Saturday, December 2, 2017

Enlarging Classroom Posters Made Easy

Ever need a poster, but can't get to Office Max to enlarge it. OR don't want to pay for a color poster? Enlarging Classroom Posters Made Easy.
This is a blog post created out of necessity. I updated my sound chart over the summer and the kindergarten teachers in our school were going to use them. In the past I made black and white posters, taking the 8 1/2 by 11 sheet to Office Max, enlarging it 200% and then coloring in the poster. I made 2 posters per teacher, because we use one as a poster and one cut apart for word wall headers. However, this year I was tasked with making posters for our kindergarten teachers, our special education inclusion teacher, and two in-school interventionists. Times two. I decided I didn't want to color them all myself, so I needed to get creative.

I have made posters in the past by printing using the PDF option and I always hated it. I decided if I made the poster into a puzzle, I could strategically put it together on the lines of the chart. It turned our to be pretty easy.
Ever need a poster, but can't get to Office Max to enlarge it. OR don't want to pay for a color poster? Enlarging Classroom Posters Made Easy.
Step 1: Print the 8 pages on a color printer.  Trim the edges.

Step 2: Start at a corner of a poster board and work all the way down the side or across the top. (Unfortunately, the poster I used for the sample was white, so it doesn't show up very well. The edges were all trimmed, I swear.)
Ever need a poster, but can't get to Office Max to enlarge it. OR don't want to pay for a color poster? Enlarging Classroom Posters Made Easy.
Step 3: Laminate.
Ever need a poster, but can't get to Office Max to enlarge it. OR don't want to pay for a color poster? Enlarging Classroom Posters Made Easy.
I like the posters. Are the perfect? No. Are they beautiful? I think so.  Oh, here is a poster on colored poster board. I also outlined the vowels in yellow before I laminated it. (They are outlined in yellow because we have to slow down when we see vowels, because they can be tricky.)

This very well may be the shortest blog post ever. Good Luck.

Yikes, just did my first Facebook Live video. They will get better.

If you would like the Poster Version of the Sound Chart Update, click the link.

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Ever need a poster, but can't get to Office Max to enlarge it. OR don't want to pay for a color poster? Enlarging Classroom Posters Made Easy.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Curriculum Mapping vs. Lesson Planning

Curriculum Mapping vs Lesson Planning? What do they mean? Why should we do it? This post is about our journey.
This year we have begun curriculum mapping in our grade level meetings. It wasn't an easy start, but nothing new ever is. With our growth mindset running wild, we knew we would get EVENTUALLY, but most teachers don't do well with "eventually." We like to KNOW IT ALL and KNOW IT NOW. Before our first meeting we watched the following 5 minute video. Our principal handed out a sheet with for our notes. It's a great 5 minutes.
This set the conversation in motion, but we didn't really "get it" until we got into "it" during our meetings. However, we had to come to some understandings about the differences between curriculum mapping and lesson planning.
Curriculum Mapping vs Lesson Planning? What do they mean? Why should we do it? This post is about our journey.
When curriculum mapping, we are looking at product, not process. We are looking at what "product" do we need to deliver at the end of the road. Our reading program is divided into ten units. We have 3 weeks per unit. When we start our curriculum mapping, we start with a 15 day calendar. At the end of our 15 days, we want the students to ... (summarize, compare and contrast, sequence). We also know we would like time to intervene for students who are struggling, so we decided our final assessment can't be on Day 15. During those 15 days, we decide what skills the students will need to know. We also make sure we are delivering with skills with a gradual release of responsibility. We don't describe the process. We don't determine the exact plan for making sure the skill is achieved, we just focus on the broader view. Once the broad view is sketched, a plan for each lesson can be created.
Curriculum Mapping vs Lesson Planning? What do they mean? Why should we do it? This post is about our journey.
During curriculum mapping, common assessments are discussed, created, designed, and results are interpreted. By definition a "common assessments" are used by everyone, so the assessment represents a guaranteed outcome. Using these common assessments, teachers can also determine possible interventions and enrichment activities to be used, but the specifics of both are for lesson planning. The lesson plan can contain the needed interventions and enrichment activities based on the individual needs of each classroom. 
Curriculum Mapping vs Lesson Planning? What do they mean? Why should we do it? This post is about our journey.
I love this header. WWWW vs H is easier than saying "WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? vs HOW? A curriculum map will contain the who, what, when, and where of the lesson. WHO needs to know WHAT by WHEN and WHERE will the learning occur. If we use the example from the video, the students (who) need to identify the layers of the earth (what) by the end of the term(when). We will have learning in the classroom, at centers, during STEM time, and in the outside classroom (where). Curriculum mapping also makes sure the written/taught/tested is carefully dissected. By contrast, the lesson plan for each teacher will tell exactly how that teacher has planned for her class to get to that understanding. One class may use an apple, while another uses a Styrofoam ball, and yet another teacher could be crazy enough to use paper mache (yuck). 
Curriculum Mapping vs Lesson Planning? What do they mean? Why should we do it? This post is about our journey.
Finally, we can use many things to help with both our curriculum mapping and lesson planning. In Virginia, our state provides our Standards for each grade level. Some school systems take those standards and develop frameworks.Some teachers are blessed enough to have curriculum frameworks and continuums provided for curriculum mapping. (The funny thing is, they don't necessarily feel blessed.) Other teachers have to use state standards to create their curriculums BEFORE they can start planning. This is definitely a "grass is greener" issue. The framework can provide the skills and outcomes, the details are provided in the lesson planning.

