Sunday, September 28, 2014

Weekly Plans (September 29)

Hi everyone! Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Monday is getting here way too fast. I don't know about y'all but I'm exhausted from the past few weeks. We have a short fall break coming up in 2 weeks and I can't wait. That's pretty much all that's motivating me right now.

I'm here to share my plans for the week. I've had quite a few questions about some aspects of my plans so I'll try to answer a few of them.
CARE (as seen above) is my district's phonics program. This is a program that a teacher in my district developed and that we use. I goes along with our reading series but is more scripted that you would find in Reading Street.
For reading, you may notice that I do a lot of mini-lessons. I've had lots of questions over whether I use the reading book (ours is Reading Street) to teach reading. I have to say that it depends on the week. I feel like some of the stories are great and really engage the children. Some of the stories are too difficult for most of the children to read so we may listen to them on our Apple TV.  I always make sure that if I don't use the book that I teach the skills.
I went to a training on Friday that focused on the SRSD (Self-Regulated Strategy Development) method of teaching writing. I was really impressed with the feedback this method was getting from other teachers so I am going to introduce it this week. This training that I went to was a follow-up from training in the summer but I totally forgot about this strategy. Summer brain, I guess.  The training that I received focused on informative and opinion writing but we are working on narrative right now. It's great that most of the process can work with any type of writing so I just have to change a few things for the narrative mode. Have you used SRSD? Any tips?
If you have purchased my proper nouns pack in the past, I just updated it today with lots of new activities. That pack was one of my first packs and it needed some updating.
I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten to share my plans.

Have a great week! Leave me some love if you download these plans.
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Visual Plans (September 22nd)

It's time for another week of visual plans. Where, oh where, does the weekend go?  This week, we are working on r-controlled vowels, cause and effect, nouns, and place value.

You can download my plans through Google Docs. I would love it if you would leave a comment if you download. It makes my heart happy to see comments here or on Facebook.  It definitely makes the time I take to post these and get them ready for my blog worth it.

Here are my plans for reading groups. Most of my books are from Reading A-Z. I have a wide gap of reading levels this year and my reading series just wouldn't work.

I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten for her weekly linky party to share my plans.
Have a great week!

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

4 Bright Idea for Using 4-Color Pens

A few weeks ago, BIC sent me a package of some of their new back to school goodies.  There were 3 different 4-color pens in the box. I remember how fun these were when I was growing up but I always remember that they didn't work well back then. Of course, I probably got the cheapo kind from the school store. Anyway, I thought I'd give them a try again and see what I could use them for in the classroom.

Let me just tell you, I am loving them so I thought I'd share some different ways you could use 4-color pens in your classroom. It's something that I've never really thought of before but it may save you a lot of time in the long run instead of having your students pull out 4 different colors of crayons. We all know how that goes. Someone can't find a red. Someone's crayon snaps in two. Yep, we've all been there and know how frustrating that can be.

So here are 3 bright ideas for using the 4-color pens:

(1) Use them to edit writing.

We've been working on finding different things in our writing with different colors. For example, my students have to circle misspelled words in blue. We circle letters that need to be capitalized in red. The 4-color pen makes this so much for fun for the kids and so much easier on the teacher.

(2) Rainbow writing made easy

Students can use the pens to write their sight words or spelling words and trace over them in different colors.

(3) Color code your evidence when close reading.

When we find evidence in our passages when close reading, we often underline the sentences using different colors of crayons. For example, the answer to question # 1 is underlined in blue. The answer to question #2 is underlined in red. The 4-color pen makes this so much easier. Just a click and you can move on to another piece of evidence.

(4)  Recording student data

If your school is like my school, you have color codes for different levels like basic and advanced. When recording weekly data, it's easy to use the 4-color pen to color code for the different levels.

I hope you enjoyed this bright idea. For more Bright Ideas from over 100 bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic or grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Peek at My Week (Sept. 15)

Thanks for all your sweet comments about my plans last week! I'm back sharing my plans for this week. We are working on digraphs,  facts and details, imperative and exclamatory sentences, and place value this week.
 I forgot to add in that we will be reading our main selection, "The Strongest One" on Monday during our whole group lesson.

As always, you can click on any of the images to download the plans. Please leave me a comment if you download these. 

I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten to share my plans.

In other news, I have finished my latest pack for "Tara and Tiree" in Reading Street and it is in my TPT store. I also went ahead and posted the bundle if you are wanting to save money. Here's the deal with the bundle. Right now, it only has "Tara and Tiree" in it plus a bonus of my "Noun Showdown" game. I will be adding the new stories when I get them done and, if you purchase the bundle, you will just be able to download it from your "My Purchases" tab. I will also have it marked down until I add the next story.
"Tara and Tiree" pack:
Unit 2 bundle:

Congrats to Shawna Land! She was the winner of the back to school pack from BIC. Thanks so much to all who entered!

Have a wonderful week!
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Back to School with BIC: Fight for Your Write campaign with giveaway

I have a confession. I am a school supply hoarder. I know that most teachers are the same way. We all love brand new pencils, fun pens, and any school supply that will make our life easier.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted my BIC to see if I would like to review some of their new products for Back to School. I jumped at the chance to see what their new products. BIC has also launched a new campaign called "Fight for Your Write" to empower young people to write. You can find more information about the "Fight for Your Write" campaign by clicking here. Writing is so important and I'm so glad that BIC is recognizing that. This site gives great tips of how to encourage handwriting and writing at home and in the classroom.

Here's an excerpt from BIC's website:
Why is writing important? Writing affects many developmental areas that are essential to how children learn and process information. The practice of writing activates a child’s mind, aids in memory and hones fine motor skills. Writing is by nature, personal and individual. Kids form their identities through writing. They use it as a tool for expressing their emotions and feeling and for discovering their own imaginations and creativity. Check out these terrific resources for more information on why handwriting is so important. Click a link below to learn more!

Check out what was in the box that BIC sent to me. The BIC Kids line is so neat.

We've tried out a few of the products in my classroom.

 We used the 4 color pen to edit our personal narratives. Since we were using different colors for different things, it was easy to switch to another color while we were reading the writing.

To encourage better handwriting, we used the mechanical pencil. It's perfect for kid fingers and encourages better finger placement on the pencil. See that yellow bump. It sticks up and helps students hold their pencil correctly. It also comes with lots of thick lead and a giant eraser. I love the lead because it is so much thicker than normal and harder for kids to break. Using mechanical pencils in second grade can drive you crazy with the constant lead breaking but this pencil will solve that problem.

 I plan on using the kid's pen and kid's stylus really soon. All of these come with labels so you can label who's pencil/pen/stylus it is. That will solve so many problems.

We've also tried out the sparkly mechanical pencils. One of my former students came to visit me and I let her practice her cursive using this pencil. I plan on using these sparkly pencils when we add sparkly words to our writing. I also think they would be great for the star writer of the week. 

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