Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016

4 Ideas Inspired by "New Old Shoes"

I found this INCREDIBLE book at a thrift store for 99¢.  I tell you all about it at our collaborative blog, Virginia is for Teachers.

CLICK HERE or click on the picture below and you'll jump over to the blog for a great book about reusing an item.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Virginia A to Z

Virginia A to Z is a growing set of cards to highlight the great state of Virginia.
Hello, everyone!


I originally posted this on Virginia is for Teachers, but I wanted to share it with you.  When we were just starting to collaborate on this blog, I got an idea.  I like alphabet charts, so why not make an alphabet chart about Virginia?  So, I did.  Here's the problem:  I love Virginia.  I've lived here my whole life.

How hard can it be?

I didn't think this would be hard.  J is for Jamestown.  V is for Virginia Beach.  B is for Blue Ridge Mountains...no, B is for Brook Trout...no, B is for Big-Eared Bat.  Maybe Brook Trout can go under T, so I can put Big-Eared Bat for B.  Then, I realized I should do Tabacco or Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly.  Oh no, that could be another B word...or could it be an I word for "insect?"  Maybe it can be more than one thing.  Oh goodness, maybe this would be harder than I thought.
Virginia A to Z is a growing set of cards to highlight the great state of Virginia.

Where would I get pictures?

I started thinking I would use clip art.  Silly, I know.  Then, I decided I'd use clip art and pictures.  I looked through my own photo albums and friend's photo albums and on-line photo albums.  Thank Goodness for pixabay.com.  I have also decided everywhere I go in Virginia from now on, I'm taking my camera.
Virginia A to Z is a growing set of cards to highlight the great state of Virginia.

Vowels in Yellow.  Consonants in Red.

When the Virginia A to Z set is posted on the wall, students can no only use it for a Virginia reference.  Students can use the color borders to reference vowels and consonants.  Students can sort posters for industry, geographic features, famous people, famous places, and more.
Virginia A to Z is a growing set of cards to highlight the great state of Virginia.
The full set ended up with 96 cards for the 26 letters.  It's grown from 96 to 102 to 112 and now I'm at 135. I'm thinking I'll add to this set from time to time.  I'm sure it will grow.  As a FREEBIE, I've made a 1-page Virginia A to Z.  This can be a quick reference for your students.

Book Connection

I could not believe it when I went to Barnes and Noble and found a Virginia book for Easter.  Who knew?  It mentions places all around our state.  The book also contains a great lesson on maps!  It lists many big cities and even calls Virginia the "Old Dominion State."
Virginia A to Z is a growing set of cards to highlight the great state of Virginia.
Click the picture for a FREEBIE
If you would like the full set, visit my TPT store for the Virginia A to Z set.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Alphabet Journals: Writing from A to Z

Alphabet Journals are a fun way to engage early writers. Decode, illustrate, write and repeat.
Thinking of new and fun ways to get kindergartners to write can be challenging.  I have word lists, topic cards, books, and a dozen other ideas for topics.  In spite of that, I hear:

What can I write about?

UGH!  This is one way to curb the "I don't know what to write about blues."  These alphabet journals combine decoding, illustrating and writing in a way that can be completely individualized.

I have always suggested teachers use the sound chart as a topic chart for writing, but whe I sat down to make a journal for that, I decided I could make the journal decodable.

4 Easy Steps

Alphabet Journals are a fun way to engage early writers. Decode, illustrate, write and repeat.

1.  Decode.

Each page has a decodable picture.  MOST pages are cvc words (dig for d, log for l, pan for p).  The highlighted initial letter keeps the journal is alphabetical order.  Of course, the vowels were tricky.  I have 2 options for each of the vowels.  Option #1 has a cvc word with the vowel highlighted in the middle.  Option #2 is a two-letter or three-letter word starting with the vowel (ant for a and up for you).
Alphabet Journals are a fun way to engage early writers. Decode, illustrate, write and repeat.

2. Illustrate.

If you want a good story, give your students time to make a good illustration.  Each page includes a clip art picture for the decodable word.  Students will complete the picture.  The picture above shows a boy digging on a construction site.  Another student used the same picture to draw a garden scene and a third student drew a the boy digging with a pirate flag in the picture.
Alphabet Journals are a fun way to engage early writers. Decode, illustrate, write and repeat.

3.  Write.

Of course, this is the goal.  Students have to write about their picture.  The more detail in the picture, the more detail in the writing.  "The gum is in the gum shop. The gum is mine.  The gum is different colors. The gum comes out."
Alphabet Journals are a fun way to engage early writers. Decode, illustrate, write and repeat.

4. Repeat.

Students can use this journal to create a book of stories.  

If you'd like a FREEBIE sample of this set, feel free to click on the picture below or CLICK HERE
If you would like to visit my TPT store and check out Alphabet Journals, click the picture below or CLICK HERE.  There is also a Set 2.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

CVC Blending: From Choppy Seas to Smooth Sailing

Don't let you students chop their sounds, teach them to blend one sound into the next. Smooth sailing will get them farther.
I believe CVC words hold the key to early readers.  When students can blend the letters and sounds to make a word so many doors are opened in reading.  However, blending the sounds takes practice.
Don't let you students chop their sounds, teach them to blend one sound into the next. Smooth sailing will get them farther.
You know EXACTLY what I mean.  The students come to a word they don't know and they like choppy seas, chopping at each letter sound.  

/c/     /a/    /t/

The sounds are separated and disconnected.  When they do this, they often think the word starts with the t sound because that's the last sound they hear.  Don't let them chop their sounds, like choppy seas.
Don't let you students chop their sounds, teach them to blend one sound into the next. Smooth sailing will get them farther.
We have to teach them to be smooth operators and turn the choppy seas in to smooth sailing.  Instead of "sound it out," we have to teach our students to "slide and sound."  You see, "sound it out" is exactly what they are doing when they chop at the sounds.  They are reproducing individual and separated sounds.  They need practice blending the sounds...not making the sounds.
Don't let you students chop their sounds, teach them to blend one sound into the next. Smooth sailing will get them farther.
I had seen these cards on various sites and decided to try them.  I put the CVC word on the front with an arrow to show they should be sliding their sounds and dots to designate when they make the sound for the next letter.  They should slide it slowly, slide it quickly, and then turn it over to confirm their word.

The first video shows the sweetest kid in the whole world using the CVC sliders.  He had used the cvc sliders for a few days before this video.  We had practiced with short o words (in my opinion, they seem to be the easiest to decode).  Today I gave him a few other words.  He as so excited.  THEN, this happened.


Yep, the picture on the back didn't match the card. OOPS.  Here's one last video, just because I can't refuse it.
Yes, two of the videos are facing one way and one is facing the other.  I'll get better.

For additional interventions ideas, check out my Pinterest board below.

If you'd like a FREEBIE set of the sliders, click on the picture below or CLICK HERE.

www.cathycollier.com

If you'd like the full set, click the picture to go to my TPT store or CLICK HERE.
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