Friday, April 3, 2015

A Basket Full of Sight Words

My 1st and 2nd grade AIS reading students were at it again! This time with an Easter theme. I assessed their sight words the week before Spring Break, and we put together these egg-cellent projects for Easter. Some of my kiddos just reached mastery with their high-frequency word (HFW) lists, and everyone is making steady progress with their HFW. Yay!! Sight words are such a major part of my instruction with the 1st and 2nd graders, and one of their goals is to reach their respective benchmarks for mastery. We are on our way!

I love how unique these projects turn out each time. I pretty much give them free reign of how they'd like to organize their words. My main rule is that they must be able to see each word, so they can over lap the eggs, but they have to be able to read the WHOLE word on each egg.










Here's a recap of how to prep these sweet little projects:
All you have to do is write your sight words on the eggs.  I did each grade level's words on a different patterned egg and copied them on different colors, like I did with the hearts for Valentine's Day, feathers for the turkey, and gifts for Christmas.

I do not have the kids do the cutting; I do all of that ahead of time, but if you are a classroom teacher, you may want to include that step for your sanity and to include fine motor practice. 

My reading students read their HFW and glue them...just to get the affirmation of ALL the sight words they know...they LOVE seeing so many words on their papers because it looks like SO MUCH! Their baskets are overflowing!

We take our sight word progress graphs a step further with this project; even though they love watching their bar graph get higher each time I progress monitor, this gives them something even more tangible. And they LOVE to show off their completed project to their classroom teachers and peers. I sure hope these projects get displayed on the fridge or art wall at home! They are something to be proud of for sure. 

A little boost in confidence for our most struggling students is a GREAT thing! 

Additionally, they each get a baggie with their words to work on over break again, of course, along with a list with the words they don't yet know highlighted.

I also have some ideas for an end of year project bopping around in my brain...I have loved doing these projects throughout the year with my younger students.
So if you love this project like I do, stay tuned!

April Currently

It's time for a Currently from Farley, and I actually have the time to fill one out! Yippee!

Listening: to the Today Show...I wish I could sip my coffee and watch this every day. Love it.

Loving: Yesterday was the first day we had seen temperatures in the 60s since November. In Rochester, it even hit 70! Today's high is 61--I'll take it!

Thinking: Yesterday was beautiful, but it rained last night. I'm hoping the rain is done, so I can keep the windows open all day again.

Wanting: I really need to clean my car. It's had a hard winter what with all the yuck that drips from the boots of a 3 year-old. My car is tiny, so the salt and mud is ALL OVER.

Needing: I really need to finish reading Four Perfect Pebbles. This is the novel I will be doing with my 8th grade guided reading students after break. It's a Holocaust novel, and my students will be studying WWII in Social Studies.

Yesterday, Nolan and I did a trial run of the project we're doing for his teachers at daycare for Caregiver Appreciation Week this month. We have 3 more to go! Details to come at a later date.

Egg-splain Your Name: My blog name comes from the TV show "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper"...please tell me someone else grew up watching that show! My principal made the connection years ago when I first got married and calls me Coop.



If you're interested in participating in Farley's Currently for April, head on over to her blog!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Word you be my Valentine?

It's the week before winter break, and Valentine's Day is just around the corner. That obviously means my 1st and 2nd grader AIS reading students were working on another sight word project! Click here to see what we did for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"Word" you be my Valentine?
Get it? Good one, right? :)











 Here's a recap of how to prep these sweet little projects:

All you have to do is write your sight words on the gifts. 
I did each grade level's words on a different heart and copied them on different colors, like I did with the feathers for the turkey and gifts for Christmas. 
I do not have the kids do the cutting; I do all of that ahead of time, but if you are a classroom teacher, you may want to include that step for your sanity and to include fine motor practice. My reading students go over their sight words with me and glue them...just to get the affirmation of ALL the sight words they know...they LOVE seeing so many words on their papers because it looks like SO MUCH! 

Their hearts are FULL! 
Get it? Oh, I'm full of them tonight :)

We take our sight word progress graphs a step further with this project; even though they love watching their bar graph get higher each time I progress monitor, this gives them something even more tangible. And they LOVE to show off their completed project to their classroom teachers and peers. 

A little boost in confidence for our most struggling students is a GREAT thing!

Additionally, they each get a baggie with their words to work on over break again, of course, along with a list with the words they don't yet know highlighted.
I also have an Easter project in the works...I thought this would be a cute project to do before each long break with my younger kids. 

So if you love this project like I do, stay tuned!

Hopefully parents will actually practice sight words during winter break...hey, I can dream, right?


Friday, January 2, 2015

Handprint Alphabet Book (A, E, I, T)

I'm back with a continuation of our Handprint Alphabet Book! If you missed the first few letters Nolan chose (and a quick how-to), look HERE!
 

 
Nolan chose to work on letters A, E, I, and T most recently. We'll get this book done before he's 4! ;)



Aa alligator





Ee elephant

Ii iguana

Tt turtle

We only do animals for our alphabet book, but there are many other ideas out there too. Nolan saw a car on one of the pages we were using, so he decided he wanted to make that and turned it into a painting for one of his teachers. He chose a strawberry for his other teacher. These pictures will come at a later date after his teachers have received his gift of artwork!

