Friday, June 19, 2015

Five for Friday June 19

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

I posted all about The Gumdrop Tree the other day, and shared the ideas I use with it as well as other books that I read to go along with it.

The book is absolutely perfect for helping the children realize that if they have an imagination, they can write ANYTHING at all. You can use it when you introduce Writer's Workshop, and then again during the year, just to remind the children how important imaginations are to their writing.

  Here are a few pictures from the book:

The Gumdrop Tree has so many wonderful text features to talk about with the children.

And it has great ideas for illustrations!

Look how it shows the passing of time as she waits for her gumdrop tree to grow.

Plus, who doesn't love to think about growing a gumdrop tree?!

(You can find all the ideas and activities that I used with this book  HERE.) 

Well, we read this and started talking about things being stuck in a tree- so I read Stuck.
Then we talked about the "uck", it made me think of Where's My T R U C K?"
After you read this, you never have to spell "truck" for the kids again!

Finally, I had to stop because I felt like Laura Numeroff was going to write a book about me pretty soon called If You Give Carolyn One Book, She's Going to Think of Ten More to Go With It! 

The Mailbox posted this neat voice levels chart on their facebook page.  I really liked the names of the levels and the descriptions. I think the kids will "get" it.  I am going to use it next year.

My favorite it Spy Talk.  I may just use this one when they are chit chatting on the rug.  

Charla Lane posted this version that she made on her facebook page. She said to feel free to save and print.  It's great.  Thank you so much, Charla!
Another thing that has worked really well for my class walking down the hall is to come up with a synonym for "quiet" or something that is quiet, and act like that in the hall.  I write the words on a popsickle stick, and my leader draws one from the jar.  One stick says, "Leader's Choice!"

Here are a few:
silent, still, hushed, noiseless, speechless, inaudible, peaceful, tranquil, calm, still, restful, secret, mute

Here are some quiet things on our sticks:
a book, a mouse, a carrot (or any vegetable!), a blanket, a pillow, a piece of paper, a pencil, a fish,
a Ninja, a turtle, a whisper, a cloud, a star,

My class is in a real SWAT team kick now- not sure why, but this has been great.  Those SWAT teams are one of the quietest things ever sneaking up on someone! Truly- all I say now when we line up the last couple weeks has been, "SWAT TEAM!" Who knew?!

Thank goodness they're not loving something like lawn mowers, motorcycles, or clowns right now...

I just found this wonderful Hidden Sight Word Packet from Heidisongs a little while ago, and wanted to share it with you. We LOVE all of her songs- and the children learn to spell sight words like nobody's business with her songs.  They are like magic!
I cannot wait to use these worksheets next year when I am introducing sight words.  I tried some of the pages this week for morning work to review some the sight words- and the kids LOVED them- as you can see.  

Just in case you don't know what to expect... let him explain!

I included lots of Heidi's sight word songs in my QR Code Sight Word Video Read the Room Packet .  My students have had so much fun with it, so I hope yours do, too.  It's great to use for center time when you start the year and introduce these words.

I made 36 sight word cards, each with a QR code that links to a video to go with that word. I put each of the YouTube videos on ViewPure, so that there are no ads, comments, or distractions. The words I included are: a, all, am, an and, are, at, be, can, come, do, for, get, go, he, I, in, is, it, like, look, me, my, no, of, off, on, see, she, the, to, up, we, what, who, with.

I also made 12 cards with QR codes that link to sight word songs which have lots of sight words. This picture shows some of the words with the codes and some of the songs with the codes:

I printed the cards on card stock. You could also laminate them, but I was too impatient to wait wanted to use them right away. I cut the cards apart, because I put 4 words on a sheet. Then, I chose 12 cards to put up around the room- eight sight words and 4 sight word song video cards. I am using this as an independent center for one of my groups. I have 4 students in a group, and one with five. Each student has an iPad (I have 5 in my room.) and a clipboard with the recording sheet. The students find a sight word, scan the code, and watch the video. Then, they record the word they watched, and go onto another word. They also watch one or two of the sight word song videos. On the recording sheet, they fill in the star beside the video they watch. They LOVE this! It is independent, quiet, and FUN! WIN WIN WIN!!! After a few days, I change the words that I have up. The children can keep the same recording sheet, or get a new one. I printed the recording sheet front/back to make it easier to manage for the children.

Another way you could use this packet is to put the pages together in a binder so the children can scan and watch throughout the day, any time they finish early or have extra time.

You could also print these sight word cards out and send them home for extra practice at home.
Parents can download the free QR app and watch the videos at home!

My favorite QR Code app is called QR Reader for iPad by TapMedia Ltd. It is free, and the thing I like best about it is that to scan the code, I the children only have to hold the camera over the code- not click anything. It is really sensitive and picks up the code quickly so it isn't frustrating at all.

We went on our nature walk this week.  It's a perfect time of year for this.  We were ALL ready to get outside!  

We heard so many birds and saw lots of beautiful things!  (She didn't touch this butterfly- don't worry- no one would EVER let her get away with that...)

My son Matt and his girlfriend Jaclyn came to help us out.  We each had a team.

One thing I always do is staple a line of stickers onto the Treasure Hunt paper for each child. That way, the child can mark what was found with a sticker, and not have to keep track of a pencil. I just staple all of it to a brown lunch bag.
I found lots of great different treasure hunts.  Here are some of my favorites if you'd like to use them- or pin them for later!

This one is from The Bird Feed NYC.
Gwhizteacher shared this one.
I liked this one from No Wooden Spoons.
This one is from Playground Hunt.
This is our Nature Treasure Hunt that I remade.  If you would like a copy of mine, just click on the picture below.

I almost forgot the other essential item for this Treasure Hunt: Ice Cream Sandwiches!  We ate ice cream sandwiches and shared what we found.  Perfect.

These free pattern block cards from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler are FABULOUS!  I can't wait to use them next year for centers. I'm printing them on cardstock and laminating them so they last.  

 She also shared these great Alphabet Pattern Blocks Printables! Thank you, Erica!

Happy Weekend! Thank you for stopping by!


  1. Hi Carolyn, I like to use books during writing so I'm always on the lookout for good ones that inspire writing. I will definitely try to find The Gumdrop Tree.
    I also loved your summer treasure hunt, what a terrific idea!
    Have a nice weekend!

  2. Thanks for sharing about The Gumdrop Tree. I haven't read it, but it looks good. I love finding new books.
    Grade School Giggles

  3. I love using QR codes...I think it is awesome you use them even in younger grades!

    Get Your Science on in Room 701

  4. I love those gum drop lollipops!!! I've never used QR codes, but they look like lots of fun! Your nature walk looks like fun too! Enjoy your last week my friend!!!



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