Friday, August 30, 2013

First week success!

WE HAVE SURVIVED THE FIRST WEEK PEOPLE!! Wooohoo!!

First week is always such a ball of emotions for all, nervousness, jitters, excitement, worried, hectic and crazy among many others. I hope everyone had a successful first week back and an amazing start to the school year :) I am already in love with my babies and I'm sure you are too. You are probably already planning and pintresting a ton of ideas for next week. Make sure and try to get some rest during this long weekend (coincidence that we get a long weekend on the first week of school?! I think not. lol) because this was just the kick off to what I'm sure will be a great year for all!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reading Notebook-Cuaderno de Lectura


Like I've mentioned before I am a bilingual teacher, therefore I teach all of Language Arts in Spanish. Here are the photographs I promised of the reading notebook my class used this past year. Even though it's in Spanish it's easy to see what are of reading it's referring too, please let me know if you have any questions about it though.  

This notebook is simply a reference book for the students. Yes we write definitions in it, do activities and paste examples but we also take it beyond that. What we do in this notebook is just part of our learning please remember that. I try to reach those different learning styles so when we are learning a new concept I like to give them a visual, audio and hands on approach to it. 

Good ol' cheap and reliable composition book.
I'm thinking next year the kids can decorate/personalize the cover themselves rather than just a label from me.


Here we have our chart comparing characteristics of REAL reading and FALSE reading. 

Metacognition-awareness or analysis of one's own learning or thinking processes. Some of my kids refered to it as metacognition (we talked about how that was a smart word and they loved that!) while others simply referred to it as Real Reading.

Making Connections is a very important concept we refer back to ALL year. Text to world, text to text and text to self. 


Choosing a "just right" book foldable. One piece of construction paper folded in half and cut into three flaps. 
Easy-Perfect-Too Hard as headers. Characteristics and examples inside.



Five finger rule for choosing a "just right" book. I know many have seen this on pinterest, I just simply translated and made them each have their own in their notebook. 


 Ok I promised I tried numerous times to rotate this picture and I just finally gave in. Hey it'll help stretch your neck right? ;) It is "The Plot Roller Coaster" It is two pieces of manila paper folded in half and glued in their notebook. Make sure they crease is towards the outside of the notebook so it can open up properly.

*What happened in the story in order. Problem, solution and important events.
 This is that it looks like open. Couldn't fit the whole thing in one frame but you get the idea. It's a roller coaster that takes you through the story. We start by simply drawing a roller coaster. We then add our "problem" in a rising position followed by the "solution" at the other end. We talk about how the solution isn't necessarily at the end because a story can have more than one problem-solution. Hence the up and down roller coaster. We put these in little bubbles to differentiate them before adding our "important events". These events are what happens in the story that lead us to the problem and/or the solution. It's important to show that not ALL events are important. This roller coaster helped us tremendously in summarizing. Which just reminded me of a follow up activity we did for summarizing, I need to share that with you soon.



While we tried to keep our reading notebook personal and fun, sometimes you just have to get down and write definitions. This was not the norm but definitely necessary at times. Here is our list/definitions of our types of poetry.

 This activity was done closely with the "making connections" activity seen earlier. Sorry my pictures got out of order and as you can tell blogger doesn't like me when uploading pictures.

We talked about how we each have different squemas because we've each had different experiences. I printed some little file folders and allowed them to write what they have "filed" in their minds. They had a blast with these and we all enjoyed sharing ours. I also used real file folders to bring home the concept, I labeled one "shoes" and filled it with stuff (pictures, brands, why I liked them, where to buy them..." and labeled the second one "car repairs", in that one I wrote "ask my husband".
  Visualization-what I can smell, feel, hear, see, taste...in my mind! 

Point of View-who is telling the story? 

Theme-the great idea!
 Setting-No I did not make my students draw this every time we came across a setting questions but as an introduction/refresher it was perfect. From top to bottom- When? Where? Why? 
 How is the character? Describe his characteristics. We did this whole group on the board with the students name, they really enjoyed that. Then they each made on in their notebook about Thomas Edison, since we were reading about him. 

Personification-again don't judge my drawing abilities too much here, the poem was about dancing hot dogs! We each chose a short poem and wrote it in our notebook. Then they had to underline personification example(s) and draw it. We also saw clips from old drive in movies, Disney movies (beauty and the beast was great!) and commercials to introduce personification. 


