Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Word Ladders Unit 2

Ah, word families... I love 'em! Love teaching them! And it reinforces rhyming words. spelling, read fluency rates, exc.... it's no wonder I love 'em! Well, because of that love, I came to create Word Ladders! They are dictated word families. Here is how they work! Super easy and VERY effective!!

The Word Ladders have been created by me in order to support several skills which include: word families, spelling, writing, reading, phonics and phonemic awareness.

I copy the ladders front to back and distribute on Day 1. As I dictate the words, the students write the word on the next “rung” of the ladder. Once we have completed a ladder, we choral read the ladder from the top to the bottom and again from the bottom to the top. (We make a silly noise going up or down, just to make it even more engaging!) We complete 2 ladders and then my students hold on to them in their folders.

Days 2 and 3, we repeat the process with the next two ladders.
(about 10 minutes)

On Day 4, the students will partner read the ladders on the front. Their partner gets to choose what ladder they have to read and they take turns choosing for their partners and reading to each other. Day 5, the students partner read the back or any ladder from both sides.

These ladders can be very helpful with informal assessing as well. As I pass by a student’s desk, I will ask them to read a ladder to me to see how they are doing with blending and decoding with word families. My students LOVE working with the Word Ladders. It is just another way to get in some extra phonics work while applying it to writing and reading… and I hope you will find your students ENGAGED!!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Common Core Math Center Activities

Click the picture to check it out!
Have you already started it?? Is your district in waiting?? Are you new to it this Fall?? Sooo many changes and everyone doing it differently! My district will begin this fall with implementing Math Common Core. We will layer on the reading in the following year. I like the way we are doing it because we all know how hard change can be and so phasing into it will sure be nice for us. This year we will begin working with Common Core Math. I had the privilege to work with some AMAZING 1st grade teachers in my district as we breakdown the standards and analyze how we will be teaching these standards because our current adoption isn't quite going to align with this. I have spent a large portion of my summer drinking coffee.... oh! And working on Common Core Math activities, as well! I have just posted my first of several 1st grade Common Core Math Center Activities. This one includes 8 different center activities. Each includes a directions cards to be printed and laminated. They have simple, direct steps for the students to follow along with a visual to support the steps. This will ensure the students can complete the tasks independently which will free YOU up to re-teach or extend with other students. Differentiate... the HARDEST part of teaching... well, maybe that's just me... 12 years later and I'm still trying to figure it out! And every class, every year is different too!

One of the Center Activity Direction Cards
Okay, back on track! Each center activity includes a 2-sided accountability worksheet, as well. I also created several numeral cards for the different activities and went as far as my OCD would let me and labeled each set of cards with the name of the center activity for ease of prep and organization. (I HOPE!!!) Finally, I labeled all accountability worksheets and directions signs with the corresponding Common Core Standard. I

Accountability Worksheets for every activity
REALLY hope that these activities will be useful for you and your students. We all know how limited our prep time and planning time can be so hopefully these will be useful to someone! I can't wait to use them with my students this year during our Strategic Math time! It will be FAR more beneficial to all students then some of the activities I did last year... I won't mention those! HA!! Hey, sometimes desperate times.... call for more COFFEE! ;) It's back to work for me tomorrow! Our kids start on the 12th... right around the corner! Time to stock back up on coffee and creamer! And lots of planning, prepping, and creating!