Thursday, February 23, 2012

What's Working!

It is so nice to see things working like they are supposed to! That is how today felt. I looked up from my reading group and saw EVERYONE working in their stations. I attribute this to a few things; first, during this time of day there is a tutor working with 4 kids in the back of the room while I have a small group at the reading table...aka fewer students left to their own devices in stations. Also, I was feeling as though I needed to hold my students more accountable for their work during stations. I often use recording sheets which students turn into a colored bin according to their reading group. But it's hard to keep up with all the paper work. This week I started having students hold up their work when the timer goes off so I can glance around and spot check for productivity. If work isn't completed then they will do it at recess. This has helped keep my kids on task during their station time. Easy fix!

Here is my ABC station in action! This week's focus was ish/ash/ush. Here students are working on sorting their words. On Thursday/Friday they have the option of building their words either with beads and pipe cleaners, stamps, or magnetic letters. I just loved the focus I saw. They were actually reading the words while they were sorting them!!! The little guy in green was using his pencil to blend the sounds.

Below is a new activity to practice sight words that one of my team members made. There are several things students can do with these cards. As you can see from the lower picture, each set of colored words has a sight word and then a version of that sight word with some letters missing. This will help them pay attention to those sight word letters! Students can simply match the words or play memory. It kept them busy and quiet today!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I love teacher work days!

We finally had a teacher work day today and I feel so productive. Not only did I de-clutter, I finished grades, put up new bulletin boards and prepared for next week. Now I feel like I can relax! I think I'll let the pictures from my new iphone!!!! (which I'm OBSESSED did I ever live without it?!?) do the talking in this post.
THE DRAWER is decluttered! No more stacking containers on top of one another. Everything has a happy home now.
My new "Making Words" folders. I can't wait to use these in my guided reading groups on Monday. Check out the original idea over at Teacher Bits and Bobs.
Our "Schema" and "New Learning" chart from Deanna' Jump's unit. The kids were completely enamored with penguins. We watched March of the Penguins and when it was over they asked me if we could watch it again. This is such a great high interest unit!!
Our adorable penguin books from Deanna Jump's unit. They came out great and they are some of our best writing yet.