Thursday, September 29, 2011

Letter Books

Part of our ELA time is spent working on letter books. When we learn about a specific letter, each student comes up with a word that begins with that letter and makes a page that says "___ is for ___."  In the beginning this is a shared writing time where they write part of the sentence and I'll write the rest. For example, they write the first letter and I write "is for ____." Then the next week they will write the first letter and the word "is" and I'll write "for ___." until they get to the point where they are writing everything on their own. They illustrate the page and highlight the focus letter with a yellow crayon. When everyone is done, we compile a class book. The fun part is that the students get to take the books home (and bring it back the next day) so they can show off their work/other students' work to their parents and siblings. It's a great chance for the students to practice pointing to and reading the sentences with their parents. The finished product is below.

You can get the explanation page to parents here and the letter book covers here.
The letter book cover font is a Kevin and Amanda font - Pea Hollee, and the border is from DJ Inkers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Daily 5 - Word Work

I think Word Work is my favorite Daily 5 choice to introduce. The kiddos LOVE choosing it and there's a lot of variety in what they can do (just check out the picture below!). 

I have a hard time getting the students to call this station "word work" instead of "playdoh" :)
The big oil drip pan is GREAT for having the students sort magnetic letters. I got the idea off of pinterest and it was super easy to make.  I put magnet tape on the back of the letter headers but if I could do it over I would use tape instead so the students can't get them out of order. 

Here are some pictures of them in action:

Letters from Lakeshore Learning

letter sorting by diff. fonts

Playdoh names! They can make their own name or a friend's. 

Playdoh names and playdoh cookie cutter letters

File folder game

file folder game

Environmental Print match-up (you can also play this as a memory game)

building words/names

When I first introduced this station, I had every table group (I have 3 table groups) assigned to a different word work choice. Ex: I had group 1 work with magnetic letters, Group 2 work with playdoh names/cookie cutters, Group 3 work with the file folder games, environment print and letter font sort. After every group had a chance to work with each of the tools, I let them choose whatever they wanted.
As the year goes on I switch a lot of games out and put in new games/puzzles.

The letter headers for the oil drip is an already-made dj inkers set.
Environmental Print cards are free printables from Hubbards Cupboard.

Good luck with your Daily 5!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Daily 5 - Work on Writing

More Daily 5 info! I tried to do more pictures, since I know that's what I personally like looking at :)

I have been introducing each one of the Daily 5 choices slowly,  starting at 1 minute of stamina, then moving to 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and then 10 minutes. It usually takes us a few days to build up to that and I don't introduce a new Daily 5 choice until they have reached 10 minutes. Currently I have introduced Read to Self, Work on Writing and Word Work. This week, since we have learned all three, I will let them choose from all 3 for a few days and I will introduce Listen to Reading later this week.

Here are the different writing tools the students can choose from during Work on Writing:

These tools are right next to the typing paper/dictionaries. I separated these tools from the dry-erase ones so students wouldn't accidentally use markers on dry-erase boards and dry-erase markers on typing paper. 
Write the Room pages are from the fabulous J. Meacham. You can find it under "Write the Room, By Letter, Long Form)

Letter Tracing Pages are from Learning Page. You have to be a member to download the pages BUT it's free to become a member!

Writing tools labels (pdf version) were created using Microsoft Word.  If you want the actual word document you can get that here.

They did such an amazing job with this one! We talked about only writing WORDS/letters on dry-erase boards and typing paper. That was really hard for them to remember but they got it by time we got to 10 minutes of stamina! I am so proud of all of them! Here are some pics of them working.

I was going to group this post with Word Work as well but it's WAY past my bedtime. More to come! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Healthy Eating!

I love USDA's new visual for a healthy diet! My kids seemed to grasp this better than the food pyramid. Below is a picture, and it actually makes sense to the students because they can visually see the portioned amount on a plate.

If you go to they have a lot of great printables and resources. The following activities were made using the materials they provided.

After reading a book about healthy eating and the different food groups (basic info), we sorted pictures together so the students can see what kinds of foods go in each section of the plate. I made a flipchart (for the promethean board). 

You can get it here.

Then the students each made their own version of the food plate. I didn't want it to be too time-consuming so I only had one picture for each section that they had to glue on their paper. To differentiate the learning, I had the students who were able to come up with their own food draw on their plates instead of cut/glue the pictures I provided. Below are two examples (sorry for the poor picture quality, only had my phone):

If you want this, you can get the plate here and the pictures to go with it here

Again, I got the pictures from USDA's website and the black & white pictures also come in color (they use it for a go-fish game) and you can find that on their website here.

I plan on attaching 10 tips on how to make healthy food more fun to this activity sheet (also from USDA website) to give parents some ideas!

Hope you are able to use this with your students! Happy healthy eating :)