Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Student Recognition Boards.

Hi everyone,
Sorry this is late on Tuesday. Today was a long day for me. At 8:00am I was sitting in an ELO: "ELL Learning Opportunity" professional learning community. By noon I was back at work preparing to see my 1st graders. At 3:00pm I was in my buildings PLC/Data gathering groups talking about Math and Kinder kids. But that was not the end of it. Then from 4:00 to 5:00 I was siting in on two SAT (student assistance team) meetings. Then went back to my room for 20 min longer to get some goodie bags ready for my kids tomorrow. I finally gave up. I was not done but I just couldn't do it anymore. I hit a wall.

So my brain is not at all on right now but I am super glad I was able to have enough left to log on and share. This is something I have wanted to share for a long time now. So without further ado...

Thanks for coming back for another installment of...
Today's teaching tip is something that has been really big in my building/ school this year.
Student Recognition
There has been some research somewhere that I can't think of right now cause I can't think coherently, that says that student recognition does WONDERS for student achievement. Oh wait, I think I remember something about Marzano, I love Marzano, and Classroom Instruction that Works. If you haven't read it put it on your summer reading list it is a MUST. Also pick up Classroom Instruction that Works with ELL.

I digress, I was talking about what was specifically going on in my school. So every grade is doing something different and I plan to snap pictures of each one, but tonight I only have what the Kinder teachers are doing. They are calling it their "Recognition Rectangles". Can you tell they just taught shapes. :P

Here is what it looks like.
 It is so simple and truth is we all already do it in some way. All they did was attach an objective to it. It is posted in the hallway and everyone that walks by can see it. Now as I walk by I can easily see if my ELL friends have met their goal and give them some encouragement.

Here is another shot.
Because we have a reading and math goal they did two but you could do it just specifically for topic/ subject.

I will be working with my ELL team leader to make one for our ELL kids that moved up a level at the end of the quarter.

Do you do anything similar to recognize your students achievements?

FYI I had some great collaborations this morning at my "ELO" and have a fab freebie to share with you on Friday. Keep an eye out for that. I am off to go eat something and pass out. Enjoy the rest of your night.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Map it out Monday: 10/ 29/ 12 and BATS!

Wow what a crazy week. I was unable to return which made me a little sad because I waned to share some great pics with you. PLUS it was my birthday on Saturday. That is right I am now 31 years old. :P

So my classes are way backed up and we have TONS to get done but I did manage to get my kids to create some great things. FYI, because I teach both K and 1st ELL several of my kids are with me for multiple years. I don't want them to do the same thematic things twice so I try, whenever possible to do different activities with them. Thanks to you all I can. :) This year Kinder is working with Spiders and 1st did Bats. It was wonderful. Anyway...

Welcome back for:
Theme: Spiders
Phonemic Awareness skill: Onset and Rime
Phonics: Letter of the week: Hh (Alphafriend Nile Noodle)
Sight/ HFW word: no, yes
Vocab:arachnid, abdomen, dangerous, helpful
 Comprehension skill: Summarizing

Theme: Bats
Phonemic Awareness skill: Blending Phonemes
Phonics: r controlled vowels, contractions with 's & short i review
Sight/ HFW word: also, color, funny, many, some
Word families: -ick and -ill
 Comprehension skill: Summarizing

2nd and 3rd grade Writing for week of 10/29/12
Topics covered: Voice trait review, Sentence Fluency trait, Editing marks and Descriptive Writing. 
Focus on having complete sentence.


Here are some great pics of my 1st graders bats.
Check out what this lil genius wrote...

I hope to be back with more pictures VERY soon, like tomorrow. Cross your fingers. :)
Have a great week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Map it out Monday: 10/22/12

Welcome back for...
Theme: Homes/ Houses
Phonemic Awareness skill: Onset and Rime
Phonics: Letter of the week: Nn (Alphafriend Nile Noodle)
Sight/ HFW word: like
Vocab: house/homes, rooms, furniture
 Comprehension skill: Summarizing

Theme: Bats
Phonemic Awareness skill: Blending Phonemes
Phonics: Verb endings -s, -ed, -ing; Short i review
Sight/ HFW word: all, eat, first, why, when
Word families: -ip and -in
 Comprehension skill: Summarizing


2nd and 3rd grade Writing for week of 10/22/12
Topics covered: Voice trait review, Sentence Fluency trait, Editing marks and introduce Descriptive Writing. 
Focus on having complete sentence.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Reading Boxes

Hi everyone,
Sorry this is late on Tuesday. Hope your Tuesdays was as quiet as mine. Thanks for coming back for another installment of...
So today's tip is not so much a "teaching" tip but a a great find. It goes without saying that so many teachers are very creative and thrifty. However, sometimes I think sometimes we, at least I do, get carried away being cute and matching our these we miss some great finds right in front of us. So here is my find of the year.

 Inexpensive Book Boxes.


So many times I get caught up in my class theme or in getting something cute that I forget about my pocket book. For years I refused to buy those magazine boxes for my students because they were too expensive and I never liked the look of them. I would buy other baskets that would break, or didn't fit in the space I had. It was the source of some great frustration.

