Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Welcome to my beehive!

This is the entrance to my classroom.  This is my second year with my bee theme. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

High Frequency Word Dot Game

Write a high frequency word in each box. Two or three partners take turns drawing straight lines to connect the dots. The child that connects the dots to complete a box must read the HFW before he can write his initials in the box under the word. Once a word is read, the child gets one more turn. Just like the game I played as a child, but with a twist. My students enjoy playing this game.

HFW Dot Game

Friday, March 25, 2011

Measurement Mini Work Station

Mini Station Contents: Mice with varying tail lengths, paper strips of varying lengths, plastic reptiles, tape measure, ruler

Answer Sheet: Mouse Answer Sheet     Mouse Answer Key


Place Value Mini Work Station

Mini Station Contents: Unifix cubes in sets of ten, bag of numbers 1-100, place value concentration (found online)

Answer Sheet: Place Value (Choose numbers from the bag. Use the Unifix cubes as tens and ones to show the number.)

Picture: picture coming soon

Addition Mini Work Station

Mini Station Contents: Egg-cellent Addition game, addition flashcards, dominoes

Answer Sheet: Egg-cellent Addition (Write numbers 1-10 in the sections in an empty egg carton. Put 2 bingo chips in the carton, close, and shake. Make an addition number sentence with the 2 numbers that the chips land on.)

Picture: picture coming soon

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Where's My Word? High Frequency Word Game

The game is played like Battleship. The directions are at the bottom of the page.

Where's My Word?

Number Mini Work Station

Mini Station Contents: Math Font Sort (found on the web), Fun in the Sun (found on the web), number/object matching game

Answer Sheet: Fun in the Sun


Money Mini Work Station

Mini Station Contents: wallet filled with realistic plastic coins, Coin Connect Four (found on the web), bingo chips, large plastic money dice, restaurant menu (I created), calculator, receipts (I created)

Picture: The children love playing restaurant.  I want to add pictures of the menu items to this station.

Word Building Mini Work Station

Mini Station Contents: wooden word puzzles (from a garage sale), letter tiles (from Dollar Tree)

Answer Sheet: No

Picture: The 2 children who built the word puzzles together decided that they should put the word puzzles in ABC order.  Smart idea! At this point in the year we have only put words in ABC order by the first letters in the words.

What Mini Work Stations Do I Use?

Here is a list of the 15 mini work stations that I am using with my children. Mini work stations are usually used by 2 students at a time. They bring the mini stations to one of their desks. Some of the stations have a paper to record their answers and others do not. I took some pictures of the children working on their mini stations. I will include them next with any answer sheets that I have.

Mini Work Stations: place value, addition, counting, numbers, grammar, spelling, (2) word building, graphing, making connections, money, time, measurement, ABC Order, and Sequencing

Mini Math Work Stations

I have been creating mini math (and some reading) work stations since the beginning of March. The kids love them!! So far I have 15. (Then I ran out of clear shoe boxes.) I plan on making 15 more. They are housed in cubbies that I got from a clothing store that went out of business. The plastic shoe boxes fit perfectly in the cubbies. Besides the 15 mini work stations, I have larger work stations placed around the room.  I got my inspiration from Debbie Diller's books. I had her literacy work station book and just purchased her coordinating math work station book this month. I love her ideas!

Here is a picture of the cubbies with the 15 mini work stations.

And a close-up picture.

My Classroom

Here are some pictures I took of my classroom (after I cleaned up a bit). 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

RTII Form Templates

My fabulous first grade team has worked very hard along with our learning support teacher to organize our RTII (Response to Instruction and Intervention) process.  We send 4 students per day to our learning support teacher. She works with them in various reading and math areas. Our learning support teacher does intense drill and practice for two days, then  reviews and assesses on the third day.  Each session is a half hour long. My first grade team and I have our children working in work stations while students are being tutored. We monitor our students while they work in the work stations. We also use this time to work with individual students and small groups. We have 3 templates that we use to record the students' progress.  

I posted the files as word documents so other first grade teachers could add their personal information.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fact Family Kite

I wanted a spring-inspired activity so my students could practice fact families. I am sooo tired of the snow, slush, and coldness of winter.  We made these kites today and colored them with all different colors.  The kite tails were made from construction paper that kind of looks like it was tie-dyed. I hung them in the hall and wow did the colors brighten my day!

Fact Family Kite
Fact Family Kite Bows

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Think Dots" Spelling Practice

Ready for something new in spelling? This is a great idea that can be used for every spelling list.  The activities include different levels of difficulty. The children roll their dice to choose a spelling activity. If they do not want that activity, they roll the dice again.  I copy the spelling list on the back for each child.  After the activity is completed, the children color in the box with the activity that they chose. We do these activities for three days. The children have the opportunity to choose 3 different activities to help them practice their spelling words. I keep the papers for each activity file folders with a pictures of the dice on the front. Let 'em roll!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Bee"havior Update

I made this behavior update to keep parents informed of their child's behavior. It can be used when a child has misbehaved or to show how well a child is behaving.

