Monday, January 28, 2013

Lego "Fowdashun"


I LOVE my students.  They are the most sweet and thoughtful bunch.  I appreciate them so much!

Here is a sweet story...

I have wanted to buy Legos for my students since I began teaching.  They cost so darn much!  I spends thousands of dollars each year on items but won't buy legos because they are JUST a recess toy.  I always do a drive by at garage sales trying to find them but never any luck.  :(
I told my students when we had enough all positive days that I would buy some Legos.  When it happened I just bought one tub and told my students that I am going to buy more but am going to look around for a deal because they are so expensive.

Lo and behold... a darling little girl in my class brought me 2 typed up signs the next day.

Lego Fowdashun
Lets by Legos for are class!  Bring extra money to school and we will by more Legos!
It was ADORABLE!  :)  There was much more to it but I left it at school.  I'm going to save it forever!  :)
I thanked her it and explained that it was an excellent idea but I really wanted to buy them for the class myself because they are such great kids.  :)
I just love the sweet little things that they do.

  Have a great Tuesday!



Friday, January 25, 2013

FREE Addition and Subtraction Assessments and Graphs

The PTO at my school is awesome and has sponsored a "kings club".  Grade levels 1-4 have assigned facts that they need to answer fluently.  Grade 1 has to answer addition and subtraction facts to 10.  If they complete it- their picture is taken, given a crown and they are given candy as well as are featured on the morning announcements.   

I made these for my fantastic first grade teammates and I to use. 

There are 3 different versions of the addition and subtraction assessments.
There are graphing choices for students to record their progress after each assessment.

I also am sending home addition and subtraction homework flashcards with each of my students as well.  :)

Click the cover pages to go to the products in my TPT store.  :)  Have a great weekend!  :)


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Red Words Intervention

These words are the "irregular" sight words.  These follow the common core standard that is boxed in red.
I am completing this intervention based off of the Student Word Assessment 1 that I gave my students. 
Click on the image to go to it on TPT.
There are generic 3 day plans.

Students are given a sight word card.  One side has the word in isolation and the other side has the word in context.
Each of the 21 red words includes a sight word poem or story, 2 days of lesson pages and 2 independent practice worksheets.

I have about 3/4 of my yellow words intervention plans finished.  They definitely take A LOT longer to complete because there are so many rules and word chunks!  :)


Green Words Intervention

This is designed to use with my Student Word Assessment 1. From the assessment- if students struggle with the "green" or words that can be sounded out- students work on letter sound knowledge and then applying the knowledge to nonsense words. 

The green words follow the common core standard that is boxed in green. 

Included are generic lesson plans that can be used for 9 weeks.

Students start with reviewing the alphabet chant. 

Nonsense words introduce one vowel sound at a time then every other week reviews the vowel sounds that have been introduced. 

Students also practice applying the skill/ sounds that they learned by listening, segmenting and then writing simple words.

You can get a copy of the Green Words Intervention here.

YAY for finally being able to upload images on blogger again!!! :)

I also have been trying to change the license for all of my TPT items.  I felt that it was silly that I was selling things for only one classroom use.  Seriously what was I thinking?!?!? 

Even if I haven't changed the wording on it- all of my items are good for one school. (not district)  I hope that you share with your teammates!  So if you haven't already- please share away!  :)  Hopefully this doesn't come to bite me in the rear end but I think that it is a good thing to share with your peers.  :) 

If you feel like buying more than one for your school still- I'm fine with that too!  Especially is it is not out of YOUR pockets!  lol...   ;)


Student Word Assessment 1

This is a continuation of research that I conducted while completing my masters.  This is a portion of a year long action research project that I worked on identifying why students struggled with reading.  Through my research I found Orton Gillingham Strategies, using context clues and multiple intelligences to help students master sight words.

With this Student Word Assessment, I am attempting to take my research a step further and to identify specifically which type of words students need to practice.  The words on this assessment have taken multiple hours to decide.  I have included words with word chunks, words that you can sound out, words that you need to know a rule to figure out and irregular words. 

Depending on how students score on the assessment I have interventions for the green, yellow and red words. 

Here is a peak at the assessment:
Sorry I still cannot upload images!  Thank goodness for Blogger phone app! 
I need my super smart hubby to figure out what is wrong!  :)
 Students read off of a copy with words in rows.  Many of my students always lose their place and I was hoping that this would help keep them on track.  ;)
 This is what my copy looks like.  I borrowed this format from my district.  I love how they have multiple columns next to each other so that you can easily compare words correct on different dates.
Next to each word in parenthesis are either a (G), (YC), (YR) or (R).  Those tell you what type of word that it is. 
After the student takes the assessment- you record how many of each word type that they missed on this sheet.  (You can see it on the cover sheet)
You can find the Student Word Assessment here.

