Summaries, Diphthongs, and Acrostic Poems

Happy Friday!!!

This week was crazy! A third child withdrew from school. Three of my kiddos have moved since Christmas. On top of that, three were absent yesterday and three were out today. After lunch another kiddie went home with a fever. We're dropping like flies! I'm NOT complaining about the student-to-teacher-ratio, I'm just saying...

Anyway, this week we were focused on vowel dipthongs, summarizing, and poetry during our reading block. Here's how it all went down. I found this big book in the library:

I chose this book because it is a poem, and it had examples of the vowel dipthongs that we are focused on this week (and for the next two weeks too). There isn't much text per page, but the text is rich with all kinds of blends, diagraphs, diphthongs, and more. 

Just these four words contain a vowel diphthong (oo), a L-blend (fl), a S-blend (sc), a silent e, and rhyme. Whatever your working on is probably in there!

We picked out words in our big book that contained vowel dipthongs and wrote them on sticky notes.

Then we also did some dipthong work at the beginning of guided reading groups. 

This worksheet contains OW words. Color words that sound like COW red and words that sound like BLOW blue. We did not complete the entire worksheet during guided reading. I just got them started to make sure everyone understood the directions and knew what to do. It is part of my Vowel Diphthongs Word Detective Packet:

Be a Word Detective: Vowel Diphthongs
After practicing our reading strategies, we found words with diphthongs in our guided reading books.

Next week, we will probably look for dipthongs during Read to Self one day and I've got another big book full of diphthongs. I think it is called Beetle Bop. We will also work on some more of my Word Detective packet. 

This week during interactive read-aloud we were focused on summaries. We learned that good readers use information they learn to create a summary, and that a summary pulls together info we learn about a topic so we can share it with others. We read a book called Eruption! and recorded important information on our anchor chart.

 Actually, we didn't read the entire book. One day we read about how volcanoes are formed and lava. The next day, we read about different types of volcanoes and ash. Finally, we used our listening, thinking, and writing skills to write a summary. 

Today I decided a little craftivity was in order, so students copied the summary and then topped off their work off with a paper volcano. 

If you're a Texas teacher you know that next week is STAAR testing. If not, the acronym stands for State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. My class adopted a 5th grade class and made them a poster to show them a little support. We will deliver the poster on Monday. Testing begins Tuesday for 5th grade. 

The books in the pic are just holding down the poster. My firsties love Pharrel Williams' Happy. On YouTube there is a video with the minions from Despicable Me dancing to the song. I tried to play off that. It's hard to see in this picture, but I attempted to draw a disco dance floor and a mirror ball using colored chalk. 

This week we also started learning about poetry. We made an anchor chart detailing our schema about poetry and we are adding our new schema as we read more poetry everyday. This week during Work on Writing, we practiced writing acrostic poems. Most of our attempts were spring themed, but we also wrote an acrostic name poem. This is what the kids helped me write:

Here are the poems a couple of kids that understood that they were the subject of the poem: 

This student likes racing games, is active, loves to yo-yo, prefers hot weather, enjoys the Aflac commerical, and wants to join the navy.

This student loves her mom, her dog likes her, enjoys running, loves dogs, and has dark eyes. Many students lost sight of the subject after the first few letters of their name. Well, they couldn't think of anything about themselves that started with that letter, so they just wrote something else that begin with the letter. We'll get better ;-)

Are you going? I am! So excited. 

Your up!

Sunday Funday: Creating a preview file for TpT

Ya'll! I'm having one of those, "I can figure out how to do anything!" moments (ya know, in which you're very pleased with yourself and you have to tell SOMEBODY).

I'm finally getting around to posting some of my teacher made resources to TpT. I'll be uploading stuff all spring and summer long in time for a Grand Opening at B2S time. Anyway, I did NOT know how teachers made those spiffy previews that displayed all of the components of a packet in one picture/slide. Then, I remembered that last summer I started a Pinterest board called "Blogging/TpT tips". So I decided to check out my pins to see if I had one on this topic. Sure enough!!!! Here is the link to my pin: Creating a preview file for TpT. This link will take you to a YouTube video by a lady named Tori R. She makes the process super easy to understand. Well, you probably already know how, but if you're like me and you'd like to learn today, she's your girl! While you're there follow me on Pinterest too :-)

Look what I made:

This is how I spent my Sunday Funday. What I should really be doing is finishing the 30 hours of online GT training I'm required to finish by March 31st. But that's NO FUN AT ALL.

I'm excited to like up with A Burst of First for my first ever Sunday Funday Linky!

Have a great week!

Open House and Clip Chart and Blends...Oh my!

Hello again.

Five for Friday time. Let's do this!

This week was Open House.  My firsties acted as tour guides and led their parents on a classroom scavenger hunt. I stayed outside the door to greet and chit chat most of the evening, so the kiddos really had to read the scavenger hunt and complete the tour with their parents. In short, this is what what was on their list:
          1. Tour your desk. Read your parents one of your writing samples in your writing folder. 
          2. Show your parents the Daily Five schedule. Explain to them what you do during each rotation.
          3. Get your book box and read a Meet with Teacher book to your parents. 
          4. Show what you know at the word wall. Read all the sight words you know to your parents. 
          5. Show your parents how many jewels you have on your clip and explain how to get on the Behavior           to Hoot About Wall of Fame (more on this later).  
         6. Guess the bobblehead. Can your parents pick out your self portrait? 
         7. Take a work walk. Show your parents all of your writing and craftivities on display in the hall. 
         8. Visit the Book Fair. 

