Monday, May 29, 2017

Most Used Resources This Year

At the end of every school year I like to take time and reflect back over the year and think about what activities worked well and what I need to improve.  This year I found myself in new role as the primary resource teacher.  I worked with grades K4 - 2nd grade in the classroom and pulling students who needed one on one instruction.

I started out the year assessing the new four year old students to see where they were at and checking up on their progress throughout the year.  I created this assessment binder to grab and go when it was time to assess one of the little ones.  I have everything I need in it to check in on their progress all year long.

These name bags were a hit at the beginning of the year and again in the middle of the year when I added their last name.  I used these with the little four year olds and they loved setting up their names.  I had these bags on the table as they enter the room.  It was the first thing they did.  It was really helpful because they referred to the letters in their name all year long.  We even referred the letters in our friends names as well.
We played these Bingo games all year round.  I put the capital letter bingo and lowercase bingo back to back and we switched it up.  I did the same with the number bingo as well.  At the beginning of the year I played the number bingo 1-30 with the 5 year olds and towards the end of the year I was playing the 1-20 number bingo with the 4 year olds.  I also used the number and letter cards to play other board games as well. We switched up our markers to holiday markers throughout the year.  This was a favorite that they begged to play each week.

Oh my gosh the kids loved the letters on the stones.  They loved putting them in order and they loved using them to match pictures and letters for beginning sounds.  I used them with the K5 and first graders to do making words exercises.  I think it was a texture thing.  The kids loved the smooth cool feeling of the rocks.  I even made a second set with capital letters to match up. 

These sensory cards were a free item I got from Oriental Trading Company and they were a hit with my four year old students.  They loved touching them and we made up lots of activities with them however their favorite were the sandboxes.  They loved tracing the letters and then drawing the letters in the sand that I found at the dollar store.

Stick Bang is a game that cost little money to make and the kids love to play it.  I made so many different versions of this game.  However I think the favorite was this lollipop version I made for the four year olds.  

My Mystery Number Box was a huge hit.  I found these number cards in a Math Packet I had already purchased on TPT.  I printed them and mounted them on card stock and laminated them.  Then I found an empty Kleenex box and that's where I put the cards.  I used these cards for so many activities:  Number Identification, Greater Than/Less Than, Put the numbers in order from Greatest to Least, from Least to Greatest.   Grab a number and then find one more/one less/ten more/ten less, number of the day,  adding and subtracting activities. 
I looked and looked and I couldn't find where I got these cards from but I know they were something I found I TPT. 
These reference folders were something I used daily with a lot of my older students.  I have math activities on the outside and language activities on the inside.  I found this idea in one of the kindergarten classrooms at my school and I used resources I already had and found free resources that I could use to complete my folders.  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Math Centers: Money Counting Cards

As part of my math instruction I like to have Math Stations to reinforce our daily instruction.   
My students finish their class work at different times and begin Math Stations.  I try to introduce at least one or two new stations a week.  I generally have five to six stations going at one time.  
When they complete the lesson, I do a quick check of their work and then the students go to the Math Station they were working on until it is complete.  When they complete that station then they can move to the next one.   With Money Counting Cards, it is really important to me that each student completes each color level correctly before he/she continues to the next level because each level get a little bit harder.  

When all the students complete a station then I introduced a new station. 
Once in a while I have a few students who take forever to complete a station.  I generally pack up that station and they take it home for homework so the class can move on.  Or if I know they are the type that will not return it,  I have them do it during recess. 

Generally I have the stations set up around the room so my students are busy working in different corners.   I like to use these tabletop pocket charts because they are easy to set up and fold during the Math lessons.  
If you want to see more details about the Math Station activity please go to my TPT store and check it out.  

Monday, May 8, 2017

Author of the Month Eric Carle

 Spring is the best time of the year to read Eric Carle's books.  Caterpillars, butterflies, clouds, flowers, ladybugs, fireflies and crickets are all things that make me think of Spring.    The kids love listening/watching stories on the ipad and that is why I like to have the Listening Center fresh and new each month.  I put something new in this pack.  There is a clip from youtube on how Eric Carle creates his illustrations.  I think it is important for the children to see the authors and illustrations as real people.
 What I like about this layout is that the posters make a nice display with the covers of the books that Eric Carle wrote.  I have them hanging low on the door where the students can reach and scan them in the Reading Center.  
I have some follow up sheets as well.  There are three different levels of sheets so you can pick what will work best for your students.  

You can pick this up for FREE at my TPT store

Happy Spring! 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Stick Bang or Kaboom

 Stick Bang or Kaboom whatever you call this game it is something you need to have in your teaching bag of tricks.  It is so popular with all of the students I work with.  They love this game in fact they beg to play this game.  I first found this game in a sight word packet I purchased from Reagan Tunstall.  It was the best $5.75 I spent on TPT. 
I have made so many games based of her idea and at a variety of grade levels.  
This year I made several different versions for different students. 

For the little four year olds I work with I made:

  • Capital Letters
  • Lowercase Letters
  • Number Awareness to 20
  • Shapes and Colors
For the five year olds I made:

  • Number Awareness to 30 (for the beginning of the years)
  • Number Awareness to 100
  • CVC words
For the first graders I made:

  • sight words at different levels
  • CVC words
  • CVCE words
  • Blends/Digraphs
  • vowel team words
For the advanced math students I work with I made:

  • Fast Facts for Math Fluency

I keep all the different games in plastic quart size baggies and then have my large pails for games.

I have to admit with the four year olds we had to take the BANG stick out of the bucket.  There were way to many tears and the little ones were so happy to collect sticks.  

Another bonus to this activity is that I can easily put this together the night before.  You can use simple markers, stickers or pre-made materials to make the sticks more colorful.  Here is a link to Pinterest for more ideas.    

Monday, April 10, 2017

Egg-citing Activities for Easter Week

It's Easter week and I am looking for some quick and easy activities to do with my students.  For the little fours I work with I made the simplest activity......matching alphabet eggs.  It's so easy.....write a capital letter on one side of the egg and the lowercase on the other side.  

The boys absolutely loved the activity.  They had so much fun.  

 For my advanced math students I created some story problems with and without grouping.   I cut out the problems and put them in the eggs.  The boys picked out the eggs from the basket and opened the eggs and read the problems and solved them in their math journals. 

You can put any story problems in your eggs.  Or if you want I have my challenge problems available on my TPT store.   
I set up this packet up several ways.  There is a power point in case you want to do the problems as a whole class. 
Then I typed up all the problems on a worksheet so the students could work these out.  Or you can cut them apart and put them in eggs and they can put the answers on the recording sheet.  

It's up to you. 
Happy Easter

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