We had a surprise 2 hour delay this morning so it gave me time to finish my grade cards and blog!  For such a short week- I sure feel like I have accomplished a lot!  :)


Monday, January 21, 2013

Class Dojo and Power Teaching!

Do you ever try to find something or a solution to something that is just staring at you in the face?!?!?!

After months and months of trying to creatively use class dojo-but not having the luxury of using my hubby's iPad this year- and not liking having to pause students from using the projector or pull down something we are working on to assign points-

I finally realized- "Um- I HAVE a class dojo app!" My phone is like a mini iPad- I can just use class dojo from there!!!

Isn't my dog cute?  :)

I only used class dojo for 1-2 months last year but it was easy to use because I used it on the iPad so it didn't interrupt what we were doing. We even have cool smart slates this year that work like a wireless remote where I can pull up the website... And it worked but I wasn't happy with how much time I was wasting. Sometimes we would be watching a video and I couldn't assign points until after it was over. It worked- but knowing how well it worked with an iPad just made me want to find a better way to use it.

I decided this round to try to incorporate it with power teaching.

 I created an avatar for oh yeah points and one for mighty groan. Right now I'm just using their cute monster avatars but I'd like to change it to something more creative soon. A staff member uploaded Justin Beiber photos and other fun avatars to his. I bet his kids love it! Ill have to think of something fun as well. :-). Maybe ill take their photo with happy faces and or with frowny faces??? :-)

Here is a screen shot from my phone:


The trick to using this with Power Teaching's Scoreboard is that you only give positive points to the Oh Yeah and only give negative points to the Mighty Groan. (You get to select your own awards.  These are just the awards that I use.) 

FYI- What and Why is something new that I'm trying.  I will randomly ask, "What are we doing and why are we doing it?"  If a student can answer it and apply it to real world items- they earn a point.  :)

This is absolutely great.  When you give a positive point it makes a "Chiching!" sound.  The students know exactly what they earned and they can get right back to work.  When you give a negative point it makes a deep, "Babaaaa!" sound.  lol.  Watching their expressions when they hear the sound is priceless!!!!  :)

One of the coolest features is that it will create a pie graph with the amount of positive or negative awards that you have earned.  You can use that information to have a behavior boot camp in your class or celebrate their success!

I think using class dojo mixed with power teaching should work well! :-)  I'm VERY excited to use this!

I have NO. IDEA why it didn't dawn on me to use my phone! I wish I had an iPad (hint hint hubby) to use instead!:-)

If you haven't checked out class dojo-here is a link to a blog post that I wrote last year. It is FREE and the kids love it! :-)

OR go direct to the website yourself --->

Side note- I've been Doing a little blogging roulette and have found some amazing blogs! If you are working on grade cards like me- it is a great distraction! :-)


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Table Token Economy

For math- my grade level assesses students every 3 weeks or so to determine appropriate grouping of students in the grade level.  From my most recent assessment- I determined that my group needs more practice with coin identification and counting money.  We practice coins whole group often but it just was not enough.  I decided to make it more "real" for the students.

My "homeroom" class has a token economy system based on their daily behavior color.  Once a month I have a fabulous parent set up a class store and they spend the money that they earn.

I only have my math group for 1 hour a day so I had to come up with something that could work with them.

This is what I came up with:

I used clear plastic cups, velcro, a marker and a ruler to make token economy cups. I am making one of these for each table.



 I used a ruler to stabilize the cups and attached velcro to the ruler and the bottom of the cups.



Then I wrote the type of coin on the top inside of the cup and how many coins you needed to exchange to the next value on the outside. For example: Once they have 5 or more pennies, they will exchange 5 pennies and put one nickel in the next cup.

Students will this in during the last 5-7 minutes of class each day.
I am going to use the version on the left.  At the end of the week, if they don't spend everything- they can carry the money over to the next week. 
You can download the documents for FREE here.
****I am still having trouble uploading images into blogger so sorry for the bad iphone pictures!****


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Grade card time and kid stories.

Anyone else feel like all that they have been doing is assessing lately?? :-)

At least after assessing it is making me speed up with updating my sight word intervention. I have been trying to upload samples of this for a few days but I'm having trouble with the last stage of uploading items on TPT.

