Friday, February 28, 2014

Five For Friday- February 28

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.  I am so happy it is Friday.  It's been a while since we had a five day week...and it seemed every minute of a five day week this week.  But we had LOTS of fun!  Thank you for hosting, Kacey!

This week, I introduced Bossy "e".  A few weeks ago, we talked about Bossy "r", so the children were ready for another bossy letter.  Some of my kids are really ready to take off with Bossy "e," (and not just because they also enjoy being bossy) because they are noticing the silent e at the end of words in their books.
We LOVE these videos!

Susanna from Whimsy Workshop does a DARLING Bossy E lesson that I loved from the minute I saw it.  Isn't it the cutest thing?
Mrs. Pollard, from Tales of a Teacherista, has a wonderful, wonderful  Silent E Word Activity FREE at her TPT store that I use.

Silent E Word ActivitySilent E Word ActivitySilent E Word ActivitySilent E Word Activity
I made this anchor chart for the children-more plain and ugly much less cute and fancy than Susanna's, but with her idea. I started with two of the same words and no "e."  Then, during morning rug time when I introduced it, a child came up, glued on the Bossy "e," and said, "SAY  YOUR  NAME!" to the vowel before it.
During small group center time, we reviewed our lesson. We read both words across the paper and saw that without an "e" they were the same word.  Then, the children added a Bossy "e" to the left side list.
We highlighted the vowel, who would now say its own name, and then read the new words.  This really helped the children get the idea of what that "e" actually does.

Traci  has this great free worksheet at her blog.  You can stop over to her blog and get a copy!
Thank you, Traci! 

We reviewed the words from Mrs. Pollard's activity.  I laminated the papers, and just stuck the "e" on with putty.

We have about fifteen minutes after our specials, before our Literacy Center time.  This is our time for snack, drinks, and a bathroom break.  Sometimes we have a few minutes for a quick game.  Most days, we only have about five minutes left after snack.  This is when I like to wash the tables and get set up for centers.  So while I do this,  I have the children Chit-Chat with a friend on the rug (or in a group of 3 if needed), after they finish snack. The children sit knee to knee with a friend and talk about our topic for the day.  Then, the other friend asks a question about what was said.  We practiced, and I modeled it with some of the kids. They know that they will be chit-chatting with different people each day- or nobody at all if they
Every day, we have a different Chit-Chat topic, and the kids love it! Some days they come into the room in the morning before school even starts and ask what we are chit-chatting about today. I guess they like to prepare. :)


If you would like a copy of my topics that I use, just click the picture below.  I print out a copy and leave it on my desk.  Then, I check off the one that we use.  I also use this as a writing prompt sometimes for morning work.
My kids have had so much fun reading sight word sentences. I call them FLASH sentences because they read them in a flash.  This group was SO proud because they read every one. I went  around the table, and if they got it right, they got to keep it in their pile.  These boys have worked hard- and they are proud!

If you would like a copy of these sentences, just click on the picture below.  They are SIMPLE.  I just copied them off on cardstock, cut them apart, and we use them all the time.  Sometimes I  pick one out as a sentence that I dictate that they have to write on the back of a morning work paper.

We studied Pablo Picasso this week. This was the favorite artist so far. I introduced Picasso with my Discovering Great Artists Prezi.
Discovering Great Artists Prezi
I have some of his artwork, a short biography, and some videos about Picasso on my Prezi.

Next, we read this story.  Picasso painted forty paintings of this girl. We didn't discuss the fact that that is really pretty strange... don't you think?! Anyway, it worked out for her- because it was Picasso, for heaven's sakes, but normally, I would be a little suspicious...

I put a few of the pictures of her on my Prezi for the kids to see because it goes along with this book.  They noticed that he painted his faces very differently, and put the facial features in strange places.
I gave everyone a picture of themselves that they had to cut into four pieces.  I chose four because when the cut many more than that, they have a hard time putting the pieces together.  How many? FOUR. Show me. FOUR.  Remember FOUR.  Most of them remembered- FOUR.  Some of them, well, their love of cutting overshadowed their knowledge of the rule to cut FOUR pieces, and it was more like sixteen or twenty. (Note to self- do more listening lessons.) But everyone had a ball!  Before I gave them glue sticks, I had them make different puzzles of their faces so they got the one they liked best. 

After I took this picture of "Picasso Everyon,"  we got in a circle and went around to share our Picasso pictures.  Each child had to stand up, show their picture, and say, "Hi, I am Picasso Jane." (or whatever name- you get it!) As they were making and sharing the pictures, we got a lot of laughs, but when they introduced their picture with their name, we all clapped for each other. (Keeping hands busy clapping was another way for them to keep their picture on the floor and not play with it.)
I posted at PreK-and K Sharing about the other artists we study and projects that we do for each artist.

Finally, we made some pictures to go over our lockers in the hall for March.  I asked each child why they were lucky. I had about five different Dollar Store hats/headbands to choose from to wear. (It just so happens that these three all chose the same one!) I typed up the answers, and they wrote the top part. These were some of my favorite answers:

I just hope nobody every bursts this one's bubble about the clovers.  How wonderful to go through life thinking that you are lucky to find three leaf clovers!
OH one more quick thing- my morning glory update! They are ready to climb the string.  Ahhh- inside-spring. 

 Happy, Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Primary Writing/Editing TPT Freebies!

