Saturday, October 29, 2011

Literacy Work Stations

My students are continuing to participate in Work Stations that reinforce alphabet learning.

Yes, still.   :)

But these activities are new, so check them out...

Letter Mazes
Students begin at the top of the page and follow the upper & lowercase featured letter from beginning to end. These alphabet mazes can be found here, at Education.com. A-mazing!


Listening Centre
There are alphabet books at the Listening Centre...big surprise! When students have completed a book, they fill out this form:
It is from Mrs. Jump' class, and can be printed here. Love this!

Write-Stamp-Decorate
Students copy the sight words we've learned to date, then stamp & decorate them.
This activity is from Mrs. I's blog, and can be found here. My students are having fun at this station!

Letter Sorting
Uppercase and lowercase letters are cut out and pasted beside the matching letter.

This great activity is from Kindergarten Crayons, and can be found here.

Word Book
The Word Book station is where students work with yours truly on a sight word booklet, and are introduced to a new word or two.

{See here for the previous posting that describes how I do this activity...
or if you're just wondering about my tiara!}

Thank you to my bloggy teacher-friends for posting the great freebies featured mentioned above. My students are having fun while learning because of your great ideas!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

No Ghosts In Our Classroom

Where I teach, we don't do a unit on the Halloween theme.
Instead, at this time of year I do a book study based on Liz Curtis Higgs' book The Pumpkin Patch Parable
Before reading, as a class we reflect on prior learning about pumpkins based on earlier lessons. 
{My pumpkin activities post can be found here

Then we review how a pumpkin grows, using pictures to sequence the stages of change.

I ask my students how they are like pumpkins, via our "Chit Chat" chart.

Needless to say, I get a lot of puzzled looks.
Are we orange? Are we round? Do we grow on a vine?

After reading the story, they learn that like pumpkins, we are all unique. Jesus made us all different, but He loves us the same. The pumpkins are full of yucky pulp that the farmer cleans out, much like we are filled with sin that Jesus washes away when He forgives us. The farmer puts a light in the pumpkin to make it shine brightly. Jesus replaces our sin with His light so that we may shine for Him. 
  
Our "Chit Chat" chart gets filled in with their responses:

I found a great booklet to go along with this lesson at Danielle's Place.
This page is to be printed out on legal-sized paper.
{I cut out the pumpkin faces ahead of time because it is too difficult for my students}

On the first page, students glue "yucky pulp"--gold coloured yarn & tan paper cut into oval shapes.


The centre page is coloured yellow, so that when the book is closed the pumpkin is glowing.

Students can fold the booklet in the reverse direction so that the pulp is gone, and the pumpkin is glowing:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We're Going On A Leaf Hunt

Another October book study we do as a class is We're Going On A Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger.
As with "We're Going On A Bear Hunt", the children in the story embark on a hunt that leads them to various settings. The story's pattern makes it a great springboard for introducing students to story flow maps.

Here is the story flow map we did for this book:
The pictures and arrows have velcro on the back of them, so that students can place them in order on the flow chart as the story is read.
The characters in the story encounter a skunk and retrace their steps all the way back home. At this point in the story, the students can manipulate the arrows to show the new direction that the story takes:

We sorted leaves by size, shape, and colour.

...then went on a "real life" leaf hunt around the schoolyard!
{Thankfully ours was skunk free}

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Literacy Work Stations

To go along with our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book study, my students have been participating in Work Stations that reinforce the alphabet.

The first round of literacy centres we did on this theme can be found here.

Here are the next round of literacy centres, which continue to reinforce letter learning:

Making Letters With Pipe Cleaners

Coconut Tree Art & Name Stamping
Students coloured and cut the parts of the coconut tree, and glued it onto construction paper. Then they stamped their name going up the coconut tree. The tree printable can be found on the Hubbards Cupboard website here.

Reading Alphabet Books
Students read from a variety of alphabet books, using fancy fingernails to point out the letters. {See the fancy fingernails in the picture? For more info. see here.} 

Coconut Tree Letter Match
I think the printable for these trees can also be found at Hubbards Cupboard.

