Friday, April 21, 2017

Five for Friday 4.21.17

TGIF!  I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

Last week was SPRING BREAK!!!!!!!  I was so happy to go to Florida for 10 days after being penned up in my house for 11 weeks this winter due to my shoulder surgery.  Mr. Wheeler and I went down and had a beautiful time!  The weather was perfect...85 and sunny the whole time.  Zero rain! Below are a few photos from our trip!

Mr. Wheeler and I have a new niece!  She was born this past Monday in Orange County, California! She's perfect!  We sent her this awesome baby blanket, which was made by none other than my bestie, Missy Squirrels.

Eric Litwin, the author of the one and only Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, has a new book out!  It's part of "The Nuts" series.  It's a great song and picture book for your children or students.  Click HERE to check out Eric's website!

I made my kids a little Easter snack since I was SICK with the FLU the entire week before spring break.  I didn't get to give them the treat until this past Monday.  I told them the Easter Bunny  must have left it for them!  I found the carrot bags at Target.

We've been working on graphing in Math and making tally charts was an area we have been focusing on.  We played a game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to review before our test.  Every year, my kids LOVE the dice!  You can get the recording sheet HERE and grab the awesome dice by clicking below!


Enjoy your weekend!  25 days left for us!  How many for you???


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Poetry Galore!!!!

Hello, friends!  Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?  I am a sucker for teaching poetry to my first's one of my favorite things to teach all year!  Today I'm going to share what I do to celebrate and encourage using poetry in the classroom.

For starters, I begin with a Phonics poem a week early in the year.  I select a poem from one of two books shown below.  You can grab them by clicking the covers.  We practice the poem at the pocket chart daily for fluency.  On Monday, we do a visualization activity.  The kids close their eyes and I do the first read aloud.  They have their clipboards, crayons, and visualization sheets in hand. After I finish, they draw what they visualized in their minds.  I give them a few minutes to draw and then they hold their pictures up.  We talk about how our pictures look slightly different but there are key elements that are the same in all of our pictures.


As the week progresses, we read the poem daily at the pocket chart.  This is done in an echo read, popcorn read, choral read, flashlight read {in the dark with someone pointing with a flashlight}, etc...students even lead the poem for the class to echo towards the end of the week, when they are confident!  On Friday, the kids get their own, individual copies.  They circle the sight words as well as the phonics pattern we were studying that week.  For example, if we studied bossy r and our poem was "A Horse Named Cora," they will circle all the "or" words.  They add the poems to their poetry folders {see below for explanation}.

*Poetry Folders Explained: Every spring {I like to prep ahead for the fall}, I prepare poetry folders for my kids.  I buy the cheap 3-prong folders and add about 20 clear sheet protectors inside.  I slap on a label that says "Poetry Folder."  Each week when we learn a new poem, the kids add the printout of it to their folders.  In addition, we re-read previous poems for fluency.  Poetry folders are a great way to practice fluency!

Another way I incorporate poetry into our everyday learning is by having poetry books on hand.  I have a bucket in my classroom library that is full of poetry books.  The kids can choose those for their weekly book shopping if they want.  *If you don't have poetry books in your classroom library, you can always pick some up at the public library to have out during April!

During Writing Workshop for the month of April, I teach my kids how to write poetry!  This is a BLAST!  We learn about 9 different types of poetry throughout the month and everyone gets to write at least 2 poems of each kind.  Some of our favorites are: acrostic, rhythm, and riddle poetry.  I must say that even my struggling readers/writers shine during poetry instruction!  Poetry doesn't have a lot of "rules" when it comes to written expression, therefore students are able to write freely without worrying about punctuation or capital letters.

After we've learned all about the various types of poetry and had the chance to write them, we have a "Poetry Cafe!"  *I am sure to keep all the kids' poems throughout the unit.  We compile our favorite poems into an anthology and decorate covers.  The parents are invited and we share our poems in a coffeehouse format.

The poetry cafe is a celebration that's sure to be remembered by my students for many years to come!
If you'd like to check out my poetry resources, you can do so below.

PS-Here's a great Poetry Resource.  Click the cover to get it:


Friday, April 7, 2017

Five for Friday 4.7.17

TGIF!  I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday.  

I went back to work last week after 11 weeks off due to shoulder surgery.  It was ROUGH but I made it.  Every night I came home sorer than the previous night.  By Friday, I was in a LOT of pain. Luckily my sub stayed with me for the first day back.  I was able to watch her and see where she was as far as content.  I surprised my sub and I decided not to tell them.  They were so happy!  I brought donuts and milk to celebrate.

I didn't take many pictures last week--too busy to snap them, but I did manage to take a picture of one of my favorite packs in use, my "Long Vowels and Vowel Teams" pack.  Here the kids were matching pictures to words and writing them on the provided recording sheet.  We've been reviewing one vowel and its vowel team patterns each week in centers.

In the midst of heating up my rice bag for my shoulder and many cups of hot water for tea, I managed to ruin our microwave...the repairman said heating things that aren't food can blow the main circuit board.  I decided it was time to invest in a tea kettle.  I got this cute Le Creuset one:

I did some Math rotations for Math one day last week.  We're working hard on meeting our subtraction fluency goal, so the centers focused on that.  I used printables from my "Subtraction Games on the Fly" pack.  *Click the cover below to check it out!  To group my kids, I use colorful ponytail holders.  This allows me {and them} to quickly identify who is in which group.

My long term sub was SO good!  She instantly built rapport with all of my students.  She communicated with me throughout my time off, as she knew I'd never been out long-term and was terrified of leaving my room.  My room was in great shape when I went back to work.  What a blessing!  Halfway through the week, she stopped by and left me this sweet note and a DONUT POINTER!  She knows my love for all things donuts!  My kids love using it during our Phonics lessons!!!

For April Fool's Day {actually I did this on Friday}, I brought in some "BROWN E'S" for my kids.  I told them all morning that I'd leave them on their desks when they go to lunch/recess.  When they came back, they were surprised at what was there!  Hahaha!  Fortunately for them, I made real brownies for them, too!  You can grab the "Brown E's" freebie below to file away for next year!

Hope you have a nice weekend.  I've been fighting the flu this week and it has been a KILLER.  I missed several {more} days of work.  Luckily, my long term sub was available and I didn't have to do sub plans.  I physically couldn't get out of bed for 3 days.  I am SO over being pent up in the house! 11 weeks was long enough!