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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 6 and Freebies

1. Experimenting with words for learning and practicing a spelling pattern (brainstorm a list of ways you can do this)
I start my literacy instruction by using a program on the computer called Balanced Literacy by Intellitools.  It has a little song for each letter and for each word family.  The kids love it.  They're the type of songs that you end up singing in your sleep.  At the beginning of the school year, I try and quickly test their letter knowledge everyday.  Here is the link to my assessment pack  (it's free).

2. Memorize high frequency words (How often do you introduce new words? Do your students have their own lists of words that they can work on? How will you keep track of words that they already know?

This is the book that I use to introduce sight words.  Each week we do one list of words.  At the beginning of the year it might take longer than one week for each list but as the year goes on, it often only them a day or two to pick them up.  I also send home the weekly words on a ring for the children to practice at home.

3. Generalize spelling patterns (brainstorm a list of ways you can do this).
For this I use my Balanced Literacy program above.  Once we get to a specific word family I compliment it by doing many hands-on activities.

Once I start introducing sight words I like to assess the children as often as I can (hopefullly everyday).  Here are the forms that I use.  You can grab them free by clicking on the picture.
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Monday, July 16, 2012

School memory linky

I'm linking up with Simply Kinder for a school memory linky party.

The question is:  What do you remember about kindergarten or about the grade in which you teach?

Wow, kindergarten for me was a long time ago.  I'm surprised that I still remember it. I attended junior and senior kindergarten in Toronto.  It was an open plan school so there were no walls really between the classes.  I guess that was the big thing in the 70's.  I only remember a few things about those early years.

* I used to say the Lord's Prayer really fast so that I could sit down first.
* There were dividers all over the place sectioning off the school (I guess the teachers didn't think much of the no walls concept)
* According to my mother, I bit someone.  I don't know what happened,  I don't remember biting anyone.  Thankful I don't still bite.

In the summer before grade one we moved out of the city.  Grade one was in a new school and the only thing I remember is the teacher throwing my colouring away and making me redo it because I hadn't coloured in the same direction.  I guess it was messy.

Boy have times changed.  I think now about the things that I do in my classroom.  What will my students remember?  Have I made their time with me special enough for them to remember?  I hope so.

Head on over to Simply Kinder and see what other people remember about their early school years.  What do you remember?


Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer to do's

I can't believe that summer vacation is here.  The weather has been beautiful.  We couldn't have asked for better.  Already though I'm starting to think about school.  I always plan to get so much done over my holidays and I never seem to get to them all.  Here are a few things I'm planning to get to.

1. Finish reading the CAFE book and figure out how I'm going to implement.
2. Take an Introduction to Braille course.  I'm all signed up, just have to get started.
3. Make some more products for my store.
4. Come up with a new day book.  Seriously, I hate my day book.  I have to be VERY flexible at my school and my day book is always a mess.  I've tried typing them in on the computer and printing them off and I've tried hand writing them.  Then something comes up and the plans fall apart.   I saw this really cool plan book on pintrest last night from The Wise & Witty Teacher.

I love her description and I'm thinking about giving it a try. 

And since I hate my printing.  I was thinking of trying to print them up using the template found here at Sugar Doodle.

Do you have a good day book that you like?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Daily 5, Chapter 4

I'm so excited to be linking up with Mrs Miner's Monkey Business for Chapter 4 of the Daily 5 book study.  Here are my answers to this week's questions.

1) How far into the school year do you think kinders need to be to be able to begin the process of Read to Self? What is realistic? When do you plan to begin implementation?
I am going to begin right away.  It might not be for very long and it will mainly be "reading" the pictures to begin with but we are going to start within the first couple of days.  After I begin to introduce some words, I will expect them to begin to read some texts or poems.

2) How will you make sure that each child views him/herself as a reader (whether they are reading words or not)?
I think it begins with a lot of modelling and a lot of praise.  If you view yourself as a reader, the children will see you as a reader and then they will want to be readers too.

3) What are some ideas you have about "Launching Read to Self" in kindergarten? How will you go about it and what are some ways to make sure it is "kinder friendly"? 
I think I'm going to try and follow the book's outline to begin with.  I haven't tried Daily 5 before so I think I'm going to use their framework to begin with and go from there.  After I've done it once, I think I have a better idea of what is going to work and what won't.

4) How will you/do you build the children's belief that this IS important? What can we do to encourage the ones who do not value it and create disruptions for others?
Kindergarten is such a great age because the children still want to please you.  If I show them how important it is to me, I believe they will follow my lead and it will become important to them.  I will be implementing my "take home" reading program as well.  I believe this shows to the parents how important reading is as well. 

5) How valuable is Checking In and Reviewing with kindergartners? How often will you do it? When will you do it? What are some different ways to "check in"?
I'm expecting that checking in will be more frequent at the beginning.  I'm not sure that I will be able to bring everyone back to a central location if children are out of their wheelchairs.  There is not many of us so we may be fairly close together anyway.

6)What are some problems that can occur during this problem (either that you anticipate with your kinders OR that you have experienced)? How can we be proactive about these issues?
I am anticipating  that I'm going to need to do a lot of modelling for the other adults in my class.  They will be new to me and new to the program and will need to "buy into" it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Top Teacher Freebies

I'm so excited to be part of a brand new facebook page called Top Teacher Freebies.  Head on over to it to get all the lastest freebies by a bunch of Top Teachers.