Monday, October 17, 2016

3 Star Work

Ever since I was a little girl, my dad always taught me to do things right the first time.  I've carried that mentality with me throughout my entire life.  Sometimes it drives me crazy because I don't understand why everyone doesn't think/act like this.  Especially my students.  But then I remember they are only 6-7 years old and may not have been taught it.  So, I complete my duty as their teacher/role model and teach it to them!   The way I teach my kids about "doing it right the first time" is by showing them how to complete quality work.  I have a designated area in my classroom for this type of work and any anchor charts/rubrics that we've completed together.  Over the years, it's changed as far as how large the area is, what the area is called, and what it looks like.  One constant has remained the same:  DO NICE WORK THE FIRST TIME and BE PROUD OF THE WORK YOU'VE DONE.  

This year's area is a chunk of my large bulletin board.  We made an anchor chart together about what 1-star vs. 3-star work would look like.  *This is a mini-lesson in my Personal Narrative Writing pack; I just expanded on it.  I told the students that when I "grade" their papers, they may earn 3 stars and that they should always strive for that.  I also shared that I would be looking for 3-star, quality work to be displaying on the board.  This helps to give them strong visual examples of exemplar work.  I found the large eyeballs at Target in the Halloween area this year...aren't they fun!?

I also have this sign hanging up...I say "Do it nice..." and the kids respond with "Or do it twice."  I definitely hold them accountable for this.  It usually only takes having one or two kids re-do their work before they all realized I'm not kidding and I will follow through!  *Click the image below to get it.

Here's a coloring rubric that we completed earlier in the year...found in my Writing Workshop Resources pack.

 Here's last year's "Wow Work" area.

Do you have an area like this in your classroom?  How do you display exemplar work?  Leave a comment below!  I'd love to hear!

Friday, October 14, 2016

5 for Friday 10.14.16

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching for another Five for Friday!

Last weekend I met up with my BFF and we went to an awesome traveling boutique EXPO!  It was so cool!  There were tons of Air-stream trailers and little vendors that sold the cutest clothes, jewelry, and home goods!  I of course had to take my festive coffee coozie by my blogging bestie, Missy Squirrels! Tis the season!

 Below are a few of my purchases!  Love them!!

Speaking of the season, I'm getting excited about doing my Little Green Witch activities!  This is one of my favorite products in my TpT store.  The story is so cute and I love all the activities that my kids do after reading.  There are written response papers, a craft, vocab, and much more!  Click below to check it out!  Perfect for this time of year!


I recently picked up this cordless light switch and I placed it behind my Guided Reading table.  When I am meeting with a group {or individual students}, I turn it on.  The kids know they CAN NOT interrupt me unless it's an absolute emergency.  It's great!  Get one for yourself below!!!


My Growing Differentiated Math Games Bundle has had two recent additions lately: Addition and Subtraction! We've been having a lot of fun playing games from both!  Grab the growing bundle below!  It currently has: Number Sense, Place Value, Addition, and Subtraction.  Coming later are Measurement and Data and Geometry.

Look at this great idea using all those mini-erasers we all have from the Target Dollar Spot!  This idea is from We Heart First.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Short Vowel Practice

We are starting digraphs this week and wrapped up our short vowel review last week.  We've been in school for 9 weeks now {WHOA!}.  It may seem like we are moving at a slower pace than what you would think, but many of our students do not attend pre-school and come to kindergarten very behind.  We are always playing catch-up.  We spend the first two or three weeks on procedures, routines, behavior, etc..during that time we are also reviewing letter ID, letter sounds, and alphabet order.  After that, we move into short vowels...starting with a and all the word families that go with it.  Each week is dedicated to a short vowel and its word families.  This helps get our kids back into "reading/school" mode.  It also refreshes them from kindergarten, as many do not have books at home and do not read during the summer months.  Today I am sharing a few of my favorite things to do with CvC words.

Each week, we have a poem that goes along with one of our cvc word families that we are studying. We practice the poem every day and by Friday, the kids read it chorally {or alone!} and then we go on a word family and sight word hunt.  Finally, the poems are placed into their poetry folders.  Each week, we re-read old poems before adding our new one.  The kids are also allowed to read their old poems whenever they have extra time or during quiet reading time.

On Mondays, we always begin with a word sort.  Both the kids and I write the words.  Then we read them together and look for the patterns to circle/color.  Finally, the kids take turns making sentences orally with their words.

We practice on our slates one day during the week.  This is usually a phoneme substitution activity. Sometimes, we break into teams and have dry erase races where I call a word and the teams race to spell it correctly!  The kids love this!

We do word sorts with practice pages or cards.

We play a game once or twice...Jeopardy is a favorite!!!  *All my Phonics Jeopardy games are bundled.  You can also purchase them individually.

I try to incorporate a craft, as well.  This ladybug is from Crafty Bee Creations.  I just made some short u dots to go with it!

We do a find-a-friend or write-the-room-activity.

I pull kids for extra practice {when I can!!}.  We do flash card races, which is a favorite.  We also play "Around the World" with the word cards.

Listening for the vowel sounds in words I call out and clipping accordingly on our vowel clip charts is a great way to review!

Reading our cvc fluency strips helps us get faster at decoding these words!

We practice the word family/vowel sound we are working on in centers...this was one of last week's center activities...we were reviewing all 5 vowel sounds.

Here's another center from a few weeks back when we were reviewing short a and short e.  They are working on clip cards...matching word families to pictures.  Magnetic letter practice is a favorite, too!

We practice sentence writing...using our sentence rubric.  This is excellent practice!  The rubric is a nice visual.