Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Happy Easter...now Write About It!

One more week...

One more week...

One more week...

One more week...

It's that time of year...when we're all a little "squirrely."  We need something to get us to Spring Break.  Our district isn't on break until NEXT week, so let's write.  These quick word cards will be a forever FREEBIE at my TPT store.  Hop on over and grab it.
I also included a religious word card for all my teacher friends who are at private schools.  The set comes with writing papers, as well.

If you'd like to download the FREEBIE, click on the picture.
Happy Easter.  He is risen, indeed.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Growing Readers with Mentor Texts...and Froggy

Froggy can help students create their own personal narratives.
Hello.  I'm so excited to join this fun Mentor Text blog linky.  You'll find a listing of the participating bloggers at the bottom of my post for other fun lessons using mentor texts.  Make sure to visit each stop to collect a mystery word from each for an entry for our Amazon gift card.

Froggy can help students create their own personal narratives.
I love the Froggy books.  Sharing Froggy with a group of kinders can bring on the giggles.  They can laugh and scream along with him and all of his adventures.  These books are especially great to perform as a reader's theater. Froggy books are also great for compare and contrast, end marks, and writing with voice.  Aren't we all excited when we hear his mom yell,

"FROOOOOOGGGGYYYY!!!!! 

Book Summary

Froggy doesn't leave us disappointed this time with Froggy Builds a Tree House.  He wakes to a sunny day and decides to build a tree house.  His mom, dad, and his sister join him for another fun adventure.  With the help of his friends and his dad, Froggy accomplishes his goal with just a few bumps and scratches.  He is quick to tell his sister and his classmate, Frogalina, there are no girls allowed in his tree house.  Will this rule last?  You'll have to read to find out.

How to Use My Resource

Froggy can help students create their own personal narratives.
Using Froggy Builds a Tree House, students are asked to think about building their own tree house.  Using the planning sheet, students will decide what they would do if they were making a tree house.

First, who will help them build their tree house?
  • Dad
  • Grandad
  • Mom
  • Friends
  • Brothers and Sisters
Who will be allowed in their tree house?
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Classmates
  • Boys
  • Girls
Who will NOT be allowed in their tree house?
  • Family
  • Classmates
  • Boys
  • Girls
  • Grown-ups
What will they do in the tree house?
  • Play games
  • Play cards
  • Watch TV
  • Have a camp-out
Froggy can help students create their own personal narratives.
Included with this pack are writing papers with a tree house design.  I have also included a vocabulary card for writing using words from the story.

My mystery word for the giveaway is:  TREEHOUSE.

If you would like the FREEBIE pack, click on the picture or CLICK HERE.

Don't forget to follow the links to all the other mentor text lessons.

Have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click here to get a recording sheet for the secret words.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

5 Books Worth a Pot of Gold

St. Patrick's Day Read Aloud are like a pot of gold!
Happy St. Patrick's Day Week!

I have to admit, there are things about St. Patrick's Day I like and there are things I don't. Encouraging everyone to wear green is fun.  But when you teach kindergarten, the last think you need is a reason for kids to pinch each other.   I am also not a fan of green pee in the toilet in our classroom.  It just grosses me out.  AND I don't want anything about the bathroom to be a game.  I do like the thought of rainbows and pots of gold.  I don't like the idea of a leprechaun making a mess in the classroom, but I do like talking about vocabulary words like "sly" and "sneaky."

Regardless, enjoy 5 St. Patrick's Day books with a little FREEBIE for each!

St. Patrick's Day Read Aloud are like a pot of gold!
I think this is a funny book.  I feel sorry for Jamie O'Rourke's wife. As the book says, Jamie is the laziest man in all of Ireland.  From the beginning, you aren't sure if Jamie is going to always be lazy or if Jamie will have a change of heart and behavior.  The FREEBIE contains a character analysis using potatoes, of course, for your students to write about Jamie at the beginning, middle, and end of the story.  Another great activity is using Mr. Potato Head to disguise the potato as it was stuck in the wall.  Similar to Disguise a Turkey, these potatoes can be a great start to creative writing.

St. Patrick's Day Read Aloud are like a pot of gold!
There is something so sweet about this book.  The focus of the book is on another Jamie.  This Jamie is the youngest in his family, but he is definitely enthusiastic about the St Patrick's Day parade even though his family thinks he's too small to walk to the top of the hill.  This book follows Jamie's journey to the parade  Jan Brett's illustrations are beautiful, but I love that the color palette is sparse.  The FREEBIE activity in this pack is all about creating shamrocks with rhyming words.  Another writing lesson would be asking students to write about something everyone else thinks they are too little to do.

St. Patrick's Day Read Aloud are like a pot of gold!
This book has the same fun as The Night Before Christmas and the Night Before Thanksgiving.  In this book, we find Tim and Maureen learning about the traditions of St. Patrick's Day and devising a plan to catch the leprechaun in hopes of getting his pot of gold.  The rhythm of the story is delightful and recognizable.  The FREEBIE is related to catching a leprechaun.  The students are provided a paper with a leprechaun and they must devise a plan.  One year I had a student say, "You just need a box of Girl Scout cookies.  No one can so no to those."  Could be the best plan I've heard.

St. Patrick's Day Read Aloud are like a pot of gold!
This is another book in the series from Lucille Calendro.  Students love the growing pattern of the story and the surprise at the end of the story.  This story has the same charm.  The FREEBIE is a story card with all the different items the old lady ate.  Students can use the cards to retell the story to their friends or to rewrite the story in their own words.

St. Patrick's Day Read Aloud are like a pot of gold!
Finally, this isn't a book you can read in one day.  I have written about the Magic Tree House series before.  Sharing 1 chapter a day with students can create excitement and stamina.  Students will need to review the previously read chapters, predict what will happen next, and summarize the chapter of the day.  They get to know Jack and Annie and enjoy all their adventures.  The FREEBIE in this set is a vocabulary card for this installment of the Magic Tree House.  HOWEVER, the entire set is also a FREEBIE at my TPT store (it's the hidden treasure in this post.)

If you'd like the FREEBIE, click the St. Patrick's Day Activity Set.

If you'd like the Magic Tree House FREEBIE, click the cover below.

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Where do you do quick checks?

Testing on the go...get a cart and 2 chairs and you're ready.
You know I am lucky enough to be in a primary school.  I have a little more than 500 students from kindergarten to second grade.  I also have a "campus-style" school.  We have a main building for the office, cafeteria, gym, computer lab, clinic, and library.  We have no enclosed hallways, and our first and second grade classes open to the outside.  Our kindergarten classes are in a separate building with 4 classrooms that open to a hallway.  When I am doing Friday quick checks for interventions or updating Fountas and Pinnell benchmarks, even though my classroom isn't far from the kindergarten building, it takes too much time to go get a student, walk back to my office, and do a quick check.  I also hate to walk into a classroom, interrupt what's going on, and try to get an assessment completed with regular classroom distractions.  SOOO...
Testing on the go...get a cart and 2 chairs and you're ready.
I have a rolling cart just inside my classroom with 2 chairs waiting.  I can wheel it into the kindergarten hallway, flip down the chairs and have an instant assessment table.  I have always had big plans for my cart.  Sticky tape for velcro, so I can attach a cute apron around the edges.  I've even envisioned an apron with pockets.  BUT, that hasn't happened.  How would you fix it?
Testing on the go...get a cart and 2 chairs and you're ready.
I can test a student, pick up the chairs and move to the next room.

What are your best "on the go" ideas for testing?