Thursday, January 29, 2015

Five for BLUE Friday!!!!

Happy BLUE Friday everyone!! We are linking up with Kacey from Doodlebugs this week for a little Five for Friday action.

So let's get this started with Monday. Monday around here was beautiful! It was mid-sixites, warm and sunny. Of course, I had to go to school. Well my daughter had it off, her district was having a work day, and my husband had the day off. So they got to stay home and play outside. Now...we have 2 fairly big dogs. Do you know what that means? LOTS of land mines in my yard. That's right people...poop. Well I'm sure I don't have to tell you that poop and kiddos is NOT a fun combination. SO my husband is chief pooper scooper. So back to Monday... I sent my hubs a message at lunch to see how their day was going. This is what I got...

I think it's safe to say that he gets excited by the little things in life...

 SEA-HAWKS!!!! That's right! These sweet hats are what we are making tomorrow!! My kiddos saw this one, my sample, today and boy are they excited!! The excitement is in the air...AKA...crazy kiddos!

 You guys... I have found the magic books!!! I am talking books that magically make the kiddos get excited about reading and have them reading all the time AND on task!

I'm not kidding! My kiddos LOVE these books! They are all filled with random facts. All day long I hear, "Mrs. Sanchez did you know..." I mean talk about high interest.

Then we found this fact...

"Mrs. Sanchez!!!!!! It's just like Elsa!!!!"

It always comes back to Elsa. I said...we are Hawks fans. Well, you have to be if you grew up in the Seattle area and had a dad and brother like mine. I am not a diehard fan...I mean I can miss a game or two and not freak out. BUT, at my school when the Seahawks make it to the Superbowl this happens...

This is in our copy room right now:)


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

Let's hope for a GREAT weekend!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday's Tip

Happy Tuesday, Teacher Friends!  How's your week going?  We here in the Seattle area are counting down to the Super Bowl, and the excitement builds by the day.  So much fun!

Here's today's Tuesday's Tip!

A little background....At our school, we use the Fry High Frequency Word Lists to teach our students sight words.  Although students are expected to master certain lists at each grade level, each student also works through the ten lists at their own pace.  Most students work on a list of five words that they do not yet know, each week.  They are usually tested on Friday.  As the week goes along, we work each day in small group on each of the student's words.  But of course, no student is the same and there are some who have a difficult time learning unless they practice at home, too.  When I was teaching first grade, this was the case.  So, I came up with these necklaces to send home on the kiddles who were having trouble learning their words.  They have a note to parents asking them to help their child learn those words by Friday. (In Spanish and English.) We know, parents really do want to help their child, but often don't know how.  These little necklaces do the trick!  Parents know exactly what to help their child with.  And it really worked like magic.

Now, I use these with my intervention groups for those students who just need some extra help with the one or two words that are just not sticking. They work best for kindergarten or first grade.  But, what about the older kiddles?  I use bracelets!  They aren't "babyish" and the kids love them.   Usually I make them out of strips of colorful paper which I write the word(s) on and tape around their wrist.  But look at these nifty things!  Found them at the dollar store!  They say "Remember," have a nice white spot to write words, A.N.D. have a peel off sticky spot to get the ends to stick!  Just love that dollar store! The best part of the necklace and the bracelet?  Every child learns his or her sight words by Friday!  It just makes one more thing they have to learn, a lot easier!  Give it a try!  I think you'll like it.

Hope you have a great rest of the week!  And.....GO HAWKS!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

MLK and a FREEBIE!!!

Hey everyone, Lindsey here. I am popping on the blog tonight to tell you a little about our week. Since we had Monday off you would THINK that the week would go by fast. NOT TRUE. It dragged on FOREVER. But, we did get a lot done so it wasn't a total loss.

First up, math....I do not like math.

I take that back. Normally I like math. I love when the kiddos click and finally get it and all that jazz. Here's the thing. We are working on double digit subtraction. Specifically, subtracting a two digit number from a three digit number. Nope. No thanks. I HATE it. The kiddos get the two digit and then we add the three digit and NOPE. They are DONE....beating my head against the wall. So, that's all I'm going to share about math.

Moving on to better things...

I love to teach about Martin Luther King Jr. I love history in general and I am a firm believer that if we don't educate our kiddos history could repeat itself. I also love that MLK day is always around the same time that the kiddos could use some reminders about being kind to each other. It goes hand in hand pretty well.

