.


Click on the picture above to download the plant fact sheet I used.

Next up...


If you are not done planning your Earth Day activities, please check out my Earth Day Unit by clicking on the picture below. I am excited to get started using the activities next week. Have a great weekend!



Friday, April 13, 2012

Welcome to my writing classroom!

On Thursday, I was a guest blogger over at Kindergarten Lifestyle. In case you missed my post, here it is! Thanks, Jeannie, for having me over


Kindergarten Lifestyle


I am very excited to be a guest blogger here on Kindergarten Lifestyle. I love Jeannie's blog and I think the concept of guest blogging is fantastic, as it gives bloggers an opportunity to share their ideas and activities with a bigger audience. I enjoy talking, whether it is face-to-face or through blogging, and I love knowing that people are interested in what I have to say. I hope that you enjoy my post today. I will be sharing photos of my writing classroom and I will include explanations of what I do and how I utilize the many charts and displays in my classroom. I am a writing specialist for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade, so it is imperative that I have a print rich classroom, full of meaningful learning displays. I also teach grammar, science, and social studies.

The first picture I will show is my 6 traits of good writing and writing process bulletin board.


Every day, during writing workshop, my students are all in different places in the writing process. I like for my students to know that there is no beginning or ending to the writing process. That is why I hung the posters with arrows. The arrows show that they just keep going around and around. I try to focus on a different trait of good writing each week, so I hung my 6 traits posters in the middle of the board. Writing workshop in my classroom always begins with a mini-lesson from me or from one of my students who has done something wonderful the day before. My students love to be teachers and the children always listen nicely when they are in charge. Then, they do a turn and talk, where they discuss what they are going to be working on for the day. This really helps them get focused and ready. Next, is my favorite part of writing workshop, the quiet 10. This is where everyone, including myself, is writing. There is no talking, no moving around, no distractions. The lights go low and soft music plays in the background. It's very cozy and conducive to great writing. I have a writing topics display hanging for children to get ideas if they cannot think of anything to write about. If they need ideas, they must get the card(s) before the quiet 10 begins.


After the quiet 10, we spend the next 20 minutes writing and conferencing. The children sign up for conferences with me if they want to, but they cannot come to me until they have shared their story with a friend or two. This helps them to find and correct errors before they get to me. Finally, we spend about 10 minutes sharing. The children have to sign up to share and they cannot get another turn until everyone has had a turn. 

To help my students become the best writers they can, I have several displays in my classroom that they can refer to whenever they want. This is my "Types of Leads" display, which they helped to create. The children worked in groups to write a specific lead and that is what they use to remind themselves how to write each of the leads I taught them.



I also have a display that shows some good transition words for them to use in their stories. Each color displays words to use for the beginning, middle, and end of their story. Even my kindergartners use this display.


The next chart is one of the most useful charts I have hanging because it encourages my writers to write more in-depth pieces. If they show me a piece that leaves out crucial information, I take them to this chart and ask them to answer Who, What, Why, etc. If they cannot, they know that they need to go back and add in some information so the reader is not left confused and wondering what is going on in the story.



I also have a chart that shows the children how to write a super sentence. I have them refer to this chart whenever they have a sentence that needs a little more information.


My word wall is an important part of my classroom and my students and I refer to it quite often. That is why it is big and bright and spans one and a half walls in my room. It is color coded, too. All kindergarten words are in red, first grade words are in yellow, second grade words are in green, and words frequently used in writing are in orange. My younger students love to boast that they can spell words from higher grades correctly and I sometimes point out to my second graders that they are misspelling words that they learned in kindergarten.


Here is a picture of what I call "The Menu". When my students are done with their station work, they can choose many different activities to do that all involve writing. Here, they can choose something from the menu to work on.


They can also choose to complete an activity from the pocket chart. Here, they will find word searches, word wall activity sheets, stationary for writing letters, secret code spelling, and much, much more.




Wow! This post is even longer than I thought it would be!  I better stop talking! Before I go, though, as a gift to you for being such good listeners and reading this l-o-n-g post, I will share my transition words poster with you. Just click the picture below.


As you can see, I absolutely love to share my ideas and activities. I truly thank Jeannie for giving me the opportunity to expand my group of followers. If you do not already follow my blog, I would love it if you would click on over and join me.




Again, thank you so much for joining me today and I hope to see you as a regular at Teaching With Love and Laughter.








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