Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pushing Through Spring Fever...

It's been a week!  We had 3 days of state testing, torrential downpours, and a field trip!  Although I don't envy the "big kids" for their grueling and stressful testing days, it sure is tough on the little ones to be silent, restricted, and cooped up without any recess! Ack!  We are all SO relieved to be done! 

Now that we are in the last few weeks of school it is time to amp up the novelty while learning! We need to stay interested and engaged all the way to the end.

Our focus in math last week was revisiting fractions.  We took off one shoe in small group and "converse"d (Punny?) about the different questions until we came to a consensus in fraction form.

We also created fractions based on the letters of our names.  The fraction of vowels in our names.  The fraction of curved letters.  The fraction of tall letters.  The kids really loved to compare their name fractions!

Since we wrapped up our second round of place value a couple weeks ago, I put out some spring place value activities for math tubs. 

This one is  perfect because students choose a number from a bag.  (I used hundred chart numbers 50-120)  Students had to feed the bunny with tens and ones carrots.  They each fed their bunnies and then

Another fun place value game was camp comforts Challenge.  Students were racing to 120 by spinning and marking out the amount on a hundreds chart.  They tried to get in as many wins as they could before the timer went off to rotate!

We will be working out of my Camp Number Sense unit because it really digs deeper into our first grade math concepts!  It's perfect for the end of the year!

 I haven't been blogging as much about our math journals this year, but we do them every single day!   They continue to be a favorite rotation of our guided math block.

I collected the journals last week to catch up on checking them over!  It's been longer than I would like to admit!

Here's a fraction activity from my May Math Journal unit

These activities were from our unit on place value.

I also have them put in their activities from my printable practice unit.

During our guided reading rotations students made compound "cool"aid.   Having a couple little props makes students excited about their day to day routine and keeps my management problems at bay!

I also added another compound center that I had from my I {heart} literacy unit. On day one, students just matched and read the words.  The next day I introduced the recording sheet, and students recorded the compound words.

Last week I FINALLY completed two of the three packs of tracers that have been on my to do list since LAST summer.  My students begged to do them at the writing center, but I decided to make them a fast finisher activity since the demand was so high.  I made 4 of the write on wipe off binders that students can take to a fun spot in the room.  They read and trace their words.

 For some needed review, I had some of my kids read this short vowel poster book during reading groups.  They were so pumped that they were rhyming and reading quickly.  Having these done and ready for next year is going to help so much when we are introducing each word family, blend, digraph, and vowel team!
I have the corresponding pages to these short vowel books up as an anchor wall near my guided reading table. 

We also use these flipping for phonics books as a daily review of learned sounds.

Our rainbow namebows are up in the room and just as bright and happy as can be!  This year I used astrobrights paper for the rainbow strips!

This was my favorite Earth Day yet!  We created these repurposed paper bag books.  We still have a few more activities to finish up Monday and Tuesday, but these are such treasured little books already!

 Look Mrs. Tunstall, I am saving the Earth's trees by using this pencil forever! 

Although it is getting late on Sunday {sob} I still have a LONG grocery list, heap of laundry, and math lesson plans to do.  I will also be laminating and making these May story starter sticks tonight!  
Is it really going to be May next week?!?!?!?!
 Have a great week friends!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Guided Reading Phonics Posters

As a teacher of reading we come to discover that there are some habits that separate skilled readers from those that struggle.

Struggling Readers Tend To:
  • Rely on context clues and guessing
  • Skip difficult sections of text
  • Read slowly and with great difficulty
  • Focus on decoding and not comprehension
  • Lack self-monitoring
Confident Readers Tend To:
  • Process words automatically and rapidly
  • Look for known chunks in unfamiliar text
  • Use context to confirm pronunciation and meaning
Because the expectations for young students learning to read have increased tremendously year after year, it becomes overwhelming for many of our students to keep up with the fast pace of introducing new sound/spellings week after week.  Because we must cover so many different phonics patterns, we can lose those little strugglers to confusion and over-saturation of new material.

I noticed that when my strugglers were not able to recall learned sounds from previous weeks, I was having to dig out our previous word work activities or recreate them quickly with a little whiteboard to support that reader.  I wanted to have something I could easily point to and remind/review as needed. 

Phonics instruction provided in a meaningful
context provides multiple anchors to help
students learn about words: meaning,
spelling, and sound

  Being consistent with sound boxes can really make an impact on your struggling readers.  This gives them a concrete understanding of sounds and the letters that make them.  It can be eye opening to see how your students react and push sounds into the boxes. 

I had to edit this video down to just 42 seconds from almost 4 minutes in order to get it to upload, so this is not a complete picture of how we manipulate the sounds. 

Students gain an understanding of digraphs, trigraphs, beginning, medial, and ending sounds!


Anything can be used for sound boxes!  Changing it up provides novelty which makes for eager little learners!  #milklids  #erasers  #googlyeyes  #poms  #seasonalitems 

Focus on one particular group of sounds or build a guided reading anchor wall.

 In protective sleeves students can highlight, circle, or cover certain parts of the word to further explore the sounds and pattern.

I made two versions of each sound.  One that just anchors the sound to a word, and one that helps provide word examples of that same pattern.

In order to keep the pages from getting worn, I decided to place them in sheet protectors.  Plastic folders or little binders are the perfect place for creating a little review reading book.

Click the picture to see these on teacherspayteachers.

The inspiration for phonics posters came from our flipping for phonics book sets.  My students LOVE to read these all.the.time.  I use them for a warm up during guided reading.  Students also put them int their book boxes and read them to anyone that is willing to listen.

I also just uploaded these short vowel tracers!  Now my students can work on handwriting while I target their phonics pattern!    My reason for creating these is for RTI practice as well as for a fast finisher activity.  My groups begged me to put them in the writing center, but I decided to use them for a reward for finishing work.

I also completed the blends and digraph set of posters!