Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pumpkin Activities

Don't you just love the fall?! That smell of pumpkin spice just fills the air with goodness! It is also that time of year that many teachers pull on their rain boots and drudge through pumpkin patch farms with their class. With that we teachers are busy teaching all things pumpkin! So you may be asking yourself... how can I teach it? How can I make it different then so many other teacher lesson? What pumpkin literature book should I use? Are there YouTube links you could show my students? The answer is yes to all of the above. You can tune into my Facebook page to hear all about how I teach pumpkins. Or you can read through this post that contains...FREEBIES plus a sneak peek of my pumpkin unit.

Okay first let's talk anchor charts. I like doing the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Anchor Chart, but I also like to include sequencing, and the Parts of a Pumpkin.

 I also always have my vocab anchor chart no matter what unit I am doing. It is so important to teach my students the vocabulary I am going to be using as I teach them. Other wise what I am saying might go over their heads. I want to make sure they also interact with the vocabulary. That's why I like to laminate my vocabulary teaching cards and pull them on and off, and can then use them as a center station.

I also like to pull sequence of events in when I am teaching Pumpkins as there are so many different areas I can direct this with pumpkins; The Life Cycle, Pumpkin Carving, or a pumpkin literature story. There are so many different stories that I can choose, but my personal favorite is Pumpkin Jack by. Will Hubbell. It is a darling story about a boy named Tim. He has to put his beloved Jack-o'-lantern Pumpkin Jack out in the yard because he is rotten. Pumpkin Jack decomposes, and is left just as seeds. Tim discovers a pumpkin sprout in the spring. The book then takes you through the life cycle of a pumpkin. Yes that's right this story is pulling in the life cycle AND you can do sequence of events. SCORE! Below you can see my sequence of events anchor chart for Pumpkin Jack along with the sequence of Event craft that goes along with Pumpkin Jack.

Next I want to dig deeper in the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin. I have a focus wall poster, but I also have an anchor chart in order to bring it to life as I teach it. I have laminated images of the parts of the life cycle. Again I use a tape that makes it easy to take it on and off, that way I can again turn this anchor chart into a sorting center for stations by simply taking the cards off and the students put them back up. (All these cards are in my Pumpkin Activity Pack)

I also love doing "mobiles" in my classroom. So I created a Life Cycle Mobile. These are simple, but are fabulous to hang from the ceiling through the fall as it contains your student's beautiful artwork AND writing.

I am also big on having foldable books that students read. Having taught in areas that were very poor I have found the importance of having paper books. These are great as they can take them home and read them where they often have no books at home. And the bonus of them being a printable book they don't have to bring them back! I do want to see there comprehension of the short emergent reader so I generally have them do comprehension questions like picture below. This is all available in my pack.

So now what about going to the pumpkin patch... okay you guys here is where the freebie comes in. Here is a fun sheet that they graph things they see at the pumpkin patch! Now naturally the pumpkin part will get filled to the top, but it is fun for them too what else they see. Right click the image below and save it to your computer to print it!

Now your students have had a wonderful time at the pumpkin patch. They are now back in the classroom. Time for them to write! Write all about the pumpkin patch! Once they are done with the writing it is glued onto a pumpkin and a little farm boy or girl that they make to look like them is glued above. How cute are they below?! I mean really!  Again this is all in my pumpkin pack.

So I have one more freebie for y'all... yes one more! This freebie is actually already in my store! It has been there for about a year! It is my Number bond/ Math Mountain Headbands! This is a fun way to tie in a little Pumpkin Spice with your math this fall!  Students make the number bond out of pumpkins! Check it out below! Click the image and it will take you to my store where you can download it for free!!

Okay... now there is even more in my pack! Yes more in my pumpkin pack. Click the image below to check it out in my store.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Doubles and Doubles Plus One Activities

Teaching Doubles and Doubles +1 is such a blast to teach in the classroom. I have had so much fun with it! I wanted to share with you all what has worked for me. You can read this blog post or get even more teaching ideas and click here to watch me talk about it LIVE on my Facebook page.

First of all to start off I think it is so important to teach the vocabulary you are going to be using through out your lesson. Then show your students how these vocab words are used n context of the topic being taught. I love using Vocab Teaching Cards. If you have taught using my units you are probably familiar with them. It has the word then an image on the side that represents that word. This image is so important for my ELL learners. Below you can see some anchor charts I have created using my Vocab Teaching Cards for Doubles and Doubles +1.

Next I am wanting to use manipulative to help visualize the addition process. Then I am going to use poems/chants and some videos off YouTube. I have my own version that I like to use for poems that can be found in my Doubles Pack. Then I am going to bring in my craft. I'm Seeing Doubles. I have the option of two sizes so if you don't want all the students to make such big ones you can do smaller ones.

