Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Little Review Helps the Skills Go Down!

Good evening all!  Hoping that your week has been treating you well.  We had a professional development day on Monday, which translates into this teacher had the whole day to her self for getting things done in the classroom!  LOVE those kind of pd days! 

Anyways, I decided to plan some much needed review into workstations this week in both math and literacy.  My little owls have been lacking confidence lately and I wanted these skill review stations to push them past this little funk.

I was able to take a few pictures of some of the literacy workstations today.  Math will have to be a different post. 

The first pictures are from our writing workstation.  I have been really working with the little owls on their sentence building and sight word recognition.  Since we are focusing on those skills, I put them together into a little page called Shooting Star Sentence.  The little owls have to use the star word in the star in a sentence and then draw a picture to match.  We have done this with 3 different words thus far and some words are definitely easier than others.
I was extremely happy when I saw this work.  She has some great spelling going on and what we call a "strong sentence."
Loved how the picture matched the sentence perfectly.

This work was from a new student.  I am pleased with how well she is catching onto our routine and my expectations.
The next picture is from the alphabet workstation.  This workstation is my own addition to literacy workstations.  I like the idea of having a constant alphabet letter focus through the whole year.  (One that is just for letters and not for forming/working with words.)  Here the little owls roll a die, figure out what letter the number corresponds with, and then string the letter onto a plastic thread.  Basic, yes, but the little owls were fully engaged and working on math, literacy, and fine motor skills.  All in ONE workstation!!!!
The last pictures are from my word work workstation.  We have started playing around with word families and the idea of switching out the first letter to build new words.  The little owls used magnet letters, the snake mat from Deanna Jump, and a basic recording page.  They needed to be able to read the words back to me later on.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. 
*Hoping someone understands the title of this post and that my humor was not lost in cyberspace.  :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

And This Is Why I Teach!

Today was one of those days that helped renew my love for teaching.  I walked away from the classroom with a smile on my face and a heart full of love for every one of my little owls.  My little owls rocked this day like no other.  This is one proud teacher!

We have been focusing on making 10 in math.  My little owls are doing really well with it.

I made a ten frame on our carpet with masking tape and we have been using that for our making 10 activities.  I am going through this slowly with the whole group to really guide them in the right direction.  My little owls really need this extra support and slower pace this year and I'm working with them where it is comfortable.  Yesterday we used foam conversation hearts to make 10.  We start by rolling a die and then adding that many hearts.  We then figured out how many more we needed to add to fill in the ten frame or to make 10.  We used the below recording page as evidence of our learning.

The adoreable clipart is from Giftseasonstore on Etsy.

Today we went back to that masking tape ten frame and worked on making 10.  This time we used "us" as the objects.  Let me tell you, I have never seen them so engaged and eager to participate.  It was wonderful!  Here are a few feet shots to see what our learning looked like.

Hope your Valentine's Day was filled with hugs!

~ Erin

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day!

I know in the last post I said I would be bringing you part 2 of our 100th day.  However, no pictures were taken today due to a very crabby teacher and little effort being put into work from my little owls.  I was just trying to not completely lose my cool and make it through the day.  I am not a big fan of these kinds of days.  :(

Enough whining and on to the good stuff.  I made some cute little Valentine's treats for the kiddos at my son's daycare tonight.  I wanted to share the idea with you because I "love" how they turned out.

Materials Needed:
* Bag of heart shaped suckers
* Assortment of super balls (I picked these up at Target in the Valentine's Day section.)
* Valentine's themed bags  (Again a Target find!)
Little card I typed up to attach to the bags.
Finished product! 
Now, I would have loved to have made these for my adorable little owls but I have a little one who does not celebrate holidays for religious reasons.  I do not like the idea of excluding her from school activities, so we do not celebrate holidays in the classroom.  I include little activities here and there that have seasonal clipart but do not pertain to a holiday.  What do you do when you have kids that do not celebrate in your classroom? 
~ Erin

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's the 100th Day We Go! Part 1

So I was out yesterday attempting to recover from the flu that blindsided me over the weekend.  Of course, when I should have been resting I was cutting out the last minute things I needed for the big day today.  It was officially our 100th day today!!!!  I, like always, overplanned, so we will be having a 100th day part 2 tomorrow with some of the activities that I couldn't squeeze in today.  The little owls didn't mind when I told them that we had some leftover 100th day activities.  They actually cheered and I got a few first pumps of excitement.  :)

Here are a few of the things that we did get to today and that I actually had a second to take a picture of.  Let me tell you, the 100th day is super fun but super exhausting.  It was nonstop engagement from start to finish. 

