Thursday, April 28, 2011


The kids loved the book, "Come Along Daisy" by Jane Simmons that we read on Tuesday.

We created a chart of descriptive words about Daisy.  I was surprised at how hard this was in the beginning, but they finally got it and took off.  I thought the descriptions "ramped up" and "naughty" were funny because those are words that I use frequently to describe behavior.

When I checked at our public library in town, I was amazed at many "Daisy" books there were!  I checked out a few more and today we read, "Daisy and the Egg".
We used that as a springboard for a directed drawing of a duck.  I am trying to work on drawing skills more with them.  I used this book from Scholastic and modified the bird drawing into a duck.

They turned out so cute and I like how they are all a little bit different.  Here are some in progress samples.
I asked them to write sentences about a duck and add background to their drawings.  Here are some completed pages.

I thought they turned out really cute!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bear in There!

Tomorrow we are going to work on the poem "Bear in There" by Shel Silverstein.  The kids love this poem and think it is very funny.

After we read it together and discuss, the students will work on illustrating the poem.  I deliberatly don't put a picture on the sheet as I want them to visualize the poem and draw what they see in their heads.  If they have time, they can find word wall words and the letter we are focusing on in the poem. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Five Little Ducks

Our big book for the next several weeks is "Five Little Ducks".  There are many versions of this story.  This is the one that we use in our reading series.

We are also going to read a really cute story called "Come Along Daisy".  This book is about a little duck who is too busy looking at things and wanders too far away from her mom.  Not relevant to this age group at all :)
So, I created some literacy centers to go along with these stories.  We will be working on these for the next several weeks and most will be done with my para pro in a small group.

First, a rhyming picture match.  I don't know why I made this one with water.  I guess I had a cute water graphic and wanted to use it.  I am not going to change it at this point though because it was a lot of work making that little scene. Click on the picture above to download.

Next, a beginning sounds activity.  I didn't feel like there were a lot of good words in this story for beginning sounds practice. Click on the picture below to download.

Next, a phoneme segmentation activity.  Again, I didn't feel like there were a lot of words in this story that were good for phoneme segmentation.  Click on the picture below to download.

A nonsense word/real word sort. Click on the picture below to download.

We are working on short "u" families for the next several weeks, so here is a -ut and -un word family sort.  Click on the picture below to download.
Last, here is a sight word game with two sets of words.  The first are the sight words from our Harcourt Brace Trophies reading program.  The second are dolch words not covered by our program.  The above grade level reading group told me again that the words were too easy, so I tried to give them some harder ones.  Click on the picture below to download.

A couple of other cool things:

One of our former para pros made this for me.  Its a file folder that you can tuck the book inside and the pieces are attached with velcro, so you can manipulate them.  Isn't she talented??

Next, is a graph that we did at the beginning of the year about feeding the ducks.  I am going to try and remember to save this for this story next year.

Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mrs. Griffey's Last Day :(

Yesterday was Mrs. Griffey's last day in our classroom.  She is a Western Michigan University student who has been participating in our classroom for the last several months.  We will miss her!  She has done a great job.

She taught a math lesson on addition, joining sets on her last day.  Here are some of the pictures.  We use Pearson for our mathematics program.

First, she pulled the kids together on the carpet and demonstrated making two sets of chips.

Then she demonstrated joining the sets together.  She used ribbon.

Next, she explained the math book page.

She did some guided practice with them at their table spots.

Then the students did some independent work in their math books.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Earth Day Rhyming

I am spending the weekend buried in report cards. Next week is going to be crazy due to conferences. I am trying to play catch up with curriculum because of GATES testing last week.  I am also trying to fit in some Easter and Earth Day Activities.

This is one of the books we will be reading.  It is part of our science program.

I also created a rhyming activity for literacy centers.  This will be used in a small group with my parapro. Click on the picture below to download.

We always do a project where we go outside and pick up litter, hopefully I will have some pictures of that to post later in the week.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Literacy

This week has been different as we have been taking our yearly standardized test, the GATES testing.  This is definitely a different experience for the kids, but they have been doing great.  Attendance has been awesome too, with only one absence so far!  Thank you parents!

