Friday, February 17, 2017

5 For Friday and...How to... Eat a Lollipop!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey!

Wednesday we had a pajama day! My children chose this as their class prize for all being able to TIE SHOES!!! YES!  Everyone!

Pajama Partner Reading

Every year our PE teachers have a contest to see which class in K, 1, and 2 can tie shoes first.  The prize is an extra PE class full of fun and games.  This is always a great chance to really stress the importance of tying shoes to families.  I send home lots of pleading, begging  helpful notes to parents with tips and encouragement to practice and practice and practice, and be patient, patient, patient.  The children want to learn so badly, but it does take some real fine motor control and patience, because it is not easy to do!

Anyway, we won!  One of my sweeties is out for a while, and I don't want him to miss our celebration in PE, so we will wait for him to return for that. We had a pajama party to celebrate in the meantime, because the class was so proud and exited.

I take NO credit for this win.  I did get out my sparkly shoes and cardboard shoes during free choice and work some with the children, but here is my secret weapon...

(His little tongue sticking out just says it all...)

My wonderful mother comes to read with the children each day during our center time (and write, and work on numbers, and just love the kids and get LOTS of love back).  Her patience is never ending.  I am in awe.  She made tying shoes FUN- and then, the contest was no longer impossible in the kids' minds, but it just had to be won! So... we did.

We started our 'How-to' books this week. I wrote a post HERE about all the different things I do to teach writing How-to books.
I always start by introducing our transition words.  Then, we order some sequencing cards and tell a story to go with them using the transition words.   This gets the children used to telling a "how to" story. (We use the Lucy Calkin's writing program, and she doesn't use these transition words, but I do because those are the words we use to retell stories, so it fits perfectly that they would use them in these books.)

I wanted to think of a fun way to introduce writing 'How-to' books that I could model and we all could do together.  Since it was a FUN day, I decided we should teach someone how to eat a lollipop.

I have a bag of small size Tootsie Pops, just in case an emergency fun idea like this 'pops' up.

We had to review all the steps of eating a lollipop, by... eating a lollipop.  We talked our way through each step.  I modeled writing the simple steps we talked about using the transition words, as some of the children modeled the actions:

FIRST, you pick your favorite color lollipop.

NEXT,  you take the wrapper off the lollipop.

THEN, you lick and lick the lollipop until it is gone.

LAST, you throw away the trash.

I used these pictures of the children with the following day's lesson, to review  the steps and have the children order them just like we did with the cards, before they continued writing  their books. It was a great reminder, and they loved it. 

You could also make a class "How-to" book with the photographs and writing, and laminate it.

I just drew some quick illustrations to go with our words as the children helped me decide what we would write for each step.  For this modeling, I didn't have the children come up to help write. Sometimes that gets too time consuming, and the children are quick to lose interest.  I have a very busy group, and I need to always assess carefully what my goal for the lesson is.  Today it was for them to talk through the story with me and understand how to tell and write it sequentially using the transition words.

I  took the opportunity to work on the 'ck' digraph a little and explain that we may use words like pick, lick, and stick in our writing! We could have said, 'Last you put the stick in the trash,' to use the word 'stick.'   I love to teach digraphs authentically when great opportunities arise.  The word 'trash' was perfect for the 'tr' blend and 'sh' digraph.

Then, with a little lift of sugar, the children headed to their seats to begin writing.  They did fabulous! I didn't leave our sample up, so they didn't copy my papers.  They were familiar with the ideas and were welcome to use them, but they had to plan what they were going to say and write it themselves.

Here are a couple samples:

 (the tongue licking it!!!)

It worked well to have everyone write about the same topic for our first how-to book.  They could help each other if they needed to, and were very familiar with the steps.
To go along with our 'All About Books' and 'How-To' books, I just posted my new packet of QR Codes for Nonfiction Books. You can get it HERE.  I needed some nonfiction stories for the children to listen to during center time.  They are a lot trickier to find than fiction books!

This QR Code packet has given me another way to immerse the children in nonfiction text.  It's been great for them to be able to hear some different nonfiction stories and see the features as they listen to these books on their iPads.  They are also reading nonfiction during private and partner reading time.

Here are the books included in the packet:

Here is a simple, quick little activity we did on the rug yesterday morning.  I made a crown for 'The King of ing.'  We have been finding 'ing' in so many of our words.  I had one child at a time come up and add 'ing' to a word on the poster, while they wore and were 'The King of ing.'  I have other posters to use different mornings, so everyone has a chance.  I like to divide these lessons into several smaller lessons to reinforce the skill. 

Here is another packet of MORE QR Codes to use for listening centers that I just finished a little while ago.  

My children LOVE to use QR codes. I use them all the time for a literacy center.  This packet features stories from eight authors because I also love to do mini author studies, so my children are really familiar with different authors and their styles.  Here are the stories included in the packet.

The children feel so smart and ARE so smart to know about these great authors. We often refer to different techniques that the different authors use as we write our own books.

So, since the children love the stories so much when we read them, I wanted them to be able to hear the stories over and over again- which gave me the idea to make Author Study QR Code Books.

