Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rewards Catalog

Every school year as I stock up on purple ink pens, cardstock, laminating film, blue painter's tape, and sheet protectors (and other back to school essentials), I always wander over to the party favors and other areas located inside the stores that are stocked with inexpensive toys. Ah, the treasure chest. It is something I debate every school year. Should I really spend all that money on these "trinkets" that students will choose, enjoy for a moment and then probably discard a few days later? Will I feel guilty if I don't reward a student for having a good week? If I ask for parent donations, will it be something that can be done all school year? I decided that treasure box is just something I can not pay for anymore. Instead, I am using a Rewards Catalog which allows the students to choose a special reward after not losing a star for 5 days. If you are interested in the Rewards Catalog it can be found here (free).

Students get to "shop" by looking through a "catalog" and choose what they would like to do as a reward. Sit beside a friend for the day, wear slippers in the classroom, or bring a stuffed animal to sit in their table area are just a few of the choices.

I organized the pages in plastic sheet protectors and placed those in a binder. I reduced the black and white pages so that I had 4 to a page and then cut them apart. They are slipped in the plastic sheet protector behind the pages. Once the student "shops" and chooses the reward, I take out the smaller copied version and send it home with the students. I asked them to try and bring the little "coupon" back to school when they want to do the activity they chose, but I also keep a list of their choices.

If you have any other reward ideas, please write them in the comments section or email me and I will include it and update the catalog!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lesson Plans Sept. 2-5

This week we will read the books from Journeys Unit 1.1. The writing sheets and centers are from the Families Unit here and here.
Whole Group Reading
Tuesday- we will read Building with Dad and write about some of the machines in the story.
 Wednesday- we will read What Makes a Family? and complete a graphic organizer about the book.
 Thursday- we will read Abuela and write about the places they visited in the story (events).
 Friday- we will re-read all stories and write about something we like to do with our family.

Literacy Centers
Octopus Center- stamp letters & computer
Jellyfish Center - ABC Matching & read books in classroom library
Crab Center-Color Word Sentences & free choice writing 
Turtle Center- Sound Sort Aa/Ff & Games
Fish Center- Popcorn word cut and paste & word/letter work (playdough and watercolors)

We will study the letters Aa and Ff.
Tuesday-Read Apple Auntie and make a web of pictures of words that begin with short /a/. The students will complete a web by drawing 4 pictures from our class web.
Wednesday-Read "My Aa Book" (Moncure books) and write the letters A & a
Thursday-Read Friendly Frog and make a web of pictures of words that begin with /f/. The students will complete a web by drawing 4 pictures from our class web.
Friday- Read "My Ff book" (Moncure books) and write the letters F & f.
 Students will take a "spelling test" by writing the letter A or F on their dry erase board to name the beginning sound of words I tell them.

Predictable Chart
The student strips to create the sentences can be found here.

Counting Unit
Tuesday-Dump and Count
Wednesday-Count and Slide
Thursday-Counting with story mats

Math Centers are free exploration with math manipulatives. I will begin introducing the Kathy Richardson counting centers here.

We will also do the craftivity here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Predictable Charts

This year I have planned my Predictable Charts to include the weekly popcorn words. Last week our words were I, am, and a. Our predictable chart was "I am (student name)."

There are a couple of ways to write the predictable chart. The purpose is to write with and for the students - for them to see you write, for you to model it. The charts also provide predictable text which is easy to read and the student responses make it relevant and personal (motivating to read). I write with and for my students during the Morning Message and model writing during mini-lessons for Writing Workshop. When you are writing the same sentence 21 times and asking for individual student responses, the students get wiggly really fast. So, I prewrite the prompts before the students arrive and add a few student responses each day until every child has a sentence. Another way for you to do this is to write the prompts with the students as they watch you write.

I added student photos to the student names so it was easier to read.
I asked each student to tell me his/her name, I spelled it as I wrote it, then I read the complete sentence and the students echoed me. I did 1/4 the class on Monday, 1/4 on Tuesday, 1/4 on Wednesday and 1/4 on Thursday.

Instead of cutting the original chart and giving each student their sentence to cut apart,  I made  smaller versions for them to cut and assemble. We did this activity on Friday.
If you are interested in trying this with your students, I have an editable version (with and without the popcorn around the words) here.

You can cut the sections for the students or give them the strip to cut apart. 
They will put the sentence in order, glue the words to the paper and then illustrate.
You can create a class book with these pages or display them with the chart.

Our chart this week is "I like my _____." 
I wrote the prompts and the student names to the side. 
During class I will complete the sentence with the students' responses.

The editable student strips for this chart can be found here.

I will be adding the editable student strips for the Predictable Charts each week to my TpT store.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Classroom Photos 14-15

This was the first school year I was able to get my room finished in just one day!
It is very similar to how the classroom was set up last year. 
View from the door

Teaching Area

Small Group Area

The drawers are book boxes.

Wish Fish

 Welcome to School hallway display
I wrote the student names on the fish.

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