I wanted to share some fabulous FREEBIES from TPT that I found and have loved using with my class during Writer's Workshop.
My children needed some more practice with conventions (well- of course, because they are five...), and so we are working on more small moments stories.  The children really enjoy and seem to understand writing small moment stories. 

I read Every Friday , which is my new favorite small moment mentor text.  Kathy Griffin introduced me to it earlier this year, and I just love it.
It is a sweet, simply written story.  The children really see that one memory can turn into a story. Here are some pages from the book.

from Amazon:
All week long, a boy and his father look forward to their Friday ritual—breakfast at their favorite diner. The leisurely walk through the neighborhood is just as good as the pancakes at the end.

This makes the book even more special:
Author Dan Yaccarino Talks About His Inspiration for Every Friday I guess the Friday breakfasts came about because like most dads, I sometimes didn't feel like I saw my son enough. Some weeks, our Friday breakfasts were the only time he and I had to talk or just share some time together.
I look back on when we started what became our little tradition. He was in preschool and had to start sharing his mom and dad with a new little sister. I wanted him to have some time when he didn't have to put up with a crying baby who yanked his ears, which he patiently tolerated. He and I soon looked forward to Fridays and the diner's owner, Nick, as well as a variety of regulars, warmly greeting us. To their continued astonishment, he consumed an entire adult-size order of pancakes and a side of bacon, of which I was very proud. I have fond memories of us watching people trudging through the snow and rain as he and I were cozily nestled in a booth, a little oasis from the outside world. As much as we loved Nick’s Diner, I think we both preferred the small journey we took each week to get there. It may have been a mere four blocks, but it was full of adventure: greeting familiar faces, window shopping and monitoring the progress of a building on the corner going up story by story. Nick's Diner has since closed, so our breakfasts have been relocated to another and like that building, my son is now tall and strong. I look back on his wonder of the world and fascination of even the smallest things. Even though it was only a few years ago, life seemed a bit less complicated. My hope for Every Friday is for dads, and moms, to set aside some time to be with their children. It doesn't have to be breakfast on Friday, but it should be some time that they can count on to be with just you. And perhaps many years from now, they will carry on the tradition with their own children.

Not only is this a great mentor text for getting the children to start thinking about special memories, but it's good for the teacher, too!  One of my very special memories when I was young was getting to visit and stay over night with my grandparents and great-grandmother.  I wrote a story to share with the children about some of the special things I did with them on our visits.  I remember how we played Bingo for special prizes that my grandmother had saved for my sister and me, how my grandmother painted my fingernails and I always chose light pink like her nails, and how she would make waffles for us for dinner sometimes with a waffle maker right on the table! We came up with a title for my story together.

 I also had them help me write a good ending for my book, so they reviewed good beginnings, middles, and endings. Sometimes coming up with endings is tricky.
For some reason, coming up with titles is also  tricky for many of my kids.  They want to write a whole sentence.  I try to tell them that a title is just like a name for their book.  "Sadie" isn't called "The girl with short, brown hair who likes to read."  Her "title" is "Sadie."  I am going to do another mini lesson about coming up with titles- just reading short stories and asking for some ideas for title- just so they practice creating titles.

I have noticed an improvement in the children's independent writing during Writer's Workshop because we have been doing more guided writing activities.  However, there are some days when I am not looking at a particular child's writing (because I am conferencing with other children) and I think the ones I am not working with just assume I will never be seeing their books!  Yikes!

We have been practicing together writing sentences in whole group guided writing lessons.  We review beginning with a capital letter and not putting random capital letters in the rest of the sentence, leaving spaces between words, writing neatly, rereading to be sure no words are left out, and ending with a punctuation mark. 

I found some wonderful (and FREE!)  resources on TPT  that I wanted to share with you.
Krazy in Kindergarten shared this cute poster for remembering those all important spaces.

I LOVE Samantha Richardson's  4-Star Kindergarten Rubric.  I printed out and laminated one of these for each of my students to use.  It is a wonderful visual for the children.  They "get" it. This was a great mini lesson and is a great review before I send them off to start writing, too.
4-Star Kindergarten Rubric
This fabulous packet from Amy Morgan is perfect to show the children how adding details to writing adds so much to a story.  I got more excited as I saw and read more sentences on each page, and so did the children. We had so much fun with this.  We counted the sentences.  We found the periods, and  noticed that sentences don't just end at the end of a line but at the end of a complete thought.  We talked about how much more interesting the illustrations were with details and color, too. 

These are some writing packets with some great printable writing papers for the children to use. They have reminder rubrics right on the papers for the children.
Mrs. Lindsey has a great Writing Rubric K-2 Packet at her TPT store. 

Lisa Sadler shared this journal page with editing at the bottom. It is easy for the children to use!
Journal Page with Editing Checklist at Bottom
Karen Langdon shared a great Writing for Readers Packet of writing papers.  Her reminder rubric has real photographs.
Tanya Dwyer shared such a great Mini-Book Writing and Rubric with a fairy tale and a Star Wars  mini book writing activity. This looks like so much fun to use. The kids will love it.

Miss Jacobs' Little Learners shared this WONDERFUL  What Can We Write About? poster.

I have my  Primary Writing Prezi  up every day during Writer's Workshop so I can zoom in on reminders about topics, editing, or conventions, or just so we can sing a song about being brave about writing!

Thank you for stopping by!


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