Monday 27 July 2015

Daily Schedule - Calendar and Math Stretch


This summer I read the book Guided Math by Laney Sammons. Chapter 3 was all about using Math Warm-Ups. A quote that stuck out to me was, "Participating in a variety of brief mathematical activities during the first 20-30 minutes of the day leads students to make subtle mental shifts into the world of mathematical awareness and learning." (Laney Sammons also has a book called Daily Math Stretches for K-2 that sounds interesting, but I haven't checked it out yet!) This is why I've always tried to start my day with calendar. We practice so many important mathematical skills during calendar time. This year something new I want to try is to do a short math stretch after calendar as well.

First let's talk about calendar. I am just itching to get back into my classroom to get everything set up, but my school doesn't open until August 24th! So for now, I've been trying things out in the hallway of our house. Hubby doesn't even ask questions anymore when he comes out of the bathroom and there's a September calendar hanging on the wall. He knows me well. lol. 

The other night I decided that I redid every single label and poster in my room to match my chalkboard & brights theme EXCEPT my calendar! Why hadn't I thought of my calendar?? So I got to working on monthly sets of numbers, month headers, and a variety of other posters I use for my calendar routine. Here's a peek at my hallway calendar display:

And here's a close up look at my September calendar. (PS. I have a few blue pocket charts that I want to try dye-ing black this week... but in case it doesn't work out well, I bought a new black calendar pocket chart from Scholastic. I love how it looks!) 

This is what my calendar looked like the week before I left for maternity leave. Things will look completely different, but the math will stay the same! I always lead the calendar routine for the first month or so, but then my leader of the day takes over. Here's a little break down of what we usually do:

*flip the number over on the calendar and count the numbers either forwards or backwards
*look at the monthly pattern and make the same pattern with out bodies (clap, snap, stomp, etc.)
*tell what day of the week was yesterday, today, and tomorrow
*add a straw to our collection and count the straws
*colour in a ten frame and count the squares
*check the weather and fill in the weather graph
*add any loose teeth or birthdays to the charts
*sing a calendar song or watch a calendar video (such as Harry Kindergarten)

We also do a calendar journal to go along with out calendar routine. It keeps all students on task and engaged with what's going on! You can read more about it {here}.

Here is what I have planned for my weekly math stretches...

On Monday I will read aloud a picture book that goes with a skill we are learning. I started blogging about some book ideas with my Math Book Monday series. The two large tubs in the picture below are filled with math books. I have an addiction and it's time that I start utilizing them more! lol. We will discuss the math seen in the book and usually do some sort of activity to go with it. I hope to continue this blogging series again once school is back in session! I can share more about the books we use and the activities to go along with them. 

On Tuesday we will do a number of the day activity. I've done this before as a math centre or activity before, but this time I created a cute set of posters that I will hang down the side of my big white board. I will laminate the cards so we can use them with dry erase markers. I created little number cards from 1-20 so each week we will pick a number, veclro it to the number of the day card, and show many different ways to represent that number! We will practice even/odd, number words, tally marks, one less/one more, ten frames, number lines, place value blocks, dice dots, counting forwards and backwards, drawing pictures, number bonds, part-part-whole, and writing number sentences! So many skills in one simple activity! I also created a matching recording sheet so that sometimes I can have students complete the worksheet as we do the posters together, or they can fill one in as an early finisher activity! (I will only be using numbers 1-20 with my students, but the pack I created has options to go up to 100 or 120!)

On Wednesday we will practice our estimating! Some days we will practice estimating the amount of objects in our Estimation Station. Other days we will do some measurement activities. I have been collecting some estimation ideas on Pinterest. Check out my board below!

Follow Amanda Ross (First Grade Garden)'s board Math - Estimation on Pinterest.

On Thursday we will complete a "What's Next?" activity. I will have five different patterns displayed on the board and we will have to decide what two elements come next for each pattern. This activity is perfect for practicing repeating patterns, counting forwards, counting backwards, and skip counting! Plus it will reinforce shapes, colours, and sizes too! You can download a blank PDF of this activity {here}.

On Friday we will do a data collection activity. Graphing isn't an outcome yet in our Grade 1 Math curriculum, but the skills that we use when analyzing the data sure is! We practice tons of counting and comparing numbers. Sometimes we will do a whole glass graph or somethings I might let them do a survey and graph activity, like I blogged about {here}. I have pinned tons of ADORABLE graphs on my Pinterest board too.

Follow Amanda Ross (First Grade Garden)'s board Math - Graphing on Pinterest.

You can check out any of these math products at my TpT store to help you get started!


Well that's it for my math stretch ideas! :) Stay tuned for more in my daily schedule series.