Alliteration 
 Onomatopoeia! Gosh what fun we had with this! We wrote what it meant first, found examples in our poem of the week, color coded alliteration and onomatopoeia within it but then the real fun began. They made imovies!  Each group was given an ipad and let loose. They created super hero movies with onomatopoeia. They had a blast and I'm certain they grasp what it means.

Time for another neck stretch! Nonfiction Characteristics. After we talked about and encountered these characteristics in various books/magazines each student was responsible for finding and cutting their own examples. They basically made a pictionary of them in their notebook.


 I already have some ideas of how to improve them for next year but overall my students really enjoyed them. I saw them referring back to them several times through out the year and having them make their own anchor charts in their notebooks really gave them ownership of their learning. Please let me know what you think and share any ideas for improvement! Hope you enjoyed it!













Saturday, July 6, 2013

New Blog!

Hi there followers :) 
I've got some exciting news to share, well exciting for me at least. 
I have started a NEW blog! 

It's not a teacher blog, this will still remain for those purposes. 
This one will be more of a personal blog. I didn't want to combine the two because I think you'd agree that our teaching side needs it's own space. Plus I didn't want to bore any of my strictly teaching followers. 

Anyways it's a blog that will help me record this new journey I am on to try and get fit. I am sure I will also post some of the many random thoughts that come to my scattered mind though. I hope many of you will join me (I'd appreciate any motivation and support from those willing. I just started Insanity!) but I completely understand if you don't.


See you there!

P.S. I brought my reading notebook home yesterday so I will be uploading pictures of that later today! (See...teaching totally needs it's own space!)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fluency Freebie

My plan this summer is to upload some material/ideas that I used this past year since I did such a horrible job of sharing during the school year. This first one is a fluency freebie! I am big into fluency folders for my students. It gives them ownership of their progress and serves as documentation. Two birds with one stone type of thing ;) I teach reading in Spanish but I've gone ahead and uploaded both the English and Spanish set.

This first sheet is what I place at the front of their folder. It is for comments and suggestions for the students. My kids LOVED reading what I wrote in here for them and it really helped them focus on what they needed to work on for the week. It's an easy way to access the main information from the folder.
Fluency Observation Sheet
Observacion de Fluidez 


The following sheets were placed directly behind the observation sheets. These are for students to record their progress through out the quarter. The star gives a visual of where the state of Texas expects the students to be at the end of the quarter, of course different goals can be set for each individual student in your classroom.

First Quarter Progress
Progreso de Fluidez

Second Quarter Progress
Progreso de Fluidez 2

Third Quarter Progress
Progreso de Fluidez 3

Fourth Quarter Progress
Progreso de Fluidez 4

Each week has two columns. One for a "cold" read and one for a "hot" read.

On Monday the students read the story of the week as best they can for a minute while I note ONE thing for them to work on (Observation sheet). They record their WPM in blue on the appropriate week. They practice the same story all week, focusing on the suggestion given during their cold read. On Friday students read the same story and record their WPM in red.

I know this second reading isn't an accurate WPM but man does it help boost the students confidence when they see that number go up! Plus if they've worked hard on the suggestion given it's sure to show up in future reading as well. That is simply my opinion though :)  This is how I implement it in my classroom but of course you are welcome to switch it up for your student needs.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

End of the year?!?!

So I think there's something wrong with my calendar, it says we have 6 days of school left. Really?!?!

 While this year has been an exciting roller-coaster ride, this time of year is always bittersweet. I'm the first to admit, I am a bit more sentimental than I put off. I get so close to my students it's sad to send them off!

Don't get me wrong, summer sounds amazing too! lol. Like I said, bittersweet time of year. 

Here's to enjoying our last week :) How many days do you have left with your kiddos? Any fun last week activities planned? Summer here we come! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Mathness!

We have been studying measurement the last couple of weeks, everything from measurement on a clock to rulers to thermometers. It seems like on of the hardest things for them to grasp has been fractions of an inch.  

Read alouds are a must in my class when introducing a new concept and these books have been great for discussing an inch and its fractions. 

First up-Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni. It's an easy read but leads to a great discussion about how big an inch is. I also taught them the "finger trick" (the middle part of your finger is "about" an inch.)






















Second-Inchworm and a half by Elinor J. Pinczes. It takes it to the next level.  Basically it's about the inch worm encountering a problem when she cannot measure things because she is too long. Inchworm and a half to the rescue!! We followed this read aloud by measuring things around the room to the half inch. The book also goes into 1/3 and 1/4 of an inch. 
Happy Presidents Day!!! 
Hope everyone that was off enjoyed their day 
and for those that weren't so lucky (me!) I hope you had a productive day.