Sunday, July 22, 2012

Daily 5: Chapter 6: Work on Writing and Word Work

This is the last chapter of the Daily 5 that I will post about. Chapter 7 just answers various questions other teachers have had. I will start on the next book, CAFE, following this post.

Work on Writing

During the work on writing session, students work individually or with a partner on writing of their choice.

Writing that really matters to students:
  • persuasive writing, convincing a friend to read a favorite book
  • friendly letters to a classmate or pen pal
  • recount of a lost tooth or the loss of a beloved pet
  • reports on topics of current interest
  • poetry
  • narrative about a sports game
The main difference between writers workshop time and the Daily 5 writing time is that during workshop time we may ask students to write a piece based on a specific strategy we are studying, but during daily 5 time we allow them to choose what they want to write.

Work On Writing

  • helps us become better readers and writers
  • we care about writing and the people who read it
  • choice
  • fun
  • works on the fluency of writing
  • write the whole time
  • stay in one spot
  • work quietly
  • choice of what to write
  • get started quickly
  • underline words we are not sure how to spell and move on
  • work with students

Word Work

Word Work allows for the following;

  • experimenting with words for learning and practicing spelling pattern
  • memorizing high frequency words
  • generalizing spelling patterns
  • adding to our knowledge and curiosity of unique and interesting words
Word Work

  • it helps us become better readers, writers, and spellers
  • we care about our writing and the people who will read it
  • it is fun
I-Chart -Word Work- Materials Set Up

  • One person takes out materials of his or her choice and sets up in a quiet location
  • stay in one spot until time to return materials
  • work the whole time
  • try your best
  • work on stamina
  • work quietly
  • get started quickly
  • Work with students
Material Ideas:
  • whiteboards
  • magnetic letters
  • wikki stix
  • clay
  • letter stamps
  • colored markers
I-Chart- Word Work- How to Use Materials

  • work the whole time
  • stay in one spot except to get and return materials
  • may return one set of materials and get another set to work with
  • work quietly
  • work on stamina
  • try your best
  • get started quickly
  • work with students
Self Reflection:

I do not have what I need for the word work station- I'm going to have to check with my fabulous librarian to see if there are some things just sitting around collecting dust in the resource room that I could use for the stamps and magnetic letters???

I am looking forward to implementing the Daily 5 in my classroom. This has been a wonderful professional read and I'm excited about expanding on this knowledge with the CAFE book written by the same authors. CAFE stands for comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expand vocabulary. ;-)



Saturday, July 21, 2012

More Classroom Updates...

Teacher Spends her Saturday in her Classroom....

Hello, I'm Amber, and I have a problem with spending too much time in my classroom...

Yup, that's me! I spent all day today (Saturday) going to Target, Office Depot, Hobby Lobby, Target, Michael's, and then to my classroom to put the stuff I bought up so my husband wouldn't know how crazy I went!!!

Anyway, I wanted to share with you what I did today...

First I finished my CAFE and Daily 5 bulletin board. Isn't "she" beautiful? Can you tell that the fabric I used for the background is a $4.97 Walmart flat bed sheet? Yup! I got that idea from reading other teacher blogs! I know for a fact that I read it on Mandy's Tips for Teachers . You should check her blog out! She is awesome! She is a fellow Alpha Gamma Delta sorority sister from North Georgia College and State University!

Anyway...All the materials on the board came from various bloggers who have made their own materials and have so kindly shared them for free on . If you have not checked out this wonderful website (free to join), then you are totally missing out!

The next thing I want to share is my Kohl's Cares for Kids animals and books....I have them set up all nice on my bookshelf. I know the kids will LOVE them! I will let them hold the animal while they read the book.

Another thing I saw on another teacher's blog is using a plate stand to display the book you will be reading for read aloud that day. I wish I could give her credit, but I browse over 20 teacher blogs and I can't remember which one I read it on! She talks about how her students come in every morning looking for what book will be featured that day and how it helps build excitement for the book. Of course after she has read the book, every child wants to get on a wait list to read the book again independently! You also see the big purple "mug." This will be used to hold my birthday balloons. I also got this idea from teacher blogs, but it is also on Pinterest. Below my picture is an example of what I hope mine will look like after I buy the crazy straws and make the balloons. It won't be exactly like that, but you get the idea. The purple mug was only 2.50 at Michael's because it was on sale for 50% off and then I got 25% off with a coupon and an additional 15% teacher discount. I also got the $4.99 book stand from Michael's for 2.50 after discounts! Gotta love Michael's! They love teachers!