This collage shows some of the kiddos' bobblehead self portraits, the D5 schedule, the jewels on the clips, and the bald eagles hanging from the ceiling. Somehow I managed to leave school and not take a picture of all the work in the hallway. :-(

About those bejeweled clips. I've been meaning to take pics and I finally did! 

When a student makes it to the top of the clip chart, I hot glue a little jewel on their clip. It takes 13 jewels to fill a clip. When the clip is filled the clip gets retired to the Behavior to Hoot About Wall of Fame. This worked like a charm from August til Spring Break. I didn't hand out a reward coupon or treasure box all year. These jewels are COVETED!!!! And, they're inexpensive. I purchased two bags of these mini jewels at Wal-Mart in August and I'm just now running low. Total spend = approx. $6. I may finally bust out those coupons now some of us are getting Spring Fever. 

The wall of fame is nothing fancy. I'll definately make the wall nicer next year. Sadly, this year all I did was use the cover page of the coupon catalog and staple it to the board. I can do better. :-) My mistake was not prepping the board til school started. I waited until a child's clip was filled. By then, it was low on my list of priorities. But, the kids beemed with pride at Open House if they had a clip of the wall of fame to show their parents!

My clip chart comes from Lindsay Griffith. The jewels were a Pinterest idea. But the resource comes with tons of really neat-o reward coupons.

This activity was a real winner! One of my fast finishers got to start working on her "Spot the Final Blend" activity before anyone else. You get to use a hand lens for this, and hand lenses are a big deal in first grade! Not a firstie in sight could focus on what they should have been doing because they all had to stop and stare at this one student with her hand lens and highlighters. Several forgot rule #3, "Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.", to wander over to me and ask if they got to do that too. Of course! 

This sheet and more can be found here:

It was such a hit I'm making a version for vowel diphthongs. If my kiddos like it as much as this one, I'll upload it to TpT too.
I found these little yellow punch cards at Dollar Tree (a teacher's best friend). When a student submits work that is his/her best writing you punch the card. I also, display the work with the card as seen here:

When the card is punched 10 times you get a prize. 

Are you going to the the TpT Conference in Vegas this summer? I am!  And, some K and 1 teachers on campus are coming up with ways to raise money for the I Teach K or I Teach 1 conference the same week. Soooo excited! Love to meet ya.

Till next time :-)

Classroom Flip

The official first day of spring was this week! Spring Break is over and the summer count down has begun. According to my partner teacher, we have 53 school days to go. Not that I'm counting or anything ;-)

Do you spring clean your classroom? Well, I did!I haven't touched my house, my classroom got re-do before Spring Break. My room really felt cramped. My firsties have grown, for sure, but surely they're not taking up extra square footage! Regardless, I decided to over haul my room. It's been great - a definite improvement. And, even though I was concerned about changing things up mid-year, the kiddies love it as much as I do. We have waaayyyy more space on the carpet now and we're loving it. Here's the BEFORE pics:

I had six groups located centrally in the room. The library, writing center, computers, and shelves were located at  the edges of the room. Then, I flipped it:

BAM! Look at all that space!!!! Now the writing center and storage shelves are in the center of the room. I reduced the groups from six to four and moved the groups to the outer edges against the walls. Soooo much more space for EVERYTHING. The writing center desks never move or get pushed out of place because they are lined up behind the shelving that holds our book boxes and math manipulatives. It's great. And the groups move less to because they are pressed against the walls. Whowouldathunkit? 

Have a great weekend!

Five for Friday + Two FREEBIES

Hi friends,

I'm back for another Five for Friday!

I got a new blog look! It's been up since Monday. The talented Tenille created it for me. Yesterday was my birthday. I purchased it as a gift to myself and I L.O.V.E. it!

All school year long I've been telling myself that I should upload a few resources to Teachers Pay Teachers. But, I gotta tell ya, a little fear was holding me back. What if my stuff just didn't cut the mustard, ya know? But, I decided to woman up and give it try. I uploaded a couple of very simple FREEBIES. After I revise/edit/beautify/add some cover pages to a few more things I'll add some more products. 

This week I discovered BeFunky. BeFunky is a free photo editor. You probably already know about it, but I'm completely fascinated. I went a little overboard editing photos for a post I did earlier this week about the 290 Wine Shuttle. Case in point: 

Ya'll! If you've been blogging for awhile you know this too. But, I learned how to install new fonts to my computer this week. {Dude, like, I'm getting soooo technologically advanced...hehehe.} I downloaded free fonts from Kevin & Amanda. That was easy enough so I got ambitious and downloaded some fonts from TpT, but I can't figure out how to install those. It doesn't work the same way! But, I'll google it. I google everything. Google should be a verb. 

And, finally, I went with my sister-in-law to check out a store called Oil & Vinegar. Oh my! If you're into cooking or Food Network, you should check out this place! I purchased some Roasted Garlic EVOO, Lime Grapeseed EVOO, Mango Pulp Vinegar, and Marc de Champagne Vinegar. Tonight at dinner we dipped French bread in the champagne vinegar and roasted garlic oil...delicious!

I keepin' short & sweet this week. I'm back at school on Monday. I hope you enjoyed your Spring Break!