Thursday, October 18, 2012

My super observant kiddos!

Today, not once....but kiddos caught "mistakes" in books that we were reading!  While they may or may not technically have been real mistakes is up for debate.....but to my kiddos they were definitely real and shocking.  LOL

The first time it happened was during my guided reading group.   I had my highest group with me and we were reading our weekly leveled reader.  Everything was going along great until we got to this page:

Do you see what my kids saw?  As soon as they saw it they were quick to bring it to my attention it.  Yep.  I spend a lot of time reminding my kids to go to the next line in their writing......keep writing unless you can't fit the next word, and then go to the next line.  And here was a sentence that went to the next line even though they could have SURELY fit the word "a" up there!!!!

It was actually pretty funny to watch them get so excited about it.  They really just wanted to know why the author did it like that and did he not know what he was supposed to do?   I simply explained that maybe the author made a mistake (like we all do) and we should just keep reading on.  I also congratulated them on being great readers and writers!!  <<<honestly I'm not sure why the author did it like that....any thoughts?......maybe to break it into phrases for beginning readers???>>>

Then in the afternoon we were reading this book.....can you see anything that might cause my kiddos' hands to shoot up in the air with extreme confusion on their faces?!?

Yeah.  This book title does not have capital letters.  Some of my kids noticed quickly and asked me why.....because after all Ms. Burton you said that the title is the name of the book and that names need to be capitalized.  So I again congratulated them on being so observant and smart and noticing that detail.  Then I said that most books do start with capital letters, but there are always exceptions, and maybe the author chose not to use capital letters this time.   

That was probably a poor explanation.   Because one of my kiddos then raised his hand and asked 'does that mean we can choose not to use a capital letter in our names sometimes?'  It doesn't.  Sorry.  LOL

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Word Families & A Freebie!

Mine do!  
A coworker brought me this HUGE tub of bubble gum a few weeks ago 
and ever since my kids have been chomping at the bit to get some!

The tub sits up high enough where none of my kiddos can "accidentally" put a piece into their pockets. So far I've given the whole class gum only once.  And it was the single most quietest span of time that has ever occurred in my room.  Seriously.  They were SILENT.  Partially because their mouths were busy chewing and partially because I had warned them that if they were loud, the gum would have to be spit out.  It was awesome.  If gum wasn't so sugary and bad for teeth......and if it wasn't so sticky and messy.......I would LOVE to let my kids chew gum every day.  

Apparently in addition to the benefits to the teacher (ha!) there are also benefits to the student.  
Check out this article on Education Nation that says chewing gum may improve test scores.  
Pretty interesting to say the least. 

Since my kids are so excited about bubble gum these days....I started making some bubble gum 
stuff for my TpT store.  I just uploaded a whole Word Family Sorting Pack that includes 
20 different word families and 93 pages of bubbly goodness!  It's pretty neat and 
I have a feeling my kiddos are going to love it.  


I also uploaded a FREEBIE from the pack.  It's an "-at" word family Write-the-Room activity!  

If you purchase the entire set or try out the FREEBIE, I would LOVE for you to leave me some feedback at TpT!   Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Does this look familiar to you?

Does this photo look familiar to you???

This is a slide from a powerpoint that we use at my school to help students learn their
 letters and sounds.  We call them "sound cards" but I don't know if that's the official 
name or a name we coined on our own.  

There's a slide for each letter and even a few for digraphs & diphthongs.  There is a picture to go along with each slide and there is also a short phrase that the teacher reads for each one.    For the letter Hh above the phrase is "The jogger tried to catch his breath because he is tired."   I read the phrase to the students, and then they make the /h/ sound three times.  

The kids LOVE doing the sound cards each day and it takes only a couple of minutes to run through them.  In the beginning--- the students say each letter name three times, I read the phrase, and then they say the sound three times.   At this point in the year,  students are only saying the letter once, followed by the sound once.  I don't have to read the accompanying phrase at all!!  Pretty soon I will be mixing up the slides so they are not in order and we will start running through them that way.  

The great thing is that students pick up the letter sounds very, very quickly using these cards.  I have students who can name more sounds than letters at this point.  They don't know that that letter is an Mm, but they can tell me that it makes the /m/ sound for sure!!

