Sunday, February 26, 2017

Independent Reading Folder

I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday! As I get ready to go back to school after a week off, one thing I wanted to prep was new independent reading folders for my students. This idea came from an Instagram story that Jen Jones, from Hello Literacy, did. I just love using social media as PD in pajamas! I knew this was something I wanted to implement right away because I've been having such difficulty getting my students to WANT to reread texts from their book baggies. 

My plan is to grab a bunch of manilla folders, print out labels, and have my students put their reading folder together tomorrow! 

My kiddos will begin by setting a goal of how many times they want to reread their books (they have about 4-5 books in their bags at one time). I'm hoping that by turning repeated reading into a game, it will encourage my kiddos to WANT to reread their books. Here is a little explanation of the how and why...

You can find these labels to create your own folders here. They are free! Happy teaching!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Guided Reading

Guided Reading is one of my favorite parts of the day! I just love being able to work with my kiddos in a smaller group setting because I feel like I get to know them better each time I meet with them! To see their growth as a reader definitely makes this teacher heart happy!

This post is all about how to make the most out of that precious small group time you have with your kiddos. Today I'm going to focus on how I use small group time to reinforce phonics and grammar skills. 

To begin my Guided Reading group, I review our weekly spelling focus and go on a word hunt with the kids through our book to find words that match our pattern. I always have examples in mind to guide my students to do this if they are having difficulties. After they find words, we work on building words, using letter tiles, that fit the pattern. In second grade, our big spelling focus is on generalizing spelling patterns and not just memorizing words for a test!

Side Notes:

 -It is so important to preview a text and know your teaching points before giving the text to your students! 
-I don't do this every time I meet with a particular group. We do this activity after students have already read through the book during a previous Guided Reading session.

If there is time, I try to work on grammar skills that we have learned about and practiced during our writing time. If I run out of time, I pull kids when I can to practice these skills. 

Another favorite of mine is working on rearranging sentences! This really helps my kiddos see not only how to produce/create a sentence, but it helps them with that tricky expanding and rearranging standard. 

What is great about practicing these activities in small group first, is that when you place these activities into literacy centers, your kiddos will already know what to do! More time spent reinforcing skills through repetition! This has been especially helpful for my lower readers/writers! 

These activities and more can be found in my March Guided Reading product here. It is 50% off through tonight!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dental Health

This past week we have been learning all about teeth and proper dental hygiene. 

Ironically enough, this unit fell during the same week as Valentines. It was a great opportunity to teach the kiddos about how too much candy can impact your teeth and the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods! Hey, it's all about moderation though!

Here is a look at what we covered this week. 

One of my favorite things from this week was creating a diagram of a tooth.

The kiddos also loved making their own toothbrush with facts about teeth on the bristles.

These activities and extension activities can be found in my Dental Health unit on TPT

I've also got a freebie for you here

This tooth graph can really be used anytime during the year!

How do you teach dental health? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine Gifts {for toddlers}

Happy Valentine's Day! 

I'm just popping by real quick to share my little man's Valentine gift.

Graham is not yet two, but I didn't want Valentine's Day to go unnoticed in our house. I also didn't want to add to his ever growing toy collection. Ha! These goodies from the Target dollar spot are the perfect little presents that, once used, can just be thrown away. I mean... keeping a toddler interested in any one toy for an extended period of time is almost impossible. Am I right?! I bought grow capsules, an inflatable jelly punch balloon, and gel window clings (just $1 a piece). I've bought him gel window clings before and he has loved playing with them on our back door window! 

I put all these goodies in this felt envelope, also from the Target dollar spot, that I got years ago. I have seen some similar to this one recently though. 

I do highly recommend keeping a close eye on any little one who is playing with these toys. There are many small parts that could be a choking hazard. My little man and I will be playing with these gifts together! 

What do you do for your own kiddos for Valentine's Day? I would love more ideas for next year!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day Freebies

Need some last minute Valentine's Day ideas? I've got two for you!

I'm using this little heart tear art for parent Valentines.

I mean, isn't tear art just the cutest!?

I also have an editable template for typing up Valentine letters, class list, Valentine greetings... pretty much anything you can dream up.

You can find the editable Valentine class list here and the Valentine parent card template here.

Happy Valentine prep!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentine Ideas

If you're anything like me, you are spending your Sunday getting prepped for Valentine's Day. Whether you're prepping for your own students, or your personal kiddo, I'm here to share a few things that I have been working on today.

How cute are these little Valentines!? I got these in the Target dollar, not really a dollar, spot. I just love how these Valentines came with everything I needed to put them together. In the package of 30, there were cards, mini heart erasers, and a little sticky dot to attach the heart eraser to the card. It made prepping for my student Valentine gifts super easy! 

I made these Valentine gift tags for my little man's classmates.

Since he is not even two, I knew I needed to give his classmates something a little different than a traditional Valentine. 

My little one loves Goldfish and I just know that the other kiddos in his class will too! I bought a variety pack of Goldfish at Target and attached one tag to each individually wrapped package. I chose to give them the regular cheddar and the pretzel flavor. 

For little man's teachers, I created these tags to attach to Starbucks' frappuccinos. I mean what teacher doesn't like coffee?! The drinks are from... wait for it... Target of course. Target is a teacher mamas 

You can find these tags in my TPT shop. They are 50% off through tomorrow! Happy Valentine's Day prep Sunday! 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Guided Reading in February

Creating these monthly Guided Reading supplemental products to use when I meet with my Guided Reading groups has been a complete life saver! Having phonics sorts, themed letter tiles, and quick activities to hit on grammar standards has really helped me target my instruction to meet the needs of my kiddos. These activities also help me review previously taught concepts from whole group instruction with my small groups. I use these activities as warm-ups and to close my Guided Reading sessions. 

Here is a look at my newest Guided Reading product for February...

vowel variant digraph sorts and spin and cover (au/aw, ew/oo)

vowel variant diphthongs sorts and spin and cover (ou/ow, oi/oy)

parts of a letter

producing, expanding, and rearranging sentences

themed letter tiles for word work practice

monthly poem practice 

As always, new products are 50% off in my TPT shop for the first 24 hours!