Teaching Examples

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Vowel Sort

This is the front side and the back looks the same, but is titled "Short Vowels"
I know it's summer time, but I'm still catching up with posting ideas you can use this upcoming school year.  I don't believe in work sheets, but I do think there should be an accountability piece for student learning.  Thus, creating a sound sort.  This particular sort was with long and short vowels, but the ideas are limitless and could be focused on blends, digraphs, or letter sounds just to name a few.

I used a program called Match Word to generate my pictures, but Scholastic has an awesome picture sorting book you could use.  Another idea is to use the pictures from worksheets for your sort.  See, those work sheets have been re-purposed for a more rigorous learning task! :-)  On one side I had students sort long vowels and on the other side sort the short vowels.  Students were given a sheet of pictures mixed with long and short vowels.  They first created the chart and cut out the pictures.  Next, they sorted the pictures by long and short vowels.  Finally, they colored the pictures.  This learning task hones in on fine motor and literacy skills at the same time. :-)  I have a picture of what my challenge group did for a differentiation spin on the task.  My "on grade level" friends just sorted the pictures by long and short without organizing them by specific vowels.  My "little guys" did a sort with only short vowels and focused on two instead of all five (i.e. a short e and short i sort).  I hope you can use this!  They had fun completing the task and it was a great way to assess where everyone was at with vowel sounds.  Cheers!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Revamping Math Workshop

Ok, so currently I'm on maternity leave enjoying every second of being a mom, but eventually I will return to work.  That being said, the leave has given me time to reflect on my teaching practices and research ways to be better.  I purchased a fantastic teaching resource.  Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller is a must have for every K-2 teacher.  It's also now aligned with the Common Core Standards and provides step by step implementation of student work stations as well as books to integrate into the curriculum.  It's a page turner and I'm excited to take what I've learned and apply it in the classroom.  Click on the book title to go straight to Amazon to read more about it and purchase if you're able.  Enjoy!

Fish Addition

We recently completed addition problems using finger prints to look like fish on a fish bowl cut paper book.  The children enjoyed practicing the math facts while incorporating art and math.  To differentiate, choose the numbers students will make addition sentences with (lower numbers for on grade level and larger numbers for enrichment).  The little guys who need a small number and more help can use unifix cubes to help them find the number sentence.  The idea was inspired from a mailbox magazine and then enriched with larger numbers and my creative flare.  It would also be good to use to Dr. Seuss week after reading One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Seasonal Vocabulary

I borrowed this idea from littlemissglamourgoestokindergarten.blogspot.com.  She has fantastic ideas and I will be extending this idea for next year.  The long and short of it is, when the season is changing have students brainstorm a list of words that remind them of the season.  Next, a group of children can create illustrations for each word to help even the non-reader understand what the words mean.  Then, have some sort of cut out construction book to match the season at a Science table for students.  After that, have students take turns visiting the station and choosing a handful of words to use in sentences and create illustrations to match the words on the page.  Finally, create an in class bulletin board for decoration to display student work.  The differentiation is in student choice.  You could also provide sentence starters for struggling students.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Plural Nouns

Need a simple idea for plural nouns?  After you've taught the basics of -s and -es, have students apply what they've learned using a foldable.  On the outside flaps students illustrate a singular noun and label the picture.  On the inside flap students change the singular noun to a plural now and illustrate/label the pictures to match the plural noun.  Differentiation is with student choice of nouns.  You could extend the learning task by having students use the plural noun in a sentence on the back of the foldable.

Back to School Suggested Read Alouds

Ok, so I'm not sure if anyone else is already thinking about August, but I am.  Most importantly I've reflected on what I did this year so I can refine my craft for this next school year.  One of the most important and fun parts of the beginning of the year are the read alouds selected for the children.  I've noticed in my school this is the one area that has yet to be vertically aligned.  I sent my thoughts to our principal and she thought it would be a good idea as well.  More information to be shared as it becomes available.  Until then, check out this list of appropriate K-5 books broken down by grade level.  Lets collaborate and keep things fresh for our students by not repeating the same back to school stories in multiple grade levels.  There is more than enough titles to go around K-5.  Check the list out here.