Saturday, March 30, 2013

Zippin Down the Freebie Trail

{The blog hop is over so this item is no longer free
but it is available from my TeachersPayTeachers store!}

Welcome to your next freebie!  I hope you've gotten a lot of goodies along the way.  If you've missed any, you can go back to the beginning & start collecting again.  There are 27 participating blogs!  :)

The freebie I have for you is Easter themed but you could use it any time in the spring.  It's a Spill & Spell activity that you can use for Word Work, a writing center or reading skill practice.

Print the letter tiles, laminate them for longer use and put them in plastic eggs.  Mine are color coded for each of my 4 groups but otherwise the color doesn't matter.

{Store them as is when you're finished and you'll NEVER have to "set up" this activity again!!}  :)

It's differentiated into 4 levels so you can choose the one that's appropriate for your grade level...or do like I do and use all 4 sets to meet the needs of your diverse learners!  :)

{Levels 1 & 2 focus on CVC words and simple blending.}

Level 3 lets your students practice double vowels and silent e spelling patterns.  {When 2 vowels go walking, the first one does the talking!!}

Level 4 incorporates blends, longer words and gives them the option to make 2 words from each egg!

Click on any of the above pictures to get your download.  Then hop on down the bunny trail to your next freebie at SOS Supply.  Have a happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Freebies...fill your basket!

Did you see that a new Blog Hop started over the weekend??  It's called Zippin Down the Freebie Trail and there are 27 bloggers excited to give away their creations!

If you missed it, start at Primary Inspired and follow the links to each new blog.  There are 3-4 freebies to snag every day from now through Easter Sunday.

Here's a preview of the fun freebie I have in store for you...come back Saturday to get it!  :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Springtime glyph.

We're learning about spring weather this week and I wanted to do a cute little rain project to hang up on my walls.  I did a similar umbrella & rain boot craft a few years back but now it's a printable that I can share with you!  ;)

You can print the glyph pieces on construction paper and glue them together to make the craft OR if you're short on time, you can print the coloring pages and have your students complete it with their crayons.  Either way, it's a great display to hang with writing about rain, spring or changes in the weather.

I also downloaded this adorable Rainy Day Digraph activity from Of Primary Importance.

Instead of using it as a game, I copied the pages for each of my students as we learned about ch, sh & th.  We glued our raindrops to blue strips and our lightning to yellow.  It's a Spring Sound Storm across the back bookshelves!!!  And it really solidified the sounds for my students.

Once I get my Easter chicks up, we'll be all set for April!  :)  Happy 1st day of Spring!  Sending sunshine your way!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

2nd grade Common Core help.

More Common Core help for you & your parents!  The Kindergarten & 1st grade handouts I made for parent-teacher conferences have been so popular that I've been asked to create the same thing for 2nd grade.  And they are ready...just in time for 4th quarter to begin!

I originally planned on only using these at conferences after 1st quarter but they've been so helpful for my families that I ended up printing them out and sending them home with report cards at the end of every quarter!  Just highlight the skills that each student needs to practice {which is a super easy way to make this differentiated and personal for each student's learning} and send it home!

Your parents will thank you for breaking down the Common Core and making all of our confusing teacher lingo easy to understand!!  ;)  And if you've already used the K set, please share the link with your friends & coworkers!!

Get the Kindergarten handouts {here}.
Get the 1st grade handouts {here}.
Get the new 2nd grade math & literacy handouts {here}!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

springtime sequencing.

One of the best things about the Teachers Supporting Teachers campaign I hosted a while back was that I got to make new teacher friends along the way!  When one of them reached out and asked if she could guest post on my blog I was more than happy to introduce her to you!  Her name is Jennie and she's a 3rd grade teacher.  Small world...she's also practically my neighbor!  :)

Meet Jennie & check out her timely sequencing ideas perfect for spring:

A casual jog the other day revealed an unexpected sight - the tiny buds of a few cheerful daffodils.  This can only mean one thing - spring is coming!  Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow, and if you are anything like me, you were overjoyed to hear the news!  Spring brings warmth, hope, and best of all - color.  As teachers, we rise before the rest of the world and the familiar faces of daffodils remind us that sunshine is coming.