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Daily Schedule - Sight Words and Poetry/Phonics

One of my projects this summer was to plan out how I wanted to teach sight words and phonics skills next year. My curriculum does not dictate what phonics skills we have to teach and which sight word lists to practice, so I came up with a yearly scope and sequence that I am pretty happy with! At the end of this post you'll find a link to a bunch of freebies. This chart is in there (and it's editable).

I have set aside about 20 minutes a day for sight words, poetry, and phonics. It usually works out to be about 5 minutes sight words, 5 minutes poetry, and 10 minutes phonics.

My plan is to teach five sight words a week. My word lists come from Dolch, Fry's, and a few randoms thrown in! The phonics skills are based on what I feel my students need to work on Grade 1. We spend the first few weeks reviewing the alphabet sounds (I like Beverly Tyner's sequence.) Then we move onto short vowels, silent E, digraphs, long vowels, blends, bossy R, and some diphthongs. Even though I teach this stuff whole group, I do spend time in my guided reading groups doing more focused work on sight words or phonics skills too, depending on the group's needs. 

Each week I display the five sight words of the week on this little board. I bought a little white board from the dollar store, added the title and some clipart, and stuck on five little Stikki Clips. (Have you heard of these things? They are pretty neat. I bought them from Really Good Stuff. Apparently they stick super well to cinder block walls!) Each week I just stick the words in the clips. Easy peasy! At the end of the week we retire the words to the word wall and on Monday we put up five new words.

Here's a peek at what we do all week long with these words:

On Monday we introduce the sight words and practice them using some free chants from Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade. Then we make a little mini book. Students cut apart the squares, staple it in the corner, and then practice tracing each sight word and colouring it (or rainbow writing it). They keep these mini books in their book boxes for a couple weeks to practice the sight words. They can read them during "read to self" time. 

On Tuesday we make and break the words. I scramble up the letters in each word and we practice putting them back together. I do this on the Mimio, but you can just use magnetic letters. 

On Wednesday we play Guess the Word. It's like hangman. I put dashes up for each letter in the word and the students take turns guessing letters. I cross off the letters they guess and cross off a section of the picture each time they make an incorrect guess. There are ten different monthly themed pictures. I don't just use the words of the week--I take any word from the word wall! 

On Thursday we read the Mystery Sentences. I write five sentences that each have one of the words of the week in it. We read the sentences together and try to figure out the missing word.

On Friday we play Swat the Sight Word. On the projector I display a page with the five words all over it. I choose two students, give them each a fly swatter, and call out one of the words. The students try to swat the word. I love this because there's not one winner; they can both find and swat a sight word! :) They love this game!

**I don't have any of the Mimio files for you to download, but I have put a blank PDF version of the four activities (Tues-Fri) into the freebie file. You can import the PDF into Mimio or Smart Notebook and add your own text to create the activities yourself. I have also included my sight word books and an editable version so you can put in your own five sight words.**

I keep all of my sight word stuff for the week in page protectors in my Phonics & Sight Words binders (blogged about this here). The sight word lists are three weeks of sight words. I use them during Word Work. I'll blog about this more later!

I number the back of all my word wall cards so that at the end of the year I can easily organize them back into the proper week.

After our sight word activity, we look at the poem of the week. I have poems from a variety of different sources, but mostly I use Deedee Wills' Poetry Station Packs. They are amazing! I place the poem onto sentence strips and display them on a large pocket chart. On Monday we read the poem together, on Tuesday we look for certain letters or phonics skills, on Wednesday we ready in different voices for fluency practice, on Thursday we highlight our word wall words in the poem, and on Friday we put the poem in our poetry folders. Sometimes we will highlight the word wall words in our folder or draw a picture to go with the poem. 

Then we have phonics time. On Mondays I usually introduce the phonics skill with a story, such as the Scholastic Phonics Tales. Then we brainstorm a list of words that contain that phonics skill on chart paper.

On Tuesdays we usually do some sort of phonics activity. My students love Babbling Abby's Highlight a Word from her Word Work packs

On Wednesday we usually do a read and match activity together. These cards are from Reagan Tunstall's Big Phonics Bundle. I love this bundle! It has so many activities for so many phonics skills!! It is well worth the price.

On Thursday we do another phonics activity... this might be a cut and paste activity or a read the room activity. I have so many things in my files from The Mailbox Magazine or other TpTers. I might also have a Phonics Read the Room pack in the works... but we'll see about that! ;)

On Friday we usually play Roll & Cover or Roll & Write. I photocopy the black & white versions of these games onto coloured paper so we can play as a whole group. Then I place a few laminated, coloured versions of the game in our word work centres so students can play them again during guided reading time.

I keep all of my phonics stuff for the week in page protectors in my Phonics & Sight Words binders (read about this here). 