Next week, we will be doing a little Easter theme, so I created a few materials to use in literacy centers.  The first is a beginning sounds activity that my para pro will use in a small group.  Boy, after GATES testing today, I was glad that I have continued to hit on beginning sounds all year.  At least 2-3 pages of the section we completed today was on beginning sounds.  You can click on the picture below to download the Easter themed beginning sounds.

I also created an Easter sight word game.  There are two sets of words.  The first are sight words from our Harcourt Brace Trophies reading program for those students who still need to work on those words.  The second set are words from the Dolch lists not covered by our program.  Click on the picture below to download.

I also added a couple of new activities to the letter/word work center.  They are both uppercase/lowercase matching.  Uppercase and lowercase was also tested on the GATES test this week.


I'm sure that I got both of these from the Making Learning Fun yahoo group.  I tried to look through my files to see who made them, but I couldn't figure it out.  If they are yours, please let me know. :)

We took a look at "Easter Bugs" this week.  I collect the "bugs" books and the kids love them and look forward to looking at them.  I always have to read them more than once.

Next week, I want to be sure to fit in "Max's Chocolate Chicken".


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nature Center Fun!

This week is Spring Break for me and I took my kiddos plus our friend to one of my favorite places, the Kalamazoo Nature Center!

We checked out the rain forest room before we went to the birds of prey show.  Guess who was picked to demonstrate the features of birds of prey at the show?  One of my current students!  Here are some of the pictures from his demonstration.

Hopefully, his mom will see this as she is a follower of this blog :)  I was so happy to see four of my current or previous students at the show.  I am a strong believer that parents are ultimately responsible for their children education.  Just because we choose to send our children to school does not release us from the responsibility of providing great educational experiences ourselves.  Doing things like going to the Nature Center provides  kids with greater background knowledge and vocabulary that will enhance their school experience.  Unfortunately, the Nature Center isn't free, but they do have a free day in the spring, so check it out if you haven't been. Okay, off my soapbox now :)

After the birds of prey show, we checked out the rest of the Nature Center building and then went for a walk on a couple of the trails.

Hope everyone is having a great spring break!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Letter Naming Fluency

I created an Easter egg letter naming fluency activity for those students who still need to practice naming letters and also for a few that I need to keep ramped up for May DIBELS testing. My parapro will use one sheet per week in her small group.  They practice at the beginning of the group time and again at the end, then I send the sheet home for homework practice. Click on the picture below to download.  Hope someone can use!

Hope this will be my last school related post for awhile.  I am *supposed* to be on Spring Break! 
My hubby did take the kids to see Hop yesterday.
and we all went to the KWings game last night.  Hubby gave the best defense man award out after the game.
I am looking forward to doing some fun stuff with the kids next week!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bingo Games for the "Big Yellow Bus"

So its Spring Break and what am I doing??  Creating things for my classroom!  I guess I need to ease in to a break slowly :)  Anyway, I created a few different bingo games for the story "The Big Yellow Bus" to use after the break.

The kids love bingo games.  I think they think they are just having fun and not practicing real skills when we play them.  This is my first attempt at creating some myself.

First, is a short vowel "e"  cvc word game.  Some of us are still working on those middle sounds.

Next, I have a couple of sight word games.  The first one uses the sight words from the reading series that we use, Harcourt Brace Trophies. This one will be used with the on grade level kids.

For the above grade level kids, I also created a game based on Dolch list words that we do not cover in our series.

Hope someone can use something!

Friday, April 1, 2011

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Our awesome WMU student Mrs. Griffey presented another science lesson to us last week.  The children had to examine different earth materials and discuss how they are alike and different.

First, she read the book "My Earth".  She asked the students what kind of places in the book they had visited such as islands, moutains, etc...

They discussed different places to find water on the Earth and made a chart.

Next, the students looked at different kinds of earth materials and discussed how they were alike and different.

Last, they recorded their findings in their science journals.