We are just getting started, so sometimes we still get "stuck in the weeds" and try to dig into lesson planning during our mapping meeting. 

Why map? Why not just jump in and start planning. Well, my best answer for that is you have to know where you are going in order to know if you get there. You also need to know what you need to know when you get there. Curriculum mapping ensures everyone knows the Who? What? When? and Where? of the lesson. The end game of written/taught/tested is the testing standard for each of our students, so we have to make sure our lesson plans reflect the skills at the correct levels. A Guarantee. That's why we map.
Curriculum Mapping vs Lesson Planning? What do they mean? Why should we do it? This post is about our journey.

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Curriculum Mapping vs Lesson Planning? What do they mean? Why should we do it? This post is about our journey.



Sunday, November 19, 2017

Is a Turkey a Bird? Thanksgiving r-controlled Vowel Poem

Is a turkey a bird? This r-controlled poem and activity are great for Thanksgiving Time. There is a poem, sort, and anchor chart.

Control at Thanksgiving?

Thank goodness I'm not talking about Thanksgiving dinner...or pumpkin pie.  There simply isn't much control when it comes to that.  It's a day when I eat all my vegetables:  mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (with the brown sugar and pecans) and broccoli casserole.  MMMMM!

I'm talking r-Controlled vowels, of course.

I created this poem last year as a shared reading for my second grade teachers.  The sort sheet is for an independent center activity on another day.  I know the poem is a little absurd, but I tried to put as many r-controlled vowel words in it as possible.  I did a blog post early in 2017 on www.adventuresinliteracyland.com about r-controlled vowels, check out the post with a FREEBIE there, too. (http://www.adventuresinliteracyland.com/2017/01/r-controlled-vowels-emergent-COLLIER.html)

FREEBIE!

Follow the link to my TPT store or click the picture blow, to get the poem (in black& white and color), the vowel sort, and an r-controlled vowels anchor chart.
Is a turkey a bird? This r-controlled poem and activity are great for Thanksgiving Time. There is a poem, sort, and anchor chart.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

CLICK HERE for the FREEBIE!

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Is a turkey a bird? This r-controlled poem and activity are great for Thanksgiving Time. There is a poem, sort, and anchor chart.



Friday, September 8, 2017

Silly Sally Goes to School

Silly Sally is a fun, energetic and giggly way to start the year. Students can rhyme, dance and write along with Silly Sally and her friends.
Silly Sally is one of my favorite stories for back to school. Not only is written by the Audrey Wood, but it's a simple book with lots of layers. Silly Sally is so silly, it speaks to kindergartners in a giggly sort of way.  If you haven't read Silly Sally, you are in for a treat.
As you can tell this is a silly tale. Let's look at some of the skills and activities you can do with Silly Sally.

Let's Rhyme

This skill is obvious. Ask students to listen carefully to the story to find the rhyming words. At the end of the each page, ask the students to find the rhyming words. Using some of the pictures from the story, you can start a rhyming activity.  There are pictures in the FREEBIE that can be used for this activity.

Let's Move

Rereading this story is a wonderful gateway for a movement activity. Students should not be asked to turn upside down (of course) because it could be too dangerous. However, the other movements in the story are fun. Students can dance like the pig, leap like the dog, sing like the loon, sleep like the sheep, and tickle like Neddy Buttercup. Students should be asked to tickle themselves, so personal space and personal touching isn't involved.

Let's Write

This is a great Friday activity. After playing with the text all week, students will make a class book about going to school "upside down" like Sally.  Giving the students the provided paper, have the students write their name on the line at the bottom.  Then, turn the paper upside down and do a directed drawing to draw themselves. (Draw a circle for the face, a rectangle for the body, legs and arms, facial features, and especially, the hair.) When they turn the paper around correctly, they will see themselves walking upside down. Combine these pages for a fun book about the class.
Silly Sally is a fun, energetic and giggly way to start the year. Students can rhyme, dance and write along with Silly Sally and her friends.

Why Silly Sally?

Well, the world needs more Silly Sally, don't you think? We need to be able to giggle and tickle and walk upside down so we have a break from the real world. What has happened recently in Houston is a tragedy. Pure and simple. Needing giggles and tickles and silliness just may be all there is left. One of our fellow bloggers and TPT authors has been directly affected by the flooding in Texas and is working to help those in need.  If you would like to contribute to her Go Fund Me page, please follow this link: Teachers Helping Teachers. This Go Fund Me page will go directly to schools and students in light of this devastating weather event.
If you would like the Silly Sally FREEBIE, click the link or the picture below.

Would you like to win a copy of them all?