The first five weeks of school are a little bit different for phonics because we are reviewing our alphabet sounds. We still do sight words each work (although the very first week of school we just focus on our names) and we do a poem of the week, but each week we focus on five (or six) letter sounds. I like to use Beverly Tyner's sequence. (If you haven't read any of her books, check out Small-Group Reading Instruction. It's really great!)

I'm planning on using activities from my new Alphabet Practice pack. Each week the activities are the same, but it focuses on a different set of letters. The first week is BSMAC, then TDLRI, JGHON, PUQWY, and lastly ZXEVKF.

On Monday we will practice the sounds that each letter make by chanting "b says /b/, m says /m/, etc." We sometimes add an action to go with it, like biting an apple for /a/ or bouncing a ball for /b/. Then we do a card sort in the pocket chart. We will sort the picture cards based on their initial sound (or final sound with X).

On Tuesday students will do a colour code activity. They have to write the initial letter of each word, then colour the picture using the colour code. Great practice for those colour words as well! Then when they are done, they can play Spin to the Top. They spin an uppercase letter and practice tracing the letters. When one letter reaches the top, they win!

On Wednesday we do a read the room activity. I place 12 cards around the room. Students find the card and write down the letter the word starts with beside the correct number. When done, they do a letter search on the back. They circle and count each type of letter and write number beside it. Great for identifying letters in different fonts!

On Thursday we do a cut and paste sort. Students have to glue the correct lowercase letter and two beginning sound pictures beside the correct train engine. Then when they are done, they can play Roll to the Top. They roll a die and practice tracing the correct lowercase letters. When one letter reaches the top, they win!

On Friday we play a game. Either small group beginning sound BINGO (included in my Alphabet Practice pack), Roll & Cover, or Roll & Write. Check out these products by clicking the pictures below.


Well I hope that gives you some good ideas for teaching sight words, poetry, or phonics! Click the picture below to download some of the freebies from this post.

Saturday 18 July 2015

Daily Schedule - Writer's Workshop

I'm sharing Part 1 of my daily schedule series over at iTeach First today. Click the button below to head over there to read about how I set up and run Writer's Workshop in my classroom!

Here's a little peek at how I split up my 35 minute writing block:

And I go into a bit of detail how I will use my new writing goal pack!

Check back for more in my daily schedule series this month!

Thursday 16 July 2015

Daily Schedule 2015

I get so excited when we finally get our timetable for the next school year! I love planning things out and seeing what my day is going to look like. This year was especially exciting because I have been out of the classroom for FIFTEEN MONTHS! Can you believe it? As much as I am going to miss spending all day with my little munchkin, I am super excited to get back to teaching!

Anywho, here is a little peak at what my schedule look like so far for September:
I will still have to add in two periods of computer, a period for buddy reading, and a period for weekly assembly, but that won't be decided until late August. But here it is for now! Oh, and because of scheduling issues, Period 2 and 3 will switch in Term 2 and switch back in Term 3. Silly, but it is what it is. ;)

In the next few weeks I am going to share with you some of the different aspects of my day. These are the topics I want to cover: Morning Routine, Calendar, Math Stretch, Problem Solving, Guided Math, Writer's Workshop, Author Study, Sight Words, Poetry/Phonics, Guided Reading, Theme, and Pack & Stack!

I don't have any specific dates set up because I am TERRIBLE with deadlines. And I most likely won't blog about these topics in this specific order. But I promise to cover all of these topics by the end of August before we head back to school. Sound like a plan?

I think first up I will be back to talk about poetry/phonics! And my Writer's Workshop is going to be covered over at iTeach First on Saturday! I'll post the link for that! :)

I hope you are enjoying your summer! I'll be celebrating my one-year anniversary with hubby this weekend. We are staying at a hotel with a rooftop pool and eating dinner at the revolving restaurant! So excited! :) Take care!

Monday 6 July 2015

Make Your Masterpiece

It's week three of the TpT seller Challenge! This week we were challenged to create (or finish) a product, then swap with another teacher and edit each other's work! I traded products with Teresa over at Mrs. Tretbar's Library. Go check her out! It's kind of neat to get a fresh pair of eyes to look over your work. They may find something you didn't even notice!

I decided to finish up the next pack of questions for my Question of the Day yearly bundle. So far I am finished September-January. Half-way done!

Each monthly pack contains twenty-two "yes" or "no" question cards that are perfect for taking attendance, to use in your morning meeting, or to use during calendar time! A reader also gave the suggestion that you could use them as writing prompts as well! Smart idea!! There are also six blank cards that you could write on with a dry erase marker or Sharpie to create your own questions or have students think up questions. You can use these in a pocket chart, on a magnetic white board, or on a bulletin board.

Save money by buying the whole bundle! The rest of the packs will be added by the end of August! Better get working on those! ;) If you buy the bundle, you get a free set of numbers 1-36 to use as your students' numbers if using as an attendance taker or graphing activity.

Happy Summer Monday!