Finally, I got "crafty" today....well as crafty as I can get. I'm VERY GOOD at organization and stuff like that, but I do not claim to be crafty! I saw this idea on another blog (once again I can't remember who) for a book ambulance.

You know how the kids always bring you a book and the cover is falling off, is torn, has fallen off, or pages are ripped. Usually, I am so busy I just stuff it out of sight somewhere and it won't find the light of day again until I clean up at the end of the year!! Well, the book ambulance can solve three problems!
1) The kids won't bother you about torn books.

2) The books get taken out of rotation so they don't get even more damaged.

3) I will easily see when books need to be repaired.

I love it!!! Isn't "he" cute!!! The lil' ambulance is a wood piece that comes already made like that for .67 cents from Hobby Lobby. I used the 40% off coupon on him (since I had nothing else to use it on) and got him for a steal!

I hope you enjoyed my classroom updates! I will be back soon with an update on the Daily 5, Chapter 6 (Writing and Working with Words).


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Have you EVER...

Have you ever put up a really awesome bulletin board and added a boarder only to see that the boarder was way, way, WAYYYY too busy and totally overran the board?

I'm going to buy a plain red boarder to remedy this problem.

Have you ever put a bulletin board up to see that it wasn't perfectly straight, so you took it all down and started over??

...I did today!

Have you ever printed out labels and they weren't all exactly the same size , etc, so you redid every last one?

....I did today!

Have you ever totally rearranged your room not once but twice, because you wanted to find that perfect arrangement??

I've done this!

Have you ever thrown all your current lesson plans for a unit in the dumpster to start from scratch because you didn't like what you did last year?

Yup, I did this too!

Have you ever seen piles and piles of unopened textbook and workbook boxes, only to feel excited and overwhelmed all  in one?

Yup- this happened today while I was at school!

Let's just call it my TYPE A personality coming right on out! ;-) I am funny about things like organization, a clean room, and things being somewhat "symmetrical." I'm strange...but I'm sure there are other teachers like me out there!

Hope you are enjoying your last few days of freedom before school starts back!!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Need Help from Teachers Pay Teachers Peeps!

Items Wanted:

I want to find items to supplement my social studies units. I teach SECOND grade so they need to be appropriate for that age group.

Map/Globe/Bodies of Water Skills
13 Colonies
Colonial Life
French and Indian War
American Revolution
Georgia- state history and facts

Please let me know if you have anything you would like to share or that you have for sale!

Thank you!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Classroom Buys!!!

Yup...I am officially addicted to Target...I've been practically stalking them...they get this "look" in their eyes when they see me coming. LOL. Not really, or so I think... :-)

I LOVE reading! I mean I REALLY love reading. I got this GRAND idea to have various books and stuffed animals that go with the books (mainly thinking Kohls Cares for Kids here) all around my room to help encourage kids to read more and to develop a love for reading. I sure do wish now I had picked up every single Kohls Cares for Kids book and animal, but I have not! I would love to have enough to even have some hidden away to rotate them out!

So....I went on a hunt at two local Goodwill stores because I know how many stuffed animals I have donated through the years and I knew I could probably find some. I also love to look for those special books that will only cost me 1.75 (they don't have a clue do they how much we would NORMALLY pay!!!) Stuffed animals are .99 cents at the Goodwill...verse the 5.00 I would pay at Khols.

What did I find?? Not one, but SEVEN .99 cent Khols stuffed animals!

I was SO excited about all of them, but especially the MOUSE! I mean he is in MINT condition and I paid .99 cents for him! I also fell in love with the one in the middle... you might recognize him as the poor dog that has to pull the Grinch's sled in The Grinch that Stole Christmas!

I had to look a few up, and here is what I got in order from L to R:

-Dog: Are you My Mother?
-Cheetah: Have you Seen my Cat? Eric Carle
-Dog: The Grinch that Stole Christmas Dr. Seuss
-Duck: Duck for President! Cronin
-Pig: Sandra Boynton books -more board books for toddlers, but I may stick him with another pig story!
-Mouse- If you Give a Mouse a Cookie Numeroff

I also bought all five Skippyjon Jones books through Khols and all five stuffed animals to go with them! The local store is out of Skippyjon so I just ordered it all on line! Sorry, I have them at school already so I don't have a picture...but here is one off the website:

Target Finds: I've kinda, sorta decided to go with a Dr. Seuss theme....maybe?? Anyway, the "Oh the Places you can Go" book marks were TOO cute. Although the silly bands are so "yesterday" they are Dr. Seuss and they'll be real cute in my goody bag for Open House, along with the book mark, pencil, eraser and some candy.

