Wednesday, February 29, 2012

All Sorts of Sorts

This week I've added a new routine into our morning. My students are doing a daily word sort to practice reading words. They each get a word-strip (10 words) that are mixed up by rime (for example: -it vs. -ig). They write the rime at the top of their paper, draw a line down the center and then cut, sort, and glue their words down. When they finish sorting, they practice writing the words two times. After they've written words, I have them read them to me or another student "expert." This is their "ticket" to choice time in the morning now. It's kind of a teacher-directed Daily 5 word work activity. I was inspired by Jo Robinson's ideas of how to get low-perfoming schools (like mine) to boost their reading scores. This is an activity that hopefully will help my students close the achievement gap! I've shared some links to printable sorts I've made. I've also purchased All Sorts of Sorts, a book that has some pre-made sorts - it's more appropriate for 1st/2nd grade, but I could use it to differentiate for my high students. It mixes sorts by short vowels and long vowel patterns. If you teach higher grades you might find All Sorts of Sorts 2 or 3 useful.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Permission to Pin

If you see something neat on my blog - feel free to pin it. If you're not aware of the Pinterest policy you might want to review it (you're supposed to be the owner of pics you pin or have permission). I want all of my ideas shared at no cost - so when you see this red button know that permission is granted to post and share ideas. Link up to Corkboard Connections to join this permission to pin linky party!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spot the Kindergartners!

To celebrate the 101st day of school our class read (or paraphrased) Disney's 101 Dalmatians -it's a long story so I skipped over all the "scary" stuff.  The students were super happy to make headbands to go along with the story. I forgot to take a pic of anyone wearing their puppy ears headband, so I sketched one. It's a fun/easy way to celebrate the 101st day.

To make headbands:

  1. cut long strips of white butcher paper - I didn't measure exactly (maybe about 3-4 inches wide and about 36" long - I just pulled paper off the giant rolls, fan-folded it over and over then cut on the folds. I think construction paper would be too short to wrap around their heads.
  2. trace an ear shape 2 times on paper and photocopy so everyone has a set of ears (on plain white copy paper)
  3. use black scrap construction paper to cut circles out and glue on the ears
  4. glue on ears on sides of headband and write 101 on the front
The original idea for this idea came from my teaching friend Mrs. Soule.  It was my first year doing these and they were such a hit - it might become a Kindergarten tradition! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hundredth Day, Hooray!

Today was the much anticipated 100th day of school. We started out by entering our room with this cool fringy banner I made out of butcher paper. :0)  As students entered the room a cute 100th day crown  from Oriental Trading Co. was on their desk waiting for them. I also put out a coloring sheet for everyone to do as they settled in for the day. I bought their crowns over the summer and it looks like OTC doesn't carry them anymore. They were really cool and had adjustable velcro closures. Can you say NO STAPLING?! YES!

During Math time we worked on sorting cereal into 10's frames by color, and then stringing the cereal onto pieces of yarn. My teacher's aide prepped the yarn by tying a fruit loop on one end so the cereal wouldn't slide off. We also put a piece of masking tape on the other end so it was hard (like a shoelace) making threading easier. This took about 40 minutes, but the students were super engaged and having fun. Not many students had time to string all 100 pieces of cereal, but they didn't care. As we worked we reviewed counting by 10s. I  allowed students to munch and work at the same time - some of the fruit loop holes were clogged with sugar so I told the students those were the ones they could eat as they worked. They were super happy!

Below you can see my students working away on their sorting. The sorting paper came from my math curriculum (Bridges) from the Math Learning Center. We saved our sorting paper and then re-used them during "snack" time. We made 100's day trail mix, thanks to a fabulous friend/parent-volunteer who brought in TONS of mini munchies for the kids. They had yogurt covered raisins, craisins, peanuts, oyster crackers, mini-chocolate chips, pretzels, sesame crackers, and cereal. During snack the students counted out their 100 (or less...) pieces of food and then enjoyed! Fun!