These mats I purchased from Khyrs at Keepin' It Kool in Kinderland.  Click the picture to check it out!  We put these together last week so they could be laminated for today!  Nothing like a little preplanning on that one.

I saw this idea on Jen's Kinder Kids blog last week and loved it!  The little owls were beyond excited for this activity today!

These were two writing station examples from our literacy stations.  The little owls had to write and draw what they wished they had 100 of.  Some of their wishes were FUNNY!  I was laughing to the point of tears when I was reading them after school.  I really liked the second example here because of this little owl's spelling of unicorn.  Her unicorns also needed to have wings to fly.  :)  She made it a point to tell me this after she was done.

I will be back tomorrow to fill you on the rest of our 100th day fun!


Friday, February 8, 2013

It's That Time of Week!

Five for Friday linky party time!  I can't tell you just how much I adore this linky party.  Keeps my camera close by me all week and gets me reflecting on the happenings of the week.  If you would like to join in on the fun, head over to Doodle Bug's blog and link up!
Let's start with Monday and work our way through the week, shall we!?!
1. On Monday, I left early because I finally got ahold of the nasty cold that was travelling around my classroom.  I have, unfortunately, passed it along to my little man.  He is currently sleeping in the recliner and he sounds so stuffy.  Poor guy!  :(
2. Skip ahead to Wednesday, we took a whole school trip to a Milwaukee Wave soccer game.  So fun!
3. Last night we got hit with a snow storm.  It, of course, started right at the end of the school day and lasted until midnight.  Enough time to plow the roads and have everything up and running for school today.  Man, do I want a snow day!
(This picture really doesn't do it justice!)
4. Today, I got this lovely piece of writing from one of my little owls who is just struggling.  I was so proud!
We were writing a sentence using one of our star words.  This was our first day doing this in a literacy station so the word was "I."  Her paper says, "I luve im (my) hs."  She has come such a long way these past couple of weeks.
5. I have been using old bulletin board boarders as quick letter identification games with my little owls who need some extra practice.  I had attended a pd years ago and this was an activity mentioned.  I decided to try it out!  I put letter stickers on the pictures and the kids start at different ends of the boarder.  They take turns rolling a die, moving their little stone, and identifying the letter.  If they get the letter right, their stone stays but if they get it wrong, I correct them, and send their stone back to the beginning of the boarder.
There's my week in 5 random pieces!  Enjoy!


Thursday, February 7, 2013


We took almost our entire school to a Milwaukee Wave soccer game yesterday.  The field trip was an incentive for demonstrating good school/classroom behavior.  Let me tell you, I have never seen my little owls so excited and animated as I saw them at this game.  They were cheering (even though they really didn't know who they were cheering for :),) they were up dancing, and they were beyond well behaved.  I was one proud teacher!  I was a bit worried because this was a huge event (over 7,000 kids in attendance) and I wasn't sure how my little owls would deal.  They were ROCKSTARS!

To get the excitement going for this big day, I did a little soccer tree map with them, we read some fiction and non fiction books about soccer, and did a little prediction writing the day before.  Here are some pictures of our work.
"At the soccer game, I think I will see soccer ball."  (Loved the illustration!)

"At the soccer game, I think I will see player cic the bol."  (I think that is about right.)