Again, stay tuned for more letters to come!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Give the Gift of Sight Words

I'm back! And I have a fun freebie for you just in time for those last minute Christmas plans. With my 1st and 2nd grade AIS reading students, I will be doing a little project for them to take home for the holiday break.

This is what we did for Thanksgiving:

Our school district has 150 sight words for grades K-2. This project belongs to a 2nd grader, so he has 3 colors--one for each grade.

Unfortunately, I only remembered to get one photo; I don't have any of the 1st graders' work, but they only had orange (1st grade) and yellow feathers (kdg) of course. Each student also took home a baggie with their words to practice in hopes they would actually do so over break.

And now, for the main attraction...

Drumroll please!


 
Sight Word gifts all wrapped up beneath the tree, or in Santa's sleigh, or next to Santa! The choices!

We'll be doing gifts under the tree.

All you have to do is write your sight words on the gifts. 
I did each grade level's words on a different shaped gift and copied them on different colors, like I did with the feathers for the turkey. 

I do not have the kids do the cutting; I do all of that ahead of time, but if you are a classroom teacher, you may want to include that step for your sanity and to include fine motor practice. My reading students will go over their sight words with me then glue them...just to get the affirmation of ALL the sight words they know...they LOVE seeing so many words on their papers because it looks like SO MUCH!  

We take our sight word progress graphs a step further with this project; even though they love watching their bar graph get higher each week, this gives them something even more tangible. And they LOVE to show off their completed project to their classroom teachers and peers. A little boost in confidence for our most struggling students is a GREAT thing!


I will post photos of their completed projects sometime soon--keep an eye out. We'll be assessing on Friday and working on the actual project the beginning of next week. They will each get a baggie with their words to work on over break again, of course.

And here they are...months later...
Next year, we'll use smaller gifts; I totally misjudged the sizes there!
 








I also have ideas for Valentine's Day and Easter...I thought this would be a cute project to do before each long break with my younger kids. So if you love this project like I do, stay tuned!
Hopefully parents will actually practice sight words during the breaks...hey, I can dream, right? 


And here's what my 3rd graders worked on before Thanksgiving...I just didn't have time to post until today!

The Truth About Turkeys...


 We spent a few days reading Turkeys in the Trees from readinga-z.com. We talked about the author's purpose (to inform), then we went back through the text and highlighted all the facts about turkeys. After that, we spent some time choosing 4 facts and filling out our graphic organizers, then we copied them onto writing paper and put our turkeys together. Phew! That was a lot of work! They were so proud of their projects!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Handprint Alphabet Book (B, C, D)

Sometimes, you just can't take the teacher out of you! Combine that with a love for books and crafts plus a toddler who loves books and crafts, and you end up working on a handprint animal alphabet book with your *almost* 3 year old. Of course, there's always Pinterest for inspiration too. Not only is this an adorable keepsake for you, but it's a great way to encourage letter-sound correspondence.

You will need:
  • a scrapbook, with enough white filler paper and page protectors for 26 letters (we have a red one since it's Nolan's favorite color)
  • alphabet stickers, with both lowercase and capital letters
  • black Sharpie
  • washable paint
  • paintbrushes
  • googly eyes and any other textural fashionings (beads, feathers, fabric scraps, pom-poms, glitter, etc) you might want to add to your art work--initially I had planned on only doing paint and sharpie, but Nolan insisted on googly eyes for his dino :)
 
How to:
  1. Put your letters in the corner of each page.
  2. Google or Pinterest handprint alphabet and you'll get thousands of ideas.
  3. Decide on your letter. Nolan chooses the letter or animal he wants to make...and the colors if it's not a color-specific critter, then we get to work.
  4. Free-hand paint and do your handprint, add any extra paint details, let dry, then add background details with a Sharpie.
  5. Write the word for the animal (or whatever you've chosen) to the bottom corner with Sharpie...that way your toddler will "read" the book, "A is for alligator."
 
So anyway, here is the beginning of our alphabet book:

Bb bumblebee



Cc caterpillar ( we modeled it after The Very Hungry Caterpillar)


Dd dinosaur









Stay tuned for more letters to come!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Peek into my ClassroomS (finally)

Yes, there is an "S" on the end of that...I have 2 classrooms this year. And 2 jobs...I teach 8th grade Guided Reading in the morning and 1-3 grade AIS Reading in the afternoon. It's pretty hectic and overwhelming at times, but I'm really enjoying it!

Here are some photos from my middle school room--it's definitely still a work in progress. I share a room with some studyhall classes in the afternoon, so I'm leary of leaving much out and about in there...
storage for materials

I Can... statement area


modified Daily 5

rules

our D5 station anchor charts...we created them together in each class period then I condensed and printed out



School colors to cover the door window (not sure why it's so blurry, sorry)

thanks to some lovely co-workers, my bookcase is starting to fill up with a few books...there was NOTHING

journals


And here is a look at my elementary classroom; as you can see, Dr. Seuss still reigns supreme. :) I also share this room, but with a good friend who gave me full-reign over the room since she has her own in another hallway, but we do share the space.






Seuss stuffies (minus the red rhino Nolan is "borrowing")

decoding & comprehension strategies

K-2 High-Frequency Word Wall