Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Open My Door... Come In To Explore

Happy New Year to all my teacher friends. I have many resolutions, including blogging more often but I swear life just rolls along at top speed for me. Here are a few things I have created that have kept me busy.

Wow, are you having trouble getting back into the swing of things? Two weeks and getting out of my pj's and putting on real clothes feels cruel and unfair to me. When that alarm went off Monday morning I felt tortured but was excited to be back with my students. Talk about mixed emotions.
I sent a winter packet home with my students during this holiday break and was anxious to see who would come back with it. I designed it to review many of the concepts that they need to move forward in the new year. Guess what? Most of them did the packet and did it well. We went over it on our first day back (or why bother) and it was well worth the time. It was a great teaching tool to review concepts and let them share their work. I recommend doing this if you are concerned that your students might lose ground over the break. My FB fans had mixed feelings about me doing this and I loved reading their reasons!

Here are some of the things I made to return to work to get started with a new trimester and new skills. I now build my own homework week by week so it is customized to the needs of my own students. This has made a huge difference! We go over it every Friday and it really gives me a huge sense of what my students can do independently! Wooza! It also lets me know if parents are supporting their learning! Talk about an old dog learning new tricks!
We are moving on to a new set of sight words now so I sent home the list for parents to keep and use with their child. Finally, I wrote a new emergent reader about snow using the sight words big and small. We are just starting a new unit on seasons and weather so this was a nice way to introduce snow and arctic animals. They loved this little book.
In top of all this blending sounds to make words is a skill that my students need to start working on. This can be so challenging for an English language learner and I have to pull out all the bells and whistles to teach this.

Don't I look organized... not so much. However this is set up for the kids to work on collaboratively in small groups of 4 once I have worked on it during guided reading. These are Open Court letter sound cards that I group to make simple cvc words. Students work on a mat to lay down the letter that makes the sound on the card, blend them together to figure out the word. We call this "riddle me" and my students will love this. When students help each other many of them acquire skills faster and it feels less threatening. Each team has their own set of cards and a recording sheet. Once they finish their set they will rotate to a new set of cards. Could be a disaster or the most fun in the world! I will let you know... pinky promise. Now off  to start my Tuesday! What are you doing in your room? Open your door and let me see...
Oh I almost forget... look what I got over the holiday break from my husband! It was the best surprise ever but I will let you in on a secret. Come a little closer. I think he was dying to own this but worried that I would not be too enthusiastic. The man loves me but he loves cars (a little more), just sayin'.

Have a great day of teaching!

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