Sunday, January 25, 2015

What I am teaching this week.

Well it's Sunday and in a teachers its' aka the day we have to do lesson plans and get all our materials ready for the week! Right?!?! Our school district makes up upload our lesson plans digitally and online. So there is no "writing" plans. It sure does make it easier now that I understand the techy side to it. 

Reading:
In reading we are STILL trying to finish the chapter book we started 2 weeks ago. Mid year assessments began and while I understand the value of them and how we all need data, it sure does mess up my plans. We have 2 chapters to go and I am determined to finish the book this week :)
My students sure do love the Magic Tree House series and I hope to incorporate 1 fun book a month with my kiddos.

Our reading centers are a combination of things this week as well. Still have some kids who have started an activity or still have not made it to that station. If you want a peek at the centers we are working on click {Here

Social Studies:
This week we have started our community helpers unit. I recently asked for some recommendations for read alouds and found some new ones! We will start off the week reading
Miss Bindergarten Takes A Field Trip 


We will then create an anchor chart with all the helpers we could see in our community. I am also going to be using this activity pack 

There are webs for the students to complete and a fun matching game. For my higher students I am going to be using this unit from my friend at 
                                             Mrs. Ds Corner
She makes amazing things! 

My kids will be using ipads and doing some research on the helper they pick out.

We are also lucky enough to have a subscription to Scholastic's Weekly Readers. Do you use them?

We love them! I was also trying to come up with a way to tie in some reading and comprehension questions so I made these response sheets.
                                                     Polar Bear Weekly Reader
                 Click on the link to snag both of these worksheet.
           I also have this one for another issue about winter. 
If you do use them I would love to hear what you think about them.

Hard to believe that next week is February! We will be learning all about Groundhogs! Make sure to check out next week's post to see what we do.

Happy Teaching,

Friday, January 23, 2015

Organizing Centers

Hey everyone! If your past 2 weeks have been anything like mine they have just been a whirlwind! Never enough time to get what I want done. Plus all our mid year assessments began so that takes up even more time!

So people have commented on how organized I keep my centers so I am going to share my tricks with you today.

My goal every week is to have 5 centers for my students to finish during ELA time. The skills vary depending on our reading series and what skills we will focus on during the week. I also LOVE to have thematic centers :) They are so much fun to incorporate! Plus isn't that what school should be more about?! Having fun and learn all the same time. So over the years I have made and gathers many many many different types of centers. Last year I had the AMAZING idea to organize all of them. This idea sounded great in my head and eventually turned out great!

This is how I went about this task over the summer

I started by putting all my centers in these manila envelopes. I label them with what the name of the activity is or skill that it covers


Then from there I had the great idea to group my centers by months!


I bought some plastic containers from Target and used these calendar labels from a set I had. That way I pull down 1 container a month and ALL the centers I will be using are in them! Makes it soo much easier to find things!




No of course some bins are stuffed to the brim so I also made a bin for ELA  and Math skills.
Then each Friday I go through my bins and pick out the centers we will be working on the following week. I store my weekly centers in these bins from the dollar store



Easy for my students to find what they need to work on and they stay organized!

So that is a little peek inside how I keep all my centers organized.

How do you store your centers? Any tricks you can share?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

What I am Teaching This Week~

Happy Sunday everyone! It is a cold, cloudy dreary day here in Dallas, YUCK! 

So I have seen a few other bloggers that post what they are teaching in their classrooms this coming week and thought.." Hey I can give that a try!" 

Now I know their plans are much more interactive..I am still learning a few blogging tricks so I will do my best here. If anyone out there has any tips on how to hyperlink pictures let me know :)

Ok ~so onto my plans. This year my school decided to go departmentalized. Yes even down to our K students! At first it was REALLLY hard..not gonna lie! I HATED it but, after a few months I finally have a rhythm down and I have to say it is NOT as bad as I thought. I just teach ELA and SS to 2 kinder classes. It is nice to only plan for 2 subjects PLUS I do A LOT of cross curricular so it even easier ( for me).

So this week in ELA I am starting my first chapter books with my kiddos. Now you may or may not know that my K class is NOT your average class. I teach the advanced K class which is much more like a 1st grade class. My kids are VERY good readers so I picked out a Magic Tree House book to get us going.

My past classes have LOVED this series of books and I am hoping to pass on that love to this years class. I found a great comprehension pack to go along with this book.

and then I created one of my own for differentiation

 We will be reading a chapter a day then completing one page of questions. This books will probably go on for about 2 weeks. I plan on doing some chapters whole group read alouds and some chapters will be done in small groups. 

                                                 READING CENTERS

This week I am still continuing the same reading centers as I had going last week. Time is NEVER my friend and I feel like we never have enough time to do all I want to get done! This is the pack that I have been using


                                    You can check them out {HERE}

For Social Studies this week I am focusing on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There is so much that you can incorporate that I have to really pick and choose what I want to do. I always start off by reading this book to my class


I really like the way this book talks about MLK and the pictures are amazing. One of the TPT sellers/ bloggers I love 
Primary Graffiti
made an AMAZING book companion to enhance my lessons
                                                  Martin's Big Words {Book Companion}.

If you have not checked out any of her products you really should. She has great blog posts about them and I just LOVE all the vocabulary and interactive notebook pages she includes.  

I also created a printables back that my students will be using to assist with our discovery of MLK
                                       You can find them {HERE}

I will be using many of these sheets with my students and have differentiated them too!

So that is a peek at my week. What are you teaching this week?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

First week back and Literacy Centers

Whew! First week back is almost done! I was super HAPPY to see my kiddos even though I was sad to see break end. I mean who wasn't right?? 


I think I was most excited to try out all my new centers and ideas I created over break! The first thing we did on Monday was review ALL rules and routines. I treated it like it was the first day of school all over again. I even created a fun sorting game for my students


I must have needed A LOT of coffee on Monday cause I took NO pics of this activity....DUH
The kids sorted the cards and then I had a variety of printables and Interactive Notebook activities that we did during centers



This also would be PERFECT for the beginning of the year too! Check it out here
Making Good Choices

As the week went on I introduced more of the Winter Centers for ELA. My students MOST favorite one is called Sentence Scrambles. Writing sentences in K is a big deal. We spend a TON of time on it too! What should they look like, what do they need, and so much more. Soooo I wanted to come up with a hands on way that students can practice this big skill

We start out with a huge pile of cards. I have explained to the kids that they need to find all the cards with the same pictures on them and then build that sentence





Then once the 6 cards are picked they need to read the words and decide what the sentence should say


     

The when they are finished with one then they work on another
To extend the activity I also have the writing sheets to go along with this center



This way I can see how the students did and how their handwriting is progressing. All of these sentences are more can be found can be found here:Winter Sentence Scrambles



How has your week been?? Did you have any cold or snow days??