Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Editable Math Stations

Long time, no write! I don't know about you, but I'm at the stage where I'm absolutely exhausted! BUT I can see the light - Summer holidays are drawing closer and closer. The weather is warming up and Spring holidays are just around the corner. 

We had our book week parade last Friday. I'm not brave like Tania who shared pictures of her costume, but I will tell you that I looked a little like this: 
Pink bow, thermometer, blue cup, straw, stripy face, arms and legs, pinky pyjama singlet, mopey expression and all! In fact, I won the teacher prize for being dressed most like the character (along with my teaching partner who was dressed as a blue bummed monkey!). 

We've also been busy building some gardens outside our classroom. So far we have used pallets, barrels full of soil and the three little pigs seem to have built some houses just outside our room.... we also have some HUGE ants that have made themselves at home! We should finish by Friday so hopefully I'll have some pics.

I have been inundated with requests lately :). I'm still working my way through them so if you are waiting on more cards for my Word Family, Blends and Digraphs pack or the Fast Finishers board (among others), I'm planning to finish the last of them by this weekend. I just finished one: an Editable 139 page Math Stations pack to match my Editable Literacy Stations pack


 As always, it's 20% off for the first day or two at Teachers Notebook and TpT.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Product Update, Bargain Buys, Flash Sale

I have updated my 6 Traits of Writing pack to include more cards (almost 110 now!) and chevron headers (along with the original polka dots) because they are SOOO popular this year. I had a little trouble updating the file so hopefully it's all working now. Just go to your Purchases tab to download it again. 
I just want to say thank you to all of you who bought products from me during the Back to School Sale (and any other time). You rock! Look out for a freebie coming your way soon!

I spent WAY to much money at the Back to School Sale! Not much I can use now though... a lot of it is stuff that will work great implementing from the start of the year (not over half way through like we are.... ahhh Summer break is within reach!).

Here are some of the bargain buys I've made recently. Click on the pics to check them out at TpT.  

This year I have a couple of kids who need lots of support with editing. I'm hoping the daily repetition will help them. Love that it includes math too!
This was a required reading this term. The chapter activities were great in reinforcing and reviewing many concepts we've been focusing on. Shanyn has the cutest blog name ever.

Teaching and learning values is big at my school, so I thought this would come in handy.

A lovely lady emailed me to ask if I was having a sale for Back to School. Well, I have just finished one but who can resist such a nice request? I know how much money I spend when I head back to school so any little saving can help. Therefore, I have having a Flash Sale on the 18th. Now, that's today here in Australia and it has only just gone live. So for my Aussie followers, the sale will last into the 19th. Now is the time to grab some bargain if you missed the Back to School sale!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sight Words Monitoring and Organization

First up, here's a pic of what my new literacy rotation board looks like. It takes up hardly any space at all, so I'm quite happy with it.
 My class does 3 of the Daily 5 choices per day, so on the first day, they'd do the top row, on the second they'll do the second row. It will repeat for the next two days (I do these 4 days per week). It sits above my Word Sorting schedule.

Tonight I thought I'd post about how I organise my sight words. I totally stole this idea from Jen Jones at Hello Literacy. Back in June, she posted about Progress Monitoring vs Monitoring Progress and she had pics of her Rainbow Sight Words set-up. I was so hyped up on the idea, that that very second I made up my own set that aligns with the sight words my school requires our students to know (at the time, she didn't have her pack available). I took our Grade 1-3 Sight Words and put them in groups of 20 and assigned each group a colour.  I have a mum that comes in first thing in the morning on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to go through the words with the kids. I have have all the cards and progress monitoring sheets stored in these handy dandy folders. 
As soon as I saw this rainbow striped folder at the shops, I knew I just had to grab it! The green A5 expanding folder was only $1.99 at Office Works. I made up the labels to go on it.

Inside the folder, I printed out labels to stick on each of the tabs that align with the colours I'm using. Inside each pocket, I've got bookmarks with the 20 words for that level as well as 2 copies of the sight words on cards. Everything is colour coordinated. Sorry about the dark photos, I brought it all home because I ran out of time yesterday to take them. It's night here, and I just couldn't get a bright photo.

Inside the striped folder, I have instructions for what the mum does each day, as well as a monitoring sheet for each student. She only meets with each child for about 5 minutes to read through the words, chant the spelling, match up the cards, try spelling the words etc. The last activity she does is have the student read through the bookmark. The child colours in on their graph the number of words they read correctly in 20 seconds. Once they can read 20 words in 20 seconds they progress to the next level. 

She meets with about 10 of my students who are still developing automaticity with high frequency words. The repitition and routine is great for my ESL and learning difficulties students.

I keep track of their level using this (very quickly) painted rainbow. Next time, I think I'll take a bit more time to get it looking better! I had so many words I also had to use brown and grey (hence the bird and clouds). I have each kiddos name on a raindrop, which they love moving up the rainbow! 
I read the other day that Jen has now listed her Rainbow Words pack on TpT. You can read about it on her blog here. Her rainbow is much cuter than mine! I only wish she had the pack ready back on the 1st June when she wrote about it the first time!

Edit: I forgot to mention that my everything in my TpT store is 20% off at the moment for the Back to School Sale. Put in code BTS12 on the 12-13/08/12 to receive an additional 10% off the reduced price! For my Aussie/Kiwi followers, the code may not work until late on the 12th because of the time difference between us and the U.S.

2nd Edit: I had 100 000 page views last month! Holy moly! Thank you!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

VistaPrint Docs

Christina over at Bunting, Books and Bainbridge is having a  VistaPrint linky. I've already posted the following pictures in February, not long after we started our new school year. This time, I've included links to GoogleDocs so you can download the files I used in case you want them. 

This is a banner. When it arrived, I cut it in thirds. The first one I've placed with my classroom library, the second one with my writing materials and the last one near the group meeting table.

Click on the pic to get it in GoogleDocs. It is a very loooong document in order to fit the dimensions of the Banner at VistaPrint (well it did here in Australia, but I'm sure they'd be the same everywhere else too). 
This is my mock up of the ever popular bulletin board that was everywhere a year or two ago. I don't have a big bulletin board outside my room, so I just got it made as a sign and have it sticking out my window so everyone who walks by can read it.
 This is an image I found online so I haven't included it in GoogleDocs - just search on Pinterest/Google for the image. I got it made as a car door magnet and have it sticking on the whiteboard.

I also got these magnets made up for our Student of the Week....
 and these postcards to thank my parent helpers and volunteers. I used standard pictures available on VistaPrint to make these last two.

Head on over to Christina's blog to check out other VistaPrint ideas!

Also, I'm moving towards rotations for my reading groups rather than having students choose what they'll do for our Daily 5 activities. I was finding that students would miss out on Write About Reading and Word Work because they were being pulled out to read with the Teacher Aide, Support a Reader, parent volunteers who've been trained to read with the kids and literacy support. I'm thinking a schedule will help resolve this. This is what I've made up so far:
Aren't my group names creative? They match the boxes I keep the guided reading books in so they'll do! I added my literacy rotation cards to a sheet that had boxes for each place. I used sticky dots to add the cards so I can easily change them around if needed. I'll put them up tomorrow and see how it goes.