Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Quick Review of Friendly Letters

Do you write your Morning Message in Friendly Letter format?  

I sure do especially since I know it'll jump start my Family Journals (Which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!) next week. 

We've only had eight days of school so far but they're already understanding what's included in a friendly letter. Because you know I love to make my Morning Message interactive, I did a fun (QUICK!) labeling activity today.

I had the labels ready and called on kids to pick one and label my letter.
(Oops! Should have used a darker marker.)

This was the end result but getting there was a bit tricky for a few of the kids.  After a part was labeled, I had kids do a Think-Pair-Share...was it correct?

After we finished, I asked the kids if a writer always had to use DEAR in the greeting.  Many shook their little heads and gave various examples of greetings I had already used.  One boy said, "You could say, "Hey there Cowboys and Cowgirls!"  Is that adorable?  I wonder if his Kindergarten teacher used that greeting? 

Can you guess what my MM greeting will be tomorrow?  :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Freebie Apple Emergent Reader

Happy Monday, friends! I'm using this emergent reader today with a few of my little ones. Hope you can use this FREEBIE, too!

Apples is perfect to practice reading predictable texts and is a great choice for repeated readings at home and school which will help build fluency in your youngest readers while reinforcing color words.

There are actually TWO books in this freebie! In the second book, have students draw the correct number of apples.

Printer friendly! Two pages on each page. Twenty students = 10 copies!

If you download and use this freebie, please leave feedback.

The last four pages in all of my readers can either be included in the book or used after the book is completed/read. 

The “Write 3 Ways” refers to:

1. Rainbow writing the word (I ask them to say the word, trace over with one color crayon, and repeat the word. Then repeat the whole process two more times, using an alternate color each time.)
2. Use your finger to write the word in the palm of your hand or a friends’ hand
3. Use a dauber to stamp out the word on paper. Can use the large word I’ve included.

I uploaded three others over the weekend if you want to check them out. 

Here is the text for the book above:

Cover: What is it?
Page 1: What is it? It is a butterfly.
Page 2: What is it? It is a heart.
Page 3: What is it? It is a balloon.
Page 4: What is it? It is a flower.
Page 5: What is it? It is a tree.
Page 6: What is it? It is a car.
Page 7: What is it? It is a kite.
Page 8: What is it? It is a cat.
Page 9: What is it? It is a banana.
Page 10: What is it? It is a rainbow.
Page 11: What is it? It is...
Page 12. ME! (Painted himself on canvas)

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Getting Crafty! (Awesome Wall Mounting Find!)

I have a friend who teaches second grade and never does anything crafty at all with her kids. NOTHING.  Says it is fluff with a capital F.  UGH!   Is this fluff? Don't think so!

  My Firsties love all things paint and glitter (me too!) and although I don't have time for lots of "crafty things" I certainly make sure I do some.  Cutting, gluing and creating? A MUST for five and six year olds, isn't it?  These were finished in a snap, will stay up for a good six weeks and will look lovely in their memory books and on their fridges at home.  Oh, did I tell you how happy their apples and trees make me feel?  Especially the apple in the upper left-hand corner.  :) 

 I love how all of the trees look so different.  Unique.  

I gave the kids a strip of brown paper and told them to design a trunk. Below are the first three trunks that were finished.  They use the rest of the paper for their branches.  Fun to see how they form their trees.  If you are doing this activity, you only need a teeny tiny amount of paint.  I put this plate in the middle of four desks and it was way too much,


Beautiful!  Just like them!

Have you seen these Scotch tabs?  AMAZING!  No.  Seriously.  


I discovered them last year and I swear, NOTHING falls down. They are foam tabs. Double sided.  Easy to use.  They come right off and I can even reuse most of them again!  A must have. I have two on each tree and they won't come down until I take them down.  I got through our school Cascade order for $2.50 a box (480 tabs.  I see them on Office Depot site for $10.50 a box.  Boo. Glad I got through school order BUT I would $10.50 pay for these babies.  (Look at ratings and comments and you may, too!)  

Syracuse just won in overtime...  Wahoo!!!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Love Poetry? A Fun Addition to My Class! (FREEBIE ALERT!)

I've always wanted to make a POET TREE after seeing a few on Pinterest so I finally made one for my Firsties:

The tree was collecting dust in my basement. I knew it would find a much better home in Room B4. So I printed out the same poems that I use in my fluency binders, paired them with magnifying glasses, and let the kids read them.  They LOVE it!  But that's a no-brainer because we all know that kids love anything involving magnifying glasses! But the kids also appreciate being able to read the poems since they know them from their binders.  (When I printed them, I believe I clicked on 16 per page under multiple pages.  While they are small, my tired eyes can read them without the magnifying glass but I grab one anyway!)

Besides having them read them when they have "free time," how else can you use the Poet Tree?

1. How about looking for sight words?  (Use your MG to find the word "The" in a poem.)

2. Practice fluency.  I have students record each other with iPads while reading them.

3.  Encourage kids to create their own poems.  Type them up for them and place on tree.  Who doesn't love to see their own creations?

4. Make extras and have kids keep "A Poem in Their Pocket."  Challenge them to read it to five people that day.  

5. I've given each member of my lower reading groups a poem that we've already had in our binders. In one minute, I manage to do a quick review of skills: Use your MG to find a short a word.  A word that is the opposite of go. An example of alliteration.  

The possibilities are endless and it's just a another way to engage the class.

Thinking of making one?  Here are some free poems to get you started:

If you like the FREE September packet, check out my other packets such as the October Poems.

Have a great weekend!