One of my favorite ways to integrate color into my third grade classroom is to use paint strips!  Paint strips are everything a teacher dreams of at night (besides a personal copier and copious amounts of colored paper).  They're sturdy, accessible, aesthetic and FREE (or should I say, economically sound).  Keep reading to discover two of my favorite ways to utilize paint strips in your own classroom!

The first way that I adore using paint strips is to use them as bookmarks for my students.  As a literacy enthusiast, I require my children to do a fair amount of reading.  Every day at their desk, they have two types of independent books: ABC (leveled) books and Fun books (they are allowed to check out any genre/level they wish).  I like to provide them with their colorful bookmarks and what better way to do so than by using paint strips.  I write their names clearly at the top and them laminate the bookmarks.  My children enjoy seeing their name "peek" out of their books as they pull them out to read.

The second way I love using paint strips is during Sequencing Season!  I believe very strongly in tracking student data as closely as possible and one excellent way to do this is by using my Mastery Tracker.  This system was designed to track individual reading comprehension skills throughout the course of the year.  I spend approximately 2 weeks on each skill and students end the unit by taking a mastery quiz to demonstrate their understanding of the skill.  If they are unable to demonstrate mastery, I use this information to create reteach groups as soon as possible.

Sequencing is one of my favorite skills to teach as students are able to so easily connect sequencing to their own lives.  Paint strips provide students with the perfect visual for sequencing!  My students practice writing various sequencing words in each compartment of the paint strip.  For example, they might write "first" in the top one, "next" in the second one, etc.  Plotting out the words will help your children see how to chronologically sequence events of a story.  After practicing several times, my students are given a kid-friendly recipe to review and sequence on their own.  Using their paint strip order words, they are able to record the step by step directions from the recipe to share with a friend.  This activity can be completed with recipes, texts, etc!

Click on the picture below to download the Sequencing Made Easy templates!
I typically make a few stops at the paint shop each year and take a generous amount of paint strips.  However, if your schedule is as hectic as mine, Ace Hardware may not make the priority list.  I created a template of paint strips for your convenience.  Just print, cut, voila!
The promise of sunny recesses and impending spring break give me just enough hope for each day.  So, dear hard working teachers, I hope this post gives YOU hope and a few easy-to-use ideas for your classroom!

Best Wishes,

Saturday, March 09, 2013

reptiles & amphibians.

Just a quick post today!  We're teaching reptiles & amphibians in science for the next couple of weeks.   They're so closely related and easy to mix up that hopefully these organizers will help your students {and you!} to keep it straight.

Since we're not doing more than a quick introduction, I looked up examples of each animal on the internet and we talked about them while the students drew their own examples in their science journals.

There's also a 3rd page where the students can explain how amphibians and reptiles and the same/different and they can choose a favorite of each.

A few good kid-friendly websites while you study these slippery {and scaly} little suckers:

BioKids {listen to toad & frog sounds}

A few other notes:
*Crocodiles have a pointy snout and alligators have a round snout.
*Amphibians & reptiles are both typically near land and water but amphibians actually live part of the time in water.  You can remember which is which because the amphibians have to keep their skin wet {as opposed to reptiles who have scales}.
*Most reptiles hatch from eggs {a few have live births} and the eggs are laid on land.  They have a shell or hard coating.  Amphibians lay their eggs in water and they are soft, like jelly.  The babies are born in the water then go through a metamorphosis {ie. life cycle change}.

Monday, March 04, 2013

March rewards {freebie}

It's currently time with Farley again!  Okay, okay, maybe I technically broke a rule with the last one but nothing starts with K!!  And you better not tattle on me because you know me better as Little Miss Glamour anyway.  ;)
You read that right, here's your freebie!  I've always switched up my reward system in March because it's 3rd quarter, the weather is {hopefully} starting to get warm & we're leading up to spring break.  All great things but also a recipe for cray behavior.  I diecut shamrocks, write prizes on them & laminate them.  They stay in my sparkly green bucket and kids who make good choices get to choose one at the end of the day.  {If you'd rather only do it once a week or as a random surprise you are welcome to do that too.}

Just download the file, print on green paper and voila!  Done.  Remember, you don't have to print the same amount of each page.  If you want it to be harder to earn a buddy class, just print less of those.  Your kids will never know.  ;)
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