Sorry for the lack of blogging. I have so much catch up on blogging to do. I have wonderful finds on TPT to share, my updated sight word intervention (I started this when I was working on my masters 3 years ago) and just some tips.

Even though this has been a stressful two weeks I always am surprised and delighted by my students. Today I had a little girl bring me a school quilted bag filled with little crafts that she made. It always warms my heart when they think about you that much at home!

I'd love to read some comments of what your kiddos have done to make you smile! If you have time- leave a comment- I always love reading the nice stories!!

Ill be back soon!!! :-)


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Managing Small Groups and Computer

Whew!  It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks.  Due to some family issues and just feeling BLAH I haven't been posting much!

Since I FINALLY go back to school tomorrow I was updating my generic substitute plans.  I typically do this once a quarter as my schedule seems to ALWAYS be changing.  I lay these out on my desk each day before I leave.  They easily can use these to make it through any day.  I also have emergency plans and filler worksheets out behind my desk that they can always use as well.

(I took a screen shot but it isn't loading correctly- I'll try to fix it tomorrow.)

Going through my generic plans made me reflect a bit on how I manage my reading small groups and computers/ daily 5.  For the past 3 years I have slowly tried to make transitions more smooth and to control behavior a little bit better. 

For computer usage- I have tried allowing computer work as a reward for finishing work first, make it a daily 5 rotation and having a list of students for each computer and once one student was finished- they would go tap the next student on the list during work times to go get on the computer.

For groups- I have been mostly organized but didn't tell my students my plan for meeting.  some figured out the pattern of meeting on Tuesday/ Thursday but I never posted my group schedule for all to see.

This year I LOVE having a completely structured computer, daily 5 and small group schedule.  I have my schedule posted so that each student can see it and refer to it often during the day.  The first draft took hours to make because I took into account student strengths, weaknesses and identified my socially gifted (lol) kiddos.

Here is a peak at my schedule:
Alright- it will be posted hopefully tomorrow because I cannot get the pop up to upload images to work correctly.


To make the schedule I first took into account my pull out students and when they would be leaving the room.  I knew that I could not teach mini-lessons while they were out.  So any holes in the schedule are whole group mini-lessons.

Writing Schedule-
*I decided to take a small group of writing students each day for the first 15 minutes of independent writing.  These students know immediately to bring their things and I sit with them at my table. 

Reading Schedule-
*I schedule Read to Someone time first for all students because they just went a long time working quietly during writing.  I also make sure that my higher level readers and students that need more social interaction are available to participate.
-My reading intervention students are out of the room at this time.
-I schedule some of my more distracted students on the computers to work on Raz-Kids during this time.
-My reading program comes with 6 decodable reader books.  I have 6 students keep these in their book browsing boxes.  Each day during this time- they bring their book up and we use it as fluency practice.  These are my "bubble kids" and need fluency help.  We are a loud group but it doesn't matter because read to someone is a little louder as well.  After we read the story they go read it in partners so that I can call up and work on RTI lessons with students.

*I schedule Read to Self next.  Students are typically all spread out and already have their book browsing boxes out.
-I schedule some of my struggling or unmotivated readers on the computer to work on Raz-Kids.  These are often kiddos that appear to be reading but are really just turning pages during read to self.

*I schedule Work Work last.  Right before we have chanted the phonics dance/ spelling work/ word study and it is a way for students to go back to their seat and work. 
-Students first have to finish the daily word sort and then have word work choice.
-I schedule some of my higher level readers/ spellers on the computer to get on Raz-Kids because they often don't need as much word work practice. (NOTE- all students on the computer schedule are told that they have a choice to complete the whole group activity if they feel that they need the practice or they can get on the computer.  Sometimes I have to make that choice for them.  :))
-I schedule to work with my students that need help with words during this point.  I first help them complete their sort then we complete a reading lesson. 

We end our morning with a reflection meeting where we discuss what we learned, something great we did and how we did on the goal from the day before and finally we come up with a goal for the next day.  This is a very important part of keeping my kiddos accountable and giving them their own purpose to work each day.

I also have students use the computer during morning work and during clean up time at the end of the day. 

Students know where and when they are going places, transitions are quick and I feel like I get the most out of my literacy block by scheduling.  Yes- I have to tweak it when my students leave my reading groups- but it only takes a few minutes to switch people around.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday tomorrow!  I'm looking forward to see my 22 little smiling faces!  This is typically the point in the year that they just blossom and start gaining so much knowledge.  I LOVE this time of the year!  :)