Our soccer tree map.  We completed a big one as a class and then practiced our copying print by filling in our own tree maps.
Today we continued talking soccer.  This time it was in math.  We used little soccer ball keychains we each got from the game, rolled a die, put that number of soccer balls in a ten frame, and figured out how many more we needed to add to make ten.  The kids did great with this!  :)

A little recording page we filled out while we were working on making 10.  We used x's to show the starting number and o's to show the number we needed to add.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!  One more day left!  :)  We are getting hit with a snow storm here in good, ol' WI.  I will be heading out soon to do a second shoveling since I got home from school!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Currently-Februray Style!

I had linked up with Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade last month and was looking forward to joining in on the fun again this month.  It is so stinkin' hard to keep up with all of these great linky parties!  :)

I present to you my February Currently!

Listening- Hotel Transylvania is on in the living room still!  We had put it on so Asher would sit down and start to mellow out for his nap.  I haven't gotten to turning it off yet.  :)

Loving- For our PBIS behavior incentive, we are taking just about the entire school to a Milwaukee Wave soccer game on Wednesday.  I have never been to a soccer game so I'm eager to go.  I'm also looking forward to the excited looks from all of my little owls.

Thinking- Need to do laundry and lesson plan are pretty self explanatory.

Wanting- WI needs some warmer weather.  I know, I know I live in WI where winter lastest until April but come one when we get these little teases of 60 degree weather here and there, I'm ready for the warmth. 

Needing- A day of R&R.  This was a long week and I could use just a day to forget and pamper myself.

Pet Peeves- Now my list could go on for quite awhile but I will limit myself to just two.  I am by nature a perfectionist and slightly OCD so things not the way I want them bothers the living snot out of me.  Laziness by kiddos and adults alike are wearing thin on my nerves lately.  Why in the world are 5 and 6 year olds becoming lazy????  Am I the only one with this happening in the classroom?  How are you overcoming it?  I am also becoming irritated by the overall sloppiness of my little owls work this year.  I think that laziness and sloppiness go hand in hand. 

Well there you have it- my February Currently.  Head over, link up, and check out what others are up to. 

(A little side note!  I'm super proud of myself because I figured out how to get text added into my currently and uploaded as a picture this month!  WOOT!  WOOT!)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Thank Goodness It's Five for Friday Time!

I will admit I have become slightly addicted to linky partys lately.  I love how many there are and the variety.  It allows me to look back and reflect on all different areas of my teaching.  This is an awesome thing to be able to do!  I'm going to, once again, link up with Doodle Bug for her Five for Friday.

This week was a long and rough week for me!  Way too many ups and downs for me to bear.  It has left me in a not so great mood all week and looking forward to Friday way more than I wanted to.  Due to the fact that my week could go into the world's worst week hall of fame, I didn't take pictures of classroom happenings.  I was just too busy trying to keep my "cool" if you will.
1.  I LOVE THE BIG BANG THEORY!!!!  I have watched it since season one and can watch the seasons over and over again and still laugh just as hard.  Seeing as this week was not full of smiles at school, I needed some way to destress.  Watching this show was my magic ticket to some much needed laughter after extremely long days.
2.  Attendance this year is scary bad in my room.  I can count on one hand the number of times all of little owls have been in school together.  It is really quite sad.  My little owls are struggling because of their attendance.  I needed to do something to really stress how important coming to school every day was.  I put together this bulletin board and stamp/sticker each day an owl is there on time.  I promised a fun afternoon once their entire charts were filled. 
3.  I put together this little ladybug and little label/writing for my little owls to work on in their writing work station next week.  We read the book, I Love Bugs, this week in our reading series and I wanted to bring the story into a station next week.
4.  Now this doesn't have a picture to accompany it, but it is completely random.  This week's weather here in WI was ridiculous.  It was 60 degrees on Tuesday, then we had a crazy rain, sleet, and snow storm on Wednesday, and today we had a wind chill advisory with -13 degree weather.  The whole entire week of wacky weather meant some serious indoor recess time and NO snow days.  :(
5.  I have been attempting to prepare for our 100th day and Valentine's day this week as well.  I put together a little owl themed Valentine's day counting activity.  I'm going to have my little owls try it out next week and I will post about it then.
Hope everyone had a great week.  Head over to Doodle Bug's blog and link up with your five randoms from this week.