We have some AWESOME GLAD teachers at our school and in our district for that matter. They provided us with this AWESOME Dr. King chart and the kiddos LOVE it. Especially the photographs. Anything with photographs really gets them jazzed and I am all about that jazz:) So, I can't take credit for this awesome poster because I just copied what they put together.

We also watched this Brainpop Jr. video. FYI- I LOVE Brainpop Jr. They have the best videos and it always seems like they have the exact video I need! (including the dreaded subtraction with regrouping).

In groups we also focused on MLK with our passages, which you can get HERE. The kiddos LOVE to highlight and they also love the vocabulary and sight word game...engaging! They can now successfully read words like peace, freedom, equality, etc. This will come in handy for next week:)

Now, with all this Martin Luther King Jr. studying we are also looking at biographies. We are moving into Black History Month this week. Even though it doesn't start until February we add it to our Martin Luther King studies and just extend the whole unit through the first week of February. So it is the perfect time to learn about biographies because of all the people we will be studying.

My kiddo's ate biographies up! We had library the same day I introduced them and they all checked out biographies. Which meant that my week was filled with random facts about different people. Whatever gets them reading!

We ended our week with a little writing project craft. This was a Pinterest project. I am not a very creative person when it comes to thinking up crafts. So I really appreciate whoever came up with this project and put it on Pinterest. YOU are AWESOME! Whoever you are:) The writing paper for the inside of this project is a freebie from Latoya Reed at Flying Into First Grade. Click on the picture to get it or click HERE. Make sure you leave her some feedback:)

Now...FREEBIE time!!

We have our Freedom's Heroes passage pack which has leveled A - I passages on Martin Luther King Jr., Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks, which you can get by clicking HERE or HERE. BUT, I teach second grade and for us, a level I is now below grade level. So, my fabulous mom, the other half to 2 Literacy Teachers, created a J/K level passage for me:) I know you're jealous because your mom didn't do that for you. But...GOOD NEWS! We are going to give you the J/K Ruby AND Rosa passage for FREE! We also included the assessment page I used with my kiddos for RI 2.3 and RI 2.9. YAY!!

Click on the picture or click HERE to get this freebie! Also, if you have our passage pack already, these passages will work with all the other things in the pack, like the vocabulary cards and text dependent questions page:)

Now...on a totally different note....

We just posted a two passage set on Groundhog's Day! Click on the picture or click HERE to check it out!

I hope that you all had a wonderful, restful weekend! Here's to a great week!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Five for Friday

Happy, happy, happy Friday everyone!  Howzabout some Five For Friday?  Thanks so much to Doodlebugs Teaching for sponsoring Five For Friday!  It is so great to read them all and see what you are all up to! Usually I like to do a theme for Five For Friday, but this week it really is all random!

What kind of Seattle girls would we be if we didn't start out with this?
Go Hawks!  Go Hawks! Go Hawks!  (They're just so awesome!)
Photo by Tina Overley Holmes - Everything Washington

What's up in School Land???  Assessing, assessing, assessing!  We're finishing a schoolwide benchmark assessment period as we get ready for regrouping of our reading groups!  Here we are assessing our schoolwide phonics continuum and our schoolwide high-frequency word lists.  :-)  So if you meet up with me and wonder why my eyes might be kinda, sorta, red and crossed......these are the reason why!

Life in Newfieland - Episode 792
Me:  Boomer...have you seen the pillows that belong on the couch?
Boomer:  ....silence...pleading the 5th evidently....   (And notice how he is a master at avoiding eye-contact!)  You Are So Busted Boomer! Guess I'll be shopping for new pillows this weekend! (Insert secret shout of Yay! Any excuse to go shopping for the house is a good one!  Just don't tell the puppies that, okay?  ;-)

We teachers will do just about anything to get kiddos to remember their learning! One of the third graders just couldn't remember the sound of ou, no matter what we did!  So in I come with  bandaids all over my hand which I rip off quickly and dramatically and shout, "Ow!" It wasn't quite an academy award worthy performance, worked!  The kiddos of course got their own bandaids to wear with a reminder of the sound and a reminder never to rip them off quickly!  Hey, whatever works, right?