Then we also do a craft for Doubles Plus one. By this point my students have really masted these facts, but I still want them to practice. I always of some No Prep Printables handy like "Color by Sum" sheets and match up sheets. These are great fillers if I ever have a sub or something in the morning, but I am also wanting to use games. That is where my spin a pair sheet comes in. I can print this as a printable or laminate and use it year to year. The reason I like this one is it can be down in pair or on their own. Then I have 3 more games that are centers that will be laminated and used year to year. These centers are meant to be done in small groups. I have a GO Fish game, board game, and sort. 

I think they have mastered it now it is time for an assessment. Here is where are freebie comes in for all my blog readers. This is a normal fact assessment except something is added to the bottom. I want my students to tell me tips and tricks they remember from Doubles and Doubles Plus One. For my non writers I have them draw pictures of what helped them. This is such a great opportunity for me to help know what kind of learners my students. This also helps me become a better teacher as I can find out straight from the source what worked for them. Just right click and save them images below to print them for your classroom from your computer!

I hope you all find these activities below. Check out this pack in my store with all these activities. You can click here or click any image in this post (except the freebies) and it will take you to it. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Teaching Color Words; Activities and Ideas

Color words are a simple teaching task, and there are many ways to do it. I wanted to share with some ways I would do it in a classroom. You can also listen to my teaching ideas for color words by clicking here and listening to my Facebook live about it!

I like to start things off with a simple Rainbow song. If you want to hear the tune visit my fb live video. I do this poem even in first grade at the beginning of the year, and have them paste it into their poem book. This is a great thing to start off with as it is simple and easy for them to memorize for our "Poetry Performances" on Fridays. I usually make an anchor chart as well and post it the poem.  Right click the image below and save it, so you can print it for your students for free!

Next thing I am going to do is introduce color by color. I have the students make the poster "theirs", by letting them add their own drawings of things that are blue on blue sticky notes.

I love having easy to go to printable review for my students. I have two different levels of color printables depending on the students I am working. Click the image below and it will take you where to buy it.

Crafts! Okay, y'all know I am about the crafts! Why not have students make their own Color Word Book with CRAFTS in it! So that is just what we do. I also hand out emergent readers for them to take home, and practice in the classroom. The thing that is great about these is each book has the same pattern so it easy for my students to read, and gives them confidence in reading! Hope you all enjoy these activities idea! You can buy all the crafts and printables, including color posters for only $7 in my store.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Words Their Way Activities and Ideas

Words Their Way is such a wonderful program, but sometimes as a teacher it can be difficult to figure out a variety of beneficial activities to help them learn. I first want to start off by talking about a way to keep your students organized with the activities that you give them throughout the week. If you are following any of the Word Sort books it suggest doing a range of activities with the concept being taught with that sort. What that says to my teacher brain is A LOT of flying papers and disorganized desks. I have a finish folder for my students to put unfinished work, but I want a place where they keep only Words Their Way. I know some people have their kids glue EVERYTHING they do with it in a journal...but oh my lanta that is a TON of glue. So I have a simple method, and it isn't anything fancy. If you rather not read through this whole blog post you can always visit my Facebook page where there is a video of me talking about this.
All you need are three things:

  1.  A Stapler
  2. 12X18 Construction Paper
  3. Little Ziplock Baggies
What you are going to do is at the beginning of a new sort you will give them a new construction paper with a Ziploc baggie stapled to the inside. Make sure that you open the bag when you staple it otherwise you will staple it shut ;). This now becomes their work mat for their sort. They can practice with the sort as many times as you want, and they just put the pieces they have cut up back into the ziplock bag until they are ready to glue onto the front of the "Folder"/ Mat. 

Yes...glue that sort on the front!  Why on the outside? Well otherwise if they do it on the inside the excess glue makes the folder stick together. You want them to continue using this folder to put the other activities in that you are going to have them do that has to do with the sort. You could even have two sorts worth of activities in one folder. They would just glue the other sort onto the backside of the folder, and use the same plastic bag before they glue. Fill that folder with all kinds of activities. Below I have a picture of activities that I use, which you can purchase in my store if you click the image. 

Once they have completed the sort I like to send them home with another copy of the same sort for them to do at home. I attach the note to the front for the parents to sign, and slide it in their sort folder and it ALL goes home! I tell my students they get to keep this sort forever for them to practice. They just bring the sheet signed back so I know they practiced. You can print the note home for yourself. Just right click the image of it and print or save.