I have scanned all of the videos through ViewPure to remove any advertisements or distractions. Please check the sample QR Codes to be sure ViewPure isn't blocked at your school.  If it is, many times the IT person at your school can easily unblock the site for you if you ask (or give them cookies or donuts...).  

I print the QR Codes out with the author cover page, and the children can choose an author packet to use for center time.

I have also included a biography page for each author in the packet.  We talk about the authors and learn about their lives, and then I send this page home with  each child so parents know who we are learning about in class.


My Author Prezi is also a huge part of our studies.  I have included a link to that in this packet as well.  As we study a particular author, I show the videos of that author throughout the week on the Smart TV.

It is so rewarding when the children hear a story and connect it to an author we have studied!  I am pretty sure I hear angels singing.  "That picture looks like an Eric Carle drew it!"  Or when the children write a story along the same lines as a particular author.  My children LOVE Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and  I get lots of variations of this book after we read it and they hear it a few times.  I get The Question Mark BookThe Period Book, and Quotation Mark books with lots of talking going on in the story and quotation marks everywhere!

Image result for exclamation mark amy krouse rosenthal activities
The last section in this QR Code Packet is Favorite Familiar Stories.  I included lots of nursery rhymes and stories that SHOULD be familiar to children.  Unfortunately, these stories are not so familiar anymore.  Having the QR Center allows the children to listen to the stories many times and be able to retell them, since many don't have stories read to them over and over like children used to.

I also have these QR Codes with Writing Prompts. 

Sometimes I use the prompts as a quick little activity or assessment after a center- or as a whole group activity.  They also are fabulous activities to leave as sub plans!  This packet has the QR Codes for making into books, as well as the QR Code on the writing prompt so you can send the story right home with the children!  They LOVE that. 

Thank you for stopping by.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2017

QR Codes for Nonfiction Books

I just posted my new packet of QR Codes for Nonfiction Books. You can get it HERE at my TpT store.

Several people have asked if I had any QR codes for nonfiction, and ... NOW I do!

Here are the books included in the packet:

We use Lucy Calkins for our reading and writing programs.  Right now we are working on writing All About books and How To books.  We have also been reading lots of nonfiction books during private and partner reading, as well as for read alouds in class. The children really enjoy learning about real, true things in the books we're reading, and it's helping them become "experts" as they write their own books.

This QR Code packet will give me another way to immerse the children in nonfiction text, during their center time.  I hope you find it useful, too!

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sharing the LOVE- Show and Tell Aprons!

Welcome to our Show and Tell Apron Blog Hop!  We decided to get together to celebrate our sweet, talented friend Sandy Welch and share her wonderful  Show and Tell Aprons.  Theses aprons are not only pretty and adorable, but one of the best teaching tools a primary teacher can have. 

I love mine. It makes me happy every time I wear it- and the kids love it, too.  The aprons are fabulous- but the creator... well, she is even more special.  You will never meet a more genuine, kind, caring person. I was blessed to meet Sandy through our blogs when I first began years ago- and I am thankful that she is one of my very best friends today.  

Show and Tell Apron (blue apron with solid yellow pocket)

The aprons are fabulous for teaching all sorts of things- spelling sight words, recognizing sight words, rhyming words,sequencing stories,  number facts, patterning... I love my apron.  I can't even explain all of the uses for this apron.  It seems like I'm always thinking of another way to use it.

She also has cards all set  to use with the aprons, so you will be ready to go!
   Show and Tell Apron Cards - Full Master Pack

Now, I have a child size apron, too!  We use this one A LOT!  The kids are crazy about their new apron.  

We are talking about fairy tales in our class right now.  The children can retell fairy tales in order using these  wonderful cards to go with the apron.  
Show and Tell Apron Cards - Fairy Tale Pack
The clip art is from Whimsy Workshop- who is another one of my favorite people in the world!  

These cards are perfect now since we are working on familiar stories and fairy tales. After we read and retold Three Billy Goats Gruff, this little sweetie wanted to retell it during free choice time.  I think she's pretty happy wearing that apron!

Sandy made this video with some of her great ideas for using the apron.  The apron is a magical part of our day.  We spend money on so many center activities and manipulatives and programs- and this is something worth every single penny,  because you can use it every day in so many ways- and it helps your children learn.  I'm a visual learner, and I know if my teacher had worn one of these aprons when I was in school, I'd have been able to see and understand things so much more easily (Yes - even if my high school and college teachers wore one. I need to see things to get them!)

These aprons wash beautifully, too.  I don't have to wash mine much, but I have a few times, and it looks good as new. After you wash the  apron, just lay it flat to dry.  Sandy takes such care with each apron, and each is beautifully and carefully made.  She packages them with such love and care, I can't wait until you see how pretty they come to you!

Sandy is the perfect kindergarten teacher and friend. She's come up with such a genius idea, that her friends just had to share it with all of you so you can join in on the fun and have a ball teaching with your apron!

Here is how I'm using the apron this week. This time of year we are  working on learning our math facts to 5, so I just layer in the math facts in the pockets and we practice any chance we get!

The possibilities are ENDLESS!  Thank you, Sandy, for such a wonderful product and such a genius idea for teaching!   You can check out Sandy's store at TpT HERE or her website HERE! Check out Sandy's other friends and fans and visit the other posts on this blog hop!
Thank you for stopping by.  

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