Addicted!  That's me!  I am addicted to Downton Abbey!'ll find me glued to it every Sunday night.  And last week when Mary said, "OOoooo...Granny has a past!"...that was just the best!  If you are a Downton get what I'm talking about.  If you aren' really should check it out.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tuesday's Tip

Hey there everyone!

Kristin here with a Tip for Tuesday....well... actually a day late so it is really a Tip for Tuewednesday!

Do you have kiddos who have a really difficult time remembering what they read in the book?   What do you do?  First, you had the kiddo read it out loud to you so you know they're not doing that fakey reading stuff.  But memory of what happened in the text.  Here's a strategy that works well for sweeties that have a hard time with memory.   For primary students, after introducing the book and doing a "picture walk," have them read one page.  Then, have them stick up their thumb and say what happened on that page.  Below is a firstie who is reading about making a pizza.  On the first page is the pan.  He sticks up his thumb and says "pan."  Page two had the dough, so he reads it, sticks up his thumb and says "pan," then sticks up his pointer finger and says "dough."  The next page had the sauce, so he reads it, sticks up the thumb and says "pan," sticks up the pointer and says "dough," sticks up the middle finger and says "sauce."   This continues for the whole book.  After reading each page he uses the finger strategy to rehearse what has happened so far, and adds on one more finger and the next event.  When it's time to retell, they just put one finger up at a time and in order,  and say what happened on that page. You may have to remind them to tell it in sentences since we had them just say the one word for each page while rehearsing it. But they have no problem with that.  And Voila!  It works like magic!  Depending on your kiddos...if you do this every day for one week, they should have it down pat!  What about the older kiddos?   Easy!  Same idea, but if the fingers are too "babyish" for them, have them read the first two-page spread (or if that's too hard then read one page at a time)  in the book, then stop and tell what happened.  Then read the next two-page spread and tell what happened on the first two-page spread, then the second two-page spread.  Continue on like this for the whole book, stopping after each page or two-page spread to say what has happened so far in order and to add on what was just read.  Older kids usually only need to do this for a couple of days and they have it mastered.  It really does work like magic!  Even for my kiddos that have severe memory difficulties!   Give it a try....I think you'll like it!

Have a fabulous week everyone!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Five for Friday!!!

Hey everyone, Lindsey here. I am dragging myself up from laying on my couch nursing this nasty cold to bring you my Five for Friday! I love linking up with Kacey at Doodlebugs teaching for this linky party that I can't skip it, even when I am living in a foggy, head-cold world:)

So, this week we have been working on word choice. I got this really cute activity a few years ago from one of my former teammates who happens to be so awesome. The kiddos have to decorate a mitten and then use describing words to describe their mittens. Like this...

 Before the kiddos glue them on the paper, I put all their mittens in a pocket chart. Then I read their descriptions and the class has to try and figure out what mitten I am describing. Well, I've got a little kiddo that has been like a ping pong ball bouncing back between Mexico and here throughout his school life. Here's his mitten...

All he could write were the colors and do you know what? I read his description and the rest of the kiddos picked his mitten right out! Ha! So much for my huge speech about using a bunch of descriptive words!

I have a weird affinity for pens, especially colored pens. But, these are BY FAR the best pens! They are Bic Cristal pens and talk about smooth writing! Holy smokes! These are my very favorite! I know that this is a random one...but see... I was doing progress monitoring this week and I was using these pens and as I was doing that I was just, these are great pens. 

You have to be inside my head to really understand it.

See this? This is the wheel on my car. See that red arrow? It's pointing to a screw. Know what that screw is supposed to be holding on? The cap that covers my lug nuts. Know where that cap is? Me neither. Apparently, it came off somewhere. Awesome. I have no idea where or even when but somewhere, someone has the cover to my lug nuts:(

I love Scholastic News. In years past, our school would buy subscriptions for us. But, you know how it goes, budget, budget, budget. So now we add it to our supply lists and the kiddos get to keep them. We used to have to keep them when the school paid for them so we could use them for more than one year. I LOVE the fact that the kiddos get to take them home. AND I love them even more when they align with the passages that we have written. Now, we can read about the topic whole class using our Scholastic News and then continue to learn about the topic in reading groups. Perfect!


That's all I have to say about that:)

I hope you all have a fantastic, THREE DAY weekend! Woohoo!