Thursday, March 20, 2014

Teach Me Sight Words!

Y'all, she's at it again!  My dear friend Jessica at The Littlest Scholars  is at it again and has another set of interactive listening centers to help your students learn.  This time she has created Teach Me Sight Words to give your students a ~5 minute sight word tutor to help reinforce and teach sight words.

Here's how it works...

You can purchase and download this set from Jessica's store, and print it.  It is better to print these on a color printer because the sight words that are the focus of each book are highlighted in yellow, but this is not necessary.  

Next, cut the books out.  I chose to only cut 3/4 of the border so that I could use the other side of the border to staple so that none of the student workspace in the book was cut off.

I downloaded the file and uploaded the files into itunes.  This was such an easy process and I added them to my library.  I placed the files onto two iPods that I have, but you could upload these and burn them onto a CD or tablet.  Placing them on more than one iPod allows me to have students working on different words at the same time, and the ability for students to move onto other words if their others are not ready.  

What I love about these pages is that the students can listen to the recording 3-4 times so that they are able to complete each of the pages.

The activities in this book include:
Reading and spelling the word
Reading the word in a sentence
Tracing the words with your finger
Tracing the letter with a pencil
Finding and circling the word
Writing the word
Writing the word in a sentence

I place these iPods in centers and allow students to choose to head to that center.  One of my little sweeties can not get enough of these books and has learned 3 new sight words this week, and for her this is a HUGE deal.  She loves to read her book to my assistant and I and has been so proud of the work that she has been putting in.  These books are such an investment, and the best part is that they are self guiding, if she is not able to read the books on Monday when we get back, she can do the same books again!

To save paper, you can also print all of the books, laminate and cut them and place them in a center with an EXPO marker so that the students can reuse them again, and again!

You can download a FREE copy of the sight word AND here.

Happy Spring, y'all :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What teacher doesn't need more storage?

Well, we are at it again! Nearly 200 teacher-bloggers have teamed up to bring you another round of BRIGHT IDEAS... no products, no freebies, just great ideas to help make your day to day teaching life easier!  You will be able to complete the hop from any blog, as it is a large circle, so there is no real beginning or end, or you may go to the inlinkz at the bottom of this page to check out where to hop next!

This year I came to a new school and a new district to become their 5th Kindergarten teacher! When I came into my classroom it was bare, 3 bookshelves, 2 tables and NO chairs! I wasn't too worried about gathering resources, my biggest question was where I was going to put all of these little bodies that were arriving in just a few days! We were able to find about 24 chairs, but still that wasn't going to be enough. It was enough for students to have a place to sit when working whole group, but not enough for my table or my assistant's table for small group instruction... So my bright idea is CRATE SEATS! 

Crate seats can be expensive to make, so I found short cuts any place I could without cutting the quality of the end result.

Materials to Gather:
1 -- crates
2 -- wood (I went to Lowes and spoke to someone about buying the right stuff, I bought a large piece of ply wood, and they cut it for me at no charge! The measurements you need are: 15 3/4 x 12 3/4)
3 -- cushion (To make this step cheaper, I used an egg crate that is typically put onto bed, I purchased the XL twin from Walmart)
4 -- cute fabric (Who knew fabric was so expensive?  I purchased a flat sheet bed set from Walmart, costs roughly $5, this won't make me feel as bad when I want to change them out year to year!)
5 -- staple gun
6 -- staples for staple gun

1 -- shower curtain (Teaching K, you just never know what is going to happen or the fluids you may come across, little did I know JUST HOW MUCH this would save my life this year!)

Step 1: gather all of your materials


First, I took the egg crate as a whole and placed it over the cut board and used a marker to mark off where I needed to cut, then cut the egg crate.

Second, I placed the shower curtain over the cut egg crate, marked it and cut it -- you want to make sure this will go around to staple onto the back so that nothing can leak around it!

Third, I stapled the shower curtain into the board to hold the egg crate in place.

Fourth, I laid the bed sheet out onto the table.

Last, I marked off and cut the bed sheet to fit over the egg crate and the shower curtain and stapled it to the board.

Then, repeat!

Step 3: Sit, store, teach and enjoy!

Here is the finished product!  I made 12 of them and still had 2 or 3 pieces of the board left over, but 12 pretty much took up all of the bed sheets and the egg crate.

Classroom benefits of crate seats:
-- STORAGE!  I store everything from school supplies, reams of paper, seasonal books, changes of clothes, and teaching resources in these bins!   They hold so much and make for less clutter!

-- Perfect sized seats for little learners (Adults of many sizes have also sat on the crates in my room and they've held up wonderfully!)

-- Adds a pop of color to the classroom

Up next on the hop is Nicole from Teaching with Style!  She has some great fun guided reading warm up games to get your students ready to learn.  Just click her icon below to continue hopping, or you can scroll down to the inlinkz to hop around!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Currently March!

So really, I am going to be better about this whole blogging thing! Part of my plan is to participate in a linky to keep my self more accountable ;) I have joined Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her Currently! If you would like to link up, go to her blog and set it up!

Listening to: I can NOT keep my eyes open past 9 p.m. most nights, so I love to DVR EVERYTHING! I also hate commercials because they just waste so much time! I also love Jimmy Fallon on the tonight show, he is doing a fabulous job.

Loving: Today I had ALL the windows in the house open, music blaring and got some serious spring cleaning done! It was nearly 70 and sunny, and one of my friends and I are training for an 8K next month and we got in a wonderful 3.1 mile run today, it was perfect weather! In January, while nearing the end of training for a half marathon in February, I got injured with a stress fracture, so I am just getting back into running longer distances! 

Wanting: After watching the news though there is a winter storm headed our way! This has been the coldest winter I've had in Mississippi and I'm ready for the warmer temps for sure.

Needing: I went to the grocery store today, and now just can't decide what I want to eat for dinner! 

????????: You guess what the theme is!