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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fairy Tale Fun

Over the summer we worked as a team to redo our themes for this year. Some we kept the same but we added lots of new ones....due of course to all the wonderful ideas we were getting from blogs and Pinterest! We decided to do a 2 week unit on fairy tales. I was a little worried and the groans from my boys when I announced our theme didn't help....but OH MY WORD was it FUN!! Everyone loved it even the boys!

So I thought I would share a few highlights from our week! 
I started by showing them this chart with a definition of a fairy tale.

 Then we read this AHHMAZING book that I found in our library! It is about learning how to write a fairy tale but we used it to learn about the elements of a fairy tale. It is the story of Little Red Riding Hood but on each page it has a section for you to read that highlights an element of a fairy tale. My kiddos LOVED it!!

When we were done reading we added all of the things we learned about fairy tales to our chart. We used this chart for the rest of the unit to analyze the stories we were reading to determine if they were fairy tales or not.

We did some really cute art and writing projects but of course I forgot to take pictures! They were from Jodi at Fun in First. It was a prince for the boys and a princess trapped in a tower for the girls. Jodi has the patterns and writing paper posted for free on her blog!! Of course before we did this project I wanted to read them the story of Rapunzel but......NONE of us had the book...not even the library had else is there to do but Google it! And look what I found!

Yep Rapunzel online and not just Rapunzel but LOTS of other fairy tales too...and the BEST part....they were FREE and GREAT! I mean my kiddos were GLUED to the SMART board watching it and they are still asking to listen to them on the computer. It was from the site the picture above to check out the site!

We needed some fairy tale math centers to go along with the Common Core Standards and I couldn't find any so I made some for us to use. Click on the picture below if you would like to check it out on TPT.

I also made one of my sight word books to go along with our fairy tale unit. Click the picture below to check it out.  It is included for FREE with my math centers or you can get it separately.
Hope you found something useful for the next time you teach fairy tales! I know my kiddos and I LOVED it!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Where Have I Been....AND.....Vowels

So I know that I have been MIA lately but it has been CRAZY around here!!!  We spent spring break in Florida with my cousin and her family and the hubs said no time only! I will admit it was nice to take a break! He did make an exception for my Pass the Torch Linky post (if you haven't seen it yet you should check it out I got some great ideas)!  While we were in Florida we got to visit the beach..YAY!! And we also saw some great friends who have left Wisconsin for the warmer Florida weather...and I found out she is now teaching kindergarten in Florida!  I am so excited for we have even more to talk about...don't get us started we may never stop!

When I got back to school it was time to work on report cards....WHAT I feel like I just blogged about report can't possibly be time to do them again......but now they are least until it is time to start assessing again in May!!!!

But never fear there has still been some learning going on! We have been working on fairy tales for the last 2 weeks and my kiddos are loving it...but I'm not quite ready to write that post stay tuned!

We have also been reviewing short and long vowels. We are working on one vowel each day. Here is the anchor chart we made yesterday for the letter Aa. Don't you love the "app"! That is my best attempt at drawing an iPad..oh boy..I need help!

Then my kiddos did this great short and long Aa vowel sort!  It is a freebie from Kathy at First Grade a la Carte click the picture to take you to her blog and grab them...there is one for every vowel!
Today we made this chart for short and long Ee and then did the sort. My kiddos are loving them!

I promise I will be back soon to tell all about our 2 week fairy tale unit....complete with pictures!  That is if I don't have to build an ark has been raining here for at least a week!  I think we saw the sun Monday but that was it!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pass the Torch

Get Ready for Bloggy Olympics!!!

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Join The 3AM Teacher, the Reading Olympians, and over 80 SUPREME education bloggers as we take you through a tour of the Reading Olympians Root Study Program!!

You know those times when things just seem to fall into place and you are so thankful???  Well this was one of those times for me!  I LOVE The 3am Teacher!  Michele is awesome and she is one of the first blogs that I followed. When I read about the opportunity to try out The Reading Olympians program I was beyond excited because it was just what I needed at that moment!!

I am going to admit here...please don't judge...I have never thought of explicitly teaching prefixes and suffixes in kindergarten. I have found myself  explaining in guided reading groups how we sound out words with endings like -ing, -ed, -s, or beginnings like un- but I have never explained why they are at the end or beginning of words or how they change the meaning.  I guess it just had never occurred to me. 

So when I saw this Common Core Standard - L.K.4b Use the most frequently occurring inflections and affixes (e.g. -ed, -s, re-, un-, pre-, -ful, -less) as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word.  I knew I would have to find a way to teach it...then The Reading Olympians program fell into my lap!!

After I got the program I decided to use it in my guided reading groups to introduce the concept.  This way I could pick and choose which pieces to introduce based on the ones that were occurring most in my kiddos guided reading books. My plan was originally to start with introducing suffixes to my highest reading group but after some reflection I decided to introduce it to my lowest group first - to give them even more tools to help them with word decoding and comprehension.

I started by making each of my kiddos a booklet for the -ed suffix, all with parts included in the program. We talked about the word jump first and acted it out (they LOVED it)! Then we talked about what we would say if it was yesterday when we did the jumping. I think that helped make it concrete for them.

Next we all found the word jump and pasted it onto one of our pages then we changed the meaning by cutting out and adding the -ed. 

Then we wrote the new word underneath.

We then repeated for the rest of the words in the packet. There were more words but I didn't get pictures of them all. Sorry!!

By the end all of my kiddos knew that adding -ed to the end of the word meant it happened in the past. Can a get a WooHoo!!

The next day when we read our guided reading story with the -ed ending everyone was able to read it with out sounding out the ending! YAY!  Then 1 of them even said "hey those are like the words we worked on yesterday" WooHoo 1 light bulb moment down....3 more to go!

I can't wait to get back to school after spring break and use these with the rest of my guided reading groups!! They really loved it and it was easy to pick up and use! SO....until then......

Discover the program IN ACTION in more K-6th grade classrooms as you Pass the Torch!! Get ideas, discover the progression of the program, and enter the Raffle for a chance to win ONE of the three prizes listed below!!

First Place Winner : Gold Medal

  Prizes: Complete Reading Olympians Program
            $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
            50% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Second Place Winner: Silver Medal

   Prizes: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
              40% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Third Place Winner: Bronze Medal

    Prizes: 30% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Pass the Torch!!!
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