Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars!

Monthly Archives: May 2013

Ok so if you’ve visited the Year Long Unit Plans page on my website; you will have noticed that we are doing a whole year long unit with Dr. Seuss’ Books.  The title of our unit is called “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”.  Well I found a whole section at Barnes and Nobles with “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” items.  Too bad I’m spending too much money right now trying to send my entire life up to Alaska.  I did however buy this:

Oh the Places You'll Go

Well as I have said before, I love providing my students with many different opportunities to manipulate and explore what they are learning. Instead of straight exit-tickets or worksheets, I prefer providing ways for students to cut and put together the activity. Most of my “worksheets” consist of some kind of cutting, gluing, and sorting.

Here is an example of one of the activities I found online for sight words. I did NOT make this myself so I can’t take credit for making this one (unlike the last fact family creation that I posted). But I did find it very helpful. Students cut out specific sight words and glue them onto construction paper and decorate. Or if you have a school that has a good fast copier/printer you can print them on construction paper and laminate them.

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Check out the activity and download it from the original website.  P.S. you don’t have to wait for Christmas to use these.

Sometimes a black sharpie and a copier can be your best friend as a teacher. We have been learning commutative property of addition and fact families of addition and subtraction. So I made the following worksheet along with number cards (three cards for each number sentence) that students could cut out and glue onto the correct spots. It turned out well I think!

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For those of you who have been wondering what kind of centers I use for literacy workshop here are some photo examples.  Each literacy center I try each try to address several different skills in one day.  First for sight words and sentence structure, students got to build various sentences using color coded cards.  Also students practiced saying sight words and covering them up using markers and spelling them.

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With phonics and writing students got to build CVC words a write a sentence using the words they built.  Students also practiced writing short vowel words on workmats with dry erase markers as well match pictures with the written word.

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Let’s not forget my computer center which is definitely the classroom favorite.  I paid for a classroom subscription to, and they have TONS of activities that include reading comprehension, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and even math for K-1!

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Today as we continued our lesson on /ar/ words and sounds we practiced making words using cards on an onset / rime workmat.  After students had practice building words they recognized from the mini-lesson; they glued on the cards to create their favorite word.

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At my current school we started our unit on fact families today with a lesson on commutative property using the SMART board. At workshop students were able to draw a card and create addition sentences based on that card using manipulatives and a work mat.  Tomorrow we will be creating fact family maps during math explorations.

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Students drew a card and counted out that number of shapes onto the top of the plate.  They then split up the number of shapes into the two separate sections on the plate.  They then created addition sentences using the commutative property of addition.  Here you see a student making 4 + 2  =  6 as well as 2 + 4 = 6.


Student’s would then draw another number and complete the whole process over again.  This student drew the number 4.  The addition sentence on the paper was from her previous number that she drew which was 5.

For spiral review in math workshop we had number / quantity review, patterns, building shapes using smaller shapes.

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If you notice on the first picture students were building a hexagon base by stacking two trapezoids next to each other on top of the hexagon.  Geometry in common core requires students to use those critical thinking skills by being able build bigger shapes with smaller ones.  Students used lily pads to put the number of counters on that lily pad that matched the number.  In the last picture a student was creating an AABB pattern.

I have been updating my website portion of the blog again.  For those teachers / parents that wish to see what my day will look like next year, click here.  Each part of my day has an in-depth look on how things will happen.

On a completely unrelated note I just wanted to share with my fellow teachers a look at how I do holidays.  I know this is TOTALLY not at the right time to post this, but you can always look back on my side-links later.  Here is a look at how I did my Halloween party.  First we started off by having some yummy decorated Halloween themed cupcakes and punch.


We then were able to get a hold of two pumpkins thanks to a TA traveling to Nome, AK (as you can imagine it is very difficult to get pumpkins up into Bush Alaska).  We separated the class into two groups and the TA’s guided the students in carving the pumpkins and gutting the pumpkins!

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Then it was time to do our Halloween Centers!!  That’s right, those of you that regularly visit this blog / website, I love having centers!  We separated the class into three groups.  Each group was placed at a center and then rotated after a certain amount of time.  The centers were; paper plate masks, lollipop ghosts, and paper bag Halloween puppets.

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Again a bit off season for this post but I thought it would be something cool for my fellow teachers to see and snag as ideas for next year!

Wow it looks I am at it again.  Are you a parent that want to be able to share with their young elementary students what they are learning before they learn it?  In the Curriculum section I’ve added a list of standards for K-1 that we will be covering this year.  However they are listed in Kid Friendly terms that will make it easier for your young student to understand.  These rewritten standards can be used both at home and in the classroom.  Check it out:

A new section to my website has been added!  The section is called curriculum.  This section will contain information / ideas for what will be covered in Kindergarten / 1st grade and how I plan on managing my classroom.  The first section that has been posted is information in reading workshop and examples of how to implement guided reading in conjunction with your school’s reading program.  You can take a look at the new section here.

These videos were taken two years ago, but they show an example of calendar math and how to teach it.  I will try to have some more update videos from this year to show as examples, as I have refined my calendar routine a bit.

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