Then this summer while on the Polka Dot Market's website looking at paper lanterns I found these adorable gable boxes that Melanie is always using in her classroom designs.
I knew that my students would tear these boxes up and $1.50 was something I could live with. I has been 9 weeks and they are still in great condition! My kids know they won't get a new one, so I think they are afraid, for now. Let's see if they make it past January. *crosses fingers*

I chose the aqua polka dots, and here they are all lined up on my counter.
I attached the student names with clothes pins so they could be easily removed, but I am thinking of changing it to something more permanent.
Each box is shared by two students. Here are two lovely ladies reading out of their box.
They are big enough for a ton of our little reader and guided reading books. Here is a peek inside.
I am afraid I did not make them terribly cute this year because of lack of time. I also didn't know how long they would last and didn't want to invest too much on ribbon or tags. I did add a Surfboard name plate for the student names.

So do you have any inexpensive items that are not teaching items you have use in your class? Please share.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Map it out Monday: 10/15/12

Welcome back to...
Before I share my plans for the week, I want to share that there are changes coming to my little classroom world. You may remember me mentioning, last year, that our school was cut one ELL teacher. Because one of my colleagues retired, I got to stay on the team, and not relocated. That meant that this year there would be 2 ELL teachers serving close to 70 kids.

Wow! right? Well, because the bulk of our kids are in K and 1st can you guess who had 40+ kids coming in and out of her room everyday? Granted they were not all at the same time but... it is not easy working on 42 report cards.

The good news is that we have now been given another ELL teacher for .6 of the day, more than half. :) The not so hot thing is that I still see a lot of kids BUT I will only see the 2nd and 3rd graders for Writing.

So you saw almost nothing of me last week because I have been working on my schedule and the new teachers schedule and still trying to accommodate the Gen Ed teachers needs and wants. It is a hard job. I think I am out of the woods though and this week, we start the new plan.

If something is going to go wrong, it will on Wednesday. Why Wednesday? Well, my bloggie friends, that is because I have 2 whole days off for Fall break. Nothing compared to the week we used to get, but hey it is better than nothing and will give me time to work on those 40+, first quarter, report cards I am still responsible for.

Now, without further ado...

Theme: Family
Phonemic Awareness skill: Beginning sounds
Phonics: Letter of the week: Bb (Alphafriend Bennie Bear)
Sight/ HFW word: dad
Vocab: Family words cont... (Grandma, Grandpa)
 Comprehension skill: Summarizing

Theme: Families
Phonemic Awareness skill: Blending Phonemes
Phonics: Double final consonants; Short a review
Sight/ HFW word: animal, look, of, this
Word families: -ap and -ack
 Comprehension skill: Summarizing


2nd and 3rd grade Writing for week of 10/15/12
(Still a work in progress.) 
Topics covered: Voice trait, Using dialogue, Editing marks and reviewing when to use I and me in a sentence.


I hope to be back tomorrow with a new Teacher Tip Tuesday. One that I love. Have a great Monday.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Teaching Tip Tuesday: ELL Students Stuggles

Hi everyone,

As I was reading a professional book, I found some great info about ELL kids. Considering I am an ELL teacher and writing a blog about ELL kids, I thought I would share some ELL tips. Well not so much tips but some insight into what an ELL student would struggle with.

Here are some challenges an ELL student may have in...

*The Language Arts Classroom:
-Idioms and figurative language.
-Pronouns and anecdotes.
-Word order and sentence structure.


*The Math Classroom:
-Possible lack of experience with the standard measuring system.
-May use entirely different algorithms for those customarily used in US classrooms.


*The Science Classroom:
-A huge vocabulary load to lern. Many of which are used differently in the scientific context..
-Many ELL students have no experience with the inquiry method of learning so making predictions may be totally new to them.
-Multiple step directions.
-Students come to the science classroom with naive understanding and misconceptions. (Not just ELL kids.)


*The Social Studies Classroom:
-Little knowledge of the U.S. history, government, and geography.
-Limited skills in determining what is important in text, lectures, and discussions.
-Extrodinary amount of content covered in each lesson.

Hope some of these help you while planning for these kids. 
This information was found in Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners.
by Paula Rutherford


Now I will leave you with some pictures of my students fancy new watches from...
They are just over the moon for them.

 When I told them I was going to take their picture they all stuck their arms in my face.
 Found out yesterday that my iPhone 4s has the panorama feature so next time I'll be taking these panorama style. :)
 They are just so excited it makes me happy.
See you in a couple of days for Thursday Resource. :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Map it out Monday: 10/01/12

This weeks plans were relatively easy. Part of that is Monday is a plan day, so not much going on then. The other side of it is that we are now 6 weeks into the school year and I think we are finally getting into a routine. Now without further ado, it is time for...
Phonemic Awareness skill: Beginning sounds
Phonics: Letter of the week: Rr (Alphafriend Reggie Rooster)
Sight/ HFW word: Review I, see
Vocab:Color words
 Comprehension skill: Story Elements
Theme: Colors

Phonemic Awareness skill: Blending Phonemes
Phonics: Letter review for Qq, Jj, Zz and shortUu
Sight/ HFW word: are, they, her, where
Word families: -ut and -ug
 Comprehension skill: Story Elements
Theme: Changing Seasons


If you were looking for the 2nd and 3rd grade lesson plans, those are on hold for the moment. One of the many reasons is that I am tweaking them to better reflect what my students and I can get done in the time allotted us. So I will be working on them tomorrow.

As always have a great week!