Thursday, September 27, 2012

Comparing Numbers w/ Pac-Man

Today we did a review of number comparisons. To make it a little more interesting, as well as comprehensible, I love using good ole' Pac-Man. Shockingly, whenever I ask my students if they have heard of this early videogame character, many say that they have! For those that have not, as soon as I say "video game" their ears perk up. I always show the kiddos a picture of what the videogame screen looks like and explain how it works. 

Once we have established who "Pac-Man" is, I tie it to comparing numbers!

We discuss how the object of the game is for Pac-Man to eat all of the dots. Therefore, he always wants to eat the biggest number possible! I have the kids help me determine which of the two numbers I have presented Pac-Man would then eat, and then introduce the vocabularly we would use to read the number sentence correctly. For "equal" numbers, we talk about how because the numbers are the same, Pac-Man could go either way. We talk about how his mouth open on either side looks like an equal sign! It is open on both sides :).

Here is a quick activity sheet the kids completed to help reinforce the idea!

Click on the image to get it in English or Spanish!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Independent Reading Anchor Charts

Thought I'd share a few quick anchor charts I have created with my kids with you all that I use to get our independent reading time up and going effectively. 

I start the year by introducing the three ways to read a book: "Read the Pictures", "Read the Words", "Retell the Story". I demonstrate all three to the students, then give them several opportunities to practice while I monitor their reading. Retelling is something we work on all year long!

Another activity we do, which is very similar to the Daily 5 "I PICK" to find good fit books, is a lesson based on the text "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". I have used "I PICK" before as well, but I really like this lesson because it ties in this familiar story for the students. We read the text....

...then we discuss how we can take a lesson from Goldilocks in selecting books to read. "She" shares that we should not select books that are "too hard" or "too easy", but rather we want to read books that are "just right". We always tie it back to the whole papa bear, mama bear, baby bear deal! Here is the anchor chart we do with this text.

To assist my students in selecting "just right" books, I also teach them how to use the "Five Finger Rule". I expect them to use this rule each time they visit the classroom library as a quick reference to determine if a book is at their level. Here is the poster I have hanging in our classroom library reminding them how to use this strategy:

If you would like a copy of this poster for your classroom in English or Spanish, click here. This mini poster was inspired by an article on the site Colorin Colorado, check out the article on this rule they share here.

Going along with all of this, I also work with my students at the beginning of the year to identify the difference between "real" reading and "fake" reading. I discussed how I do this in a previous post. Click here to learn more about this beginning of the year reading lesson as well!

What are some of your favorite beginning of the year lessons to prep the kiddos for independent reading?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We are super because...

Thought I'd share our beginning of the year bulletin board with you all! 

It is titled: "Presenting the superkids..."

There were two parts to creating this board. First, my wonderful paraprofessional put together a "super themed" street scene and created blue and red capes out of butched paper. She then took a photo of each student laying across the city scene as if they were flying through the air. The kids got to select which color cape they wanted! Here are a few examples:

Then we completed the "super themed" writing piece to go along with our photos. We had a discussion about what makes us super and/or what are some super things we do or actions that we can take that superheroes do as well. Here are some examples of our work:

"I am super because I do my best work."

"I am super because I am responsible". (This may have been a day where we really hit home our PBIS expectations ;))

Here is the template if you'd like as well in English/Spanish.- Just click on it! (I tried to add the accent with a line to "súper in the Spanish" version, but I could not figure out how to create a line small enough. So I just "sharpied" it. Yes I just created a new verb.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Super "Real" Readers!

I have to start this post by saying that this idea was inspired by the amazing Hope King @ Second Grade Shenanigans. As soon as I came across it, I knew it had to be done! 

This week we have been trucking along with our Reader's Workshop/Daily 5 practice. I had it in my plans to teach the concept of "real" vs. "fake" reading from Tanny McGregor's "Comprehension Connections". This is already one of my favorite it is always great to "trick" the kiddos into thinking that I am doing a great job reading, and then reveal...I didn't understand the words I read to them! (There is always silent stares, mouths agape in shock :)). But as soon as I saw Hope's lesson about turning this into a "super themed" lesson- I changed my initial plans and jumped on board. So here is a little glimpse into what we did:

First, we created our "Super Reader" class anchor chart cape together relaying what real readers do on one side, and what fake reading looks like on the other. This one is getting hung on our wall.

Then the kids created their own capes. I asked them to copy down all of the characteristics of only a "real reader" on their capes that we had identified. After that, I asked them to draw pictures representing what real reading looks like to go with their statements. 

Here is one of my student's finished cape! Check out those "super reader" drawings! I am pretty sure I see a flying book!

Finally, (the most fun part), we wore our capes while we practiced "real reading" of course, during our independent reading time. (We just punched two holes and added some black yarn to put them around their necks.)

Today my students took their capes home to share with their parents and wear as a reminder that we need to do "real reading" at home as well!

Such a "super" lesson- thanks again Hope!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Themed Journal Cover Freebie

We have been working tirelessly to get our Daily 5 routines in place! That being said, I created these fun, themed journal covers for our "Work on Writing" center. My students can select any of the journals and must write a story with beginning, middle, and end related to the cover topic. I also asked them to write their name and date on the top of each page written, so that I can scan through and check out their work for the week. 

Click on the image to take you to my TpT store to download these free covers in English and Spanish. 
If you use them, I would appreciate your feedback!

