Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday Resource

Today's resource is...
Other Teachers!

More specificity other Teacher's products on Teachers Pay Teachers AND Teacher's Notebook.

So often we forget that our biggest resource are other teachers and professionals. When I first started teaching I was a bit lost, ok very lost. Despite the fact that I had worked in a school since I graduated high school I was still a bit bewildered when it came to creating lessons, finding the resources I wanted to use with my kids.

I found myself scrambling a lot. I remember I used to Google "Classroom Design", "Classroom Layout", "Kindergarten Classroom" and "First grade Classroom" A LOT, just looking for other classrooms. One day I lucked up on Deanna Jump's older classroom website, I mean this was years ago people. From that point on I knew there was more to be found. Now she is at... Mrs. Jump's Blog.

On one of my Google expeditions I found Jodi's original blog, The Littlest Learners, and I was hooked. (Now she has a new home at The Clutter-Free Classroom.) That is when I knew I wanted to share my stories too. That was my introduction into to the world of Teacher Bloggers and almost 2 years ago, on my birthday, I started my blog. :) So in exactly one month, this lil old blog will be 2, and I will be ??? LOL If you can guess right I'll give you a Lesson Plan template of your choice from, A Teacher's Plan.

It is always amazing to me how much my teaching and classroom have evolved. I just went back to check some blog info and read some old posts and "oh wow" was all I thought. But I digress, I am here to share some of the amazing resources I purchased just last week, to use with my kids this week, which is now almost over. :P

Now, there are a MILLION free resources and I plan to share many of them in the weeks to come, but I wanted to take a minute to share some of the items I have been using a TON. These are all purchased items, and while I wish they were free, they weren't. :P

Last week I bought a ton of Annie Moffatt's phonics & sight word packets.

I actually have to go back and purchase her 2nd grade pack because my 2nd and 3rd graders were whining about not getting to make them. And here I thought that they would think it was for babies. Boy was I wrong.
I also purchased Abby's RTI Pack, which I am not using for RTI, but for sm. group instruction, and downloaded her Highlight a Letter freebie.

I got Kristen's Leveled Library Signs in hopes that I will finally level my mess of a class library.

Oh and I am in LOVE with Melissa's Reader's Response Sentence Starters. I think my kids will really find them useful.

I pulled out Lindsey's Reading Comprehension Pack 2. When I am not broke anymore I will go back for the other one in the set.
A while ago I got her Word family book and my 1st graders adore it.

I got Greg's Shape Packet for when I teach my Kinder ELL kids their shapes. Feel free to purchase all of his products he has a wedding to pay for. 

I am also adding Hadar's Apple Graphs and Glyphs to my to be purchased list.

And now I am broke. LOL I swear my wish list has over a 100 items on it. There are so many resources out there that I kind of feel guilty I am not posting ALL of them. I just can't keep going. I have a class to get to! :P However, I will probably start highlighting some of these a bit more as I use them with my kids. Now I have got to run, I think I'm gonna be late. Yikes!

Have a great Thursday, tomorrow I get to go to the Pumpkin Patch.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What is going right? (Teacher Tip Tuesday)

This morning during one of my Data Team/ Planning meetings my admin commented on how well things were going in our teams rooms. Then she turned to us and said... (and I am paraphrasing here)
"What are you doing that is going to so well?"

We all had to stop and think about it. So often we feel like when we have a good day that we got lucky, or that it was just a "good day" but the truth is that something happened. It may have been the planets aligning, an extra reminder or just good procedures. Whatever it is we have to take the time to figure out what they are so that we can do them more often. Really it is so that we can do them when things aren't going so well.

One teacher on my team said that she had been giving herself time limits, ie: we are only spending 10 minutes on this activity. Because of this the class knew the expectations and were able to move through the routine smoothly and quickly. It is not something she had associated with the day going smoothly until she was asked to identify it.

For me? Well, I always go back to routines. I, myself, NEED routines. So my class is super packed with routines and procedures. I know this is part of why my ELL kids do well on a day to day basis. They know what is coming next and are not scared because they are in a predictable environment. 

After my meeting I created a reflections sheet. Some of us just jot down notes in our plans, others want something more. So if this is something you can use, enjoy!

