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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Do You Need Some Sparkle In Your Life?

So I started to think about what has been missing from my core reading program that would make teaching our youngest learners more effectively. With that in mind I also wanted it to align to the new CCSS so it can be used in the future. Our program marches through the sight words like a ball of fire so I decided to change that up a little. I  created four different readers using the sight word "the". In addition to this, I wanted students to practice coloring, tracing, cutting and pasting to build their fine motor skills.  It is also important to build academic language and address the needs of English language learners. In this packet I included sentence strips so that students can practice the language of these emergent readers in a pocket chart to build their confidence and print awareness. Sticky dots can be used under each word so they can track the text. These four readers cross a variety of content areas too. I think this is a great tool for a kindergarten teacher who does not want to race through her program and would like to build capacity while aligning to the CC. Whew! This was way too cognitive. I need to take a nap!
Do you need this? I think this is ideal for Transitional Kindergarten. I better print some of these for my TK buddies. Click on this picture to get to my TpT store. Have a fantastic Sunday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Are your reading Pete to kick off the year?

My kindergarten friends asked me to make a headband for students to wear home on the first day of school. It has to be Pete the Cat! Picture your students hearing this fabulous book, singing the song, and going home with a positive message about school. Another year... make it your best ever. This is just a quick little freebie that your students can color ( Have everyone hold their blue crayon in the air before it hits their paper- just sayin'.)
You can put this on a sentence strip if you want quick and easy and see who can actually write their name. Okay now run around the room like a nut putting names on most of them.) Who said teaching wasn't a workout? Grab your Pete right here.
I want to know who has the guts to let them cut this out on the first day of school. It might be a good idea to wait a bit before you release the scissors to five year old people.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Common Core Collaboration With A Freebie

So I have been really busy this week preparing for my Common Core training.There was so much to learn and understand. Remember, I am OLD.  I am working at a new school where the teachers function as one big family and support each other really effectively. The training went very well (thank goodness) and the administrator participated right along with his teachers. WOW! It was impressive to watch him make important connections with his staff, reminding them of the work they have already done. He validated their thinking through the entire session. I wrapped up these mini apples and used a tag to make the room look a little more inviting and they loved it! At the end of the day I had a slide about the importance of reflection and they wrote me beautiful notes with their personal ones in relation to their own Common Core journey. I am blessed to be at this school. If you want these apple tags grab them right here. Everyone loves a little gift to sweeten their day!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bringing An Apple to Common Core Training

I have been in Common Core training for several weeks now and we are rolling it out to our district teachers this week. Yup, like they don't have enough going on in their classrooms. Anyhow I really wanted to make it a little extra fun so I talked to the other trainers and naturally my friend Karen thought of giving everyone an apple. Cute- right? So I decided to make a label for the apple, tie it up in a clear baggie with curling ribbon and add a plastic knife. At least the teachers can have a snack while I present my Power Point. I also added some funny e-cards and freebies. What teacher doesn't love free stuff? I am giving you these labels for free if you think your school might like using them when doing a training... I will upload them after the giant sale on TpT.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I Finally Posted The Tags For You!

TpT was not cooperating with me last night but I woke up today and finally got these packets up. I had to split them into two parts because the files were so big. I recommend buying them both if you are a primary teacher so you have a complete set. This was more work than I anticipated but I think it is something every classroom teacher will be grateful for. My Transitional Kindergarten teachers are going to love me so much... I am so excited to have these available. Click on the picture to go to my shop. There are some great Back to School packets that will help to get you started this year!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tags Are Terrific!

So many teachers have asked me for tags that they can personalize for their class. This takes time to customize but I finally finished a variety of different kinds that can be purchased soon in my TpT and TN store. I love how them turned out. I used the same icons in each set which is ideal for a primary classroom. These are the kinds of tags I created:
1. Name Tags (fit WalMart badge holders)
2. Photo Tags
3. Desk Tags (clutter free)
4. Notebook or Journal Tags
5. Cubbie Tags (builds independence)
6. Backpack Bling Tags ( a place for student's first and last name with teacher's name
    and room #)      
7. Award Tags (for reading, writing, math, and for just being a rock star)
8. Birthday Circle Tags to make birthdays feel special

Now students will recognize their icon and eventually connect this to their name. They will see their name all over the classroom which will build their recognition skills quickly. Before you know it they will know the names of their classmates too and can use their tags to work in the Writing Station. The best part is that you can print out as many sets as you want. I send home the desk tags when I want my students to practice writing their name. So... I will post these if you are interested and remember to tag along and get yourself a set if this will make your life easier!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Stick Up For Your English Language Learners!

We all pull sticks to call on our students in kindergarten. They love when their name is pulled and allows them an opportunity to speak (even when they have nothing to say). I use this management tool a little differently in my classroom and it has really helped me as a teacher. I color code them by their language level. So red might mean the student is a Beginner and blue is for an Early Intermediate, etc. Why is this such a great idea? It forces me to remember that all students need an opportunity to talk but my more limited English children need lots of practice.
After students have modeled appropriate responses I pull a stick that is color coded for my ELL's and I know that I am providing them with important speaking time. On the back of the can I made labels for my coding just so a substitute will be able to use this effectively too! This is such an easy way to differentiate.
Notice that I used labels for their names and colored the tips of the sticks with different colors, using markers. The can came from Target dollar spot and this took very little time to put together. Do you use this management strategy or do you like something else better?