Highlighting Letters
Students took turns drawing a letter card from the pile, then highlighting that letter on their sheet. The printable highlighting sheet is from Teachers Notebook, and can be found here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Well That Explains It!

I found this on Pinterest.

It cracked me up...
...and explains why I am so tired at the end of the school day!
Why yes, yes I did know this.

Gotta love kids!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Autumn Art

Today my class participated in three Autumn art activity stations. They were led by a parent volunteer /former teacher. Here are the three stations they worked at:

Handprint Tree/Fingerprint Leaves
Students make a handprint on the tree trunk for branches, then use their fingertips to add colourful fall leaves.

Tissue Paper Leaves
Each student received a construction paper leaf outline, with one side covered in contact paper. They filled the inside of the outline with squares of coloured tissue paper.

The finished leaves in our classroom windows:


Marble Art Pumpkins
Students received pumpkin-shaped construction paper, which was placed in a box lid. The lid also had two marbles inside. Students tipped their boxes back and forth so that the marbles would roll around and cover their pumpkin with lines of paint.
Thank you Mrs. J! The class had a great time!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Following Directions

Do you have a handful of students in your class who are like mine?

You know the ones. They listen intently as you explain the task they are to do. They watch closely as you demonstrate the activity in great detail.

Then, as soon as they get to their table, they proceed to open their gluestick and smear glue all over their paper. Why? There is nothing for them to stick on it yet! Others start cutting out their pictures without colouring them first. Sound familiar?

While spending time on Pinterest, I came across a chart that is PERFECT for students who need that visual reminder of how exactly to do their work. Here is the chart I have hanging in my classroom:


The direction icons can be manipulated in order to correspond with the activity you are doing. Velcro dots are attached to the chart as well as on the icons themselves.



This fabulous chart is from Alicia Lochridge at First Grade Factory. The chart icons can be downloaded here. Problem solved!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Student Word Pointers

If your students are like mine, they L.O.V.E. to read-the-room using pointers.
I switch the pointers each month--it helps to keep the activity 'fresh' because the pointers correspond with the theme of the month.

I thought it would be FUN to give my students a pointer that they could take home & keep for themselves. They can use it all year long to practice the sight words that are hanging on their fridge. I send home a sight word practice page as new words are introduced. Students are to hang it on their fridge and practice reading it at home. My post describing the entire activity that I do for this "Word Work Centre" can be found here.

Here is an example of the student pointers I came up with:
Each student's picture is at the top so that they can "look" at the word as they read it. LOL
The photo is adhesive, stuck onto a large craft stick.

My brilliant Educational Assistant suggested I put a small magnetic strip on the back of the pointers. This way students can hang them on the fridge beside their sight word sheets. GENIUS!

The sight word practice sheets can be found here, and were made by Ammie Bradley.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Classroom Community

I came across a printable I really like that describes some positive, community-building behaviours for the classroom.
Want a copy?
Click on my Pinterest link to find the downloadable copy on my School board.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Literacy Work Stations

To go along with our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book study, my students have been participating in Work Stations that reinforce the alphabet.

Playdough Letters

Students create the alphabet letters on these playdough mats.


Alphabet & Letter Sound Work
 missing letters

 beginning sounds

 vowel sounds

 ending sounds

These activities are from {here}.
 
Students use letter tiles to fill in the missing letters.
 
We also have a Chicka Tree at this station, where students can reinact the story using Velcro-backed letters.


Alphabet Bean Bags Centre
Previously posted here.

Students lay alphabet flashcards around the carpeted area of the classroom. Then they take the beanbags, and, taking turns, toss the beanbags onto the flashcard that has the same letter.


Letter Bingo
No explanation necessary, right?
Just one note: I have my students fill their entire card to win...they get some extra practice that way!


Organizing Student Work Stations
My students do one Literacy Work Station per day, and rotate through the activities until they have had a turn at each centre.
 
This is how I organize the student work stations:
 
I have students at each station, and they rotate through all the activities.
The group numbers and names do not change, I simply move the activity card over one space each day.
 
The 36 activity cards and headers are available {here}.
I find the visuals on the cards really help...most students go over to check out the chart each morning to see what they get to try that day!
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