Friday, February 28, 2014

Five for Friday ~ Literacy Edition

It's Friday, and I am actually posting my Five for Friday!  We had a very busy week (only one two-hour delay), and got a lot accomplished.  My Kinders are working very hard on becoming readers & writers.  It's sooo exciting to watch their enthusiasm and excitement!  It's hard to believe how far they have come in a few short months...

How do you run your Literacy Stations?  Do you do Guided Reading, Reading Workshop, Daily 5, or something else?  Last year the primary teachers did a book study on Daily 5 and began dabbling in it.  Some of the teachers have taken the plunge and use D5 as their entire Literacy Block, while others are using bits and pieces.  I guess I fall somewhere in the middle.  I really like the idea of giving students choice ~ it just makes sense that the kids will practice and learn from activities that interest them, but I still want to be sure that certain activities are done by everyone.

Our Literacy Block is actually broken up by recess & a special.  After our Calendar Time, we do our whole group literacy activities ~ read aloud comprehension activities, partner & seat work (for about 32 minutes).  Once we are back from our morning special, we break into five small groups: my table, word work, writing, listening, & Mrs. S's table.  The students rotate through these stations, completing one per day.  There is an assigned activity at each station that must be completed.  Once the activity is completed, the Kinders have several other activities that they may choose to do.  I work with Strategy Groups during this time.  Mrs. S. works with her group, progress monitors for mClass, or works with students on specific skills. We work in our Literacy Stations for about 20 - 25 minutes.

This time then morphs into our Daily 5 time (about 30 - 35 minutes).  After gathering on the carpet, the students choose their first rotation activity while I continue to work with students at my table.  We only have time for two rotations before lunch.  I give the kids about 5 - 10 minutes after lunch to finish anything that they didn't get done.  Those kiddos who are finished with everything get to choose another D5 activity.

In the spirit of all things Literacy, here are my five.

I have posted about my table & how much I love it, so you may have seen pictures of it before...  I am pretty happy with myself this year because of how neat & organized it is!  The 31 Fold & File is sitting on top of a hand-me-down 3 drawer storage unit.  It was my daughter's traveling "dresser" for her horse show necessities!  She hasn't competed in a horse show for a while & it was just sitting around, so I snagged it for storing my guided reading materials.  (The top is a little stained from spending so much time in a dusty horse barn, but that just adds to its character!)  The baskets are from Target's Dollar Spot & hold games and materials for small group instruction.

Mrs. S's table.  The insert on the right shows this week's required activity & the one on the left shows choice activities.  The required activities this week come from my new Animal Themed Literacy set.  Click HERE to purchase.

 The kids work at this table during our Literacy Stations.  The required activity is on the left, choices on right.
This fabulous cabinet was purchased for my D5 word work activities last spring.  I love it!  The kids can grab a bin, go to their work area, and start practicing working on words.  The green & yellow tubs mostly have things from The Mailbox (file folder games, etc.)  The blue tubs & those on top hold paper & pencil type activities.  Some of the activities are from the fabulous Sight Words Stations set I recently purchased on TpT from Sharing Kindergarten.

 My Writing Station is a popular spot in the room.  On the counter are bins of activities, writing binders, white boards (in purple bin), and writing paper.  The sentence writing activity shown in the inset is what is required this week.  Once the Kinders are finished, they may work in one of the tubs or write the room.

 My kids are serious Write the Room Junkies!  I have a little table dedicated to the tools needed to write the room ~ a basket of sparkly star shaped glasses, fancy pencils & twist crayons, clipboards, and files of Write the Room pages.  Because of the love my kids have for writing the room, I leave the cards up for a month so they can write and write again.  I like to put the cards in about the same area so that the kiddos can easily find them.  The insert shows the cluster of word cards above the sink.  (Hibernation word cards HERE. Penguin word cards HERE, Groundhog word cards HERE, Valentine CVC spelling cards HERE, Rainbow math card HERE.

Our classroom library is situated in the center of our room.  I like to have books be the focal point of the room.  This space is where the word work tubs are housed, too.  It is another popular spot in the room.
This is just another little area where the kids can work.  Several years ago my daughter was moving into an apartment down at Purdue & someone else was moving out.  He offered her this little desk ~ she didn't want it, but knew I would.  My husband cut the legs down to size.

And, finally I want to share a story one of my little cuties wrote.  On Wednesday she sat in the Writing Station & announced that she was going to write a book for me to read to my granddaughters.  She did this completely on her own!