So the teacher tip for the day is, figure out what is going right, and do more of it. LOL :)

I'll leave you with pictures of my students with their Firefighter hats on. We created these when we studied Fire Fighters, during out community helpers theme. They LOVED it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Map it out Monday x3

Plans for the week? You mean I am suppose to do those every week? Huh? LOL ok, you know me and you know the one thing I do love is planning. Doesn't mean that it is easy. I was up until midnight again working on my plans. Here is my week x3.
Phonemic Awareness skill: Beginning sounds
Phonics: Letter of the week: Mm (Alphafriend Mimi Mouse)
Sight/ HFW word: see
Academic vocab: First, Middle and Last
 Comprehension skill: Story Elements
Theme: Colors

Phonemic Awareness skill: Blending Phonemes
Phonics: Letter review for Yy, Kk, Vv and short Ee
Sight/ HFW word: do, is, you, for, me
Word families: -et and -en
 Comprehension skill: Story Elements
Theme: Johnny Appleseed

2-3 plans for week of 9/24/12
Phonics: I use Systematic Sequential Phonics with these kids so this week we are on lessons 26-30 and working on e (as in he) as well as digraphs ch, sh and th. In addition to all that I am also covering CVCe words.
Sight/ HFW word: eight, enough, second, seven, three, two, first, four
 Comprehension skill: Story Elements
Theme and Vocab: Johnny Appleseed and Seasons

So my 2-3 lesson plans are a bit skimpy. My service time changes and I still have not adjusted my plans to reflect what will actually be going on in my room. That is on my to-do list for the week.

Also if you notice that the Guided Reading story hasn't changed, well that is because I don't have my HUGE teachers manuals at home. So what I do is just plug that in on Monday Mornings before I print my plans at work. :P

On Thursday, I plan to share all the wonderful resources I use to help me plan. I also got some WONDERFUL new items from teacher bloggers that I am stoked to show you all. Have a great week!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Frazzled Friday Freebie

Hi Everyone,

This week has seriously been a whirl wind for me. I can't tell you how many things I had on my plate. I tried to get on here yesterday for a Thursday Resource but never made it. So I decided to give you a freebie for your to use as a resource. :)
This week my 2nd and 3rd grade ELL kids have been working very hard to make sure they have complete sentences in their writing. On a side note, at the moment we are writing Personal Narratives. We talked about the 2 parts to a sentence, the subject and predicate. We discussed what each part means and finally we practiced separating and putting together some sentences until they were "complete". 

Because my kids are very visual I wanted to have something up to help them. I didn't make anything fancy because I didn't have time, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out. Plus it matches all the other things I have up at the moment. :)

I loved how it turned out and took more pictures. :)

I decided I wanted them to practice this skill a bit more, so I made more sentences for them to use at our pocket chart workstation.
And you get them as a freebie. :)

With that said, I will get back to trying to make it through the rest of the day. I will leave you with some VERY late working Kinder kids.

Rainbow names from the first week of school.

 (Obviously this friend didn't understand.)
 Who says tape can't fix anything? :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teacher Tip Tuesday: ELL Levels

Today's Teacher Tuesday is courtesy of my schools Curriculum night.
All students in the English Language Learner program study speaking, listening, reading, and writing throughout an integrated approach that uses content as the vehicle to meet ELL language goals and standards.
Level 1
Student with no or very limited English language skills.
Students use observational skills and are dependent upon visual cues, and simplified language for comprehension. Level 1 students function well when following a routine. They may feel safest in the ELL environment and take more risk practicing language amongst their peers. They can easily feel overwhelmed with the language and should participate in varied activities that allow them to manipulate objects with their hands and change activities often.

Level 2
Students at the beginning level of English language skills.
Level 2 students rely heavily on visual cues and non-verbal language but are more confidant in their social skills. They will often imitate conversation to meet personal needs or get information. Level 2 students feel the importance of needing English to learn social language and academic content.

Level 3
Students at the intermediate level of English language skills.
Level 3 students gave a strong command of conversational English. This may give students and/ or staff a false sense of language proficiency. Social acceptance by peers and participation in popular culture is very important to students at this level. Students often have a limited awareness of the skills needed to acquire academic language. However, they possess skills and language structures in English that are much more advanced than the previous two levels. Teachers play an important role in motivating these students.

Level 4
Students at the intermediate-advanced level of English language skills.
Students in Level 4 will find school more challenging as they discover the academic demands placed upon them. These students may become frustrated and require support with skills and strategies to help them in the classroom.

Level 5
Students at the advanced level of English language skills.
Level 5 students may read and write at or near native level but require refinement in these areas. These students are confidant in their ability to compete with native-English-speaking peers. They perform very well on daily assignments and projects in the classroom but may have difficulty performing well on

Monday, September 17, 2012

Map it out Monday???

