Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Context Clues!

We are working on context clues right now and we have ONE more week before the holiday break. (Woohoo!)  I'm trying to make this as fun as I can.:)  Next week we are going to do some simple activities with context clues and one of those activities is with holiday words. 

Here's a look at a few of the pages in this download...


Match the gift tags with the correct gift.


 Use this page to write predictions and text clues.
Students use the blank tags to write their own sentences with clues.
Of course I added the QR codes so the kids can self check...this is a favorite in our class!

Here's a few other things that we are using this week to help us with context clues...

( we added this to our reader's notebooks)

 They had a great time with this I had them write their own sentences and trade with a friend!

Have a great holiday!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nouns ~ Verbs ~ Adjectives

We have been working hard learning about nouns and adjectives.  This week we introduced verbs... and now we are getting all these words confused! AHHH!  SO, now we are reviewing and sorting to keep it all straight!

Here's  a few things I came up with to help us out!
We started with adding some flipbooks to our writer's notebooks.


I also made a word sort for a little extra practice.


I also made this little pop-up game.  I play these all the time in my class...the kids love them because they get to "pop-up" and shout out their answers.  In this game, I divide the kids into teams.  Each team gets a set of cards that say- noun, verb, adjective.  I put the word cards in a bag.  I draw one card out and read it.  If they know if it is a noun, verb, or adjective they "Pop-Up" and shout their answer.  The person who shouts the answer first uses the word in a sentence.





Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Character Traits

We are just beginning to study character traits.  I am using all the cute anchor charts from Pinterest...I'm sure you've seen them!
Here's one...

I am also teaching the kids to really understand not only what a character trait is, but how we figure out what the character's trait is and why it's so important to know that. 

These are the essential questions we go over EVERY DAY when teaching character traits:

*How do you learn about a character's traits?
*Why is it so important to learn about a character's traits?
I am using the FAST acronym to help the kids answer the first essential question: How do you learn about a character's traits.
Pay attention to the character's...
I'm sure you've seen this before... I saw it on Pinterest. I made this little page to add to the reader's notebook.  I plan to use it after read-alouds so we can write down our evidence that helps us figure out a character's traits.  Write the character's name in the diamond and the evidence in each section.

I also plan to have the kids make this little flip book to add to the reader's notebooks.  They will write down the answers to the essential questions under the flap.
Under the first flap: How do you learn about a character?
We will write:
Pay attention to the character's:
Under the second flap: Why is it important to learn about a character's Traits?
We will write:
To understand the character.
To understand and connect with the story.
A few of my favorite read-alouds for character traits are:
*Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
by- John Steptoe
*The Memory String
by- Eve Bunting
*A Day's Work
by-Eve Bunting
by-Janell Cannon
*A Bad Case of Stripes
by- David Shannon
Here's a short little quiz over character traits that also includes the essential questions.
My kids love to use the QR codes to check their answers, so I made another activity using QR codes.  They choose a character traits that describes the character in the short passage.  On some of these, they also have to list the clues that helped them figure out the character trait. 

I hope you find something useful here!

Saturday, September 21, 2013


We are just starting to teach inferring.  I am going to use  many of the same lessons and materials I used last year.  If you want to see what that is, you can find it all HERE.

I did make a few other things to use this year with my lessons.  The kids love the little flip books we make and add to our reader's notebooks, so I made some to use with our lessons.

I made a general flip book to use with our read-alouds.
I love to teach the inferring lessons using poetry.  I always use this book:

Beast Feast
by- Douglas Florian
I made this little flip book with one of the poems from this book.  I removed the title so the students would have to find the clues and infer what animal the poem is about. (by the way, in case you need it...the title of the poem is The Whale) :)
I also made some inferring activities for stations using QR codes.  Students check their answers by scanning the QR code.  I think this is my favorite...they will love this!
Here's a view of a couple of the QR codes in this download:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Open House, Curriculum Night...and all that other stuff!

I know this is REALLY late for most of you.  It has been a super busy start to the school year! I'm sure you have already had Open House or Curriculum night....but maybe you can save these ideas for next year!

The theme at my school this year is "Sweet on Success."  So all the decorations have something to do with candy.  On our first day we made this lollipop to get to know eachother a little bit.  We hung it up in the halls for open house.

During the first week, we made a getting to know you banner.  Each student completed a piece of the banner.  I added their picture to the top.

This is what it looks like all put together!

We did a getting to know you activity the first week of school with the iPads.  This was my favorite!  It turned out so cute.  We used a new app I found called Tellagami.  I will definitely be using this again for research, book summaries and anything else I can think of.  The kids LOVED it!
Here is the app:

This is a FREE app!
First, I paired up the students in my class and they interviewed eachother.  We used this form to write answers.