The bags you say?? I would have LOVED to have bought one for every kid for the goody bag, but that can add up, so I just bought one of each design and decided to use them in my classroom library to hold the book they go with and an activity to complete with the book! Genius huh??

The snack boxes you say? I am thinking they can hold small manipulatives or maybe be a place for the kids to "roll the dice" to keep them from getting away....

The bowls? NO IDEA, they were just too cute to pass up!

See the Sneetches book....I got it for $1.75 at Goodwill!

I found this baby at Target in the housing / kids / rug section....for $29.99 I have a NICE , pretty large rug to put in my group gathering area.... :-) A bonus- we learn about the 13 colonies and they have to identify them on a map. WE also learn about GA! GA ON MY MIND!!!

I bought the book boxes at two different Targets today and I'm still searching for 3 blue, 4 purple, and 4 red.... :-) Help me out! Here is a picture of one blue one! They have yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, and red...trying to get 5 of each...I'm OCD..I know!

Also at Target I found more Dr. Seuss erasers to have enough for every child for the Open House goody bags and one Dr. Seuss cup, just for me! I found two cute little Dr. Seuss whiteboards, one with lines and one looks like a think bubble with the two "things" on it. :-)

Do you think I have enough? I have GOT to stop spending money! I also went to Walmart to get the router mentioned in the previous post and of course scored a few things among the .88 cent section ...including a complete set of those smelly, fat markers that look like cute! I will use for chart making time!

Please leave me some comment loving and share my blog with others! God Bless you!


Daily 5 Chapter 5: Read to Someone/ Listen to Reading

I'm sorry but this will be a LONG post....

I've been on a temporary blog hiatus. I enjoyed spending two days away at my In Laws house in SC, but then I came home to horrible storms in GA and my wireless router was shot! I spent years of my life hours fixing it today, which included buying a new router and a surge protector (which I should have had it plugged into before!)

I mostly read all my bloggy friends blogs through my mobile RSS feeder app on my iPhone. Pros: I can read it anytime, quickly and easily. It is SO much easier than going to each individual blog page. Con: I can't see comments or reply with my comment! ;-( If anyone knows of a better app to read blogs on an iPhone, please share!

Chapter 5: Whoa! What a long, but very informative Chapter!

 I am loving the Daily 5! However, out of all the chapters I have read so far, this one was the most detailed and the longest. I actually had to go back and reread it so that I could take notes to even remember what to blog. I know this may be boring to some of my readers, but this is more for me to have something to look back on as I start to implement this in a few weeks!

On a side note LOOK what I FINALLY scored at not one, but TWO TARGETS! Yup, I drove 20 miles to another one right after I finished at the first one to score enough of these boxes to use for the Daily 5 book boxes. I think they will work and they were from the Target Dollar Spot and only $2.50 a piece. 20 boxes at $2.50 is NOT cheap, but I am thinking LONG term use here. That makes it worth the money up front and it's much cheaper than anything else I found that was plastic and not that flimsy cardboard stuff! Here is an example of a blue one that I snapped a picture of to send my mom so she could be on the look out for more! I need 3 more blue, 4 more red, and 4 more purple to complete my set! If you find these and live close to me, buy them and I'll pay you back!!! Aren't they just the perfect size for books!

On to the Daily 5: Read to Someone

Sense of Urgency / Why do we read to someone?

Increases: Volume of reading, level of attention to reading, reading motivation, fluency, reading rate, word attack skills, and love of reading

Possible Concerns: Noise Level and Accountability

Introduction to Read to Someone (anchor chart)
Why do you suppose we would want to read to someone every day?

Because it helps us become better readers and since fun and getting better at reading are two of the most important reasons we read to someone.

-we make friends
-not lonely
-become better readers

teacher adds:
-helps with fluency
-practice reading skills and strategies

Six Days- Series of Lessons

Day 1: EEKK, Voice, Check for Understanding

Teacher tells the spider story about the scared sister and how she screams and says "EEEEKKKK," and moves really close to the other person.

(anchor chart)
Read to Someone
E- lbow
E- lbow
K- nee
K- nee

Use modeling and demonstrating correctly and incorrectly.
Students should also each hold one end of the book.

Voice Level
soft voice
model correct/ incorrect

Check for Understanding
Discuss how as a teacher you often stop at the bottom of every page to check for understanding.