Our group is giving away a copy of each book featured in our link up. To win, you just need to enter the rafflecopter giveaway below. We enjoy linking up several times a year, and by following us, you get great tips and freebies all year long!

Follow our Pinterest Board

Our group has a mentor text Pinterest board filled with ideas to go with many different book titles. If you're looking for ideas, it's a great place to start. 
If you'd like to come back to this post later, feel free to use this image for pinning.
Silly Sally is a fun, energetic and giggly way to start the year. Students can rhyme, dance and write along with Silly Sally and her friends.




Friday, August 25, 2017

The True Value of a Good Night's Sleep

The correlation between sleep times, behavior and health is real and it's scary. There can be lifelong consequences. Let's start the new year off with new routines.
This Home-School Connection blog post involves sleep for our students. Teachers have been saying this for year's...and now we have science to back us up. We know children aren't getting enough sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids ages 6 to 12 need 9 to 12 hours of sleep a night. While watching Good Morning America this week, I found myself trying to get screen shots of a sleep study with school age students. The study was alarming to say the least.
The correlation between sleep times, behavior and health is real and it's scary. There can be lifelong consequences. Let's start the new year off with new routines.

Classroom Consequences

The study, Lack of Sleep Tied to Diabetes Risk, is very concerning.  Some of the effects can be verified by any school employee in any school. Students who have a diminished amount of sleep with have problems with decreased academic performance, irritability and behavior problems and difficulty concentrating. (I think I just heard you say, "Duh!") Without fail, we can all name a student who suffers like this. One of the first things I ask when talking to a student who is having difficulty is, "What time do you go to bed?" I am often shocked about the answers I get. I have had students who stay up later than I do. Crazy! We cannot expect a tired child to learn in the same way as their rested peers. I would be willing to bet the number of office referrals could have a direct link to sleep patterns. The truly scary part of the study though, isn't the difficulties in school. School difficulties is the tip of the iceberg...and we know from the Titanic, it's not the ice you can see that's the problem...it's the ice you can't.

Health Consequences

The truly scary part of the study is the lasting effects of too little sleep on a child's health. Children with little sleep have a higher risk of increased injuries during physical activities, high blood pressure, obesity, depression and Type 2 Diabetes. OMG! This should get everyone's attention. We are allowing bedtimes to create problems for our children. These effects can lead to medication and monitoring for a lifetime. We are putting our children at risk...and it can be solved.

Where to start...

We have to regulate children's sleep...they can't. I have heard parents tell me they allow their child to go to sleep when they get tired. As adults, we can adjust our sleep patterns when we are tired. We go to sleep early after a few late nights, and we self-regulate our sleep patterns. However, children can't self-regulate. They get in a habit of staying up late for way too many nights, then having a crash and burn night, usually proceeded by a meltdown of some scale. This isn't healthy. It's medically proven our metabolism needs good sleep to regulate blood sugar, metabolize nutrients, and renew energy. We have to regulate children's sleep...for their own good.
The correlation between sleep times, behavior and health is real and it's scary. There can be lifelong consequences. Let's start the new year off with new routines.
Parents need to schedule a time for bed. Just like we schedule waking up and eating breakfast and getting on the bus...we have to make bedtime a priority. The reluctant sleeper might need a warning, "It will be bedtime in 30 minutes, so let's clean up our toys." Continued reminders and relieve stress and allow children to anticipate bedtime. "We are going to bed in 15 minutes, let's get on pjs and read a book." Setting a routine may take a few nights or even weeks, but the benefits, obviously are worth it. Another big recommendation from the study is taking all electronic out of the bedroom. Children who have access to electronics will have a much harder time relaxing and falling to sleep. We have to "power down" their brains, just like we "power down" the electronics.

Now is the time...

As we get ready for a new school year, make the change. I don't recommend you go "cold turkey" on your family, but you have to work for new routines. Start by choosing an appropriate bedtime, let's say 8:00 for arguments sake. Start by going to bed at 9:00 for a week, then 8:30 for a week, and finally, 8:00. Choosing routines is also important.

  • Will you take a bath? Taking time to relax and wash away the yuck of the day can be a great start to the bedtime routine. 
  • Will you read? Choose a manageable book or number of books, so your child can know when the reading time will end. My boys and I would read a chapter a night. We would talk about Jack and Annie, Horrible Harry, or the Bailey School Kids. Wonder what will happen next in the story?
  • Will you choose clothes for the next day? One of the best ideas for this part of our evening involved a 5 drawer plastic container. They had to come up with 5 shorts, 5 shirts, underwear, and socks in 5 piles on their bed. Then, they would put one complete outfit in a drawer...labeled Monday, Tuesday, and so on. This made the mornings so easy.

It's a matter of life and death...
I know this sounds a little melodramatic, but not according to the study, is it? This study shows the vital importance of bedtimes...and it isn't a joke. The consequences are seen in school and in the health of our children. Watch the GMA segment for yourself.

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The correlation between sleep times, behavior and health is real and it's scary. There can be lifelong consequences. Let's start the new year off with new routines.