Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring Edition: Making Sentences with Sentence Frames and Free Activitiy

Spring has definitely come to Tallahassee. The trees are in full bloom, bushes are blossoming with flowers, and the grass is turning green. It is the perfect time to get students writing about Spring. There are so many wonderful vocabulary words associated with the season of spring. The more vocabulary words your students know, the more words they will be able to use in their writing.

I have revised and updated my "Spring Edition of Making Sentences with Sentence Frames" to include a Word Wall of Spring Verbs like the ones below:
I have also updated my picture/word cards.
Students will engage in whole class activities to demonstrate their understanding of what a sentence is and isn't, and learn the parts of a sentence using sentence frames.
I like to make sets of the cards above to give to each student. Then, when I hold up different cards with sentence parts, they can hold up the card that describes the part of the sentence. It is a great way to get 100% class participation and informally access your students' understanding of the parts of the sentence.
Once they have demonstrated their understanding, they can work in centers making sentences with sentence frame parts that are color coded and cut into parts.
You can see all the materials and activities in this packet by clicking on the picture below and downloading the Preview file. There are free activities from the packet when you download the Preview.
Although it is designed for students in Grades 1-2, I have had several kindergarten teachers who have left feedback that they will be using it with their Kindergartners. I was so excited to get feedback from ESL teachers who loved the way the activities were scaffolded to help build on previous knowledge and practice. 

To go along with this writing packet I created a free Spring Picture/Sentence Match which you can download by clicking on the picture below. Students will practice matching a sentence about a spring activity with a picture.
These picture/sentence cards are also a great edition my What Happens in Spring? Reading and Writing Unit. You can access lots of free spring resources and free activities by clicking HERE

Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. I hope Spring has sprung where you live and we can leave that long cold winter behind us.

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Freebie Fridays

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday Trio Freebies: A Great Spring Freebie for You!

I'm so excited to be teaming up with my friends Fern and Michelle again for their Throwback Thursday Trio Freebie. A year ago they began  their Dynamic Duo monthly giveaways. They had a fun time working together and of course loved to give stuff away! 

Fern recently came up with a new idea.  Each week, we are going to make one of our normally priced packets free for one day.  This is our way of showing a little appreciation to our followers who have loyally followed our blogs.  As an added bonus, we are going to invite a different blogger friend each week to join us.  Not only will you get free stuff, you might get to "meet" someone new and want to follow his or her store, too.  How great is that?!!!  Make sure you visit our blogs every Thursday! 

This has been such a wonderful year for me. Last month I turned 65 and got a new blog design. Now I get to share a freebie with all of you! 

Click HERE to download your freebie.

Just a reminder:  You will not be able to leave feedback after we change it back to a paid for lesson.

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas

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Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. Hope you are enjoying some wonderful Spring weather.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

10,000 Pinterest Followers Giveaway! 84 Products!

My friend Tabitha over at FlapJack Educational Resources has reached 10,000 Pinterest followers and is having an amazing giveaway. 84 fabulous blogger friends have donated products to help her celebrate and you can win some amazing products. There are 7 Bundles and 7 Winners.  I'm in the LAST One:  K-2 Literacy Bundle with some incredible bloggers. You can enter right here on my blog! Good luck! Can't wait to see who wins!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hooray For Spring! Free Resources, Great Books and Crafts Ideas, and A Freebie

Hard to believe that spring is right around the corner. I'm sure most of you are so ready for some warm weather and all the beauty that spring brings. I'm leaving for my Spring vacation in a few days so this will probably be my last post for awhile. I have put together some great resources for you to check out to help you with your spring classroom activities.

Do you have a favorite spring book for your read alouds? If you are looking for a great list just click on the picture below.
You can also find a great list at Scholastic by clicking HERE

If you are looking for some great Spring poetry books, ideas, spring plays, and free poetry just click on the picture below.

Looking for some fun crafts crafts to make with your students like the one below? Just click on the picture to access this one and lots more.
Looking for some free resources and activities? You can find some fun facts about spring by clicking on the picture below. There are lots of other links to free resources at the bottom of the post.
If you are looking for some free printable spring worksheets just click on the picture below.
You can also find some other free activities by clicking on the picture below.
Finally you will find lots of links to power points about spring and other resources by clicking on the picture below.
I have been very busy creating a new "What Happens In Spring?" Thematic Unit for K-2. It is designed to teach students about the signs of spring through reading and writing activities. All the Reading and Writing Activities are differentiated at the K, 1st, and 2nd Grade levels. It has an original Shared Reading Book: "What Happens in Spring?, Picture/Word Cards, and Word Wall Words.
There are 3 Guided Reading Books at the Early Emergent and Emergent Level. There is also a Spring Science Journal where students observe and write about what is happening outside.