(anchor chart)
I-Chart for Modeling, Practice, and Check-In

I Chart:
Student: sitting EEKK, check marks in hand for check for understanding, stay in one spot, read the whole time, soft voices, start right away

Teacher: work with students

(anchor chart)
Ways to Read to Someone
#1) Check for understanding

Model: Sit EEKK, Quiet Voice

First partner reads the first page, the other follows along with their eyes being prepared to check for understanding by summarizing what the first person said. Second partner lets first finish and then says "I just heard you read...." to retell what they heard. If they heard correctly then it is now the second persons turn to read and the first person checks for understanding. If they heard incorrectly the first person reads the passages again and the second person tries to listen better and tries again to check for understanding correctly.

NOW it's time to practice this first strategy of reading to someone: check for understanding...

Choose 1-3 sets of partners with book boxes to model, pick child who needs the attention to model it the wrong way and then do it the correct way.

Teacher picks 2 kids at time, they grab their boxes, teacher puts them in various places around the room, allow 3-4 mins to do this (stop earlier if anyone gets off task)

Self Selected Work Areas:
Put kids in different places each day as you practice. Put challenging kids in places they may not do well in on purpose to encourage good behavior.

Day 2: I Read, You Read

Review Day One

(anchor chart)
Ways to Read to Someone (continued)

#2) I Read, You Read

The partner with better fluency reads a page and then the other partner reads the same page AGAIN and tries to mimic the fluency and expression of the better reading partner.

Partners should be trained to ask each other: Who do you think should go first?
Student with better fluency should go first...

#3) Read two DIFFERENT books

Each partner reads a different book taking turns one page at time

Practice on this day:
Partners are paired up and placed around the room BUT they get to choose one of the three strategies of reading to someone to try!

Day 3: How to Choose Books

(anchor chart)

Reminder of when we Read to Someone
- we sit EEKK
-quiet voices

How to Choose Books:
1) Let's make a Deal- talk it out and agree on who will go today and who will go tomorrow (etc.)
2) Read two different books
3) Rock, Paper, Scissors

LOTS of modeling here!

Day 4: Choosing your own Classroom Spot

Allow one pair of teacher selected partners at a time to get their book boxes and then allow them to choose their own spot today while the rest of the class watches. This allows for independence of choosing spots, but the teacher controls the chaos of everyone fighting for a spot until they get the routine down.

Day 5: How to Choose a Partner

(anchor chart)
How to Choose a Partner
-not always our best friend
(try letting kids model the wrong way of yelling out and hollering "Will you be my partner???" )
How to let people know you need a partner...
1) Close your mouth and raise you hand- this is the silent signal we use when we need a partner
2) Look around the group-when you see someone who needs a partner, make eye contact with him/her
3) Walk to the person and say, "Will you please be my partner?"
4) The ONLY answer in reply to this is, "Sure, thank you!"

Model/ Discuss how people can tell by the TONE Of your voice whether or not you really want to be their partner and that we should always use a nice and excited tone of voice no matter who the person is!

Day 6: Coaching OR Time????

Sometimes we want "time" to figure hard words on our own without our partner blurting out the word for us.

When our partner gets stuck we count to 3 very slowly...model/practice

(anchor chart)
Reading Coach
1) Silently count to 3
2) Ask your partner if they want coaching (help) or time?
         -time- sit patiently and wait
         - coaching- take out coaching sheet

Coaching Sheet:

Reading Words:
-What strategy have you used?
-Go back and reread
-Skip the word and come back
-Chunk sounds together
-What word could fit here?
-Look at the pictures- the word is right there...
-I am going to sound out the word for you.
-I am going to tell you the word.

-I will retell what has happened so far
-Fill in the who, what, where, and why
-Would it help if I summarized the story for you?

Daily 5: Listening to Reading (four day plan)

-helps us be better readers
-helps us learn and understand new words and stories
-it is FUN

Listen to Reading

-get out materials
-listen to whole story
-may listen to another story if time allows
-follow along with the pictures and words
-stay in one spot
-listen quietly
-get started quickly
-put materials back neatly

Working with students

VERY IMPORTANT to go over exactly how to use the materials for listening centers.... :-)

Okay- whew! I started chapter 6, but I'm not done. If you read this whole post, kudos to you my friend!

Next post: more goodies from the Goodwill and Target!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Huge Giveaway by a Fellow Blogger

"May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor...." (Hunger Games)

Lacie B. over at Polka Dots & Pencils is having a 100 follower giveaway! I entered it and wanted to get every possible entry I could. 10 entries can be gained by blogging about this FABULOUS giveaway! Check it out for yourself....