Then, the students used Tellagami to record their answers from their notes.  As a background, they took a picture of their partner.  The app has a character on there that you can edit by changing their facial features and clothes.  We presented the finished Tellagami projects to the whole class.  It was so cute!  You need this app!
Check out this finished example that I made.  ( I used my daughter. ;)
I plan to use this app for MANY activities throughout the year! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back To School Apps!

As I'm preparing for another great school year, I have been organizing all my apps on my iPad. I now have them all in folders and it looks so neat and organized...I just hope I can find them all when I need them! A friend recently asked me what apps I use in my class that make my life easier in the classroom...this is what I came up with!

Grade It! makes it easy to calculate percentages for any assessment. Grade It! also allows teachers to email a copy of the assessment table. An Easy Grader is nice to have with you at all times!

This app is GREAT!  I use this every day.  ClassDojo helps teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. It also captures and generates data on behavior that teachers can share with parents and administrators.
Allows you to pick a student at random just by giving your device a shake or tapping the screen. Stick Pick suggests question starters for learners at different Bloom's levels as well as ESL levels and also records how well students respond during classroom discussions.
As a reading teacher I use the following apps every day during guided reading.
This App combines all the standard running record calculator and stopwatch functions with the convenience of audio recording playback. (I have the lite version of this app which was free when I downloaded it.  The lite version doesn't let you record the audio.)

I just learned about this app this summer, and I am SO excited to use it this year!  It looks awesome!  Get it while it's FREE!!
 The Record of Reading app lets you use an electronic form for taking a running record. The app provides embedded formulas for the accuracy and self-correction rate (no need for a calculator!).  It also records the reader and embeds their audio into the running record for playback while looking at the running records.  The running record can be saved as a PDF and emailed.
Yes, this app is expensive, but check out what it can do!
Confer is a note taking app that lets you record and keep track of the notes you take on your students; both individually and in small groups.

Whether you teach Reading and Writing Workshop or simply want to take notes on your students, Confer enables you to take notes quicker and it lets you sort, group, and view your students in ways you just can’t do with paper and pencil. Confer also lets you export and import your data via email, or upload it as a spreadsheet, so you can access your notes anytime, anywhere.

With Confer, you can:

- take notes on individuals and small groups
- view your students by the “tag,” "strength," "teaching point,” or “next step” in your note
- view your students by date, level, group, or flag
- search through student notes
- create flexible small groups
- upload your data to your gmail account as a spreadsheet
- export and import your data on any iOS device via email and Dropbox
If you don't want to spend money on downloading Confer, you can also try this app:
Teacher Notes functions as an easy way to file written notes, photos, movies or audio on multiple children, domains and content areas all at one time. Then when it is time to write reports cards or evaluations Teachers Notes has a quick way to sort notes by any combination of children, domain and content area. You can then e-mail your organized notes, or email just one note with its accompanied photo, movie or audio file. You’ll find that Teacher Notes functions much more rapidly than jotting down notes on a clipboard and you’ll be able to find your notes much faster than looking in a notebook.

1. Have a different notebook for each class, each with its own kids, domains and content areas
2. Jot down notes, but also take pictures, movies and audio clips
3. Effortlessly file notes on multiple children, domains and content areas
4. Quickly find any note you have taken
5. Rapid sorting engine lets you order your notes the way you like
6. Email all your notes organized as you wish
7. Email single notes and access its photos, movies and audio from anywhere
8. Protect your information with a PIN code
9. Backup / sync notes to Dropbox so you can feel secure and always be up to date, no matter what device you're on
10. Edit notes that you've already filed
I hope you have a great start to your school year!

Friday, May 31, 2013

End Of The Year Ideas

I know some of you are already out of school...but I thought I would share a few things we have been working on during the last few days of our school year. Sorry this is so late... maybe you can save these ideas for next year!

A big hit in my classroom is the Mystery Person Report. I do this at the end of every school year. The kids love it.  I bring out some of the read aloud books I have shared throughout the year. We review some of the main characters in each of the books.  Then, they each choose a main character from one of the books.  They write clues about that main character on the mystery person report paper.  The answer is written under the smiley face. 

We later exchange papers with a partner and try to guess the character.  They love this so much that they have asked me to add it to our classroom blog so they can download it and do it with their family at home.

Here's a finished example:
Yesterday, we made our monster bookmarks to use for summer reading.  They were a big hit!  I wrote a post about these in August.  You can view the post and get the directions HERE.
Today we are doing some fun word work.  They spent A LOT of time on was totally silent in the classroom. They had to cut the letters and see how many words they could make with these letters.  We later counted how may words they came up with and compared them. 
The last activity for the year that we are working on is a memory book. The memory book uses lunch bags. You just fold the lunch bags in half and staple. I thought it was a cute idea.  When you fold the bags it creates a little pocket for them to store things in.  I saw an idea similar to this on Pinterest, but I didn't see any downloads for the book, so I made my own pages and memory book example.
Here is my example of the memory book:
Inside pages
The pockets
Here are the pages I made for the memory book:
Enjoy your summer break!!