I've noticed that several of you have been sharing your lesson plans. It made me want to share mine too. I wanted to post them on Sunday so you could take a peek before the week started. However, you know when I got my plans done? Last night at midnight. :/ So Sunday was out of the question. I thought of Monday but not sure about it. Also I don't know if it is anything you all are interested in. So again not sure how often I will post them. If you like them and find them valuable please leave me a comment and/or feedback in the comment box below.

Not gonna talk much about them. Again if you have a question feel free to leave it below and I subscribe. I promise I will respond.

Here are my Kinder Plans...

Here you can find my First Grade plans...

Can't post my 2nd and 3rd grade ones this week, but maybe next week. Feel free to click on either one to get a PDF download of them.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Resource Thursday

Welcome to...
Today I want to share two wonderful new books I am using with my ELL kids. I gave you a sneak peek at one of them on Tuesday.

Here is a shot of the front covers.
 So far I have been using them with my Kinder and 1st grade kids and they have been great! They both books from CTP.

I am currently using the Sight Word Sentences with my Kinder kids. The sentences are WAY too hard for them at the moment, BUT I wanted to introduce them to words and complete sentences early in hopes that it won't be such a weird concept and monumental task later. It practices all the necessary Kinder skills, cutting, pasting, coloring, writing and reading. The picture directions are great too.
Take a peek.
Did I share that CTP has an 8 page free Sample page preview. Click here.

The Sight Word Phrases book is just right for my 1st graders who struggled with their sight words last year. It gives you 3 activities with the same sight word phrase. I am using them on Mon, Wed and Fri.

On Monday, I introduce the phrase.

On Wednesday, practice using the phrase in a complete sentence with some other vocabulary.
On Friday, we review with a mini book that they get to take home and share with their family.
Again CTP has a 9 page free Sample page preview. Click here.
Hope some of these are helpful to you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Visual Directions

Back for another addition of...
This week I am here to share a wonderful tip several of you already know about. Picture icons!

For several years I struggled with this objective on the ELL rubric/exam...
-Student can read and follow directions.
I always thought they have to read the sentence that tells them what to do on a particular assignment. Sooo, umm, if you don't know I teach K and 1 ELL kids. Several of which are straight from the jungle in Burma. Many of them have trouble still writing their names at the end of the year. This is a big thing for them to be able to do. Now I don't want to give you the wrong impression. My kids eventually can read and perform at grade-level or above but it takes some time.

Let's set my struggles aside, because I really want to share these picture icons. You can use these picture directions with not only K and 1 kids but students of all grades who struggle to read. Actually, it is helpful to ALL students. Like I was saying I thought it meant the students had to read the WORDS, but another teacher clued me in, a few years ago, that reading picture cards was totally ok.

A few years ago several of these "Visual Materials Cards" popped up. I just love them. I first saw them on Hadar's blog, Miss. Kindergarten Love,back when she was Outfitted and Inspired. You can read about them here and here.

 This one is actually Angelica, from Extra Special Teaching, creations.
They are all freebies.

What I love best is that all I do is put up the cards on the board and my kids can just look up real quick to see what comes next. For my older kids I am adding the word next to the picture so that they can associate the two and hopefully build that text language. (Is text-language even a word?)

I even bought this wonderful sight word book this summer for my kinder kids that ALSO has the picture directions included.

 That is all for Teacher Tip Tuesday. I want to share some resources with you tomorrow. Let's see if I actually get to do it.
Hope this helps!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Student Work with Names

This should have been my Wordless Wednesday post, and it was. BUT, I tried to post from my iphone and failed miserably. Soooo, here you go on my Mindless Monday. I have to share that these activities came from Deanna Jumps Literacy and Math Fun with Names.

Here is where I display all of my students work for the whole school to see. They are so proud of their work. I get so excited when they are in line and are whispering to their friends, in their Gen Ed class, to check out their wonderful work. Obviously we have out Surfing theme going on. Though I am not sure I am done decorating this wall yet.

We start the year with some school vocabulary and learning our names and this Names Phoneme Substitution activity is just perfect for getting us listening to the sounds in our names.
Wheels on the bus fun.

We continue our name exploration as we breifly introduce the letters of the alphabet. These Chicka, Chicka Name Tress are just the right thing to help my ELL friends learn the letters in their names.
Chicka, chicka, boom, boom.

That's all for today.
Hope to be back tomorrow, crossing my fingers, to share again for "Teaching Tip Tuesday". Now I am off to a Professional Development for an hour and 45 min. Let's see what I learn tonight.
Have a great Monday!