Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Product, Giveaway, and Sale All Wrapped into ONE Brightly Colored Package!

I have so much to share with you all on this lovely Thanksgiving eve!

First, I wanted to let ya'll know that I am participating in a jam-"pack" filled giveaway with Kristen over at Easy Teaching Tools to have a lil fun celebratin' "Christmas (Early) in November".

Seriously friends...Santa stuffed his bag on this one as there are 26 amazing products to be won! Click on the link above or the giveaway image to check them all out! The giveaway begins today and runs through December 1st!

Going along with this giveaway, I thought I'd unveil my latest product to you all! 
This one, I will admit, veers a bit from my "primary" roots, as it is geared for intermediate grades. I had the priviledge of teaching a lesson on place value in one of our 4th grade classrooms this past week and to close we had a blast with this little "I have...Who has...? Review Game. This game focuses on numbers in the ten thousands to the billions place and is available in both English/Spanish for my 4/5 teacher friends! You can check it out at my store by clicking on the image below....OR...feel free to enter yourself in the "Christmas in November" Giveaway as this little diddy was my contribution (and let's be honest there are a ton of other wonderful products you can win from some of your fave. bloggers as well!)

Now...have no fear my dear primary friends...I have an update for you as well!
Last year I had posted my "I have...Who has...? Place Value Game I had used with my second graders that went from the ones to ten thousands place. However, as I used it as a bridge to English for them I only had originally created it in one language. While creating the intermediate grade game, I felt compelled to go back and update the primary to English AND Spanish. Thus, for those who have already purchased it (go back and redownload the update if you would like both versions!)....and those who were holding off before when it only came in English- feel free to click on the image to check out a  preview of what it now looks like in both!

Oh and one more thing!....A little glimpse into the future....

Yes, friends, in honor of CYBER Monday, TpT will be working alongside a variety of sellers, like myself, to host a ginormous SALE. My newest products above, along with all others in my store, will be 28% off when you use the code in this adorable image compliments of Krista Wallden! The sale will run Dec. 2-3, so start loadin' your favorite items in your carts and on your wishlists now! There is no better way to spend Thanksgiving day after the turkey coma has set in and all the family has gone home- veg out and shop away!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Oral Language Groups

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to model an oral language group or two for some of our staff. Oral language groups are a wonderful way to help not only ELLs/SSLs build their second language, but are also a great strategy for any student who needs to develop vocabulary, specific speech and sentence structure patterns, etc.

I thought I would share one of the lessons that I did with you all as it follows a pretty basic format that could be adapted to a variety of students and topics. This lesson is a two day lesson that I did in two 20 minute blocks with a group of four first graders at the beginning stages of their second language development in Spanish. The goal was to build their understanding of how to form simple sentence with a commonly used key phrase. (Please note: A similar lesson could most certainly be done in English as well!)

The Lesson...
Day 1: 

After going over the expectations for an oral language group, I began by placing the following objects on the table in front of the students without the labels. I then asked them to turn and talk to a table partner and share anything they knew about them (names, what they can do with them, etc.)

After the students had a sufficient opportunity to share with one partner, I encouraged them to share their ideas out to the group. (Note: The partner strategy often helps students to get their ideas out in a less intimidating way. It also gives them a chance to hear some ideas of others that they then may be able to share out to the group!) As the students shared what they knew about the objects, we placed labels next to them with the object names and practiced reading/identifying the objects several times.

I then introduced the students to one of my favorite books for building vocabulary - "Veo" aka "I Spy".  We discussed what the term "veo" meant and I asked the students to show me which part of their body they utilize to "see" objects.

I opened the book up to a selected photo and presented the students with this key phrase...

I instructed the students to look at the photo and using the phrase share items that they saw with their table partner. (Some of the students may share the name in the dominant language or may simply provide a description, which is perfectly fine- it can be a teaching point when sharing with the group!).

After the students had sufficient time to talk with their partners, I told them we would be working together as a group to write the text for this page of the book. I strategically covered the author's words with white construction paper ahead of time, as I wanted the students to come up with their own ideas. Thus, as the students shared their key phrases and items spied, I wrote their ideas onto the paper.

Notice anything about the picture?! Yes, the objects we discussed ahead of time or "realia" as I prefer to call them helped prep the students for success when sharing! Furthermore, as I wrote the students words, I also added a small picture to go along with our sentence to continue to foster comprehension. Many time the students shared new words as well! After we finished our text, we reread it together as a group.

Day 2:

To begin Day 2, we worked together to reread the words we had written describing our photo. I then presented the students with the idea that during this session they would be working to create their own "Veo" books.

I must say...there is nothing fancy to be seen here...but it is very quick and practical to put together! I simply folded a piece of computer paper together with a piece of double sided handwriting paper with space for a picture!
Each student started by copying the title "Veo" onto their cover page along with their name.

After creating the cover, I instructed the students to write 4 "Yo veo _____" statements (one on each page) along with a corresponding picture to represent what they had written. I let the students know that it was okay to select from the items we had investigated and/or to take it a step further if they were comfortable and search for items around their classroom to add. Either way they were working with that key phrase I really wanted them to master!

In this example, the student chose to write phrases using some of the items we explored.

On this page, the student chose to branch out and include an item she saw in her classroom (there were leaves they had created as a class hanging up!)

To finish our lesson, I asked the students to read their story to a partner in the group. They then placed their story in their classroom book boxes as it is now a comprehensible text that they can read (at their level ;)) to practice their Spanish!

As I stated above, this is just one (basic) example of an oral language group... but it is one that could be adapted very easily. I encourage you to include photos, books, etc. that are connected to your content along with sentence patterns and vocabulary that are geared toward what you would like your students to master! You will be amazed how quickly your students not only develop language, but also how comprehension and literacy skills improve as a whole when you work with them to foster their oral skills!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Currently November!

I can't believe it is already November. Time's a flyin'!

Linking up with "Oh' Boy 4th Grade" to share a bit about how I'm ringin in this month...

1.) Anyone else love a good "E! True Hollywood Story"? Something about learning about celebrities lives is just so intriguing. 

2.) I love fall. If I can curl up with a blanket in a big oversized sweatshirt, I am set!

3.) Chores...I think there are some dishes in my sink that I am trying to convince to wash themselves as well.

4.) Some of my colleagues and I are heading to the Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago today to check out their "Dia de los Muertos" exhibit. Then we are heading out for a local restaurant for dinner! It's so nice to spend QT together outside of school!

5.) Alright ya'll...the fiancé and I are seeking out a fab. honeymoon destination! We are trying to find somewhere unique and different to go but that isn't over the top, going to cost as much as our wedding, expensive. Suggestions?

Sidenote: We got our engagement photos back this week and they are just too fun not to share a just for kicks...

A little more serious...

A little more goofy...

My amazing photog. friend Marissa Webb captured these beauties for us.

6.) Finally something yummy to share...

I haven't made these puppies yet...but they look absolutely scrum-diddly-umptious for the season!

What are you all up to this month?