We've used them for years, but have no idea where they came from or anything about who made them!!  If you use these cards, where did you get them?  Do you know who made them or if they have other resources available?  I would love to know!!!  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Purple and pink pumpkins and a FREEBIE!

Yeah we totally broke with tradition and created non-orange pumpkins.  Because it wouldn't make sense to make an orange pumpkin seeing as how orange doesn't start with Pp.   And we are studying the letter Pp this week!    Our pumpkins are technically  jack-o-lanterns I suppose......but jack-o-lanterns start with Jj so obviously we couldn't say we made those.  

They did not use templates or get any help from me whatsoever.  They did however quickly figure out that it was easier to draw shapes on their paper and then cut them out.....rather than trying to cut them out free hand.  Actually it was one little trail blazer in my class who figured this out----the rest just jumped on board after seeing him work his magic.  It was so neat to see them work together and figure out a better way of doing it.  All I really had to do was sit back and watch them!

I absolutely love doing art projects where there is no template for the kids to follow.  I think it's so good for them to use their imaginations, think independently, and I LOVE to see the finished results.  It's pretty neat to see what they can do when they get some construction paper and some scissors.  Just take a look at some of their creations from yesterday!!  (the writing underneath the pumpkins was done together as a class on the board, and then they simply tried to copy it onto their paper)

I just love the freckles on this one!!  How cute is that???

We have also been hard at work sounding out CVC words, so I made a small pumpkin activity to help my kids with this.   All you have to do is cut apart the pumpkins, mix up the letters, and have your students put them back together.  Each time they create a word they will sound it out and then decide if it's a real word or a silly, nonsense word.   

My kids really enjoyed this activity.  I let my kids do a trial run with it yesterday and quickly realized I should have underlined the letters (so the kids knew which way they went).  So in the download, the letters will be underlined.  This way you won't have kids trying to spell words with an upside down 'n' that looks like a 'u' I did! :-)

There are only 8 pumpkins to cut out (24 total pieces)....but there are tons of CVC combinations that can be made with those pieces!!  I had to be careful which letters I used....didn't want any kids sounding out inappropriate words after all!

There are also two recording sheets included so students can write down the words they created under the correct heading "real" or "nonsense."

Hope your kids enjoy this activity!  Click here to download it for FREE.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Currently!

I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for her October edition of "currently"! Head on over to see what all the other bloggers are currently up to!  

Here's what I'm up to......

Monday, October 1, 2012

A HUGE spider and a FREEBIE!

I am linking up with Valerie over at All Students Can Shine for her Fall Linky Party!  She's hosting it for the entire month of there's lots of time left to head over and get some great ideas for Fall!  

Speaking of Fall, as of Friday at 2:45pm I am officially on Fall Break. We get a whole week off to rest and recuperate.  I'm sure at some point during the week, I will end up working in my classroom.  I feel like the last few weeks have been a blur and I just need some time to get back on top of things!!!  There are also some things I am going to change while my kiddos are away.....I have definitely decided to try community supplies!   I'll let you know how it goes.

I just posted a new product in my TpT store.  I think my kids are going to really enjoy this one!  It's a spider number sort to help them work on numbers 0-10.   I included two sets of mats and cards to give students opportunities to practice matching numbers to sets and matching sets to numbers!  Click here to check out the Spider Number & Sets Sort.

  And now for the FREEBIE!  These are spider match cards for practicing matching numbers to sets 0-10.  Simply print, laminate, cut the spider cards apart.....and you've got yourself a quick math  activity.  There are 4 different colored spider sets for you to choose from.  Print one or print them all!!  Click on the picture below to download!

Speaking of spiders, take a look at this monster of a spider 
that my kids spotted right outside our back door!  

You should have heard the screaming that was going on.  Not from my kids.....from me.  Seriously.  I really, REALLY dislike bugs, spiders and generally anything that flies, crawls, hops, or slithers.  My kids, on the other hand, thought it was pretty cool.  Unfortunately the spider met an untimely demise when our door "accidentally" smashed it as we were leaving for recess.  So sad.  

I hope everyone has a great Monday!! It's going to feel weird to be at home in my pajamas instead of at school working.....but I'm going to enjoy every minute!  
Yay for breaks!!!!