Thanks for sticking with me!  Now it's your turn to link up your Five for Friday over at Doodle Bugs!

Monday, February 24, 2014

3,000,000 Teachers Strong Sale

Teachers pay Teachers is 3,000,000 teachers strong and is hosting a sale ~ you can get up to 28% off with the code TPT3!  Visit my store February 27 - 28 and save 28%! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Peek at My Week!

It's been a while since I've linked up with the fabulous Mrs.Wills for a Peek at My WeekI had some extra time this weekend so I decided to link up!

We are starting a new unit in our reading series that has an animal theme.  I plan to use my Animals and Their Needs Knowledge Quest set from Scholastic and my two new animal themed products.  I created them to use with the Wonders reading series, but they are perfect if you simply like animals!

                                                 Animal Themed Literacy Activities aligned to the CCSS
           Click HERE

 Animal Vocabulary & Writing Activities
                                                       Click HERE                                                

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Five for Friday & a Facebook Free-for-All

I know it's Saturday...  But, here is my five.  (Thanks to Doodle Bugs for hosting this great linky party!)
Hurry over to my Facebook page & grab my freebie!

 The Pen Pal Project.  We wrote letters to our pen pals in my daughter Sarah's Kinder class.  I am soooo happy with their writing.  Other than writing kindergarten and Morgan on the board, I didn't help them spell anything!  My kids are getting really good at writing the sounds they hear & using the room to find words they want to write  The day before writing our letters, we worked on a list of things that would be good to tell a pen pal, which is why they all start out pretty much the same.  I left it up to the kids to decide what else they wanted to write. 

We read Cloudy With the Chance of Meatballs this week and worked together to make posters.  I really like the bottom one because I'm featured on it holding a cupcake.  My kiddos know that I love, love, love cupcakes!
My ever growing collection of Rainbow Loom jewelry.  I wore all of the bracelets on Friday - it was quite a fashion forward statement when paired with my Murano beads on my Pandora bracelet!  I don't mind the bracelets, but I'm not crazy about the rings, they tend to be itchy.  
 Are you looking for something to spice up your literacy stations the week of Dr. Seuss's birthday?  Check out these products in my store...

 Click HERE
Click HERE
Click HERE

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Five for Friday ~ Five Day Week

Whew!  I am still trying to recover from having to teach for five whole days in a row!  This was the first week since before Christmas that we didn't have one or more snow/extreme cold day or a two hour delay.  We actually went to school for five days!  We were supposed to have Friday & Monday off for Presidents' Day weekend, but we lost both due to the weather.  Actually, I'm OK with that.  The Kinders needed to get back to a regular routine.  (Now, if we could go back outside for recess, we'll be all set!)

Here are some highlights from our week.  Thanks to Doodle Bugs for hosting this fun linky!

 We played a fun game (Freebie from An Adventure in Literacy) this week.  The kids had fun rolling the big foam number cube!  We played this as a class ~ the student who rolled the number got to pick which word was to be crossed out.  It was not only fun, but great practice reading CVC words!

 Panda Valentine bags.  We had fun decorating our bags to look like pandas.  I think they really turned out cute.  Next year, I have to try to find bigger bags  ~ they were overflowing by the time all the Valentine goodies were passed out!

 We wrote letters to our parents telling them why we love them.  These are so cute!  I'm sure that their parents are going to keep these!  (Old habits die hard ~ the Kinders draw a line through their name with a highlighter on their papers.  Lilah did it out of habit!  I do have to say that since we started highlighting our names, I have had far fewer no name papers!)

 I have to give a shout out to Becca, one of my awesome teaching partners for coming up with this cute idea for our hallway bulletin boards.  Each student got a copy of a blank person to take home & decorate with the help of their parents.  I like these "take home" craft projects ~ it's fun to see what families can do when they work together!

A few other things...

Congratulations to Doreen V.!  She is the lucky winner of the Awesome Prize Package.  And, Thank you to everyone who follows my blog.  I really hope you enjoy getting a peek at my Kindergarten World.
I am having a special sale this weekend!  If you purchase $9.00+ in products from my TpT store, I will send you an item regularly priced up to $3.00 for free!  Email me with this information:  Your TpT user name & the products you purchased that total $9.00+ and the name of the item (regularly priced up to $3.00) & I will send it to you.  My email address is:  ***Because I am posting this so late, I will extend this offer to Monday, 2/17/14***

Next weekend I will be a part of a Facebook Free-for-All!  Check out my Facebook page for the link (coming soon!)

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