You can check out all the materials and activities in this packet by clicking on the picture below and downloading the Preview file. There are 2 free activities with the Preview file.

Finally a freebie for all of my followers and viewers. This is something new I made to help your students become more fluent with their reading and spring vocabulary. Just click on the picture below to download your free packet. Hope you leave some nice feedback.
Looking for some great new Pinterest Boards to follow? Just click HERE
Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. I hope you will take time to relax and spend time with family and friends over your spring break. I'm so excited to be spending mine with my children and grand children on our yearly ski vacation. 

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Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop: Using Poetry to Engage All Your Struggling Readers and ESL Students

So excited to be part of our 2nd Bright Ideas blog hop. Spring will be here in a few weeks and it's a wonderful time to get your students up and moving with poems and plays. Whether you live in a big city or small town you will have ESL students and those struggling readers who are afraid to take risks for fear that other students will make fun of them. I found that with poems, chants, and plays those students participate and feel part of the class because it is risk-free. I have always loved writing poems, chants, and plays for my students and watch them smile and laugh. It helps them feel like they belong, which all students and most adults want to feel too.

There are many other benefits of using poetry and plays in your classroom. Look at the poem below. There are so many ways to use this for teaching the 5 components of a balance literacy program. When students read aloud they develop expression, phrasing, and most of all fluency. Have you ever tried Echo reading? This a great way to get all your students to participate. First you read a line or stanza and then they read it. You can start by having students echo a line and then a stanza. Repeated reading helps develop fluency.
Next talk about the meaning of the poem and unfamiliar words. Many of the unfamiliar words can be acted out such as blooming and waddling. The poem is all about the signs of spring and a great way to integrate science. Take each stanza and compare and contrast each with what happens in winter to what is happening in the poem.

The next day I would review what we learned about the signs of spring and do Choral Reading. First I do it as a whole class activity and then I assign groups a stanza to practice. Try to put your struggling readers and ESL students with on grade level readers. After students have had time to practice we perform the poem.

There are also so many ways to incorporate phonics lessons or word work lessons with poems. Just think of the possibilities with this poem: Long A words, Long E words, Long O words, Compound words, ou and ow words, verb finds........ How would incorporate phonics and word work activities with this poem?

I always like to incorporate writing with my poetry lessons. Here's one idea that I have used for my ESL and Struggling readers. I have them copy one of the stanzas and have them draw a picture of what is happening in that stanza. It's a great way to assess their comprehension. For your on grade level students they can write an opinion piece about what they like most about spring or an informative text about Spring.

Hope you found some bright ideas for using poetry with your students.

Next up on the blog hunt is Tina over at Tina's Teaching Treasures. She has a post about Managing Student Work. Just click on the button below to check out her Bright Idea. You can also search for a specific topic in the links below.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Helping Students Read: 15 Sight Word Games for Kids

Today I came across a great website with some wonderful activities to help your students learn sight words. When it comes to reading, many students struggle to learn to read. Sight words can be the trickiest because students just need to learn them because they can't sound them out. For those students who are still struggling to learn their sight words you may find some new activities like the ones below.

I loved this idea using story cube. All you need are blocks. Cover them with painters tape.(see below) Then use a permanent magic marker to write different sentences. She used sentences from the Bob Books but you could use sentences from any Early Emergent Book. Here are the directions for writing your words:
"Pick six names or nouns, write them on one block, pick 6 sight words and write them on two additional blocks, write 6 different action words on another block and on the final block write 6 nouns"

Students take turns rolling the blocks and making sentences with their familiar words. You can read more about it by clicking on the picture above.
Here's another fun game I found that you can do at home or with a small group of students. Just write sight words on paper plates and stick them on a door. You will need a small stuffed animal for this game. Call out a sight word and the student will find the word, read it, and hit it with the stuffed animal. You can read lots more about this game by clicking on the picture above.
Want to play Kinetic Sight Word Ball? Just click on the picture above to find out. If you want to check out all 15 just click on the picture at the top of the post. hope you find some great new ideas!

Looking for some new Pinterest Boards to follow? Click on the images below.


Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.