Behavior Update

Classroom Behavior Management

In my classroom, I have a bulletin board dedicated to behavior management. Every child has a library pocket with his student number on it stapled to the bulletin board.  I have cards that say, Warning, 10 minutes off recess, 15 minutes off recess, and all of recess. At the end of the day, any student who does not have a card in his pocket gets a bee punch out on his reward strip.  I found a cute bee punch at a craft store and this was the perfect opportunity to use it.  Anyone with 5 bee punch outs on Friday before lunchtime can eat lunch with me.  So far this has been a big hit.

Sunny Money Review Game

Sunny Money is a game I created so my students can work in small groups and practice counting money.  I introduced the game today. The children spun the sun spinner to see how many coins to count. Then they spun the flower spinner to see which coins to count.  Today they spun each spinner once. After they get use to the game, they can spin each spinner a second time and add a second coin amount to the first amount.

Sunny Money Game
Sunny Money Record Sheet

Monday, February 7, 2011

What's Inside the Writing Work Station?

Here are some of the items that I have in the Writing Work Station.

Stencils, Word Tiles, Pictionary, Sentence Starters

I also keep lined paper handy, as well as blank cards, stapled blank books, paper for writing lists, word walls, and a Writer's Helper binder. The binder has different pages to help the children when they are writing including: word walls, words to start sentences with, and other helpful pages. I will have to share that idea also later.

I had a request for copies of the papers I have hanging on my writing station. So here they are:

Million Dollar Words (I found this on the web. It is not my creation.)
Winter Word Wall (I created word walls for the different seasons and holidays.)

Writing Work Station Container

This is the Writing Work Station. I like to use Rubbermaid containers that I purchased at Lowe's. They had the best prices.  I laminate my station signs and hang them with 3M hooks.  

Writing Work Station Picture

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Organization and Storage

You will see numbers on every work station goal sheet. I just number them as I make them. I use the numbers on a chart so i can check off which goal sheets the students have completed. This is just how I chose to organize my goal sheets.  

All of the materials for each work station are kept in large Rubbermaid containers.  I will take pictures when I have a chance.  At the beginning of the school year, the containers just had a few things. By the end of the year, there will be tons of activities at each station. I use 3M hooks to hang  work station signs off of each container. I also hang other activities that the children can do at that station when the goal has been completed.

All of my work station signs and papers in each station are laminated.  They will last for years. I bought my laminator for about $25 at WalMart 3 years ago and it works great! I get my laminating pouches at Sam's Club. They cost $20 for 200 pouches. This is much cheaper than buying small packages of pouches. 

Valentine's Day Work Station Goal Sheet

My coworkers and I dug through our Valentine's Day files and choose some activities that I put together for us to use at our work stations. I was making 2-sided stapled packets for my students. My co-worker had a great idea to copy the pages onto 11x17 paper, then fold the paper in half.  Sometimes we have an insert for some of the activities that we staple inside.  I like to use the 11x17 paper the best. The following activities were gathered from old worksheets, online, and created by me.  For the art project work station, the children are to make a valentine for someone special.  I like to use the seasonal mini book reproducibles for the classroom library work station.  They are easy for the children to put together and read. 

Work Stations

Currently I have 9 work stations that my class uses daily.  They are: Big Book, Poetry, Overhead, Math, Writing, Classroom Library, ABC/Word Work, Puzzle & Game, and Art Project Work Station. 

During our half hour of RTII (Response to Instruction and Intervention) time, some of the children get small group intensive practice on reading/math skills, while others are working on their work station goals. I have created a variety of themed work station goal sheets to keep the students accountable for the work they are doing at the different work stations.

I want the children to be enriched while reinforcing skills previously learned. I have found the work stations to be a great addition to my daily schedule.  Before I would have to give the children many worksheets and workbook pages to complete while I worked with individual students or small groups.  By the time I would explain all of the directions to the children and start to work with a small group, the children, who were at their desks, already forgot all of the directions and would be coming up to me. I would get nothing done and would have what seemed like thousands of papers to check in the evening.

The work station goal sheets are simple and quick to check.  They children do not even realize that they are doing "real" work. They enjoy using clipboards and working at different work stations spread out around the room.

Some of the activities on the goal sheets were created by me, found online, or borrowed from others. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Work Stations

For the past three years I have been trying to implement centers/stations so my students can do more meaningful independent activities while I am working with students who need extra help.  I do not have an aide to help me, so I have to figure out a solution on my own.  This has been a difficult task that I have been working on diligently. After reading Debbie Diller's book Literacy Work Stations, I was able to create work stations that have been a success in my classroom.   

Just starting...

My 7 year old son told me that I should start a blog.  I like to create and share things for my class, so I guess I will giving blogging a try. We shall see how this goes.  Enjoy!