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,

1 comment:

  1. Love this ... and love Jennie! Thanks for sharing.


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