I also had some of you request a copy of my PBIS expectation posters from my expectations post here.

I have uploaded them to Google Docs for you in English/Spanish! Click on the image to grab a free copy of these as well if you were one of the interested parties!

Linking these little diddy's up with Classroom Freebies as well! Click on the image to check out other weekly freebies!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Giving Class

Quick activity to share with you all that we did in class today during our English block, based on the text "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein.

This week we are focusing on our first school CBIS/PBIS expectation of how to "Be a Model". I shared with my students that one of the best ways we can do this is by helping others.

We read the story "The Giving Tree", chatted about how the tree helped the boy, and from here discussed how we can be more giving and helpful like the tree to others in our classroom and school. 

Then we created a class book, based on "The Giving Tree", entitled "The Giving Class". (Sorry for the awkward yellow color of all my photos...I think I need to examine the settings on my camera!).

Here are some examples of what my kiddos came up with:

My primary and ELL teachers, I am sure you can translate ;). 
Photo #1: I can help others in my school by sharing my supplies with others.
Photo #2: I can help others in my school by sharing materials. Note the superheroes!
My kiddos def. are using their Spanish knowledge to help them with their English sounds!

Photo #1: I can help others in my school by earning honor badges for the class. (This is our PBIS incentive- anyone else utilize these?! My kids are all about earning them for the whole class and working together!)
Photo #2: I can help others in my school by helping others get up!

I am excited to read our finished product to the class tomorrow!

Here is a freebie of the class book page we used for the activity if you would like to use it with you class! Border is by Scrappin Doodles and Font is from Kevin and Amanda.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Super Classroom Tour

I finally got around to it- a classroom tour! Please note that we start the year with pretty much nothing on the walls aside from titles of bulletin boards as we add everything with the kiddos. So it's pretty bare bones, but here goes:

Our "Welcome Board" outside of the classroom door. We were required to keep our extra desks in our rooms this year as there was no where to store them, so I converted one into a little table outide our door. The second picture is my chair in our carpet area. I hung a sweater organizer from the ceiling with fishing line and use it as a weekly handout organizer.

Front of the room shot. It was the end of the day so the chairs are all stacked. Each pom pom is attached to a group number to be hung over the groups of student desks.

Our name tags attached to the back of chairs. Got this idea from Hope @ Second Grade Shenanigans. I just attached them with a little ribbon.

Our classroom library. I have three shelves divided into "Fiction", "Non-Fiction", and "Good Fit Books" bins. We also have a basket of "Super Monos Lectores" (Super Reader Monkeys) that the students can read to.

We have magnetic walls, so I attached my "LEER" letters with magnets to the wall and below is a magnetic bookshelf.

"What do you Recommend?" board. We will be adding our book recommendations to this as the year progresses.

Our supply cubbies and book boxes. I used my Cricut to print out the numbers and then use contact paper/clear packing tape to attach them.

Our CAFE board, letters compliments of The Resourceful Room and our "Superkid of the Week" board. (I was the first!- Super Teacher that is.)

Science, Social Studies, and Math Word Walls. The calendar labels on my Math Word Wall are available here.

Our classroom expectations- you can find more about how we created this board here. Also, our writing center...still in the works. 

Our behavior chart- students start each day on prepared to learn and move their clips up or down.

Birthday Board- Scrunchy border idea from Peace, Love and First Grade.

Closets with our class schedule on the left, mirror (above it it reads "reflection of a superkid"), homework chart below, birthday board, class jobs chart below, and our "Superkid Promise" in English and Spanish on the right.

Classroom alphabet. You can snag a copy here.

And there you have it (for now). I'll share more as we get things up!

Linking up with Tara for...

(as all this stuff was a while in the making!)

as well as Courtney's...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Super Expectations

Wow...what a week it has been. Between starting school and trying to finish up the last few weeks of my Master's, I am just working to stay afloat- so forgive me for not posting too much lately!

One of my favorite ladies, Candis, over at I Teach Dual Language is hosting a beginning of the school year, classroom expectations linky. So I thought I'd take a quick moment to join in the fun.

Here is our expectation board we have been working on all week:

In our building this year, we started "CBIS", which is our school (Canterbury) version of PBIS. With CBIS we have 4 main expectations for students throughout all areas of the school: "Be a Model", "Be Responsible", "Be Respectful", and "Effort". I of course, deemed them "Super Expectations" for our classroom's purpose and created this board to go along with them. Each larger poster represents one of these expecations.

On the first day, we discussed what these expecations look like in our classroom. I had the students create illustrations to go along with the ideas. For instance, in the picture above for "Be Respectful", the students drew pictures to represent how to do this- using kind words and actions, caring for materials, using quiet voices, raising hands, etc.

Finally, thoughout the rest of the week, we discussed what these expecations look like throughout the rest of the school. I got the idea of creating these posters for relaying these expectations in the rest of the building from Amy Lemons. Here are a copy of hers in English. 

Click on any of the image below to snag a copy of the ones I created for my kiddos in Spanish for the hallway, bathroom, cafeteria, and recess. (Please note, you do need to add a tilde to the "n" in baño", as the font I chose wouldn't let me do it! I just quickly added it with a Sharpie!).


Posters created with images from Dreamlike Magic and Print Candee, and fonts from Kevin and Amanda.