Sunday, September 22, 2013

Smile Makers

I teach in a Title I school with a large percentage of ELL students. While there are many challenges about teaching in this type of environment (and I've taught in both Title I and non-Title I schools), I do love it. I love the students, and that is something I feel passionate about - Title schools need passionate people! A lot of times when I'm dealing with frustrations, I have to remind myself that it isn't the students at all. A lot of times it's figuring out a way to work with other adults and follow through with communication, and that is a very good skill to know, regardless of the profession or what environment you are working in. These kids come from backgrounds that many of us will never know or understand, and school is their safe place. It is our job to provide a positive, structured atmosphere and to expect what others will not out of these kids. 

Anyway, off my soapbox now. :-) One strategy for working with ELL students is to label the classroom. In the past, I've had to create my own labels - type them, laminate them, cut them, and hot glue or tape them, all around the classroom. This year, thanks to SmileMakers, I received labeling stickers that are reusable! I love this product, and it makes it so easy to label the classroom. The lettering is large, so students can see from a distance, and it is easily readable with a nice, clear font. Additionally, the labels have not only the word, but they have a picture also. So perfect for ELL and emergent readers!!! The coolest thing is that the pack came with a large selection, and then I could pick which labels I wanted to use! The rest I've put in my closet for another year. :-)

Click the picture below if you'd like to order a set of these labels, or click HERE.

SmileMakers has a great teacher reward program, and they have a nice selection of top quality classroom products. They have a nice deal going right now, only until September 27. To receive 10% off, no minimum order, use code: SMILE25  and click HERE, or click the picture below!

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Phonemic Segmentation Cards

Wow it's been a busy school year thus far! I hope you all are off to a great start. I have been so thankful and impressed by the power of Pinterest, other teacher blogs, and Teachers Pay Teachers. We have worked so hard, and our 2nd grade hallway looks absolutely fabulous thanks a bunch to ideas found on Pinterest! 

Oh the Places You'll Go - Goal Writing

Back to School Student Glyphs

Best Part of Me Writing

All About Me Pennants

In Our Classroom Poster - Class Rules
In other news, I've created a new TpT product: Phonemic Segmentation Cards. Almost all of my products come from a need/necessity in my own classroom, so the coolest thing is that every product has been kid tested and teacher approved! These cards were developed for use in my guided reading groups, but you could really use them any time.  This is the first year in a loooong time that I've had such a high group of emergent readers in 2nd grade, so I feel like I've been learning a LOT about pre-emergent and emergent readers - something I haven't really dealt with in quite a while, even when I was looping and teaching 1st grade also! I enjoy learning, so that's a plus. :-) I feel like Jan Richardson (the author), my kindergarten teacher friends, and the title I reading teacher have kind of been my go to gurus this year! Thank goodness for these awesome ladies! 

Anyway, my sweet little pre-emergent/emergent readers are struggling to segment words, so that is why I created these cards. Students can use these to practice phonemic segmentation. The dots underneath each sound are provided to guide students to put their finger and touch and say each sound. After saying each sound, students will then blend the sounds together to read the word. These cards are designed to help students practice 1:1 correspondence with segmenting sounds. These cards can be used in a variety of ways: parent volunteers, guided reading, literacy centers, flashcards, etc... I copied these cards, laminated, and put them on a ring to have my students work on segmenting during guided reading. Please let me know if you have any questions! Hope these cards are helpful for your students who are working on sounds during guided reading or any other time!

To download these cards, click HERE or click the picture below:

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Monday, September 2, 2013

"Autumn" by Emily Dickinson - a 2nd grade poetry mini unit aligned with CCSS

It's a brand new school year, and I'm so excited to have some time to make some fresh lesson plans aligned with Common Core! I've had a nice start to the school year, and I hope you have too. 

I just posted a new mini-unit in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. This unit uses the exemplar text, "Autumn". "Autumn" is a poem by Emily Dickinson, and it is the perfect poem to use right now at the beginning of the school year. The text can also be found on the CCCSS website in Appendix B. :-)

Included, you will find the following items and resources in my mini-unit:

-Lesson plan ideas (3 days)
-Assessment: written text dependent question
-Poem typed for displaying on screen (text is also found in Appendix B of the CCSS)
-Building Background picture
-Vocabulary slides to teach 4 key words
-Poetry analysis graphic organizer
-Visualizing sheet to draw/write visualization
-Class book outline for students to analyze the text

To purchase and download the zipped file, please go to my TpT store or click HERE. You can also click the picture below:

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Giant Back to School TpT Sale

And a brand new year has started! This weekend is the annual ginormous TpT Back to School Sale, so don't miss out! It runs from August 18-August 19 (Sunday and Monday). Click on the picture below to head over to my store, or click HERE. Don't forget to use the promo code: BTS13 at checkout to receive 28% off all items. :-) 

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Find Someone Who - Back to School Edition

Wow, the summer blew by. What a busy summer it's been! I had all these grandiose plans for working on some TpT units, and alas, it just didn't happen. Oh well! I'm now starting to think about school again, *gasp*! Anyway, I'm hoping to get some school stuff done for the beginning of the year, and I will hopefully be posting more regularly again soon!

Awhile back I posted a Find Someone Who activity for the end of the year, just before summer break. Today I created one for the beginning of the year! Anyone who knows me knows I love using this cooperative learning structure, as you can use it for just about everything, and it keeps students accountable and gets them talking and interacting with each other (very important for any class, but especially when I have such a high ELL population). 

For this activity, simply download and print a copy for every student in the class. This is a great (and simple) back to school activity for team building and breaking the ice for the students. Students will walk around the room, meet their fellow classmates, and talk to them to find out if they fit any of the categories or boxes. Then, if a student finds another student who fits, he/she will have the other student sign his/her name or initials in the box. The goal is to fill the sheet with names. When done, the teacher can go over them all together. this could then lead into a graphing activity or further discussion. Enjoy this free download by clicking HERE or clicking the picture below. Have a great start to your school year! :-) 

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